A 31-year old former Virtu trader has created a platform that could help bitcoin traders in China get around a ban

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New York Stock Exchange

A 31-year-old is looking to revolutionize the world of cryptocurrencies with a blockchain version of the New York Stock Exchange. 

Michael Oved, a former trader at Virtu, the high-frequency trading firm, founded AirSwap, a decentralized exchange, to provide a platform for buyers and sellers to meet anonymously, according to Bloomberg.

It does this using smart contracts, a computer protocol based on Ethereum’s blockchain technology that facilitates and enforces a contract or exchange. 

"There are no user accounts and identities are hidden as trading is solely on a peer-to-peer basis," wrote Bloomberg News’ Matthew Leising, whose profile on Oved is worth the read.

The anonymity of the platform could subvert China’s attempt to crackdown on bitcoin, according to Leising.

“It’s impossible to shut down, and you don’t even need an account,” Oved told Bloomberg. “People won’t even know Chinese traders are on the system.”

Chinese regulators banned initial coin offerings, a cryptocurrency-based fundraising method. And reports suggest the country is moving forward with a wide-ranging crackdown on bitcoin trading.

Read the full story on Bloomberg >>

SEE ALSO: I bought bitcoin at a deli — here’s how it works

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: RAY DALIO: Bitcoin is a speculative bubble

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How to Use Influencer Marketing to Build Stronger Content for Your Blog #InfluencerDays

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How to Use Influencer Marketing to Build Stronger Content for Your Blog #InfluencerDaysThis week I was in NYC speaking about influencer marketing and how it helps creating stronger content assets for your blog. Here’s my recap of the presentation:

First of all, content marketing is ALL about influencing – not just your potential customer – but also about influencing the influencer, i.e. those people who can effect buyers’ decisions.

And what’s a better way to accomplish that than to actually get that influencer create content for you?

According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) report, The Value of Influencer Content 2017 from Linqia, 57% of marketers indicated that influencer-powered content outperforms brand created content:

  • Influencer-powered content is more authentic and trusted than brand-created content (because influencers are real people who have already earned that trust);
  • Influencer-powered content sparks audience engagement (because people engage with people)
  • Influencer-powered content provides higher ROI (because it’s more trusted and authentic and spread easier with help of participating influencers)

A few case studies and examples:

  • ShaeBaxter: Here’s how an influencer-powered articles led to over 80% boost to the blog’s organic search engine traffic
  • Robbie Richards: Here’s another case study on creating an influencer-powered roundup that got the host 11,065% more organic traffic in 6 months
  • And here’s how Sam Obrart increased his inbound links by 310% in 21 days by having influencers contribute for his blog

Tools to Identify Influencers:

  • MyBlogU is always a place where I start my outreach because it’s full of people who are actually eager to participate in your content ventures. When you have a few participating experts, it’s easier to branch out to more influencers. MyBlogU also helps with many other stages of putting collaborative content together: It allows bulk emailing and auto-notifies participants of published piece.
  • A good place to find more influencers is BuzzSumo: Search your primary topic of your future article and use “Interviews” filter to find people who don’t mind contributing their answers to blog roundups.

Ways to Keep in Touch with Influencers:

  • Use Twitter lists to monitor all of them on Twitter. For example, back when I was managing contributors for Search Engine Journal, I made sure I added each of them to a separate Twitter list. Then, using my Twitter manager Tweetdeck I was able to add a separate column to monitor that list and made it part of my weekly schedule to engage with them on Twitter.
  • Use Private groups (Facebook, Slack, etc.) to keep in touch with those influencers on a regular basis. For example, we invite all the influencers we interview on #VCBuzz Twitter chats to a Private Facebook group where we encourage them to ask for help, shares or anything else they may need.

Common Mistakes When it Comes to Influencer-Driven Content

  • Doing too many expert roundups: An expert roundup is the most popular type of content collaboration which is quickly becoming overused. It’s simple to replicate the tactic, so too many marketers and media outlets are jumping into the bandwagon.
  • Scaling too much: it’s really more about relationships than the content you get. Instead of trying the tactic too often, try investing more time into managing those relationships, connecting to those influencers more, interacting with them more, making sure those relationships will become stronger.
  • Failing to find an interesting and engaging topic for your content. Content is still king! Influencer-powered content has been widely used recently, mostly by people who don’t get it. They don’t get personalized outreach and relationship building, but more importantly they don’t get what lies at the foundation of a successful influencer-powered content. The key to influencer-powered content is finding an interesting and engaging topic. In fact, most people who plan to include influencers into their content marketing strategy think too much about influencers and totally forget about a more important part of the process: What the content is actually going to be about. It’s still content, so unless you find an interesting question to discuss in your future article, you’ll see:
    • Most influencers ignoring your pitch
    • Much fewer shares from social media users

Invest a lot of time in topic brainstorming, focus on current trends, events and interesting tools. Avoid boring topics everyone else is covering.

