Tesla Cheats with New Battery Supplier, Panasonic Forecast Plunges

Panasonic wasted no time lowering its guidance after its bread-and-butter customer, Tesla, announced it was buying another battery supplier to power its electric vehicles.

The lucky company Tesla chose to replace Japan-based Panasonic is California-based Maxwell Technologies.

On the news, Panasonic lowered its profit expectations by 9%. The possible loss of Tesla isn’t the only culprit that led to the lowered guidance. The struggling tech player revealed it was also being hurt by weak demand in China for auto components and factory equipment. China’s slowing economy and the overhang of trade wars have weighed on countries and tech companies all over the world.

Musk Praised Panasonic Just Three Months Ago

Back in November, it appeared that the partnership between Tesla and Panasonic was going well. CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to sing the praises about Panasonic helping it boost profits.

Here’s the tweet.

However, Musk had other plans. CCN raised the caution flag on Panasonic last month. We pointed to Tesla’s November indication that it would diversify its sources after experiencing several problems with its Model 3 supply chain.

On the heels of that announcement, rumors swirled that Tesla was on the lookout for a new battery supplier.

In previous reports, CCN noted that Panasonic was also feeling the effects of the possibility of losing Tesla. Its stock price was down by more than 2% on the news that the carmaker was looking for a new supplier.

Tesla Giveth Then Taketh Away

Elon Musk | Source: Shutterstock

Interestingly, when this supply agreement was announced, Tesla stated:

“The agreement supplies Tesla with Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery cells to build more than 80,000 vehicles over the next four years. It guarantees the availability of enough cells in 2012 to meet Tesla’s aggressive production ramp-up and fulfillment of more than 6,000 existing Model S reservations. This supply agreement helps ensure Tesla will meet its cost and margin targets for Model S.”

The purchase of Maxwell Technologies comes less than a decade since Musk and company inked the deal with Panasonic. The electric vehicle maker had lauded Panasonic as being a battery cell manufacturer and a diverse supplier to the global automotive industry.

Musk’s Always Up To Something, Could Be Good This Time

The move is a disappointing one for Panasonic, but it’s a solid one for Tesla, which has been under financial pressure.

In January, CCN reported that Tesla enjoyed a solid Q4 2018 with record production and delivery numbers driving the company’s first profit in two years. The company posted a net profit of $311.5 million and $891 million in free cash flow. However, the company’s stock price slumped 9% after it failed to meet investor targets for delivery and production numbers.

Tesla’s stock price has traded wildly over the past several months.

Owning battery supplier Maxwell should help the company lower its operating costs. The heavily indebted electric car company, whose CFO stepped down just four days ago, is making the acquisition in an all-stock deal.

A Tesla stock shorter (Musk has extreme disdain for them) responded to the Maxwell announcement with this tweet.

Maxwell already supplies batteries to General Motors and Volkswagen subsidiary Lamborghini. Specifically, it provides so-called ultracapacitors that store electricity and complement battery cells.


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Author: Tedra DeSue 
Image Credit: Featured Image from Shutterstock

Government Shutdown Delays Launch of New Tech Products

It’s day 21 of the US government shutdown, and the tech industry is starting to feel the heat.

 

Tech lovers may see fewer cutting-edge gadgets hitting the market in the next few months.

That’s because the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and other US agencies that certify the safety of consumer-electronics devices are closed due to the government shutdown, now in its 21st day.

And if the government doesn’t reopen soon, the shutdown could also affect the rollout of the next generation of wireless networks, built around 5G technology that promises to make them significantly faster and more responsive.

Trade group the Telecommunications Industry Association, which represents makers of telecom gear, said Friday that the shutdown is slowing the introduction of new connected devices that need certification from the FCC and that the closure could ultimately hamper 5G deployments.

The shutdown “comes at a vital moment when the US is competing to stay ahead of the world in the race to 5G,” said TIA Government Affairs SVP Cinnamon Rogers. If companies can’t get their required FCC thumbs-up, there’ll be a “serious and negative impact on the approval of new connected devices that are designed to enable both 5G deployment and the full ecosystem of next generation technologies that 5G will support,” he added in a statement.

The partial shutdown, which began Dec. 22 after the House of Representatives and Senate failed to come to agreement on President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion to fund work on a border wall, doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon. Neither congressional Democrats nor Trump show signs of caving to the other’s demands.

