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The metaverse "is already here" and will give cryptocurrencies the opportunity to make it better, a Solana co-founder says

The metaverse will give cryptocurrencies a chance to wipe out "broken" business models like internet ad platforms, a Solana co-founder said. Anatoly YakovenkoAnatoly Yakovenko The metaverse will give cryptocurrencies a chance to wipe out "broken" business models like internet ad platforms, a Solana co-founder said. Anatoly Yakovenko told Insider in an interview believed crypto could make the metaverse better and change how companies use data. Many high-profile investors believe the metaverse could become a trillion-dollar opportunity. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. The metaverse is booming in popularity. Investors are snapping up plots of virtual land and digital luxury items, while companies and sports teams are piling in too. Last week, 4 metaverse projects sold $106 million in virtual land, according to DappRadar.  Sandbox, a gaming platform, racked up $86.56 million in digital land sales, while Decentraland recorded $15.53 million in sales of virtual real estate.While it might feel like this next stage in the evolution of the internet is only just getting started, for Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko, it's already a reality and one that cryptocurrencies can help improve. "The metaverse is already here. It's just kind of in this low fidelity, low resolution state," he told Insider in a recent interview.The metaverse refers to virtual worlds where users can do anything from create and play games, to owning property, buying and selling digital assets, trading cryptocurrencies or even breeding digital animals. Yakovenko co-founded Solana with Raj Gokal in March 2020. The solana protocol is similar to larger rival ethereum, in that it boasts the same decentralized finance capabilities, such as hosting smart contracts, and can also run non-fungible tokens, but it does so at greater speed and lower cost than its bigger competitor.Both Sandbox and Decentraland, two of the more developed metaverses, run on ethereum, for example.Developers in the crypto space are looking for a metaverse that they can own and build a business on. Yakovenko said that developers that understand the nuance of how this all works will build tools for content creators so they can have "their own virtual experiences." "Once that happens, it's not going to be like a single metaverse Sandbox, it is going to be a bunch of small ones that all kind of work together and a bunch of experiences," Yakovenko said. He believes one of the big advantages of having more activity take place within the metaverse is the virtual world won't present the same kind of challenges with handling user data and privacy as social media platforms or search engines face right now.It also could offer cryptocurrencies the chance to break some of Big Tech's hold on that space, Yakovenko said. "I think the opportunity for crypto is to make (the metaverse) better in the sense that the kind of business models that exist on the web right now are broken,"  he said."Companies that control the market that steal your data, sell it to advertisers, feed you information that you don't want and try to force you to consume it, that loop sucks," he added.The likes of Sandbox, Decentraland and play-to-earn platform Axie Infinity have their own crypto tokens that users need to purchase virtual items or that they can receive as rewards. Decentraland's mana token has gained over 16,000% this year, while Sandbox's sand token has risen around 5,400% and Axie's axs token has gained over 25,000%. Many high-profile investors, like digital asset manager Grayscale and disruptive technology investor Cathie Wood, believe the metaverse could become a trillion-dollar opportunity. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 5th, 2021

Jefferies predicts the metaverse will be the biggest disruption to how we live ever seen, as Wall Street gets excited about virtual worlds

Wall Street analysts are getting excited about the metaverse, even though no one knows what it'll look like. A map of land in The Sandbox metaverse.The Sandbox The metaverse will cause the biggest disruption to human life ever seen, and investors need to be ready, Jefferies said. Wall Street banks are increasingly excited about the metaverse — a catch-all term for various virtual worlds. Yet institutions need to guess what it will look like, which makes investing wisely difficult. Jefferies has said the metaverse will be the biggest disruption to how we live ever seen, as Wall Street bankers warm to the idea of virtual worlds and economies.Investors need to be thinking about the metaverse as akin to the internet in its early days, according to the firm's analysts."A single metaverse could be more than a decade away, but as it evolves, it has the potential to disrupt almost everything in human life," the analysts, led by equity strategist Simon Powell, wrote in a Monday note."The pandemic accelerated the adoption of various technologies ... This shift to an online world will continue."The term "metaverse" refers to various virtual worlds, where users in the form of avatars can play games, work, build things, and watch live events.Powell said investors should concentrate initially on the hardware needed to help create the metaverse from the internet; then look at the software that will host it; and then focus on the businesses that will be intimately involved in it.Jefferies' enthusiastic note is the latest sign of big institutions scrambling to position themselves to make money from the technology, which could become a major feature of peoples' lives.In some metaverses, people can earn cryptocurrency and trade crypto collectibles known as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. Virtual land has been selling fast in Decentraland, while a plot in The Sandbox went for $4.3 million.The decision by social-media giant Facebook to change its corporate name to Meta and direct its firepower toward building a metaverse made many investors realize virtual worlds could be the next big thing."Facebook came in and changed the name [to] Meta ... and then we saw investor sentiment changing fast," Haim Israel, equity strategist at Bank of America, told Insider."Investors' interest, market interest is really high right now," he added.Morgan Stanley is one of many big banks excited about the prospects. Its analysts published a note in November calling the metaverse "the next big theme" in investing."It can fundamentally change the medium through which we socialise with others, watch music performances, engage with fashion brands, learn and/or speculate on digital assets such as NFTs or in-game skins," they said.Read more: 4 star stock pickers from Baillie Gifford have collectively returned 356% to investors in the last 5 years with major bets. Here's their outlook on the metaverse, play-to-earn games — and their thesis on 8 high conviction stock ideasHowever, it's far from clear what shape the metaverse is going to take — and that could pose a problem for investors.Skeptics argue that virtual worlds have been around for years. They say previous metaverse-like technologies, such as virtual-reality headsets, have proved to be disappointing flops.Raj Gokal, a co-founder of the solana crypto network, has called the metaverse "overhyped," given that few products have been released yet.But the Jefferies analysts said gaming is likely to be the biggest sectoral winner in the coming years, as millions of Gen Zs and Millennials are already getting into metaverse-like games such as Roblox.The investment bank reckons blockchain technology will play a big part in the metaverse, and so it recommends looking at crypto companies like Coinbase.BofA's Israel told Insider that he thinks the metaverse will be a "massive, massive opportunity" for the crypto ecosystem. He predicted that these virtual worlds will be where "we're going to start using cryptocurrencies as currencies."Read more: More than $100 million of metaverse land was sold in the last week alone. The co-founder of a virtual real estate company breaks down why the opportunity in digital properties could rise ​200x in 16 months.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 7th, 2021

Believe Web 3.0 is the Next Internet Revolution? Watch These 3 Stocks

Based on blockchain technology, Web 3.0 holds the potential to revolutionize the Internet world. Here we discuss three blockchain technology providing stock that people can consider to have exposure in the future of the web. After the metaverse popularity, Web 3.0 — is the new buzzword taking over the Internet world. Also known as the decentralized web, Web 3.0 is the third version of the Internet, which is an improvement over the current Web 2.0 Internet.Under Web 2.0, Internet has become more social. Under this stage, Internet users have been encouraged to connect with each other through social networking services and blogs, which has been leading to the creation of massive volumes of data and content.However, these data and contents are largely controlled by a small group of tech giants including, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and Google in the current Web 2.0 stage. This is creating privacy issues and users may think that they have lost their freedom over their personal, business or financial data as one has to accept all the terms and conditions to use the Internet services offered by these companies.Furthermore, social media sites have implemented stricter norms for which types of content or posts will be accepted on their platforms. This has created controversy over free speech.Web 3.0 is anticipated to help overcome this problem as it is expected to be a decentralized version of the Internet where people have control over their data. The third version of the internet will have more transparency and boast massive content that will be accessible to all.Additionally, Web 3.0 is believed to be more user-specific, which will ensure data security and privacy while avoiding the risk of Internet hacking.Ride With Web 3.0 TrendWeb 2.0 has made several billionaires including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Twitter’s Jack Patrick Dorsey. Also, the success of Web 2.0 companies has provided investors the opportunity to make significant money through equity investment.However, if you missed the Web 2.0 takeoff, Web 3.0 could be a chance to make up for it. Currently, the companies that are running their businesses on the Web 3.0 model are mostly private startups. These companies are working on developing financial and social media platforms. Some companies are developing payment platforms while there are those that are building games on 3.0 business models.Nonetheless, there are several publicly listed companies, which can give you exposure to Web 3.0. To get exposure in this space, investors have to look for stocks that have blockchain technology-related business.Blockchain Technology Behind Web 3.0Web 3.0 is being built on blockchain technology.Blockchain is an electronic distributed ledger. Distributed ledgers provide a digital record (such as asset ownership) that is maintained without a central authority. It is relatively faster in closing a transaction as the need for manual processing and authentication by intermediaries is eliminated as it deploys a distributed consensus.Moreover, as blockchain uses distributed consensus, it isn't easy to alter data on the system without alerting the entire network. This makes the system extremely secure.It should be noted that blockchain is the technology behind many major cryptocurrencies and also non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”).Therefore, based on blockchain technology, Web 3.0 holds the potential to revolutionize the Internet world. The concept promises to provide peer-to-peer internet services with no single authority, thereby offering users to have more control over their data.On that note, here we discuss three blockchain technology providing stocks that people can consider to have exposure in the future of the web.Three Stocks That Give Exposure to Web 3.0Microsoft MSFT: Its endeavors with blockchain technology are noteworthy. The company’s Azure Blockchain Service is a fully-managed ledger service that provides support for the Ethereum Quorum ledger utilizing the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance (IBFT) consensus mechanism.Last year, Microsoft and Ernst & Young LLP announced the expansion of the former’s blockchain-based solution for gaming rights and royalty management.Moreover, in March 2021, Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity team launched the ION Decentralized Identifier (DID) network on the Bitcoin mainnet. The network uses bitcoin’s blockchain to create digital IDs for authenticating identity online.Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s fiscal 2022 earnings has been revised upward by a penny in 30 days’ time to $9.13 per share. MSFT stock has rallied 52.5% year-to-date (YTD).Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchNVIDIA Corporation NVDA: It has solutions for next-generation technology including artificial intelligence, the internet of things, cloud computing and deep machine learning. NVIDIA’s graphics processing units (GPUs) and advanced chips are essential for running highly complex algorithms and boosting computing power, essential for blockchain technology to work.This Zacks Rank #2 company is benefiting from strong demand for mining cryptocurrencies. NVIDIA has launched Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP), a product line for professional mining. CMPs enable improved airflow while mining and also have a lower peak core voltage and frequency, which improve mining power efficiency. NVIDIA has generated revenues worth $526 million from the product line since its availability.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its fiscal 2022 earnings stands at $4.33 per share, having moved north by 4.6% over the past 60 days. NVDA stock has gained 126.6% YTD.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIntel Corporation INTC: The company is continuously working on providing foundational technology that can enable and enhance blockchain solutions. With its Sawtooth blockchain platform, Intel offers data protection, access to information from open sources and a virtually un-hackable ledger, thereby creating efficient and trustworthy environments for businesses to operate.Intel carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2021 earnings has been revised upward by 10.2% in 90 days’ time to $5.28 per share. INTC stock has gained 3.8% YTD.Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Intel Corporation (INTC): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 2nd, 2022

NFTs are the early stage of a social network that doesn"t rely on ads or "poison marketplaces" to bring communities together, Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko says

Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko said he believes non-fungible tokens were at the beginning of their social network journey. Anatoly YakovenkoSolana Anatoly Yakovenko, who co-founded Solana, says NFTs are essentially self-monetizing social networks. Yakovenko said NFT communities did not rely on "poison marketplaces" to make money.  Experts have said NFT communities grow thanks in large part to word of mouth. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Non-fungible tokens might be all the rage right now, but they're in fact the early foundations the social networks of the future, according to Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko.NFTs are often sold as part of a collection, or come as part of a play-to-earn gaming platform, linking up owners all over the world. The sense of community is built in from the get-go and requires no external involvement."I think these are the early starts of true web social networks that do not rely on ads for monetization that don't rely on Google or Facebook to function," Yakovenko told Insider in a recent interview. "They are purely these digital communities that can monetize/self monetize from their own content without the need of any of these external poison marketplaces," he said. Yakovenko is a long-time critic of some of the advertising and data-privacy strategies of larger social platforms such as Facebook or Google.Hype around the metaverse, a virtual reality where people can buy land, homes, luxury items that they pay for in cryptocurrency, helped make NFTs November's best performing digital assets.In the past week alone, a whopping $275.5 million worth of NFTs have been sold, according to Non Fungible data, thanks in part to rockstars' avatars hanging out in the likes of Decentraland or the Sandbox with those of ordinary people, as well as digital art sales from the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks NFT collections. Community-based NFTs often bring perks to their members too.The solana blockchain is a smaller rival to the ethereum network. It too can host decentralized finance applications, like smart contracts, as well as run NFTs, which are unique digital tokens that represent a real-world piece of content, such as artwork, music or video. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they can't be exchanged like for like, making them a kind of digital collector's item.Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics platform, says the success of NFTs is a result of "community and word of mouth growth". They certainly appeal to communities such as celebrity fan bases. K-pop idol band BTS, pop star Katy Perry, along with fashion houses Burberry and Louis Vuitton are just some of the names that have dived into the NFT space. TikTok, a video-sharing social media platform, launched its own NFT collection in October. Snoop Dog even has his own metaverse called the Snoopverse and a fan coughed up $450,000 for a plot of virtual land to be the rapper's neighbor. Even with all the glitz and glamour around NFTs, they're mainly something ordinary people will own. 80% of all NFT transfers between January and October this year involved people that spent less than $10,000 per transaction. "I am really excited to see an NFT community go from - 10,000 people to 100,000 and then a million and then 100 million - that's unbelievable, right?" Yakovenko said. "What does that look like when there's 100 million people that are all in - the same community that is driven by this digital content?" he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 12th, 2021