Bottom line

Stand out. Don’t do what other people are doing. Play with formats and topics. Note that mega live show example from David Bain in the deck above? No one did that before in our industry, so it did very well! Think out of the box!

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The post How to Use Influencer Marketing to Build Stronger Content for Your Blog #InfluencerDays appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

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Aston Martin’s limited edition submarine is totally my next car

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Aston Martin has a new concept submarine designed in partnership with submarine maker Triton Submarines. The project is codenamed “Neptune,” and the concept designs envision a sleek underwater craft with aggressive pointy-ended pontoons and a central passenger bubble cockpit with an unobstructed, all-around view.

The Neptune submersible combines Aston Martin’s design skills with Triton’s ability to produce functional submersibles for researchers, explores and the super-rich. Triton’s expertise lies in making sure that submarines can actually submerge safely, which is what gives me hope that this concept will indeed proceed to the limited edition production phase, as Aston Martin says it will.

Project Neptune is based on an existing three-person submarine platform from Triton’s lineup, so that’s another win in terms of production viability. And even when it does get made, it’s going to be an “exclusive, strictly limited edition vehicle” so you probably won’t see these dotting the local harbor regardless.

Still, I would like one, and I’ll move to an ocean-bound city to make it happen.

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Amazing Tributes Are Pouring In From Celebrities Around The Globe Honoring The Icon Hugh Hefner

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Tributes of all sorts, from all kinds of famous people in almost every form of entertainment have been overflowing on social media as celebrities mourn the death of the late, great icon Hugh Hefner.

Hefner, who passed away at the age of 91 on Wednesday, was a legend to many across the world and was a true one of a kind in life.

Hef was such a legend that even in his golden years when he was 85, according to former Girls Next Door stars Karissa and Kristina Shannon, Hefner would rather have sex than the ability to hear.

“He said he would rather have sex than have his hearing,” the twins told The Sun in 2011. “He has hearing aids now and even then he can only hear out of one ear. You have to lean down and talk into his good ear for him to understand you. We could sit right next to him and he wouldn’t have a clue what we said.”

Love it.

Naturally, Hefner’s passing has led to a multitude of tributes far and wide. Here’s just a sampling of the multitude of people the man touched over the years (no pun intended, eh, screw it, pun totally intended)…

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This last one, by Pamela Anderson, might just be the best tribute of them all…

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RIP, Hef.

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Hugh Hefner founded Playboy after he was denied a $5-a-week raise at Esquire

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In 1952, Hugh Hefner was a 26-year-old copywriter at Esquire magazine with an entrepreneurial dream. 

Hefner, who died on Wednesday at the age of 91, famously founded Playboy magazine in 1953 after Esquire denied him a $5 raise to his $60-a-week salary.

As The Wrap notes, Hefner quit Esquire in 1952, took out a mortgage of $600, and raised $8,000 from 45 investors, including $1,000 from his mother, to set the foundation for Playboy. 

The first issue of Playboy Magazine hit newsstands in 1953. 

It featured nude photographs of actress Marilyn Monroe, which were taken from a 1949 calendar shoot, according to The Wrap.

marilyn monroe playboyThe first issue was an instant hit, selling more than 50,000 copies and laying the groundwork for an iconic brand that would go on to make millions over the decades. 

In the early 1970s, Playboy magazine hit its peak, with sales of seven million copies for a single issue. In 1999, Hefner’s 70% ownership of Playboy stock was valued as high as $399 million, according to The Telegraph.

Though sales of the magazine dwindled in recent decades, the Playboy brand is still worth millions. Market researcher Wealth-X told Business Insider that Hefner was worth at least $110 million at the time of his death, with roughly $45 million in liquid assets. 

SEE ALSO: Here’s who will likely inherit Hugh Hefner’s millions

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says companies need to take stances on controversial issues

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Hugh Hefner Dead at 91; Playboy Founder and Publishing Legend Stoked the Sexual Revolution With Iconic Magazine

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Sex sells and Hugh Hefner found a way to sell it perhaps better than anybody in the 20th century.
The founder of Playboy and the publishing house built up around the pioneering men’s magazine, which combined sex and intellectual stimulation, has died. He was 91.
"Hugh M. Hefner, the American i…

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No, that viral picture doesn’t show Hugh Hefner lighting a cigarette for Marilyn Monroe

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No, that viral picture doesn’t show Hugh Hefner lighting a cigarette for Marilyn Monroe

Image: Getty Images for Playboy

People are sharing on Twitter tributes to Hugh Hefner, the Playboy founder who just died, aged 91, at his Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. 

Many people paid tribute mentioning Marilyn Monroe, who famously appeared on the very first cover of the first issue of Playboy magazine in December 1953. 

However, a picture circulating on social media allegedly showing Hefner lighting a cigarette for Monroe in 1957 is a fake: 

The photograph actually shows English actor and director Laurence Olivier lighting a cigarette for Monroe during a press conference for the 1957 movie Prince and the Showgirl

'Prince and the Showgirl' press conference in 1957, with Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier.