The impasse is having real economic consequences for 800,000 federal workers, who on Friday didn’t receive their first paycheck since the shutdown started. But the ripple effects are now starting to be felt more widely, including in the tech industry, where some device makers are being forced to put product launches on hold.

What’s being hit by the shutdown

The FCC officially ceased most operations Jan. 3 but kept some going, such as work on the 5G spectrum auction currently underway. But the agency furloughed more than 80 percent of its staff and shuttered several databases used by certification bodies authorized to work with product developers and labs.

The FCC requires most new devices that emit radio frequency energy to be certified to ensure that the energy doesn’t harm humans or interfere with other products or services that use radio spectrum. Almost all the actual testing is outsourced to FCC-authorized companies or Telecommunications Certification Bodies. For many products, though, the FCC must provide the final sign-off.

When the agency detailed its plans for the shutdown, it spelled out that these third parties wouldn’t “be able to upload applications for equipment authorization or issue grants of certification,” because they’d lack access to the necessary database.

“Any product with a transmitter in it is not getting certified until the shutdown ends,” said Ron Quirk, an attorney heading up the IoT practice for Marashlian & Donahue PLLC. “And if it’s not been certified by the FCC, manufacturers and equipment suppliers can’t sell it, or even market it, in the US.”

What kinds of products are we talking about? Think new phones, tablets, Wi-Fi routers and a host of internet-of-things gadgets, like the net-connected ball that watches your pets, the connected sensors for your home water system to combat leaks and waste, or the $400 internet-connected juicer.

And it’s not just FCC-certified devices. The shutdown could also impact some consumer-electronics products that’re considered medical devices and thus need approval from the FDA. That includes health care devices shown off at CES 2019 in Las Vegas this week: things like DIY sonograms, watches that measure your blood pressure, or vests that alert patients they’re in heart failure.

It’s unclear how many consumer-electronics products may be affected by the closure, since it’s hard to know where specific companies and devices were in the approval process when the shutdown started. Neither the FCC nor the FDA returned calls seeking comment.

But the list of new IoT devices needing FCC approval alone could be in the thousands, considering the number of new gadgets expected to flood the market over the next few years. In 2017, there were 8.4 billion connected devices. The volume should hit 20.4 billion by 2020, according to analyst firm Gartner.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel took to Twitter to comment on the sweeping effects of the shutdown on equipment makers.

“Go ahead, take a look at the back of the nearest electronic device,” she wrote in her tweet. “You’ll see an [FCC] number. The agency certifies every innovative mobile phone, television, and computer that emits radio frequency before they can head to market. Guess what is not happening during the shutdown?”

screen-shot-2019-01-11-at-8-07-25-pm

The FDA’s policy for device certification during the shutdown is somewhat different than the FCC’s. The agency has said it’ll still continue to process applications submitted before the shutdown took effect, but it won’t process any new applications. Still, attorneys from the law firm Hogan Lovells, who shepherd clients through the FDA approval process, say the backlog that’s growing during the shutdown will be a problem once the government reopens.

“Depending on the length of the shutdown, medical product centers may well be looking at a sizable backlog of applications to triage when the agency is fully operational again,” they wrote in a blog last month. “Thus, if the current shutdown persists, industry should anticipate that certain agency delays will likely continue for some time.”

Smaller companies to feel the heat

Experts also point out that it’s smaller startups, rather than huge tech companies, that’ll suffer the most from the shutdown.

“It’s companies focused on creating a ‘unicorn’ business around one or two key innovative products that will be affected most,” said Marc Martin, a partner at Perkins Coie LLP, who heads the firm’s communications industry group. “They don’t have a vast array of products in the market to keep them going.”

By contrast, companies like Apple, Samsung, and Sony might not be happy about putting their plans on hold, but delaying a product launch by weeks or even months “isn’t going to bring down their business,” Martin said.

Still, Martin and Quirk say their clients aren’t freaking out just yet. The timing of the shutdown, over the holidays, has likely softened the blow, since it’s typically a slower period. But concern is growing.

“It’s one thing if the shutdown lasts a few weeks,” Martin said. “Everyone can take some delay in stride. But if it goes on another month or two months, I’m going to be getting some angry calls.”


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Author: Marguerite Reardon
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Azerbaijan Finds Blockchain Solutions for Legal, Housing, Utility Sectors

Azerbaijan has revealed its plans to use blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of the country’s legal system a well as in the housing and utilities sector. In particular, smart contracts will be rolled out.

