Is Blockchain About to Change How We Pay Digitally?

Is Blockchain About to Change How We Pay Digitally?

“Blockchain” is easily one of the hottest buzzwords of 2018, everyone is talking about it and how it is about to completely revolutionize the way we pay online. Digital payment systems have been around for a while now and they have been steadily evolving how we transact, at the moment, blockchain and crypto currencies only make up a small part of the digital payment industry.

There are various companies that have been working as intermediaries for digital payments, Stripe is one such example, a start-up that has been around for 8 years now and caters to clients such as Uber and Google. Just recently, Stripe reported that its value has reached 20B USD in the last few years. Another money transfer company called TranferWise has been making progress as well, it experienced an increase of 800,000 in the number of transactions it has handled in the last year, and according to the company, they have begun reducing their transaction charges as well.

Both of these companies are thriving at the moment thanks to digital payments and they are not relying on blockchain technology in any way at all. While blockchain is known for being faster, cheaper, and safer as well, industry experts say that the technology is not mature enough to be implemented on the same scale as what companies such as TransferWise and Stripe are operating. Introducing blockchain to their tried and tested systems will only complicate things and make their working more efficient.

A lot of people have mixed feelings about blockchain technology at the moment, for instance, TransferWise thinks it’s a waste of time, while Strip believes that there is definitely potential in this technology. Stripe even began supporting bitcoin payments but it had to drop this idea since no one was using this payment channel.

JPMorgan, a prolific name in the finance industry has recently further expanded its blockchain network which now covers more than seventy five institutions on a worldwide level. The company is integrating blockchain technology but without making changes to its Interbank Information Network, this will make sure that their system’s foundations remain untouched. JP’s primary use of blockchain technology will be to maintain immutable records, allowing the company to minimise fraud, forgery, and incorrect entries.

While there are some who wish to integrate blockchain technology with traditional banking systems in order to make them more effective, some people want to completely replace the traditional banking system and introduce a new one based entirely on blockchain technology. Ripple is one of the leading companies in the drive for replacing traditional banking, they are being backed by notable investors, including Google Ventures and has been making an effort to develop and expand its network of money transfer companies. According to Ripple, its tests for cross border payments produced results with significantly lower charges. While cryptocurrency is definitely being developed, we will not get to see it in mainstream use for the time being, until the technology further matures.

Do Female Investors Evaluate Pitches Differently?

Do Female Investors Evaluate Pitches Differently?

Women have been steadily making their way into high ranking positions in the business world for some time now, one can expect to see a lot more female founders and investors than you could a decade ago. A study revealed that 43% women left corporate jobs to look after their families and then eventually came back to the playing field as entrepreneurs since balancing a job and family is not easy.

Female investors are becoming more and more common now and according to a study by the Babson College, female investors take business idea pitches from an entirely different viewpoint than male investors.

Let’s take a look at exactly what do female investors look for during a pitch, we will be taking notes from actual women investors to get a first-hand idea of what do these investors want.

Emphasis on The Details

According to Maxine Koven, female investors place more emphasis on the plan being proposed to exploit an opportunity, rather than the opportunity itself. While male investors will be more focused on the opportunity and its potential to grow, a female investor will be more interested in how you plan to get from A to B.

They Are Able to Relate Better

Terri Mead states that male investors usually do not take female pitchers seriously, they tend to zone out or lose interest and as a result, many female entrepreneurs are unable to have their idea approved. Female investors show higher involvement in what male and female entrepreneurs have to say, since they find it easier to relate to both genders.

Are More Inclined Towards Building Partnerships

Jill Royster, an investor and adviser at JCR consulting says that when female investors assess a pitch, they do so with the idea of potentially building a strategic relationship with the investor. A female investor will be more involved in a pitch since they will be looking for something that could be mutually beneficial for the investor and the entrepreneur.

Male Investors Question a Woman’s Ambition

The founder of 33 Capital, Stacey Feinberg has observed that women tend to be shyer when they ask for funding, this shyness is often perceived as a lack of ambition by male investors and as a result, they become less likely to invest in them. Male investors are much more focused on the financial side of things and therefore they do a bad job at assessing the pitcher’s body language.

Male Investors Only Accept What They Understand

Male investors are quick to reject an idea of they are not able to understand it, many investors shuffle past great idea simple because they are unable to figure them out. Penelope Linge says that female investors are more likely to probe into something that seems abstract before actually rejecting or passing it.

They Bring The Female Perspective to The Table

Women experience a lot of things differently from men and having their perspective on the investors’ table can prove to be quite beneficial.

Being Defensive About Your Money Will Get You Nowhere

Being Defensive About Your Money Will Get You Nowhere

While being a responsible spender is a good thing, if you really want your wealth to grow then you are going to have to be more of an offense orientated spender. People who grow to become defensive with their money do not take the risks needed to make profitable investments, they try to hold onto their money for as long as possible and eventually end up with less money than they had before.

Think of it this way, even if you have the best defensive strategy in the world, you will not be able to gain any ground, you will be stuck on the same spot. You need to become financially aggressive in order to grow your wealth and get rich, spend your money on investments rather than keeping it in your bank account. Even the most basic investment will get you more money by the end of the year than what you could earn by keeping your money in the bank.

Making investments and getting offensive with your money is quite easy, all you need to do is keep these three steps in mind:

  • Determine your target and set financial goals
  • Identify potential investment opportunities
  • Invest in what you believe will generate revenue for you

Becoming financially aggressive is not just about spending money, it is also about developing the right mind set, spend 95% of your energy on earning and looking for opportunities to exploit, and the remainder 5% can be left for expenses. Another important thing to remember is that never take a loan for anything other than making an investment, if you cannot directly earn from the amount that you loaned, then do not loan it. Debts that do not generate returns become ridiculously expensive down the road.

You should also keep in mind that being financially aggressive is not a one man show, especially if you have a family. You need to make sure that everyone knows about what you are doing and why you are doing it, many families have been destroyed because people kept each other in the dark about their investment spending. Your financially aggressive attitude should not become so out of control that you run out of money to manage your basic expenses.

Also, learn to focus on the finer things, create a budget for your expenses that you must follow with discipline, assess the cost to benefit ratio of every major expense before you carry it out, and set goals for yourself, goals that will give you a direction to work towards. These goals should be dynamic and updated frequently, otherwise they will not mean much.

Another crucial part of becoming financially aggressive is to surround yourself with likeminded people, not only will these people keep you motivated, they will also provide you with insight on the environment and make it easier for you to follow the money trail.

With the right strategy and mind set, offence becomes the best form of defence.