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As Technology Advances at a Feverish Pace, Safety Products Are Required

One of the many goals when crypto currency (CC) was first invented was to establish a secure digital system of transaction. The technology used was Blockchain, and still is. Blockchain systems were designed to be impervious to problems often found with online financial systems using older technology – - problems such as account hacking, counterfeit payment authentications, and web site phishing scams.

Blockchain itself runs on peer-to-peer global record-keeping networks (distributed ledgers) that are secure, cheap, and reliable. Transaction records all around the world are stored on blockchain networks, and because these records are spread out over the whole community of users, the data is inherently resistant to modification. No single piece of data can be altered without the alteration of all other blocks in the network, which would require the collusion of the majority of the entire network – - millions of watchdogs. BUT – what if a website looks like it is providing you a gateway to a legitimate crypto coin exchange or crypto wallet product, but is really a website designed to trick you into divulging information? You don’t have the security of Blockchain at all – you just have another phishing scam, and there is a need to be protected from all this.

MetaCert is a company that says it is dedicated to keeping internet users safe, and its main security product can be used to protect enterprises from a range of malicious threats, and now they have a product designed to keep CC enthusiasts safe. This new product is called “Cryptonite” and it is designed to be installed as a browser add-on. Current browsers rely on SSL certificates that show users a small padlock in the browser address bar. Users have been told for years that SSL Certificates assure you that a website is authentic – not so fast – phishing sites use SSL Certificates too, so users can be fooled into thinking a website is legitimate when it is not. Once added to your web browser Cryptonite will show a shield next to the address bar. This shield will turn from black to green if a website is deemed to be “safe”. MetaCert says they have the world’s most advanced threat intelligence system with the world’s largest databases of classified URL’s for security.

Staying safe is always a good thing, but more safety products may be needed in future as technology marches forward, at an ever increasing pace. On the horizon is Quantum Computing (QC), which is showing great promise. QC is touted by many to be one of the biggest technological revolutions of the modern era. By harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, QC machines will be able to take on much more complex tasks, and to achieve speeds previously unattainable. Traditional computers are based on a binary model, using a system of switches that can be either on or off, represented with a 1 or a 0. QC’s are different in that their switches can be in both the on and off positions at the same time, which are called ‘superpositions.’ This ability to be in two simultaneous states is what makes QC’s so much faster. Google announced over two years ago that the quantum prototype they possess was 100 million times faster than any other computer in their lab. The development of this technology is pushing ahead at an increasingly fast rate. The first marketed quantum computer was produced in 2011 by the California based company D-Wave. D-Wave’s machine was equipped with a processor that contained 16 quantum computing units, called QUBITS. Since then, industry leaders like IBM and Microsoft have announced their own quantum programs. This trend will lead to an exponential scaling up of the number of QUBITS these new machines can handle over the next several years. While quantum computing holds the potential for significant advancements in many spheres, and for providing innovative solutions to some of the most complex problems, it will surely generate a need for improved security, as these machines will also have the power to assist hackers with their dastardly deeds. Protection and security will always be needed in the crypto currency space, same as with all other on-line spaces.

Watch: Why You Should Be Getting More Than Money From an Investor

On the new streaming show Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch, founders step into the Entrepreneur Elevator and have just 60 seconds to present their idea, product or business to a panel of investors. Whether an entrepreneur gets invited into the boardroom or sent back to the ground floor depends on what our experts think in that first minute. Here, we break down the lessons aspiring business owners can take away from each episode’s pitches.

There are many reasons entrepreneurs seek funding for their businesses. They may be ready to ramp up manufacturing and lack the resources to do so. They may need the capital to invest in getting the word out about the new product they’ve developed. Often, they simply need access to the many valuable resources investors have at their disposal.

For many business founders, though, investors bring a far more important asset to a startup. Most investors are experienced professionals who can bring experience and insight to a particular business. In the sixth episode of Entrepreneur’s new streaming series Elevator Pitch, we meet a group of founders who were desperately in need of this type of expert guidance. Here are three important lessons entrepreneurs can take away from the episode.

