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Why the CFTC’s Questions About Ethereum Matter

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Noelle Acheson is a veteran of company analysis and member of CoinDesk’s product team.

The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a newsletter for the institutional market, with news and views on crypto infrastructure delivered every Tuesday. Sign up here.

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Are ether futures just around the corner?

Last week, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a series of questions for the public, focusing on the workings of ethereum and the market for its token, ether.

That ether futures are being considered is not a surprise. In July, Cboe Global Markets said it was contemplating listing ether futures but was waiting for CFTC guidance, which implies that it has had discussions with the derivatives regulator. It’s unlikely to be the only one.

What is a surprise is the new approach the CFTC seems to be taking – and what it could mean for cryptocurrency development going forward.

Ether futures?

Before delving into the CFTC’s changing role, let’s look at how likely ether futures are in the short term.

On the one hand, listed ether derivatives would give the CFTC insight into the underlying markets and enable it to more efficiently monitor the network and pursue possible cases of manipulation and fraud.

On the other hand, there’s the problem of potential manipulation. The derivatives regulator has often stressed the importance of mitigating the possibility of manipulation in any given contract market – which means mitigating it in the underlying market as well. Academic research has shown that the bitcoin price was being manipulated in the run-up to and the aftermath of the launch of bitcoin futures.

Ether’s volume is approximately a third of that of bitcoin, so it is not a stretch to assume that it, too, is vulnerable. Also, the upcoming consensus protocol switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake adds a unique and substantial risk to the integrity of the underlying asset.

No doubt it will have been exhaustively tested by the time it goes live – but no amount of testing can completely eliminate the possibility that something can go wrong. The added risk will spill over into the derivatives market, not just from confusion and volatility, but also from the spikes in hedging demand as the switch approaches.

So, while an ether futures contract on a regulated exchange would give the CFTC more influence in ensuring market integrity, there are strong fundamental reasons against it.

In the way

If the CFTC decides that it definitely does not want ether derivatives trading on any of the platforms under its oversight, can it stop it? The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 introduced the concept of self-certification, in which exchanges can start trading a new contract the day after presenting the CFTC with the necessary commitments that the contract does not violate any rules.

While it is difficult to imagine an exchange presenting such documentation knowing that the CFTC disapproves, the agency has stressed that if a contract complies with established regulation, it can’t really say no.

Responding to criticism that bitcoin futures were rushed through with no public input, in January Chairman Giancarlo reminded the community that self-certification rules were implemented to foster innovation by implementing a faster approval process. He did, however, add to the review checklist the requirement that the soliciting exchanges seek and accommodate sector responses.

Here is where we start to see a change in approach.

More hands-on

One of Chairman Giancarlo’s main objectives, when he took office in 2017, was to enhance the CFTC’s influence over the markets it is entrusted to regulate. He has also often spoken eloquently of the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

As a result, his agency has been navigating a path between deeper oversight and supporting the development of innovative assets.

Rather than allow the bitcoin futures listing process to mirror the relatively straightforward self-certification enjoyed by more traditional contracts, the CFTC was in conversations with the relevant exchanges for months before they launched and was instrumental in changes to margin and information-sharing requirements.

The process for ether futures has gone a step further.

It is unusual for the CFTC to ask for public input into an underlying asset – this could signal the beginning of a new era of public/private collaboration. Although the forum is open until February, the response from the community has already been informative and enthusiastic.

Joint effort

Going forward, this collaboration is likely to produce more robust crypto markets with stronger institutional support.

Greater involvement from the CFTC, and a broader understanding of the technology will give it deeper insight into the workings of both crypto derivative and spot platforms. This should increase its comfort level with the growth of the sector.

The effect will be an even stronger layer of legitimacy, which could encourage further institutional investment in the asset and its infrastructure. It could also lead to the approval of other types of crypto products – for instance, it’s extremely unlikely an ether ETF will be allowed before ether futures have some traction.

And greater oversight, stronger regulatory support and more resilient investor confidence should lead to deeper liquidity, which will, in turn, encourage even more adoption and development of an important part of the crypto ecosystem.

Legal image via Shutterstock

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Top 10 Best Paving Companies In Daytona Beach FL.

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Best Paving Companies In Daytona Beach

Here are the 10 best paving companies servicing Daytona Beach FL.

  1. Rockwell Construction Services
  2. P&S Paving
  3. Halifax Paving
  4. D & W Paving
  5. Duval Paving
  6. Pavemax
  7. E & H Paving
  8. M & S Asphalt Paving
  9. ACET Recycling
  10. The Alternative

Rockwell Construction Services

Rockwell Construction Services (RCS) is based out of Daytona Beach, Florida. Provides professional paving and construction services throughout the Volusia County area, they make quality workmanship their number one priority.

With a full-service approach to construction and paving, Rockwell has it all. The scope of their work includes:

  • Asphalt paving / Repair
  • Sealcoating
  • Sitework
  • Parking Lots
  • Driveways
  • Millings
  • Heavy construction projects

Rockwell Construction Services Reviews:

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P & S Paving

P&S Paving, Inc. has grown to the point where they work major highway construction and earthwork projects. They’re also at home onsite for small driveways and parking lots, producing large amounts every hour, in a cleaner, more efficient manner.

