Tag Archives: technology

The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin
a New High

Cannabis has been legalized in numerous states

across the United States. However, the cannabis industry is still plagued with limited access to banking services as traditional banks want to avoid dealing with businesses that engage in business activities that are still largely illegal under federal law. That is where cryptocurrencies could offer a solution.

Due to the loosening of anti-cannabis laws across America, the legal weed retail industry has grown quickly over the years and is expected to keep growing rapidly as more states debate and decide on its legality. Both the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and the District of Columbia, while the medical use of cannabis has also been legalized in an additional 20 states across the US. In late 2016, leading investment bank Cowen and Company published a report on the Cannabis industry titled, “The Cannabis Compendium: Cross-Sector Views on a Budding Industry” which postulates that the industry would grow to $50 billion by the year 2026.

However, because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, most legal dispensaries are having to conduct purely cash-based business, given most banks and other financial institutions will not allow them access to financial services as a result of regulatory constrictions. This leaves weed retailers vulnerable to theft, which criminals have exploited, as evidenced by statistics on dispensary robberies. The blockchain industry is looking to remedy this. Due to the decentralized nature and inherent security of the blockchain, it offers a unique selling proposition as a payments solution for the cannabis industry.

Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

PotCoin was created in 2014 to cater to the needs of the unbanked cannabis industry. The coin works on a proof of stake system with an Annual Percentage Interest (APR) of five percent. The coin also boasts fast processing time with relatively low fees. Though the coin has exhibited steady growth in its three years of existence, there has been a substantial spike in its price this week due to its sponsorship of retired Basketball star and Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea.

According to PotCoin spokesperson Shawn Perez, the main reason for the sponsorship of Rodman’s trip was to support “Dennis Rodman's mission to bring peace to the world." Though the visit does not seem to have any visible ties to the cannabis industry, PotCoin has benefitted from the media attention that has surrounded Rodman’s journey to North Korea. According to Coin Market Cap, the coin has shown over 70 percent growth, from just below $0.10 to $0.17 since the sponsorship was announced.

POSaBIT

Washington-based bitcoin startup POSaBIT has created a financial platform that allows customers at weed retailers to make purchases using their regular credit cards. The platform uses bitcoin as an intermediate payment system. Jon Baugher, co-founder of POSaBIT explained: “There’s no industry – whether it’s the production and sale of cannabis or the production and sale of a cup of coffee – that can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and traditional services. That’s where we thought we could leverage the use of digital currency.” The technology facilitates customers’ quick and easy access to bitcoin at the point of sale who can then use the digital currency anywhere that it is accepted. The platform is already in use by 30 dispensaries in the state of Washington.

The platform is attractive to cash-only merchants who want to accept another form of payment, retailers that want to be seen as more technologically savvy so as to differentiate themselves from the competition, and for small businesses that want to maximize profits by capitalizing on digital currencies’ low transaction fees. The technology is compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations while complying with laws regulating the cannabis trade. Since the platform reduces the reliance on cash as a medium of exchange, it is making dispensaries safer working environments for employees as there is less of an incentive for theft.

SinglePoint and First Bitcoin Capital

Holding company SinglePoint and blockchain technology provider First Bitcoin Capital announced a partnership on June 6. The joint venture agreement aims to create an efficient and workable payments solution for cannabis retailers using blockchain technology. Greg Lambrecht, SinglePoint CEO, explained: "In January 2014 SinglePoint announced and started working on a bitcoin payment solution, shortly after we recognized the issue of minimal user adoption of digital currency. The payments industry has rapidly changed since that time. There is now tremendous momentum and demand for bitcoin acceptance as an alternative form of payment.

This Joint Venture with First Bitcoin Capital is perfect timing. Bitcoin payments are catching on, and cannabis dispensaries need a solution fast." SinglePoint has previously worked with leading companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon on technology integration systems that have allowed for a more robust use of communication technology as a payment solution. The company now hopes to use this experience to create a workable solution for weed retailers.