Facing The Chasm: The Future Of Bitcoin And The Metaverse

Facing The Chasm: The Future Of Bitcoin And The Metaverse Authored by Sebastian Bunney via BitcoinMagazine.com, Bitcoin will play a pivotal role in the transfer of information from the physical realm to the digital... We tend to think of the world as the past, present and future, and as these distinguished moments in time. However, we intuitively know that this is not the case. Instead, we are always in a state of flux, this slow progressive evolution in order to suit humanity’s growing needs, knowledge and demands. However, with change comes adjustment, and what we are facing right now is an adjustment to the digital realm, the world of Bitcoin and our digital identity: a crossing of the chasm, a state of change away from the physical realm of traditional finance, legacy structures and the world as we know it. This article is meant to highlight some of these critical hurdles brought up by Raoul Pal and Robert Breedlove in an effort to get the collective consciousness thinking about how we can transition to this digital realm with minimal volatility and entropy. WHERE DO WE START? One thing Raoul and Breedlove bring up many times throughout the talk is the metaverse. Therefore, let’s first ensure we are on the same page when it comes to the metaverse. We often hear the metaverse is the future; however, what most deep down the rabbit hole may argue is that the metaverse has been blossoming into existence since the birth of the internet. However, we are only just starting to define it now. Let’s go deeper ... Most of us tend to interpret the metaverse as this digital environment where we hang out in a virtual world- the world Mark Zuckerberg is pushing with his Facebook ads, i.e., Meta. But, I would argue that the metaverse is not this virtual world that it is made out to be, but rather a digital interface to one’s digital self. It is our digital identity where we interact with our online social community, manage our digital possessions and store our digital wealth, to name a few aspects which are currently easy to identify. With that being said, this osmosis into the metaverse is not a movement of people away from the physical world into the digital world, but rather a transfer of wealth and identity from the physical realm to the digital realm. Although many people already do and will continue to spend time in digital worlds in video games and social platforms, most of us will still very much be rooted in the physical world for the time being. Building on this idea, what will happen to physical assets? An asset’s value is subjective and is worth something usually because it provides value to us in some way or another. At the moment, our physical assets offer greater perceived value than our digital assets. This explains the discrepancy between the value of physical versus digital assets globally, e.g., real estate is worth over $300 trillion while the complete cryptocurrency market cap sits at $2.5 trillion (recently as high as $3 trillion). The question now is, how does this value shift over into the metaverse? This, I believe, is a demographic shift. As our population ages, those in earlier generations with limited exposure to the digital realm (i.e., digital identity, digital assets or digital possessions), will slowly bequeath their wealth to their offspring, which will find greater value as technology evolves in the metaverse. However, it should be noted that you will find utility and value in different areas and offerings within the metaverse depending on your age, values, interests, gender and location. Some people may choose to stay primarily in the physical world if the metaverse doesn’t seem to provide ample value to them. Others may dive in headfirst. Where are we now? We are currently in a state of limbo, one toe in the digital plane and the rest of the body out. Most of us have exposure to the metaverse when it comes to our digital identity, but only a handful of us find greater value in digital assets over physical assets, although this is quickly changing. However, as we see greater adoption, we will also encounter greater hurdles (technological, political, financial etc.). Taking this into account, this shift towards the metaverse isn’t something that will happen overnight. As previously mentioned, it is a generational demographic shift that has been underway since the invention of the internet. The transition from handwritten letters to email and social media was just the start. Now we should continue to see the transition of wealth, jobs, and identities to the digital plane. When can we safely say the metaverse is our reality? Just like inflation impacts everyone differently, as it is dependent on your consumption habits, what you classify as the metaverse is unique to you. There are many ways to measure your presence in the metaverse, i.e., by time, wealth, reputation, interests, job, hobbies or knowledge. With that in mind, some people may argue that we are already in the metaverse due to the amount of time we spend engrossed in technology. On the other hand, others may say we haven’t reached that inflection point just yet, or that the metaverse will become our reality when: We spend more time connected to the digital realm than the physical realm When digital wealth surpasses physical wealth When we’re able to vote for our politicians in this digital world When the majority of jobs are in the digital plane When we can digitally upload one’s consciousness ...and some will say the metaverse will never become our reality. My personal belief is that the metaverse is supplemental to our physical existence, and it is not one or the other. The metaverse eases our physical existence by dematerializing our limitations and constraints, such as distance, time, aging, wealth, connection, etc. However, there is and will continue to be an abundance of value in the physical world. But ultimately, this decision of whether we are or aren’t or what is versus what isn’t the metaverse is not for me to decide. I’ll pass that one onto you. Opinions aside, although the definition of what constitutes the metaverse may be subjective, what's not so subjective is that we are and will continue to face hurdles as we see greater adoption. THE CHASM Every new technology has to “cross the chasm” to reach mainstream adoption (the chasm is detailed in the image above). During this crossing of the chasm, we see creative destruction take hold, where legacy systems collapse and new technology changes the way we interact with the world. All new technology has some form of disruption. It’s just that some technology is more disruptive than others. Source With the introduction of the digital camera, we witnessed the dismantling and disruption of the traditional film market. But from this, we saw the boon of photography and documentation. However, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, we have only just started to scratch the surface of what is possible. Here is an example of some of the sectors this new technology has the potential to disrupt: The financial system (banking, remittances, micropayments, credit markets, to name a few) Social media and digital interaction The internet (our digital footprint) Voting Insurance From everything mentioned so far, it should be evident that we are in the middle of a major global state change, a transfer of identity, wealth, possessions and interactions from the physical realm into the digital realm. As Raoul and Robert eloquently explain, with this state of change in place, we have to overcome some major hurdles. We need to ensure we are heading in the right direction collectively. Therefore, we should ask ourselves, how do we get there safely, without a consolidation of power or the crippling of our economy? These are a few key questions we have to figure out before conquering the chasm of adoption. Let’s touch on a few key hurdles we have to face: TRANSACTION If an asset, such as bitcoin, is our primary currency and store of value and it is wildly outperforming the majority of other investment opportunities, then we will be disincentivized to transact and spend with it. Yes, there will be occasions here and there, but in general, the majority of the world we know will be starved of capital. This will push central banks to intervene and over-regulate in order to stop this capital flight from traditional assets to digital assets, but in doing so, it’ll only lock people into our failing system, delaying the inevitable and amplifying its negative effects down the line. Eventually, if we can predominately move across into the digital realm, this problem of capital flight will be solved. At this point, bitcoin will reach market saturation, similar to gold today, where it protects purchasing power but is no longer an asymmetric bet on technology and a failure of the current system. But in the interim, how do we take advantage of bitcoin’s positive properties while also promoting the exchange of bitcoin between one another? TAXATION In the short term, if we were to see a seismic shift of capital away from traditional assets and into digital assets, this starvation of capital from traditional assets would create sizable losses. Suppose traditional assets start facing major losses, while at the same time, there is a lack of transacting in digital assets, creating a reduction in realized gains; then we’d have a problem on our hands. We could see a significant decrease in capital gain revenue and an increase in capital losses, further eroding the tax base. This could push policymakers to implement overbearing regulation, resulting in measures such as taxation on unrealized gains. This would stifle the prosperity in the metaverse and limit the transition of individuals to the digital realm. In the long term, if we embrace a currency such as bitcoin as a legal tender: 1. The government will no longer receive capital gains tax from any appreciation in the value of bitcoin. This would be in line with the fact that a country’s legal tender is not subject to taxation if/when it appreciates/depreciates. 2. We live in an inherently deflationary world, whereby technological advancement allows us to get more for less. Over time this advancement increases productivity and efficiency, causing the cost of goods, services and assets to decline slowly. However, this is only possible under a currency with a fixed money supply (such as bitcoin). The lack of monetary expansion causing dilution would allow the currency to capture these technological gains. This may sound positive; however over time, most assets may decline in price, resulting in increased capital losses, reducing tax revenue. With that being said, one could argue that by adopting a currency such as bitcoin, the government will no longer be spending in a currency that loses purchasing power one day to the next. Therefore, all tax revenue will go further, making up for this reduction in tax revenue. If that is the case, then this may all come out in the wash. However, we should still be conscious of these potential taxation issues. With that in mind, how do we ensure that assets such as bitcoin are taxed appropriately, but as not to restrict their potential as a solution to our fragile system? And, how do we take into account an increase in capital losses? SUPPORT We are in the middle of one of the biggest revolutions in human history, and alongside this revolution, we face an assortment of immense deflationary forces such as: Demographics (an aging population with limited purchasing power) Our major debt burden consuming productive capital Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robots consuming jobs Competition in the workforce due to overcrowding of what jobs remain Currency debasement, destroying our purchasing power Monetary intervention suppressing interest rates and traditional asset returns Capital flight into the digital realm putting strain on the traditional system As these forces become more pervasive, it becomes harder and harder for the lower- and middle-income segments of the population to survive. This is a big issue! The majority of the population is under immense pressure as they are being squeezed from all angles. How do we give them a voice, meet their needs and stop them from revolting? One potential option Raoul proposes is embracing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), allowing easier implementation of fiscal stimulus such as universal basic income (UBI). By doing so, we could redirect the flow of the capital away from asset owners and into the hands of the most at-risk individuals. This will aid in bridging the gap between the physical and the digital realm for the lower- and middle-wealth percentiles, allowing them to support themselves as these deflationary pressures take hold. My worry with this view is that CBDCs have the potential to give governments globally immense power and control. If this power is used in the ways mentioned above, then I am all for it. However, if CBDCs are used with the interests of the few in mind, this will only further consolidate wealth and power and could potentially end this utopian decentralized vision of the metaverse. Therefore, is there a way to implement CBDCs but somehow define the boundaries for which they can be used, preventing misuse and the centralization of power? However, regardless of which route we chose to bridge the chasm, Raoul does bring up a good point: if we are able to transition over to a decentralized metaverse and democratize this incredible technological boon in productivity and innovation, then we may be able to implement a natural form of UBI, where we could monetize our own digital identity. Although this is currently not possible, as our online corporations’ current structure is to capitalize off of our data by monetizing our every move, a decentralized metaverse shifts this power and revenue generation into the hands of the user. DECENTRALIZATION As technology advances, we are and will continue to see robots and AI replacing our jobs. Additionally, as energy costs slowly trend to near zero, we should see the cost of living slowly decline. Adding in the fact that we are witnessing a giant demographic shift where people have fewer children due to the costly environment we live in, this should cause gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to skyrocket. This could mean we are about to face one of the most productive periods in human history. However, with costs slowly working their way to near zero and jobs being replaced by technology, resulting in more time on our hands, will this considerable increase in productivity bring about: 1. A decentralized open-source world where we push for equality of opportunity and where technology is shared freely? If so, this could result in a renaissance period with a focus on culture, art, and science leading to immense prosperity, innovation, and growth; Or, 2. A darker, more centralized productivity boon where the vast majority of the patents pertaining to this powerful technology that now governs our lives is under the control of a few key players? In this case, we would most likely see significant poverty and some of humanity’s more challenging times ahead due to the centralization of power and wealth. On top of all that, we are currently seeing major global exploitation of our digital identities. Not only are we seeing our online data being used in for-profit activities, but we are also seeing targeted media leading to psychological manipulation allowing these large monopolistic entities to sway the population. Unfortunately, with everything mentioned above, the free market isn’t going to solve these hurdles we face in the way we want. It is going to solve them with the total accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few. Therefore, what can we do to ensure this powerful technology of the future is in the hands of the people while also promoting the continuation of free markets? With all that being said, how we approach these tough questions will define our future. Will crossing the chasm result in a: a) Decentralized Metaverse? This would be a bright future where creative destruction is encouraged: Where there is a dispersion of power within a decentralized metaverse, brought about by rules and regulations that prevent the destruction and manipulation of the free markets, all while suppressing the overbearing powers of monopolies that asphyxiate competition. It should be noted that we may still have nation-state fiat currencies, but globally, we’d embrace an immutable decentralized asset as our world reserve currency. This would lower the cost of living and democratize technology and finance, reducing wealth inequality. But more importantly, it would restrict the centralization of power with a technology that complements our deflationary world. b) Centralized Metaverse? This would look similar to the current state of play, where a handful of large corporations have overwhelming control over our data and access to vast sums of capital, allowing them to lobby, protect their interests, and influence politics. In addition to the suppression of creative destruction, will we follow in China’s footsteps and see the rise of CBDCs and social credit scores? This would give the government unfettered access to all our personal data, laying the foundation for the destruction of free markets and suppression of capital flows into any technology that poses a threat to the government’s power. Or will we walk the middle ground just like we have done many times throughout history, experiencing a give-and-take between centralization and decentralization? CONCLUSION We tend to think that when new technologies, — such as Bitcoin and the metaverse — appear, we all jump on board, and everything is hunky-dory. However, the reality is, if certain events had not happened the way they did, we might not have many of the innovations and advancements we see today. These technologies don’t just appear. They are years in the making, a culmination of previous technological progress and human endeavours. They emerge from our experiences, needs and desires, and they are a byproduct of decisions we made ten, fifty, one hundred years ago. With this in mind, coming together as a collective, and understanding the unintended consequences of our choices will help guide us in making more efficient and productive decisions for the future. The future is bright … if we make it. Tyler Durden Mon, 12/06/2021 - 20:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 7th, 2021

America"s Woke Colleges Can"t Be Salvaged. We Need New Ones

America's Woke Colleges Can't Be Salvaged. We Need New Ones Authored by Niall Ferguson, op-ed via Bloomberg.com, I'm Helping to Start a New College Because Higher Ed Is Broken If you enjoyed Netflix’s “The Chair” - a lighthearted depiction of a crisis-prone English Department at an imaginary Ivy League college - you are clearly not in higher education. Something is rotten in the state of academia and it’s no laughing matter.   Grade inflation. Spiraling costs. Corruption and racial discrimination in admissions. Junk content (“Grievance Studies”) published in risible journals. Above all, the erosion of academic freedom and the ascendancy of an illiberal “successor ideology” known to its critics as wokeism, which manifests itself as career-ending “cancelations” and speaker disinvitations, but less visibly generates a pervasive climate of anxiety and self-censorship. Some say that universities are so rotten that the institution itself should simply be abandoned and replaced with an online alternative — a metaversity perhaps, to go with the metaverse. I disagree. I have long been skeptical that online courses and content can be anything other than supplementary to the traditional real-time, real-space college experience. However, having taught at several, including Cambridge, Oxford, New York University and Harvard, I have also come to doubt that the existing universities can be swiftly cured of their current pathologies. That is why this week I am one of a group of people announcing the founding of a new university — indeed, a new kind of university: the University of Austin. The founders of this university are a diverse group in terms of our backgrounds and our experiences (though doubtless not diverse enough for some). Our political views also differ. To quote our founding president, Pano Kanelos, “What unites us is a common dismay at the state of modern academia and a belief that it is time for something new.” There is no need to imagine a mythical golden age. The original universities were religious institutions, as committed to orthodoxy and as hostile to heresy as today’s woke seminaries. In the wake of the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution, scholars gradually became less like clergymen; but until the 20th century their students were essentially gentlemen, who owed their admission as much to inherited status as to intellectual ability. Many of the great intellectual breakthroughs of the Enlightenment were achieved off campus. Only from the 19th century did academia become truly secularized and professional, with the decline of religious requirements, the rise to pre-eminence of the natural sciences, the spread of the German system of academic promotion (from doctorate up in steps to full professorship), and the proliferation of scholarly journals based on peer-review. Yet the same German universities that led the world in so many fields around 1900 became enthusiastic helpmeets of the Nazis in ways that revealed the perils of an amoral scholarship decoupled from Christian ethics and too closely connected to the state. Even the institutions with the most sustained records of excellence — Oxford and Cambridge — have had prolonged periods of torpor. F.M. Cornford could mock the inherent conservatism of Oxbridge politics in his “Microcosmographia Academica” in 1908. When Malcolm Bradbury wrote his satirical novel “The History Man” in 1975, universities everywhere were still predominantly white, male and middle class. The process whereby a college education became more widely available — to women, to the working class, to racial minorities — has been slow and remains incomplete. Meanwhile, there have been complaints about the adverse consequences of this process in American universities since Allan Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind,” which was published back in 1987. Nevertheless, much had been achieved by the later years of the 20th century. There was a general agreement that the central purpose of a university was the pursuit of truth — think only of Harvard’s stark Latin motto: Veritas — and that the crucial means to that end were freedom of conscience, thought, speech and publication. There was supposed to be no discrimination in admissions, examinations and academic appointments, other than on the basis of intellectual merit. That was crucial to enabling Jews and other minority groups to take full advantage of their intellectual potential. It was understood that professors were awarded tenure principally to preserve academic freedom so that they might “dare to think” — Immanuel Kant’s other great imperative, Sapere aude! — without fear of being fired. The benefits of all this defy quantification. A huge proportion of the major scientific breakthroughs of the past century were made by men and women whose academic jobs gave them economic security and a supportive community in which to do their best work. Would the democracies have won the world wars and the Cold War without the contributions of their universities? It seems doubtful. Think only of Bletchley Park and the Manhattan Project. Sure, the Ivy League’s best and brightest also gave us the Vietnam War. But remember, too, that there were more university-based computers on the Arpanet — the original internet — than any other kind. No Stanford, no Silicon Valley. Those of us who were fortunate to be undergraduates in the 1980s remember the exhilarating combination of intellectual freedom and ambition to which all this gave rise. Yet, in the past decade, exhilaration has been replaced by suffocation, to the point that I feel genuinely sorry for today’s undergraduates. In Heterodox Academy’s 2020 Campus Expression Survey, 62% of sampled college students agreed that the climate on their campus prevented them from saying things they believed, up from 55% in 2019, while 41% were reluctant to discuss politics in a classroom, up from 32% in 2019. Some 60% of students said they were reluctant to speak up in class because they were concerned other students would criticize their views as being offensive. Such anxieties are far from groundless. According to a nationwide survey of a thousand undergraduates by the Challey Institute for Global Innovation, 85% of self-described liberal students would report a professor to the university if the professor said something that they found offensive, while 76% would report another student. In a study published in March entitled “Academic Freedom in Crisis: Punishment, Political Discrimination and Self-Censorship,” the Centre for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology showed that academic freedom is under attack not only in the U.S., but also in the U.K. and Canada. Three-quarters of conservative American and British academics in the social sciences and humanities said there is a hostile climate for their beliefs in their department. This compares to just 5% among left-wing faculty in the U.S. Again, one can understand why. Younger academics are especially likely to support dismissal of a colleague who has made some heretical utterance, with 40% of American social sciences and humanities professors under the age of 40 supporting at least one of four hypothetical dismissal campaigns. Ph.D. students are even more intolerant than other young academics: 55% of American Ph.D. students under 40 supported at least one hypothetical dismissal campaign. “High-profile deplatformings and dismissals” get the attention, the authors of the report conclude, but “far more pervasive threats to academic freedom stem … from fears of a) cancellation — threats to one’s job or reputation — and b) political discrimination.” These are not unfounded fears. The number of scholars targeted for their speech has risen dramatically since 2015, according to research by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE has logged 426 incidents since 2015. Just under three-quarters of them resulted in some kind of sanction — including an investigation alone or voluntary resignation — against the scholar. Such efforts to restrict free speech usually originate with “progressive” student groups, but often find support from left-leaning faculty members and are encouraged by college administrators, who tend (as Sam Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College demonstrated, and as his own subsequent experience confirmed) to be even further to the left than professors. There are also attacks on academic freedom from the right, which FIRE challenges. With a growing number of Republicans calling for bans on critical race theory, I fear the illiberalism is metastasizing. Trigger warnings. Safe spaces. Preferred pronouns. Checked privileges. Microaggressions. Antiracism. All these terms are routinely deployed on campuses throughout the English-speaking world as part of a sustained campaign to impose ideological conformity in the name of diversity. As a result, it often feels as if there is less free speech and free thought in the American university today than in almost any other institution in the U.S. To the historian’s eyes, there is something unpleasantly familiar about the patterns of behavior that have, in a matter of a few years, become normal on many campuses. The chanting of slogans. The brandishing of placards. The letters informing on colleagues and classmates. The denunciations of professors to the authorities. The lack of due process. The cancelations. The rehabilitations following abject confessions. The officiousness of unaccountable bureaucrats. Any student of the totalitarian regimes of the mid-20th century recognizes all this with astonishment. It turns out that it can happen in a free society, too, if institutions and individuals who claim to be liberal choose to behave in an entirely illiberal fashion.  How to explain this rapid descent of academia from a culture of free inquiry and debate into a kind of Totalitarianism Lite? In their book “The Coddling of the American Mind,” the social psychiatrist Jonathan Haidt and FIRE president Greg Lukianoff lay much of the blame on a culture of parenting and early education that encourages students to believe that “what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker,” that you should “always trust your feelings,” and that “life is a battle between good people and evil people.” However, I believe the core problems are the pathological structures and perverse incentives of the modern university. It is not the case, as many Americans believe, that U.S. colleges have always been left-leaning and that today’s are no different from those of the 1960s. As Stanley Rothman, Robert Lichter and Neil Nevitte showed in a 2005 study, while 39% of the professoriate on average described themselves as left-wing in 1984, the proportion had risen to 72% by 1999, by which time being a conservative had become a measurable career handicap. Mitchell Langbert’s analysis of tenure-track, Ph.D.-holding professors from 51 of the 66 top-ranked liberal arts colleges in 2017 found that those with known political affiliations were overwhelmingly Democratic. Nearly two-fifths of the colleges in Langbert’s sample were Republican-free. The mean Democratic-to-Republican ratio across the sample was 10.4:1, or 12.7:1 if the two military academies, West Point and Annapolis, were excluded. For history departments, the ratio was 17.4:1; for English 48.3:1. No ratio is calculable for anthropology, as the number of Republican professors was zero. In 2020, Langbert and Sean Stevens  found an even bigger skew to the left when they considered political donations to parties by professors. The ratio of dollars contributed to Democratic versus Republican candidates and committees was 21:1. Commentators who argue that the pendulum will magically swing back betray a lack of understanding about the academic hiring and promotion process. With political discrimination against conservatives now overt, most departments are likely to move further to the left over time as the last remaining conservatives retire. Yet the leftward march of the professoriate is only one of the structural flaws that characterize today’s university. If you think the faculty are politically skewed, take a look at academic administrators. A shocking insight into the way some activist-administrators seek to bully students into ideological conformity was provided by Trent Colbert, a Yale Law School student who invited his fellow members of the Native American Law Students Association to “a Constitution Day bash” at the “NALSA Trap House,” a term that used to mean a crack den but now is just a mildly risque way of describing a party. Diversity director Yaseen Eldik’s thinly veiled threats to Colbert if he didn’t sign a groveling apology — “I worry about this leaning over your reputation as a person, not just here but when you leave” — were too much even for an editorial board member at the Washington Post. Democracy may die in darkness; academic freedom dies in wokeness. Moreover, the sheer number of the administrators is a problem in itself. In 1970, U.S. colleges employed more professors than administrators. Between then and 2010, however, the number of full-time professors or “full-time equivalents” increased by slightly more than 50%, in line with student enrollments. The number of administrators and administrative staffers rose by 85% and 240%, respectively. The ever-growing army of coordinators for Title IX — the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination — is one manifestation of the bureaucratic bloat, which since the 1990s has helped propel tuition costs far ahead of inflation. The third structural problem is weak leadership. Time and again — most recently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where a lecture by the University of Chicago geophysicist Dorian Abbot was abruptly canceled because he had been critical of affirmative action — academic leaders have yielded to noisy mobs baying for disinvitations. There are notable exceptions, such as Robert Zimmer, who as president of the University of Chicago between 2006 and 2021 made a stand for academic freedom. But the number of other colleges to have adopted the Chicago statement, a pledge crafted by the school’s Committee on Freedom of Expression, remains just 55, out of nearly 2,500 institutions offering four-year undergraduate programs. Finally, there is the problem of the donors — most but not all alumni — and trustees, many of whom have been astonishingly oblivious of the problems described above. In 2019, donors gave nearly $50 billion to colleges. Eight donors gave $100 million or more. People generally do not make that kind of money without being hard-nosed in their business dealings. Yet the capitalist class appears strangely unaware of the anticapitalist uses to which its money is often put. A phenomenon I find deeply puzzling is the lack of due diligence associated with much academic philanthropy, despite numerous cases when the intentions of benefactors have deliberately been subverted. All this would be bad enough if it meant only that U.S. universities are no longer conducive to free inquiry and promotion based on merit, without which scientific advances are certain to be impeded and educational standards to fall. But academic illiberalism is not confined to college campuses. As students collect their degrees and enter the workforce, they inevitably carry some of what they have learned at college with them. Multiple manifestations of “woke” thinking and behavior at newspapers, publishing houses, technology companies and other corporations have confirmed Andrew Sullivan’s 2018 observation, “We all live on campus now.” When a problem becomes this widespread, the traditional American solution is to create new institutions. As we have seen, universities are relatively long-lived compared to companies and even nations. But not all great universities are ancient. Of today’s top 25 universities, according to the global rankings compiled by the London Times Higher Education Supplement, four were founded in the 20th century. Fully 14 were 19th-century foundations; four date back to the 18th century. Only Oxford (which can trace its origins to 1096) and Cambridge (1209) are medieval in origin.  As might be inferred from the large number (10) of today’s leading institutions founded in the U.S. between 1855 and 1900, new universities tend to be established when wealthy elites grow impatient with the existing ones and see no way of reforming them. The puzzle is why, despite the resurgence of inequality in the U.S. since the 1990s and the more or less simultaneous decline in standards at the existing universities, so few new ones have been created. Only a handful have been set up this century: University of California Merced (2005), Ave Maria University (2003) and Soka University of America (2001). Just five U.S. colleges founded in the past 50 years make it into the Times’s top 25 “Young Universities”: University of Alabama at Birmingham (founded 1969), University of Texas at Dallas (1969), George Mason (1957), University of Texas at San Antonio (1969) and Florida International (1969). Each is (or originated as) part of a state university system. In short, the beneficiaries of today’s gilded age seem altogether more tolerant of academic degeneration than their 19th-century predecessors. For whatever reason, many prefer to give their money to established universities, no matter how antithetical those institutions’ values have become to their own. This makes no sense, even if the principal motivation is to buy Ivy League spots for their offspring. Why would you pay to have your children indoctrinated with ideas you despise? So what should the university of the future look like? Clearly, there is no point in simply copying and pasting Harvard, Yale or Princeton and expecting a different outcome. Even if such an approach were affordable, it would be the wrong one. To begin with, a new institution can’t compete with the established brands when it comes to undergraduate programs. Young Americans and their counterparts elsewhere go to college as much for the high-prestige credentials and the peer networks as for the education. That’s why a new university can’t start by offering bachelors’ degrees. The University of Austin will therefore begin modestly, with a summer school offering “Forbidden Courses” — the kind of content and instruction no longer available at most established campuses, addressing the kind of provocative questions that often lead to cancelation or self-censorship. The next step will be a one-year master’s program in Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The primary purpose of conventional business programs is to credential large cohorts of passive learners with a lowest-common-denominator curriculum. The University of Austin’s program will aim to teach students classical principles of the market economy and then embed them in a network of successful technologists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and public-policy reformers. It will offer an introduction to the world of American technology similar to the introduction to the Chinese economy offered by the highly successful Schwarzman Scholars program, combining both academic pedagogy and practical experience. Later, there will be parallel programs in Politics and Applied History and in Education and Public Service. Only after these initial programs have been set up will we start offering a four-year liberal arts degree.  The first two years of study will consist of an intensive liberal arts curriculum, including the study of philosophy, literature, history, politics, economics, mathematics, the sciences and the fine arts. There will be Oxbridge-style instruction, with small tutorials and college-wide lectures, providing an in-depth and personalized learning experience with interdisciplinary breadth.   After two years of a comprehensive and rigorous liberal arts education, undergraduates will join one of four academic centers as junior fellows, pursuing disciplinary coursework, conducting hands-on research and gaining experience as interns. The initial centers will include one for entrepreneurship and leadership, one for politics and applied history, one for education and public service, and one for technology, engineering and mathematics. To those who argue that we could more easily do all this with some kind of internet platform, I would say that online learning is no substitute for learning on a campus, for reasons rooted in evolutionary psychology. We simply learn much better in relatively small groups in real time and space, not least because a good deal of what students learn in a well-functioning university comes from their informal discussions in the absence of professors. This explains the persistence of the university over a millennium, despite successive revolutions in information technology. To those who wonder how a new institution can avoid being captured by the illiberal-liberal establishment that now dominates higher education, I would answer that the governance structure of the institution will be designed to prevent that. The Chicago principles of freedom of expression will be enshrined in the founding charter. The founders will form a corporation or board of trustees that will be sovereign. Not only will the corporation appoint the president of the college; it will also have a final say over all appointments or promotions. There will be one unusual obligation on faculty members, besides the standard ones to teach and carry out research: to conduct the admissions process by means of an examination that they will set and grade. Admission will be based primarily on performance on the exam. That will avoid the corrupt rackets run by so many elite admissions offices today. As for our choice of location in the Texas capital, I would say that proximity to a highly regarded public university — albeit one where even the idea of establishing an institute to study liberty is now controversial — will ensure that the University of Austin has to compete at the highest level from the outset. My fellow founders and I have no illusions about the difficulty of the task ahead. We fully expect condemnation from the educational establishment and its media apologists. We shall regard all such attacks as vindication — the flak will be a sign that we are above the target. In our minds, there can be no more urgent task for a society than to ensure the health of its system of higher education. The American system today is broken in ways that pose a profound threat to the future strength and stability of the U.S. It is time to start fixing it. But the opportunity to do so in the classic American way — by creating something new, actually building rather than “building back” — is an inspiring and exciting one. To quote Haidt and Lukianoff: “A school that makes freedom of inquiry an essential part of its identity, selects students who show special promise as seekers of truth, orients and prepares those students for productive disagreement … would be inspiring to join, a joy to attend, and a blessing to society.” That is not the kind of institution satirized in “The Chair.” It is precisely the kind of institution we need today. *  *  * Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was previously a professor of history at Harvard, New York University and Oxford. He is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a New York-based advisory firm. His latest book is "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." Tyler Durden Wed, 11/10/2021 - 22:05.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 10th, 2021

