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Mastering the Modern Energy Market

Mastering the Modern Energy Market

Fossil fuels can’t rule the day forever. As our Earth continues to get warmer and climate change is of central importance to many, we need to continued to look for better and better ways to manage our energy needs. By the year 2025, the global renewable energy market is expected to reach $1.5 trillion. The modern energy market is fairly complex, as it offers seemingly a larger amount of choices, however all of these choices aren’t sustainable.

One of the first stops your mind takes you in the renewable modern energy space is solar – however, this might not be all that it is cracked up to be. Batteries are promising, but again, they are not created equal. Many are in the lithium ion space – they are not efficient, and can be unsafe in their production / water supply. It’s time to explore the world of the vanadium redox flow battery. Some of the advantages include not degrading and that they are sustainable.

Learn more about the modern energy market in the visual deep dive below:

The Modern Energy Market

The Modern Energy MarketSource

Eminent Domain: Know Your Rights

Eminent Domain: Know Your Rights

Eminent domain is synonymous with emotions. When you are told that you have to give up your home without your consent it can be very troubling for many people. Your home is where you have built your life, made your memories, and lived your dream. With this much at stake, the legal process surrounding eminent domain can be fought for a very long time.

Like many legal proceedings, eminent domain is all about negotiation. This is different however, because the parties involved are typically the government and a citizen, not the usual two citizens in a normal court case. As such, because of the emotions and circumstances involved the home owner typically is in the better position for negotiation.

The first step in negotiation is to review the appraisal. Both parties ask questions about the accuracy of the appraise and whether it reflects the highest value the owner could get for the property. This step is crucial for the owner because it is here that they can ask for a higher price if they feel they are being undervalued.

Another question asked during this time is whether or not neighboring houses are going to be needed for the public use project. If this is the case the government typically would do a group settlement instead of allocating a value for each individual house. This is a highly controversial negotiation because it could mean that an individual might get a lower or higher settlement for their property instead of reflecting the actual amount. In this case the negotiation is more likely to fail. If this happens there are four main events that will occur.

First, a condemnation lawsuit will be filed. This means that you have now lost any ability to negotiate and will have to agree on whatever price the legal proceedings might agree on. Not many owners will choose to go past negotiations because they lose their upper hand.

Second, after presenting each side of the case a jury comes together to negotiate and agree on a settlement price. When this happens both the owner and the government have no control over what amount will need to be paid or what amount they will receive.

Typically, you would then receive your offer and would also receive the payout. However, if you still feel like the amount is unfair you can continue the legal proceedings with the third step in this process: Expert testimony.

Expert testimony will allow you opportunities to contest the sale and potentially receive the amount you went to court for. The expert can range from appraisers, to psychologists, to contractors as long as they can be stipulated as an expert in their field and provided logical evidence to the trial.

If this fails, you have one last ditch effort: step four. Step four involves proving that the public use project in question overestimated the amount of land or capital it would need to achieve its purpose.

This is one of the strongest cases you can make in a trial. Since eminent domain is a very controversial issue, many “public use” cases are very broad and not specific. Also, many times when the government enacts eminent domain they sell the property to private developers instead of committing to direct public use projects.

If you can prove that they have no clear ambition to utilize your land in an effective way then you have made the case that you should be able to keep your land. Many times, you are the homeowner and will have the support of the jury because of the emotions and memories tied to our American ideal.

Eminent domain cases can be exhausting and complicated with the bureaucratic red tape that surrounds government trials. This is why it is necessary for you to hire legal counsel when taking on an eminent domain case. Many times your first assessment is free and lawyers are more than willing to help you and your case 24/7 through the time you spend with them.

