P4Capital

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The rise of the cryptocurrency

We live in a cashless society, but are we on our way to a universal digital currency? Bitcoin may seem like a digital currency for a digital age, but is it really? We investigate in this week’s round table discussion.

Transcript


Amanda: We’ve talked about Bitcoin before at the P4Digital Blog. It’s a topic that fascinates us, but 2014 was a rough year for it. In this week’s discussion, we talk about the rise of the cryptocurrency, how it works and speculate on whether or not we’ll all be paid with it in a few years.

Jeremy: Hello, today we’re talking about Bitcoins. Do they now have a legitimate trading exchange?

Archana: Yes, the topic we’re talking about today is the roll out of a new US-based exchange called Coinbase, which hopefully does legalize the cryptocurrency. What are your thoughts?

Shaheerah: Okay, so basically just to define Bitcoin in very basic terms, it is virtual cash that is generated, or rather mined by computers. It is a very sophisticated process. And Bitcoin lives on the internet, and you can use it to buy stuff both online as well as offline. In late January of this year, the Coinbased Bitcoin exchange went live. And this is actually the first one in America. And it could make Bitcoin more of a reality for the average Joe, as well as the corporate financial role. So as of now the exchange has been approved in 24 American states, and previously in the US the Bitcoin traders had to use exchanges that were based outside of the USA. And those exchanges did not have adequate regulations or security and so it made it pretty risky. So for example in February of this year, a Japan based Bitcoin exchange collapsed and they lost 750,000 customer Bitcoins, as well as 100,000 Bitcoins of their own. There are also all these problems with the security hacks. So for example recently Bitstamp lost 19,000 Bitcoins worth 5 million dollars, so that’s a lot. But now what’s going to happen is the Coinbase exchange is set to be a game changer because it is better regulated. They do have better security including insurance, which the other exchanges did not have. They have encryption, and the Bitcoins are actually kept offline so you won’t be able to hack them. There is also a one-time use passcode that you have to use, it’s texted to your phone and every time  you want to log in you have to use that one-time passcode, and you have to use the same computer every time as well.

Jeremy: Yeah, the Japanese exchange that Shaheerah mentioned is called Mt.Gox, which apparently is short for Magic the Gathering, which is a Role Playing – some type of Role Playing Dungeons and Dragons type game. So that’s not really the most credible way to be trading your Bitcoins.

Amanda: Speak for yourself! I’ve played Magic the Gathering and it’s an intense game!

Archana: Again, sort of going back to what Shaheerah mentioned, primarily the lack of regulation, inadequate security and the difficulty in getting US dollars in and out of these exchanges being the primary reasons why Bitcoin hasn’t really taken off. Coinbase really seeks to make a difference because it’s being backed by some thoughtful investors and financial venture capitalists, including the NYSE and the Citigroup CEO and Thompson Reuters ex CEO as well, so it obviously does lend a huge deal of credibility. And like what Jeremy mentioned, the Japanese company – a lot of luster was lost of Bitcoin amidst all these scandals and different scams. Case in point would be the Japanese Bitcoin exchange. And also more recently a Slovenia Bitcoin exchange also collapsed. So Coinbase does seek to differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd. What remains to be seen is how successful they’ll be.

Jeremy: And right on the heels of Coinbase is another exchange that is going to be launched later this year, which is backed by the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame, called the Gemini exchange. So they’re not narcissistic at all! Anyway, this exchange is going to be partnered with a major US bank, which means your US cash deposits will be eligible for FDIC insurance, although I’m sure the Bitcoins held in there will not.

Amanda: It’s interesting. Amazon and I believe PayPal also are accepting Bitcoins as of last year for payment for certain transactions.

Archana:  Yes, just like what Amanda just mentioned, apparently Coinbase also already accounts for about 2.2 million consumer wallets, and nearly 40,000 merchants already use their services. So from this point on it’s really a matter of them consolidating their position and building the business.

Shaheerah: Yes, and I also wanted to share some other facts about Bitcoin, which were published in an infographic from whoishostingthis.com. The FBI actually owns 15% of all the Bitcoins in the world. 65% of the world’s bitcoins are inactive – so they’re just left in the Bitcoin ewallets, and the remaining bitcoins are what are actually used for the transactions. You can get stuff like Pizza and plane tickets and university tuition using your Bitcoins. And even former Spice Girl Mel B, she was the first artist who started accepting Bitcoins as payment for her music. There’s also a maximum number of Bitcoins that can ever exist. The last Bitcoin is predicted to be mined in the year 2040.

Amanda: Make myself sound like a bit of a Geek here, but Mel B was always my favourite Spice Girl.

Laughter

Jeremy: Jim too

Laughter

Jeremy: Well, the problem with Bitcoins is they’re really too volatile right now to be used as an integral part of our trading economy. I mean, it would be kind of foolish to ask for your pay cheques in Bitcoin because the value fluctuates so much. I really think that if they built a good, secure system and a means of transactions- I think they’re going to around for a while, it’s not going to be worthless, it’s always going to be worth something. But to make the jump between something that you horde and something that you use to spend money on, the question is when that’s going to be.

Amanda: I have a general question for the executives here. If it was more secure, would you ever consider accepting your salary in Bitcoins.

Jeremy: I would not accept my salary in Bitcoins right now – not the way it fluctuates.

Archana: Not right now, but really whether we like it or not I think digital currency is definitely going to be a part of our lives in the coming future. Whether its Bitcoin o some other form of digital currency, I don’t know but for sure, salary one day would be in the form of Bitcoins.