A tale of two altcoins: Shiba inu"s star fades, while solana shines, as investors favor real-use tokens

Investors have shunned meme tokens like shiba inu in favor of cryptocurrencies with more real-life use cases, such as solana and ether. Shiba inu and sol id-work/ Getty Images and Skorzewiak/ Shutterstock Shiba inu fell by as much as 40% over the last week, while DeFi token solana has climbed 21%. Investors have started turning away from meme coins to those that have real use cases. This week, investors were unnerved by a scam in a Squid Game-themed token and by shiba inu whale activity. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Shiba inu lost some of its recent appeal this week, falling by as much as 40% over the week in the seven days to Friday. Investors have shunned meme tokens in favor of cryptocurrencies with more real-life use cases, such as solana and ether.The dogecoin-inspired meme coin was down around 5% on the day to $0.00005164, having touched a low this week of $0.00004130 on the Coinbase exchange, marking a drop of almost 40% week-on-week.The coin's rapid rise, coupled with developments elsewhere in the crypto space that have lured investors into more established tokens, unleashed a wave of profit-taking, particularly in light of the fact that most shiba inu in circulation is concentrated in very few hands - meaning there is a strong chance of even deeper losses."There are a load of shib coins out there to sell and whales with big bags to offload. The fact that a few whales hold much of the supply can actually make it easy to push prices up, but of course small-time traders will never know when whales will sell," Ali Beikverdi, CEO and co-founder of bitHolla, an exchange software company said. By way of example, shiba inu holders were unnerved earlier this week when the second biggest shib address started moving $2.3 billion worth of the coin from its wallet. That wallet only accounts for 7% of shiba inu in circulation, while the largest holds 41%, according to Coinmarketcap data.Added to that, a blistering rally in a "Squid Game" token - inspired by the hit Korean series on Netflix - ended in that coin crashing to 0 from closer to $3,000 in hours. This event rekindled concern over the potential for scams in the crypto market."Indeed, investors don't like to lose money. What happened with the Squid Game token caused a high level of discomfort amongst investors," Ryan Wilkinson, Head of Product at Blockasset.co, an NFT marketplace built on the solana network said. Meanwhile, investors have flocked to coins with real use cases, such as those linked to decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens, like ether, solana and avalanche.Solana's sol token has gained 21% so far this week and hit record highs above $250, while avalanche's avax has risen 18% this week and ether - the second most-traded cryptocurrency after bitcoin - has gained 1.6%."Solana is undoubtedly one of the hottest blockchains today, as its usability and eco-friendliness are reverberating across the blockchain industry," Wilkinson said. "The number of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and non-fungible tokens (NFT) being floated atop the blockchain is the ultimate source of boosted demand for sol," he said.Ether benefitted from the announcement of the launch of micro futures by CME - the biggest derivatives exchange - as well as the growing momentum around NFTs and the metaverse, much of which runs on ethereum. Regardless of the scandals and scams that seem to follow meme cryptos and social tokens, at times, some market watchers believe these more speculative coins will persist. "Meme tokens will have a big part in the cryptocurrency space," Marcus Sotiriou, sales trader at digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said. "We've had evidence with coins like DOGE and SHIB that this is the case. In a world where we are all connected by social media, these communities can be very powerful, and they take advantage of network effects." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 5th, 2021

A former Goldman Sachs boss says millennials were right to splurge their stimulus checks on crypto and meme stocks, and to stick it to Wall Street

Raoul Pal noted that the Occupy Wall Street movement fell on deaf ears, and young investors don't care what the establishment says. YouTube/RealVision Raoul Pal defended millennials who like meme stocks and crypto and defy typical investing advice. The former Goldman Sachs executive noted that young investors don't care what Wall Street says. Pal suggested investing will be driven by a shift in interest towards technology. Raoul Pal, a former Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager and the current CEO of Real Vision TV, defended the millennial investors who have piled into cryptocurrencies and meme stocks in defiance of conventional investing strategies.In a Twitter thread on Sunday, Pal laid out that factors like "debts, no savings, no hope from the grind" have made this new generation of investors feel hopeless and skeptical of traditional investing."Unlike their parents in their 30s, they didn't get gifted equities with a P/E (price-earnings ratio) of 7, bond yields at 13% or real estate at the lows versus income," he said. "They got the opposite. Their opportunity set was an expected negative future return. They didn't want any part of our financial system."A P/E ratio as low as 7 would represent an extremely cheap valuation for many public companies. The average P/E for the S&P 500 rose above 20 in May 2020, its highest valuation in 18 years. A clear pattern emerged in markets this year. During one of the most volatile periods in history, and against a backdrop of increasing social influence, inexperienced investors rushed to invest in stocks with little understanding or concern for the fundamentals of the businesses behind them, or the risks of holding them. @RaoulGMI/Twitter "They had occupied Wall St and no one gave a shit. Now they don't give a shit about how you or I think you should invest or run markets. We let them down," Pal said.While some responsibility certainly lies with the investor, zero-commission apps like Robinhood played a part in making it seem like the risks of investing were minimized. In defiance of hedge funds and investing norms, and in response to inflationary triggers, Wall Street found itself dealing with two trading frenzies: meme stocks and cryptocurrencies. Pal said retail traders had no hesitance in using stimulus checks distributed by the government during COVID-19 towards these emergent trends because they had nothing to lose.He said there's a huge shift in attitude from the love of oil or commodities towards technology that will set the tone for the next decade."If we were given a free stake at the casino, we would do the same," he said. "But they didn't buy our precious gold miners, or our discounted value businesses. Why? Because they don't care about 10% returns. The only way to level the playing field was to take MASSIVE risk.""They took HUGE risks to make BIG rewards. And contrary to US older cynics, they knew the risks but they still wanted to take them. It was fun."More traditional finance experts warned against such get-rich-quick opportunities, and urged investors to buy diversified, long-term portfolios rather than chasing hot stocks.But Pal said there's no reason for millennials to wait for minimal returns."Screw active management, screw hedge funds," he said. "They wanted to just stick money in the markets as they were told (Hello passive!) and punt the rest. Crypto resonated. Huge upside, downside of zero. It was a giant options market. Limited losses, exponential upside. They are right."Read More: A growth-focused fund manager lays out why Facebook's metaverse pivot will send shares soaring - and details 8 other stocks investors should buy for exposure to cutting-edge innovationRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 1st, 2021

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian shares why he"s bullish on the metaverse - and calls Facebook"s rebrand a masterstroke in distraction

The rise of crypto and Web 3, human engagement with VR and AR, and the need for online connections are reasons Ohanian is bullish on the metaverse. Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Alexis Ohanian said he's bullish on the metaverse because of the rise of crypto and Web 3, human engagement with virtual and augmented reality, and the need for online connections. Facebook's move to rename itself Meta is a "masterstroke in diversion and distraction," he said. He suggested there is potential for a funding boom in metaverse-related start-ups. Alexis Ohanian, who cofounded Reddit in 2005, said the rise of cryptocurrencies and the third generation of the web are giving him reason to be bullish on the idea of the "metaverse.""We're talking about sort of all of us being able to go online and occupy digital spaces, much the same way we do physical today," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday.Ohanian noted that people already engage in the virtual world somewhat on their phones and computers, using text and images to interact. But he feels engagement via virtual reality goggles or augmented reality - VR or AR - will give rise to a whole new phenomenon with a lot of investment potential."I spent 15 years trying to convince people leading Reddit that people would care about online connection just as much or more than offline connection. But now I think everyone sort of takes it for granted - we fall in love online, we make some of our best friends online, we ape into stocks together online through anonymous communities," he said."That dynamic combined with broadband ubiquity, and now the rise of web 3 and crypto really working, gives people a sense of ownership in this new world. So that the assets you buy in the metaverse are just as real as the assets you buy and own in the offline world."When Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta on Thursday, it said it wanted to be "metaverse first." The idea of a metaverse has been around for a while in science fiction and gaming, used to refer to a virtual space where real-world people can live a whole other life using VR and AR avatars.Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted "the next platform and medium will be even more immersive, an embodied internet where you are in the experience, not just looking at it." Ohanian said Facebook's decision to rebrand itself was "a masterstroke in diversion and distraction" that shouldn't be underestimated."Right now, there is this amazing bottom-up movement to create the metaverse, using what's happening in the crypto community - getting a lot of people building what I think is what most of us hope will become a much more organic type of world, rather than a sort of top-down Facebook-imposed one."The Reddit cofounder suggested there is potential for a funding boom in metaverse-related start-ups."With the amount of money that's flowing into venture right now, startups that can get competitive on the VR front, they can get the funding," he said."But the bigger things here are going to be more foundational software," he added, touching on Facebook's advantage from its virtual-reality headset formerly known as Oculus."That's the stuff that's going to get built in the next five years," Ohanian said. "It's actually going to make it worth it for you to spend time, because right now the competition is watching Netflix, playing Fornite, scrolling through your phone.""We're not going to all wake up in the metaverse tomorrow."Read More: A growth-focused fund manager lays out why Facebook's metaverse pivot will send shares soaring - and details 8 other stocks investors should buy for exposure to cutting-edge innovationRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 1st, 2021

Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg were rivals long before Dorsey mocked Facebook"s metaverse plan. Theirs is just one of a dozen yearslong feuds between some of the world"s most powerful tech leaders.

