Understanding the Growing Trend of Bitcoin Currency Exchange

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The digital era has well and truly come to life around us. Modern marvels like digitalisation and technological advancement have become more and more pronounced all the time. So much so, in fact, that today these modern marvels are thought to be more instrumental and prominent than they have ever been. We see the evidence of these modern marvels all around us, all the time, today. More than ever, digitalisation and technological advancement are not only present but are becoming more and more ingrained in the way of the modern world. Practically every aspect of life as we know it and every corresponding industry has found itself having to adapt and embrace these modern marvels in order to realign with the way that the modern world is moving. Think of the innovations in the finance industry that spans the globe, for instance. The finance industry has always been one of the most important industries in the world. Now, that is a point that has arguably never been truer. Within the finance industry, there have been many great innovations over the years (and especially in recent years). 

Cryptocurrency – and namely the globally leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin – is one of the most revolutionary innovations in the industry to date. In fact, in many ways Bitcoin is considered the “founding father” of the cryptocurrency wave. The first cryptocurrency to make it out of the gate and into the market, the Bitcoin network that came hand in hand with Bitcoin itself has been steadily growing ever since. While other cryptocurrencies have since come onto the scene and attempted to take the top spot in the cryptocurrency landscape, the simple fact is that Bitcoin remains the leading digital currency around the globe. Now, the rising trend of Bitcoin currency exchange is taking the financial landscape by storm, with increasingly more options available for buyers and sellers to exchange bitcoin via digital platforms. For example, several apps like the bitcoin up app allow users to track, trade and monitor the bitcoin exchange much like day traders. 

So, what is Bitcoin currency exchange and why does it matter? Essentially, Bitcoin currency exchange refers to the ability for Bitcoin holders to buy, sell, and trade their Bitcoins specifically through the Bitcoin blockchain network.

From Bitcoin Euro to Bitcoin Yen, and every Bitcoin in between and beyond, this is an emerging trend that is quickly gaining momentum among Bitcoin holders around the globe. Exchange-built blockchain platforms form the basis for blockchain currency exchange (and cryptocurrency currency exchange in general, for that matter) and they work their magic by essentially allowing Bitcoin holders to take control of their Bitcoin value not just individually but on a global currency exchanging platform. Bitcoin currency exchange essentially allows Bitcoin holders to buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin for traditional currencies around the globe. For a long time, the lack of transition between Bitcoin and traditional global currencies was a big gap in Bitcoin’s framework. Now, the solution is seemingly finally here. This allows Bitcoin holders to take back control of their digital currency holdings. These types of digital asset exchanges are all about attracting the attention of as many Bitcoin traders as possible so that the user base is given a boost.

Anyone who has experience with Bitcoin knows that the user base functions as a core driver of Bitcoin profits both per holder and around the globe. When it comes to addressing the question of why Bitcoin currency exchange matters, what it essentially comes down to is the fact that Bitcoin currency exchange allows Bitcoin holders the freedom and flexibility to invest in Bitcoin how, when, and where they want to while simultaneously giving them the opportunity to trade their Bitcoin for traditional currency. It is a whole new world and it is one that is steadily gaining more momentum all the time. This is the future of Bitcoin and of currency exchange and it is a future that is becoming more and more profoundly appreciated and interesting as time goes on. We are seeing a growth in Bitcoin currency exchange right now, however this current growth is likely going to prove to be just a glimpse of what is going to be possible going forward into the future and beyond.

As the digital era has come to fruition, steadily rising up and up, it has also come with many modern marvels, all of which have had their own impact on the way of the world. Digitalisation and technological advancement, for instance, have found themselves revolutionising practically every aspect of life as we know it – and every corresponding industry in the process. The finance industry is without a doubt one of the most heavily impacted and revolutionised industries in the world when it comes to these innovations and their ongoing impact. Of all the great innovations to be felt in the finance industry, the rise of Bitcoin is without a doubt one of the most innovative and momentous to date. Today, Bitcoin currency exchange and the general utilisation of Bitcoin is at an all-time high and it is only expected to get bigger and better as time goes on. This is likely just the start for Bitcoin currency exchange and that is exciting.

College Financing Avenues Available for Students with Disabilities

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College is usually one of the biggest expenses a person can face; however, it is an investment in their future and a way to achieve their goals. Importantly, college can even be more expensive for people with disabilities.

In many cases, accommodations to make their classrooms accessible have to be paid by the student. Furthermore, medical bills also take a toll on their finances, with higher costs than average, and their transportation needs can be more expensive than other students. Therefore, students with disabilities should be as well informed as possible about the options they have when it comes to funding.