According to local reports, the initiative of the Azerbaijani justice ministry was outlined in a meeting earlier this week that included a discussion of its implementation in the country.

It was stated that smart contracts will, with time, come to replace the standard contracts between customer and utility provider.

Chairman of the Azerbaijan Internet Forum Osman Gunduz spoke to the regional news outlet Trend News Agency, saying that the switch ”will ensure transparency and will allow to suppress the cases of falsification in this area”. Gunduz added that the citizens will benefit from being able to control the processes themselves for the first time.

Right now, the Ministry of Justice provides over 30 electronic services and around 15 forms of online information systems and registries, which Gunduz believes are key areas for blockchain solutions. In practice, he says that blockchain technology can be successfully implemented wherever it relates to registries.

Another area that he thinks that the technology can be particularly important is in that of ”electronic courts”, where he says there has been a lack of experimentation, operating in just ”a few judicial instances yet”.

Last month, Trend News Agency reported that IBM had plans to collaborate with Azerbaijan’s central bank in an effort to implement blockchain technology as part of a five-year economic plan for ”digital transformation”. The initiative has ambitions to modernize the country’s banking sector, in turn, benefiting the aggregate economy.


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Author: Amelia Trapp
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How One Woman Is Helping Vulnerable Communities Through Digital Identities

When blockchain technology was first introduced in 2008, it was designed as a secure public database where you could trade digital currency. But over the past couple years, the tech community has discovered new ways to harness the technology to help vulnerable communities around the globe. One of the most impactful developments has been the advancement of secure digital identities. We partnered with Acer to find out more about how this technology is being used for good, and how digital identities have the power to change lives.

LIONBITIdentification is needed for everything from voting to health care, which is why humanitarian organizations are working to develop digital identities for the nearly 1 billion people worldwide who don’t have a legal form of identity, due to issues like forced displacement and lack of access to birth registration. These digital identities are developed through blockchain, and can store important information, such as a patient’s medical records, which can be easily and safely accessed by a health care provider when they are seeking care.

In cities around the world, this technology is being used to help refugees, people experiencing homelessness and even child trafficking victims by creating electronic encrypted files that are more reliable and secure than paper records, and easier to access when someone has been displaced. To learn more about how blockchain can be used to help vulnerable communities, we talked to Mariana Dahan, the founder and CEO of World Identity Network, a global initiative using blockchain to solve some of humanity’s toughest challenges.

How did you first become interested in using tech to help vulnerable communities?

I was born in a village in Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. My mother was a nurse, her parents were orphans, my father didn’t work and my father’s parents were farmers.

Despite the fact that we were poor, I always dreamt about going to Paris. It took me many years of studying French literature and language, but after having won national school competitions for three years in a row, the French Embassy funded my trip to Paris when I was 18.

How did that experience lead to your work in developing digital identities?

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome on my journey, was to get an official ID. Like 230 million children in the world today, I was born without a proof of identity, and it took my mom a lot of time and effort to get me a birth certificate in my village. It was incorrect, misspelled and thus worthless, but it was a big step forward in recognizing my existence.

This is what I needed in order to get enrolled in school, get health care and, eventually, obtain a travel document.

TIPHow did you get started using this new blockchain technology?

When I was at the World Bank, I launched the Identification for Development (ID4D) agenda [a global initiative that helps countries realize the potential of digital identification systems]. However, with the advent of the blockchain technologies, I saw the opportunity for building better, more decentralized and user-centric ID systems. It is through Michael Casey that I got into the blockchain space. I left the World Bank and launched the World Identity Network (WIN) with a specific humanitarian focus. We have subsequently partnered with the United Nations to launch the “Blockchain for Humanity” Global Challenge to help fight child trafficking.

How exactly does it work?

In our specific case of fighting human trafficking, we’re using blockchain on top of existing systems to make sure that no child is taken out of the country using fake ID documents that are produced by the human traffickers. The immutability feature of the blockchain — its ability to permanently record a “transaction,” such as an attempted unauthorized exit at the border — ensures that nobody can bribe their way out. If the trafficking attempt has been made, it is automatically recorded on the ledger and it is up to the law enforcement and civil society to make sure that the smuggler is prosecuted.

What are you excited about when it comes to the future of blockchain and how it is helping those in need?

