Connect with us

News

What Will It Take to Regulate Crypto Exchanges?

Published

on

Konstantinos Stylianou is an assistant professor at the University of Leeds School of Law, and a visiting scientist at the Brown University Department of Computer Science.


Shortly after Bitcoin SV was delisted from Binance, CoinDesk advisor Michael Casey published an insightful op-ed discussing whether the delisting amounted to censorship (it doesn’t), whether exchanges should be held to high standards of neutrality (they should) and whether regulation is necessary to achieve this result (it is).

The idea is that because major exchanges play such a crucial role in the industry (Casey claims that “[t]hey are the cryptocurrency industry) they should not be allowed to arbitrarily discriminate between crypto assets — rather they should be regulated to operate as neutral platforms.

But ask any regulation expert and they will tell you that, absent Goldilocks conditions (hold that thought), neutrality is neither the natural state of markets, nor the natural instinct of regulators.

If that’s the case, regulation of the kind that would have saved Bitcoin SV and of the kind Casey advocates for – while possible – might not quite be around the corner.

Neutrality is rare and regulation even rarer

That neutrality is not the natural state of markets, we’ve known for a while.

It is hard to notice when there is an abundance of choice and people get what they want, but when there is too little of something, the owner of that bottleneck resource often becomes partial and does not treat everyone the same.

When the first telephone networks were rolled out, they suppressed devices and services from competitors and even arbitrarily refused call service. Microsoft saw Netscape as a threat and sabotaged it. Apple and AT&T similarly blocked Skype in the early days of the iPhone. There are countless other examples of platforms disfavoring complements or customers.

Were regulators called in to save the day in all these cases? They were indeed. Telephone networks were designated as common carriers, which came with the obligation to provide non-discriminatory service; Microsoft was forced by antitrust regulators to abandon the practices that squeezed Netscape out of the market; and Apple and AT&T dropped their restrictions against Skype after the Federal Communications Commission threatened them with net neutrality action.

It may seem that regulation came to the rescue whenever necessary to restore neutrality. But the truth is that despite occasional corrections, neutrality still remains the exception in the market and in regulatory action.

Part of the reason is that the law actually acknowledges that non-neutrality is not all that bad. The ability to deviate from uniform practice is what allows companies to differentiate themselves in the market. Not all grocery stores carry the same products, neither do they all place them in the exact same shelf, and this helps consumers and producers address diversified needs.

Even extreme differentiation, like exclusive agreements that make a business proposition unique in the market, can be good. For example, Nintendo’s exclusive console agreements helped bootstrap an entire industry by tying popular games to Nintendo’s consoles thereby increasing competition.

It is not that this kind of discriminatory practices have no downsides. Far from it. But it is also a standard assumption in modern market-driven economies is that regulation distorts markets too, and therefore, the enactment of rules requires proof that, left alone, the market would perform demonstrably worse.

In the mind of a regulator

To decide whether Binance, or any exchange for that matter, should be neutral and not discriminate against crypto assets (be it cryptocurrencies, crypto derivatives or other), regulators would consider a number of factors.

Power

The most decisive factor to regulate is sustained monopoly power or dominance in the market.

Regulators usually impose neutrality on platforms because users and/or complements (read: cryptocurrencies) can’t or realistically won’t turn to alternative platforms, which would allow the dominant platform to exploit them.

If Binance were a monopoly exchange, then delisting a cryptocurrency would result in driving it out of the market. Or, if the cost of switching from Binance to another exchange was prohibitively high, then, similarly, Binance users and listed cryptocurrencies would be trapped by Binance’s choices.

But neither of those conditions are true here. There are numerous exchanges on which Bitcoin SV can be traded, and signing up with Binance does not preclude users from trading on other exchanges too. In other words, both Bitcoin SV and users multi-home.

In that sense, Bitcoin SV is not in the same position as companies listed on NYSE or Nasdaq, because by and large, companies are listed on only one exchange, and delisting them would mean that they cease to be publicly traded.