Here, some of these options are presented, in the hope that students with disabilities can learn more about the resources available to them.

Scholarships

Students with disabilities should get information about the many scholarship options available to them.

Some of these are:

  • AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability.
  • Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) College Scholarship Program.
  • Google Lime Scholarship Program.
  • Baer Reintegration Scholarship.
  • Flora Marie Jenkins Memorial Disability Scholarship.
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships.
  • Hemophilia Federation of America (HFA) Educational Scholarships.
  • Microsoft disAbility Scholarship.

Some of these scholarships are available to any student who has finished high school, while others have more specific criteria. The scholarships offered by Google and Microsoft are for students with disabilities who want to declare a major related to technology. Meanwhile, the Baer Reintegration Scholarship is directed to students with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Federal Disability Benefits

The federal government has been instrumental in making more campuses accessible to students with disabilities. Furthermore, they consider this population as eligible for the Federal TRIO Programs. These are services that are offered to people from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as students with disabilities. There are eight different programs, and people are eligible from middle school until they finish their graduate studies.

Also, the Pell grant is available to all students, including those with disabilities. The amount of the grant will depend on several aspects, including how expensive the school the person wishes to attend is, if their education will be full-time or part-time, the depth of financial need, and more. Therefore, an extensive process is done to apply for this grant.

The amount depends on your financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

The government also offers the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, which is focused on helping people with disabilities to find a job. During the assessment, they offer insight on what the educational goal should be for this person based on their aptitudes and vocation. After this, the program offers assistance with higher education options, including vocational training.

Other Financial Options

Loans

The first option for loans should always be federal loans. The amount students can borrow varies, but the interest rates are much better than loans from a private institution. Like any other student, students with disabilities must fill out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), where their eligibility is assessed.

Students with disabilities must do a correct estimate of the cost of attendance. As these are very likely to be higher than for other students. Therefore, it is important to have the necessary documentation to provide proof of these estimates. This means, being able to provide the bills and services the student will have to pay due to their disability.

On the other hand, there are personal loans for fair credit and private loans, that will take into consideration credit scores as well as other criteria, which will depend on the institution in question.

Grants

Unlike loans, grants do not need to be paid back. However, this usually translates into stricter criteria. Like with loans, financial need and family situation are assessed before a grant is awarded. Similar to scholarships, there are numerous grants offered every year to students with disabilities.

Some of these are:

  • The Foundation for Science and Disability Grant.
  • Gabriel’s Foundation of Hope Scholarships and Grants.
  • Alice Chavez Pardini Education Advancement Grant.
  • Michigan Scholarships and Grants for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired.

Just like with scholarships, grants can be general or highly specific. The Foundation for Science and Disability Grant is offered to students who will be focusing on STEM careers, while the Alice Chavez grant is specifically for people who are legally blind. Furthermore, other grants are awarded to cover for any technological or accessibility issues that need to be paid by the student due to their disability.

Work-Study Programs

These programs are available to all students and the vast majority of them are funded by the federal government. However, there are limits to how much a student can earn through these programs. The hourly pay starts at the minimum wage, and it can increase depending on the job.

Summary

The federal government has implemented different bills and acts to ensure students with disabilities are not discriminated against in college. However, this goes beyond improving accessibility. Increased financial expenses mean that college, which can already be very expensive, can become a prohibitive dream for many. Therefore, financial aid becomes instrumental for most students with disabilities, and getting informed about the options available can make all the difference. It is thanks to these financial aid opportunities that many students with disabilities can embark on a successful college career.

 

Technology update in the stock market

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The internet has dramatically revolutionised a number of fields, not least of all that of the financial markets. From robo-advisors to bitcoin to online banking to big data and analytics, the possibilities are endless thanks to the advent of new technologies such as AI, automation and the IoT. Simply consider that 10 years ago we were walking into a bank to deposit money while today we can wire a sum of money to an international account with the press of a button. 

Fintech’  or financial technologies is the most rapidly growing field of technology in the world today, and encompasses the technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.The world of finance, including investment, has been completely and unarguably upended by fintech. And the trading of stocks and shares is no different. 

Many still associate share trading with in-person transactions on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with all the hustle, bustle and excitement that it entails. But unfortunately for those who prefer a taste of the dramatic, share trading can now be as simple and as inhumane and un-interactive as the tapping of a button on a personal phone. 

While the NYSE still ensures that kind of visual is maintained in the eye of the stockholder, most trading today takes place privately, over computer systems owned by individuals. The trades are transacted via underground fibre-optic networks that carry messages between computer systems at banks and trading firms, into data centres that host a particular exchange’s trading engine. Apps and platforms are, it seems, the new NYSE, and there are several which are proving popular among modern traders.