Investors are consultants.

First up in the episode were Jared and Karina Rabin, the husband and wife team behind Hang-O-Matic, a popular picture-hanging tool. At first these two drew “bait and switch” concerns. They spent most of their pitch talking about their already-successful product, and then suddenly revealed they wanted investment in a newer tool. Know that in these situations investors will usually want a piece of the original, successful product before considering anything else. They’ll probably send you packing otherwise.

So, the investors agreed to let the Rabins up to the boardroom, but if the investment wasn’t specific to the original tool, they weren’t interested. After all, the couple already made clear they had more than enough in earnings to fund their planned new product.

Fortunately Jared and Karina revealed quickly their primary interest was in finding a business partner who could advise them as they moved their company forward. That means they were just fine with investors taking a stake in the original product, not just the newer one. The investors were immediately interested, agreeing to serve as a team of consultants in exchange for equity in the company. This was a perfect fit for the couple, who were exhausted after years of working nights and weekends to build their company. The success of this pitch clearly shows that investors can be highly valuable advisors to their portfolio businesses. Be open to the idea that this could be just the relationship you need as well.

Conduct market tests first.

Dawn Maslar, author of the book Men Chase, Women Choose, approached the panel with a product called a Devotion Test. After sampling a man’s saliva, she said, the test can detect whether a man is committed to the woman he’s currently with. The panel was feeling a bit unsure about Maslar’s product but they were curious enough to invite her into the boardroom anyway to hear more.

Once inside the boardroom, Maslar failed to win over the investors. Their biggest objection was they simply weren’t convinced there is actual customer demand for her test. With a sales history or proven market research, she may have been able to debate this objection. She didn’t have that though. All she actually had her own opinion. The investors’ decision to opt out demonstrated the importance of having market data in place before approaching investors.

Investment in National Savings Certificate of India Post

Indian citizens are quite familiar with India Post since their childhood. It was the only medium of communication for millions and now it has become a popular financial service provider in the country. Since 1st September 2018, India Post is running the IPPB (India Post Payments Bank) throughout the country. This is a 100% Government owned bank that has allowed near about 17 crore postal savings bank accounts with IPPB. This bank provides an array of financial services to Indian citizens including, account services, QR code payment services, UPI (Unified Payment Interface), NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer), IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), real-time gross settlement, Bharat Bill pay, DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) etc. through its wide network of post offices and e-banking. This is all about the spread and reach of IPPB now. If you are thinking of any safe investment start banking with IPPB. Post office has many saving schemes that will help you to save your money and earn as you are investing them. For income taxpayers, NSC (National Savings Certificate) is a popular investment option. Let’s get to know more about this investment scheme as described by the India Post.

National Savings Certificate (NSC):

As discussed earlier, this scheme is very popular among income tax payers. Many people might not be aware of such scheme that offers a safe and convenient way of investing their hard-earned money.

Investment tenure:

NSC has a defined period I.e, 5 years as per 8th issue.

Rate of interest:

If you are investing in NSC, you will get 7.9% (from 1st July 2019) per annum and it gets compounded annually. However, it is payable after maturity.

Limit in minimum and maximum balance:

A minimum of Rs. 1000/- and in multiples of Rs. 100/- can be invested for NSC. There is no maximum limit for investment. Earlier a certificate was issued and now-a-days (from 1st July 2016), a passbook is issued for the NSC account.

Who can open a NSC account?

Following people can open NSC account in IPPBs and Post Offices

1. On behalf of a minor, one adult can open an account

2. Minors above 10 years of age can open one account

3. A person having unsound mind can also open one account with the help of a guardian

4. A single adult can open an account

5. Joint ‘A’ type account with maximum 3 adults can be opened (In this case, the amount is payable to both)

6. Joint ‘B’ type account with maximum 3 adults can be opened (In this case, the amount is payable to either)

Scope of income tax rebate:

If you are an income tax payer, you might be looking for sources where you can invest and get tax rebate at the same time. NSC is here for you. It comes under section 80C of IT Act. Your NSC deposits qualify for tax rebate, but don’t forget to calculate the total amount of your 80C investments. As per 80C, you can only invest a maximum of Rs. 1,50,000/-.