With billions of dollars and world-changing technology at stake, it's only natural Silicon Valley has become a breeding ground for rivalries. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Mark Lennihan/AP Photo While there are many close friendships in Silicon Valley, there are also plenty of feuds. Some appear to be friendly rivalries, like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Others are more contentious: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, for example, have been feuding for years. Silicon Valley is a breeding ground for rivalries. In a place where world-changing ideas are born and billions of dollars are at stake, it's only natural that rivalries develop between Silicon Valley's power players, ranging from friendly sparring to pointed critiques. While some feuds, like the one between Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, appear to be born out of a close friendship and mutual respect, others - like the one between Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel - started over a spurned acquisition offer. Here are some of the longstanding feuds, friendly or otherwise, between some of the world's most powerful execs. Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25; Francois Mori/AP Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Zuckerberg have never seemed particularly chummy, but the rivalry between the two execs seems to have grown worse in the last few years. In 2019, Facebook came under fire over its decision not to fact-check political ads. In response, Dorsey announced that Twitter would suspend political advertising altogether, saying "political message reach should be earned, not bought."Dorsey also said at an event that October that Zuckerberg's argument that Facebook is an advocate for free speech "a major gap and flaw in the substance he was getting across," and that "there's some amount of revisionist history in all his storytelling."For his part, Zuckerberg hasn't been shy about criticizing Twitter, saying in an all hands that same month that "Twitter can't do as good of a job as we can," according to leaked audio obtained by The Verge.Two months later, Dorsey unfollowed Zuckerberg on Twitter. Since then, Dorsey has criticized Facebook's rebranded logo, proclaimed that he doesn't use any Facebook products, and hinted that he and Zuckerberg have "beef," saying that the two CEOs take "different approaches." Most recently, Dorsey mocked Zuckerberg's plan to turn into Facebook into a "metaverse company," calling the concept dystopian.  Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk aren't competitors in any earthly pursuits, but they're bitter rivals when it comes to outer space. Bezos founded his rocket company, Blue Origin, in 2000, while Musk founded SpaceX in 2002. Two years later, the pair met for dinner, and even then, things were getting testy."I actually did my best to give good advice, which he largely ignored," Musk said after the meeting.In 2013, their rivalry heated up when SpaceX tried to get exclusive use of a NASA launch pad and Blue Origin filed a formal protest with the government (SpaceX eventually won the right to take over the pad.) Months later, the two companies got into a patent battle, and soon after, Bezos and Musk took their feud public, trading barbs on Twitter.Their rivalry has flared up from time to time since then, but things came to a head in 2021 amid multiple legal filings from Blue Origin regarding SpaceX and a flurry of public criticism from Musk.After he surpassed Bezos as the world's richest person, Musk taunted the Amazon founder by telling Forbes he planned to send "a giant statue of the digit '2' to Jeffrey B., along with a silver medal." Elon Musk and Bill Gates Pascal Le Segretain, Sean Gallup / Getty Images The strife between Gates and Musk first flared up February 2020 when Gates said during an interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee that while Tesla has helped drive innovation and adoption of electric vehicles, he didn't buy a Tesla when making a recent vehicle purchase — he bought a Porsche Taycan. In response, Musk tweeted that his conversations with Gates have always been "underwhelming." Then, in July, Gates said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that Musk's comments about COVID-19 were "outrageous," as Musk has frequently downplayed the severity of the virus and questioned how the US had handled its coronavirus response. Musk took to Twitter a few days later to taunt Gates, tweeting, "Billy G is not my lover" and "The rumor that Bill Gates & I are lovers is completely untrue."Gates also critiqued Musk over his space ambitions, telling Kara Swisher "I don't think rockets are the solution" and that he'd rather spend money on vaccines. He also warned against buying into the mania over cryptocurrencies, which Musk frequently promotes on Twitter."My general thought would be that, if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out," Gates told Bloomberg. Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg AP; Francois Mori/AP Cook and Zuckerberg have traded insults over the years, beginning as early as 2014, when Cook said in an interview that "when an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product," seemingly in reference to Facebook.In the aftermath of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which private Facebook user data was stolen from 50 million users, Recode's Kara Swisher asked Cook what he would do if he was in Zuckerberg's shoes. He responded: "What would I do? I wouldn't be in this situation."Zuckerberg was reportedly so incensed by Cook's comments that he asked executives to switch to Android phones.In a company blog post in 2018, Facebook confirmed the feud between the two execs: "Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees."The pair reportedly had a meeting at the Sun Valley conference in 2019, during which Zuckerberg asked Cook for advice regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal. According to The New York Times, Cook told Zuckerberg to delete all user data it collects from outside its apps, the equivalent of rendering Facebook's business model obsolete. Zuckerberg was reportedly stunned.More recently, the two CEOs were at odds over an Apple privacy update that allows users opt out of being tracked for advertising purposes. Facebook repeatedly denounced the change, saying it could destroy part of its business.  Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Susan Walsh/AP; Erin Scott/Reuters Musk and Zuckerberg have clashed since as far back as 2016 when a SpaceX rocket explosion destroyed a Facebook satellite. Zuckerberg issued a heated statement saying he was "deeply disappointed" about SpaceX's failure.In 2017, Zuckerberg criticized people who have concerns about the future of artificial intelligence — an opinion Musk has frequently voiced — calling those anxieties "really negative" and "pretty irresponsible." In response, Musk said that he's discussed AI with Zuckerberg and called his understanding of the subject "limited."One year later, Facebook became embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Musk publicly deleted his companies' Facebook pages, tweeting that the company gave him "the willies." After Sacha Baron Cohen spoke out in favor of increased regulation of Facebook, Musk tweeted: "#DeleteFacebook It's lame. Then, following the riot at the US Capitol in January 2021, Musk used Twitter to share memes linking the riots to Facebook. On the evening of the rampage, Musk tweeted, "This is called the domino effect," along with an image of dominoes, with the first one labeled "a website to rate women on campus," a reference to Facebook's inception at Harvard University. The last domino was about the rioters. Kevin Systrom and Jack Dorsey Getty Images; Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey started out as close friends, but had a falling out around the time Instagram sold to Facebook.  According to the book "No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram" by Sarah Frier, the pair met when they were early employees at Odeo, the audio and video site created by eventual Twitter cofounders Ev Williams and Noah Glass. Dorsey expected to dislike Systrom when he joined as a summer intern in the mid-2000s, but the pair ended up bonding over photography and expensive coffee. Systrom and Dorsey stayed in touch even after Systrom got a full-time job at Google. Systrom was an early proponent of Twitter (then known as Twttr), and when he started working on Burbn, the precursor to Instagram, he reached out to Dorsey for guidance. Dorsey ended up becoming an early investor, putting in $25,000. When Burbn pivoted to Instagram, Dorsey became one of the app's biggest fans, cross-posting his Instagrams to Twitter and helping the app go viral soon after it launched. Dorsey eventually attempted to buy Instagram, but Systrom declined, saying he wanted to make Instagram too expensive to be acquired, according to Frier. The Dorsey-Systrom relationship appeared to have soured in 2012, when Dorsey found out that Instagram had signed a deal to be acquired by Facebook, Twitter's biggest rival. According to Frier, Dorsey was hurt that Systrom hadn't called him first to discuss the deal, or to negotiate one with Twitter instead.Dorsey hasn't posted to his Instagram account since April 9, 2012, when he snapped a photo of an unusually empty San Francisco city bus — according to Frier, it was taken the morning he found out Instagram had sold. While Systrom had been quiet on Twitter for the last few years, he's recently begun using the platform again, and in 2020, the pair even had a pleasant tweet exchange. Marc Benioff and Larry Ellison Kimberly White/Getty Images; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff met when Benioff began working at Oracle when he was 23. He was a star early on, earning a "rookie of the year" award that same year and becoming Oracle's youngest VP by age 26. He spent 13 years at Oracle, during which he became a trusted lieutenant to Ellison. Benioff began working on Salesforce with Ellison's blessing, and Ellison became an investor, putting in $2 million early on. But since then, the duo has publicly feuded on multiple occasions. In 2000, Oracle launched software that directly competed with Salesforce. Benioff asked Ellison to resign from Salesforce's board, and Ellison refused (he eventually left the board, but Benioff let him keep his stock and options).Over the years, Benioff and Ellison have sparred off and on: Ellison once mocked Salesforce, calling it an "itty bitty application" that's dependent on Oracle, while Benioff has called Oracle a "false cloud." And in 2011, Ellison ordered that Benioff be removed from the speaker lineup of Oracle's OpenWorld conference, which Benioff said was because Oracle was afraid he'd give a better speech. But throughout it all, Benioff has described Ellison as his mentor. "There is no one I've learned more from than Larry Ellison," Benioff said in 2013. Larry Ellison and Bill Gates Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times Gates and Ellison may have patched things up these days, but back in the late '90s and early 2000s, they had a touchy relationship, mostly defined by Ellison trying to outdo Gates. "He's utterly obsessed with trying to beat Bill Gates," former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold once told Vanity Fair. "I mean, the guy's got six billion bucks. You'd think he wouldn't be so dramatically obsessed that one guy in the Northwest is more successful. [With Larry] it's just a mania."Their animosity partly stemmed from Ellison's close friendship with Steve Jobs, a frequent opponent of Gates. But things took a more serious turn in 2000 when Microsoft was being investigated by the federal government over antitrust violations.At the time, several groups were openly supportive of Microsoft, and Ellison suspected they were being funded by Microsoft itself. He hired private investigators to in an attempt to out Microsoft and help out the feds. Eventually, Microsoft lost the suit, and Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO.  Evan Spiegel and Mark Zuckerberg Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Francois Mori/AP Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and Mark Zuckerberg don't seem to have a friendly relationship, and it may extend as far back as 2012, when Spiegel may have tried to one-up Zuckerberg when he attempted to arrange a meeting.Since then, Snap has reportedly turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook on three separate occasions.Facebook has mimicked many of Snapchat's features over the years — both on its own app and its subsidiary, Instagram — and the CEOs have made jabs at each other in public. In 2018, after Facebook cloned yet another Snapchat feature, Stories, Spiegel said: "We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also," a dig at Facebook's various privacy scandals. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Beck Diefenbach/Reuters; Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times In the early days of Apple and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got along — Microsoft made software for the Apple II computer, and Gates was a frequent guest in Cupertino, where Apple is headquartered. But the tides started to turn in the early '80s, when Jobs flew up to Microsoft's headquarters in Washington to try to convince Gates to make software for the Macintosh computer. Gates later described it as "a weird seduction visit" and said he felt like Jobs was saying "I don't need you, but I might let you be involved."Still, they remained relatively friendly until 1985, when Microsoft launched the first version of Windows and Jobs accused him of ripping off the Macintosh. "They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame," Jobs later told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, to which Gates replied: "If he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields."The duo traded barbs for years, with Jobs calling Gates boring and Gates calling Jobs "weirdly flawed as a human being." Tensions remained high even after Microsoft invested in Apple to keep it afloat, with both Gates and Jobs insulting each other and their companies' products time and time again. Still, they clearly respected and admired each other, despite their animosity. When Jobs died in 2011, Gates said: "I respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of [what he said] bothers me at all." Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom Getty Images; Francois Mori/AP Mark Zuckerberg and former Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom used to get along well — so well that Zuckerberg bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.But in the intervening years, the relationship between the two executives seemingly fell apart. When asked why he left the helm of the company he founded, Systrom said, "no one ever leaves a job because everything's awesome."According to an April 2019 piece from Wired's Nick Thompson and Fred Vogelstein, Systrom and cofounder Mike Krieger left because of increasing tensions with Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg reportedly became increasingly controlling, banning Systrom from doing magazine profiles without approval, taking away Facebook tools that helped Instagram grow, testing location-tracking while Systrom was out on paternity leave, and adding a new button to Instagram that Systrom detested.  Steve Jobs and Michael Dell Beck Diefenbach/Reuters; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images In 1997, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell was asked for his opinion on Apple, which, at the time, was in dire straits. He responded that he'd "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."That comment irritated Steve Jobs, who told his team in response: "The world doesn't need another Dell or HP. It doesn't need another manufacturer of plain, beige, boring PCs. If that's all we're going to do, then we should really pack up now." At an Apple keynote shortly after, Jobs said Dell's comments were "rude" and told him that Apple was coming for him. Dell later softened his comments, saying that he was trying to make clear that he wasn't for hire. But Dell rankled Jobs enough that, in January 2006, Jobs sent around this memo to the entire company: "Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn't perfect at predicting the future. Based on today's stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 21st, 2021

How the baby boomer generation is the real problem, according to 21 millennials

21 millennials told Insider why baby boomers are responsible for the many problems millennials now face. These millennials tell us about the problems they now face because of baby boomers. Business Insider Deutschland Millennials are accused by some of being whiny, narcissistic, and too politically passive. A number of them suggest, however, that the real problem isn't them; it's baby boomers. 21 millennials told Insider why baby boomers are responsible for many problems millennials now face. See more stories on Insider's business page. Whiny, self-obsessed, not politically engaged enough - the accusations directed at millennials by older generations seem endless.Millennials, or anyone born between 1980 and 2000, often get painted as pampered do-gooders with a naive worldview, whose priorities extend only to getting sabbaticals and being allowed to work from home.That said, decades of disregard for the climate, unfair policies and structures being implemented between the generations, and questionable ideas concerning success in the workplace have left 18 to 38-year-olds with a heavy weight to bear.Twenty-one young people from Germany told Insider of the problems the baby boomers have created and perpetuated in Germany and how they can be solved:'Let's stop talking about what's gone wrong.' Felix Finkbeiner, 20, environmental activist. Flickr / Plant for the Planet We're hurtling towards the edge of a cliff at full pelt - it isn't for the sake of science that we're trying to figure out the quantity by which sea levels are set to rise; it's about survival.Together, with more than 67,000 other children and young people from our Plant for the Planet initiative, I've committed myself to combat the climate crisis. And yes, perhaps the older generation is listening to us but are they doing enough?The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time. The CO2 clock is ticking. What must we do and what can we do right now? Well, we can massively reduce our CO2 emissions. And we can plant 1,000 billion trees to absorb a quarter of man-made CO2. I'd say to the older generations, to company bosses, and to politicians: "Let's stop talking about what's gone wrong or what's going wrong - let's plant trees together and save our future."'It's older people who get to call the shots on pensions - yet they no longer have to cough up.' Sarna Röser, 30, chairwoman of Junger Unternehmer (Young Entrepreneurs). BJU Most baby boomers will be retiring soon, which will put considerable pressure on our pension system. There's a massive disparity between the number of working people and the increasing number of pensioners for whom those working people are footing the bill.I think a simple and logical solution would be if everyone had to work for a period of time during their later years. And retirement should be linked to life expectancy. I'm skeptical about who decides what's what when it comes to pensions. You only find older people sitting on the Pensions Commission, who no longer foot the bill themselves. We younger people have to hand out payments but aren't given a say.'The biggest problem the baby boomers have left us isn't that they haven't grown out of their crap.' Kevin Kühnert, 28, national chairman of the youth organisation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Jusos. Getty Images The biggest problem the baby boomers have dumped on us isn't that they haven't grown out of their crappy habits: it's the state they've in which they've left the future of our pension system. Pay-as-you-go financing, which has been successfully practiced for decades, will come under increasing pressure as more baby boomers leave the workforce and begin receiving benefits from the pension fund. This news comes as no surprise but politics has, so far, failed to make provisions for that day, when it comes.Fewer contributors and more beneficiaries mean great challenges will be posed for the statutory pension for a good 15 years. How these challenges will be managed isn't just a technical question. In fact, some are taking the opportunity - through scandalous inaction - to slowly chip away at the principle of solidarity when it comes to pensions and to privatize them. If all employees became contributors, we could increase contributions slightly and, if necessary, avoid shying away from tax subsidies.'We've inherited the baby boomers' workaholic attitude and taken it to the next level. Stefanie Laufs, 31, senior communications consultant at a PR agency. Stefanie Laufs The notion that Generation Y has no interest in professional success and thinks of the home office as synonymous with doing nothing is certainly not new - and unfortunately, it's firmly rooted in the minds of many among the older generation. I actually believe we've inherited their workaholic attitude - always better, always more, always higher - and that we've taken what the baby boomers did and pushed it much further.Whether among friends, colleagues, or in reports in the media - no other generation linked with topics such as burnout or partly unpaid overtime as often as ours. The demands on our generation when it comes to starting a career are enormous. You're expected to have five years of professional experience after completing your studies as well as to nearly have finished your Ph.D. Of course, you can't solely blame the baby boomers, but they've always stressed the importance of establishing a career and reinforced that it was the key to a successful and happy life. Although we've taken on this attitude, we'd actually do a lot better to leave it behind. Generation Y continues to work a lot, but having a private life is much more important than money: leisure and downtime shouldn't be overlooked.Our generation is on its way to achieving the ideal work-leisure balance and to putting the baby boomers' workaholic madness to rest.'Too much emphasis on progress and performance is a key problem we've inherited from the older generation.' Jonathan Sierck, 24, author of the book 'Junge Überflieger'. Jonathan Sierck A serious problem we've inherited from the older generation is this fixation on progress and performance. In our tireless efforts to push boundaries, whatever the cost, there's usually little room to address the often serious consequences. There's no doubt about it: constant growth and development do pay off and, as a species, we have to take certain risks every now and then in order to move forward and survive. But pushing boundaries mustn't become the objective itself nor must it come at the cost that it currently does.In order to steer us into a desirable future, we need those in decision-making positions to be sharp. They need both the courage to change yet the informed judgment to pick up on warning signs too. To ensure we don't continue to deplete our resources, we need a clear plan that takes into consideration the effects of our actions. Otherwise, we'll leave our future generations with more - possibly even more serious - problems than those we have inherited, whether they be nuclear waste, the bees dying off, or climate disasters.'Our education systems barely differ to those of the previous generation - and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.' Magdalena Rogl, 33, head of digital channels Microsoft Germany. Magdalena Rogl I'm firm on the notion that we owe much to those who came before us. Especially the generation born in 1968, who revolutionized so much and helped break down so many structures.But one area in which far too little has happened in recent decades is education. Our education systems have barely changed from those of the previous generation - and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.At the age of 10, our children are still "sorted" into schools - not based on their individual talents, but purely according to their grades. Applicants are still assessed according to their qualifications on paper far too often, and not by what they actually know. And academic degrees are still worth more than emotional education.I still remember the look of horror on the faces of my first boyfriend and his parents when I announced I was leaving high school as soon as I legally could, to follow my heart and become a childcare worker.But I think I learned more life lessons through doing so than I could have ever done at university.And that's exactly what our generation so urgently needs: lessons in life. More and more tasks are being taken over by machines and artificial intelligence. The skills Generation Y needs in professional life today are not obedience, authority, and academic knowledge, but empathy, flexibility, and problem-solving.Our generation must adapt quickly to new circumstances, because the job you did yesterday may look quite different tomorrow. And the office is no longer about sitting at a desk from nine until five; it's about working at a time and place that maximizes one's quality of work, based on the individual.That's why I'm committed to ensuring our future generations get better human and digital education, so they make our world more human and each individual person can be as he or she is - and thus achieve their own best performance.'Those who monopolize most of the power are, on average, much too old.' Daniel Krauss, 35, cofounder and chief information officer of Flixbus. Flixbus Today's prosperity is probably the greatest legacy of the previous generation. We should definitely be grateful for it. But it's not as though it's being passed down to younger generations without its drawbacks. The downside is that his focus on prosperity means few provisions have been made for the future and we haven't adapted to our current challenges.Those who monopolize most of the power are still, on average, far too old. Our generation is still trapped in a gilded cage. At some point, young Germans are going to escape that cage and find that the country is no longer at the top of the list of industrial nations.This power needs to be handed over to the younger generation at an early stage. We're ready to take on the responsibility and start restructuring things.'The older generation knows little about what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet.' Jörg Mayer and Nadine Horn, both in their early thirties, are vegan bloggers on 'Eat this'. Eat This The abundance in food and convenience have featured heavily in the kitchens of the post-war generation. Where meat had previously featured rarely on the dining table, it was almost a compulsory, everyday part of meals in the 1950s. But it had to be simple, fast, and cheap.It's becoming increasingly clear that this kind of practice can't go on indefinitely for future generations.Due to this abundance and a lack of true appreciation for food, some among the older generation have little idea about what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet. What's more, over the years a lot of marketing-driven pseudo-sciences - which, simply put, is often wrong and sometimes even dangerous - have persisted.Questions like: "Where do vegans get protein from if they don't eat meat?" or the myth that milk consumption is good for the bones (when the opposite is true) are still firmly anchored in their minds and will only be shifted with a lot of effort.We try to set a good example and show that vegan life is anything but boring, that we don't just live off salad or tofu - that the kitchen can be a place to have fun. We're trying to show that cooking with friends, either alone or in pairs, is not another tedious chore; it's the best thing you can do.'Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously.' Ria Schröder, 26, chairman of Jungen Liberalen (the Young Liberals). Business Insider Deutschland The baby boomers, our parents and theirs, have been instrumental in ensuring we grew up with high living standards. I'm grateful for that but we've also inherited a few problems, one of them being the pension situation. Like many in my generation, I don't assume I'll be provided for in old age. The level of baby boomers being paid for by us is ever increasing while there are fewer of us to foot the bill. It's great that people are living longer but the subsidy for the pension system is already the largest item in the German budget.At the same time, less and less is being invested in the future: for example, in education, and in infrastructure. My generation is outnumbered. But those who focus only on large voter groups are putting the future of our country at risk in favor of short-term electoral success. Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously. Ultimately it will help not only one generation but the whole country.'We know humanity has power over the Earth's biophysical systems, thanks to our predecessors.' Sina Leipold, 32, junior professor of social transformation and circular economy at the University of Freiburg. Sina Leipold For some time, we've known humanity affects and has control over the Earth's biophysical systems more than any other force of nature - knowledge we've attained only thanks to our predecessors. It is both a blessing and a curse for our generation.Never before have so many people been able to inhabit our planet and never before have commodities like regular holiday flights been so easy and readily affordable.At the same time, hurricanes, floods, and heatwaves have threatened to destroy (and, in many cases, have destroyed) the lives and homes of millions.My personal goal, through a more responsible approach than previous generations, is to help our generation ensure this power sticks around long term, instead of putting it at risk by inviting irreversible climate disasters.'Older generations aren't prepared to take risks.' Christopher Obereder, 26, startup founder. David Visnjic Setting up a business in Germany is far too complex; it should be more straightforward. Other countries are well ahead and we should be moving on as soon as possible. The tax system in Germany is also massively outdated and makes it extremely difficult for those looking to get started with a business.Start-ups could be much better supported with tax reforms so the start-ups could focus more on taking care of their business. Singapore has attracted startups from all over the world with its simple control system and has become the hub of the crypto scene. Our political structures are also too slow to change and aren't able to keep up with innovation. Things have to change on this front.A survey by U.S. News showed Germany was in first place in the "Entrepreneurship" category, ahead of Japan and the USA. It's clear Germany is at the forefront despite the clear room for improvement.Work has also changed: people used to stay in the same job their whole life, which is why it used to be feasible to work without constantly developing and learning. Today we seem to switch jobs every year or two. I think it has a lot to do with the Internet.We always need to be ready to learn new things and take risks. And many opportunities and possibilities arise with the Internet if you're open to it - cryptocurrencies are something I'm currently heavily involved in and open to, and I realize older generations aren't.There's a conflict simply because older generations always advocate stability and safety over risk-taking, which they aren't prepared to do. I can only speak for myself but if I'd never taken risks, I'd never have learned. We have to learn through trial and error that you can't make money from anything and everything. Failure has become a valid part of working life, even if older generations still don't want to admit it.But older generations are starting to accept the start-up scene for what it is: it's fast-moving, involves risk-taking, and isn't always lucrative.'The older generation has left European peace in a fragile state.' Lisa Badum, 34, Green Party parliament representative. Lisa Badum The rapid rise in greenhouse gases, the dramatically worsening climate crisis, the question of nuclear waste disposal, the irreversible death of countless plant and animal species - these are just some of the many consequences of failed climate and environmental policies from previous generations. Because they haven't relied on sustainability, they've dumped the consequences of and responsibility for their actions onto future generations. We're now having to face a mammoth challenge together: to keep global warming below two degrees to give future generations the chance to make mistakes.As for Europe, our younger generation has inherited the task of establishing European peace, a project which the older generation has left in a sorry state. The continually rising rate of youth unemployment within the EU, austerity policies, Brexit - all of these things have greatly weakened the notion of the "European community" and reinforced right-wing nationalist and populist forces in Europe. I myself have close ties with Greece, and over the years I've witnessed the destructive effects of austerity there, and have also seen growing disillusionment towards the EU. We have to stop this in its tracks and do it now because lasting peace between us all is the most basic of prerequisites for taking on the many challenges ahead and finding solutions for tomorrow.Where justice and gender equality are concerned, the older generation has set us on a path of clear progress, particularly as regards legal equality between the sexes. While we have to defend this success, we also have to continue fighting for 100% equality between men and women, whether in family and work, pay or pension, and the end of sexual violence towards women and girls.'Digitisation is largely a generational issue.' Barbara Engels, 30, economist at the Institute of German Economics Cologne (IW). IW Cologne Being digital means being online, networking, being open to new business models - and being young. It seems to be a largely generational issue: older people are less likely to be online than younger people, which is a pity because digitization opens up many new possibilities, especially for people who are aging. It can simplify and enrich everyday life. I hope people of all ages will greet digitization with open arms and optimism, but obviously not without a healthy dose of skepticism. Networking is at the heart of the digital world and could contribute to a better level of understanding between young and old. And it would help us learn much more from older people and vice versa.'Pension plans are a big disappointment.' Kristine Lütke, 35, president of WirtschaftsjuniorDeutschland (the Junior Chamber Germany). Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland The subsequent drop in birth rate as a result of the rise of the contraceptive pill among the baby boomers is exacerbating demographic change. This has resulted in a shortage of specialists and labor in all areas of the economy. We young entrepreneurs and managers in particular are suffering from this as employers. Moreover, our country's pension plans are a huge disappointment for our generation and an attack on intergenerational justice, particularly in view of demographic changes. The question of billions of funding for the "maternal pension" that's been proposed in Germany remains open.What can be done to increase employment rates and to mitigate the consequences of demographic change, as well as the pensions package? We need to look at options for flexible retirement. The statutory retirement age should be done away with. And working time law needs to be fundamentally reformed.'Climate change presents us with challenges that will dictate the opportunities of future generations.' Lukas Köhler, 31, Free Democratic Party Member of Parliament. Lukas Köhler We've inherited a lot of problems to do with CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate change today presents us with a task - and how we manage this task will directly determine the opportunities available for future generations. That's why I'm fully committed to limiting climate change as much as possible. We will only succeed with a market-based climate policy in which politicians set clear targets for reducing emissions. Other bans and regulations are unnecessary and provide false incentives. If we succeed in building a global emissions trading scheme with ambitious goals, which is as broad as possible for all economic sectors, I'm convinced we can limit global warming to an acceptable level.'We've been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability.' Sonja Oberbeckmann, 36, environmental microbiologist at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research. Sonja Oberbeckmann We have much to thank the previous generations for: no generation has grown up as carefree and with as many possibilities as ours. However, it's come at a price: we've been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability, where material prosperity counts more than individual happiness.My professional field, science, is set up for the short term: there are many temporary contracts, focusing on trendy topics. But this profit-focused society has left its mark everywhere. The environment is riddled with pesticides, exhaust gases, plastics, and much more. People are stressed and it seems they would sooner pop pills than demand the time to live more healthily. Hardly anyone stops to breathe.We, all generations together, can define new goals and break out of this established cycle, that's exploiting human and environmental resources. Instead of sitting passively in front of the television and getting worked up about company bosses, we should all be taking responsibility and consuming both more sustainably and consciously. And we should be asking ourselves from time to time what actually makes us truly happy.'We're still teaching as though we're in the 19th century.' Nina Toller, Private Teacher. Business Insider Deutschland Living in the 21st century, teaching 19th-century style: this is what seems to be at the core of our schooling.I've tried myself to fend this off with learning methods that combine critical thinking and communication with creativity and teamwork, as well as the use of digital media. My students shouldn't just be learning content and facts; they should be learning how to obtain new facts, how to share work effectively and efficiently, and how best to absorb and apply what they've learned. In this way, they develop openness, a willingness to learn, and also a certain degree of independence. The teacher becomes more of a companion for learning and a moderator.My school is open to digital media and supports me in my creative work. I almost always use QR codes or get foreign-language authors, into the classroom via Skype.Yet, due to a lack of technical support, training, time, and security, few teachers can organize something like this on their own initiative. On my page "Toller Unterricht" I publish lots of my ideas as well as tried and tested lesson plans, with materials included.Politicians have made promises to digitize schools. In addition to the lack of qualifications teachers have, there also seems to be a lack of equipment. I'm glad my school has some projectors and smartboards I can use for my lessons, but some don't even have Internet access.Data protection is currently being taken to ridiculous extremes: new data protection regulation makes the use of private computers difficult, so some are being advised to use paper and pen. This won't work within the frame of a digitization strategy for Germany in 2018.Therefore, comprehensive reform is needed. Only then can we equip all our students with the skills to prepare them for life and learning in the 21st century.'It's as if the parents think schools are responsible for raising children.' Franziska Hafer, 23, teacher. Franziska Hafer The older generation has paid far too little attention to sustainable development. Sustainable development means empowering children to form their own opinions and encouraging them to act sustainably. Sustainable development means the current generation is developing, not compromising the next generation, but actively considering it. Children haven't been sensitized to this at all.I think there's a very different tone in schools now. I get the sense that kids are becoming less and less respectful. Manners are disappearing and, unfortunately, you rarely see a boy holding the door open for a girl. It's as if parents think schools are responsible for bringing children up.Some children are only interested in who has the latest, highest-end mobile. The children who do not have a say in this are outside the picture - and I think that the generation above us is responsible for instilling different values.'We've inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us.' Max Lucks, 21, spokesman for Grünen Jugend (Green Youth). Max Lucks We've not inherited generational conflicts; we've inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us, which has dealt little with political change or shaping the future and has been more focused on how everything can remain as is. One only has to look at how Merkel's government dealt with a climate crisis and how it's always been ignored and fought against by one commission or another. This political style has disappointed our generation and rightly so: it's clear to young people that a little isn't enough to answer the hard questions. For example, how can we still find well-paid and permanent jobs in 20 years' time in spite of digitalization?'The older ranks of conservative politicians are afraid of change.' Akilnathan Logeswaren, 29, European Activist. Business Insider Deutschland As an activist for a united Europe, I'm always reminded of how much of the older ranks of conservative politicians fear change. While young people are almost unanimous in their commitment to a united Europe, the older generation is still resistant to it, although though the United States of Europe has been on the agenda of previous German political figures such as Franz Josef Strauss himself.While old politicians are practicing against the left by remaining on the right, today's young people are already focusing more on the spirit of the European Parliament, namely by looking for solutions.In the 21st century, it is no longer about just having ideas, but about collaborating for a shared future. For example, the campaign #FreeInterrail - a free Interrail ticket for all Europeans as soon as they turn 18 - was devised by the youth for the youth. Ideas like these will secure our peace and cohesion in the long term.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 4th, 2021