Why is this, you wonder? Simply because there are typically lower costs associated with online traders, as trade commissions tend to be larger when it comes to in-person investing. For example, if you seek the help of an actual stockbroker, you can expect to pay roughly $30.99 per trade in commission. To make the same investment online, you might spend an average of $8.90. Online brokers are, in general, cheaper, mostly because they don’t have the cover the same overheads as stockbrokers who work in the more physical sense.

When it comes to finding a broker online, E-Trade is perhaps one of the best known online brokerage providers, with three different trade platforms available for users in addition to its market data, quotes, data analysis and other useful information and resources. Best of all., E-Trade offers plenty of commission-free funds. There are also broker platforms Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and Vanguard, which has an average expense ratio of just 0.10%. Interactive Brokers is another that is recognised for its low cost but comprehensive service platform. 

Next, there are platforms dedicated entirely to stock market research. From Tradespoon (which offers a 7 day free trial) to StockFetcher.com, Yewno|Edge, TradingView and The Motley Fool Stock Advisor, there is no shortage of online tools and resources for analysing the stock market; assessing a company’s annual report performance, for example, and its annual return on investment (ROI). It’s now possible to access a wide range of stock market analysis tools online, such as stock screeners – which scan the entire market to give you information on average trading volume, price, chart patterns and so forth – charting software, and stock simulators. 

Now onto the platforms and websites that actually allow individuals to sidestep the broker and directly buy shares themselves. Apps like Robinhood Trading have made it easier than ever to access stock market trading, making it accessible to new types of traders with lower amounts of wealth than previous traders. That being said, RobinHood Trading doesn’t give traders access to a full range of investments like mutual funds, but it certainly works great for stocks and ETFs, and it recently added support for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Acorns, however, is the app that is best for complete beginners with no idea how to go about the trading of shares. It describes itself as a site for ‘investing your spare change’, implying that there is no such thing as too small a trade. It’s so easy that once your bank account is linked, Acorns will track your regular spending and “round up” purchases to the nearest dollar, which is then used to make small investments via Acorns. It also automatically builds users a portfolio of stock and bond investments based on a brief questionnaire, helping build users a diverse, broad portfolio in line with their investment goals.

Between the countless apps, websites and downloadable digital tools that help traders invest in shares with more efficiency than ever before possible, it’s no wonder that a growing percentage of the approximate $US5,100,000,000,000 traded daily is traded online. 

How Trade Is Affected by Recent Foreign Policies

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Despite the fact that it hasn’t yet actually happened, ‘Brexit’ is doing all that its supporters hoped it would: it is seriously shaking things up in Europe. Already the economy has slowed right down, people all over Europe are scrambling to gain residency for fear of being kicked out of their country of residence without the correct passport, and the political chaos that has ensued needs no mention. 

Following the 23 June 2016 referendum that asked the British populice the question “should the United Kingdom (UK) remain a member of the European Union (EU), or leave the European Union?”, a mere margin of 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent voted that the UK should leave the EU. And so it was decided that the country would extrapolate itself from the clutches of the club that links some of the world’s strongest nations to one another. 

Everyone – from the IMO, to the Bank of England, to the Confederation of British Industry to Barack Obama – said the change in foreign policy would have major implications on the UK’s economy and on global trade, warning there would be major financial shocks in the near term as well as long-term economic decline. But the nation forged ahead, committing itself to establishing a new trade relationship with EU27 by the end of the two-year window, and as a result hopefully boosting the British economy for the first time in many years. 

The irony of all this, is that the UK decided on Brexit in a bid to fix itself and drag itself out of the stagnant economic situation the rest of Eruope had found itself in – but in reality, uncertainty over the Brexit outcome has simply damaged the UK’s economic growth, seeing it drop from 2.4% in 2015 to 1.5% in 2018. Businesses are shutting up shop and moving their headquarters from the UK to other parts of the EU, and the British pound fell from $1.48 on the day of the referendum to $1.36 the very next day, according to the GBP index and dollar index. But perhaps the most consequential impact of Brexit has been on global trade.

Beyond that the mere exiting of the UK from the EU set a global precedent for countries leaving trade agreements (TAs), meaning that in future the exit process may become more difficult, Brexit might even have had such an impact that it will discourage the future creation of TAs. This is because they will likely become more costly to negotiate and perhaps less valuable once established due to reduced flexibility or insufficient integration. 

