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From Uber Eats to Era Swap: Decentralizing the Gig Economy

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The gig economy is a wide-ranging term which is synonymous with the exponential growth in temporary-contract individuals pervading almost all sectors of business. Whilst it most often refers to the practice of self-employment and freelancing, the remote-working methodology has spread to teams of full-time staff as well.

As a likely result, employment in the UK has seen an exponential growth over the past decade. Since October 2013, the national employment rate has grown” from 72% in October – December of 2013 to 75.5% in August of 1975.

High levels of employment can have positive implications on the economy due to increased productivity and spending power, however there are simultaneous adverse effects as well.

Rise of the Freelancer

The gig economy manifests itself in many different types of business and work discipline. Predating the term is the activities of executive level leadership, who are known to work remotely on a frequent basis to manage critical business activities. Similarly, freelance and agency-based work has existed for a long time, in fields such as care work; and doctors are regularly ‘on-call’.

What is different between these examples and those within the gig economy however is job stability, such as a regular and predictable periodical wage. Additional flaws include the lack of any benefits for employers (like private healthcare) – as well as a lack of consistency and accountability on behalf of the worker.

This approach to the purchase and selling of professional contracts serves to reduce overhead costs: resulting in the creation of a highly competitive product which can offer customers and partners (including employees) low prices and fees when compared to their traditional counterparts.

Popular examples of and pioneers within the gig economy at present include: Uber, Deliveroo, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and many others. Adjacent to this is the sharing economy which encompasses services such as Airbnb.

Blockchains of Freedom

The lack of consistency offered by these services with regards to performance quality is equalled in their data security protocols and database storage mechanisms. Many who work in the gig economy rely on a multitude of websites and service providers in order to maximise their professional portfolio, exposure and most important of all: wages.

In order to do this however, one would have to install a cornucopia of software applications on their arsenal of communications devices like Windows, iOS, Android and computer web-browsers.

All of these applications require the user to sign-up using personal identification information as well as a secure password, and all of them store their data utilising their own respective protocols, server, and language standards. This prevents any form of user interoperability between sites.

This data is stored on each respective companies’ private storage systems according to each’s own set of rules. The problems with this are immediately evident: storing qualitative and quantitative data in a centralized location leaves it vulnerable to attack, corruption, and a host of other problems.

Decentralizing the Gig Economy

The inherent flaws that can be observed in existing gig-economy service solutions are enigmatic, but thanks to nascent technology such as blockchain and smart-contracts, they can be all-but-solved. Just as Bitcoin has revolutionised the finance and investment, helping to challenge many of their problems.

One example of such a project comes in the form of the Era Swap Ecosystem, which is a blockchain suite of tools aimed at what the team describes as a way for people to “tokenize time as a service”: peer-to-peer (P2P) without the requirement of conventional third parties or middle-men to manually facilitate payments or escrow.

Era Swap Ecosystem comes from the core team behind KMPARDS, and aims to supersede existing rivals by using blockchain to ensure absolute transparency, accountability, automated contractual enforcement, and a significant reduction in the fees charged to both service providers and customers.

Additional use cases include internet learning programs (courtesy of KMPARDS), and anything a developer can conceive of through use of a series of essential products. These include ‘Blockology’, and e-learning mobile application with bilingual capabilities; ‘Time Swappers’, a decentralized community-based marketplace’ and a high security wallet system (featuring multi-factor and biometric authentication) called ‘Era Swap Wallet’.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Hold Their Ground as Bulls Take a Breather

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The major cryptocurrencies settled down following yesterday’s Litecoin-led pullback, and as the coins respected the key trendlines and support levels, odds favor the continuation of the short-term uptrend. The leaders of the rally remained strong amid the shallow correction, and although the long-term setup remains clearly bearish, the traders could enter smaller speculative positions, still using strict risk management rules.

While the top coins haven confirmed the short-term swing lows yet, the coming days could see new highs, with all eyes on the $4000-$4050 zone in Bitcoin and the $160 price level in Ethereum. The majors still have to form a pattern of higher highs and higher lows on the long-term charts to change the long-term outlook, so our trend model remains on sell signals on that time-frame. That said, the overbought short-term momentum readings are quickly being cleared, so the short-term outlook remains positive.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin has formed a bullish consolidation pattern in the past day, and the $3850 level has been clearly supporting the coin, leaving the relatively weak short-term uptrend firmly intact. The MACD indicator is still pointing to an ongoing correction, but our trend model remained on a buy signal on the short-term time frame, and the uptrend could soon resume.

Despite the positive immediate outlook, the $4000-$4050 resistance zone is still very strong, and further consolidation is also possible before a successful break-out. A move above that zone could open up the way towards the $4450 level, but even that wouldn’t change the bearish long-term setup in the most valuable coin’s market.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple has been trading near the $0.32 support level in the past 24 hours, still being relatively weak compared to its major peers.  The coin remains stuck below the dominant declining short-term trendline that it tested during the recent upswing, and our trend model continues to be on a short-term sell signal.

Below the primary support zone, further levels are found near $0.30, $0.28, and $0.26, while short-term targets for a possible break-out are still ahead near $0.3550, and $0.3750, but traders should still stay away from XRP

Litecoin, Ethereum, and EOS Look Ready to Lead Again

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Litecoin entered a correction after touching the $51 resistance level yesterday, the pullback has been contained so far and even the steep short-term uptrend line remained intact. Given the extent of the recent move higher, even a test of the $44 level would leave the break-out intact.