Harm and market distortion

Regardless of power, would decisions such as Binance’s delisting of Bitcoin SV undermine important public interest goals such as market stability and efficiency, consumer and investor protection, and capital formation?

Regulation is more likely if the problematic conduct threatens harm to public interest goals, is frequent, and has long-lasting effects without second-best alternatives being able to contain them.

At the moment, the picture is still fluid. For one thing, regulators still grapple with the question of whether crypto assets even form part of financial markets. If they do not, then there would be no legal basis to subject exchanges to financial regulation.

Assuming that they do, the frequency of the problematic conduct matters too. Crypto delisting is not unheard of but it is not exactly common either. There is no exact formula to calculate a threshold. In the case of network neutrality rules, fewer than five instances were enough to set the regulatory process in motion, whereas for privacy, numerous and repeated instances by tech giants have not resulted in regulation yet.

We also don’t know the extent of the harm of delisting. When the trading of conventional securities is suspended, they effectively disappear from the market, perhaps permanently. On the other hand, despite Bitcoin SV’s delisting from Binance, it still traded on another seven exchanges.

To be sure, Bitcoin SV’s price suffered significantly upon the announcement of the delisting on April 15 (from $73 on April 14 to $55 on April 15), and the effects to its medium-long term liquidity and reputation are yet to be accounted for (likely bleak).

This, in turn, can have severe consequences for investors’ financial situation.

But regulation is concerned with broad effects, not individual actors. The key lies less in the fate of Bitcoin SV specifically, and more in the effect of the practice of delisting in the overall stability of the market. It is a very different situation if delisting is regarded as a normal business practice whose risk is acceptably assumed by investors, and if delisting is regarded as serving no other purpose but to manipulate the market or to defraud investors. Only the latter could invite regulation.

Information inadequacies

The market can only work efficiently if all parties are sufficiently well informed to evaluate their options.

If investors had perfect information, then their reactions to Bitcoin SV’s delisting would reflect their up-to-date assessment, and there would be no need for regulation to protect them from anything. Any price, reputation and liquidity fluctuations would correspond to investors’ full and accurate beliefs and manipulation by Binance would be impossible.

This is clearly not the case here or in any other market. Perfect information is one of the most unrealistic assumptions of neoclassical economics in modern economies.

But the obvious solution to information inadequacies is more information and more transparency, not neutrality. The difference is that transparency enables actors to make a (presumably better) choice, whereas neutrality is a choice itself: it mandates a specific treatment (i.e. non-discrimination).

Regulators would normally want to start with the least onerous measure (transparency). If it is not effective, they can escalate to neutrality. If still ineffective, they may even dictate the rules of listing and delisting themselves.

Unequal bargaining power and anticompetitive conduct

The main idea behind non-regulated competitive markets is that actors behave well because market forces discipline them. If, however, the competitive forces exercised by competitors (other exchanges), complements (cryptoassets) or customers (investors) are weak, market players (exchanges) are unconstrained to act in ways that harm others.

Think about how much more difficult it would be for an exchange to delist Bitcoin with its much higher market capitalization, velocity and liquidity compared to Bitcoin SV.

Evidently, Bitcoin is more valuable to exchanges and therefore the constraints around how exchanges treat it are tighter. In reality, the majority of cryptocurrencies are nowhere near as important as Bitcoin, and the fact that they are not backed by unified institutional actors further diminishes their bargaining power.

Large investors could have a similar constraining effect, since exchanges would not want to lose investors who can generate large volumes.

For this to work it would mean that cryptocurrency ownership is concentrated in large investors (there is evidence in that direction, for example 42 percent of Bitcoin is owned by the top 0.01 of addresses), but also that these investors are actually active and that churn is high or at least plausible.

Politics, politics, politics

The factors listed above leave out one important aspect of regulation: the fact that, ultimately, it is a political game, not an academic exercise. If politics favor regulation then that’s the most likely outcome regardless of how the factors listed above weigh in. We even have a fancy name for it: New Institutionalism.

As a function of the executive branch, regulation is subject to political pressure and revolves around interest groups. Nascent immature markets, such as that of cryptoassets, are usually captured by the interests of the existing regulatory authority and those of the public.