On the ground though, moving to an EU free trade deal and establishing new free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand following Brexit has an estimated negative impact on the UK economy of 1.4% – equivalent to £28 billion or £1,000 per household. By eliminating Britain’s tariff-free trade status with the other EU members, it will raise the cost of exports, in turn hurting UK exporters as their prices would therefore jump up in price, making them less affordable to EU buyers. The weaker pound, however, will negate some of the impact. Despite knowing all this the British government has nonetheless forged ahead, claiming free trade is the best way to increase exports, investment and support local businesses. 

Some other sad and potentially difficult outcomes of Brexit for the British people are that tariffs will also increase the cost of imports into the UK – one third of which come from the EU – creating inflation and lower standards for UK residents. Many UK companies could also lose the opportunity to bid on public contracts in EU countries, an ill-considered aspect of Brexit by the UK government and one that could cost the UK workforce billions in the long run. Banking is another area which will be hit hard by the change in foriegn policy, which is significant when one considers that British banks lend nearly $1.4 trillion annually to EU companies and governments, and most financial activities taking place in Europe are either directly or indirectly performed out of London.

It’s not all negative, though. In the long-term,the UK could certainly benefit from greater non-EU specific trade, by reducing barriers bilaterally with countries like Australia and New Zealand. New trade and investment agreements with these non-EU partners have the power to open the UK market to enhanced overseas competition, while simultaneously allowing the UK to focus more on areas of strength, such as services. There is no argument that Australia is well positioned to redefine its trade and investment relationship with its motherland, so it is therefore likely Australia as well as the UK will benefit from Brexit in the area of trade.

The thing is, countries that are open to international trade tend to grow faster, innovate, are more productive and enjoy higher incomes than those that do not. Open trade also benefits lower-income households by giving consumers access to more affordable goods, and services. Has the UK shot itself in the foot by voting yes for Brexit? The answer – for the time being – is yes, it has hurt the UK economy. But hopefully in the long-run, having a future relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation will save the UK.

New Pew Study Reports Student Debt Repayments Needs to Be Easier

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Eighty percent of Americans want the federal government to make it easier to repay student loans.  

This statistic is from a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts. It conducted a telephone poll this past August, interviewing more than 1,000 people about their opinions on student loans.

It’s important to note, the study only referred to federal student loans and not any additional personal loan or line of credit students may take out.

Many students searching out the answer to what is a personal line of credit know they may have to supplement student loans when their financing falls short. But Pew turns its spotlight away from these personal products to shine a light on the student debt crisis.

Now a record $1.6 trillion, the debt crises has gotten its fair share of ink at the nation’s biggest online news outlets — from the New York Times and the Washington Post to CBS News and CNN. It even hogs much of talking points in the 2020 Democratic debates unfolding this fall. 

And now, thanks to Pew, the average American can share their opinion, too. As it turns out, the country has a complicated relationship with student debt.

Repaying Loans is a Challenge

Although it’s possible to strike debt clean from your record, most people recognize it’s not the easiest thing to do. 

A whopping 89 percent of respondents said they agree borrowers have a hard time paying back their student loans. 

The average graduate owes roughly $30,000, which puts the average monthly payment of a standard repayment plan somewhere between $304 and $333

Picking away at debt in these sized installments means it will take you roughly 10 years to pay off what you owe. 

Of course, this $300 is on top of any personal line of credit payment, rent, and utilities you may have. 

A decade of balancing your books this way may be a hardship. And for some 7 million borrowers in default, it’s impossible. 

Student Loans Are a Drain on the Economy.

Pew reports 69 percent of respondents agree that borrowers who struggle to repay their debt have a greater impact on the economy. 

And they have good reason to believe this. 

More than 45 million people shoulder a collective $1.6 trillion debt load. This means nearly a little over 13 percent of the population share a significant financial burden. 

If they aren’t in default, they’re funneling a lot of each paycheck into their monthly repayments, along with other bills that keep their household running. 

Basic things like covering rent, a line of credit balance, and utilities become the priority

Less dire spending, like unnecessary yet fun services and products that help boost the economy, are put on the backburner. 

They’re also postponing major milestones that may have a greater impact on the economy later on. Unlike generations before them, millennials are waiting to start a family, putting off homeownership, and failing to save up for retirement. 

Federal Government Needs to Step Up

It may come as no surprise then that many of the those surveyed — or 58 percent — strongly agree the federal government needs to take action. They believe the government should make it easier to pay off student debt.

What Does Federal Action Look Like?

What the poll fails to make clear is how these survey participants expect the government to address this problem. 

Is it something like Bernie Sander’s plan to cancel all $1.6 trillion of debt by taxing the top 0.1 percent of Americans? 

Or is it something closer to Elizabeth Warren’s sliding scale of relief, which promises to forgive up to $50,000 of debt for those households earning less than $100,000?