Experts Address Inflation Fears During RISMedia Panel

An ongoing and historic rise in inflation has shaken not just the real estate industry, but has affected nearly every business and consumer across the country. With December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) topping 7% year-over-year—the largest increase since 1982—real estate professionals are asking just how profound the impacts will be on their clients and markets. […] The post Experts Address Inflation Fears During RISMedia Panel appeared first on RISMedia. An ongoing and historic rise in inflation has shaken not just the real estate industry, but has affected nearly every business and consumer across the country. With December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) topping 7% year-over-year—the largest increase since 1982—real estate professionals are asking just how profound the impacts will be on their clients and markets. At RISMedia’s Real Estate Rocking in the New Year virtual event earlier this month, some of the industry’s most respected and influential minds came together to break down the potential for disruption, likely future trends, and actionable steps to take for real estate brokers in the face of these alarming numbers. “I think in 2022 we’re still going to see a really robust market once again. I’m very optimistic about it,” said Joan Docktor, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach. Even with mortgage rates already ticking up and likely to increase further this year, Docktor and the other expert panelists broadly agreed that demand for homes would not be significantly hampered and home prices would continue to appreciate. On the other hand, Scott MacDonald, broker/owner of RE/MAX Gateway said that inflation has pushed the cost of new home construction to dizzying heights, with building materials still seeing costs climb 500% and that could push some out of the market. “You’re going to see all these costs passed over to consumers as a result of that,” he warned. “People are going to get more concerned about how they’re spending money, and it’s going to be a challenging time for consumers and for purchasers of new homes.” But for anyone who can afford a home should not be discouraged, he added, as home price appreciation has always been a good hedge against long-term inflation. Sarah Richardson, CEO & founder of TruRealty, pointed out that rising rents are going to push more people to buy despite continued low inventory and inflationary pressures. “Consumer confidence is very strong, I think it’s going to remain very strong, but we could probably use a little bit more inventory to help some of those buyers fulfill their dreams in becoming a homeowner,” she said. That lack of inventory is affecting everyone, the panelists said, and there is no quick solution to that. But Docktor posited that prices might “taper off” once inventory opens up as more normalcy returns to life and people have babies, get married and change jobs, resulting in more existing home sales. Panel moderator Dan Kruse, CEO/president of Century 21 Affiliated said he has heard concerns that the number of home sales overall would drop in 2022 in response to inflation and continued low inventory—a question that has seen disagreement from experts so far. As the “sticker shock” of inflation wears off, though, Richardson said she looks at the macroeconomic fundamentals continuing to indicate continued strength in the real estate market. “I still think people are making more money, there are jobs out there. The economy is really, really strong, so 2022 is still going to remain strong. I think we’re still going to remain a seller’s market,” she predicted. As far as what real estate business owners need to do in the face of these still-unprecedented times, MacDonald said that educating agents will be the most important step to take as both consumers and real estate professionals encounter confusing and often conflicting information about inflation and markets. That includes the kind of national expert commentary and predictions provided by the panel, as well as hyperlocal market info about open house traffic, offers and home sales. “Being ahead of the game and being up to date with the trends is something we need to have our agents know, so they can take that information that we provide them, to share with the clients,” MacDonald said. “Getting that information and relaying it out to your agents is critical.” For business owners trying to save money this year, Docktor said that having agents in the office less—something that was already a trend in real estate before the pandemic—gives business owners an opportunity to find efficiencies with hybrid work models, balancing culture with flexibility. Consolidating smaller offices is even an option, she added, which can also create new synergies for back-office operations and infrastructure. “You really need to study the market, study what your agents want, make sure you are able to give that to them,” she said. “Make sure that you have the space that they need, but you don’t have that overflow of space that you don’t need because space and employees are your most expensive costs.” An overall positive outlook on 2022’s possibilities in the face of inflation, however, should have real estate business owners pushing forward rather than pulling back, according to Kruse, as short term worries and uncertainty are very likely to morph into another big year for real estate. “We’re all looking at the industry and saying there’s a positive time ahead of us and what 2022 has in store,” Kruse said. Missed the event? Replays including every panel and expert interview are available here. Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Experts Address Inflation Fears During RISMedia Panel appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJan 14th, 2022

The 7 keys to become a successful influencer in 2022, according to an influencer agent

Don't dismiss any of your hobbies or interests — they could be just the thing to launch your career as an influencer. At a certain number of followers, you need to start taking it more seriously.Monica Schipper/Getty Images for boohoo If you want to become an influencer, it can be intimidating to see the amount of competition around. An influencer agent has written a book that offers tips on how you can do it. He's worked with over 5,000 content creators across YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Becoming an influencer can be a truly fruitful career path. But there's extreme competition and it can be difficult to know where to begin. The key is to take small steps towards this goal. Sergio Barreda is the director and founder of the agency Keeper Experience, which specializes in advising influencers. Barreda himself has worked with more than 5,000 content creators on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.He's taken these experiences and written a book on them, Vivir de las redes (living online), in which he gives his tips on becoming a successful influencer.Rac1 detailed Barreda's top recommendations.1. Be a 360º influencerBarreda explains that one of the keys to success as an influencer today is to be on all social networks and know how to create content that works across all platforms.This is what it means to be a 360º influencer. You also need to be on top of any new social media platforms coming out and have a good eye for ones that may become successful. You never know when the next TikTok may come along.2. Find your nicheIf you can find a niche, it's more than possible to become big on a social network like YouTube.A niche is your signature topic. It could be anything: makeup, video games, health, careers, personal development, animals…There is already fierce competition in many of these areas, particularly with things like video games, so it can be difficult to find a niche. It's not impossible, however. You just need to look for an angle that no one else has done yet. For example, a YouTuber called Arlo — who's a talking doll — makes content on video games.You'll have a better chance of success if you go for less popular topics. If there's one thing social media has proven, there's an audience for everything. So don't dismiss any of your hobbies or interests because they could be just the thing to launch your career as an influencer.Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to deliver the content in a visually appealing way.Make sure that you're truly interested in the topic you choose. "When you force yourself to find something, it shows. And on a practical level, you won't give the content 100% of your effort," Barreda says.3. Quality over quantityBarreda recommends prioritizing the quality of your content before anything else. Make sure you use a good camera and you speak clearly. The background and your screen presence are also extremely important.Remember that your audience are already used to a certain standard of videos, so if you fall below this, you may lose your chance of becoming an influencer.4. Start taking it seriously after a set number of followersAt a certain number of followers, you need to start taking it more seriously.For Youtube and Instagram, 10,000 followers is an important number to reach. But on TikTok, where it's somewhat easier to get followers, the figure is around 100,000.5. If you want to make money, you'll have to work hard for itJust keep in mind that you'll need to learn how to manage, and seek out, different sources of income. In the world of social media, you won't only earn money through direct advertising; you'll have to look for sponsors or reach agreements with brands. Finally, there's the world of affiliate marketing.  This is when you receive commissions for purchases made by your followers.The most successful influencers don't usually go looking for these deals, it's the big brands that get in touch.You'll have to work hard when you start out, as you'll need to approach a lot of different brands and learn how to deal with rejections. Each platform also has its own requirements to access its payments systems, so keep this in mind.6. Prioritize discipline and personal improvement"My main advice is to work," Barreda explains. "You have to be enthusiastic and do what you like to do: talk about a specific topic and enjoy it. The rest will come naturally as you build your personal brand," he adds.If you're just thinking about making money from the start, the frustration may get to you and you may give up.Instead, you need to try and improve every day. Find your strengths and go over your weaknesses. Learn from experts on your content. Eventually, you'll find your style without even realizing it, and you'll start getting more and more followers.7. If you think you need a manager, get one"If a creator goes viral and starts to grow and collaborate with brands, obviously agents will approach this creator with offers," Barreda says. "But this is very rare because the big agents already have their teams," he goes on.So don't get discouraged if the opportunity doesn't come knocking. Be proactive and find it yourself. Go to agencies that you think fit your style, but make sure you've done your research before you sign anything. You'll need to check over things like exclusivity conditions and commissions.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

Axie Infinity and The Sandbox lead drop in metaverse tokens as altcoins follow bitcoin lower

Axie Infinity slumped 16.8% in the last 24 hours, as the Sandbox and Enjin coin fell 6.6% and 7.5%, respectively. Axie Infinity media kitAxie Infinity media kit Metaverse tokens followed the broader crypto market lower on Thursday.   Axie Infinity, the largest play-to-earn token by market value, slumped 16.8% over a 24 hour period.  Enjin coin and the Sandbox also fell, but Decentraland avoided the rout.  Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Bitcoin is tumbling, and it's taking metaverse tokens with it. On Thursday, as the world's largest cryptocurrency dropped 9%, metaverse tokens Axie Infinity, the Sandbox, and Enjin Coin also tumbled.Axie Infinity, the token behind its namesake play-to-earn game and the largest metaverse coin by market value, slumped 16.8% to $78.30 in the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko data.The Sandbox, the second largest metaverse coin, slumped 6.6% to $5.20 in the last day, while major gaming token Enjin coin slumped 7.5% to $2.53, the data showed. Decentraland, the third largest token, avoided the rout and rose slightly. The drop in cryptocurrencies began Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve said it may begin tightening monetary policy faster than previously expected as it grapples with inflation running at a nearly 40-year high. Major cryptocurrencies ethereum, binance coin, and solana also slumped as risk assets were battered by the Fed hawkishness.While bitcoin hit an all-time high $69,000 in 2021, its percent gains were meager compared to metaverse tokens. Previous data from Macro Hive showed five coins -- Axie Infinity, Decentraland, Sandbox, Enjin Coin, and GALA -- surged an eye-popping 37,000% through November last year, while bitcoin just doubled its price.  People have flocked to crypto games like Axie Infinity as a way to make money in virtual worlds. The tokens used in such games got a boost when the parent company of Facebook rebranded to Meta Platforms, in a sign of its push into the future of the internet that's been dubbed both the metaverse and Web3 -- a futuristic virtual world where people can game, shop, work, and interact.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 6th, 2022