Of course, the blockchain technology itself is not a silver bullet, nor the single answer to the humanitarian challenges we face. But it can act as a catalyst and provide the platform for collaboration. Growing up as a poor child in Moldova and having found myself in the street at a very young age, I know firsthand what it means to be defenseless, to be hungry, to be exposed to risks of violence and abuse. This is why I’m particularly proud of this initiative and the multi-stakeholder collaboration that the “Blockchain for Humanity” effort has fostered. I believe that it is only by working together that we will bring about positive change in the world.


WMPROHere at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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What’s behind Eastern Europe’s crypto boom?

The cryptocurrency craze seems to have stagnated in recent months, following a peak at the end of last year that saw Bitcoin reach an all-time high of $19,783.06, and Ethereum and Ripple make percentage gains of around 9,200 percent and 35,000 percent, respectively, in 2017. Yet interest in digital currency remains notably high in several Eastern European countries, our research shows. The question is: why?



My team at Investing.com examined global interest in cryptocurrency five months into 2018. Taking the percentage of our website’s visitors in each country around the world who used our cryptocurrency section, we found that the five countries most interested in cryptocurrency from January through May of this year were:

• Venezuela (67 percent)

• Kosovo (61 percent)

• Lithuania (58 percent)

• Belarus (52 percent)

• Georgia (51 percent)

Venezuela’s spot on the list comes as no surprise, as the South American nation has long been documented as one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency hubs, with the Venezuelan government even developing its very own (and controversial) petro cryptocurrency earlier this year. But what’s behind the strong interest in crypto among the other four countries?

It’s important to point out that all five of these nations are actively trying to harness a crypto-friendly environment, apparently to exploit the cryptocurrency wave and attract foreign investment in their countries. Be it newly adopted legislation around mining, tariff-free imports of mining equipment, or unrestricted access to cheap energy, these countries have positioned themselves as optimal cryptocurrency hubs—and judging from our data, their strategy is indeed generating unprecedented domestic interest in crypto.

Mining costs

According to research conducted by Elite Fixtures, the cost of mining a Bitcoin varies significantly around the world, from as little as $531 — in, you guessed it, Venezuela — to a stunning $26,170 in South Korea. Mining cryptocurrency is an extremely complex process that relies on both new technologies and access to cheap electricity. In the other four of our top five countries for interest in crypto, the mining costs are higher than they are in Venezuela but still on the more affordable end of the spectrum: $2,177 in Belarus, $3,133 in Kosovo, $3,316 in Georgia, and $5,155 in Lithuania. Not coincidentally, Lithuania has the highest electricity prices of these five countries.

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Instability

A common thread for all four Eastern European countries on our list except Lithuania is that they have recently gone through prolonged periods of war and/or recession, which has resulted in their poor working classes losing trust in government and banks. The deterioration of trust in traditional financial institutions may have added fuel to the crypto fire in these countries.

Further, all four nations at some point during the past 10-15 years experienced a currency crash. Such a devastating experience has presumably motivated old and young traders alike to seek out crypto investments to hedge their bets against another failed currency episode.

While Lithuania hasn’t suffered a recent recession, its economy has seen dips in growth following its deep recession in 2009, specifically in 2015 as seen below.

It was around that 2015 dip that cryptocurrencies began to emerge in the mainstream. Whereas banks around the world, including the likes of Bank of America and Barclays, have taken a hard line when it comes to companies in the cryptocurrency sector, The Bank of Lithuania in April of this year endorsed cryptocurrencies, initiating a dialogue between commercial banks, government regulators, and crypto traders.

Crypto-friendly technology and legislation

There seems to be a clear trend towards crypto-friendly technology and legislation in Eastern Europe.

Georgia is home to BitFury, one of the largest producers of Bitcoin mining hardware and chips, with the company currently mining about 15 percent of all Bitcoins. Albvision Ltd. recently introduced four Bitcoin ATMs in Kosovo, where the company is based, with local business now accepting payment in Bitcoins and no regulations existing for cryptocurrencies.

Belarus’s government last December took the landmark step of legalizing transactions in crypto-currencies, and this March officially introduced cryptocurrency accounting standards.

Both moves aim to streamline and remove bureaucracy that could prevent innovation in the cryptocurrency sector.

And, in addition to Lithuania’s recent endorsement of cryptocurrencies, some experts, commentators, and officials were touting crypto as “the future of Lithuania’s economy” as far back as 2015.

“We think that technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin are among the latest and most exciting financial innovations,” Lithuania’s Vice-Minister of Economy Marius Skarupskas has said. “Lithuania and Vilnius have serious intentions to invest into breakthroughs in this area and to become a leader on the regional and global scale.”