Or perhaps, it involves much less progressive proposals, like Joe Biden’s bid for income-driven repayment plans or Julio Castro’s time-based forgiveness.

The answer to this question may have to wait until July 2020, when the Democratic Presidential Nominee takes the stage at the National Convention. 

And of course, let’s not forget the results of the November election, when the country chooses between another Trump government and a fresh start. 

While the Democrats debate canceling the debt, the GOP has moved in the other direction. During Trump’s presidency, his administration has loosened restrictions on loans, put sharp limits on repayment options, and ended loan subsidies and forgiveness programs. 

Next year proves a momentous year for the future of student loans and the economy. Time will tell how and if American concerns over the debt crisis will impact how they mark their ballots. 

However they vote, Pew proves that student loan debt and the repayment system weighs heavily on the minds of most Americans. If it does the same to yours, vote carefully. Find where the nearest polling station is to campus, and make sure you’re registered.

The Global Financial Market and the State of PCI DSS Compliance

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Since the turn of the millennium, the internet and technology have ultimately revolutionized the way we live. AI, cloud, and big data are continuously disrupting all industries, forcing all businesses along the way to evolve or go home. The global financial market has not been left out.  It has experienced tremendous changes over the past two decades and is currently one of the most sophisticated industries.

For instance, gone are the days when consumers had to carry hard cash as they can now make payments using credit and debit cards. Now, the number of card payments done in a day has increased dramatically and is predicted to reach 60 million by the year 2026. Mobile banking is also at the heart of business operations, and similar to card payments has also changed the way of doing things. 

Even though there’s no denying these changes have simplified things, they also come with risks. For instance, with the convenience of card payments and mobile banking comes the risk of identity theft, which even though it affects both parties, tends to affect the consumers more.

What’s even more appalling is that all sorts of businesses, whether small or large, are at the risk of a security breach. Already, major companies such as Target and JPMorgan Chase have been victims. The good news, however, is that being PCI DSS Compliant can help businesses in the global financial market protect both business and consumer data.

What Is PCI DSS Compliance?

Contactless payments such as credit and debit cards are not a new thing. They have been in play since the late 90s. The only difference between today and then is that these payments have evolved to become better and easier. However, they present the same risks as back then, only that today, the risk is much higher. What does any of this have to do with PCI DSS Compliance?

Well, PCI DSS Compliance is a set of standards that were developed in 2004 to ensure that any business accepting electronic payments protects consumer data. In other words, they exist to ensure enterprises do their part in protecting consumers from the risks associated with data breaches such as identity theft and fraudulent activities. Even though it mostly protects the consumer, PCI DSS Compliance also safeguards the wellbeing of the business in several ways as shown below

  • Prevents Problems with the Authorities

As noted, PCI DSS is a set of policies that every business is expected to implement. Failure to do so results in penalties and fines. Thus being compliant protects businesses from such penalties.

  • Safeguards the Future of the Business

When transacting with an entity, every consumer wants to be assured that their information will be kept safe. So when a data breach occurs and customer data stolen, both current and potential clients lose confidence in the business. This, in turn, affects its continuity as customers are more likely to turn to its compliant competitors, forcing the latter to shut down.

Additionally, when a data breach occurs, the business in question is not only forced to pay hefty fines to the federal government but also the customers who decide to use it. A ruined reputation and substantial penalties are enough to force a business to call it quits.  

Thus, being compliant not only keeps penalties at bay but also safeguards the future of the entity by boosting consumer confidence hence ensuring continuity.

A Look At The State Of PCI DSS Compliance in The Global Financial Markets

As you can see, PCI DSS Compliance policies were created with the sole aim of protecting both the business and consumers from costly data breaches. Thus, you’d expect all entities accepting credit cards and mobile banking payments to do their part in being compliant. Surprisingly, this is not the case, and despite the rise in costly data breaches over the last decade, most firms are yet to be compliant.

According to a survey conducted by Verizon in 2016, only 55.4% of firms in the global financial markets are compliant. While on the one hand, this is a significant increase, on the other hand, it shows that almost half of enterprises are exposing their clients to the risk of identity theft by failing to comply. Some of the reasons behind this failure include

  • Inability or Failure to Segment Networks

The inability to isolate payment data from the rest of the company’s data is one of the main reasons why firms are still struggling with PCI DSS Compliance. For instance, in the case of Target’s data breach, hackers seamlessly accessed consumer data because the American retailer had not segmented its network.

  • Using Basic Configurations.

Most organizations often use basic configurations. According to Verizon, approximately 48.9% of organizations use vendor-supplied passwords instead of creating stronger and tough to hack system passwords and logins. This automatically means failure to comply with the demands of PCI DSS requirement 2.