If you feel like you have a significant case during your eminent domain proceedings, reach out and fight it. You are the only one who knows how much your home and memories can mean to you.

eminent domain infographic

eminent domain infographicSource

The Business of Women’s Sports

The Business of Women’s Sports

In 2020, the National Women’s Soccer League broke viewership records by nearly 300%, drawing audiences on par with an MLB game airing at the same time. Increased interest in the women’s cup was spurred by the US’s 2019 World Cup win. Additionally, CBS aired the first and last games on regular TV rather than their subscription service. When women’s sports is given premium broadcasting, it delivers on drawing crowds. The business of women’s sports is booming.

This proves that viewers want women’s sports. 66% of people are interested in at least one women’s sport, as are 84% of sports fans. Despite stereotypes, sports fans are almost evenly divided between men and women. Despite the interest, only half of the sports governing bodies have a boardroom with even 25% women. On average, female athletes are earning 63% of their male counterparts. In 2020, Forbes’ 50 highest paid athletes included a single woman: Naomi Osaka in spot #29.

When it comes to ending the inequality, media coverage of female sports and female athletes is key. In 2020, women made up 40% of sports people, but they received only 4% of the sports media coverage. In both print and broadcasting, women’s sports receive less coverage despite both their actual and potential for giant fanbases. This factors into earnings because lack of media coverage impacts sponsorships. Despite huge gains in recent years, just 0.4% of sponsorship dollars go to women’s sports.

“The fact that it’s 2021 and the WNBA and NCAA women’s sports are treated like some sort of rec league specialty sport like the national corn hole league is is beyond disgusting, it’s time to stand up and bring true equality to sports.” Eric Mitchell – CEO, LifeFlip Media

If media technology made women’s sports available to more people, both brands and athletes could profit immensely. 1 in 5 people are more influenced by sponsorship of women’s sports than men’s. Even with current limits in place, 3 in 4 people interested in women’s sports can name at least one brand involved. 63% of people in general believe brands should invest in both women’s and men’s sports. It’s time to step it up.



The Bitcoin Bull Run Explained

The Bitcoin Bull Run Explained

In its 12 years of life, Bitcoin has often been thought of as a diamond in the rough. Now as its value breaks past expectations and shows no sign of fading from prominence, it is a bona fide treasure. To understand the place cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular have in today’s society, an overview of its volatile and eventful history is in order. Let’s explore the Bitcoin bull run.

As mentioned, Bitcoin has been in existence for 12 years. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was the first successful cryptocurrency to be made available to the public. Mining began that same year, but the coin’s value had yet to be determined. The first purchase using cryptocurrency came in 2010 when someone paid 10,000 BTC for 2 pizzas. This transaction assigned monetary value for Bitcoin for the first time and is fascinating to revisit today. With the current value of Bitcoin, those pizzas would be worth over $265 million each.

The following year in 2011, Bitcoin had its first competition on the cryptocurrency market. Namecoin was the first successful alt coin to launch and is worth $2.37 per coin today. While the crypto market is crowded in 2021, Bitcoin maintains a clear dominance.

Moving forward to 2013, Bitcoin reached $1,000 per coin for the first time. Sadly, this peak did not last; soon after reaching that high, Bitcoin crashed to $300 in the same year. It would take 3 years for Bitcoin to recover. While Bitcoin was regaining its value, Bitcoin’s reputation became more mainstream thanks to more establishments, banks, and fintech institutions accepting and investing in crypto and blockchain. Prior to the mid-decade, cryptocurrency was seen largely as an oddity. Also during the mid-decade period came the release of Ethereum with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The acceptance and usage of ICOs indicate how far the crypto market has come since 2009, but it was not without backlash.

In 2017, Bitcoin’s price jumped from under $1,000 to more than $19,000. Once again, the peak did not last. Later that year and continuing in 2018, the cryptocurrency market faced a series of legal troubles in the US. The US accused two cryptocurrencies of manipulating Bitcoin’s value. The SEC prosecuted ICOs as unregistered securities. Taken together, these actions drove the value of Bitcoin down by 70% and the market value of all cryptocurrencies dropped to $130 billion.