Greg Rubin of First Bitcoin Capital stated: "We are optimistic that our partnership with SinglePoint will produce positive cash flow to our bottom line. Between the two of our companies, we will have the ability to develop a best in class solution, and SinglePoint will be able to help in distribution. We look forward to providing cutting-edge products and services to all states through the establishment of this new venture." “As with the massive and widespread adoption of Bitcoin worldwide, the two companies will pursue opportunities to leverage their payment technology background and develop a proprietary solution specifically for high-risk payment verticals including the cannabis industry.” the press release adds.

The two companies believe they have found a way for a smooth customer experience at the point of sale at weed dispensaries. Using SinglePoints’ technology integration experience and First Bitcoin Capital’s tech background, the company will create an “all-encompassing payment solution” for the retail cannabis industry. The platform will be easy to integrate into the existing point of sale machinery through a simple download. With the retail cannabis industry set to grow quickly in the coming years and the continuing lack of regulatory support at the federal level, it seems like the industry will have to rely on blockchain technology and digital currencies to facilitate easy trade and to securely store its profits.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Happy (Silver) Anniversary to the World Wide Web

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What a long strange trip it's been to arrive at the Internet of today!  It's hard to imagine it has been 25 years ago, (August 6th 1991), that Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web (WWW), put the first web page online.  It was about the World Wide Web project. You can visit the original website, (actually, more of a web page with hyperlinks), at this address.

http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

Quite primitive by today's standards, but remarkable in it's day. The interconnected vast Internet had quite humble beginnings.  Some would argue that it was actually in 1989 the proposal for html and the first client / server transaction took place. Regardless of the which way you look at it, our world has not been the same since.

It is quite easy for millenials who did not grow up in an analog world to take the Internet for granted.  I think about my grandfather who was born in 1888, and grew up with gas lanterns, no electricity and no cars, how it must have been for him to see man on the moon.  Similarly, this interconnected smart-phone enabled world we now live in is quite remarkable.

Similarly, this interconnected smart-phone enabled world we now live in is really quite remarkable. Sometimes it all seems a little Dick Tracy-like to me, almost to the level of Star Trek technology.

To all those who grew up in the digital age, I advise you to be grateful for those who pioneered this technological age in which we now live. men such as Samual Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Marconi, Tesla, Tim-Berners Leed, Vint Cerf, and countless others who collectively developed and strove to perfect the technology that it is so easy to take for granted today.

Who knows what the Internet will look like in another 25 years?  It stretches the limits of imagination to think of it.

Happy 25th – you old www!

 

John Lombaerde – VP-NJ Markethive

 

Related articles

https://thehackernews.com/2016/08/first-website-ever.html

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Understanding Educational Technology

Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but the trend of learners educating themselves is on a continuous upward movement. The reasons may include freedom to choose, no fear of questions being asked, learning at one's own pace and place, absorbing at one's own capacity and much more. The self-learning trend has been empowered by cutting edge educational technology innovation. social learning and education in technology 

what is social learning

Educational technology has started facilitating learning from the time of Abacus to the current generation e-learning / m-learning. It has gone through multiple changes while adjusting itself to the current generation's demand.

Helping people learn in ways that are easier, faster, surer, or less expensive can be traced back to the emergence of very early tools, such as abacus. The human race has been continuously challenged to educate its next generation in a more effective manner for equipping them to face future challenges. This pursuit of constant upgradations for better learning received a big push with the introduction of computers. In the very early days of computers in education, the University of Illinois initiated a classroom system based in linked computer terminals where students could access informational resources on a particular course while listening to the lectures that were recorded via some form of remotely linked device like a television or audio device, in the year 1960. There was no looking back since then. All kind of experiments started in world renowned universities like Stanford and Harvard for computer assisted teaching. In the mean time in 1971, an influential Austrian philosopher named Ivan Illich published a hugely influential book called, ' Deschooling Society ', in which he envisioned "learning webs" as a model for people to network the learning they needed. Ivan envisioned the power of networked learning way ahead of his time but everyone realizes the power of social / network learning, now.