Other Reasons Behind PCI DSS Compliance Failure

  • Avoiding or being complacent about data encryption
  • Slacking on reporting
  • Failure to invest in more secure network architecture

What Can You Do?

If you own a business and accept card payments, then you’re part of the global financial market. Hence, it’s your role to ensure your consumers are protected through PCI DSS compliance. However, implementing all PCI DSS policies can be hard, which is why most businesses fail in the first place. You can, however, save yourself the trouble by allowing an experienced PCI DSS vendor to handle the process. Therefore, be sure to check us out for more information!

Ecommerce Has Taken Women’s Fashion to Unprecedented Heights

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The fashion industry has enjoyed a significantly prominent rise over the years, most recently being transformed in the wake of digitalisation and technological advancement. And at the forefront of that revitalisation, has been the impact on women’s fashion specifically. While it is true that women’s fashion has always enjoyed a significant scope of attention around the world, the introduction of the worldwide web, and subsequently, ecommerce (the single largest market for everything – including women’s fashion, of course), has changed it all from the ground up. Fashion is an ancient industry by this point, but the introduction and ongoing advancement of ecommerce has introduced an entirely new frontier in women’s fashion (and the entire fashion industry in general, for that matter), that has taken it to all-new and unprecedented global heights. And what is more, is that this is just the beginning; from here on out, there is more and more to come, and it all points to a stronger industry going into the future.

Ecommerce is essentially a backing for consumer-driven marketplaces that plans the globe and is recognised and accessed through the worldwide web. Here, the consumer-driven marketplace never stops moving and transforming. Today, this is where the clear majority of women’s fashion purchases are made, as well as practically every other type of consumer-driven purchase there is in the modern world. Women’s fashion has only gotten bigger, better, bolder, and sturdier in both design and quality, and the rise of ecommerce has given a platform for those fashion brands and labels to be given exposure and be bought by eager consumers on a bigger, better, bolder, and sturdier platform. Through ecommerce, women now have a 24/7 front-row seat to the latest and greatest fashion shows around the world, as well as constant access to not only the storefront window to a specific product page (the landing page of the website), but the entire store in its entirety (the entire website). And we are all hooked.

Boasting every women’s fashion staple there is, from a large selection of rave shoes, to a widespread choice of lingerie, and every fashion item there is, ecommerce is the consumer platform that women – and the rest of the world, for that matter – have been calling out for, for years. Since its introduction a few years ago, ecommerce has made women’s fashion an even more globally inclusive and successful innovation – a feat that is not only impressive, but ultimately quite awe-inspiring, considering the incredible depth of success that the women’s fashion sector achieved before ecommerce became a mainstream sensation all over the world. Today, thanks to ecommerce, women’s fashion is not only bolder, but more readily available – and that is a facet of fashion that is worth backing, through and through. More to the point, it is also an innovation in fashion that people are becoming exceedingly obsessed with, if you can believe it (and you should be able to).

Ecommerce seems life-changing because it is… but what is truly the most exciting thing of all, is that it is only just now getting started. The best is yet to come when it comes to ecommerce advancement and ongoing expansion, and the whole of the modern world is waiting in eager anticipation to see what rabbit ecommerce pulls out of the hat next. Women today are busier than they have ever been (as are men – this is beginning of the digital era, after all), and having a platform like ecommerce where they can obtain the latest and greatest fashions with a few clicks of a button, is entirely transformative. It boasts the beginning of a new frontier in women’s fashion that is more convenient, more efficient, more exciting, and more reliable. Put simply, ecommerce is the backing for women’s fashion that is set to entirely transform the way that women become aware of, buy into, and sell their own fashions. The world is changing, and so is women’s fashion.

Fashion has now reached the point that it is practically an ancient industry. And women’s fashion specifically, has enjoyed a rather infamous rise over the years. However, now it reaches its most pivotal point yet, and that point rests on the introduction and ongoing advancement of ecommerce (i.e. the world’s largest virtual consumer-driven marketplace). For women’s fashion, ecommerce has taken an industry that, quite honestly, seemed to have hit its peak, and has somehow allowed and encouraged it to expand further and further, to the point that this is a whole new world for women’s fashion. Thanks to ecommerce, women’s fashion is a sector of fashion that has not only grown exponentially, but has somehow managed to attract the attention and consumer loyalty of women around the world, to the point that they are buying more than ever. And we love it. We are hooked. And better yet? The best is yet to come. Ecommerce is nowhere near finished growing, and neither has women’s fashion in that marketplace (or in general, for that matter). 