Shaheerah:  And I just wanted to add, that actually Bitcoin has been known to lose up to 80% of its value in just a few days, so yes it is very volatile. And in fact both Thailand and China had put bans on Bitcoin back in 2013 for this reason.

Amanda: So that’s a no on accepting it on your salary, huh Shaheerah?

Shaheerah: Yup, that’s right.

Amanda: I have to say, after hearing that last statistic, I have to agree.


 

That was the P4Capital team discussing the rise of Bitcoin and Crytopcurrency. Apparnetly, none of us want to get paid with it in the near future. Want to know more? Check out our website  and previous posts about Bitcoin at http://www.planet4it.com or follow us @p4capital. Thanks and see you next time.

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Ping Pong Diplomacy – COMPLETE

Ping Pong Diplomacy

ROUND FOUR and FINALS

Andrew
Ed 
Andrew
Ed
Andre
Justin
Jeremy
Harnoor
Jeremy
Aeran
Finalists!
Champion!
Match One
Match Two
Match Three
Match Four
Upper Bracket Semi Final

Thanks to everyone for participating!

 

Justin

Staff Showcase: Meet Justin Park

Justin is the account executive here at Planet4IT, and he knows all about business development and client relationship management.
If you need an expert, he’s your man. In fact; he goes as far as to claim that he has never had a job that didn’t involve sales.

Also victorious  in Table Tennis, he left most of us in the dust here at Planet in our inner office tournaments. If you want to talk to Justin about business, or perhaps try your luck against him at Table Tennis, he can be reached by email, LinkedIn or by giving him a call here at Planet4IT.

Justin

 

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Hedge Funds: The Wild West

Welcome to the wild, wild west. Have you heard about the Canarsie Hedge fund? More money was lost in three weeks than most of us will see in our entire lifetimes. How did this happen and why? The P4Capital team examines this in this week’s Round Table Discussion.

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i-quit

Is This the Right Move?

Resignations – 7 Things Not to Do When Resigning

The goal of resigning is to protect your reference for the future.  If you have done great work for the last few years, don’t screw it up with a bad resignation.

  1. Waltz in to your bosses office and announce “I’m  out of here”

Well, so much for the courteous approach.

Prepare a letter stating you are resigning with a last day noted.  Give 2 weeks’ notice. Be sure to account for any outstanding vacation.

Present the letter in a face-to-face meeting (no slipping on his/her desk or sending an email).  Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but part of being professional.

  1. Do nothing, take long lunches, take extra sick days, come in late/leave early during your notice period.

The deal is to be professional.  Create a list of everything that’s on your plate divided into what will be completed by the time you leave and what will not, with the status it will be in when you leave.

Present the list in the resignation meeting.

This list helps to make the meeting less tense.

It also helps your boss save face with her boss when she announces your departure.  She shows she has it under control.

  1. Tell them where you are going.

This is optional.  It may just give your boss the opening to dump on the new company.

Why not say, “I shall call you when I get settled”.

  1. Get upset if they walk you out.

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It may be just an HR policy against the worst case scenario.

Assemble all your key possession in a single drawer before you meet your boss so you can exit quickly if necessary.

 

  1. Resent negative reaction from your boss.

 

Your boss may react poorly to the news.  That can include yelling or worse.

Your boss may deploy tools to slow you down.

These include:

Guilt – How could you do this after all I have done for you?

Intimidation – If you think I shall give you a good reference in the future, think     again

Flattery – Your team can’t go on without you.

Bribery/Promises – Gee, I was just about to set up a meeting to give you a raise/new project/promotion

These are just ways of giving your boss time to prepare for your eventual departure which may be your choice or may not.  Resigning is usually a sign of serious disaffection with the company and they usually can’t change that.  If you resign as a ploy to get a raise for example, it’s seen as immature and erodes trust.

 

  1. Make a loud announcement in the middle of the office, “I’m out of here you bunch of losers”

 

Give your boss time to announce your departure.  Don’t be a focus of discontent.  If other people want to leave, they need to take steps on their own.

 

  1. Neglect to capture the cell numbers and home addresses for everyone you liked working with. They may make a move in the future themselves.

 

After you’re gone, send them holiday greetings and stay in touch.  They are valuable nodes on your personal career network.  . You may want to reach out to them, for a reference or even a job one day.


Nadine

Nadine is one of the original members and owners of Planet4IT, and has watched the company become something great.
She is the Chief Financial officer here, and her hard work ensures everything is kept in tip top shape.
Another role she has is to help companies find the top talent out there.
Her track record speaks for itself.
Nadine can be reached through email, or by calling Planet4IT

 

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Ping Pong Diplomacy – Round Two COMPLETE

Ping Pong Diplomacy

ROUND TWO

Justin
Harnoor 
Mary Grace
Ashley
Andre
Jim
Shaheerah
James
Aeran
Andrew
Lou
Jeremy
Nadine
Rose
Archana
Ed
Match One
Match Two
Match Three
Match Four
Match Five
Match Six
Match Seven
Match Eight

Stay tuned for ROUND THREE starting Today

JobTips 296

Robbing the Bank

Ever wonder how easy it would be to rob a bank? Well, it happened recently at RBC in Vancouver by two ex-employees of the company. Find out how they pulled it off in this week’s Round table discussion.

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The next industrial revolution – The Conclusion

This week, the P4Capital team continues it’s discussion into the Next Industrial Revolution.

Stay tuned.

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