Traditional Banks Striving to Compete with Cryptocurrency

March 27, 2018

With the popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin on the rise, big banks are beginning to express concern about their ability to keep up. With central banks striving to compete with cryptocurrency, many are choosing to start holding these digital currencies on their balance sheets. This could act in a similar way to gold and foreign currency reserves when it comes to absorbing market shocks.

Bank of America Reacts

High-level Bank of America officials have already been expressing concern that their establishment will be unable to keep up with evolving industry standards and consumer preferences regarding cryptocurrency. This industry giant has already received a patent for a proposed exchange system; however, currently, it is falling behind when it comes to accommodating customer interest in cryptocurrencies. In fact, Bank of America recently came under criticism for blocking its credit card clients from purchasing cryptocurrency on their cards.

The same report details a concern that increased competition in the field of non-depository transactions may reduce Bank of America’s net interest margins and revenues from fee-based services. Accommodating the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency technologies may also require that Bank of America and other industry leaders expend substantial amounts of money to modify their existing products and services in order to keep up. Of course, Bank of America isn’t the only financial institution that is expressing concern about the growing global obsession with cryptocurrencies.

JPMorgan Chase Responds

Other extremely high-ranking financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase have also expressed a growing concern about the risk factors that come along with the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency technologies. In its annual 10-k filing this bank noted that financial institutes across the globe face the serious risk that their payment processing services will be disrupted. As this document notes, cryptocurrencies require no intermediation, which effectively removes the need for traditional banks and financial institutes.

Like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase intends to invest significant amounts of money into modifying and adapting its services in order to attract and retain new clients. It’s clear that this industry giant understands the growing necessity of competing with technology companies as well as traditional financial institutions. Goldman Sachs has reported similar fears.

Changing Attitudes

Historically, JPMorgan Chase’s executives have believed that the cryptocurrency market was destined for eventual collapse. While they have certainly not ruled out impending collapse as a possibility, it’s clear that banking executives have begun to reconsider whether or not they should be concerned about competition from technology companies. As cryptocurrency has begun to gain in popularity and concerns about money laundering and regulations regarding anonymity have begun to wane, the future of cryptocurrency appears brighter than ever.

International Approaches

One South Korean bank has already begun to incorporate cryptocurrency technologies into its banking operations via a crypto-based remittance network known as Ripple. Ripple’s network in Japan and Southeast Asia has already become quite extensive, and it shows no signs of stopping given that multiple local and international banks have already begun to introduce this technology into their operations.

When it comes to Banks and Ripple, full integration isn’t expected until at least 2019. The fact that serious industry players are beginning to make use of this technology speaks to the future of cryptocurrency and the fears that traditional financial institutions have regarding their ability to remain competitive. Ultimately, many of these banks will have to adapt or face the serious prospect of becoming obsolete.

The Role of Online Banking

Internet professional banks are set to lead the pack when it comes to adopting cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, so it’s no surprise that the majority of banks pushing for Ripple integration are online providers. Their brick-and-mortar equivalents will likely be facing similar changes in the near future, so it’s a good idea for consumers who want to be in the know to keep on top of current industry trends.

Circle, the Rise of Poloniex, and One of the Biggest Acquisitions Ever in the World of Cryptocurrency

The world seems to be at a weird crossroads. Everything seems to be globally-centered. Its possible to send an email across the world in a matter of seconds, but transferring money requires enough jumps through flaming hula hoops to scare away the most accomplished circus master.

It is confusing and odd and it stems from global economies keeping a tight lid on inter-government transactions and foreign exchanges. This is, until, cryptocurrency came along.

Infinite Exchanges

The initial appeal of cryptocurrency, in whatever form, is anonymity. The secret privatization of the cryptocurrency platform is what attracted many people to it in the first place. The source was founded on instant transactions and equality. No banks were needed. No exchange rate transfers and other frustrations of making a foreign exchange existed in cryptocurrency.

Admittedly, it attracted a lot of good with a lot of bad. But, this is the system at work. Circle wants to take the ethos and attractions of cryptocurrency to another level by adopting free and instant exchanges at a global level.

What is Circle?

