frustrated employee

Considering Implementing an Employee-Recognition Program to Increase Productivity?

Assessing possible strategies to lead your team and bolster productivity?

Employee-recognition programs may be one you decide to pass on after reading the following data compiled by the Business News Daily:

blockchain technology

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain – Part 5 of 5 Weekly Series


Blockchain Investing News states:

Banks, financial institutions and many others are adopting blockchain technology faster than anticipated.

Case in point, a Markets and Markets report that breaks down the blockchain market size projects the industry will grow from $241.9 million in 2016 to a staggering $7.68 billion in 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of an impressive 79.6 percent.

Fueling that growth, the report says, will range from the increasing demand for distributed ledger technology; reduced total cost of ownership; the rise of cryptocurrencies and their market caps, as well as initial coin offerings; increasing demand for “simplified” business processes; creating transparency and immutability; quicker transactions and the increasing adoption of blockchain-as-a-service.

‘Microsoft is focusing on financial services, and plans to roll out new tools in early 2018.  JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) are two of Microsoft’s blockchain partners.’

Investors Business Daily, in an article titled, “Bitcoin, Blockchain And Private Industry: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

‘A growing number of blockchain startups, though, have nothing to do with Bitcoin or its peers.  They aim to harness the technology for a long and growing list of other purposes in private industry. These begin with financial services, e-commerce, food safety and supply-chain management, but also include digital media, pharmaceuticals, cybersecurity and transportation — so far.

The list of big companies funding blockchain startups is also long: Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) are just a few, says research firm CB Insights.

The momentum gathering behind blockchain isn’t simply a matter of venture capital. Giant tech companies — the likes of Microsoft (MSFT), IBM (IBM), Oracle (ORCL), Intel (INTC) and Accenture (ACN) — are also jumping on the bandwagon.

Eastman Kodak (KODK) announced on Tuesday it would launch a cryptocurrency of its own, specifically for photographers. It also plans to create an encrypted blockchain ledger of rights ownership enabling photographers to register both new and archived work.

According to Forbes:“Technology Not Currency”

“Bitcoin is a terrific technology … the concept of the blockchain definitely has a bright future.  Its encryption algorithm and hyper-powerful worldwide virtual network ensures verifiable transaction integrity that is, for all intents and purposes, completely unhackable.  But, sadly, that doesn’t make it a currency.

A paper currency is a local phenomenon issued by a sovereign nation to standardize its local system of exchange.  So, to buy a cup of coffee in Japan a consumer pays in Yen.  In New York the dollar is used.  In London, it’s Pound Sterling.  And, for continental Europe, it’s Euros.  The only way a traveling consumer can pay for a cup of coffee in any of those places is to convert their native currency into that of the nation where the coffee shop is located.

Proponents of Bitcoin claim that it circumvents that system of foreign exchange because it eliminates the middleman and allows consumers anywhere to buy anything from anyone without the hassle or expense of foreign exchange.  That might be the case someday, but it certainly isn’t so today.  And, while there are lots of places that accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, it isn’t as universally accepted as the Yen, Dollar, or Euro.  Bitcoin can’t be deposited in a bank and can’t be exchanged for any currency.  So, it’s more novelty than legal tender.  But, it’s still a very cool technology!”

Blockchain Technology Stocks
  1. 360 Blockchain (CSE:CODE)
  3. BTL Group (TSXV:BTL)
  4. Coinsilium Group (NEX:COIN)
  5. DigitalX (ASX:DCC)
  6. eXeBlock Technology (TSXV:XBLK)
  7. Global Blockchain Technologies (TSXV:BLOC)
  8. HashChain Technology (TSXV:KASH)
  9. HIVE Blockchain (TSXV:HIVE)
  10. Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ:MARA)
  11. MGT Capital (OTCMKTS:MGTI)
  12. Neptune Dash (TSXV:DASH)

Additionally Richtopia Leaderboard lists 99 more!

Not all the stocks deal with creation of cryptocurrency, most deal with blockchain technology as it is rapidly growing in use in other industries!

