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The Bold Idea: Facebook Cryptocurrency Might Happen Sooner Than You Think

What would happen if the leading social media network and the fast-rising virtual technology join forces to decentralize power?

This is what Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Facebook, may have had in mind when he posted a personal status, saying that he wants to put more power in the hands of the people by decentralizing the role of technology in the society.

Critics were quick to say that the well-known social media CEO has a bold idea to introduce cryptocurrency to Facebook in 2018. The speculation was neither confirmed nor denied by Zuckerberg, but in his 2018 mission statement, he mentioned that there is a serious plan to fix and improve Facebook using cryptocurrency.

The platform of Facebook does not just experience great highs because it also has a fair share of major lows — like issues concerning fake news and the proliferation of hate speech. Zuckerberg believes that because bitcoin and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies have the ability to decentralize power, the technology may offer a possible solution to the issues surrounding Facebook.

According to Zuckerberg, “I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.

Why the Technology of Cryptocurrency Has What It Takes?

Cryptocurrency might be the newest player on the block but it definitely has the capability to compete with other technologies.

There is an obvious reason why people think that Zuckerberg’s post refers to the technology of cryptocurrency, and it is because of the impressive market capitalization growth each year.

In 2017, the industry gained a gigantic 810% market capitalization. The two biggest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum have been performing greatly, reaching 400% and 4,737% market capitalization, accordingly.

It Will Not Be the First

If the bold idea to incorporate cryptocurrency with a social networking site –just like Facebook — will be accomplished, it will definitely not be the first of its kind.

Matchpool, a decentralized matchmaking and dating platform, has already been uniting social activity and the technology of cryptocurrency. Yonatan Ben Shimon, the Founder, and CEO of Matchpool, said that Mark Zuckerberg needs to consult with cryptocurrency experts before he makes a decision to enter the industry.

Aside from Facebook and Matchpool, there are other companies that are planning to bank on cryptocurrencies.

  • Microsoft – A Washington-based company that creates, produce, licenses, and markets computer software, laptops, personal computers, and consumer electronics. Microsoft is headed by Satya Nadella.
  • Google – A multinational technology company that is based in Mountain View, California. The company focuses on Internet-related products and services. Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google.

Just like a fine wine, Facebook just keeps on getting better. Mark Zuckerberg and his team are doing a fantastic job, keeping the social media network unfazed.

The bold idea to have a Facebook cryptocurrency may sound really ambitious, but with a proper understanding of the technology, good things will surely happen.


Small Breweries to Save the Beer Industry

Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. The high demand for beer has caused a movement among small breweries, fighting for bar taps and retail shelf spaces. Small breweries or craft breweries have been fighting for their unique flavor and identity ever since John Mitchell pioneered North America’s first brewpub in 1982. The quality of beer from these small breweries improved over the years, enabling a wider distribution and establishing popularity and choice. Circa 1980, beer was simply another commodity that had no culture, character or tradition. But fast forward to 2018, their struggles have come to an end after beer sales and the number of the breweries in the market continues to grow.
US Beer Industry Growth Infographic showing market and craft market
Overall the beer market is flat but craft and import are on the rise

The Rise of Independent Breweries

Brewers Association, a well-known trade group that endorses and defends independent and small brewers in the United States, presented a report that the sales of craft beers have doubled from $10.12 billion in 2011 to a staggering $23.5 billion in the year 2016. That represents almost a quarter of the entire beer market.

As of June 30, 2017, there are now 5,562 craft breweries that are operating in the United States. That is 906 breweries more than the midyear 2016 reports, which was deemed as a new all-time high number.

This bold impact on the market encouraged other entrepreneurs and startups to delve into the craft beer market. The contribution of independent brewers to the economy is the 129,000 full-time and part-time jobs that they have created in the US. Chief Economist of Brewers Association, Bart Watson, reveres this as something significant and invaluable.

Craft Breweries in the U.S. Making A Name for Themselves

The following are some of the small breweries in America that have fought their way to the top of the food chain:

3 Daughters Brewing – 3 Daughters Brewing is a well-known brewing company that creates handcrafted beers. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based company highlights their good-sized tasting room that offers games, music, and craft brews. Mike and Leigh Harting are the Owners, of 3Daughters Brewing, named after their 3 girls.

