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Does Monsanto Hire Internet Trolls?

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does-monsanto-hire-internet-trollsIn the last several months, it has been revealed that Monsanto has a strategy for dealing with its online reputation. The strategy involves paying people to say positive things about Monsanto, defend Monsanto, and take issue with anyone who might be attacking Monsanto. Monsanto is just one company to be caught doing this.

An employee of the company inadvertently admitted to the practice some months ago, and in the meantime, no major Monsanto force has come forward to deny the claims. This means that Monsanto has Internet trolls who stalk doctors and anyone who might come out against Monsanto and they troll them. On anything, to discredit them, not just on the things that affect Monsanto.

Other companies have been caught paying trolls and bloggers to go online and defend their image. It is unknown whether such tactics have had an overwhelmingly positive or negative impact on the reach of the brands who’ve employed them.

What is known is that a quick search of the job boards will yield several positions that relate to brand management online. These positions could very well be about trolling against negativity toward a brand or company. If it were so, and if it weren’t apparent, it could potentially be illegal down the line if not already.

Companies operating in today’s climate have totally new realities to deal with, such as forums that discuss their behavior and worthiness. To compete in these new conditions, companies must find ways to keep customers happy at a whole new level.

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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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5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsP. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link




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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. stuart21

    August 6, 2015 at 1:14 am

    P.H., fair bet they do – but most obvious with fossil fuel cos and AGW deniers. Could suggest a few possible candidates! Usually their arguments are so ridiculous – amounting to ‘it’s not worth saving the planet if somebody might lose their job’
    If the social media required signups including a Skype video introduction (recorded for ‘posterity’) that might make them slightly more responsible for what they say – considering that in Europe that industry has just been successfully sued for environmental damage.

  2. el rebelde

    August 6, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    good trolls need to be really smart, otherwise they are outed really quickly as paid shills.
    It’s common knownedlge that big electronics/cellphone companies also employ trolls and shills…it’s a shame

    • Your1Friend

      September 4, 2015 at 5:25 am

      If companies were actually run by intelligent people of integrity—not merely clever people, skilled at manipulating the system to get blood money into their own pockets—they wouldn’t need PR firms, shills, trolls, paid liars.

  3. Eric Bjerregaard

    August 6, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Stupid article and one that without proof should never have been written. Especially bad is the speculation that hiring trolls could be illegal. The first amendment still commands a little respect.

    • nick quinlan

      September 30, 2015 at 2:15 am

      Don’t worry, what you and the other trolls do, is not illegal. Just unethical

      • Eric Bjerregaard

        September 30, 2015 at 3:22 am

        I don’t worry Nicki. Telling the truth for free is a public service.

        • Tony Storey

          August 13, 2016 at 10:16 pm

          some truth comes with more incentives than others eh Eric?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            August 13, 2016 at 11:37 pm

            Not that I know of, oh foolish user of the shill gambit.

          • Tony Storey

            August 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm

            personal attacks are a common thread in your arsenal that i have seen.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            August 14, 2016 at 12:01 am

            Yep, shill gambit users deserve personal attacks and get no respect.

  4. Justin Couron

    August 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    In regards to this article with no sources, links, or evidence. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Maybe comeback when you have written an article of substance.

  5. Doug Ducat

    August 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    The
    OP claims that “an employee of the company inadvertently admitted to
    the practice some months ago” of “paying people to say positive things
    about Monsanto, defend Monsanto, and take issue with anyone who might be
    attacking Monsanto.”

    The citation they use for this is the following second hand account:

    “Dr.
    Moar, perhaps forgetting that this was a public event, then revealed
    that Monsanto indeed had “an entire department” (waving his arm for
    emphasis) dedicated to “debunking” science which disagreed with theirs.”

    To which the observer concluded:

    “As
    far as I know this is the first time that a Monsanto functionary has
    publicly admitted that they have such an entity which brings their
    immense political and financial weight to bear on scientists who dare to
    publish against them.”