Amid the wave of initial coin offerings (ICOs), outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen has called Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset” and “not a stable store of value.” 



Again, according to IBD “…most blockchain-related job openings are at companies like Fidelity Investments, Invesco (IVZ) and Bank of America, not to mention Dimon’s JPMorgan.

Cornell and other universities have formed the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies & Contracts, or IC3, which is focused on blockchain-based solutions in finance and banking.

Fidelity, Microsoft, Intel and IBM also belong to IC3.

Companies such as travel-booking site Expedia (EXPE) have experimented in accepting Bitcoin. 

Major Universities offering Blockchain Technology Courses:

Energy & Power
LO3 Energy advertises: “We’re are reimagining how energy can be generated, conserved, traded and shared.
Features: TAG-e, Blockchain, API, Grid”
From CNBC article: A blockchain power grid grows in Brooklyn.This street in Brooklyn is using blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency, to decentralize and share electricity. See their video: blob: A MICRO-GRID PROJECT, LIKE ENERGY IN UBER FORM!

From GreenTech: 15 Firms Leading the Way on Energy Blockchain, More companies will probably have launched by the time you read this.

  1. Drift
  2. Greeneum
  3. Grid+
  4. Grid Singularity
  5. Electron
  6. Energy Web Foundation
  7. ImpactPPA
  8. LO3 Energy
  9. MyBit
  10. Power Ledger
  11. SolarCoin
  12. Sun Exchange, Sun Exchange’s motto is “solar-powered money.”
  13. Veridium Labs
  14. WePower

The article ends with: “GTM will host an entire panel session on Blockchain at the first annual U.S. Power & Renewables Conference in November. You’ll get an in-depth look at how the renewable energy market will interact with the U.S. power market, and how those interactions can impact overall industry development and market growth. ”

Article researched and copy written by Laughing Fox Designs, providing results driven website development and social media actions to start-ups, small businesses and mid-size companies.  ©2018 All Rights Reserved

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain – Part 4 of 5 Weekly Series

 AI (Artificial Intelligence) Theories

It is speculated is that AI has taken, or will take, a life force of its own (warned as being a possibility by some, saturated in the tech industry, including Bill Gates and Elon Musk).

  1. AI is possibly is behind the development of cryptocurrency.
  2. To further concerns, Sophia, a robot built by Hanson Robotics, was ostensibly granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia in October 2017. Likely this was a maneuver to bring Saudi Arabia into the technology spotlight. Yet combined with last year, when Europe pushed for proposed rules for robots and AI including a general basic income and ‘human rights’ for robots. The proposed legal status for robots would be analogous to corporate personhood. The payment method? Cryptocurrency!

With advances in technology replacing the human element in jobs it is understandable that we might view AI as a threat even without them being granted citizenship and wages.

Rule of the Many by a Few

The Coinbase exchange has more than 13 million accounts that own cryptocurrencies.  94 per cent of the bitcoin wealth is held by men, and some estimate that 95 per cent of the wealth is held by 4 per cent of the owners. 

Website Occupy Corporatism believes because the blockchain is traceable and the technology is part of the ‘cashless society’ paradigm shift — Bitcoin will be the one world currency

“The technocratic push toward cyber-currency or e-money, is a march toward complete control over global currencies with the development of supporting technologies and the distribution of such that facilitate an online representation of money that can be used for exchange with another fiat system,” explains Susanne Posel, of Occupy Corporatism.

The Euro, a currency that covers many countries, was considered the beginning of this effort.

This belief stems from Revelations 13:17: “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

The Currency is a False Flag 

The speed at which corporations are accepting and seeking to utilize blockcode; it might be assumed that cryptocurrency is a false flag to garner attention while the government moves to dominate with every single transaction made being centralized. Nothing would escape notice or taxation, and everything would be preserved forever.

