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Video Streaming is About to Change for Incumbent Platforms

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A term that has only entered our vernacular recently is a “YouTube Star”. A decade ago, none of us ever could have thought that YouTube would be able to provide meaningful income to anyone other than Google.

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However, as the website evolved from cute cat videos, it has created a whole new genre of entertainment. The advertisement revenue available is constantly increasing as a whole new generation opts to spend more of their attention online.

The YouTube Tax

The business model is pretty simple. Creatives post content that attract an audience, and ads are placed at the beginning or middle of the programming. The advertisement revenue is given to the creator, but a significant amount is taken by YouTube.

It is estimated that approximately 45% of advertising revenues are paid out to YouNow. This is quite a significant amount, and one could argue that they are creating the opportunity for creators to get an audience, but at the same time, that is a sizeable amount of income.

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YouNow’s Big Opportunity

Blockchain has been providing a new ability to automate and innovate the way platforms are setup by creating decentralized versions that accomplish the same goals of their predecessors. The appeal of these new platforms is the lower cost that would be provided by them.

Right now, YouTube has overhead costs to support it and is run in a way that requires a higher margin be taken. If companies are able to create platforms that run with lower overhead costs, it will be possible to completely supersede these earlier platforms.

The CEO of YouNow, Ben Yu, is a creator himself. After quitting a job to travel the world, he created a successful YouTube channel about his travels, but wasn’t making much money despite the channel’s success. This inspired him to start YouNow and is the eventual reason for this innovation in the business model.

PROPS Tokens for Patronage

YouNow’s first big step towards decentralizatoin and away from taking a flat fee was the implementation of the PROPS token. This token allows for users to incentivize the creation of live videos by working in a sort of “patronage” model.

The patronage model has gained traction with the recent popularity of trends like crowdsourcing and micropayments (Patron accounts). Right now, YouNow earns most of its revenue by charging for advertising revenue, but by issuing tokens, direct payments based on merit are now enabled for creators.

When creators can get paid in a transparent manner, they are much happier. But how is YouNow going to make money? When they issue tokens during their ICO, they retain some of them and then as the value of the tokens increase, they gain market value. Although a new method of monetizing a company, this does a great job of getting all the incentives in line for everyone, which should result in a superior platform.

The ICO took place in December and has raised $24 million since. This will help finance the switch in business plans and manage the implementation of the new business plan.

The Future of Video Sharing

When one examines the current state of video sharing, you can see the current dominant players are doing well not because of a superior solution, but because they have the most content and audience available.

In going against the behemoth that is YouTube, YouNow has a difficult path ahead of it if it wants to fight these network effects, but the higher revenues for creators and improved content that will result will hopefully help them gain more market share in the future.

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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Cryptocurrency Market Hits Five-Week Highs as Investors Shrug Off New York Inquiry

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The cryptocurrency market’s recovery broadened on Thursday, with prices hitting their highest level in five weeks after the Kraken digital currency exchange indicated it would not comply with the state of New York’s request for information.

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Cryptocurrencies Add Value

The combined value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation reached a high near $359 billion on Thursday, according to latest available data. That’s the highest level since Mar. 14.

With the rally, digital currencies have now added more than 32% since last Thursday. Prices have also recovered 47% from the swing low on April Fool’s Day.

In percentage terms, bitcoin cash (BCH) was once again the best-performer in the top-ten, having gained 9.4% over the past 24 hours. The digital currency was last seen hovering north of $965 for a total market cap of $16.5 billion.

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Ethereum saw its value rise by nearly 8% during the day, with prices reaching $564 a coin. The world’s second-largest crypto asset by market cap now has a total value of $55.7 billion.

The value of bitcoin stabilized near $8,277 for a gain of around 1.4%. In the process, its share of the total market has crept below 40% for the first time since late February.

Kraken and the State of New York

Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell indicated earlier this week that his company would not comply with the New York attorney general’s investigation into crypto exchanges.

“Somebody has to say what everybody’s actually thinking about the NYAG’s inquiry” Powell said via Twitter. “The placative kowtowing toward this kind of abuse sends the message that it’s ok. It’s not ok. It’s insulting.”

He added: “The resource diversion for this production is massive. This is going to completely blow up our roadmap! Then I realized we made the wise decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago and that we can dodge this bullet.”

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched his investigation earlier this week by asking 13 major exchanges to fill out a questionnaire related to their operations and security measures.

“Too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity, and security of these trading platforms,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

The questionnaire asks for detailed information about fees, margin trading requirements and consumer-protection policies employed by the major exchanges. It also asks how they would go about suspending trading or delaying pending orders. Exchanges have until May 1 to respond.

Schneiderman’s investigation is intended to bring more transparency to the market by exposing how platforms charge customers and deal with suspicious trading.

Among the exchanges summoned to respond are Bitfinex, Coinbase, Gemini Trust and bitFlyer USA. At the time of writing, Kraken was the only platform to dissent to the request.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 332 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Crypto Update: Ethereum Tops $550 as Altcoins Hit New Rally Highs

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The major coins are having another bullish day after a consolidation period with all of the top 10 cryptocurrencies sporting meaningful gains. Altcoins are leading the charge higher, as the switch in relative strength that we pointed out several times seems to be a lasting phenomenon, with the ETH/BTC pair confirming a short-term uptrend.