    Well,
    this just speaks for itself. You can’t assume his statement meant
    anything of the sort concluded by the author. In fact, I would say
    placing the operative, “debunk”, in there Dr. Moar is talking
    specifically about poor quality “science”… which by extension would
    mean that it would disagree with theirs, since they stand behind the
    quality of their science. While I agree the statement was somewhat
    ambiguous making it an easy target for anti-GMO activists to pretend he
    meant something he didn’t… you also can’t forget that the second hand
    account of what was said came from a live, real-time spoken
    statement…. which is easy to mishear, misinterpret, and misrepresent
    when repeated.

    My conclusion based on what has been presented:

    Not guilty.

  6. Your1Friend

    September 4, 2015 at 5:21 am

    I think you have provided confirmation for the article above!

    And precisely what is a “flying yoga instructor?”
    And precisely how does being a “flying yoga instructor” (whatever that may mean) necessarily discredit him?
    (Yes, we are perfectly aware that you are speaking of Jeffrey Smith).

    Also, do you presume to know more than that MIT professor?
    If so, why don’t you debate her on national television?

  7. Your1Friend

    September 4, 2015 at 5:22 am

    I think you are quite right. But I am sure that the person suffers from SDS “Shill Denial Syndrome.”

  8. Barely_Jay

    September 5, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Please do us all a favor and go poison yourself on dihydrogen monoxide, Conspiracy Troll.

  9. Sebastian Larsen

    September 5, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I think the only evidence I have seen for paid shilling online is done by the Steiner cult. You know, those people behind homeopathy and biodynamic ‘farming’. http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2012/07/the-insidious-pervasiveness-of-the-cult-of-rudolf-steiner.html

  10. Jakob Milhelm

    April 3, 2016 at 1:22 am

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      August 13, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      Those aren’t sources. They are wack job sites. Sources are court records. videos of cash changing hands. Wire funds transfers or banking records.

      • Tony Storey

        August 13, 2016 at 11:52 pm

        Do you video the cash you receive from spewing your poison across the web? Criminals dont use fund transfers or use banks. Dont be silly.

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          August 13, 2016 at 11:59 pm

          OK, I see now. You are a high school kid that knows nothing about money laundering and why they made laws with unconstitutional reporting requirements to stop it. Those laws apply to banking. besides that accepting money to post stuff on the internet wouldn’t be criminal. So, more of your ignorance is exposed.

  11. tinyhawks

    April 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Just label it.

  12. Eric Bjerregaard

    August 9, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Well that little evidence free bit of nonsense may well explain why the shill gambit is so popular among the brain damaged.

  13. Tony Storey

    August 13, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Just been doin some research on Monsanto and Eric Bjerregaards name is coming up on most forums.. even in New Zealand two days ago. No surprises,, hes very pro Monsanto. He must be passionate about this chemical manufacturer or on the payroll.Or both.

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      August 13, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Nope I am pro the use of safe products and against dishonest fear mongering. So, I oppose you.

      • Tony Storey

        August 13, 2016 at 11:46 pm

        yep seen that line from you several times in various posts..from a template of replies. Got any original material? Or do you have to get that approved first?

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          August 13, 2016 at 11:56 pm

          Well, as your only argument appears to be the foolish shill gambit/ And as I oppose those who use such nonsense. I oppose you. All my stuff is original. That is why I can belittle you with no consequences.

          • Tony Storey

            August 14, 2016 at 12:16 am

            so how much do you receive for posting? Does it pay more than growing pineapples? You dont see any ethical issues with supporting biotech companies on a public forum in a vain attempt to sway opinion. But i guess it is effective in some regard as most sensible people want to gain knowledge in this subject not get involved in an ego-off with you. You shut discussions down. . Its a great ploy and you probably feel very superior which is an added bonus. I just dont understand how you can span so many forums across the world. The time and effort involved just to prove the safety of a product.? If your not on the payroll you have a very good case to be.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            August 14, 2016 at 12:31 am

            I receive nothing but the knowledge that I am opposing ignorance. I also have a full time job. “vain attempt?” nope. The truth will win pout in this little war. .. Attrition will take its’ toll and you will lose. Especially when biofortified crops become more common place. Please take your case for paying me to one of the biotech companies. I could use the money. Here is an example of what is coming, and another reason I post. I have posted a second time as the first response is being held up by censors. Likely because I linked to information about disease resistant bananas being developed in Uganda, and another link. Cites like this often oppose posting actual science.