Looking ahead

A look at the countries most interested in cryptocurrencies today — albeit based only on Investing.com’s usage data — gives us a picture of the factors that are likely to spur high interest in digital currency in any country or region, even as global interest in crypto fluctuates.

Will Eastern Europe’s crypto boom persist? As long as crypto-friendly conditions remain in place, there’s no reason to believe otherwise.



Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Igal Stolpner
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A Look Into the Future of Cryptocurrencies – 3 Predictions for the Cryptocurrency Market

As regulation of cryptocurrencies rises, investors’ faith in them will rise, too.

It’s less than a decade in, and cryptocurrency has already made a statement in the financial sector. Seemingly out of nowhere, this currency has managed to get people’s attention and, often, their admiration. And it’s already affecting some aspects of the general public’s lives, including entrepreneurship.

Adopting cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology to work with already existing systems, of course, has posed challenges. A recent example occurred when the technology infrastructure company Stripe took a stab at incorporating a bitcoin payment option. Unfortunately, the result wasn’t a success.

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It turned out that the speed in processing bitcoin transactions turned off clients. In a blog post this past January, Stripe’s project manager, Tom Karlo, said his company’s customers rejected the cryptocurrency option because of confirmation lags, high fees and a disconnect between transactions and the fluctuations of the currency’s value.

In fact, digital cryptocurrency overall has had its fair share of failures. But despite them, many people still believe cryptocurrency has a bright future. In an interview, Kevin Murcko, CEO of CoinMetro, for instance, firmly stated his belief that cryptocurrencies are still developing and that there is more we’ll see in the cryptocurrency space.

“The cryptocurrency and blockchain industries are works in progress,” Murcko said. “Look at Bitcoin, for example; it’s not the way it was almost a decade ago. Aside from the change in value, it’s operating in different terrains. It’s receiving more feedback in terms of problems that provide areas for growth, development and innovation.”

True, cryptocurrency has had its ups and downs. However, the following trends of the cryptocurrency market give us a somewhat intelligent guess as to what we can expect in the future:

1. Cryptocurrencies will receive more patronage from institutional investors.

Given that more and more governments are looking into the regulation of cryptocurrencies, investors are feeling more comfortable about putting their funds into them.

With added regulation, institutional investors will be able to breathe easier and have less anxiety about the uncertainty of the cryptocurrency market. In fact, more investors are seeing cryptocurrencies as a viable asset because of their attractive returns: In December 2017 bitcoin hit a record high of almost $20,000 for one tcoin. Although the price has gone down since then, experts predict that Bitcoin’s value could actually go higher than that 2017 figure.

Billionaire investor Tim Draper boldly predicted, for example, that Bitcoin would achieve a value of $250,000 per coin by 2022.

However, any rise in that direction will be a gradual one. While some institutional investors are investing in cryptocurrencies, others are diligently watching the market. Therefore, the introduction and implementation of regulations may attract some of those watchers to jump in.

2. Why cryptocurrencies are being regulated

Lack of security has long been one of the biggest concerns for traders. In fact, a survey conducted by Encrybit, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, revealed that 40 percent of the participants polled saw security as a major concern.

According to the Securities Exchange Commission, cryptocurrency exchanges overall remain unregulated. This is in contrast to cryptocurrency’s conventional currencies counterparts, which are regulated by the central banks of their respective countries.

At times, hackers and cybercriminals have already taken advantage of the lack of cryptocurrency regulation and made trading in these currencies unsafe for investors.

However, attempts are in progress to regulate cryptocurrency in the international arena. For example, at the G20 summit in Argentina, directives were made for global regulations.

In a recent conversation I had about the future of the blockchain industry with Ahmed Khawanky, the CMO of IngotCoin, Khawanky emphasized the need to regulate the cryptocurrency market as a way to maintain security.

“When you try to push something new to the market,” Khawanky said, “there’s a need to win the trust of the people. People won’t trust something they don’t know or like. Therefore, ensuring security is the heart of the overall success of the blockchain technology.”

3. Cryptocurrencies won’t stop being volatile.

Despite the measures to ensure stability in the cryptocurrency market, it’s still a struggle to stop or at least reduce cryptocurrencies’ volatility. There are still so many factors keeping them volatile. These include: the currencies’ lack of intrinsic value, the lack of institutional capital, the implementation of regulations and thin-order books, among other factors.