P & S Paving Reviews:

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Halifax Paving

Halifax Paving, Inc. has construction experience building roads, airports, and highways. Their portfolio is big enough to offer most services, from bike paths to highway work, subdivisions and apartment complexes.

Halifax Paving Reviews

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D & W Paving

D & W provides asphalt paving, patching and site work in central Florida’s Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns, Seminole and East Marion Counties. With GradingExcavating and FillingBase WorkAsphalt Paving, and Asphalt Patching in their portfolio, they’re one not to miss.

D & W Paving Reviews

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Duval Paving

Duval Paving, LLC has been in operation since 2011. Paving new driveways and parking lots, repaving, and sealing commercial and residential properties is right there in their wheelhouse.

Duval Paving Reviews

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Pavemax

PaveMax uses industry best practices and green technology to use in their projects. With a focus on meeting their customers’ needs, their work doesn’t suffer in spite of their relatively quick pace.

Pavemax Reviews

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E & H Paving

E & H Paving LLC brings more than 35 years of experience in the state of Florida to the table in their outstanding asphalt services. Look out for them in residential and commercial spaces.

E & H Paving Reviews

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M & S Asphalt Paving

M&S Asphalt Paving is a full-service asphalt paving company offering quality services, driveway work, parking lots, roads, businesses, and commercial parking for a range of operations.

M & S Asphalt Paving Reviews

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ACET Recycling

ACET Recycling offers recycling services to site development projects across the state of Florida. Consider it a sort of one-stop-shop for site services of different types and sizes.

ACET Recycling Reviews

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The Alternative

The Alternative provides paving services in Daytona Beach FL.

The Alternative Reviews

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Pave The Way In 2020

For your paving and construction projects, the businesses listed in today’s article offer a range of great consultations and full service portfolios. Reach out to a few of them, make a connection with one, and happy paving!

For more great articles like this, make sure to check out some of our other blogs, as well!

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What is TikTok Good For?

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TikTok Benefits

TikTok is great for entertainment, getting famous, making sales, staying connected with current trends, networking with brands and influencers, and encouraging creativity.

The app was originally called Musicl.ly and didn’t experience much success until late 2017, when technology development company, ByteDance, acquired the app for $800 million. They launched it the same year and made huge modifications, turning the original app that was basically for teens to edit their videos of singing, dancing, and lip-syncing into a social platform that racked up over 500 million active users within just two years.

The app has surpassed the daily downloads of all the big guys in the field and was the most downloaded app in the AppStore in 2018. While this app is not showing any signs of slowing down, it’s time to take advantage of the momentum and benefit from its outstanding features.

TikTok Is Great For Killing Time

The one thing every social media platform struggles with, eventually, is boring content. This is the same reason why many people are “Team Facebook” or “Team Snapchat” or “Team Grindr”…you know. Those who get on Facebook don’t really go on Snapchat, and those who get on Snapchat don’t really get on Instagram or Facebook. This applies to most other social media platforms, as well.

All of these platforms are losing engagement, while TikTok focuses specifically on engagement. There is no boring content, here. It’s all entertainment.

Let’s say you are scrolling through the homepage and you find a boring video. You can just scroll once more and there will be a video you find enjoyable. When you are on a lunch break or trying to kill time, TikTok is the only app you need for your daily entertainment. Videos between 15 and 45 seconds long, and content is super engaging.

Almost Anyone Can Get Famous

This app has made more people’s dreams come true than Disneyland. You see, back in the day, when you wanted to get famous, you had to network, take acting classes, do some modeling, go through dozens of interviews and, most importantly, you had to know someone in the industry.

Now, things are different and as the world progresses forward with technology it is easier to be discovered than ever. Other giant social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter did a great job giving ordinary people the ability to get noticed. And a lot of people did but, eventually, it got harder and harder for new talents to rise up.

TikTok, on the other hand, took things to a-whole-nother level. They created a new culture on the platform with trendy challenges anyone can do, hashtags that let everyone be discovered, and so much more. You could have no talent and still go viral. You could be the most boring person on the earth and still trend. Trust me: I’ve seen plenty of dead boring TikTokers.

I mean, why not look at my 70-year-old grandfather? Grampa Charles ended up racking up 1.3 million followers in just a few months, and his posts are…well, they’re special.

TikTok Tips
Grandpa Charles!

If he can do it, trust me: you can too. Charles barely knows how to use his iPhone 6, and he’s more famous than you. Think about that for a second.

TikTok Is Great For Making Sales

Not only is TikTok great for killing time during that 10-minute smoking break, but how about turning those 10 minutes into creating a 30-second TikTok video that could potentially reach 1,000,000 views?

Ok, let’s keep it real now…

…maybe 50,000. Which is not so far fetched, with TikTok’s algorithm. That is another topic, though (specifically how to get more followers on TikTok). Take Gary Vela, for instance: this online marketer recently shared tips on how he generated over $7,000 in sales using TikTok, in his article “How to use TikTok to generate more sales“.