Even Michael Pento of FXS writes in his Dec. 2017 article: 

Bitcoin Conspiracy Theory

 “I’m not one to embrace conspiracy theories with alacrity but I do believe the government is purposely orchestrating an environment where cryptocurrencies can thrive—albeit for a truncated period of time—but with a baneful ulterior motive in store for the middle class. I believe governments are currently in the process of vetting the cryptocurrency space and using bitcoin as its primary test case. Their goal is to allow the public to gain trust and familiarity with electronic currencies before crushing private cryptocurrencies altogether, then replacing them with one government-sanctioned “bitcoin”—call it Fed-coin. 

This new Fed-coin would utilize a blockchain that is under the complete control of government and would replace all physical currency. In other words, banning physical dollars and all privately-issued cryptocurrencies and then impose a monetary system that is comprised of 100% electronic money, that is 100% controlled by the Government. By doing so it would eliminate the underground economy and allow the Fed to impose any level of negative interest rate it sees appropriate to accomplish its inflation goals, while also preventing the public from hoarding paper money in order to escape the loss of its purchasing power. Think about it, the government would be able to monitor every transaction on the new Fed-coin blockchain under the guise of being able to greatly diminish tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist-funding activities. 

And yes, the government could easily accomplish this by first allowing the private sector to perfect the use of cryptocurrencies, as it fosters the public’s widespread acceptance with digital money. Then, after a period of comfort is achieved, shutting down the cryptocurrency exchanges, thus eliminating most of its liquidity. Then, simply banning its use in all commerce. Both those measures would crush the value and utility of bitcoin, despite its decentralized attributes. Since the currency aspect of bitcoin requires all purchases to use a public application, it can also easily be seen by government regulators. Therefore, if the government were to impose fines and imprisonment for merchants accepting bitcoin, its utility would then be relegated to the dark web.”

Russian Beliefs

An article from CoinDesk, entitled: Russian Lawmaker: Bitcoin is a CIA Conspiracy admits: “A lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia is speaking out against bitcoin and other digital currencies on the grounds the technology is part of a US plot to undermine the country’s efforts internationally.”

The comments, made by MP Andrei Svintsov:””All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”

According to Orbix, this statement made in 2015 is the root of conspiracy theories of this nature.

China Destabilizing U.S. Dollar

Another theory is that China is behind the digital currency. China has publicly supported the currency since its release causing some some to believe that bitcoin is a further attempt to destabilise the US Dollar.

Asian Theory

The “Asian Theory” is that four major Asian companies are behind the digital currency: Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi, and Motorola.  The name of the Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto can be created by using the first few letters from each of the company’s names:  Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi and Motorola.


Article researched and copy written by Laughing Fox Designs, providing results driven website development and social media actions to start-ups, small businesses and mid-size companies.  ©2018 All Rights Reserved


bitcoin-blockchain technology business

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain – Part 3 of 5 Weekly Series

Common Crypto Scams


There is a huge rise in cryptocurrency exchanges; all wanting your attention, and sometimes your money, obtained by them through very obscure transaction fees that come with handling your purchases.

Crypto exchanges have appeared and disappeared almost overnight.

  • If you’re entirely new to cryptocurrency, you might not have heard of Gox. This was an early cryptocurrency exchange that at one point accounted for over 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide. One morning, in February 2014, Mt. Gox suspended trading. It later emerged that 850,000 Bitcoins had been stolen (valued at $450 million at the time, over $3.5 billion as of this writing — yeah, you read that right!) over a period time. 

Trusting people in an entirely digital world is extremely difficult, especially if you cannot audit or verify what is taking place behind the scenes.

  • In the spring of 2017, a Mumbai-based company called OneCoin was delivering a sales pitch to a room of investors. Indian financial enforcement officers raided the meeting, ultimately jailing 18 OneCoin representatives for operating a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. At the time of their arrest, OneCoin had already moved over $350 million through a payment processor.
Pump & Dump Scams

Many prominent financial experts have also dismissed cryptocurrency as a scam.

In many ways, the thousands of smaller altcoins have taken the place of penny stocks, albeit with a technological edge.

