The UK national debt is rising and is becoming a problem for the country. Every day the number is growing.
To give you a glimpse of what this debt looks like along with some extra information click the link below. The UK national debt calculator is your own national debt clock, click the link to see this handy timepiece put into perspective the growing debt of the UK.
Crowdfunding is booming as a way to promote a small business idea. And new rules for equity crowdfunding could mean even faster growth for investors. More than $16.2 billion was raised in 2014, more than half of which came from North America (where crowdfunding grew by 145 percent from the previous year). In fact, growth in North America was only surpassed by South America – where crowdfunding grew 167 percent – and in China, where volume in the online phenomenon surged by 320 percent over the year.
But don’t think crowdfunding is just about raising money. The benefits of crowdfunding go well beyond fundraising. These include:
Product advice and insight that would normally cost thousands:
Your campaign supporters will tell you exactly what they like and don’t like about product ideas and features. It’s like a focus group of thousands.
A community that includes lifetime supporters of your brand:
Crowdfunding backers feel a special buy-in with the businesses they support because they feel like they helped make it possible.
Free marketing on websites that reach millions of people:
Your campaign is an entire page dedicated to your message and brand. People will actively watch your video, read your message, and share it with their friends because they see it as a special project – not as a commercial.
If crowdfunding is such a great opportunity, then why have only about two percent of small business owners used the approach, and why do 63 percent of campaigns fail to reach their funding goal?
Crowdfunding isn’t as easy as throwing a campaign online and waiting for mountains of money. It’s no longer enough to post a video and a personal message to supporters. From start to finish, five common pitfalls continue to trip up business owners and prevent them from crowdfunding success. Understand and avoid these common small business crowdfunding pitfalls to get the most out of your campaign.
Crowdfunding Pitfall #5: You ignore the legal side of crowdfunding
Despite the social nature of crowdfunding, the internet can still be a very uncertain place. You won’t find any demarcation lines between countries, or a formal police force with jurisdiction over the World Wide Web. While copyright and patent laws still apply, they can get lost in the immense growth of crowdfunding and the breadth of the internet.
Last year, Kickstarter alone received 282 claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including 28 claims of trademark violations. Of those, action – removing images, videos, and/or deleting projects – was taken on 44 percent of the claims.
Don’t think you can freely use other people’s intellectual property or that yours is completely safe on the web.
Seek legal counsel on patent and copyright protection before pre-launching your crowdfunding campaign. You have one year after publicly announcing a product to file a patent application. After that 12 months passes, you won’t be able to get patent protection.
Do not divulge trade secrets to campaign backers or on your crowdfunding page. Your community of backers can be instrumental in product development, but make sure you sign non-disclosure agreements with anyone that gets special access to information.
The Takeaway: The informality of the internet can be deceiving, especially in crowdfunding. Make sure you protect any intellectual property with patents and copyrights. Do not plagiarize work or infringe on copyrights or patents.
While these aren’t the only pitfalls in crowdfunding, they commonly trip up campaigns and can keep you from achieving your goals. Focus on the takeaways from each pitfall and put together a broader view of the benefits. Look closely at what crowdfunding can do for your business and you may find that the money is little more than an afterthought.
When the first ever block in the Bitcoin blockchain was created in January 2009, it quoted the London Times: “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks,” a snapshot of the old guard’s futile solution to the financial crisis at that time. Was bitcoin the real solution?
What Satoshi Nakamoto had launched was a revolutionary idea, a technological uprising against the failing global monetary system. Almost 7 years on and that revolution has gone much further than a lot of people had anticipated.
Of course like all revolutions the cryptocurrency has had to fight many battles. Governments tried to regulate it in to oblivion. Its association with the mysterious online drug marketplace Silk Road allowed the media to scare joe public away from what they didn’t understand. And those who did take the plunge were faced with volatile prices and mass scammers who funnelled their BTC out of exchanges like a pyramid scheme exit plan.
And yet despite all of these insurmountable road blocks, bitcoin has survived. In fact it’s thriving. As revealed in a new infographic by BargainFox, it continues to grow by all conceivable metrics.
Its dollar value has been steadily increasing since January 2015, and since October 1st it has gone from $239 to over $360. This is projected to continue in to the new year.
Trading volume at the leading exchanges has grown by millions and overall growth has doubled, tripled and in the case of Singapore based OK Coin, jumped by a staggering 847% since October 2014!
