Bitcoin surpasses $50,000 for first time ever as major companies jump into crypto

Bitcoin surpassed $50,000 for the first time on Tuesday as institutional investors and companies fueled a historic rally that has sent the digital currency up more than 70 percent this year.

The largest cryptocurrency by market value, Bitcoin hit a high of $50,584.85 before retreating. That’s more than double the price since the trading frenzy in late 2017, when bitcoin broke into the broader public and attracted widespread attention.

Bitcoin has gotten a boost from news of big companies like Tesla, Mastercard and BNY Mellon warming up to cryptocurrencies. Tesla most recently revealed that it has purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and plans to accept the digital coin as payment for its products, while Mastercard said it will open its network to some digital currencies. PayPal and BNY Mellon have also made big moves to support crypto.

Several prominent companies have recently announced significant bitcoin purchases or plans to integrate it into their platforms. Mastercard has said it will support bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its payments network later this year.

Early 2021 saw a number of all-time highs for a number of cryptocurrencies, which in turn led to a number of positive predictions for 2021. According to Stock-to-Flow (S2F), a bitcoin price prediction system, BTC/USD will reach $100,000 by December 2021.

We will see.

The Rainmaker Credo in Sales

The Idea

Inspired by Native American tradition, the Rainmaker is one who uses his power to bring rain to nourish crops that feed the tribe. In sales, a rainmaker is the revenue-bringer to a company – bringing the very lifeblood of the organization and makes the cash register ring. Here are the rules to being the Rainmaker, the salesperson that gets and keeps customers.

The Credo

• Cherish customers at all times.
• Treat customers as you would your best friend.
• Listen to customers to decipher their needs.
• Give the customers what they need.
• Price your product to its dollarized value.
• Show customers the dollarized value of what they will get.
• Teach customers to want what they need.
• Make your product the way the customer wants it.
• Get your product to the customer when they want it.
• Give your customers a little extra, more than they expect.
• Remind customers of the dollarized value they received.
• Thank each customer sincerely and often.
• Help customers pay you, so they won’t be embarrassed elsewhere.
• Ask to do it again.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Just finished reading this book once again. Still an awesome piece of work! I have to admit, that there are few books out there, which bring things straight to the point as “Essentialism” does.

If you only have one minute to read this, here you go:

  • Definition: Author Greg McKeown says the most fitting definition of essentialism is “less but better.”
  • Basic Value Proposition: “Only once you give yourself the permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”
  • One Takeaway: “If you take one thing away from this book, I hope you will remember this: whatever decision or challenge or crossroads you face in your life, simply ask yourself, ‘What is essential?’ Eliminate everything else.”

What essentialism is (and what it isn’t)

Quotes are from the author. I’ve added emphasis in bold.

  • “This book is not about going back to some simpler time. It’s not about eschewing email or disconnecting from the Web or living like a hermit. That would be backwards movement. It is about applying the principles of ‘less but better’ to how we live our lives now and in the future. That is innovation.”
  • “Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.”
  • “Essentialism is not one more thing — it’s a whole new way of doing everything.”
  • “The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.”

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.

You can get the book here.

5G’s rollout speeds along faster than expected, even with the coronavirus pandemic raging

A new report from Ericsson finds about 1 billion people will be in 5G coverage areas by the end of the year.

The world may be grappling with a widespread pandemic, but that’s sure not slowing down 5G’s rollout. The super-fast technology reached more customers this year than expected and will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026, according to a new report from Ericsson. That makes 5G the fastest deployed mobile network ever, the Swedish networking giant said.

By the end of this year, there will be 218 million 5G subscriptions around the world, up from Ericsson’s forecast in June for 190 million — which itself was an increase from an earlier estimate. 

Read more

How massive liquidations caused Bitcoin to plummet 16% in 24 hours

Bitcoin (BTC) price fell by a whopping 16% to $16,334 on Nov. 26 since achieving its peak at $19,484 the previous day. Data suggests that cascading liquidations were the driving force of the massive correction.

Prior to the pullback, the open interest of the Bitcoin futures market hit a new record high. The derivatives market was also overheated with buyers, causing the market to sway to one side.

BTC futures volumes. Source: Cointelegraph Markets, Digital Assets Data

The combination of two factors triggered a rapid BTC price drop alongside a spike in futures trading volume.

Over a billion dollars worth of futures contracts were liquidated, similar to the March 12 crash. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, for example, saw $1.8 billion in volume — its highest ever, according to Skew.

What triggered the cascade of liquidations?

As the price of Bitcoin started to drop, inflows into exchanges spikedThis indicates that whales, or high-net-worth investors, were selling heavily on major exchanges, including Coinbase.