An Industry-Backed Group Thinks the Metaverse Can Avoid the Ills of Social Media. Here’s How

The OASIS Consortium, a think tank that brings together execs of metaverse platforms, published some of the first comprehensive safety standards for Web 3. A version of this article was published in TIME’s newsletter Into the Metaverse. Subscribe for a weekly guide to the future of the Internet. You can find past issues of the newsletter here. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the 2021 insurrection, when thousands of protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol to dispute the election of President Joe Biden. They injured at least 140 officers, planted pipe bombs and vandalized lawmakers’ offices. Their actions ended in five deaths and tested the mettle of American democracy. Crucially, they organized on social media. An internal Facebook report even acknowledged that the company “helped incite the Capitol Insurrection” by failing to stop the spread of “Stop the Steal” groups and rhetoric. On Jan. 6, users were submitting reports of “false news” at a rate of nearly 40,000 per hour. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] In October, Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta, signaling a full embrace of their belief in the world’s metaverse future. Many critics—including the whistleblower Frances Haugen—feared the move was little more than a tactical distraction from the many harms that have come from the company’s profit-driven decision-making. And Haugen, speaking with my colleague Billy Perrigo, worried that Facebook’s new immersive platform would only exacerbate its existing safety flaws, if left unregulated. Tiffany Xingyu Wang says she shares that concern. Wang is the chief strategy & marketing officer at the AI company Spectrum Labs and the founder of the think tank OASIS Consortium. The OASIS Consortium was founded last year, and pulls together leaders deeply invested in the metaverse: from gaming, dating apps and immersive tech platforms like Roblox, Riot Games and Wildlife Studios to address safety and privacy in Web 3. Wang believes in the power of the metaverse and the benefits of virtual worlds, but also fully understands the damage they could wreak if left to grow unchecked. “You can think of the Jan. 6 insurrection as a result of not having safety guardrails 15 years ago,” she tells me. “This time in the metaverse, either the impact will be much bigger, or the time to get to that catastrophic moment will be much shorter.” But Wang’s solution is not to seek government intervention—but instead work with metaverse builders to self-regulate and think about safety first in a way that most social media platforms did not. Today, the consortium published its first-ever Safety Standards, which it hopes will be a blueprint for how metaverse companies approach rules around safety going forward. “There’s no consensus or definition of good: Most platforms I talked with do not have a playbook as to how to do this,” Wang says. “And then that’s not even mentioning the emerging platforms. There’s a huge gap in terms of fundamental governance issues, which is not a tech problem.” You can find the full standards here. They cover how emerging tech companies should handle privacy, inclusion, interactions with governments and law enforcement; they recommend companies appoint an executive-level officer of trust and safety, partner with hate speech nonprofits and invest in moderation tools. OASIS’s ambition is that “hundreds or thousands” of companies will pledge to adopt the standards going forward. The standards also open the door for OASIS to preside over a grading system for platforms, similar to how buildings are graded on energy efficiency or how companies can be certified as B Corporations—signaling a commitment to social responsibility. Here are some of Wang’s biggest concerns—and potential solutions—that informed OASIS’ metaverse safety standards. Current online safety problems could be exponentially worse in the metaverse Some of the leading thinkers about the metaverse, including Matthew Ball, have listed a few key traits of the metaverse, including that it will be immersive (i.e., you go into a 3D internet instead of looking at it through screen), persistent (platforms never pause or resent, and you interact with them and their inhabitants in real time) and interoperable (you will be able to transfer your digital identity and goods across distinct platforms). While metaverse builders believe each of these traits will benefit users, Wang argues that each also poses significant risks. “Immersiveness increases the impact of any toxicity. Persistence increases the velocity of toxicity. And the interoperability part makes content moderation very hard, because toxicity is very industry-specific. Dating, gaming and social platforms, for example, can have different types of behaviors,” she says. Current social media platforms already have enough trouble tamping down on hate speech, while Facebook video moderators have spoken out about suffering from trauma and burnout from having to watch hours of harrowing content daily. The OASIS Safety Standards stipulate that platforms should spend ample resources from the jump to define, and then prevent hate speech, abuse, and other forms of toxicity from being able to enter immersive digital spaces. The use of AI to rapidly and accurately track misbehavior will be crucial, but must be supported by an actual team of people that grapples with false positives, grey areas and user appeals, Wang says. The adoption of rigorous safety rules will be an uphill battle In the tech world, safety and privacy have long been afterthoughts in favor of revenue, growth and innovation. For many years, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite mottos, for instance, was “move fast and break things.” The grave flaws in this approach were revealed in the Facebook Papers—leaked internal reports—that showed Facebook deprioritized the fight against misinformation, allowing propaganda and misinformation to spread. Wang predicts this profit strategy for metaverse platforms will be far less successful, because of the uphill battle they face to gain new adopters and existing suspicions surrounding the space. If platforms are plagued by safety and privacy concerns from the jump, then “users will not come because they hear it’s toxic: Imagine 4chan and 8chan on the metaverse,” she says. “When it becomes so physically impactful, you will have more reasons for regulators to step in. The government will just shut it down. So safety is key to the survival of the metaverse.” But despite the publishing of the Facebook Papers and the waves of bad press around the company, Meta’s VR app Oculus was the most-downloaded app in the U.S. on Christmas Day. Many of the top metaverse and gaming platforms–including Decentraland, Fortnite, or Twitch–have yet to pledge to adopt the standards. The metaverse will have even more of your personal data Digital companies already track vast amounts of data about us for their own gain. This dynamic, as the journalist Franklin Foer writes in World Without Mind, “provides the basis for invisible discrimination; it is used to influence our choices, both our habits of consumption and our intellectual habits.” Wang says that the data collection in a 3D world could be even more dangerous. Virtual platforms might rely on users having high-quality cameras and microphones in their rooms, and could theoretically track all of movements and purchases across virtual worlds. “The volume of PII, or personal identifiable information, a platform can collect is staggering,” she says. “It’s an issue that keeps me awake.” So later this year, Wang says that OASIS will launch a separate privacy board to deal specifically with this issue and devise guidelines for metaverse platforms. Representation is a key aspect of safety Some metaverse optimists argue Web 3 will help usher in some new utopian, discrimination-free, post-race world. Wang, though, points to an MIT and Stanford study that showed that AI facial recognition worked significantly better for light-skinned men than dark-skinned women. “The machines discriminate,” she says. “If the code of conduct for a platform is written by a very specific privileged group of the society, then it’s impossible for you to be inclusive and cautious about what potential racism and hate speech could happen against underprivileged groups.” The OASIS standards stipulate, then, that companies need diverse hiring practices, especially when it comes to staffers who label and categorize data and moderator content. Pledges to do good aren’t enough There are already several companies that have pledged to use the OASIS standards at its launch, including the gaming platform Roblox, the music streaming company Pandora/Sirius XM, the livestreaming and social networking conglomerate The Meet Group, and the mobile gaming company Wildlife Studios. But Wang is well aware that promises alone are far from adequate. The next step will be to hold platforms accountable when they make mistakes or aren’t living up to their promised standards. That begins with a grade assessment system, which OASIS hopes to roll out in the second quarter of 2023 in conjunction with audit firms. “A company can request grades to very specifically know where they are, so they can actually improve their practices internally,” Wang says. Geoff Cook, the CEO of the Meet Group and a member of OASIS’s safety advisory board, says he looks forward to the formal process of certification and implementing any suggested policy changes that might arise. “​​The work of keeping our communities safe is never over,” he said in an email. OASIS also plans to work with international governments and agencies to distribute the standards. The think tank already has opened up a dialogue with the Australian government, for example. In a statement, Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, wrote that “pairing our interactive self-assessment with the Oasis User Safety Standards has so much promise in helping to build a digitally sustainable future.” But Wang hopes that the companies of Web 3 will first start with intensive self-regulation. “People are reaching this point of collective consciousness that the current web is not sustainable,” she says. “The role of OASIS is to foster a healthy conversation with governments and private sectors who want to self-regulate.” The standards will be ever-evolving Given the speed at which technology surrounding the metaverse is developing, Wang says it is crucial for the OASIS safety standards to be reviewed biannually. Wang says the think tank will take a “multi-stakeholder approach” to continually tweak its rules; she mentioned deepfakes, in which video or audio files are falsified or manipulated, as a particular area that needs addressing. “We started to talk with nonprofits who give us very specific advice in certain areas. We haven’t really fully looked into deepfakes because the applications and tech are evolving very fast,” she says. Green energy standards are a blueprint for tech’s self-regulation The adaptation of safety standards like those from OASIS may seem like an impossible goal, given the toxicity of the current web and the libertarian bent from many tech pioneers. But for a glimmer of optimism, Wang points to the way that the norms around clean energy have recently shifted. “Fifteen years ago, I was a clean energy investor, when mining coal, oil and gas was mainstream,” she says. “And look at where we are today. Just like LEED energy efficient buildings became the de facto standard for how we build buildings, I want safety, privacy and inclusion to be three core pillars to how we operate in a digital society.” Subscribe to Into the Metaverse for a weekly guide to the future of the Internet. Join TIMEPieces on Twitter and Discord.....»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 6th, 2022

How To Double Your Stock Returns In 2022

Stocks are set to soar again in 2022, so this is the time for investors to make big goals for the year ahead. Such as doubling your investment returns! Kevin will help prepare you for all the opportunities to come. The market was on fire last year with all of the major indexes soaring to new all-time highs, with the Dow up 18.7%, the S&P up 26.9%, and the Nasdaq up 21.4%.And it’s easy to see why. Record low interest rates, a record amount of stimulus money, a record amount of pent-up economic demand, and record corporate profits, are ushering in a record economic rebound.That’s why we’re seeing a record rally in the stock market.And why stocks are expected to soar in 2022.So as an investor, you should be handily beating the market right now. If not, now would be a good time to reflect on what you’re doing right in the market, what you’re doing wrong, and what you'd like to do better.This includes patting yourself on the back for your successes.Being honest with yourself for your failures.And setting big goals for what you'd like to accomplish this year.Like doubling your investment returns. (That’s right, double!)Think Big It takes no more mental energy to work on a big goal than it does to work on a small one.But the end results can be enormous.Most people set their sights on small ideas because they don't yet know how they'll achieve them.But in this day and age, somebody has likely accomplished the very thing you've set out to do -- and left a roadmap on how to do it.That goes for the market too.Continued . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Just Released: Zacks' Top 4 Stocks to Skyrocket in Q1 Four Zacks experts have announced their favorite stocks with the best upside for what looks to be an incredible Q1. One is a leading manufacturer developing critical components for self-driving cars, metaverse/virtual reality, and 5G technologies. The stock’s 17.3X forward P/E makes it one of the best value buys in the one of the world’s most in-demand industries.Today, download the private Special Report that names these stocks and spotlights their exceptional gain potential over the next 3 months. There’s no better time to look into these companies. The stock market is in the midst of an historic run and these 4 stocks could be your best profit plays in the first quarter of the new year.See Our “Ultimate” Stocks Now >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Do What Works What we’re seeing right now in both the economy and the market is history in the making.So how do you fully take advantage of this historic opportunity?By focusing in on which stocks should move up the most. That means sticking with tried and true methods that work to find the best ones.For example, did you know that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buy have beaten the market in 26 of the last 32 years with an average annual return of 24.7% per year? That's nearly 2.5 x the S&P. But when doing this year after year, that can add up to a lot more than just two and a half times the returns.And did you also know that stocks in the top 50% of Zacks Ranked Industries outperform those in the bottom 50% by a factor of 2 to 1? There's a reason why they say that half of a stock's price movement can be attributed to the group that it's in. Because it's true!Those two things will give any investor a huge probability of success and put you well on your way to achieving your goals.But you’re not there yet, as those two items alone will only narrow down a field of 10,000 stocks to the top 100 or so. Way too many to trade at once.So the next step is to get that list down to the best 5-10 stocks that you can buy.Proven Profitable Strategies  Picking the best stocks is a lot easier when there’s a proven, profitable method to do it.And by concentrating on what has proven to work in the past, you’ll have a better idea as to what your probability of success will be now and in the future.For example, if your strategy did nothing but lose money year after year, trade after trade, over and over again, there’s no way you'd want to use that strategy to pick stocks with. Why? Because it's proven to pick bad stocks.On the other hand, if your strategy did great year after year, trade after trade, over and over again, you'd of course want to use that strategy to pick stocks with. Why? Because it's proven to pick winning stocks.Of course, this won't preclude you from ever having another losing trade. But if your stock picking strategy picks winners more often than losers, you can feel confident that your next trade will have a high probability of success.Stock Picking Secrets of the Pros  One of the best ways to begin picking better stocks and doubling your returns is to see what the pros are doing.Whether you’re a growth investor, or a value investor, prefer fast-paced momentum stocks, or mature dividend-paying income stocks, there are certain rules the experts follow to maximize their gains.This applies to large-caps and small-caps, biotech and high-tech, ETF’s, stocks under $10, stocks about to surprise, even options, and everything in between. Regardless of which one fits your personal style of trade, just be sure you’re following proven profitable methods that work, from experts who have demonstrated their ability to beat the market.The best part about these strategies is that all of the hard work is done for you. There’s no guesswork involved. Just follow the experts and start getting into better stocks on your very next trade.Roadmap to Success As you can see, there’s a clear roadmap to success to help you achieve your goal of doubling your stock returns in 2022, and for years to come. No need to reinvent the wheel. The path has already been created. Now it’s just about doing it. And there’s never been a better time.These truly are historic times for the economy and the market. And historic times bring historic opportunity.So make sure you’re taking full advantage of it.Where to Start in Q1  One of the smartest ways to maximize your gains is to find out what the professionals are doing and consider following along.Here's an easy way to do that: Download our just-released Ultimate Four Special Report. These are 4 stocks hand-picked by our experts. Each has strong fundamentals and exceptional growth potential. They’re ideally suited to soar in current trading conditions.Stock #1: A leading manufacturer developing critical components for self-driving cars, metaverse/virtual reality, and 5G technologies. The stock’s 17.3X forward P/E makes it one of the best value buys in the one of the world’s most in-demand industries.  Stock #2: A large-cap retailer that has skyrocketed +278% since the beginning of the pandemic bounceback. Wall Street firms expect the momentum to continue and keep raising their price targets accordingly.Stock #3: A disruptive medical stock that’s climbed 11X faster than the rest of the industry as the company grabs more and more market share from legacy providers. After posting record-high quarterly revenues and monster earnings growth, this stock is worth looking into right away.Stock #4: A power player in the food industry that has thrived despite labor shortages and other pandemic challenges. The stock is attracting investors for both its value and growth characteristics. With 6 straight earnings beats and increasing estimates, Q1 looks to be another exciting quarter.You can be one of the first to see these promising recommendations when you download this Special Report today. Opportunity ends midnight Sunday, January 9.Look into these elite 4 stocks now >> Thanks and good trading,KevinKevin Matras serves as Executive Vice President of Zacks.com and is responsible for all of its leading products for individual investors. He invites you to download Zacks’ newly released Ultimate Four Special Report. Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 5th, 2022

Don’t Let Journalists Turn You Away From This Early-Stage Tech Opportunity

“What is Internet, anyway?” Bryant Gumbel asked this on The Today Show in 1994. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Source: TODAY Looking back on this, it’s easy to laugh. This was long before our lives revolved around the internet. Most people had no idea what the internet would become. Even fewer folks were thinking […] “What is Internet, anyway?” Bryant Gumbel asked this on The Today Show in 1994. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Source: TODAY Looking back on this, it’s easy to laugh. This was long before our lives revolved around the internet. Most people had no idea what the internet would become. Even fewer folks were thinking about how to invest in it. But those who saw the incredible potential of the internet went on to create the world’s most important businesses. Think Jeff Bezos and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)… Marc Benioff and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM)… Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Of course, entrepreneurs weren’t the only ones to cash in on the internet. Countless everyday investors made life-changing money as stocks like Netflix rose over 3,000%. But the truth is, most investors did NOT buy into these incredible stocks early on. Do you know why? Because most folks failed to tune out the naysayers. New megatrends always seem like a joke in the beginning… When they’re first getting started, world-changing megatrends have far more detractors than supporters. Those detractors often populate the major media. They’re loud, and they’re everywhere. So, it’s easy to listen to them. But listening to naysayers is one of the worst mistakes you can make as an investor. Just imagine if you shrugged off investing in the internet in its early days because some journalist called it a passing fad. Source: Daily Mail Of course, the internet is just one highly profitable megatrend that was mocked and dismissed during its early days. An Obituary For Bitcoin No one respected bitcoin (BTC) when it was worth $0.0008… Bitcoin is the world’s most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. It was created in 2009. In its very early days, hardly anyone besides hard-core libertarians and “cypherpunks” even knew about bitcoin. Cypherpunks are a group of folks who believe the privacy-enhancing technology behind bitcoin is a game changer. Word eventually got out about this underground technology. And once again, journalists, politicians, and even some respected investors were quick to dismiss it as a scam. Bitcoin has been declared “dead” more than four hundred times, according to website 99Bitcoins. Whether it was worth pennies on the dollar, or over $60,000 per coin, someone wrote an obituary for bitcoin. Source: 99Bitcoins Bitcoin is obviously alive and well. Today, it’s worth more than $900 billion, and its price has rallied more than 5,700,000,000% since its creation. Bitcoin’s incredible rally has also given rise to thousands of other cryptocurrency projects. The secure blockchain technology that’s behind crypto is revolutionizing the way people borrow and lend money. Of course, very few people recognized the immense potential of cryptocurrencies back in 2009. The same is true of the internet. Hardly anyone could have predicted that we’d use the internet to interact with our friends and family, and shop for everything from groceries to cars. So, it’s only fair to cut the journalists some slack. After all, it’s not like journalists are paid to see the big picture… The same goes for the talking heads on TV. Their job is to entertain people. It’s not to help folks envision the future and invest in it. So, you shouldn’t look to them for investing advice. I mention all this because another massive money-making opportunity is staring us in the face right now. Just like the internet and bitcoin, it may sound “farfetched.” But please, don’t dismiss it as a fad. Metaverse: An Early-Stage Tech Opportunity The metaverse is the biggest tech opportunity since the creation of the internet… If you’ve been reading RiskHedge, you know the metaverse is a new, 3D, immersive internet. A virtual world where you, through an avatar, can socialize with other people, work, play, create, and basically exist. Much of what takes place on the internet today could soon take place inside the metaverse. And it’s just now starting to get the attention it deserves. But there are still many folks in the media who are dismissing the metaverse. Just look at this recent headline from The Guardian. It’s calling the metaverse a “boondoggle,” or a waste of time. Source: The Guardian CNN refers to the metaverse as a “dystopian sci-fi idea.” Source: CNN Now, I understand why some people are so dismissive. For one, it’s still very much the early days for the metaverse. Just like the way folks were skeptical of the early internet, it’s hard to see how the metaverse will reshape every aspect of our lives. Plus, the only people really using the metaverse right now are children. But more than half of all American children are already playing on the metaverse! And children are often the first to embrace revolutionary technologies. We saw this play out with video games and social media. Now, the same thing is happening with the metaverse. Giant tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are at the forefront of this technological revolution. Facebook is reinventing its entire business around the metaverse. Earlier this year, Facebook changed its name to Meta. And it plans to spend $10 billion and hire 10,000 people to build out the infrastructure of the metaverse. And Facebook is far from alone. Microsoft has had its eyes set on the metaverse for years. In 2014, it acquired the virtual sandbox game Minecraft for $2.5 billion. Microsoft is also actively building out the “enterprise metaverse.” In a nutshell, it aims to integrate the metaverse with the business world. Imagine a business that is headquartered in New York with a warehouse in Tokyo. It’s impossible for a worker to visit both locations in one business day. Microsoft wants to change that through the metaverse. In short, it will digitally map both places. Then workers could virtually “visit” both locations, no matter where they are in the physical world. NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has also made the metaverse a top priority. The artificial intelligence pioneer recently launched its Omniverse platform that will allow engineers to develop 3D worlds for the metaverse. A couple months ago, Nvidia’s Jensen Huang said that “the economy in the metaverse, the economy of Omniverse, will be larger than the economy in the physical world.” In other words, the metaverse is going to be worth tens of trillions of dollars. We’re looking at the next evolution of the internet—an internet that you can live in. The metaverse will be a space where everyone can socialize, work, play, and create. At this point, you must ask yourself, “Who’s more likely to be correct about the metaverse?” Will it be the naysayers doubting this new technology? Or the companies and entrepreneurs who are taking risks, investing their own money, and reshaping their entire business models to accommodate it? My money, as always, is on the visionaries. The Great Disruptors: 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money" Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that will hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article By Justin Spittler, Mauldin Economics Updated on Jan 5, 2022, 1:54 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 5th, 2022