Circle is a global finance and technology provider that is seeking to facilitate instant and free financial exchanges. The group has some top-tier investors behind it. Some of these leaders include Goldman Sachs, EverBright, and Accel Partners. The financial backers span the globe and have helped provide the company with $140 million in initial backing.

The company is utilizing Bitcoin currently to help funnel a massive system of instant transactions for big rewards. The team is able to do this through the blockchain, which hardly needs a thorough explanation for anyone familiar with the crypto world. The blockchain allocates safe and instant transactions. The team further apples their own AI risk engine to protect all finances.

The Purchase Proliferation of Poloniex Crypto-Exchange

The company has some substantial and impressive backing, and it is not slowing down anytime soon. The company just made a massive acquisition. According to reports, the group just snagged the Poloniex Crypto-Exchange. The acquisition cost about $400 million. It ranks as one of the highest single purchases in cryptocurrency.

The team will likely leverage this sale to continue their success. This includes nearly $2 billion in transactions every month, with about $60 million in profits received over a three month period.

The company is banking on two main aspects to provide an incredible financial future. The first is the slowing-down of Bitcoin, which has already come to fruition. The longevity of this slowdown and how far it will go into obscurity is not yet determined. But, the group is confident that there is room for another major player in the crypto-space.

Another element is the massive success of Poloniex. The group sees the coin as the future of the cryptocurrency world, and it is not hard to see why. The team has handled Bitcoin from the ground up, initially beginning as an exchange service or a proclaimed Paypal of Bitcoin. The group eventually dipped into social engagement, eventually returning back to the roots of cryptocurrency. It is a natural path and one that follows on the ways in which the Internet works.

Co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire has supported this seeming back-and-forth as simply following and then turning to leading the industry. He seems humbled by the success and is willing to make adjustments accordingly to accommodate larger tech industry trends.

Centre and Transaction Ease

The acquisition of Poloniex is certainly a step to new heights. Circle expects to expand into these new areas. One of their big accomplishments or goals is the combination of multiple e-wallet services under a single umbrella. The combination will take the form of a protocol that eases cross-wallet transactions. It is called Centre, and it will make cross-platform exchanges from Circle, Paypal, and more a whole lot easier.

Poloniex users should have no problem ingratiating the coin into their profile and utilizing it on a level playing field with other currency exchanges.

Fortunately, Circle seems to have developed a pretty incredible trajectory in the past three years. The support from major players tells a big part of the story. In the right hands and with the right series of decisions for Poloniex, the team could dominate the space in no time.

Reviewing the Cryptocurrency Results First Quarter 2018, and a Look at the Media Industry Around it

March 14, 2018

Greg is out there, somewhere, kicking himself that he doesnt now own an island. Greg has a familiar story for anyone who has dipped into the cryptocurrency world. Towards the end of the 2000s, Greg sold his nearly 2,000 BTC for 30 cents a piece, making a tidy profit after he bought them nearly a decade before anyone even knew what this was.

In 2011, he publically remarked that each coin is worth $8 and he regrets the sale. Of course, his valuation now would be somewhere in the area of $20 million. This is not the only story. How can something go from a value of a few cents to hundreds of dollars in just a few short years? What has changed?

Bitcoin, and many cryptocurrencies expected to appear in its wake are all in a speculative void. In many respects, Bitcoin is only worth what the public says it is worth. It creates a speculative marketplace of risk and wonder. Can a cryptocurrency investment pay off with millions of dollars? Is it worth dipping into now or is it too late? 2018 is a pivotal year for the coin, based on wide speculation, rumors, and the workings of the crypto marketplace.

Another Greg in 2018

Could there be another Greg in 2018? This is someone who decides to sell now, comfortable with their earnings. The Bitcoin marketplace is wavering in 2018, and a sale is not necessarily a terrible idea. The big Bitcoin sell-off has slowed down, but there are many still holding on. The fear may be that they are another Greg. They have a modest amount of coins, perhaps pocketing a couple thousand dollars or more. But, this isnt life-changing. Is it possible that this sell-off is a terrible mistake, and that by 2022 each coin will be worth a million on its own?

Its possible, especially with the crypto-cap coming around the corner. There are only so many coins to go around, and speculation suggests that Bitcoin and other markets are on the cusp of a massive and staggering breakthrough. What exists now is only the beginning, and the market is at a distinct and powerful crossroads.