Ki Young Ju, the CEO of CryptoQuant, pointed out that the All Exchanges Inflow Mean indicator was showing the selling pressuring coming from whales.

Initially, the sell-off from whales caused the price of Bitcoin to drop to around $18,000. But, because there was likely a large number of overleveraged long contracts, it led to a massive long squeeze.

Within several hours, Bitcoin declined to as low as $16,334, posting a March-like crash. Data suggests that nearly $1.9 billion worth of futures contracts were liquidated on the day.

According to Glassnode, an on-chain market data analysis firm, Binance Futures saw the largest spikes in liquidations of $425 million in just two hours at 3 am and 8 am UTC.

Massive price swings following a minor initial pullback were largely expected because of the high funding rates. The market has been overwhelmingly long on buying BTC since early November, which increased the risk of a sharp BTC correction.

What happens now?

Order books of major exchanges were obliterated and as a result, the cryptocurrency market saw a massive short-term correction.

There are three potential scenarios for Bitcoin in the near term. First, it could recover relatively quickly to $18,000. Second, it could continue declining to the next major support area at $13,700. Third, it could range, allowing the derivatives market to stabilize.

But, there is one concerning metric. Glassnode found that the number of Bitcoinwhales has hit a new all-time high.

This means that there is still large potential selling pressure that could come from high-net-worth investors. The analysts at Glassnode said on Nov. 25:

“The number of Bitcoin whales (entities holding at least 1,000 BTC) has reached a new ATH after more than 4 years. An entity is a cluster of network addresses controlled by the same individual/institution.”

US VC down rounds pull back to pre-pandemic levels

The proportion of down rounds across US venture deals rose to 13.6% in the second quarter, as the sudden and sweeping effects of the pandemic squeezed the economy. That was the highest percentage of deals done at lowered valuations since late 2017. Many felt that the pressure on founders to acquiesce on deal terms might be sustained—if not increase—throughout 2020.

The data shows that hasn’t been the case. This Q3 US VC Valuations Report examines the return of founder-friendly terms and the measures that startups have taken to extend their capital runways. Other highlights from the report include:

  • Nontraditional investors continue to drive huge late-stage valuations
  • Median IPO valuations have flourished, while acquisition valuations were mixed
  • A spotlight on trends within enterprise tech, consumer tech, biotech and more.

Read more

Will ‘Vision AI’ Be The Next Frontier for Developers?

A partner at an early-stage investment firm argues that “in the 2000s everyone was learning HTML and making a website. In the 2010s everyone was learning to develop mobile apps. In the 2020s all the developers are going to build Vision AI.” Where the web had its impact was by digitizing manual paper-based processes… I believe the next big wave is Vision AI, and for the same reason: It offers the opportunity to digitize the next massive trove of information in the world, that which is not on paper but which can be seen through a camera… Why use a temperature sensor when a camera can see reflected light frequencies and determine the temperature? The latest cellphones are integrating LIDAR sensors into their cameras, and I believe the camera sensing suite will become even more sophisticated. Combine this with emerging computer vision technology powered by AI, and together you have Vision AI. Vision AI has the power to unlock the future of automation in a way not seen since the Web Revolution where every form and phone call was turned into a site, and we unlocked all the resulting searches, analytics, and automated processing that is now commonplace. Just like there are web boot camps, there will soon be computer vision boot camps to enlarge the circle of access to this new technology. Anything you want to count, record, analyze, or store can be obtained by teaching Vision AI to look for it. And that’s just capturing the data, the way web forms did. After that unfolds everything we can do with that data. Provide reports, comparisons, and analysis. Make predictions. Profile and advertise. Learn and educate… The real changes come when computers start measuring and counting things that are either too vast for humans to count — every dead oak tree in California — or too expensive for humans to count — every yeast cell in a culture — or too difficult for humans to perceive — the change in gait that suggests a medical condition. During this decade we will see boot camps teaching hundreds of thousands of developers to utilize Vision AI tools, just the way we taught millions to code the web. After that, we will see our world for the next level of data that it presents and be able to act on that. A disclaimer at the end of the article acknowledges that “I currently have a vested interest in eight Vision AI companies.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Scared by innovation? You should be!

It’s natural to avoid risk, especially in the corporate world. But not acting in order to survive is tantamount to giving away your business, as competitors experiment with doing things differently, and better. In this video with SVIC COO Vlas Lezin, find out how your organization can equip itself with the tools, knowledge, and confidence to overcome fear and embrace innovation.

Thanks Vlas Lezin for sharing your thoughts and insights on this.