They are captured by the existing authority (in the US, this is the SEC) because they are already in the game and by extending their reach they justify their existence. Widened reach and heightened activity entitles them to more funding and higher rating. Just look at how everyone speaks of the European Commission as the global antitrust and privacy enforcer after having gone after Google and the like.

Nascent markets are also more likely to be regulated in the name of the public interest both because people are generally more vulnerable in new market contexts, and because industry interests have not developed lobbying capacity yet. This leaves the field clear to side with the public which is generally seen as the weaker side.

A few industry associations are already present in blockchain markets (EEA, PTDL, ISDA) but none seems to represent the collective interests of exchanges. On the contrary, regulatory interest and grassroots support for crypto assets seem stronger.

In the end, it is usually not a question of whether a market segment will be regulated or not; rather a question of how it will be regulated.

Coin in vice via Shutterstock

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

How to Save Your Business During a Recession

Published

on

How to Save Your Business During a Recession

How are you holding up?

I know, these are challenging times for all of us and I’m sure you get tons of emails talking about this ugly virus that’s going around the world COVID-19.

Many businesses are taking a huge hit by not having any customers, cutting down their employees and majority shutting their doors. This virus has eaten up some businesses and pooped them right back out.

Especially the ones that were not prepared for the recessional times.

I don’t want to go into statistics about how it will affect us locally or globally as you can look out your window or turn on the news for that (for good or bad).

I’m a very optimistic person when it comes to my life and it is sometimes hard to see the silver lining when we are in the middle of unprecedented, crazy times. 

But I want you to remember:

Things WILL get better.

This crisis situation won’t last forever.

Sure, things will slow down for a bit as we practice social distancing and isolation from the typical way we are used to living our lives. 

We all (well most) understand that, in the long run, it’s the best course of action to flatten the curve (I know you hate hearing these same words over and over but we need to do it). 

During this time of isolation, my plan is to help as many businesses as possible through my content. 

Step #1: We need to shift our perspective

As people stay at home, they are spending more time than ever online. 

Fact: My sites has seen a 15% increase (1,500 new visitors per day) day after day and it will only get better over the next few weeks and months.

It’s the right time to reach out to your audience on social media and show them your empathy as we are in this together.

To bring your community together, create relatable content that shows you care about your customers. 

Content that is centered around staying healthy and keeping mental well-being in-check can help you stay relevant. 

During this topsy-turvy time, consumers need reassurance and support from the brands that they love.

To weather this storm, you also need to be ready to pivot your business strategy. 

  • If your gym is shut down, why not give your customers an online workout class? 
  • If you run a coffee shop, can you shift to selling bags of ground coffee online instead of hot lattes?
  • If a seminar or an in-person event gets cancelled, is it possible to move it online?

It’s never been more important for businesses to go digital.

Step #2: Search Engine Optimization

As travel is restricted, spend more of your time/budget on writing content. And keep in mind that local SEO has become more necessary now than ever.

Fact: Most companies stop their marketing campaigns during hard times and will lose rankings and lose touch with their customers.  This is NOT a good move!

Being proactive by optimizing your site for SEO and writing content is crucial now to get to the top of Google while your competitors are stagnant.

If you don’t want to do the SEO work yourself, you can always hire SEO companies to do it for you while you sit back and oversee their work.

Go digital” — that should be your mantra for resilience.

Hang in there, we’re going to come out stronger.

Also Read: What Does Digital Marketing Agency Do?

Continue Reading

News

Top 10 Best Orlando SEO Companies

Published

on

Orlando SEO

As more businesses are adapting to the fast-moving world of digital marketing, services like SEO have become popular with many companies, with some providers charging outrageous amounts of money for the service while others charge very little. Some of these don’t even do any work to deliver their “results”. 

You might ask, “How do I choose a good service?” How do you know who offers the best service? Especially in the Orlando area, we recommend researching the company you are trying to sign up with before you hand over your SEO work. Check what they have done. Get on a call with them and ask if they can show you case studies. Not just general studies but ones from your industry, specifically. 