 

Rise in Demand for Economics Careers Leads to Surge of Interest in Economics Education

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When it comes to having an adequate handle on the role that education has on one’s future, it is fair to say that the modern world has become all too familiar with the sheer importance of the role that education plays in life as they continue to grow older and wiser. For some people, the compulsory years of education (if they are lucky enough to have access to even that) are enough for them to realise that further self-imposed education is not necessary for their trajectory going forward, but for others, higher education is a further step they feel they need to take. To fulfil their potential in their chosen career trajectories, many students take on higher education to better equip themselves for their careers after graduation. As higher education becomes more and more common an avenue, there are certain fields in higher education that also inevitably become more appealing to students all the time. And believe it or not, economics education is one of the highest ongoing surging fields of academics there is right now.

The nature of economics centres around, of course, the economic state of the world and all its contributing pieces. That is, economics is essentially the study of society and its utilisation of limited resources. This is an important field of academics because it takes into account the continuous growth of the modern world, and everything that world has to offer. There is something to be said about the power of economic growth, and having dedicated and hard working professionals working in economics means that there is a much more significant chance of that growth continuing to flourish and thrive, rather than hit a brick wall and concede. The economic state of the world around us is crucial to our longevity and success as we continue to grow and move. And economics education is at the core of having a strong and united frontier of professionals working towards preserving and ensuring a future that boasts the same as we continue to evolve and progress.

With a higher demand for professionals in economics than ever before, it comes as little to no surprise that economics education is surging as an academic field of interest the world over. After all, this is a field of academics that fundamentally relies on knowledge of not only the way the current world works, but how it has come to be, and how that all factors into economic stature moving forward. There is certainly an element of grandeur that goes hand in hand with economic growth, and that grandeur can be altered or entirely torn down to its most basic foundations if there is not adequate work towards ensuring that very thing does not happen. Economics education is important, but it is also challenging. There are a lot of layers to unpack when it comes to economics, and studying the field definitely makes those layers easier to unpack, but not entirely without hard work and the willingness to overcome challenges that pop up along the way.

Challenges are always interesting to navigate and find one’s way over, but in the landscape of economics and economics education, the challenges that arise have a genuine and lasting impact on the real world and the way it impacts people and society as we head into the future. So, it never hurts to have a little assistance in breaking down the barriers. Investing in the professional assistance of JC economics tuition can (and often does) mean the difference between barely scraping through, and excelling in the field. The exceptionally high demands of economics education mean that students are often having to work double time to fill in the blanks and remind themselves of the ongoing investigations into its reaches. At the end of the day, the power in economics education lies in its ability to adequately prepare students for the challenge of dealing with economics as their career field, for the rest of their lives.

In this modern world that we currently live in and navigate our way through, it goes without saying that we are immersed in and surrounded by career fields and modern innovations that rely on the importance of even just basic education to get from point A to point B. While some people choose to take a different path after compulsory education years, others make use of the availability of higher education by continuing to build up their foundations more and more. One of the most popular branches of education the world over is that of economics education. Largely due to the fact that economics professionals are in high demand the world over right now, economics education continues to make a name for itself as a surging field of academics. The more that the modern world becomes hinged in further advancement, the more important it becomes to have professionals in the field to have an adequate handle on economic stature both now and going into the future. It is a field that just keeps on blooming, and is almost certain to going forward.

Does Australia Have The Best Student Loan Repayment Program In The World?

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Earlier this month, the Australian Government announced drastic changes to its Hecs (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) repayment scheme that has some Aussie graduates quaking in their boots. The changes will see the repayment threshold dropped by a whopping 11 per cent, meaning any Australian graduate – or current student – earning over $45,881 a year will need to begin paying back their university debt, effective immediately. To add salt to the wound, fee-fleeing students seeking to evade the repayment scheme will now be ‘chased’ overseas, with new laws in place allowing the Australian Tax Office to pursue those debts overseas. The new rules apply not only to Hecs debt but also to Vocational Education & Training student loan (VSL) and Trade Support Loan (TSL) debts. As a university graduate who hasn’t paid a cent of her Hecs debt and who lives overseas, I am not unaware of the ramifications the new changes will have on my and Australia’s future graduates’ professional lives. Will it force students who until now might have breezed through university life – playing sports, drinking, earning a buck or two through cheap essay writing services or working at the local supermarket – to sit up and take their financial obligations more seriously? Or will it quite simply deter high school students from considering a higher education, as is increasingly becoming the case in countries with more burdensome repayment schemes, like the United States.

