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How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

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Have you ever thought people are going to find out you aren’t as skilled as they presumed? Soon enough, someone is going to realize you are nothing but a fraud; you aren’t sufficiently qualified to be in the position you are in.

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If so, it’s likely you are affected by impostor syndrome. The phenomenon affects high-achieving individuals who essentially can’t accept their accomplishments and end up believing they either got lucky, fooled everyone else, or simply had the right timing. Even Liz Bingham, a managing partner at Ernst & Young confided to have thought to herself:

“What are you doing here? What do you think you’re doing? You’re going to be exposed.”

The syndrome makes people feel they aren’t as intelligent and competent as they really are. The good news is that it is possible to overcome the problem.

Overcoming impostor syndrome

Before we start, let’s acknowledge no amount of self-motivation is going to help overcome impostor syndrome. It might provide short-term results, but it won’t fix anything in the long run.

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The best way to overcome impostor syndrome is to focus on the value you bring to the table. Stop worrying about how important your work is, how many people it affects, or what could go wrong if you really were a fraud.

Accept that everyone is uniquely flawed, including those who’ve reached the top. As such, reset your standards to a realistic level that won’t make you feel like you aren’t good enough. Comparing yourself to others is rarely helpful, as you see yourself from the inside, and others only from the outside based on what they do and say – a carefully edited version of themselves.

You also need to own your successes. Luck affects everyone and those who do become successful manage to do so because of their own abilities, and not because an invisible helping hand pushed them forward.

Finally, just risk it. Take a leap of faith and, even if you feel like an impostor, keep on doing your best and wait for the results. If everyone else sees you as an expert and recognizes your abilities, chances are you are merely suffering from impostor syndrome. It takes courage to risk failure and humiliation but, as Oscar Wilde puts it:

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

Everybody bleeps

One of the most influential philosophers of the French Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne, has given us an effective solution for impostor syndrome. Essentially, Montaigne argues that everybody, including kings and queens, bleep. We can’t imagine the Pope or the Secretary-General of the United Nations bleeping, and as such, we assume we’ll never reach a degree of success anywhere near theirs – that is, of course, because we are well-informed of our own mistakes.

Montaigne’s example shows us that, despite not being able to see or imagine the flaws of those we look up to, we must know and recognize that they are there. We need to stop focusing on credentials: even CEOs fail.

Benefiting from impostor syndrome

It’s better said than done, I know. Getting rid of impostor syndrome isn’t easy, so while we’re at it, it is also possible try to benefit from it.

Recognizing you don’t know everything and being afraid of exposure merely gives you a basis to start fixing every flaw you can identify. Your clients don’t want you to be the best, they want you to do something they are unable to: so strive to give them the best possible service.

Whenever you’re able to, ask others why have you been chosen to do an important task. The answer will, almost certainly, motivate you and help build up your confidence. Fear is natural, it just means you are blissfully aware of how you can improve.

Steven Pressfield, a successful author, once said:

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome”.

Have you felt that you are an impostor? Let us know in the comment field below.

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Fidelity Investments is Mining Cryptocurrency

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Fidelity Investments is a multi-billion dollar brokerage  that just so happens to be mining cryptocurrency. In fact, it has been at it for three years, using its own computers to harvest bitcoin and Ethereum.

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Profitable Experiment

CEO Abby Johnson recently told Fortune that its U.S.-based mining operation is “making a lot of money.” This comes despite running a relatively modest operation.

Hadley Stern, Senior VP of Fidelity Labs, described his company’s venture as an “experiment.”

The real reason we began mining, and still do, is to learn how the network works, how consensus works, how difficulty levels work,” he said in reference to the mining process.

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The key to profitability has been the dramatic rise in cryptocurrency over the past year. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the world’s No. 1 and 2 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and no-one else comes close.

Well Ahead of the Pack

The fact that Fidelity has been at this for three years speaks volumes about the company. Other, much bigger players are still dipping their toes in the market, but are unsure about how to proceed. Goldman Sachs is reportedly on the fence about starting a cryptocurrency trading operation, while J.P. Morgan has already begun handling customer orders for bitcoin-based instruments.

Fidelity is doing a lot more than just mining tokens. Earlier this year, it reached an agreement with Coinbase to let customers view cryptocurrency prices alongside other assets on their Fidelity homepage.

Coinbase is the world’s most funded cryptocurrency exchange with more than 7.4 million users.

Cryptocurrency Prices

The cryptocurrency market ended the week on a firm note, with bitcoin (BTC/USD) reaching a session high of $4,425.00. At press time, the index was up 1.6% at $4,368.

Ether is also trading higher against the dollar, with the ETH/USD rallying more than 3% to $305.

Ripple (XRP) lost momentum on Friday, but still managed a weekly gain of 21%.

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Chinese Government Eyeing Fresh Bitcoin Legislation?