Have they worked with a similar company? What have they done for them? How long did it take them to deliver ROI-measurable results? 

Dive deep and investigate everything about them. Question them and pay attention to what they say. Avoid the ones that try to get you into super long, hard-to-get-out-of contracts. Legit companies will show you what they have done and give you room to breathe and decide whether this is the right strategy for your business. 

Regardless, we have put together a list of 30 SEO companies currently operating from Orlando FL. Follow my tips and choose the most suitable agency for your SEO needs. 

1. Web Daytona 

Web Daytona is a digital marketing agency heavily focused on search engine optimization. This agency got started back in 2008, with headquarters based out of Daytona Beach FL and has expanded to Orlando, since, bringing their results-driven services to the Orlando SEO market. 

This company offers optimized options for their clients, giving them the opportunity to choose what suits them best. They do contract options, long-term, short-term, or no contracts at all. They do not pressure you into buying their services and they support all their claims with valuable case studies.

How do they proceed with a client? Give them a call, first. They will get a clear understanding of what you need before taking 48 hours to do their research, analyze your website and your competitors and create a custom plan of action, ready to be implemented. Analyze their proposal and, if the price is acceptable, move forward and let them take care of the rest. This agency sends you weekly progress reports so you are updated, every step of the way. 

2. SEO By You 

This agency has not been around for a very long time, but long enough to make a big impact within the SEO community. In just two years, these guys were able to rank over 100,000 keywords on the first page of Google and other major search engines. 

As you can see, just from the name, they specialize in search engine optimization. Their team is composed of on-and-off-page strategists and technical SEO professionals, the architects of their optimization. 

This company does not offer long or short term contracts. They are paid, as you go, but ask all their clients for at least 6 months of commitment before they see any major SEO results for their business. SEO By You has their own proprietary tools that allow them to do a deep investigation of your current strategy, your competitors’ strategies, and develop a plan to help you match your competition. From there, they’ll help you leverage these services, ultimately outranking your competition and securing first page search results. 

3. Reach Local Orlando 

This is an SEO-focused agency, operating out of Orlando FL. They help businesses build successful online presences through up-to-date SEO practices. This company helps you take control of your Internet presence, as well as ensuring that your customers find your business when they search for your products or services. 

They focus on generating leads through SEO, not just increasing a certain percentage of clicks. Their beautiful landing page can tell you a lot about what type of strategy they build for the businesses they work with. I’ve got to say, according to some online reviews they help you target and engage your local customers based on valuable data, deep insights and an integrated advertising approach. 

4. WASHEEN SEO 

Originally based in Sri Lanka, WASHEEN SEO operates out of and brings their services to Orlando and the businesses therein. They are a digital marketing agency, but mostly focused on SEO. They have been involved with SEO since 2015 and have done quite well with ranking their clients. 

Since then, they have built over 800 websites with SEO strategy and generated over $30M+ in revenue for the clients who have hired them to carry out digital marketing and strategic SEO campaigns. 

This agency specializes in the following industries: 

  • Healthcare
  • Restaurants
  • Real estate
  • Dental
  • Software
  • Pool
  • Bail bonds 
  • Security camera systems

It does all of this, while servicing clients with high quality, on-time delivery and service. 

5. Get The Clicks 

This company began their journey back in 2002 as a web development company as The Outer Limit Studios. In 2009, they rebranded and evolved into a digital marketing agency and, two years later, the company became what it is today: Get The Clicks. 

Since then, the company began its journey into the digital marketing arena. This agency has helped over 1,100 businesses of all shapes and sizes throughout the United States, delivering high quality marketing services.

As part of their marketing service, they have hired professional SEO experts to handle their clients’ SEO needs. This company does not offer contracts and they have no hidden fees. They give you the full transparency you need as a business owner to feel comfortable while dealing with any third party agency. 

They have a simple approach to your SEO strategy. They evaluate where you are currently ranking. Then they figure out what your competitors are doing to out-rank you. They then build a strategic plan based on your competitors weaknesses and they execute it with full transparency in communication. 