‘Prince and the Showgirl’ press conference in 1957, with Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier.

Image: SNAP/REX/Shutterstock

Also, Hefner never met Monroe in person, as he himself admitted on a 2011 interview with Piers Morgan on CNN

Piers: Did you know Marilyn Monroe?

Hefner: She was actually in my brother’s acting class in New York. But the reality is that I never met her. I talked to her once on the phone, but I never met her. She was gone, sadly, before I came out here.

Despite that, Hefner did purchase the space next to Monroe’s vault at the Westwood Village Memorial Park, the celebrities’ cemetery in Los Angeles, for $75,000 in 1992, according to Reuters and the BBC.

The first issue of Playboy, which came out in December 1953, was 48 pages long and featured inside a nude 1949 calendar shot of Monroe, which Hefner bought for $200. All 70,000 copies of the magazine sold out within a few weeks. 

Monroe died on 5 August 1962 in her Brentwood home of a drug overdose. 

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Health App Developer Who Faked Her Own Cancer Fined $320,000 Over Hoax

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Health guru and app developer Belle Gibson, who faked having brain cancer and claimed to “cure” it through all-natural remedies

After Belle Gibson was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 she went on to cure herself, and released a popular smartphone app focused on healthy eating. Gibson even donated a small fortune to charity with the proceeds. At least that was her story. Both Gibson’s cancer and her “cure” were lies. And now a court has ordered her to pay a hefty fine.

Gibson, a 25-year-old Australian woman, built a health and wellness empire by not only pretending to have brain cancer, but then claiming to have cured her cancer with what she claimed were all-natural remedies. Gibson said that much of the proceeds from her cookbook and app, The Whole Pantry, would go to various charities. But that didn’t happen.

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“No. None of it’s true,” Gibson finally confessed in April 2015 after questions were raised about her story. “I don’t want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do.”

Before she shut down her Facebook and Instagram accounts, Gibson had amassed quite a following, and kept everyone up to date on how she was “curing” her cancer. How did she cure it? By cutting out gluten, dairy, and coffee, among other things.

Gibson made over $420,000 ($322,00o US) during the course of her elaborate hoax. She was found guilty back in April but the fine of $410,000 ($320,00o US) was just issued today. The court found that Gibson made just over $10,000 in donations to charities during her venture, far short of what she claimed.

A screenshot of Belle Gibson’s now defunct app, The Whole Pantry (left) and Gibson trying a prototype of the Apple Watch before it was released (right)

Previously magazines had hailed her diet as a miracle and they touted her award-winning app as essential to a healthy lifestyle. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Gibson even flew to the US to help work on the Apple Watch before it was released.

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“She’s fun and fearless ‘cos: she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, but instead of giving in, it became the impetus for her dedication to health and wellbeing,” Cosmopolitan magazine’s Australian edition wrote about Gibson back in 2014. “Oh, and her app was named runner-up for the Best iPhone App of 2013 by Apple. Not bad, hey?”

Except that it was all bullshit. And the app was quietly pulled from the App Store after it was revealed in March of 2015 that she was a charlatan. Gibson’s app, The Whole Pantry, was so popular that it was even featured in online promotions for the Apple Watch.

A screenshot of an Apple Watch promotion from 2015 touting Gibson’s app, The Whole Pantry, before it was ultimately pulled from the App Store

According to Australia’s ABC News, the fine issued to Gibson was broken down by the various infractions, which included everything from failing to donate money from the proceeds of her wellness app, to her personally promising $150,000 to a young boy named Joshua with a brain tumor. She never gave Joshua the money that she pledged.

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“Ms Gibson expressly compared the terrible circumstances of young Joshua to her own, asserting she had the same kind of tumor as he did; a statement which was completely false, “ the judge said in her ruling.

The fines were broken down as follows, according to ABC News:

  • $90,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the sale of The Whole Pantry app, as publicly advertised
  • $50,000 for failing to donate proceeds from the launch of The Whole Pantry app
  • $30,000 for failing to donate proceeds from a 2014 Mothers Day event
  • $90,000 for failing to donate other company profits
  • $150,000 for failing to donate 100 percent of one week’s app sales to the family of Joshua Schwarz, a boy who had an inoperable brain tumor

Gibson faced $1.1 million in fines, but has been ordered to pay just $420,000 because the court found that there’s no sense in issuing such a large sum if she has no ability to pay it. She didn’t even show up for the court proceedings.

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“She has chosen not to explain her conduct. She has chosen not to apologize for it,” the judge said this morning. “It appears she has put her own interests before those of anyone else.”

After the ruling, the prosecutors in the case and public health advocates warned the public that there are a lot of scams out there when it comes to health and wellness. But Gibson was certainly a special case.

“Our advice is to be wary of anyone who encourages you to eliminate many types of food or whole food groups from your diet,” head of the local Cancer Council, Todd Harper, told ABC News. “Always seek information from reputable sources and consult your doctor or dietitian first.”

[ABC News Australia]

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