The invention of World Wide Web in 1990 was the next big thing after computers. After this invention, learning changed radically. Anyone could create text based websites / portals with loads of information / learning material which anyone from any part of the world could read, digest and use. This democratizes the access to any information / learning and its usage. Improved Internet functionality enabled new schemes of communication with multimedia or webcams. Multimedia powered by the internet is slowly proliferating every aspect of learning and quietly disrupting this space. Multimedia content is more fun, more engaging and better to assimilate that text-based content. The other most important aspect is the method of learning which is asynchronous in nature. Asynchronous learning uses technologies such as email, blogs, wikis, and discussion boards, as well as web-supported textbooks, audio-video courses, and social networking using web 2.0 (Web 2.0 describes websites that emphasize user-generated content, usability, and interoperability). Everyone can now realize the impact of all of the above-mentioned technologies in their learning process.

The impact of the mass / social media is the result of a long adaptation process of their communicative resources to the evolutionary changes of each historical moment. Thus, the new media became an extension of the traditional media on the cyberspace, allowing to the public access information in a wide range of digital devices. In other words, it is a cultural virtualization of human reality as a result of the migration from physical to virtual space (mediated by the ICTs), ruled by codes, signs, and particular social relationships, inside and outside the classroom. Forwards, arise instant ways of synchronous and asynchronous communication, interaction and possible quick access to information, in which we are no longer mere senders, but also producers, reproducers, co-workers, and providers. New technologies also help to “connect” people from different cultures outside the virtual space, which was unthinkable fifty years ago. In this giant relationships web, we mutually absorb each other’s beliefs, customs, education, values, laws and habits, cultural legacies perpetuated by a physical-virtual dynamics in constant metamorphosis.

The impact of social media on everyone's learning is undeniable. The National School Boards Association found that 96% of students with online access have used social networking technologies, and more than 50% talk online about schoolwork. Social networking encourages collaboration and engagement and can be a motivational tool for self-efficacy amongst students. Every student has his or her own learning requirements, and a Web 2.0 educational framework can provide enough resources, learning styles, communication tools, and flexibility to accommodate this diversity.

A highly interesting possibility emerges out from all of the above. A combination of Ivan's vision of "learning webs" as a model for people to network the learning they needed, with the need of a Web 2.0 educational framework based on social network and real-time multimedia technologies. Can this combination be a disruptive learning model for the future? Only Time can answer this question.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 6: SSL- Redirect to Mobile Redirect-Problem and Solution

 

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Content-Driven Redirects

  1. Problem

          Content-driven redirects are not required to display a page. These redirects have been added because mobile and                   desktop versions of a given webpage may not display the same content.Thus, some mobile pages are redirected to                 other locations.

          Bottom-line: Content-driven redirects are more of a design issue rather than a technical issue.

       b. Solution

         The use of content-driven redirects should be avoided if possible.The solution here is to utilize responsive web design.            This will ensure that both website versions (mobile and desktop versions) display the same content with no need for a              content-driven redirect.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 5: SSL- Redirect to Mobile Redirect-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Redirect to mobile version

  1. Problem

            When you have a different web address (url) for your mobile pages than you do for your desktop pages, the mobile                 device must somehow get to the mobile version. The way it does so is through a redirect.

           In other words, the mobile redirect is the method in which your mobile page gets displayed.This redirect only occurs                when a different url is utilized for mobile devices versus the desktop version. This redirect does not happen when a                  responsive web design is employed.

 

       b. Solution

         As previously mentioned, a mobile redirect only occurs when a different url is utilized for mobile devices versus the                  desktop version.

         Using responsive web design or dynamic serving will remedy this issue by eliminating the need for separate urls for the          same website (i.e., mobile v. desktop version).

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 4: SSL-Secure Pages Redirect-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

SSL-Secure Pages Redirect

  1. Problem

               Pages that use SSL will often be redirected from the url

              "http://www.example.com" to the secure version of that page at "https://www.example.com"

              This redirect usually occurs when a webmaster uses a site-wide 301 redirect as a simple step to forward all pages to               the secure versions of the page.

       b. Solution

              A redirect exists for SSL sites typically because the webmaster used an "easy fix" of doing a site-wide 301 redirect to               make all traffic forwarded to the secure version of their pages.