4 email templates to use to decline a job interview, according to career coaches

Whether you've accepted another job or simply changed your mind, your email should express gratitude and stay ambiguous. When you sense that a job isn't the right fit, it's best to turn down the interview offer.MoMo Productions/Getty Images Job interviews are time-consuming and sometimes it's necessary to turn them down. Whether you've accepted another job or just changed your mind, there are ways to decline politely. Your reply should show gratitude, give vague reasoning, and be sent within a few days.  When a recruiter emails and invites you to interview for a job, your split-second reaction can range from "YESSSSS" to "ugh." The "YESSSSS" next steps are pretty straightforward: You respond, schedule it, prepare for it, and shine bright like a diamond. The "ugh" route is murkier. Because, honestly, the interview could be great practice. If you're hesitant because you think you're under-qualified, or overqualified, or not that into it, or that the pay may not be quite right — why not Shonda Rhimes it, i.e. just say yes, and consider it prep for the "YESSSSS" interviews?Time. Time is often the reason. You're busy, we get it. But what do you say? Is there, possibly, a way to say not now...but leave the door open? Yes, reader, there is. And it's pretty simple.Here, we'll unpack why it's OK to decline an interview and not feel an ounce of guilt over it. Then we'll help you pen your response email (with templates). Exhale. Let's go:When should you decline a job interview?Answer: When you sense, deep in your gut, that it's not the way. But if you want help putting words to your instincts — or calming yourself with a few additional reasons it's really allowed — try these:You've accepted another job offerYep, you're a hot commodity and hiring managers know it. Someone else got to you first, with a sweet offer you gladly accepted. But you haven't shared *some personal news* on social yet, so other companies may still trickle into your inbox. Below, we'll share a template that conveys your current status in a respectful way.You've turned up too many deal breakersCould be that the recruiter goes months between emailing you, or you learn that employees are working around the clock. "If you've come across [multiple] red flags in the application or initial interview process, trust your gut and decline," said Muse career coach Heather Yurovsky, founder of Shatter & Shine, whose coaching focuses on resumes and interview prep.The org doesn't align with your visionMuse career coach Yolanda Owens often has clients who hear back about a job they applied to months ago — when they were "applying to anything and everything" — but who've since started weeding out lower-priority opps. Perhaps you've realized you're competitive for more senior-level roles, or you've otherwise pivoted your search, says Owens, founder of CareerSensei Consulting and a former recruiter. It may make sense to have a conversation to keep the door open, but if you're gaining traction elsewhere, keep moving forward.Your plans have changedLife happens, including in the time between submitting an application and hearing about an interview. Maybe you need to scale back to part-time work while caring for a sick parent or your partner got a new role and you're suddenly moving across the country. If you're excited about the position, you can move forward and see if there's any flexibility to accommodate these circumstances, but otherwise it's completely fair to opt out.Your work situation has changedWork happens, too, and an unexpected promotion or other organizational shift can change how eager you are to find a new job. If you're beyond thrilled with the new path and can no longer imagine leaving—or want to focus all your energy on your new role — by all means, turn down that interview.You can't (or don't want to) put in the time to prepare If you're not actively looking or you're considering an interview for a position you feel lukewarm about at best, it's OK to say no, especially if "you feel you don't have the bandwidth to prepare because you're overextended at the moment," said Muse career coach Emily Liou, founder of Cultivitae and a former recruiter with experience hiring at Fortune 500 companies and startups.How should you decline a job interview?Here's your checklist:Make sure you're sure. You definitely don't want this to be a practice round, right?Aim to respond within a few days, so it looks like you've given this careful thought and consideration (even if you instantly thought, "Hell no").Start with gratitude. Thank them for thinking of you, etc. — you know what to do.Keep your reasoning vague. "You're happy in your current role," kinda thing. Hey, if you end up furloughed tomorrow, you may want to circle back.Suggest someone else. It's a class act, and will certainly leave them — and the person you refer — with a positive impression of you. (P.S., It's not a bad idea to give that person a heads up.)4 best templates for declining a job interviewLet's get to the good stuff. Use these templates — which we've created with our coaches' input — as a jumping-off point. Feel free to mix and match!You're declining because...you don't want to do the interviewHi [Name],Thank you so much for taking the time to review my application and inviting me to interview for the [position] role at [Organization]. However, I regretfully need to withdraw my application from this process at the moment.Thank you again for your time and consideration and I hope we can stay connected.All best,[Your Name]You're declining because...you've accepted another job offerHi [Name],Thank you so much for reaching out! I'm grateful for the time and consideration you've given my application for the [position] role. However, I recently accepted an offer from another organization.I wish you the best of luck filling this role and hope we can keep in touch. If anything changes in the future, I'll certainly reach out in case the timing is right on both sides.All best,[Your Name]You're declining because...your situation has changedHi [Name],Thanks so much for reaching out with this kind invitation to interview for the [position] role at [Organization]. However, my circumstances have changed since I submitted my application and unfortunately, I need to respectfully decline this opportunity.I would love to stay in touch and hope we'll have another chance to work together down the line.Thank you again for your time and consideration.All best,[Your Name]You're declining but...you want to refer someone elseHi [Name],Thank you so much for the opportunity to interview for the [position] role at [Organization]. While [Organization] intrigues me because [a compelling reason based on their mission, product, or service], I'm not looking to make any career moves at this time.However, my colleague [Colleague's Name with link to LinkedIn profile] might be of interest. I highly recommend them from my previous experience and think they could be a great addition to the [Organization] team.Best of luck — and I hope this isn't the last time our paths will cross!Thanks,[Your Name]You can also swap out that second paragraph with a couple of other options. For example, if you'd like to buy some time so you can give your colleague a heads up and/or see if the recruiter or hiring manager wants to take you up on a referral, you might say:However, I'd be more than happy to recommend a colleague if you're open to referrals.Or if you'd rather leave it to your colleague to decide if they're interested and want to reach out, you could say:However, I may know somebody who is looking. Let me reach out and forward your email and they'll get in touch if they're interested.You never know when you might be able to turn your no into someone else's yes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 5th, 2022

"Just In Case Fiat Money Goes To Hell": Billionaires Are Finally Flooding Into Cryptos

"Just In Case Fiat Money Goes To Hell": Billionaires Are Finally Flooding Into Cryptos It was back in September 2015, when we first predicted that bitcoin would surge exponentially (back then it traded at $250 and we said it would "soar past $500, past $1,000 and rise as high as $10,000 or more"... in retrospect it was "or much more") as millions realized that cryptocurrencies are the logical alternative to failing monetary systems. Fast forward almost seven years later and several thousand percent higher, and only now is the "real" money (not to mention the really dumb money... you know who you are), finally throwing in the towel and starting to load up on crypto. Note, we said "real" money not smart money, because institutional investors entered crypto at the start of 2021 (just as we predicted at the start of last January), around the time Elon Musk discovered his infatuation with cryptos. And now that all the early - and easy - gains have been made, the slow, dumb money, read billionaires, are finally rushing in. Take Thomas Peterffy, the Hungarian-born billionaire founder of Interactive Brokers. It was just a few years ago, back in 2017, when he took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal warning of the dangers that bitcoin futures posed to capital markets. Well, it looks like those dangers are not as dire as he first predicted. These days Peterffy, worth $25 billion, said it’s prudent to have 2% to 3% of one’s personal wealth in cryptocurrencies, just in case fiat currency goes to "hell." A couple points here: fiat currency is going to hell, as even central banks admit with their relentless push to launch CBDCs (although if China is anything to go by, the rollout will be catastrophic), it's just a matter of time. As for what 2-3% of personal wealth being allocated to crypto means, consider that just since the covid pandemic, household net worth has risen by $34 trillion, and was $145 trillion at last check (of course, most of that belongs to the 1%). So in a banana republic where the top 1% of Americans own more wealth than the entire middle class (i.e., those in the 20% to 80% range, as shown in the chart below) for the first time since the Great Depression ... ... what would happen if 3% of just US wealth was converted into cryptos? Well, 3% of $145 is $4.35 trillion, or about double the market cap of all cryptocurrencies in circulation today. So Bitcoin at $100,000, Ethereum at $10k and so on... Of course, if one held much more of their net worth in cryptos over the past decade they would be, to loosely paraphrase Hans Gruber, sitting on a beach, not caring if they earn 20 percent. To be sure, Peterffy is one such billionaire who has made the full conversion from skeptic to believer, and even endorser - as Bloomberg reports, he owns some himself, while his firm Interactive Brokers recently offered customers the ability to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, after detecting “urgency” from its clients to get in on the action. Peterffy said Interactive Brokers will offer the ability to trade another five to 10 coins or so starting this month. It’s possible that cryptocurrencies could reap extraordinary returns — even if the opposite is also true, Peterffy said. “I think it can go to zero, and I think it can go to a million dollars,” he said in an interview. “I have no idea.” Well, unlike Peterffy, we had an idea back in 2015 and so far that idea has returned over 200x in 4 years. But what is more important, is that the Hungarian's tentative approach highlights the shifting attitude toward crypto by investors who once scorned or were wary of digital tokens but realized, especially in 2021, that they can’t bear to miss out on the potential for massive gains that have made millions of ordinary forward thinkers extremely rich. One such example of slow money adoption is Bridgewater's Ray Dalio, whoe recently revealed he was holding at least some Bitcoin and Ethereum in his portfolio only months after questioning crypto’s utility as a store of wealth. The Bridgewater Associates founder views the investments as an alternative money in a  world where “cash is trash’’ and inflation erodes buying power. Paul Tudor Jones disclosed he’s invested as a hedge against inflation, and almost half the family offices Goldman Sachs Group does business with were interested in adding digital currencies to their portfolios. What is remarkable, is that for once the world's richest are far behind the adoption curve, with even retail investors way ahead of them. Consider that while the SEC has yet to approve a token-based ETF, tens of millions of Americans are already investing and trading crypto, a process which made Coinbase founder, Brian Armstrong, worth some $10 billion. Elsewhere, an NFT from Beeple sold for $69.3 million at Christie’s. Tom Brady released NFTs tied to his legendary career, while Katy Perry, Grimes and the agency behind K-Pop sensation BTS all sought to profit from the burgeoning industry. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele even made Bitcoin legal tender in his country. And, as Bloomberg notes, the crypto marketing juggernaut will keep going in 2022  — Staples Center in Los Angeles is now Crypto.com Arena, while FTX and Singapore’s Crypto.com are running ads during the Super Bowl  — even if prices don’t necessarily climb to the moon. Still, that doesn't mean that prices will continue their stratospheric ascent. Billionaire Michael Novogratz, who runs Galaxy Digital, said last month that prices could go “sideways to down” in the near-term. There was a lot of “froth” in the markets in 2021, Novogratz told Bloomberg, as retail investors piled into NFTs and pursued unusual crypto investments. The New York-based digital evangelist also predicted Bitcoin won’t fall below a floor of about $42,000. It closed the year at about $46,300. “So much money is pouring into this space it would make no sense if crypto prices would go much below that,” Novogratz stated. Even if prices did drop, they would promptly find buyers - after all if only 21 million people bought (and held) just one bitcoin, there would be no more freely floating. Jesse Powell, chief executive officer of crypto exchange Kraken, acknowledges prices could fall, but said on Bloomberg TV on Dec. 14 that any move below $40,000 is a “buying opportunity.” Then again, one should take his forecasts with a ton of salt: in August, he predicted prices would reach $100,000 a coin in 2021; they peaked just below $70K. Ark Investment Management’s Cathie Wood, meanwhile, still expects Bitcoin to reach $500,000, and said last month that it isn’t necessarily due for a correction. That said, not every billionaire is a believer. Citadel’s Ken Griffin recently described the rush to embrace cryptocurrencies as a “jihadist call” against the U.S. dollar. But Griffin said his own firm would trade crypto if there were more regulation. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin “worthless” in October, but that came even as the New York-based banking giant was bulking up hiring to help its clients trade digital currencies. Of course, anyone who listened to Dimon who threatened to fire any JPM employees caught trading bitcoin, would have lost on the best investment opportunity of the 21st century... similarly to anyone who still pays for a Financial Times subscription. With its non-stop negative coverage of bitcoin over the past decade, the British (or is that Japanese) newspaper has singlehandedly been responsible for the greatest personal finance value destruction in modern history. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/02/2022 - 18:25.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 2nd, 2022