2018s Cryptocurrency Marketplace

2018 BitCoin first quarter has been scary for people not in the immediate circle of knowledge. It basically means that a lot of doom and misery has spread throughout media. Bill Gates recently, and perhaps jokingly, said that cryptocurrency is super risky. In 2014, he said that it is better than currency due to not having to be in the same place. He was supported of cryptocurrency as a platform but admits its risks.

The media latched onto a narrative that cryptocurrency is dead and ran with it. This created a bit of a vacuum, including a huge sell-off. Bitcoin faced a whiplash 2017, with prices skyrocketing early in the year and values dropping out by the end.

Cryptocurrency results first quarter 2018 show a bad story, but likely a temporary one. Bitcoin is in the red. For some, it isnt looking good. There are a few reasons for the decline, and two, in particular, make the most sense. The first is government regulation, with some foreign bodies banning or restricting the coin from use. The other is the media, pushing this gloomy message for clicks and likes. Why have BitCoin prices dropped the first quarter of 2018? One of the biggest theories last week is that BitCoin price was driven down via a sale of large number of BitCoin by the bankruptcy custodian of Mt Gox.

The Future

Speculators are claiming that the market is a clear bear for 2018. But, things may soon start to settle down once again. By the middle of the year, it is likely the market will calm and return to normal after the amateurs by in and out and move on with their life.

The government restrictions are not new to Bitcoin, so their impact is not necessarily any more or less than they have been before. There will be dips, as have always been common in the cryptocurrency world. The introduction of other coins will shake values up. But, the media doom and gloom is only a small lens of the wrong narrative.

In the future, a single Bitcoin could be worth one million dollars. In the future, the same coin could be worth a penny at most. Both are possible. Bitcoin may also be replaced by another massive currency, but which one? There are about 30 reputable coin providers in the market now, not to mention the hundreds with a modicum of value that could see huge exposure with the right hand. Overall, the speculative environment of cryptocurrency is what makes it wonderful, enthralling, nerve-racking, and incredibly hard to decipher.

Learn More About Three of the Newest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

With the popularity of cryptocurrencies on the rise, consumers are looking for new ways to buy and sell Bitcoin and other digital currencies online. There’s no shortage of exchange companies out there, and new ones are popping up all the time. Those who are new to the cryptocurrency game might want to take a look at their options, which is why this article offers an introduction to Three of the Newest Cryptocurrency Exchanges before they get started.

Circle/Poloniex

The VC-backed startup Circle recently announced its plans to create a new kind of crypto cantina. This ambitious project will be facilitated by the company’s recent acquisition of Poloniex, an already popular cryptocurrency exchange that has recently been coming under fire from consumers due to service complaints.

Those who are already taking advantage of Poloniex’s services can expect to see some positive changes thanks to the exchange’s recent acquisition by Circle, which has expressed a desire to offer an entirely new type of exchange system that allows users to access a wide array of cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Introducing Circle X

The key concept behind Circle’s intended changes to Poloniex’s existing services is known as Circle X. This project will, theoretically, allow a far wider array of digital token exchanges representing everything from traditional assets to contractual agreements. The company’s officials believe that this will help to usher in a new world in which cryptocurrency exchanges, stock market exchanges, and cash exchanges can all take place on one platform, connecting the digital world to the real world and making it easier for the average consumer to use cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency tokens.

As Circle X begins to grow, it will give traditional exchanges and alternative trading systems a serious run for their money. The company’s CEO even envisions integrating fiat currencies into the company’s existing product models and already has all of the relationships in place to facilitate exchanges using U.S. dollars, euros, and pounds.

Robinhood – The People’s Cryptocurrency

One current mobile app stock trading provider has recently launched a cryptocurrency trading platform in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire. The RobinHood Crypto platform will allow users to buy, sell, and track Bitcoin and 14 other popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Monero, and more. The company’s officials have stated that their intent behind creating this new platform was to democratize cryptocurrency trading, allowing more investors to become involved through its web and mobile-based apps.

One of the ways in which this company is making cryptocurrency exchange more accessible is by offering its customers zero commission trading services. The company also recently announced the launch of a new social media-type platform designed to facilitate discussion among the company’s diverse base of investors online in real-time. Although the feed is currently available only to a select number of people, the ultimate goal is to allow all traders and investors using the system to have access to the feed.