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The Chinese government could roll out fresh cryptocurrency regulation in the coming months permitting licensed brokers to operate, based on recent information from Xinhua.

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The state-owned news publication recently revealed that the government is mostly concerned with stamping out illegal activity involving bitcoin and other cryptos. Government authorities could be planning to regulate the market by creating a licensing program with strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems.

The Case for AML

The need for KYC/AML protocols has long been raised by cryptocurrency proponents, especially in reference to initial coin offerings (ICOs). In response, the blockchain community has come together to create the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT). The SAFT is both an instrument and open-source framework for token sales that vets accredited investors.

SAFT activity is quickly gaining traction, with the likes of Gizer recently issuing a presale of its ICO through SAFTLaunch.

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SAFT was officially created by Protocol Labs in close collaboration with AngelList and Cooley.

China’s Stance Looms Large for Cryptocurrency Market

Although digital assets have recovered from the China-induced flash crash of September, favorable regulations on the mainland could mean big business for bitcoin exchanges. Prior to the ban on ICOs and bitcoin brokers, Chinese investors were responsible for a quarter of all BTC trades.

According to Xinhua, China is likely to pursue a licensing program similar to Japan, a country that recently approved 11 cryptocurrency exchanges. CnLedger, a leading source of cryptocurrency news in China, recently had this to say:

“Xinhua News, official press agency of CN: Virtual currencies have become the top choices of underground economies. We shall adopt ‘0-tolerance policies’ towards crimes hidden underneath and take measures such as record-keeping, licensing, AML processes, real-name, limiting large transactions.”

Is China’s cryptocurrency ban temporary? It certainly looks that way. Regulators must already know that the ban hasn’t stopped mainland investors from buying cryptocurrencies next door in Hong Kong or Singapore. A saner approach to an all-out blanket ban is a tighter regulatory framework that will stamp out money laundering and other underground activities.

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Tim Draper Has Made Over $110 Million Since 2014 With his Bitcoin Investment

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Tim Draper, the billionaire technology investor and prominent venture capitalist who has invested in some of the most successful technology startups in the likes of Coinbase, Patreon, SpaceX, Tesla, Box, FourSquare, has profited over $110 million from his investment in bitcoin less than three years ago.

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In 2014, Draper participated in the auction of 144,336 bitcoins by the US government and the US Justice Department, which were seized during the investigation into Silk Road, a dark web marketplace. Draper was granted the permission to purchase a batch of 30,000 at around $600 from the US government.

Upon securing 30,000 bitcoins, Draper told Fox Business:

“[I’m] very excited about bitcoin and what it can do for the world. Bitcoin is as big a transformation to the finance and commerce industry as the internet was for information and communications. If bitcoin were here in 2008, it would be a stability source for our world economy. Everybody should go out there and buy a bitcoin. Every investor who’s a fiduciary should at least be partially involved in bitcoin because it’s a hedge against all the other currencies. There’s a whole ecosystem being built that’s going to make commerce much easier with much less friction and safer.”

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Today, Draper’s 30,000 bitcoins are worth $129.9 million. Considering that Draper had spent $19 million purchasing the batch of 30,000 bitcoins in 2014, Draper has recorded a profit of over $110 million in less than three years.

While Draper held onto his investment in bitcoin, the US Justice Department was quick all of the 144,336 bitcoins seized during the Silk Road operation. According to various sources, the US government sold the majority of its 144,336 bitcoins at a price of $336, at $48 million. If the US government had sold its bitcoins in 2017, it would have generated an additional profit of around $573 million, as 144,336 bitcoins at today’s bitcoin price of $4,330 are worth $624.9 million.

Bitcoin price was below $350 in 2014. Today, it is over $4,330.

Since 2014, in addition to purchasing tens of thousands of bitcoins, Draper has funded some of the most successful bitcoin companies in the cryptocurrency market including Coinbase and Korbit. Earlier this year, Coinbase secured a $100 million investment at a $1.6 billion valuation, while Korbit was acquired by the parent company of a $10 billion gaming company in Nexon at a $140 million valuation.

Furthermore, Draper has not sold his stake in Coinbase and earlier this year, Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, revealed that Coinbase is still at an early stage in terms of developing and scaling. Armstrong noted that it will evolve into the safest and most trusted exchange in the global market.

“Digital currencies are having their ‘Netscape’ moment. The pace of innovation has been accelerating and we are now seeing exciting projects and companies being built on top of digital currencies. We’re beginning to transition into phase three of our secret master plan. Our goal is to be the safest, most trusted and compliant, and easiest to use. Not the first to market with new assets. Especially at scale, it takes time to ensure any new asset we add is well tested and secure,” said Armstrong.

Coinbase is also one of the two exchanges in the US market apart from Gemini that is targeting institutional and retail investors by providing sufficient liquidity. As Coinbase and its flagship cryptocurrency trading platform GDAX continue evolve, Draper will position himself at the forefront of cryptocurrency innovation and disruption.

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