Unlike before, however, Bitcoin’s recovery from the fall was rapid. In 2019, Bitcoin prices more than doubled, outperforming even the best stocks on the market. By the time the global economy slowed in 2020, Bitcoin was in a prime position to attract investors looking for high returns and don’t fear the risk of investing. Swings still occurred; in April 2021, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $63,000 before falling to nearly half of that today. Despite individual movements, the upward trajectory of the cryptocurrency is undeniable. Investors know better than to focus on the daily changes. Those expecting to make money on their investments look for long term trends in the market and the item at hand; at this time, the signs point to bright futures for Bitcoin in particular and blockchain more generally.

Today, interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is driven by more than pure speculation. The pandemic-induced recession spurred the US money supply to expand a great deal in a short period of time. More than 20% of all dollars in circulation were printed in 2020. Additionally, multiple stimulus packages have come out of the federal government in recent months, risking an overheated economy as people return to employment and regular life. As the US economy recovers, fear of inflation is on investors’ minds. Where gold traditionally served as a hedge against inflation, some are using crypto for the same purpose. Like gold, the supply of crypto coins is kept finite, making them safer against inflation.

Contributing to this insulation from inflation is the Bitcoin halving. Every 4 years, the reward given to Bitcoin miners for processing transactions is cut in half. This reduction in supply drives up prices based on scarcity. The most recent halving occurred in May 2020, when the pandemic lockdowns had the global economy at a standstill.

As cryptocurrency grows more accessible and widely used, new investments are coming to the market. DeFi grew from $1 billion to $14 billion in “locked” assets, increasing the value of tokens associated with the decentralized finance platform. Adoption by central banks of digital currency is growing around the globe after China became the first to make the move. Back in the US, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave banks permission to hold crypto on behalf of customers. Furthermore, Proof of Stake blockchains became more prominent. Proof of Stake blockchains incentivizes users to “lock” their coins into the network, ensuring long term operability. This variation of blockchain represents just 15% of the crypto market, but it has been responsible for driving significant growth.

More than new innovations, new companies are hopping on the Bitcoin craze in a major way. Tesla recently purchased $1.5 billion worth in Bitcoin and vowed to accept the cryptocurrency as payment for their products. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been vocal about the decision to embrace cryptocurrency on his social media. He is also credited for the 900% growth of Dogecoin this year after he tweeted about it in December 2020. Tesla is not alone, Apple Pay also began accepting Bitcoin as payment through a secondary medium. A prepaid MasterCard known as BitPay is now usable on Apple’s platform. Bitcoin may now be used in transactions anywhere that MasterCard is accepted.

While Bitcoin’s volatile days are not over, rapid adoption of crypto cards is to be expected in 2021. With it will be the emergence of new use cases for cryptocurrency and increased investment from traditional finance leaders. The US dollar is currently projected to weaken in 2021, driving more investment into the cryptocurrencies.

Still, the story isn’t only good news for crypto users. As cryptocurrency grows ever more popular in usage, so too do the costs to mine and maintain the system. In 2017, the estimated power required to run cryptocurrency exceeded the amount used by the entire Republic of Ireland. It is on track to exceed the power needs of Hungary and New Zealand. In 2018, mining accounted for 1% of the world’s energy consumption. 1% may not seem extreme until one remembers how much electricity the world uses. Moving forward to 2020, Bitcoin alone consumed 120 gigawatts per second. That amount of energy is equivalent to 156 million horses or 49,440 wind turbines running at once. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Bitcoin is a powerful actor in the crypto market and in driving demand for electricity.

As the popularity of cryptocurrency grows, the toll the system takes on the world’s already over-exerted energy system should not be forgotten. Crypto may well be the future of currency, so it’s on each individual to find ways to make sure neither they nor the planet get left behind in the mad scramble for blockchain.

Bitcoin: Once A Diamond In The Rough, Now A Treasure

Bitcoin: Once A Diamond In The Rough, Now A TreasureSource