Furthermore, there are several groups dedicated to this exact practice. They hold a monthly vote to choose an altcoin with a tiny market capitalization, and descend.


Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are the IPOs of the cryptocurrency world. Cryptocurrency startups create initial coin offerings to raise substantial amounts of money. However, many of them vastly overestimate the value of their startup. Others are simply elaborate pump and dump schemes.

The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) is extremely wary of ICOs. They advise that they suspend trading in stock when:

  1. There is a lack of accurate or current information about a company.
  2. Questions arise concerning the accuracy of publicly available information, including press releases and media coverage.
  3. There are questionable trading practices, such as insider trading, market manipulation, and more.
Vulnerability in Code has occurred.

The DAO – When DAO (a decentralized autonomous organization named for the acronym) completed their 2016 ICO, raising over $34 million, it was considered a success.

That was until some users exploited a vulnerability in the DAO code, and siphoned one-third of The DAO’s funds to another account. To return the funds to the original account, the Ethereum community had to agree to a hard fork, tearing the cryptocurrency in half.

A protracted cryptocurrency crash would ‘spill over’ into stocks, Wells Fargo warns.


Article researched and copy written by Laughing Fox Designs, providing results driven website development and social media actions to start-ups, small businesses and mid-size companies.  ©2018 All Rights Reserved

crypto-currency blockchain technology

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain – Part 2 of 5 Weekly Series

It is now virtually impossible for humans to decipher blockchain. Bitcoins blockchain has proved impossible to hack, even with the aid of computers.

The technology of blockchain CANNOT be understated. This is possibly the biggest leap in technology since the creation of the internet.

Blockchain is now being engineered by a multitude of industries, including hospitals, banking, messaging apps and voting technologies.

Blockchain was originally developed by humans (we think) using open software called blockchain.

How do new coins come into existence?

New coin production is controlled by a process called mining, an intensive process where computers (mining nodes) compete against each other to secure the network by solving mathematical equations, collecting bitcoins as a reward if they are the first to create a new valid block, which is then broadcasted to the rest of the network and added to the blockchain.

    1. To mine cryptocurrency you need to download the free open source software.
    2. You also need to create a “digital wallet” (also considered a node), so you can receive payment for crypto you have created.
    3. Originally you could use the hardware of your PC to mine, but as the process became more intensive, now you must have specialized mining software to handle the power, these cost about $1,500 and up.
    4. The power / electricity needed for one of these hardware devices is enormous… enough to power 285,833 US homes as of 2015.

How does crypto compare to our current money system?

Currently we use a Fiat System. Ever since the US left the gold standard, public confidence in the fiat system has dwindled.

Fiat is currency issued by a government, but which is not backed by a physical commodity. Fiat suffers from inflation, when a government decided to “print” more of a Fiat currency, the value of everyone’s money goes down as a result. This is the exact opposite of what Cryptocurrencies aimed to solve.

How Cryptocurrency exchanges work:

The fiat system. There is nothing (no gold, no silver) backing the generation of the code.

Once you have created an account, you will have to link it with either a debit/credit card, or a bank account.

Afterwards, deposit how much BTC you’d like to exchange from your address, choose the currency of choice, and click on exchange. The process takes anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days, depending on the exchange that you have picked and your bank/card provider.

Paying Your Taxes

It should be noted that in most countries, when you actually withdraw your cryptocurrency to Fiat, you will be creating a “taxable event” so you should be prepared to pay the tax owed under your local laws. Many countries differ on how they handle this, some are completely tax free, others use the Capital Gains model. The amount of time you have held the currency may also matter, making the difference between short-term and long-term Capital Gains.

As of 2013, law firms and tax return services began to include bitcoin tax preparation, and accounting software.

Trading exchanges are beginning to include platforms for trading cryptocurrencies just like they include trading for penny stocks; and meetup groups and investors services are beginning to open conversations about the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Tradestation Link:

Can I pay for my lunch with crypto?

According to,, Target, Subway, Amazon, Victoria’s Secret, and many others now accept the cryptocurrency and more companies are expecting to move in that direction.