A move above the primary resistance zone could lead to a rally towards the $56 level, and as Litecoin has been leading the market during the current counter-trend advance, its performance should be monitored closely. Below $44 further strong support is found near $38, and $34.50, and our trend model is back on a short-term buy signal while being bearish from a long-term standpoint.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum is still trading in a bullish short-term correction pattern near $145, working its way through the overbought short-term momentum readings. The short-term uptrend is clearly intact, and although a deeper pullback is still possible traders could already enter new positions here.

With the long-term downtrend in mind, strict risk management rules are still essential here, even as Ethereum is one of the strongest majors from a short-term technical point of view. Support levels below $145 are still found near $130 and $112, while above $160, the next major resistance zone is ahead near $180.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EOS is still the strongest major from a short-term technical standpoint, and although it continues to be overbought according to the key momentum indicators, aggressive traders could enter positions here. Buying pressure is apparent in the coin, but a deeper pullback towards the $3.50 level is still in the cards. Support is also found near $3.80 and $3, while resistance is ahead near $4 and $4.50.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 469 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Binance Coin Price Analysis: BNB Bulls Maintain Elevation Following Testnet Launch for Binance DEX

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  • Binance Coin on Friday is holding healthy gains of around 3% in the early part of the session.
  • The decentralized exchange Binance DEX testnet was launched earlier this week. Binance will be looking to gather user feedback before an official roll-out of the platform.

Binance’s BNB price continues to somewhat outperform several of its peers. BNB/USDT is trading up over 3% in the early part of the session on Friday. Since the start of February, the BNB bulls have enjoyed a strong move north, having gained around 80%. The price is currently trading in proximity to its highest levels since October 2018, entering a zone that is known for sellers. The next significant technical barrier for the bulls is within reach; for greater upside it must be broken down.

Binance DEX Testnet Running

Earlier this week, Binance, the world largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded volume, launched the testnet for its decentralized trading platform. Binance DEX has been made available for public testing; users can create crypto wallets and start familiarizing themselves with the platform’s interface. The platform is running on the Binance Chain, which is their proprietary blockchain.

Furthermore, the company released a blockchain explorer for the testnet; this allows users to search by an individual block, transaction, asset, address and order ID via the blockchain. The community will be able to participate as individual nodes, in addition to holding their private keys.

Binance has noted it will need to start gathering much feedback from its community on this current testnet. The company can then look at the timeline for a major final step of rolling out the decentralized exchange.

The CEO and co-founder Changpeng Zhao commented following the announcement:

“With Binance DEX, we provide a different balance of security, freedom, and ease-of-use, where you take more responsibility and are in more control of personal assets.”

Technical Review – BNB/USDT

BNB/USDT daily chart.

Given current upside momentum, the areas of resistance must be noted as potential barriers to disrupt this bull run. Firstly, a supply area can be observed just ahead tracking from $10.90 up to $11.63. The BNB/USDT bulls faltered here on several occasions in August, September and October 2018. The damage occurred after the rejection in October, which gradually went on to lead to a steep bearish trend that commenced in November. The price went on to drop around 50%, throughout November up to early December.

Another chunky wave of buying pressure would likely come into play, should the bulls break the mentioned supply. Furthermore, eyes will then be on a return back towards the $14-$15 price range. BNB/USDT last traded up at these heights back in August 2018, just before the bear market kicked in again with intense selling pressure.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 126 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Monero Price Analysis: The Choice of Cyber Criminals, XMR/USD is Vulnerable to Full Reversal

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  • Monero price on Thursday was hit with steep losses, dropping as much as 5% in the session.
  • Trend Micro, a security intelligence firm, finds a Monero hacking tool for installing mining malware.

XMR/USD: Recent Price Behavior

Monero’s XMR price has been cooling over the last day, having dropped around 5% at the time of writing on Thursday. The move south comes after a decent run higher over the past couple of weeks. XMR/USD jumped almost 30% from 7th February up to 19th February, before easing away from the high print. The price did manage to hit its highest level seen since 10th January.

Security Intelligence Identifies Monero Hacking Tool

Researchers at Trend Micro, a security intelligence firm, have detailed that there is a notable surge in a Monero hack-tool installation. It reportedly attempts to exploit a vulnerability seen on Windows SMB, which has been patched up since 2017. Organizations in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Italy are said to be the ones targeted, according to the researchers.

The blog published via Trend Micro details that the tool seems to be a merger of existing threats. In particular, it has targeted Microsoft Windows users – MIMIKATZ and RADMIN. As per Trend Micro:

“Between the last week of January to February, we noticed an increase in hack tool installation attempts. That dropped seemingly random files into the Windows directory. Initially appearing unrelated, the analysis showed the final payload to be a Monero cryptocurrency-mining malware variant. It scans for open port 445 and exploits a Windows SMB Server Vulnerability MS17-010 (patched in 2017) for its infection and propagation routines.”

The research does not come as much of a surprise, given the raft of Monero mining malware threats seen over the past year. Cyber criminals have strong favor for the altcoin given its privacy and anonymity, in addition to the ease of mining it on devices as simple as laptops and smartphones.

Technical Review – XMR/USD

XMR/USD daily chart.

Given the current edging south, eyes are now on the next area of support, which can be seen below at the prior acting range-block formation. XMR/USD between 11th Jan to 8th February was moving within a narrowing daily range. The area above this is now acting as support, as seen between 10-17th February. This came into play after a breakout and retest of the breached block. In terms of the comfort area, it is seen tracking from $47.50 down to $42.00. The bear pressure may prove to be too much for the support and force a breach. Another potential retest of the low down at $38.80 could be called into action.

Lastly, resistance to the upside is observed from the $53-$60 price range, which is the near-term supply and high area from 24th December to early January 2019. Further north, there can also be a chunky barrier seen ahead of the psychological $100 mark, tracking from $75-$95 range.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 126 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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