A bitcoin bank has been forced to close after hackers stole 896 bitcoin, worth £365,000, in an attack on Sunday....
"On March 2nd 2014 Flexcoin was attacked and robbed of all coins in the hot wallet,” the statement read. “As Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss, we are closing our doors immediately.”
Not all of the company’s assets were stolen. In line with best practices for running a bitcoin financial service, Flexcoin held some bitcoins in “cold storage”, keeping them on devices not connected to the internet. Those bitcoins are safe, but only users who explicitly requested their bitcoins be held in cold storage (and paid a 0.5% fee) benefit.
- House prices rose to the point that educated non techies couldn't afford them, so people like teachers were priced out. This is starting to happen again. (By the way, my "top of market" indicator was when teachers in SF/SV decided to sell and go and teach elsewhere/semi retire based on the huge house price gains)
- SOMA became littered with start up bumf, not old newspapers, and you were tripping over blue-bazered dotcommers instead of winos (SoMa to me has been the flood plain of economic exuberance in the SF/SV area, its use is a good marker of prevailing conditions) - and its filling up with DotCom 2-ers again.
Prediction markets were popularized in James Surowiecki’s 2004 book, The Wisdom of Crowds. They are systems which forecast the outcome of projects or events based on how willing individuals are to buy “stock” in them. People buy shares in the topics they think will succeed. Each topic or event then gets a value similar to a stock market price. These prices can be interpreted as predictions of the likelihood of the event.
Companies such as Motorola have used prediction markets to engage employees in selecting and predicting which new product ideas will turn into winners. According to Consensus Point who supply the Huunu Prediction Market package, Motorola have doubled the number of ideas pursued and significantly improved time to market. Other users of the Consensus Point platform include Best Buy and Healthstream.
What makes prediction markets better at engaging employees than conventional suggestion schemes is the element of gamification. Exago is an innovation consultancy which supplies a prediction market service with a strong games emphasis. Participants get points to spend on ideas and they get additional points for suggesting ideas. The values of their holdings increase if they back ideas which are turned into implemented innovations. The points can be redeemed for personal prizes or corporate rewards such as attendance at prestigious external conferences or training sessions.
Exago claims that employee participation in their schemes ranges from 20% to 70% which is well above average for large scale suggestion schemes.