KuCoin – A Modern and Secure Platform

Founded by a group of people with a genuine passion for blockchain technologies, KuCoin offers a modern and secure trading platform for those who want to trade between different cryptocurrencies. Its state-of-the-art platform offers users a safe and straightforward means of cryptocurrency conversion coupled with seamless customer service.

Although the company itself is a relative newcomer to the game, the brilliant minds behind its creation have had plenty of experience working with cryptocurrency exchange and the platform it is built upon has been under research and construction since 2011, giving the company plenty of time to iron out the details and make their services as customer-friendly as possible. Everything from registering an account to trading using two-factor authentication is simple enough for just about any user to understand, and the website’s layout has a clean and modern appeal that is difficult to beat.

Compared to other industry players, this company offers remarkably low fees for both trading and withdrawals along with no-fee deposits. Plus, the vast majority of the service’s already minimal fees actually go back to its users in the form of invitation bonuses and general bonuses. In fact, only about ten percent of the money collected from users is retained by the company for trading service fees. When combined with the company’s dedication to customer service and a financial safety and stability, it’s easy to see why so many users are flocking to this new cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Who is Behind the Digital Currency Group?

The Digital Currency Group, or DCG, was officially launched by CEO Barry Silbert less than one week after he sold SecondMarket to NASDAQ. Silbert carefully chose investment partners who share his long-term commitment to cryptocurrency and so-called crypto-companies based on this emergent financial solution. Unlike many of its competing financial interests, the DCG is structured as a company rather than a fund, allowing them to continue making investments in Bitcoin startups and other relevant technological innovations.

A Strong Start

The DCG got off to a strong start, having announced almost immediately after its inception that it had raised money from a number of high-profile investors such as MasterCard, Bain Capital Ventures, and New York Life. Silbert already had a successful track record of entrepreneurship within the financial sector prior to founding the DCG, so while many of those currently involved in the group have never invested into digital currency and blockchain space before, there’s no reason to believe that this company will be any less successful than his first.

Mission Statement

The DCG’s mission, as stated by its CEO, is to accelerate the development of a financial system based on Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Silbert’s decision to structure the DCG as a traditional company will give the DCG the flexibility to invest in and buy out other companies working within the financial sector and give it access to permanent capital, helping to support the group’s long-term mission.

As Silbert notes, creating a fund or, more likely, several different funds, would have led to having different stakeholders for each fund, making it more difficult for everyone involved to make decisions regarding business allocations and capital. Silbert intends to eventually take his company public, although he is quick to note that this is not a short-term plan.

Initial Subsidiaries

The company’s first wholly-owned subsidiaries included Genesis Global Trading, an existing over-the-counter trading firm for Bitcoin, and Grayscale Investments, an asset management firm responsible for managing the Bitcoin Investment Trust. The Bitcoin Investment Trust is an existing publicly traded fund designed to trade like an exchange-traded fund. The company also invested early in other companies across the world, including several in Japan, Argentina, and Kenya.

Early Expectations

Silbert reported that his nascent company had plans to make anywhere between 10 and 20 new investments in its first year and held a Bitcoin-focused conference in New York City less than a year after the company’s creation. This conference was designed to bring companies, investors, and the Wall Street community more generally together to talk about Bitcoin, but it certainly didn’t constitute the only foray Silbert’s company made early on into exploring the research, data, consulting, lending, and insurance issues surrounding cryptocurrencies.

Insurance Firm Investment

Investors like New York Life and Transamerica Ventures were drawn to the DCG thanks to the forward-thinking nature of these companies’ lead executives. Investors like these and other global insurance giants understand that Bitcoin technology has the potential to improve their underwriting processes and make it easier to onboard new customers. These insurance firms themselves aren’t the only ones to benefit from Bitcoin investment, though, as many of the early-stage companies within DCG’s network can benefit from working with insurance firms.

The choice to work with diverse investors speaks to Silbert and his company’s commitment to establishing a support network for his group of companies. The company has a dedicated director of community whose job is to connect investors and companies with each other for conferences and mutual aid.