Although regulation of the currency and their markets will help lower volatility, that alone will not be enough to make a considerable difference in cryptocurrencies’ volatile nature.

But, as cryptocurrency trading becomes more popular, we should be seeing an ebb and flow of volatility. While some people will benefit from the sudden increases those ebbs and flows bring to cryptocurrencies’ value, we should not overrule the possibility of a sudden crash as well.

In short, cryptocurrencies won’t stop being volatile. And that’s something any investor should plan for.



Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavor to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!
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Author: Toby Nwazor
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Why Cryptocurrency and Talent Development Go Hand in Hand

The tech world moves at a breakneck pace, which means that talent development is a constant concern in Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs. Skills that may be relevant one day are obsolete the next. Though different sources disagree on the size of the tech worker shortage, everyone agrees that one exists, particularly in specialized skill areas. Plenty of people aspire to fill these roles, but they often lack the education or connections to do so.

Could cryptocurrency help tech workers and educators close the skill development gap? An increasing number of Silicon Valley companies say yes.

Attracting New Talent

A recent survey of Bitcoin investors found that over 50% are between 18 and 34 years old. The same young people who are involved with or interested in the cryptocurrency world could provide a valuable recruiting pool for tech companies looking to attract and help develop new talent. Young blockchain enthusiasts are open to new ideas in the tech space and ready to learn new concepts. Companies and tech education platforms who smartly integrate crypto components are more likely to attract this pool of innovative workers and learners.

Cryptocurrency can also increase accessibility to virtual education opportunities. Decentralized, digital educational platforms such as SuccessLife (a cryptocurrency venture from personal development company Success Resources) are using cryptocurrency to provide secure, verifiable remote educational opportunities.

E-learning allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to develop their skills. Cryptocurrency offers an increase of e-learning’s utility and accessibility by providing transactions between learners and education providers with a new level of transparency and reliability. Cryptocurrency e-learning transactions could even automatically register newly earned credentials on a blockchain resume.

Securing Credentials

Many people take classes and other skill development opportunities to bulk up their resumes. But resumes have long been a source of headaches in the tech recruiting world. The rise of digital job search platforms means that many tech companies who post an opening get flooded with resumes, many of them from unqualified or inappropriate candidates. Hirers must read hundreds of resume PDFs to sort out genuinely qualified candidates. Contacting references is a tedious yet necessary step for checking that job candidates were truthful on their application. Job applicants must worry about condensing what might be a long list of credentials and accomplishments into one readable page.

A diverse array of companies are already using blockchain’s immutable transaction ledger to keep track of credentials and records, such as voting records. Blockchain transaction ledgers could allow a new kind of resume, one that automatically records educational credentials and professional accomplishments. Job seekers could instantly share blockchain resumes with recruiters and hirers, and hirers could use blockchain’s accessible format to filter out candidates lacking specific credentials immediately. Blockchain resumes needn’t stick to one page, and they’re also far more difficult to falsify than credentials on a traditional paper or PDF resume.

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Crowdsourcing Solutions and Micropayments

Crowdsourcing isn’t just a powerful tool for solving big problems. Companies such as AI Gaming show that it can also incentivize education and collaboration. Their platform allows users who have a certain level of Artificial Intelligence and coding experience (proven through the platform’s blockchain resumes) to participate in crowdsource challenges based on designing bots to solve AI problems generated by partner companies. All participants who participate in designing a successful solution, even if they only contributed to a small part of it (e.g., designing one member of a network of bots who work together), receive a crypto payment.

While the logistics of remotely paying a contributor who designed a tiny fraction of the solution would be practically impossible using fiat currency, cryptocurrency provides an ideal technological framework for reliable micropayments. Blockchain ledgers help AI Gaming keep accurate attribution records of which users contributed to successful solutions in the AI Gaming crowdsourcing environment, even if they did so in such an incremental way that they wouldn’t be sure themselves how their design work helped contribute to the solution. These immutable and automatically recorded blockchain records, in turn, facilitate automatic blockchain payments in proportion to contribution levels.

Micropayments are vital to encouraging participation, growth, and learning in the AI community and other talent-hungry tech spheres. Companies looking to hire one developer for tackling an AI problem must take an all-or-nothing approach to recruiting: because they can’t afford to hire multiple full-time staff who all know incremental portions of the knowledge base required to solve the problem, they must hire one person who already has a robust knowledge base.