8 Top CEOs Give Their Predictions for the Wild Year Ahead

(To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are heading into 2022 facing the strong headwinds of the Omicron variant, continued pressure on supply chains, and the great resignation looming over the labor market. TIME asked top leaders… (To receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.) Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are heading into 2022 facing the strong headwinds of the Omicron variant, continued pressure on supply chains, and the great resignation looming over the labor market. TIME asked top leaders from across the world of business to share their priorities and expectations for the year ahead. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, wants to leverage the advances his pharmaceutical company has made in fighting COVID-19 to tackle other diseases, while Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, has made improving access to healthcare one of her goals over the next year. GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan says building trust will be at the heart of decision-making at the crowdfunding platform—both with workers and its wider community. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Innovation is key to Intel CEO Patrick P. Gelsinger and Forerunner Ventures founder and managing partner Kirsten Green. And Rothy’s CEO Stephen Hawthornthwaite, Albemarle CEO Kent Masters, and Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, shared their suggestions for how companies and policymakers can respond to persistent supply chains problems. Read on to see how some of the most powerful people in business envision the coming year. (These answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.) What are the biggest opportunities and challenges you expect in the year ahead? Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer: The scientific advancements made by Pfizer and others over the past year have brought us very powerful tools to battle the worst pandemic of our lives. But, unfortunately, we don’t see everyone using them. I am concerned about the limited infrastructure and resources in the poorest countries as they struggle to administer their supply of COVID-19 vaccines to their people. Some of these countries have asked us to pause our deliveries of doses while they work to address these issues. While I am proud of the work Pfizer has done to make vaccines available to low- and lower middle-income countries over the past year, we need to find new ways to support the World Health Organization as they work with NGOs and governments to address these infrastructure issues. Getty ImagesAlbert Bourla, CEO, Pfizer Over the next year I’d like us to help find solutions to issues like the shortage of medical professionals, vaccine hesitancy due to limited educational campaigns, lack of equipment and even roads to allow timely delivery of vaccines. Throughout every chapter of this pandemic, we have been reminded of the importance of collaboration and innovative thinking. We need to work harder than ever before to address these health inequities so that people around the globe are protected from the virus. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel: Throughout the history of technology, we’ve seen the pendulum swinging between centralized and decentralized computing. And there is still a tremendous untapped opportunity in edge computing as we bring greater intelligence to devices such as sensors and cameras in everything from our cars to manufacturing to the smart grid. Edge computing will not replace cloud; we’re swinging back to where decentralized compute becomes the primary growth for new workloads because the inference and AI analysis will take place at the edge. Technology has the power to improve the lives of every person on earth and Intel plays a foundational role within. We aim to lead in the opportunity for every category in which we compete. Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens: The pandemic affirmed Walgreens as a trusted neighborhood health destination to help our customers and patients manage their health. We provide essential care to our communities, including administering more than 50 million COVID-19 vaccines as of early December 2021. The opportunity ahead of us at Walgreens Health—our new segment launched this past fall—is to create better outcomes for both consumers and partners, while lowering costs across the care continuum. A year from now I want to look back on this time as an inflection point and a moment in time where real, lasting change happened—that we will all have collectively banded together to get through the pandemic and at the same time delivered real change toward improving accessible and affordable healthcare. I feel inspired and hopeful that some good will come out of this very difficult time in our country and the world’s history. Jason Redmond—AFP/Getty ImagesRosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens, speaks in Seattle, Washington on Mar. 20, 2019. Tim Cadogan, CEO of GoFundMe: We’re going to see continued disruption in the world and the workplace in 2022—this will require more people to come together to help each other. Our opportunity is to use our voice and platform to bring more people together to help each other with all aspects of their lives. Asking for help is hard but coming together to help each other is one of the most important and rewarding things we can do in life. We are continuously improving our product to make it easier for more people to both ask for and give help, whether it’s helping an individual fulfill a dream, working on a global cause like climate change, or supporting a family during a difficult time. Kirsten Green, founder and managing partner of Forerunner Ventures: We are nearly two years into the pandemic, and it is still ongoing. We must embrace this new normal and figure out how to make that reality work for our businesses, our consumers, and our people. Thankfully, we often see innovation come out of these periods of change and fluctuation. At the same time, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that the world has evolved, and it is still important to understand that the ‘reset’ button just got hit for a lot of people. Values, goals, and core needs are being reevaluated and reestablished, and we as a society need to figure out how to move forward during a volatile period. Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles: Our industry needs to help drive the American economic recovery amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The top priority remains getting goods to American consumers and creating a more fluid supply chain. We also need to address the growing trade imbalance. Imports are at all-time highs while U.S. exports have declined nearly 40% over the past three years in Los Angeles. We have to help American manufacturers and farmers get their products to global markets. With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, our team is working to get our fair share of federal funds to accelerate projects to improve rail infrastructure, local highways and support facilities. The Port of Los Angeles is the nation’s primary trade gateway, yet east and gulf coast ports have received most of the federal funding in the past decade. The best return on port infrastructure investment is in Los Angeles, where the cargo we handle reaches every corner of the country. Kent Masters, CEO of Albemarle: Challenges will likely continue to include competition for top talent, supply chain disruptions due to possible pandemic impacts to raw material availability and logistics, and potential inflation impacts to material and freight costs, all of which we’re monitoring closely so we can respond quickly. With the global EV market growing rapidly, we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us for years to come. Next year, we’ll advance our lithium business through new capacity ramp-ups in Chile, Australia and China, and restart the MARBL Lithium Wodgina hard rock resource in Australia to help feed our new conversion assets and meet customer needs. We’re also keenly focused on organizational goal alignment and continuous improvement to drive greater productivity through our global workforce next year. What do you expect to happen to supply chains in 2022? Gelsinger: The unprecedented global demand for semiconductors—combined with the impact of the global pandemic—has led to an industry-wide shortage, which is impacting technology providers across the industry. Intel is aggressively stepping in to address these issues and build out more capacity and supply around the globe for a more balanced and stable supply, but it will take time and strong public-private partnerships to achieve. Read more: From Cars to Toasters, America’s Semiconductor Shortage Is Wreaking Havoc on Our Lives. Can We Fix It? Brewer: We learned a lot over the past two years and companies are taking action with investments in capacity, resiliency and agility for supply chains across the world. We will continue finding creative ways to increase manufacturing and shipping capacity. Manufacturers will continue expanding capacity and increasing the diversity in their supplier base to reduce reliance of single sourcing. Companies will continue to invest to increase resiliency through expanded inventory positions, extended planning horizons and lead-times, and increased agility in manufacturing and logistics capabilities to fulfill customer needs. As the marketplace changes, we must be agile and adapt quickly as we respond to shifts in consumer behavior. Investments in technology, such as real time supply chain visibility and predictive/prescriptive analytics, will enable companies to deliver the speed and precision expected by today’s consumer. Seroka: Goods and products will get to market. The maritime logistics industry must raise the bar and make advances on service levels for both our import and export customers. Retailers will be replenishing their inventories in the second quarter of the year. And by summer, several months earlier than usual, we’ll see savvy retailers bringing in products for back to school, fall fashion and the winter holidays. Despite the challenges, retail sales reached new highs in 2021. Collectively, supply chains partners need to step up further to improve fluidity and reliability. Stephen Hawthornthwaite, CEO of Rothy’s: In 2022, pressure from consumers for transparency around manufacturing and production, coupled with pandemic learnings about existing supply chain constraints, will push businesses to condense their supply chains and bring in-house where possible. I also predict that more brands will test make-to-demand models to better weather demand volatility and avoid supply surpluses—a benefit for businesses, consumers and the planet. Nimbleness and a willingness to innovate will be crucial for brands who wish to meet the demands of a post-pandemic world. At Rothy’s, we’ve built a vertically integrated model and wholly-owned factory, enabling us to better navigate the challenges that production and logistics present and unlock the full potential of sustainability and circularity. Courtesy of Rothy’sStephen Hawthornthwaite, chairman and CEO, Rothy’s Green: The pandemic crystallized what a lot of us knew to be true, but hadn’t yet evaluated: There’s not nearly as much innovation in the supply chain as a flexible world is going to need. What we’re seeing now is a giant wake-up call to the entire commerce ecosystem. This is more than a rallying cry; it’s a mandate to reevaluate how we’re managing our production processes, and 2022 will be the start of change. Expect a massive overhaul of the system, and expect to see more investment building innovation, efficiency, and sustainability into the supply chain space. Read more: How American Shoppers Broke the Supply Chain Masters: As the pandemic continues with new variants, we expect global supply chain issues to persist in 2022. To what degree remains to be seen, but I would expect impacts to some raw materials, freight costs, and even energy costs. On a positive note, we can successfully meet our customer obligations largely because of our vertically integrated capabilities. This helps us continue to be a reliable source of lithium, as well as bromine. Worldwide logistics issues are a factor, but more marginal in the supply question when the determining factor is the ability to convert feedstock to product and bolster the supply chain. In lithium, we have active conversion facilities running at full capacity now. As we bring more capacity online (La Negra III/IV, Kemerton I/II, Silver Peak expansion, and our Tianyuan acquisition in China) while making more efficient use of our feedstocks, it will help strengthen the global supply chain. How will the labor market evolve and what changes should workers expect in the coming year? Brewer: The labor market will continue to be competitive in 2022. I often say to my team: as an employer, it’s not about the products we make, it’s not about our brand. It’s about how are we going to motivate team members to feel good about themselves, fulfilled and passionate about their work, to contribute at their highest level of performance. How do we create a culture that means Walgreens Boots Alliance is the best place to work—so our team members say, “Yes, pay me for the work that I do, but help me love my job.” In the coming year and beyond, broadly across the market, we will see that managers will continue to become even more empathetic and listen more actively to their team members as people. Workers will expect that employers and their managers accept who they are as their whole, authentic selves, both personally and professionally. Read more: The ‘Great Resignation’ Is Finally Getting Companies to Take Burnout Seriously. Is It Enough? Gelsinger: Our employees are our future and our most important asset, and we’ve already announced a significant investment in our people for next year. As I’ve said, sometimes it takes a decade to make a week of progress; sometimes a week gives you a decade of progress. As I look to 2022, navigating a company at the heart of many of the pandemic-related challenges, we must all carefully consider what shifts are underway and what changes are yet to come. It will continue to be a competitive market and I expect you’ll continue to see companies establish unique benefits and incentives to attract and retain talent. We expect the “hybrid” mode that’s developed over the past years to become the standard working model going forward. Al Drago/Bloomberg—Getty ImagesPatrick Gelsinger, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., speaks during an interview at an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Dec. 9, 2021. Bourla: The past couple of years have challenged our workforce in ways that we never would have imagined. Companies have asked employees to demonstrate exceptional flexibility, commitment, courage and ingenuity over the past two years—and they have risen to the challenge. I predict that we are likely to see an increase in salaries in the coming year due to inflation—and I believe this is a good thing for workers, as it will help close the gap in income inequality. That said, financial rewards are no longer the only thing that employees expect from their employers. Increasingly, people want to work for a company with a strong culture and a defined purpose. As such, companies will need to foster and promote a culture in which employees feel respected and valued for their contributions and made to feel that they are integral to furthering the purpose of their company. Businesses that are able to create such a culture will not only be able to attract the best talent, but also maximize the engagement, creativity and productivity of their people by enabling them to bring their best selves to every challenge. Green: For many years, Forerunner has been saying, “It’s good to be a consumer. Consumers want what they want, when they want it, how they want it, and they’re getting it.” That same evolution of thought has now moved into the labor market: It’s a worker’s market, not a company’s market, and the relationship between the worker and the employer needs to evolve because of that. Workers should expect to get more flexibility, respect, benefits, and pay in some cases—but they still need to show up and deliver impact at work. It’s a two-way street, and we need to tap into a broader cultural work ethic. As a society, we need to be more holistic in our approach to meeting both company and worker needs. Read more: The Pandemic Revealed How Much We Hate Our Jobs. Now We Have a Chance to Reinvent Work Seroka: There’s a need for more truck drivers and warehouse workers in southern California. President Biden’s new Trucking Action Plan funds trucker apprentice programs and recruit U.S. military veterans. It’s an important step forward to attract, recruit and retain workers. Private industry needs to look at improved compensation and benefits for both truckers and warehouse workers. We need to bring a sense of pride and professionalism back to these jobs. On the docks, the contract between longshore workers and the employer’s association expires June 30. Both sides will be hard at work to negotiate and reach an agreement that benefits the workers and companies while keeping cargo flowing for the American economy. Courtesy Port of Los AngelesGene Seroka, executive director, Port of Los Angeles. Masters: I think there will still be a fight for talent next year. It’s a tight labor market overall and Covid-19 restrictions are a challenge in some regions. Albemarle has a really attractive growth story and profile, especially for workers interested in combatting climate change by contributing in a meaningful way to the clean energy transition. We are embracing a flexible work environment, much like other companies are doing, and upgrading some benefits to remain an employer of choice in attracting and retaining the best people on our growth journey. And, of course, we should all expect pandemic protocols to continue next year to ensure everyone’s health and safety. How do you see your role as a leader evolving over the coming year? Bourla: We are entering a golden age of scientific discovery fueled by converging advancements in biology and technology. As an industry, we must leverage these advancements to make disruptive changes in the way we discover, develop and bring new medicines to patients. Since I became CEO of Pfizer, we have been working to reimagine this process by operating as a nimbler, more science-driven organization, focused on delivering true breakthroughs for patients across our six therapeutic areas. In the past few years, we have demonstrated our ability to deliver on this promise of bringing true scientific breakthroughs through our colleagues’ tireless work in COVID-19. But there is more work to be done to address the unmet need in other disease areas—and now is the time to do it. In the year ahead, my leadership team and I will focus on leveraging these advancements in biology and technology, as well as the lessons learned from our COVID-19 vaccine development program, so that we may continue to push this scientific renaissance forward. This is critical work that we must advance for patients and their families around the world who continue to suffer from other devastating diseases without treatment options. Gelsinger: We are in the midst of a digital renaissance and experiencing the fastest pace of digital acceleration in history. We have immense opportunities ahead of us to make a lasting impact on the world through innovation and technology. Humans create technology to define what’s possible. We ask “if” something can be done, we understand “why,” then we ask “how.” In 2022, I must inspire and ensure our global team of over 110,000 executes and continues to drive forward innovation and leadership on our mission to enrich the lives of every person on earth. Brewer: Purpose is the driving force at this point in my career. I joined Walgreens Boots Alliance as CEO in March of 2021, what I saw as a rare opportunity to help end the pandemic and to help reimagine local healthcare and wellbeing for all. Seven months later, we launched the company’s new purpose, vision, values and strategic priorities. My role as CEO now and in 2022 is to lead with our company’s purpose—more joyful lives through better health—at the center of all we do for our customers, patients and team members. I’m particularly focused on affordable, accessible healthcare for all, including in traditionally medically underserved communities. Healthcare is inherently local, and all communities should have equitable access to care. John Lamparski—Getty Images for Advertising Week New YorkTim Cadogan, CEO of GoFundMe, speaks in New York City on Sept. 26, 2016. Cadogan: The last two years were dominated by a global pandemic and social and geopolitical issues that will carry over into 2022. The role of leaders in this new and uncertain environment will be to deliver value to their customers, while helping employees navigate an increasingly complex world with a completely new way of working together. Trust will be at the center of every decision we make around product development and platform policies—do the decisions we are making align with our mission to help people help each other and do they build trust with our community and our employees? Green: Everything around us is moving at an accelerated pace, and being a leader requires you to operate with a consistent set of values while still leaning into opportunity. Arguably, the pandemic has been the most disruptive time in decades—a generational disruption on par with the Depression or WWII. People’s North Stars are in the process of transforming, and leaders need to figure out what that means for their companies, their cultures, and their work processes. How does this change require leaders to shift their priorities as a business? Courtesy, Forerunner VenturesKirsten Green, founder and managing partner, Forerunner Ventures Masters: My leadership style is to make decisions through dialogue and debate. I encourage teams to be curious about other perspectives, be contrarian, actively discuss, make decisions, and act. I wasn’t sure how well we could do this from a strictly remote work approach during the pandemic, but watching our teams thrive despite the challenge changed my mind. Our people adapted quickly to move our business forward. We’ve worked so well that we’re integrating more flexibility into our work environment in 2022. With this shift to hybrid work, it will be important for all leaders, myself included, to empower employees in managing their productivity, and ensure teams stay engaged and focused on our key objectives. We’re facing rapid growth ahead, so our culture is vital to our success. I’ll continue to encourage our teams to live our values, seek diverse viewpoints, be decisive, and execute critical work to advance our strategy. Courtesy of Albemarle Kent Masters, CEO of Albemarle Seroka: Overseeing the nation’s busiest container port comes with an outsized responsibility to help our nation—not just the Port of Los Angeles—address the challenges brought about by the unprecedented surge in consumer demand. That means taking the lead on key fronts such as digital technology, policy and operational logistics. On the digital front, our industry needs to use data better to improve the reliability, predictability, and efficiency in the flow of goods. Policy work will focus on improving infrastructure investment, job training and advocating for a national export plan that supports fair trade and American jobs. Operationally, we’ll look for new ways to improve cargo velocity and efficiency......»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 2nd, 2022

5 Trends That Will Move Mortgages and Housing in 2022

(TNS)—In the Amazon age, consumers are more pampered—and less patient—than ever. Tap your phone and, voilà—hot food from your favorite restaurant arrives in minutes. High-end electronics appear on your doorstep in hours. However, the mortgage industry has yet to deliver anything like that level of instant gratification. The typical time from application to consummation of […] The post 5 Trends That Will Move Mortgages and Housing in 2022 appeared first on RISMedia. (TNS)—In the Amazon age, consumers are more pampered—and less patient—than ever. Tap your phone and, voilà—hot food from your favorite restaurant arrives in minutes. High-end electronics appear on your doorstep in hours. However, the mortgage industry has yet to deliver anything like that level of instant gratification. The typical time from application to consummation of a mortgage is 50 days, according to ICE Mortgage Technology, a glacial pace compared to the swiftness of most other things in modern life. “The mortgage space is many decades behind everyone else,” says Chris Boyle, a longtime executive at mortgage giant Freddie Mac and now president of home lending at Roostify. Boyle’s company is one of many aiming to hasten the mortgage process so that closing times might someday be measured in days rather than weeks. Roostify is part of a new breed of property technology, or “proptech,” companies that aim to pull home loans and property sales into the digital age. Here are trends to watch in 2022. 1. Mortgages: Getting to Yes Faster Digital players want to close your mortgage more swiftly—although even the optimists say the process will continue to unspool over a period of days and weeks, rather than the seconds and minutes used as benchmarks in other corners of the economy. One obvious obstacle, according to Jess Kennedy, co-founder of Beeline: Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who set the rules for most mortgages, have built-in seven-day minimums for many of their processes. While proptech companies acknowledge they won’t be able to wire the money within hours of your mortgage application, they’re focusing on a different goal—giving consumers a yes or no instantly. Beeline, a lender that does business in two dozen states, promises to let borrowers know exactly where they are in the process at any moment. “We liken it to the Domino’s Pizza Tracker,” Kennedy says. Roostify, which works to speed the mortgage process on behalf of lenders, has a similar approach. “You want to give the consumer certainty,” Boyle says. Roostify focuses on time savings by automating paper-intensive parts of the process, like verifying tax returns and pay stubs. Having an actual human look at every document adds days and weeks to the timetable, Boyle says. But automation takes lenders only so far. The complexity of mortgage applications poses challenges for lenders that hope to fully automate their approvals. Every application is unique, and loan applications from self-employed borrowers and real estate investors can stump even veteran loan officers. In other words, programming a robot to shepherd a $300,000 loan through approval ain’t easy. “Every single application is a snowflake,” Kennedy says. “It’s really hard to create a system that can account for every beautiful snowflake.” 2. Home Appraisals: Analysis Goes Virtual The U.S. housing market is booming despite a chokepoint: There just aren’t enough property appraisers to visit and evaluate all the houses changing hands and being refinanced. Hoping to find at least a partial solution to that problem, the overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin accepting more “desktop appraisals” in early 2022. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced in October that remote valuations will take the place of some traditional appraisals, which require appraisers to visit properties that serve as collateral for mortgages. Paul Ryll, founder of Oscar Mike Mobile Appraisals in Greenville, South Carolina, welcomes the change. By not visiting a property in person, appraisers should be able to crank out more valuation reports, he says. “There’s no reason an appraiser can’t do that in 72 hours. It should drastically reduce the turn times,” Ryll says. “As appraisers, we need to embrace the change.” Even if they don’t tour homes in person, appraisers still will rely on a variety of data sources, including property photos posted in the multiple listing service. 3. Cash Offers: New Breed of Firms Wants to be Your ‘Rich Uncle’ During the coronavirus housing boom, bidding wars became commonplace. When sellers weigh multiple offers, they tend to favor the sure thing of a cash offer over the slightly less certain bid that’s contingent on financing. As a result, cash buyers often can score a slight discount compared with buyers who are relying on financing. And cash buyers might be able to drive a harder bargain around inspection contingencies. That has led to a number of companies making cash offers on behalf of buyers who don’t really have $300,000 or $400,000 in the bank. Companies such as Homeward, Ribbon, Unlock and Better.com make cash offers on behalf of borrowers who later finance their deals. One of the new breed of “power buyers” has a catchy take on the offering. “Think about us as a rich uncle,” says Adam Pollack, co-founder and chief executive of Accept.inc. “We want to turn every buyer into a cash buyer and every offer into a cash offer.” These companies raised millions in 2021, and they’ll continue ramping up in 2022. 4. iBuyers: After a Setback, Still Going Strong In 2020, as the pandemic first threatened the U.S. economy, iBuyers, or instant buyers, slowed their roll. Then, with the housing market booming, they became aggressive buyers of homes in Sun Belt markets. In 2021, Opendoor, Offerpad and Zillow Offers paid sellers premiums for their homes. Skeptics wondered whether Zillow’s generous offers and modest fees made business sense. In early November, Zillow conceded that it was paying too much for properties, even in a market characterized by soaring home values. Zillow grabbed headlines when it shut down its Zillow Offers unit. Zillow, creator of the vaunted Zestimates of home value, seemingly learned the hard way that technology isn’t always the answer to a brick-and-mortar business like flipping houses. “They just got in over their head, couldn’t scale, didn’t understand the complexity,” says Ken Johnson, a housing economist at Florida Atlantic University. Yet the other iBuyers are still in business. Stefan Peterson, co-founder of Zavvie, a real estate technology company that works with brokerages to help sellers compare offers from iBuyers, says the remaining iBuyers will dial back the generosity. “It’s been kind of an open secret that iBuyers were making very strong offers,” Peterson says. “They seem to be coming back down to earth, but they’re still very close to 100 percent of (market value).” 5. Blockchain: Not Coming to Housing Yet, but Perhaps Someday Perhaps the hottest area of technology is blockchain, the innovation that underlies bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. For now, the real estate industry is focused on more mundane tasks, such as shaving a few days off mortgage closing timelines. But Geoffrey Thompson, chief blockchain officer at proptech firm Roofstock, sees a growing role for the hot technology. “Purchasing a home is vastly different from owning a digital asset, and navigating the securities laws in this area can be tricky,” he says. “In 2022, I expect new experiences to surface that connect blockchain to real-world assets and make purchasing real estate more seamless, efficient and possibly even fun.” He even sees non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, expanding beyond digital art and collectibles into old-fashioned real estate. “In the short- or medium-term, it may be feasible to buy and sell real-world properties in the form of NFTs,” Thompson says. ©2021 Bankrate.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC The post 5 Trends That Will Move Mortgages and Housing in 2022 appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJan 1st, 2022