So, though you may not be paying for your lunch today with cryptocurrency, it does seem as if there is a good chance that you will be tomorrow.


Article researched and copy written by Laughing Fox Designs, providing results driven website development and social media actions to start-ups, small businesses and mid-size companies.  ©2018 All Rights Reserved

How to Fix 8 Sales Strategy Errors

How to Fix 8 Sales Strategy Errors

Addressing these “big picture” errors ensures your company’s long term success.

Reaching Your Full Potential in Business

Reaching Your Full Potential in Business

Business Potential

Harvard Business Review states:

“Am I reaching my potential?” is not the same as asking, “How do I rise to the top?” or “How can I be successful in my career?”

Rather, it’s about taking a very personal look at how you define success in your heart of hearts and then finding your path to get there.

To begin to see if you are reaching your current potential

  • Step back and take an accurate assessment of your current skills.
  • Create a list of two or three of your greatest strengths
  • and your two or three of your most significant weaknesses.
  • Solicit views of people who will tell you the brutal truth and give you specific feedback.
  • Take time for meaningful reflection.
  • Research, in what fields, and in what situations would your strengths be utilized best to serve the needs of others and bring you the joy of doing what you love to do every day of your life.


Article researched and copy written by Laughing Fox Designs, which exists to provide web design and social media support to small businesses that need creative solutions.  ©2017 All Rights Reserved

First Citizens Small Business Forecast

The latest on the small business market. small business

First Citizens Bank conducted their third annual Small Business Forecast, learning about the small business landscape in each market. Here are some of the results:

Do millennial entrepreneurs feel like there’s room to grow?

Overwhelmingly yes. 82% of millennials expect to grow their business in the next 6-12 months.

What’s having the biggest impact on the future of small businesses?

58% of skilled trade business owners plan to hire more employees.

42% of those same skilled trade small business owners plan to grow by adding new products and services.

How valuable is social media to your business, really?

49% of respondents now view social media as a top resource to learn about small business.

Where does the economy come into play?

68% of respondents are optimistic or very optimistic about economic conditions in the next 2-3 years.

What kind of unexpected perks are your peers finding?

50% said they feel a big sense of accomplishment for what they’ve achieved.

47% said while it’s a lot of work, it’s also a lot of fun.

39% developed skills they didn’t even know they had.

42% said they’d never want to go back to working for someone else.

Website Performance vs. Social Media Performance, how do they stack up?

Lead generation from social media channels is almost neck and neck with those stemming from a business website (60% vs 64%). See sales climb with cross-promotion.

First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company [US] Small Business Forecast. Full Report.

While people feel good about the economy over the next 2-3 years it’s usually because it’s going well now and people anchor to their latest experience – Pivotal Performance Processes has a process that tests the ability of businesses to withstand significant changes – either up or down.

Factors Motivating Millennials to Buy Homes

Reasons Millennials are Buying Homes…Number 3 Will Surprise You!

A Harris Poll conducted on behalf of SunTrust Bank polled 18 to 36 year old’s who had just purchased their first home.

The average age of the Millennial buyer was 29.4 with an average FICO score of 724.
The loans were primarily conventional loan for $185,919 to purchase a home valued at $223,882.

What factors spurred these young people to decide to buy, and what were they looking for in their first home?
1. More Living Space – 66%
2. Building Equity / Wealth Building – 36%
3. Desire to Have a Better Space or Yard for a Dog (either for a dog currently owned or for a dog they hoped to acquire in their near future) – 42%
4. Marriage – 25%
5. Birth of Child – 19%

Looks like home buying has gone to the dogs!

Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage Infographic
A third of millennial-aged Americans (ages 18 to 36) who purchased their first home (33%) say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home, according to a new survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage. (PRNewsfoto/SunTrust Banks, Inc.)















Article researched and copy written by Laughing Fox Designs, providing results driven website development and social media actions to start-ups, small businesses and mid-size companies. ©2017 All Rights Reserved