This can create the “you need experience to get experience” job-searching conundrum so familiar to Millennials: companies trying to solve problems quickly and cost-efficiently are often reluctant to hire untested candidates and provide them with on-the-job training. Crowdsourcing and the crypto micropayments that effectively incentivize crowdsourcing participation allow even beginners to make small contributions to tackling tech companies’ problems, receiving valuable professional experience, a new credential for their resume, and a crypto payment in return. Crypto-enabled crowdsourcing makes participation in tech solutions, and the professional and educational benefits that go along with them, accessible to anyone with drive and talent.

There are plenty of learners out there who want to acquire the skills they need to work in innovative tech companies and make essential connections with tech recruiters. Cryptocurrency provides tools for them to educate themselves and join the tech workforce.

How do you see cryptocurrency helping tech workers and educators close the skill development gap?


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FedEx CEO: Adopt New Tech Like Blockchain or Be Disrupted

“Blockchain has the potential to completely revolutionize what’s across the border.”

Speaking at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 in New York today, Fred Smith, chairman and CEO of the U.S. logistic giant FedEx, doubled down on his commitment to embracing blockchain technology as a way for the decades-old company to maintain its game in a rapidly changing digital world.

Smith explained that one major issue that the logistic and transportation industry has faced is the “massive amount of friction” in cross-border logistics, since different countries have different standards, regulations and terminologies.

He told the audience:

“For cross-border shipments, ‘trust’ is legal requirement for every transaction. What blockchain has is a potential for the first time ever to make the information available for everybody.”

As such, the FedEx chief praised the “chain of custody” that blockchain can bring to the entire logistic industry.

All this talk isn’t just hot air, either – FedEx joined the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA) in February this year in a bid to explore potential blockchain applications alongside other partners within the logistic industry.

At the time, the firm also launched a pilot program to establish what data would be needed for a distributed ledger to ease disputes between customers sending and receiving goods through FedEx. The shipping giant also wants to use blockchain to store its records.



Also speaking at the panel session, Robert Carter, FedEx’s CIO and executive vice president of information services, said the firm will first explore that deployment in the freight industry, since one single ship could contain millions of transactions at the same time.

Carter commented:

“We move easily 12 million shipments a day and that more than doubles during the peak seasons. While we absolutely believe this technology is going to scale, right now it makes sense for us to do this in our freight world.” 

Answering a question from the panel’s host, author Don Tapscott, on how he persuaded Smith to approve the decision on blockchain exploration, Carter said, in fact, it was the other way round.

“It’s Fred that dragged me into this,” Carter said, adding:

The application of these custody chains … is so critical to the information aspect. We’re operating on this plane between the physical world and the digital world.”

Speaking on the importance of moving with the times as a company, Smith concluded:

“If you are not operating at the edge of new technologies, you will surely be disrupted. If you are not willing to embrace new technologies like internet of things and blockchain to face those new threats, you are, maybe subtly, at some point … going to extinction.”

 


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Author:  Wolfie Zhao
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Google’s Founder Places Ethereum at the forefront of the “Computer Boom”

Sergey Brin, co-founder of one of the most successful company on earth, stated a boom in computing has led to an era he calls “technology renaissance.” In a letter to investors, Brin said:

“Every month, there are stunning new applications and transformative new techniques. In this sense, we are truly in a technology renaissance, an exciting time where we can see applications across nearly every segment of modern society.”

Ethereum has partly contributed, he said, by driving demand for better GPU processors, which in turn have allowed for more powerful machine learning.

“There are several factors at play in this boom of computing,” Brin said before citing Moore’s Law to further add:

“The second factor is greater demand… from the GPU-friendly proof-of-work algorithms found in some of today’s leading cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.

However, the third and most important factor is the profound revolution in machine learning that has been building over the past decade.

It is both made possible by these increasingly powerful processors and is also the major impetus for developing them further.”

His main focus was machine/bot learning, otherwise known as artificial intelligence. Google runs what is probably the world’s most complex machine learning algorithm in organizing search results, but Brin says it is used in many areas, such as to:

  • Understand images in Google Photos;
  • Enable Waymo cars to recognise and distinguish objects safely;
  • Significantly improve sound and camera quality in our hardware;
  • Understand and produce speech for Google Home
  • Translate over 100 languages in Google Translate;
  • Caption over a billion videos in 10 languages on YouTube;
  • Improve the efficiency of our data centers;
  • Suggest short replies to emails;
  • Help doctors diagnose diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy;
  • Discover new planetary systems;
  • Create better neural networks (AutoML);
  • … and much more.