Bell’s Brewery – The Michigan-based brewery company has a lot of good things that are going on its way. It manufactures Bell’s brand of beer. Bell’s Brewery also has its very own brewpub, which is called Eccentric Café. Laura Bell is the CEO of the craft beer manufacturer. The brewery company has been in the industry of craft beer since 1983 and was at the forefront of the beer revolution in Michigan.

Basic City Beer – Brothers, Bart, Chris, and Joe Lanman are the ones who founded the well-known brewery company in Main Street, Waynesboro, Virginia. Basic City Beer is different from other breweries because of their aesthetic. It has a one-of-a-kind environment, placed in a historic industrial warehouse.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – The Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is known for its experiments on craft beers. The Delaware-based company has been producing and supplying craft beers since 1995. Nick Benz is the CEO of the company.

Cape May Brewing Company – Cape May Brewing Company or CMBC is a microbrewery company that is located in Jersey Shore. The microbrewery started its operation in 2010 and since then has produced over 100 beers. Ryan Krill is the President and the Co-Founder of Cape May Brewing Company.

These are just some of the craft breweries across the United States that are making a bold impact on the beer industry. But what are the reasons for the impressive results?

Causes for the Sudden Increase of Craft Beer

According to Bart Watson, a Chief Economist of the Brewers Association, “The industry (craft beer) is a maturing industry. Having those growth rates in an industry of this size is impossible going forward.”

Brewer holding a craft beer
Craft Beer Is Driving the Market

Despite having some negative feedback from experts, the market of small breweries continues to increase. Its volume has risen from 13% in 2015 to 18% in 2017. What more in 2018?

Watson even said, “The beer world is highly competitive and there is certainly a mixed bag in terms of performance. Some breweries are continuing to grow whereas others are having to evolve their position and nurture new opportunities to ensure they keep pace.”

One of the reasons why the number and sales of craft breweries began to rise is because many states in America have loosened their laws on craft beers. They are now allowing brewers to have a direct retail relationship to consumers. The law change has since then welcomed by beer makers and beer enthusiasts.

Impact of Tourism

Tourists are also one of the reasons for the sudden increase. There are many beer lovers from around the world who are visiting the United States. And they want to try something new, found in craft breweries from different states.

Small breweries are now much more compelling than the known industry heavyweights. Its market is definitely peaking at the right time and the society needs to prepare because the once deemed ‘new player’ is on its rise to popularity.

Abilify MyCite — FDA Approves The Medicine-Intake Tracking Pill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Abilify MyCite, a form of aripirazole tablets with a sensor. What makes this antipsychotic drug a bold innovation is that the pill tracks and records a patient’s medicine intake. Apart from the actual medication, the pill has an ingestible sensor which dissolves in the stomach and transmits a signal to a patch worn on the patient’s abdomen. Then the patch forwards information to smartphone apps. Thus, using a virtual platform, the patient can share information with health care providers and doctors.

The Abilify MyCite tracking pill aims to solve the problem of non-compliance among patients, especially those with mental health issues. According to the IMS Institute, the U.S. healthcare industry lost $100 billion to more than $200 billion in 2012 due to the improper and unnecessary use of medicine. This case has led millions of people to be sicker, require additional treatment, as well as be hospitalized more frequently.

In a Nutshell: Abilify MyCite

The new tracking pill—which is primarily used by patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression—is roughly the size of a grain of sand. The Abilify MyCite’s sensor was developed by a company called Proteus Digital Health—based in Redwood City, CA. As mentioned earlier, it not only detects and records the date and time the pill was taken but also transmits the data to the patch worn by the patient.

Selected family members and the attending physician can then access and share the information to see if the patient is really taking his medication. This scenario eliminates the worry that the patient may just be pretending to take the pill, but not really swallowing it—thereby rendering treatment futile.