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BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is also up today, but while the majority of altcoins are trading on new rally highs, BTC is stuck below the prior swing high at $8400, which is also a previously established resistance level. The dominant declining trendline is also in that area, and that strong zone could hold back the largest coin for a longer period. A breakout would confirm a new rising short-term trend, with the next major resistance zone ahead between $9000 and $9200.

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ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum is among the strongest coins short-term, and with smaller cap altcoins also joining the rally, the whole segment could be ready for a move higher. That said, the broader declining trend is still intact with the coin trading in a strong resistance zone between $555 and $575. A new short-term uptrend is now confirmed but with the declining trendline just ahead, the coin could be in for volatile swings in the coming days. The next target zone is at $625, while support is found at $500 and $450.

Broad Altcoin Rally Lifts All Ships

XRP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple, which was among the weakest majors for a prolonged period is one of the leaders today, climbing above $0.75, and eyeing the next major level at $0.84, with tbe coin already being above the previously dominant declining trendline.

On a slightly negative note, correlations are still high between the majors, but there are standout performers despite the concerted rally. Among the long-term leaders, Litecoin is trading near $150, while Monero added to yesterday’s gains, and it’s testing the $240 resistance as we speak.

The early leaders of the rally are slightly lagging in the current short-term swing, but that is likely a sign of rotation, as the likes of EOS, NEO, and IOTA are also higher today, while holding up wrll above the correction lows.

With all of the majors on buy signals in our trend model, we expect the rally to continue even as strong resistance zones are ahead and the road will likely be bumpy after the steep and lengthy downswing.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 224 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

Why IOTA Belongs On Your Focus List

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For the serious student of cryptocurrencies, IOTA is a name most likely you know well. However since only about 8% of Americans own any crypto, and then 80% of those folks own bitcoin, it’s time to get to know your neighbors.  

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Ok, let’s start with a trick question.  Over the next 10-20 years, which technovation will have the greatest impact on society: cryptocurrencies, the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI)?  

The answer is: they will each be so big and so important that it really doesn’t matter.  As an investor you can go with anyone of these themes. But then, you might want to focus attention on IOTA. It could be like getting a techno triple play.  

This is not to suggest dumping your bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple or other major names. In an uncertain world, the big guys still carry a better risk profile.  But in today’s market, altcoins represent the most depressed values. Out of this group, IOTA offers investors participation in crypto, IoT and AI.

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I do not own IOTA so objectivity isn’t being compromised.  Here are a few things about IOTA that stand out.

Ideal For High Volume Small Transactions

For all their benefits, single layer blockchains present a scaling nightmare to bitcoin and even so called second generation names like Ethereum.  Solutions like the Lightning Network and Raiden, when fully deployed sometime later this year, will help. But the ability to process 50,000 transactions a second is still a way off.

IOTA is specifically targeted for high volume transactions at near zero costs.  This makes a competitive stand against the ultra fast but high cost giants like Visa, MasterCard, etc. The secret is that IOTA doesn’t depend on a blockchain.  

Instead, developers have created something they call Tangle. IOTA is a blockchain free cryptocurrency.  Tangle is designed to remove the necessity of predetermined block times. Instead of many nodes confirming a transaction, the sender of the IOTA transaction must confirm two other transactions on the Tangle.

In other words, the entire time and energy intensive crypto mining process in sidetracked replacing it with a user verification process. To put it more simply, every user becomes a miner in the network.

This reduces cost to the point where IOTA transactions are near zero.  Compare this to a Visa or MasterCard debit card merchant service charge of 1.5% or a credit card fee of 2.9%-4%+ and there is no contest.

Is Tangle more secure than blockchain?  An honest answer is Tangle has not been tested enough to get enough data.  But if you accept that small transactions are less of a so called “attractive nuisance” than the size Bitcoin is best handling, then the effective security risk becomes tolerable.

IoT And AI: Real And Imagined

Small and even micro-transactions will be the measure of IOTA for the immediate future and there is nothing wrong with that.  After all we are talking about a multi trillion dollar global market. But this isn’t what crypto visionaries see as the end game.

Advocates of IOTA paint a glowing picture for the crypto in IoT and AI based on the near zero transaction cost and huge supply of the currency.  If things turn out this way, it means that IOTA is appealing to an entirely different segment than bitcoin, ether, Ripple or many altcoins.

By huge supply we are talking about each traded IOTA quoted in MIOTA or a million units. Total supply is defined as one Petalota. That equals 10 IOTA to the 15th power. If you prefer real numbers, the total supply is 2,779,530,283,277,761. Try saying that number quickly. Certainly the founders of IOTA had such a global vision when they decided to create such a massive supply.

Supply/Demand and Pricing

The one thing about the IOTA story is how can this massive supply benefit investors. It seems counter intuitive.  But I must be too dim witted to appreciate this because back in December before prices tumbled, the public valued IOTA at nearly $15 billion. Since then, like all cryptos, IOTA dropped more than 80% to around $2.6 billion. So did the end of the so called crypto bubble sour investors.  Not at all. Since the April 10th low, the price has jumped 70% to $4.7 billion or about $1.68 per MIOTA.

As we said at the start, long time IOTA watchers will find nothing surprising.  But for the majority, you will want to keep an eye on IOTA; it is not just another altcoin. And it’s price is still less than one-third of last December.  

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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4.3 stars on average, based on 59 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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