6. Web Market Florida 

While this company has not been around for as long as other agencies, they have been around for about 5 years, providing web design and marketing services to their clients. They have completed over 1,000 web design and development projects and have launched over 500 marketing campaigns. Over 700 branding campaigns and 900 search engine optimization projects have been completed. 

This agency has been focusing on SEO and enhancing their strategies to help their clients thrive through search engine ranking. They have specialists with years of experience in the field who are up-to-date with all SEO trends and techniques, and are aware of search engine algorithm updates. This ensures they can keep all their clients’ SEO strategies fully furnished. 

7. Orlando SEO Group 

This agency has been serving Orlando since 2005 and has done some great work in the SEO field. They are an award winning digital service and have been accredited by the Orlando Business Journal from the results of all the local businesses they have helped. 

They have one goal in mind: to rank your website in the top three search results of the first page, as well as ranking your local business in the top three packs for the relevant keywords your potential customers are looking for to find businesses like yours. 

If your website is not mobile friendly, they can make it user friendly. If your website is not optimized, they can optimize it for you. These guys don’t back out from any challenge – they overcome them with knowledge and years of experience, creating different types of SEO campaigns. 

8. Orlando SEO World 

This company’s focus is on helping you improve your online visibility through search engine optimization strategies. Enhance your website performance and increase your ranks to generate more targeted traffic, increase your sales, and get better ROI on your marketing investment. 

Orlando SEO World was founded in Orlando FL and has an office operating from Winter Park, serving greater central Florida. They have been there since the early days of the Internet and have served thousands of businesses, since. 

They can truly help you put your company in front of your audience and gain a competitive advantage over your competition. They give you a free website analysis and free proposal to work with them. 

9. SEO CFL Expert 

This Orlando based SEO agency specializes in SEO across various industries. They help businesses strategically optimize their websites and their online presence. They create custom campaigns that help local businesses reach local targeted customers. 

They have a team of digital marketing experts that have in depth knowledge and experience in the SEO industry. It took them years to test and bring their professionals to the point where they are today. All their strategies will be geared towards your business to gain maximum exposure online and they only work with limited amounts of clients so they can ensure your company’s success is their priority. 

10. Marketingoose 

It is unknown exactly how long this SEO company has been serving the Orlando area but their website has been around for over three years. This company’s experts are fully focused on search engine optimization. 

This company clearly understands how search engines, rankings and algorithms work and are willing to do everything in their power to help businesses outrank their local competition. Their focus of SEO services are on-page optimization, off-page optimization, technical SEO and search engine marketing through pay-per-click advertisement. 

Conclusion

These are the top 10 Orlando SEO companies in operation right now. If you are looking to hire one, you have plenty to choose from, and the talent is all right there. I do recommend researching these companies yourself, analyzing their websites and seeing where they rank when you search for the following keywords in Google or other search engines: 

  • Orlando SEO 
  • Orlando SEO Services 
  • Orlando SEO Company 
  • Orlando SEO Agency 

If any of these companies do not show up on the first page or top three search results of Google, you might not want to work with them. An SEO company that claims they can rank you should not have a problem ranking themselves. At the end of the day, it is a case study they can show you to close the gap, gain your trust, and show that they are the right guys to work with.

Continue Reading

News

Top 10 Best Paving Companies In Daytona Beach FL.

Published

on

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:

Social Media Presence:

Contact Rockwell Construction Services

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:

Social Media Presence:

Contact P & S Paving

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

Social Media Presence:

Contact Halifax Paving

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

Social Media Presence:

Contact D & W Paving

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

Social Media Presence:

Contact Duval Paving

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

Social Media Presence:

Contact Pavemax

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

Social Media Presence:

Contact E & H Paving

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

Social Media Presence:

Contact M & S Asphalt Paving

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

Social Media Presence:

Contact ACET Recycling

The Alternative

The Alternative provides paving services in Daytona Beach FL.

The Alternative Reviews

Social Media Presence:

Contact The Alternative

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!

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 StarkJournal
Maintained & Operated by Marketing 180