Silbert set out to build the largest early-stage investment portfolio possible for digital currencies and blockchain ecosystems, and it’s clear by now that his company will live up to these grand plans. The DCG has continued to grow in recent years and expand its investments and services overseas, allowing it to create a global exchange alliance.

Ultimate Goals

Ultimately, Silbert’s goal is to foster a digital currency ecosystem that takes advantage of global standardization and cross-collaboration between industries and investors to make trading in Bitcoin easier and more secure. With so many great minds working on this project, the DCG is a company to watch. It’s clear that this company constitutes a driving force behind changes in the global financial climate pertaining to Bitcoin but also to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies more generally.

I follow BitCoin’s daily live videos on either FaceBook or YouTube. He’s the one that pointed me in the direction of researching this organization.

Why BitCoin Prices Have been Dropping?

One of my favorite channels is Crypt0 on YouTube. IN this video, he explains that the trustee(s) for Mt Gox have been selling off large quantities of BitCoins for the last few months, thus forcing the prices lower.

According to a recent article on CoinDesk, an related sites, Mt Gox sold off $406.6 million of BitCoin and BitCoin Cash via the Japanese trustee of the bankruptcy (Nobuaki Kobayashi). One might wonder why they didn’t sell it privately. Conspiracy theories may believe there was some plan to force the price down to force people out of the market, or to give other more time to get in, or yet even for some people to make a killing by shorting the market on the way down.

 

Cryptocurrency Acronyms: HODL, FOMO, FUD, BTFD and so on

If you listen to many YouTube or Facebook videos on BitCoin, LiteCoin, Ethereum, and the other alt coins, you will have to know these acronyms.

  1. HODL – Hold On for Dear Life – This is a style of investing where you believe that long term the coin will go up in value, but it could take a while. Crypto’s are known to be quite volatile, so you have to ride it like a roller coaster, accepting the lows with the highs.
  2. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – This could apply to people who aren’t in crypto at all, or to people who don’t have a coin, and buy it when it is high, because they fear missing out a “moon shot” or meteoric/exponential rise. This often leads people to buy at the top of a market cycle and potentially lose on their investment.
  3. FUD – Fear Uncertainty and Doubt- this could include news that makes the cryptos go down in value (such as today, when Warren Buffet said he would never invest in BitCoin or any of other crypto). It can also be used dissuade people from using Bitcoin and instead only use government-authorized money (like dollars), or can be gossip aimed at lowering the value of any coin or companies perceived value.
  4. BTFD – Buy the Freaking Dip (this is the PG-13 version, substitute the third word as desired). If you are going to invest in any coin or token, instead of buying at an all time high, often the price will retrace and go down a little (thus called “the dip”). You can get more coins and thus make more profit if you buy on the dip before it goes up again.

Just like the stock market has ticker symbols, most coins have a similar abbreviation; but there is no standard governing body that sets the abbreviation. So for example BitCoin is often referenced to as BTC, LiteCoin as LTC, and Ethereum as ETH. In some cases, the names can be confusing, such as Cardano, who’s coin/symbol is ADA (both are named after historical figures).

Mining Cryptocurrencies using SEO and Human Activities and Gatherings

January 10, 2018

What the heck? How can Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and human activities or people gathering together mine cryptocurrencies?

There is a new system being put together. I can’t disclose all the details yet.

My mentor is putting together a group called Project Platinum, limited to 100 people. We will be building web pages (and perhaps videos and doing social media) related to various activities, similar to what you might see on MeetUp.com. A large majority of them are family-oriented, fun activities that people are doing already.

This mentor, Matt Trainer, recently made a list of predictions about the future of the internet. We live in a disruptive world, where new technologies rise up over night and kick out the former beast. He says that the normalcy bias is “off the charts,” and things are about to change in a major way. He thinks Google’s time as a search engine is limited. And now, it’s possible for people like you and me to be part of the disruptors. Who would have ever though that Blockbuster Video or Borders Books would be wiped out so soon on the timeline of history. So here are the predictions for the next ten years:

10 years. Max. These are all dead:

1) WordPress (already on its last legs and no one sees it), and it’s entire plugin ecosystem

2) Any and all online shopping carts and shopping cart businesses. Yep ALL shopping carts. “Oh no! What’s Amazon gonna do with all that infrastructure!?” Trust me, they’ve planned ahead and are ready to pull the trigger on the next wave.

