Category Archives: business

A Quick Factoid about PayPal

This surprised me (from Bill Mougayar’s Business Blockchain)

PayPal is the quintessential  payment disruptor.,,, With 179 million active users and $282 billion in total payments volume by the end of 2015, PayPal was “a truly global platform that is available in more than 200 markets, allowing customers to get paid in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds from their bank accounts in 57 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 26 currencies. “

Interesting scope of operations!

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Like Art? Then Love Blockchain!

Consider this bit of data

… The current level of spending  (in the global media and content distribuion industry) has been estimated to grow from $1.7 trillion (trn) in 2016 to over $2trn in 2019.

Errr … that is $2 trillion next year. Artists must be doing really well, right? Wrong. Most that money is going to gatekeepers. Platform owners like YouTube, and the rest. Artists are getting screwed.

The solution is around the corner, though it is not yet clear how it will be implemented. What is it? Consider that blockchain technology does away with the need for gatekeepers. With blockchain, a platform can thrive on peer to peer payments. That means artists can get paid directly from folks who enjoy their art.

What kinds of art — any kind. Forbes has the story about a few start ups that are getting into this space. My prediction — this is just the beginning.

Stay tuned!

Two Elephants in the Forest; Google and Amazon

We live in rather amazing times. Amazing because we see changes happening in real time more quickly than ever before.

I can remember, for example, how slowly the US automobile market shifted away from GM in the late 1070’s. The reasons for the change in consumer preferences was obvious, but GM and others reacted to those changes very slowly. GM even blamed consumers for not seeing the value of their products in comparison to Japanese models that were gaining in popularity.

More recently, we saw the tumultuous rivalry between Microsoft and Apple. We saw the emergence of Amazon. We saw the rise of social networking and Facebook. We saw the battle lines shift from PC sales to operating systems to browsers to mobile devices.

And we are now seeing some new things that were not anticipated just a few years ago. Voice assistance is becoming mainstream. And it creates a major area of competition between Amazon and Google. This article gets into that amazing new battleground.

And there is one more thing about to happen that neither Google nor Amazon is prepared for. The emergence of blockchain as a tool that will totally restructure web architecture. The theory is that Blockchain eliminates the market value of  “gate keepers”. We can re-organize our networks, not through Facebook, but  in custom fashion that empowers us.  In that setting, the big boys of tech are not as important as they are now.

But for the time being, let the games continue!

Checking out Honda’s $5 m small Jet

Some years ago, there were reports in the media that new composite materials and engine designs were opening to door to production of smaller and less expensive jets. This was a big deal for regional airports who might use them as “air taxis”.

Living in Tartu, I have a special interest. We have an airport but it offers rather limited services. Could we develop our own “air taxi” industry?

So I have kept tabs on this industry and by and large have been a bit disappointed. Until recently. Now we are starting to see less expensive small hets coming on the market.

The latest is from Honda. BI offers a quick peek inside. It is very small, perhaps too small. But the price tag is “in the range”

BTW, the Cirrus Vision jet is much cheaper (going for less than $2 m) BI profiled this one as well.

And there are a bunch of others

  • Eclipse 400 – $1.2 million.
  • Maverick SoloJET – $1.25 million.
  • Stratos 714 – $2.5 million.
  • Adam A700 – $2.25 million.
  • Spectrum S.33 – $3.95 million.
  • Cessna Citation Mustang 510 – $3.28 million.
  • Embraer Phenom 100E – $4.4 million.

The Chinese Banned ICO’s! What Next?

`This is not a cryptocurrency blog, but these days following cryptocurrencies has become rather entertaining.

For years, talk about bitcoin was mainly just that – talk about the future of bitcoin. Then suddenly — and very recently — foils started to talk about “ICO’s”. An ICO is an “initial coin offering”. It is a bit like an initial placement of stock on an exchange in that the ICO allows investors to buy into a project. But they are not buying stock. They are buying “tokens”. What is the difference between stock and tokens? That is the question of the month

One major difference is that buying a stock gives you certain rights. Not a huge amount of rights, but some. Buying a token does not. You are buying into a wing and a prayer that the company issuing the tokens can be trusted to do great things with your cash, so that other folks wouldn’t mind buying your tokens from you. And if not? Well, too bad for you.

You might be thinking that this still sounds like buying shares that can be traded. And if you are thinking that way, you are in tune with the say that the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) thinks They issued a letter this summer saying just that — if it walks like a stock and talks like a stock, a token is regulated like a stock. So issuers of tokens need to give token holders other rights (like the right to buy stuff with tokens and be rewarded with more tokens)

And then suddenly China stepped in and said all Chinese ICO’s are illegal. Not only that, Chinese companies who got money from ICO’s ahve to give it back. Yikes!

That got a lot of attention! And the value of tokens and underlying cryptocurrencies just took a big hit. The value of Bitcoin fell from $5,000 for a single bitcoin to less than $4,000 in a few days. But after a few days, hot money has started coming back into those markets and valuations are going back up again.

What does all this mean? Methinks this is just the start of a long story. Hold on!