          • Tony Storey

            August 14, 2016 at 12:41 am

            how bout give humanity a break and stick to your day job and let people discuss other ‘sciences’ that dont corroborate with your science paradigm. Science is fluid and constantly being questioned, not fixed. Peoples concerns are valid despite your dismissive claims. If a product was ‘safe’ as you claim you wouldnt need to run to its defense. The science that backs it is flimsy and biased. As we are slowly finding out.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            August 14, 2016 at 1:08 am

            Concerns are not valid unless backed by facts. The consensus is clear. The products are safe and you and your tribe throwing mud are the reasons for the defense. Mud must be cleaned up even when thrown by vandals.

          • Tony Storey

            August 14, 2016 at 1:55 am

            Monsanto must be absolutely in stitches laughing at the fact that your so vehemently supporting their products and buying their science without even paying you a single cent. They may even name a product after you if you play your cards right. Doing gods work Eric. Good little robot.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            August 14, 2016 at 2:17 am

            I doubt the folks at monsanto even know I exist. It’s not just their products. There are many others as well.

          • Tony Storey

            August 14, 2016 at 4:49 am

            So theres more companies with liitle or no integrity you come to the defense of. Do tell…Where does your affection lie?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            August 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

            You are making an assumption about moral issues and still have posted no evidence. This continues to show your basic dishonesty. My affection lies with your enemies.

          • Tony Storey

            August 14, 2016 at 10:07 pm

            enemies? give me a break

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            August 14, 2016 at 10:52 pm

            No, I will not. I’m sick and tired of guys like you trying to harm progress especially in These areas. Cassava disease resistant and biofortified, and Ugandan bananas both disease resistant and biofortified. I scrolled up and checked. The idiotic censor deleted my comment with the links to research papers. So, I can’t post more. So, look em up. When you oppose safe technology. You also harm small scale farmers in areas that need the new crops. Thus you make enemies.

          • Tony Storey

            August 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm

            if harming progress means raising serious health concerns, then yes , i will till the end of time, long after your GM fruit has mutated into a non food full of harmful chemicals, just to keep it growing. Stupid humans

          • Tomas Moravec

            August 15, 2016 at 11:06 pm

            So why is GM fruit more likely to mutate into non food full of harmfull chemicals than non-GM fruit? Organic or conventional?

          • hyperzombie

            August 14, 2016 at 11:41 pm

            Does it pay more than growing pineapples
            I would think that everything pays better than growing pineapples, they are very tough to grow and take about 18 months to mature. They can only be grown in certain soils and are crazy labour intensive.

            Why would there be any ethical issues with supporting bio-tech or any technology? Or are you one of the folks that believes that everyone needs technology, except for farmers? Are you anti tech in any other field?
            “Darm Elementary Particle Physicists, don’t need those atom smashers, it is so unnatural. They should smash atoms the old fashioned way, with a hammer”

            “People don’t need the internet when we have smoke signals and cups and string. ”

            I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that Agriculture is the only field that you believe should be free from modern technology.

          • Tony Storey

            August 15, 2016 at 3:32 am

            nice argument you had going all by yourself. i feel like i would be intruding if i commented

      • Tony Storey

        August 13, 2016 at 11:49 pm

        how can you oppose me?, you dont even know my stand on the issue. The ego loves an enemy so i see where your coming from.

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Analysis

How You Could Profit From The Fairfax County Investment In Morgan Creek Digital

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Morgan Creek Digital recently scored what it says is probably the first investment in the known crypto asset universe from a U.S. pension fund.

Two pension plans in Fairfax County, Virginia are anchor investors in a new $40 million venture-capital fund, according to a statement from the company. Other investors include an insurance company, a university endowment and a private foundation, said Morgan Creek Digital founder Anthony Pompliano, who declined to provide further details.

Fairfax County Retirement Systems manages three separate defined benefit plans, two of which invested in the Morgan Creek Digital fund, said Pompliano. Katherine Molnar, chief investment officer of one of the funds said in a statement that blockchain technology is an “emerging opportunity” that offers an “attractive asymmetric return profile.’’