As merchants continue to recognise bitcoin’s benefits and the public demand it as a payment option, its availability has gone from around 65,000 merchants to over 100,000 in a year. Steven Leeds, CMO of online electronics store TigerDirect says that “Bitcoin affords our customers an easy checkout process, while protecting us against fraud and chargebacks. We could not be happier with the results.” Neither can Microsoft, Expedia or Time Inc. Its adoption is now across the board, from giant corporations to niche online stores, to the local coffee shop.
In August 2015 Bitpay, a payment processor that allows stores to easily begin accepting BTC, reached its record high of 70,000 transactions. The market as a whole is now moving on average $289 million worth of BTC every single day, more than Western Union ($216m) and not far behind PayPal ($397m).
As an individual international transfer fees are negligible compared to PayPal’s 2.7% to 2.9%, or Western Union’s $5 to $20. And merchants get service fees as low as 1% with Bitpay, much cheaper than when they accept credit cards, the cost of which they often pass on to the customer anyway.
Using bitcoin simply makes sense.
Yet unless you’re a clever trader one of the main reasons some people refuse to get involved is its volatility. When you’re not paying attention sometimes the price just seems to shoot up and sometimes it seems to drop down. While there are obviously external factors, the main reason for this is its market size. Smaller markets are more vulnerable to large transactions. The fact that the market is growing means it will eventually be able to contain this. Some exchanges like Coinbase and payment processors now have the ability to instantly exchange your BTC to a local currency allowing you to avoid volatility when receiving it.
From 2011 to 2015 there has been a steady reduction of volatility. While this isn’t good for those looking to make a quick buck, it is good for those that want to use bitcoin as a day to day currency without the pressures of central banks, governments and wallstreet gamblers. Which is the end result of what Satoshi Nakamoto intended for his revolution.
For more on the current bitcoin landscape, check out the following infographic with 33 indicators suggesting the cryptocurrency will continue to rise.
All these companies attending, must mean that Bitcoin as some growth for the future. Not to mention entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Li Ka Shing own large amounts of Bitcoin., to add to this companies such Microsoft and Amazon also accept Bitcoin payments.
The future of Bitcoin
It seems as Bitcoin has started the trend for cryptocurrency. It’s safe to assume their will be at least one global cryptocurrency and a good chance that it will be Bitcoin.
So even if Bitcoin currency is not the new way of accepting electronic payments it has begun a trend, and someone will be create a global cryptocurrency. But why would we switch real money to cryptocurrency? Well, this whole system works because people are willing to exchange them for real goods, services or even cash.
Using Bitcoins is safer, it is very difficult to copy them or even make fake ones. So it seems like it’s better than using real money, plus there’s no banks or government that control cryptocurrency.
Overall is seems Bitcoin, is here to stay if not become the global cryptocurrency. Whether it will replace real money is to be seen but it is definitely here to stay and maybe become the next popular type of currency.
Crowdfunding has created a real buzz around businesses raising finance. Since the recession, traditional loans from banks has become difficult for start ups to obtain.
From personal experience, I’ve been trying to finance one of my start up companies for some time now and it has been a very difficult process. However, crowdfunding keeps popping everywhere I go and now I am considering this for my business.
Here’s how Crowdfunding works, think of an idea and develop it. Once you have enough information about your idea, you put this idea on a crowdsourcing platform such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Crowdfunder (there are many more). With the idea, create a good presentation including images of your products/services, an introduction or showcase video, a website (if you have one). This will put you in a good position with potential investors, no one wants to invest in an idea if the owner doesn’t have the passion or put in the effort to produce a good presentation. If people like the idea, lots of people will give small amounts of money until you hit your target. For each level of investment, you’ll have to create a reward. The higher the investment the higher the reward.
Now that you’ve got your crowdsourcing idea live it’s time to get the word out there and get as people to invest so you can reach your financial target. Create some sort of online and offline campaign to promote the crowdsourcing idea, social media will play a big role.
Once you reach your target you can turn your idea into an actual business. For many crowdsourcing has been a great way for start up’s to get started in a recession.
To find out more about Crowdsourcing and what it has done, read this article from Global Banking & Finance Review Disruptive Finance: Crowdfunding dated November 29, 2012.
How has Crowdfunding helped you in your own ventures or career? Got any crowdfunding campaign stories that you would like to share? Leave your comments below – we’d love to hear your stories here at Biz Gazette!
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