His letter opens with the classic “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” but it might be most notable for declaring a renaissance.

A number of technological advances during the past century are congregating to form a powerful set of tools that ultimately, in effect, extend man’s intellect.

In that they provide machines, bots, or any inanimate matter, with basic memory through computer chips, an ability to “feel” or be “aware” of surroundings through sensors, an ability to “communicate” through wi-fi, and then an ability to “act” through blockchain tech smart contracts which further give them “money,” thus allowing them to transfer value.

That, combined with a potentially peaceful global climate, might suggest we are about to enter a golden age of a kind, the human kind, has never previously seen.

 


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Chipmakers’ Rout Widens After TSMC Ignites Smartphone Fears

  • The industry bellwether’s disappointing outlook spurs selloff
  • Investors fear the smartphone market’s best days are over

Asian technology stocks joined their peers in a global swoon after a disappointing sales outlook from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Apple Inc.’s main chip supplier, rekindled concerns that the smartphone industry’s best days may be behind it.

 TSMC fell 6 percent — its biggest loss since July 2013 — after predicting current-quarter sales about a billion dollars less than analysts had projected. It also reduced its forecast for semiconductor market growth, to 5 percent from a previous 5 to 7 percent. That followed a report by the International Monetary Fund this week saying smartphone shipments declined for the first time, a reminder that the industry may have peaked.
 The Taiwanese company, an industry bellwether whose clients include Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp., triggered a selloff in chip makers and tech stocks from Europe to Asia. As the main manufacturer of Apple’s processors, its tepid revenue forecast also revived fears that the iPhone X may already be losing momentum a quarter after its release. Apple slid almost 4 percent.
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In Korea, Samsung Electronics Co. fell 2.2 percent while SK Hynix ended 4 percent lower. Shares of Japanese semiconductor equipment and silicon wafer makers, including Tokyo Electron Ltd. and Alps Electric Co., also fell. Their Chinese peers held up better, rallied strongly on hopes Beijing will prop up the industry as its relationship with Washington sours. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., the largest of the Hong Kong-listed Chinese chip makers, was largely unchanged in the afternoon.

“TSMC still seems to be relatively positive about cryptocurrency mining in the second half though it sees some weakness in the segment in the second quarter, so it appears that it is weakness in demand for iPhones that led to TSMC cutting its full-year forecast,” said Vincent Chen, head of regional research for Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting. “The global semiconductor rout came because TSMC not only trimmed its 2018 growth, but also slashed its forecast for the overall semiconductor market.”

TSMC is the world’s foremost manufacturer of chips designed by other companies, and its earnings are a key indicator of demand given chip makers and electronics manufacturers increasingly outsource costly production. The company produces the main semiconductor components of the iPhone and many of the world’s other best-selling smartphones. It gets more than 20 percent of its revenue from Apple, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“TSMC’s exposure to the iPhone is high and today’s guidance proves that the company is just another victim of weak iPhone demand,” Mark Li, an analyst at Bernstein, said in a post-earnings note.

Tokyo Electron closed down 2.1 percent and Screen Holdings Co. 4.8 percent, while Hitachi High-Technologies Co. lost 3.6 percent of its value. Still, Masahiro Nakanomyo, an analyst at Jefferies in Tokyo, said TSMC’s increased spending plans should be positive for TSMC’s Japan-based suppliers in the long term. The Taiwanese company tacked on about half a billion dollars to its capital expenditure for 2018.

“Japanese semiconductor production equipment firms should see a rebound in orders from TSMC in the second half of 2018,” Nakanomyo wrote in a note.

While TSMC is getting more growth from new customers, such as those seeking powerful chips to mine digital currencies, it’s confronting a slowdown in demand from smartphone vendors as developed markets get saturated and replacement cycles lengthen. JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Gokul Hariharan estimates that, quarter on quarter, the company’s Apple-related revenues may plunge roughly 50 percent in the second quarter after a 30 percent drop in the first.

Chip and chip-equipment stocks beyond Asia had fallen Thursday on the TSMC news. Applied Materials Inc., which sells TSMC production machinery, fell as much as 7.2 percent. Broadcom Inc., another TSMC customer and a major supplier of phone parts, fell as much as 3.6 percent. European chip stocks also weakened, with Dialog Semiconductor PLC declining 4 percent and STMicroelectronics NV dropping 3.3 percent.

 


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Debby Wu
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