Morgan Creek Digital, which is an affiliate of the investment manager Morgan Creek Capital Management LLC, exceeded its original target of $25 million for the fund. Its pitch: all traditional assets will eventually be represented by digital tokens, while the influx of intellectual capital into digital assets will create positive returns. It also argues that cryptocurrencies are not correlated to traditional assets, giving investors unique exposures.

The fund created by Morgan Creek Digital in New York is investing in cryptocurrency giant Coinbase, which was recently valued at $8 billion, and several lesser-known startups, including Blockfi, RealBlocks, TrustToken, Harbor, Open Finance Network, CityBlock Capital, Namebase, Good Money and Digital Assets Data.
As much as $4 million of the investment could eventually be used to purchase cryptocurrency directly, though that has not happened yet.

This sort of development is crucial for the digital asset markets to evolve. Let’s take a closer look at Morgan Creek Digital’s other blockchain companies, and see if there might be equity or token opportunities.

CityBlock Capital

CityBlock Capital offered a digital security token sale on the SharesPost platform, representing perhaps the lowest-barrier investment opportunity for someone looking to tag onto the Fairfax County investment in Morgan Creek Digital.

CityBlock’s NYCQ Blockchain Infrastructure Fund invests in companies building blockchain-based capital markets infrastructure. From the instantaneous settlement of trades, elimination of intermediaries, and the reduction of fraud, the fund’s portfolio companies include clearing houses, exchanges, depositories, makers of market aggregation tools, securities services firms, data analytics, smart contract auditors, and issuance platforms. Its focus is early-stage firms, with ten percent of its funds going to late-stage companies.

CityBlock’s digital tokens are designed to represent ownership interests in the fund. Investors will be able to buy and sell these assets on SharesPost’s Alternative Trading System (ATS), which is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

TrustToken

If you’re looking for a stablecoin, this Morgan Creek Digital-backed option might be a nice tool to escape crypto-volatility. TrustToken’s first token is TrueUSD, a stablecoin redeemable one-to-one for U.S. dollars. Over its initial four months of trading, the coin’s market increased to $85 million as investors look for stability in the unstable world of crypto. The token has a $61 million hard cap on the token allocated over three tranches of $0.12, $0.14 and $0.16 per trust token.

In the TrueUSD system, dollars are kept in the escrow accounts of multiple trust companies, not a bank account. Those accounts verified by an independent third party that issues monthly reports on the funds held in collateral.

Blockfi

In need of liquidity and have a lot of crypto you could put up as collateral? Blockfi is now operating in the US, and could be the business solution you need. BlockFi is a New York-based secured non-bank lender of  USD loans to cryptoasset owners who collateralize the loan with cryptoassets. Blockfi iquidity is available to both individuals and institutions. Client Bitcoin and Ether is held with a registered custodian. Loans are issued in USD to their bank account.

BlockFi currently operates in 35 US States, lending to retail investors and companies. It raised approximately $1.5 million in seed funding earlier this year from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFI and Kenetic Capital, followed by Galaxy Digital Ventures investment of $52.5 million. $50 million, the lion’s share of the capital, will be used to loan to BlockFi’s customers. The remaining $2.5 million represents an equity investment in the company from Galaxy and earlier backers.

Namebase

Namebase offers probably the most unique idea in which Morgan Creek Digital invests. This platform enables the registration of top-level domains on the Handshake blockchain. As a fork of Bitcoin, Handshake allows users to register domain names. Registration records are maintained by a decentralized network of nodes. Handshake is compatible with the existing domain name system. It is easily integrated with mainstream browsers.

Handshake uses the Bitcoin software with some extra transaction types allowing users to bid on names on-chain. Handshake forked everything about the Bitcoin node software while not forking the UTXO set, like in the case of Zcash. The Handshake project plans to distribute 70% of the coin supply to open source developers, projects, and non-profits without any contractual expectation of work.

Bakkt

The Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Future is a physically delivered daily futures contract on Bitcoin traded in BTC/USD. It’s still subject to regulatory approval, but ICE plans for them to be traded on its electronic trading platform which is regulated by the CFTC. ICE Clearing US, the main counterparty for all ICE cleared forex futures trades, will clear and guarantee all trades, to be settled in physically delivered Bitcoin “in the regulated Bakkt Warehouse.”