Made for Mental Health Meds

Dr. Mitchell Mathis, director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said that the FDA supports new technology and wants to work with companies developing them to better understand how such innovations can benefit doctors and patients. In the case of patients with mental illness, he notes that being able to track ingestion of medication could be of help to the caregivers as well.

Abilify MyCite is seen as a potential help to schizophrenia patients, an illness found in 1 percent of the U.S. population. Symptoms first appear in young adults in their twenties, but the condition is often diagnosed later in life. The symptoms include chronic and severe brain disorder capable of disabling the individual. It’s also characterized by being suspicious, withdrawn from society, hearing voices, hallucinations, delusions, or believing that other people can read or control their minds. Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, is another brain disease where the individual has unusual swings in mood, differing energy and activity levels, and the unusual inability ability to carry out ordinary daily tasks. Also called manic-depression, its symptoms include alternating periods of depression and high or irritable mood, increased restlessness and activity, decreased need for sleep, impulsive behavior, racing thoughts and talking fast.

These two conditions make it difficult for doctors and caregivers to track intake and ingestion of medication. A tracking pill or sensor like Abilify Mycite is seen as something that will make a bold impact in the lives of patients and their families.

Not At All Generic!

Abilify MyCite is the world’s first digital pill. Abilify was FDA approved in 2002 for schizophrenia treatment. It took 10 years before the FDA approved the ingestible sensor for sales purposes. Additionally, it is the only FDA-brand approved for internal digital tracking. Certainly, there are other companies which are working hard on implementing a digital drug system. Tracking a patient’s medications also helps with research controls by tracking volunteers or participants who are testing experimental drugs.

Without a doubt, Abilify MyCite is the first of many cutting-edge treatments that will improve the quality of life of millions of patients—and their families—all over the globe.

UPS Innovates on Depot-to-Door Delivery for Low Traffic Congestion and Carbon Emissions

UPS is experimenting with a bold move – a new delivery system which has a low traffic contribution as well as low carbon emissions. The system depends on a two-step process where trailer trucks deliver packages to a central city hub and then are delivered by bike or on foot with power-assisted trailers.

Called the Low Impact City Logistics, it is a collaboration between different stakeholders and could be a game changer for package deliveries in cities. The experiment is a partnership between UPS, Fernhay, Skotkonung, University of Huddersfield and Outspoken Delivery. The project funding is via Innovate UK investments worth £10 million. The project funding covers several research and development projects for the improvement of efficiencies in end-to-end trips for people and freight.

Net-Neutral Trailer System

Fernhay designed and developed the trailer and payload box. It uses a patented net-neutral technology that balances the weight of the trailer making it easy for the rider to pull it along regardless  of the fitness level of the individual. According to Simon Iwnicki of the University of Huddersfield, the trailer system allows for heavier loads with a minimal impact. The rider can go for longer distances due to this system, drastically transforming urban package deliveries.

UPS is partnering with other cities around the world in developing solutions helping to decongest traffic, and lower emissions in urban areas. UPS is looking forward to solutions which will help deliveries in a crowded world. The UN has forecast the world population to be 9.5-9.7 billion by 2050, of which 70% will be living in urban areas.

UPS and GreenBiz collaborated on the publication of “The Road to Sustainable Urban Logistics”. This is a study to determine implementation of new delivery systems for the unique demands of the world’s largest cities. UPS has created forward-thinking solution to solve unique urban logistics problems in cities like Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich in Germany; Belgium’s Leuven and Mechelen; Italy’s Verona and Rome; in Toulouse, France; and in Dublin, Ireland.

Trailer Development

Skotkonung wrote the delivery optimization algorithms with the use of a GPS tracker included in the trailer. This allows for continuous improvements in efficiencies and route speed. The delivery management tools included the algorithms and also taking into account the delivery environments.

Outspoken Delivery conducted the initial system trials in 2017. According to Outspoken Delivery Managing Director Rob King, the logistics industry is facing challenges with carbon emissions, traffic congestion and navigation issues; and the net-neutral trailer solution will revolutionize the future deliveries in urban areas. To answer these problems, they are now looking at advanced and bold technologies which will pave the way for more efficient delivery systems for the future.