So, next time you are on your break, make it productive and remember: if you are wondering what TikTok is good for, it could potentially be one of the newest ways to increase your bottom line or make that extra cash to pay that insurance bill.

TikTok Keeps You Up-To-Date With Current Trends

From time to time, there are a lot of things that trend on other social media platforms and, sometimes, we only find out about those trends long after they were a thing.

Ladies and gentlemen: TikTok has changed that. You now no longer have to feel left out. When something is trending, you know, because it’s the first thing you’ll see on your home page. Not ten days later, once all the cool kids have had their fun already. Right now, where all the not cool kids can get in, too.

You’ll see your buddy doing it, right there in your feed, where you can quickly catch up with everything. TikTok keeps you relevant in today’s world.

Awakening The Creativity Within

There are many people online who think they have no talent. Go through Quora or Reddit or any social media platform, and you will see many people saying they “just can’t do it”. What they actually mean is that they don’t know how to do it. Yet.

Luckily for them and you and everyone else, anyone can “do” TikTok. Anyone can make a TikTok video. Anyone can pick a song. Most importantly, the great thing you will love about this app is that it gives you a creative framework you can play around with.

You make a video you think might not is all that good and, next thing you know, the final result after edits and everything else, is a whole new animal. This application truly inspires a new character inside you, even after just one video. You can easily develop the motivation to make a second, and then a third, and fourth. Before long, it’s game over: you are officially a TikTok master.

Connect With Brands and Influencers

This is especially good for businesses. You can easily connect with other brands and reach out to influencers to collaborate. It has never been easier, and the playing field has never been more level.

Think you’re just getting started out on TikTok, so who would want to speak to you? Some of the biggest names in the world are “just getting started out”, here. They’re all discovering this exciting new thing at the same time as you, and they’re looking at what you’re saying.

Reach out to influencers. Do duets with celebrities. If Twitter was the start of the rich and famous rubbing shoulders with everyday people, TikTok is the next step in that evolution. Don’t be scared. The world is waiting to hear from you.

Previous Article: How to Become a Legal Citizen of the United States? Spoiler Alert: It Involves A Baby.

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Snake Safety While Hiking – How to Protect Yourself

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Snake Safety Tips

Hiking is a great way to exercise, get out into nature and breathe the clean air and take in an adventure. But when this adventure stops you in your tracks, and it will, if it’s a snake, you had better be prepared.

While a snake encounter is highly unlikely, and a snake bite is even more unlikely, there are some things you should know before stepping into those woods.

DIY Research

If you’re in unfamiliar territory, especially in certain times of the year, you may want to do your research on what native snake species you may encounter. While there are venomous and nonvenomous kinds of snakes, you’ll want to find out what lurks in your neck of the woods. The most common venomous snakes in the United States include coral, water moccasins, copperheads, and rattlesnakes. A park ranger or local guidebooks should easily tell you what to look out for.

Hiking Times Matter

Snakes are cold-blooded animals and seek heat typically during early morning and late evening. During the day, they are typically found under rocks, leaves, and timber trying to seek protection from the midday hottest heat.

If you hear or see a snake, remember, they are just as afraid of you as you are to them. Step away and do not engage to get any closer. They will be set to defend themselves however they see fit to.

Safety Tips For Your Safety:

Give snakes space. 

Allow space between you and the snake. Do not startle it by moving quickly. If the snake doesn’t move, give it a few minutes and walk around it slowly. If you must on a narrow path, stomp your feet to get the snake to move. Rule of thumb, stay at least twice the body length away, as striking distance is half its body distance.

Watch where you step in the wild.

Just always be aware of your surroundings and your footing. Snakes are very good at hiding under things, camouflaging them from the naked eye.

Use protective clothing.

Feet, ankles and lower legs are the most bitten areas on the body from a snake. Wearing long pants and having good hiking shoes should always be a prerequisite to a good, safe hike.

Use trekking poles to maneuver overgrown trails.

These come in very handy when you approach an overgrowth area of greenery. You never know what may be in that so using your trekking pole to comb through first is highly recommended. Never poke or prod a snake with anything, especially these poles.

Also Read: 6 Awesome Camping Hacks Explained

If Case Of A Snakebite:

First and foremost, do not panic. Try to determine the species of snake that bit you. If possible, take a picture for identification. If nonvenomous, usually the most that you will need to do is wash the site and put an antiseptic on it. If you have a first aid kit handy, the alcohol wipes would suffice. If in fact a venomous bite, do not make a tourniquet or try to suck out the venom from the wound. Instead, relax to slow the blood flow and heart rate from spreading the venom to other parts of your body. Getting to the nearest medical facility as soon as you can, with an accurate description of what kind of snake it was, is crucial.  

Much of snake safety is common sense. Never hurt or harm nature unless in a dire event that would call for it. Nature should be looked at, admired, and be left alone. Enjoy your hike!

Attention: If you are into hunting you might want to check out E2 Armory, they carry some of the highest quality AR 15 Parts in the market.

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