Bakkt raised $18.2 million to develop a global digital assets platform and a bitcoin futures product. Owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which in turn is owned by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Bakkt’s investors include Boston Consulting Group, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, ICE, M12 (Microsoft’s VC fund), Pantera Capital and Protocol Ventures.

Digital Assets Data

This financial technology and data company build enterprise-grade software and data feeds for crypto hedge funds and other market participants. The companies data, information and transparency tools will be applied to crypto assets, including currencies, platforms, applications, side chains, security tokens, and initial coin offers (ICOs) through subscription services offered to hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Harbor

While companies like Polymath stole much of security token show in early 2018, Harbor’s blockchain-based platform and compliance protocol has also been built to transform private securities like commercial real estate offerings an investment funds into more liquid forms of private investment.

This institutional-grade onramp for issuers and investors is an end-to-end service. Investor on-boarding to the platform encompasses KYC, AML, accreditation and tax forms, signing of documents, funding, and other tasks. The Harbor compliance protocol manages complex rules and regulations governing securities on issuance and secondary transfers.

Open Finance Network

Created in 2014, The OpenFinance Network (OFN) uses blockchain technology to create an U.S. regulated security token platform. “We wanted to give users the control over their funds. Since with security tokens, there is a lot of overhead holding tokens on a centralized platform. So to put capital to better use, we went with self-custody. We are not entirely decentralized though, and we think this is attractive to all types of users.”

Open Finance Network is comprised of the ledger, the token and the adaptors. Open Finance’s a global registry of assets that are represented by security tokens as well as entities such as broker-dealers, transfer agents, custodians or escrow agents that can be used on different security token processes.

Good Money

Good Money is a new type of banking platform founded by Gunnar Lovelace. When a new customer signs up with Good Money, they receive an equity share – in other words, they become co-owners. Lovelace says customers could hold as much as 70% one day.

Good Money operates similar to a credit union, which are non-profits, and offers members no ATM or overdraft fees. 50% of its profits are invested into green projects and charitable donations. The platform’s customers vote on where profits should be invested, but the options will only include sustainable investments, like clean energy and reforestation efforts.

RealBlocks

RealBlocks is creating a real estate capital markets platform designed to connect users globally so they can more easily raise capital for real estate. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, the platform allows organizations to raise capital through the issuance of tokenized securities.

On the platform, investors can directly purchase ownership interest in real estate with digital and fiat currencies. The platform also claims to provide a mechanism for peer-to-peer liqudity. According to RealBlocks, “anyone in the world is now able to directly invest, raise capital, and obtain liquidity for investments in real estate.” The platform also provides a mechanism for peer-to-peer liquidity. By using RealBlocks, anyone in the world is now able to directly invest, raise capital, and obtain liquidity for investments in real estate.

Conclusion

“There’s a belief in the institutional world that if the industry will be around for a long time, it will be very valuable,’’ Pompliano said in a phone interview. “The smart money is not distracted by price but looks at the long-term trends, and believes they’re betting on innovation as a great way to deliver risk-mitigated returns.’’

Today, even police officers and other state employees in Virginia’s Fairfax County are now looking forward to retirement with potential dividends from bitcoin. Two separate pension funds that collectively manage $5.1 billion in assets for the state’s police force and other employees have joined a $40 million investment in the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund.

If you look at the startups in which Morgan Creek Digital is invested, there are few token options. Using TrueUSD to hedge your crypto-investments offers one opportunity to augment your investment strategy. More interestingly, the CityBlock Capital security token represents an alternative to other VC-backed securities tokens, such as Blockchain Capital’s BCAP.

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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5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsJustin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.




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Netflix Price Hike Helps Bag $10 Million Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Documentary

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Shortly after Netflix announced it would be raising the costs of subscriptions for U.S customers, the movie streaming giant just splashed out $10 million to secure a documentary on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Bearing the politically provocative title of Knock Down the House, the movie was subject to a bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival last week, where Netflix outbid competitors such as Amazon and Hulu to gain rights to air it on their platform.