Transfer of NSC from one person to another:

Yes, this is possible. NSC after opening can be transferred to another person only once from the date of opening to the date of maturity. In this case, the old name will be rounded up by the post office and the new holder name will be written on the passbook while following other procedures and formalities.

How money grows through this investment?

Though there is a rate of interest 7.9% is paid for the NSC, you might be looking for a real calculation that shows your money growing and after 5 years this much you are getting against your investment from this scheme. Let’s have a calculation for worth of Rs. 70,000/-

NSC calculation:

Base investment amount – Rs. 70,000/-

Interest provided by IPPB – 7.9% per annum which is compounded annually

Investment period – 5 years

Based on the above details let’s calculate and see how much you will get after 5 years.

Year——-Interest for the year—–Total interest —–Total balance for the year

1st————-5,530.00—————-5,530.00—————–75,530.00

2nd————5,966.87—————-11,496.87—————-81,496.87

3rd————6,438.25—————-17,935.12—————-87,935.12

4th————6,946.87—————-24,882.00—————-94,882.00

5th————7,495.68—————-32,377.68—————-102,377.68

During maturity, the amount Rs. 70,000/- becomes Rs. 102,377.68/-. It means a total amount of Rs. 32,377.68 is your profit from seventy thousand rupees’ investment. Additionally, you have the tax rebate over base investment amount for the 1st year. Isn’t it a good investment plan? Hope this article will help Indians who plan for a long-term investment and good returns over a period of five years. As India Post is a government entity, it is safe and 100% secure.

PSA Shut Down for 90 Days – The Effect on the Sports Card Industry

On March 30th, 2021 PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) announced they were temporarily suspending all their grading services below Super Express ($350 a card) for at least 90 days with the hope of reopening all services around July 1st, 2021. PSA received more cards in 3 days than they did in the previous 3 months which is what led to the backlog and ultimately the difficult decision of suspending new submissions for a couple months.

OK, so let’s look at the impact this may have in the short term. Long term should be negligible to the sports card industry as it looks like at this point in time since they intend on being back to servicing all PSA grading levels within 90 days.

1 – People I believe will step back and take note on inspecting each card and really enjoy the card look for what it is more rather than just looking for a graded card since they won’t be grading nearly as many cards as they were previously simply because of PSA’s postponement of services.

2 – With SGC (Sportscard Guaranty Company) at minimum of $75/card and BGS (Beckett Grading Services) at minimum of $100/card to get a card graded within 1 month or less we most likely aren’t going to see much of an increase in business since PSA still has Super Express service open at $350/card and their brand commands so much higher values in the open market.

3 – The suspension of PSA grading services leaves the opportunity for companies like HGA (Hybrid Grading) and CSG (Certified Sports Guaranty) to make up ground especially on the lower-end cards with values of $500 or less because of their low cost grading services. So far I believe it will be CSG that has the best chance at grabbing a good piece of the market share for value cards of $500 or less away from PSA at least in the short term while PSA’s value service is suspended. How much CSG retains in market share if PSA reinstates the value grading service at $25 is the unknown variable.

4 – In the short term, PSA 10 values should increase on all cards but especially should increase on lower end cards valued at $1k or less simply because you can’t grade with any sports card PSA at that value unless you wanted to utilize the Super Express service, but that wouldn’t make financial sense to do at $350 per card. I fully expect this will create more demand for those cards in the short term. However, in the long term many of the base level cards that are PSA 10 should return to normal values once/if PSA resumes their value service which is currently set at $25/card. The higher value cards of staples in every market (baseball, football, basketball, etc) should continue to rise though as there are less of those available in the marketplace which is the simple rule of supply and demand.