Criminals Are Saying Bye-Bye To Bitcoin ... And Other Small Business News

Gene Marks

Here are five things in technology that happened the first of week January, 2018, and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1. The criminal underworld is dropping bitcoin for another currency.

Bitcoin’s earliest and most avid fans—criminals—are now opting for a different virtual currency. Privacy coins such as monero, designed to avoid tracking, are being used more in recent months because law enforcers have adopted software tools to monitor people using bitcoin. (Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Why this is important for your business:

Although I believe that cryptocurrencies will eventually become stable and a genuine payment option that your customers will use, the jury is still out as to which currency will win the battle. If Bitcoin is easier to track, does that make it a more reliable currency? Or will losing the criminal element take away a big chunk of its user market and decrease its value?

2. Sift app helps business users find hidden benefits of their credit cards.

Sift is a free mobile application that claims to unlock the hidden benefits of your credit cards by the way it tracks your spending. (Source: Small Business Trends)

Why this is important for your business:

The mobile app makes businesses aware of perks such as price adjustment refunds, extended warranties, return protection, rewards, etc.—which could potentially save business owners a great deal of money.

3. Microsoft and Facebook join forces to stop cyberattack on the U.S.

Two huge tech companies that are normally competitors collaborated in May to stop the WannaCry cyberattack that affected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. According to U.S. Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert, “Facebook took down accounts that stopped the operational execution of ongoing cyberattacks, and Microsoft acted to patch existing attacks, not just the WannaCry attack initially.” (Source: The Motley Fool)

Why this is important for your business:

Cyberattacks and security breaches are, of course, a huge cost to businesses big and small. The best way to defend against these incidents is more collaboration by our tech giants. Let’s hope this is a continuing trend.

 4. A lab-made meat startup raises seed money to develop “clean” chicken.

An Israeli biotech and food-tech startup called SuperMeat has raised $3 million in seed funding to develop lab-made chicken meat, making it the latest of a group of so-called “clean meat” companies to launch. SuperMeat CEO and co-founder Ido Savir says that the food industry is ready to embrace new technology that enables food production to further scale and be done more sustainably. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Lab-grown meat is a fast-growing industry and SuperMeat is just one of the startups vying for profits there. If you’re in the food manufacturing or distribution field, the technologies being developed by these companies may have some benefit for you too.

5. Google is now testing its mysterious Fuchsia OS on the Pixelbook.

Fuchsia, Google’s new operating system, has now released documentation to allow developers to load it onto the company’s Pixelbook. Fuchsia has mostly been linked to embedded systems like wearables and Internet of Things devices in the past, but testing was expanded to Intel’s NUC and Acer’s Switch Alpha 12 Chromebooks. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Could Chrome or Android become a thing of the past? Very possibly so. Keep an eye on Fuchsia – Google’s up-and-coming operating system that may be running your technologies in the next few years.

This article originally appeared Jan. 7, 2018 on Forbes.com, and is republished with permission by the Marks Group PC.


Gene Marks

About Gene Marks

Gene writes every day on business, politics, and public policy for the Washington Post and weekly for Forbes, Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur. Gene has written five books on business management, specifically geared towards small and midsize companies. His most recent is The Manufacturer’s Book of Lists. Nationally, Gene frequently appears on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNBC discussing matters affecting the business community. Through his keynotes and breakout sessions, Gene helps business owners, executives, and managers understand the political, economic, and technological trends that will affect their companies and—most importantly—the actions they can take to continue to grow and profit. Gene owns and operates the Marks Group PC, a highly successful 10-person firm that provides technology and consulting services to small and midsize businesses. Prior to starting the Marks Group PC, Gene, a Certified Public Accountant, spent nine years in the entrepreneurial services arm of the international consulting firm KPMG in Philadelphia, where he was a senior manager.