The $10 million figure was only revealed this week, however, and it immediately takes its place in the record books as the largest purchase ever recorded for a documentary film at Sundance.

Netflix Economics

As discussed previously on Hacked, the price hike enacted by Netflix – which saw standard subscriptions rise from $7.99 to $9.99 per month – is unlikely to affect the company in a negative way. While the stock price did stumble earlier in the week, it recovered 2.6% rapidly just days later.

HD and multi-screen subscriptions were subject to the largest price hike in the company’s history – from $10.99 up to $12.99; an increase of over 18%. The premium plan, which encompasses streaming on four seperate devices, rose from $13.99 to $15.99, making it more expensive than competitor HBO NOW for the first time in its history.

One of Netflix’s main advantages is its international user-base – one which reached as high as 117 million in 2018. Only 55 million of those users came from inside the U.S, which begs the question: how did a documentary about a regional political representative in New York’s 14th district become the most sought after cinematic property in Sundance history?

Knock Down the House

According to the plot summary:

“The film follows four women who decided to run for Congress in the 2018 United States elections: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Amy Vilela of Nevada, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Paula Jean Swearengin of West Virginia. Vilela, Bush, and Swearengin lost in the primary round, but Ocasio-Cortez won the election.”

Whether it’s true or just an attempt at legend, the story goes that director Rachel Lears began working on the film the day after Donald Trump was elected president.

The film won the Sundance Favourite award last Thursday, and has accumulated a score of 6.1/10 from twenty-four votes on IMDB; and a 100% positive score from eight early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. On reviewer from IndieWire gave the film a ‘B’ rating, adding:

“Stylistically, the film isn’t at all fussy: on-screen graphics are straightforward and informative, and Lears leaves the editorializing out of her introductory captions, though the film’s score often proves manipulative during the most unnecessary of times.”

With recent Sandra Bullock starrer, Bird Box, estimated to have been viewed by over 80 million households, it will be interesting to see if Knock the House Down translates just as well to an international audience. Although, Netflix can probably afford to take a hit for the sake of pushing its new political favourite.

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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ICE Has Raised $182.5 Million for Upcoming Bakkt Trading Platform

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The downturn in crypto has not deterred high-profile investors from betting big on the future of the market. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the world’s largest stock exchange operator, has raised $182.5 million in support of its Bakkt cryptocurrency venture.

Bakkt: Institutional Support Grows

The Bakkt startup has raised $182.5 million from more than a dozen high-profile investors and venture capital firms, CEO Kelly Loeffler announced Monday. First-round investors include: Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, Naspers’ fintech arm and Protocol Ventures.

“Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts,” Loeffler said.

Further details on Bakkt’s 2019 objectives will be announced sometime next month, though Loeffler indicated that the focus is on developing new infrastructure for the nascent market. This includes the “industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage.”

What is Bakkt? Preparing for the Physical Bitcoin Futures Market

Bakkt is scheduled to launch its bitcoin futures market Jan. 24 but delays in regulatory approvals could see that date get pushed back by a week or more. Further details can be found in the following article from Dec. 22.

Disrupting Traditional Finance

Bakkt has been described as the world’s first physically-backed bitcoin futures market, but its mandate stretches far beyond that. When ICE first unveiled the crypto startup in August, the goal was to broaden institutional access and consumer adoption of digital assets. Through high-profile partnerships with Starbucks and Microsoft and with the support of early investors like Susquehanna International and Fortress Investment, Bakkt is aiming to bring “regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets,” according to Jeffrey Sprecher, the founder and chairman of ICE.

NYSE Owner Is Betting Big on Cryptocurrency with Bakkt

The launch of a physically-settled bitcoin futures market as early as next month means institutional investors can access digital assets through a trusted custodian. On the consumer side, Starbucks will be the flagship retailer of Bakkt with the goal of developing practical applications for commercial use. According to Starbucks senior executive Maria Smith, consumers will one day be able to convert cryptocurrencies into dollars at various Starbucks locations.

Starbucks will play an important role in helping Bakkt disrupt the traditional payments market. One of Bakkt’s stated goals is to move consumers away from credit cards toward crypto applications.

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.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 771 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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