3) Websites (they are soon to be nothing more than business cards); thus the entire web design and development as industry will be a thing of the past. Along with it HTML5 is another goner;It was all a farce from the beginning anyway just because of a childish feud between Apple and Adobe.

4) Email autoresponders and ALL email service providers. Regulation killed it and spammers made it not cool anymore. Email is a burden now instead of a cool way to get fast messages.Even SMS marketing of any kind will be totally gone.

5) Credit card merchant processing via gateways (cryptocurrencies will take the place, fees will go down)

6)Video sales letters! Yep, I said it and I can back it up

7) Internet marketing launches

8) Native Ad networks, no one really wants to see any of that crap. It’s ruined the web surfing experience.

9) Webinars of any kind (notice how hard it is now to get people to attend compared to just 3-4 years ago? There’s a blatant reason why…)

10) TWITTER. Dead.

11) and one last boom, all website creation tools and ALL landing page and funnel builders and services. All of them. DEAD I don’t care how big. They are ALL missing the next shift.

I could go on. The list is very long because the Internet has matured enough that people have developed a sense of normal. This is technology. The personal computer was our first love. The mobile phone is the rebound girlfriend. The coming future tech is the wife.

Above is what Matt said. But he is a crazy guy? Well, this is what Clif High, who has been called one of the smartest men in the world said in a recent video interview:

Google and Facebook may not exist in a few years… as they are steeling from advertisers.

However, we will max these resources now before the world knows about this opportunity, and we will use some high end automated SEO (search engine optimization) tools so people find our pages and get involved. The process will also involve gamification (see related article).

Here’s the best part. Matt already have solutions ready to go for all of the above. The lucky 100 will be attending a one day boot camp training/work day in San Diego on January 20, then work hard until April when the business is launches to US/Canada (and will spread to the entire world after that).

Time is critical to get involved – call me (Neal Walters) at 214-455-8060 (9am to 7pm Central Time USA) if you want to know more.

 

Enriching Learning Environments With the Game Gamification and Cryptocurrencies

Games are an ancient invention. Although their date of origin is unknown, five years ago archaeologists unearthed some 5,000-year old gaming tokens during an excavation in Turkey. You may have heard a recent buzz about a newly coined term with a related theory and tactics, referred to as gamification. It is a method used for taking existing ideas, knowledge, or actions, and integrating them with game mechanics to engage people in gameplay with nongaming contexts. The gamified technique can encourage behavioral changes, such as loyalty or participation, among other things.

There is one application of the method that is gaining popularity with businesses and schools. It is gamifying learning, whether it be for employee onboarding, professional skill improvement, or turning in a homework assignment on time. By gamifying instructional environments, the desired results and learner experiences are worth more with learning made into a game.

What Are the Mechanics of Gamification?

Game mechanics or building blocks of the game, make up essential parts of the game theory. These raw materials are elementary to gamified learning. Game designers efficiently and artfully construct the game with these elements so the players can enjoy the game better when achieving wanted goals and needed results. Below are a few of the building blocks commonly used to gamify the nongaming:

  • Points are single count units of measurements.

  • Badges add positive reinforcement and players earn them after collecting some points.

  • Leaderboards can incorporate the two mechanics above by displaying players in either a descending or climbing order, based on levels and achievements.

  • Challenge is purposeful in motivating players to act and work toward something more significant and great.

  • Constraints, like a deadline, is a game mechanic aimed to encourage self-motivation.

  • Narrative brings players deep inside the story of the game.

Who Are The Players?

It is good for game designers to know the way in which the players approach gameplay. British professor and game researcher, Richard Bartle, created an analysis of player types and the Bartle Test of Psychology. He divides the way people play games into separate categories. Although distinctive from one another, the four different personality types are not rigid. Most of the players have traits assigned to more than one group, but mostly everyone has one characteristic that dominates, thus controlling his or her overall playing approach.

  • Achievers: They care only about ranking, status, and measurable units of achievement. Achievers are quick to tell their peers about their progress and prominently display their collection of earned badges.

  • Explorers: They feel that discovering something new or unveiling secrets of the game is the real prize and not badges.