             A better option would be to use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) which forces all traffic to use secure pages.                  This means your pages will be more secure and load faster by not using that 301 redirect.

 

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 3: Initial Redirects-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Initial Redirect (Canonical)

 

  1. Problem

Example: The url "www.example.com" and the url "example.com" are actually two different urls even though they typically will have the same content.

One has the "www" and one does not. Oftentimes webmasters will choose one or the other throughout their site (www or no www).To ensure that pages are always using the same version of the url, a site-wide redirect is typically used.

Thus, when typing "google.com" into a browser, the end-result is "www.google.com".

  1. Solution

This type of redirect was typically implemented for SEO purposes.The common logic was to obtain credit for each link given to a page because some people link to the "www" version and some link to the non-version of a page.

As a webmaster, one must decide if this value even still exists and if so, is it worth the redirect?

Google understands pages and sites much better now than it did when this redirect became a common practice and Google even offers you a way via Webmaster Tools to choose which version you prefer (without the redirect).

Take Home Points:

*Regardless, make sure your site-wide redirects are smartly working with other redirects like ssl.

*Do not redirect users to one version of page just to be redirected again to the secure (ssl) version.

*The way to actually review / update / remove it for most webmasters is to go to their htaccess file and find it:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [R=301,NC]

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 2: Consequences of Redirects

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

Consequences of Redirects

In the past, redirects were oftentimes utilized for various reasons (i.e., SSL redirects).  As a result, extremely long redirect chains have occurred. 

The below example illustrates a typical conversation that occurs often on the mobile web. Please note that this conversation has to take place before any of your webpage even begins to be displayed at all:

  1. Mobile device: "Give me http://example.com"
  2. Web server: "http://example.com has been moved to "http://www.example.com"
  3. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "http://www.example.com"
  4. Web server: "http://www.example.com has been moved to "https://www.example.com"
  5. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "https://www.example.com"
  6. Web server: "https://www.example.com has a mobile version at "https://m.example.com"
  7. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "https://m.example.com"
  8. Web server: "https://m.example.com has a better version at "https://m.example.com/better/"
  9. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "https://m.example.com/better/"
  10. Web server: "Okay here is that page"
  11. Mobile device: "I will now start loading the page."

In this scenario, several seconds have passed before the mobile device even starts loading the page. In other words, even if that page loads in less than a second, it would still take several seconds for a user to see that page because of the redirects.

*Note that the above process is just for the html of your page. In some scenarios, this process will occur for every request. Each image, each css file, each JavaScript file, etc. on your page may end up with the same issues if you are not careful about how you are doing things.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

OK, Healthcare Entrepreneurs…Your Turn.  Let’s Resuscitate Your Professional Portfolio

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

In this era of inbound marketing, we are constantly discussing the importance of making sure that the traits and characteristics that are associated with our personal lives are congruent with those that define our professional lives.   Many would refer to this as our “brand,” or that ‘intersection’ of values, traits, & characteristics that are prevalent in both our personal and professional worlds.  

For most, it should be easy to determine another person’s character within a specific period of time of interacting with them.  Having this information combined with a decent understanding of that person’s professional background, would serve as a good starting point for understanding that individual’s brand.

As healthcare professionals, many of us are guilty of what many may call outbound marketing strategies.  When we are applying for jobs or looking to advance our careers, we tend to update our CVs and then jump right into the “applying process” but then we forget to do all the other important things that matter.  These include having a completed LinkedIn profile with updated professional photo and publishing articles (or blogs) that further explain who we are & what we do. 

More specifically, we should consider:

*Establishing ourselves with our potential customer base (i.e., patients, hospitals/healthcare facilities, etc) by making sure we can be easily found online

*Making sure our online professional profiles (think LinkedIn) are congruent with who we are and what our mission (or company’s mission may be (i.e., branding).

*Making sure we have a current, professional photograph that clearly shows our face

*Ensuring that our certifications/credentials are highlighted and current

* Publishing blogs (articles) about our product(s) and how it relates to our potential customer base (i.e., areas of healthcare we practice, our target patient population, what services we offer, etc)

In summary, we must take the time to make ourselves more visible.  Gone are the days when patients and healthcare facilities would solely depend on our state’s medical board or sites like Healthgrades to conduct their due diligence.

They want to be able to do a quick Google search and find us along with our current professional photo, our certifications/qualifications, areas of practice, beliefs, etc so that they can make better choices as informed consumers and stakeholders in healthcare. 

Remember that healthcare, like many other sectors, is rapidly changing and will continue to become more like a “big business.”  This means familiarizing ourselves with inbound marketing strategies while ensuring that our online professional portfolio remains current.

Ultimately, the assumption is that we will build a loyal customer base (i.e., patients/healthcare facility/etc) and if our product (or services) is really great, then they will keep coming back for more and they will tell their friends, colleagues, etc about it. 

Because we took the time to establish credibility and online authority through implementation of the above, we will have accomplished two things:  

  1. positive word-of-mouth references from former patients/employers/healthcare facilities, etc (more subjective); and
  2.  a legitimate online “place” for those who do not yet know who we are (or our business) to easily find us to verify the information (more objective).

 

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

How Being Genuine Can Strengthen You, Your Business, and Your Company

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Recently, I came across an article written by Mamta Chhikara (http://hive.pe/eC), which goes on to list and describe specific qualities that a genuine person possesses:

*They don’t seek attention = Modest

*They’re not concerned with being liked = Confident and Authentic

*They can tell when others are full of it = Intuitive (a good judge of character)

*They are comfortable in their own skin = Self-assured and confident

*They do what they say and say what they mean = Integrity

*They don’t need a lot of stuff = Simplicity

*They’re not thin-skinned = Easy-going

*They’re not overly modest or boastful = Humble

*They’re consistent = Dependable

*They practice what they preach = Genuine, Honest

Always keep these traits in mind not only as business but also as an individual.   As entrepreneurs seeking to gain trust, authority, and a growing customer base, we should always be cognizant of the foundation of inbound marketing, which involves:

*Performing due diligence for you and your company

*Performing due diligence for your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

*Engaging with your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

During the process of engagement, we should always be aware of the above traits of genuineness.  Your future colleagues and customers will be looking for these traits and will likely have the following thoughts/concerns:

*They want to know if you are confident in your company and/or product.

*They will likely be more concerned about the content/effectiveness of your product and/or character more than shiny “bells and whistles.”

*You should be able to eliminate illegitimate leads or potential colleagues within minutes of engaging

*Your customers and your colleagues want to see that not only do you use the product in question, but also that you use the product well and are able to demonstrate the product’s effectiveness to your colleagues and potential customers

*Most of us can eventually “smell” an inferior product or individual within a short period of time.  A usual warning sign is too many “bells and whistles.”  Simplicity is the name of the game.  If it’s too complicated or if it feels like the product (or individual) is too flashy, then it may be perceived as ineffective or disingenuous.

*Your customers and colleagues want to know that they can reach you during tough times or emergent situations.  Are you easily accessible via multiple modalities of communication (i.e., phone, text, email, Skype, etc)?

Now, I am not one who typically needs validation in anything that pertains to who I am as a person but I felt markedly refreshed after reading this article.  Am I a genuine person?  Hell yes!  

Depending upon where you are or whom you are conversing with, we may describe a genuine person as either "the real deal" or "being real."  If you are a fan of Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, then you are already familiar with his catch phrase "Keep It 100."  It's the same concept and I believe being genuine is parallel with having integrity as well as the other above traits.  

Not only does a genuine & authentic person display his authentic self at all times (obviously with some adjustment for discretionary purposes), but he also "says what he does and does what he says."  He is honest about who he is and his actions reflect his character regardless of the setting.  

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member