  • Socializers: They make up the vast majority of players and represent the way about 80 percent of people play games. Socializers enjoy interacting with other players during the game and do not mind joining forces and collaborating if it accomplishes more than playing alone.

  • The Killer: They are like the Achievers, in that they concern themselves with winning and getting as many game credits as possible. However, the thrill for Killers is in seeing other players lose, which is another level of competitiveness.

How is Gamified Learning Different from Game-Based Learning?

Gamification is a concept in which games inspire learning and a nongaming setup, whereas, training that is game-based uses games for the enhancement of study. It is a subtle difference. However, the distinction is that the former uses game mechanics, such as badges, achievements, and awards as a substitute for grades in some cases, and the latter may make use of digital or nondigital games and possible simulations for the students to learn.

Benefits of Gamifying a Learning Environment

Whether in a classroom or office, to gamify an instructional experience can provide advantages that traditional education methods may also do but differently. Some benefits may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Optimization of the brain’s processing and capacity to retain new information.

  • Improved engagement and motivation.

  • Adjustment of the cognitive pleasure and reward center for heightened learning.

  • Strengthened recall and other soft skills.

  • Facilitates better learner engagement.

  • Fosters positive behavior changes.

Examples of a gamified classroom setting, whether it be at the workplace or school, could include the following:

  • Grading backward, starting from zero instead of 100. Credits are added with each submitted assignment or a demonstration of understanding in a particular area, for example, until 100 gets reached. When that happens, the players get badges and have ascension on a leaderboard.

  • Players can use role-play, similar to a video game. It adds learning perspective by having viewpoints from different people with a different relation to a problem when learning a concept. It will also add to the game mechanic, narrative.

Alternatively, the following are examples of ways to gamify an eLearning platform:

  • Players create avatars and go through different simulation challenges which map to specific qualities needed to receive a reward. The scores after each task build up, so the player earns the bonus. High scorers display on a leaderboard.

  • Like above, for this example, players will use avatars. They journey along different learner paths. They must answer a series of questions for various named real-life challenges. The more skillful a player becomes on his or her track, the fewer lifelines or learning aids are accessible, and the more immersive the learning experience becomes for the player.

Gamification may still be fairly new, but different industries are benefiting from its application in online communities, customer relations, and education among other uses. Researchers are steadily conducting studies to see how gamifying influences people’s social behavior, thought processing, loyalty, engagement, and learning. The creative and proper use of game mechanics motivates people to learn more, and it adds value to desirable outcomes of nongaming situations.

Another aspect of gamification involves using cryptocurrencies to reward the learner (customer) for taking micro-actions. For example, if the player/learner finishes 3 lessons per week, they could earn some crypto-token. This could be a rebate on their sales price, or could possible be exchanged for other goods or services

Amazon Coins – Perhaps a predecessor to Amazon’s First Cryptocurrency?

I was looking at the possibility of dumping my cable provider and using only Amazon apps, or YouTube’s new TV service.

What is the difference between HBO-GO and HBO-Now?

I noticed that Amazon has two HBOs apps, HBO Now and HBO Go. HBO Now allows is free to install, but requires you to approve the in-app purchase of the unlimited version for $14.99/month. HBO Go is for user who are already HBO subscribers (such as via their cable company), and wish to watch HBO on their smart TV. HBO Go is also available outside of an amazon as a website, for travelers who want to watch HBO on their laptops or phones.

Yes, Amazon Prime members can buy an HBO channel subscription for $14.99/month. The HBO channel on Amazon Channels gives you unlimited, on-demand access to HBOs current and past programming (the same great content available through HBO GOand HBO NOW).

My first assumption was that one of these apps would have in-app purchases, that would allow you to watch in a pay-per-view mode, but I was wrong.

When I was researching in-app purchases, I discovered that some apps allow you to pay for these with “Amazon Coins” which I found below. When you buy them in lots of 50,000, you save 25%, and there are various discounts for the smaller purchases down to 1% for the smallest purchase of 300.

 

 

So like a cryptocurrency, you can transfer coins to a friend (or perhaps to even pay for something that friend gives you). They don’t have mining of course, but they do say you can earn Amazon Coins when you buy certain eliglbe apps, games and in-app items through the Amazon Appstore.

Amazon Coins work with the Fire-TV and Android, sorry iPhone users.

 

 

 

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