Until now, Aussie students have enjoyed a relatively stress-free repayment scheme. Two years ago, the repayment threshold was $56,000, and in 2018 it was lowered again to $52,000. Today the repayment amount is capped at $135,000 a year, with those earning this figure or above only required to pay 10 per cent of their earnings annually, and repayment amounts for those earning around $75,000 equated to just $3,375 a year or $65 a week. Still not bad, eh?

It’s no wonder the Tax Office is kicking itself into gear at last – Australia is renowned for running one of the most generous student loan programs in the world. Premised on an income-contingent loan approach which saves people earning lower salaries from needing to begin repayments, in cases of extreme financial hardship Australia’s scheme allows the deferment of repayment obligations altogether and at the same time saves students from accruing any interest on repayments. While it can’t quite compete with its Nordic counterparts, which charge little or no tuition fees in countries such as Sweden, Finland and Norway, Australia’s higher education repayment scheme ranks among the most generous in the world.

It trumps the United States by a long shot, where concerns about the rising cost of higher education and the $1.4 trillion stacked up in student debt across the country have garnered global attention. Earlier this week, Californian Senator Kamala Harris unveiled a proposed program for student loan debt forgiveness which would forgive debts for Pell Grant recipients in particular who start a business that “operates for three years in disadvantaged communities”. Could it pave the way for a more humane and understanding approach to the handling of student loans across the country? Let’s hope so because enough is, quite frankly, enough. We can’t have an entire generation of starters under financial distress before they have even begun because of the inability of the U.S. government and its educational institutions to balance a budget. That being said, we have seen multiple attempts by the government to address the student debt crisis: a $1.6 trillion plan recently announced by Bernie Sanders to forgive all student loans, a $640 billion loan forgiveness scheme for public school teachers, the list goes on…

In fact there already exists a loan repayment program in the States that forgives the student debt of those who can prove a decade of service working in government or nonprofit jobs. But the public service loan program, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2007, has to date been a whopping failure. In the 18 months following the signing of this bill, 99.3 per cent of those U.S. citizens who applied for the benefit were rejected. Wait… what?

We all look to Sweden for answers, since it is often regarded as boasting one of the best student loan repayment schemes in the world. But its students actually end up borrowing money for college just as often as those in the States, graduating with around $20,000 in debt on average. It is in Germany, where the expected cost of an undergraduate degree is a mere $2,160, where we arguably see the best model for higher education. But does it teach its students the right values? That of obligation, financial responsibility and the ability to budget? Your guess is as good as mine. 

Perhaps no country has developed the right model yet. Perhaps we need better guidance from government finance institutions or financial experts such as Learn Bonds that offers advice for bad credit and how it could affect securing a loan for those who want to pursue higher education. Perhaps things need to get worse before they get better. Whatever the case, I just hope Australia figures it all out before my own kids are enrolling at university and that we never find ourselves experiencing a crisis as crippling as the student debt crisis in the U.S. 

How Crypto Currency is Changing FinTech

bitcoin-blockchain-jpmorgan-cryptoIn recent years, Financial Technology Companies have disrupted the traditionally slow and cumbersome financial system. From innovative money transfer processes to the increasing prevalence of mobile phone payments; FinTech companies have revolutionized how we handle financial transactions. This is why $11.8 Billion was invested in FinTech companies in 2018 alone. 

In the same breath, cryptocurrencies and blockchain have also had a profound effect on the FinTech sector. In particular, cryptocurrencies have disrupted how people transfer funds, make purchases and raise money. This means that blockchain technologies have profoundly influenced the FinTech sector, and you can expect to see new trends arising from this space soon. For example, commercial banks, credit card companies, and loan providers are adjusting their business models to adapt to the new wave of cryptocurrencies.

But how exactly is blockchain changing the FinTech sector? Read on to find out.

Using cryptocurrencies in daily bank transactions 

Many commercial and central banks are exploring the possibility of introducing their own cryptocurrencies into the blockchain system. Owing to the success of BitCoin, banks can see the benefits of having a stable, non-influenced, and secure cryptocurrency in the market. Indeed, cryptocurrencies are cheaper to manage, have lower transaction costs, and result in more streamlined transactions. Furthermore, these currencies will give financial institutions full control over their monetary policies and financial regulation practices.  

Recently, JPMorgan launched a new cryptocurrency called the JPM Coin. It’s intended to settle payments instantaneously between clients in a low cost, secure, and efficient manner. As more banks continue to explore cryptocurrency options, users can expect to spend less on banking transactions while having more access to FinTech services. The distributed ledger system of cryptocurrencies also makes it easier for people without bank accounts to access financial services using alternative channels (such as mobile phones). 

Verifying the identity of persons

Every year, FinTech companies spend millions of dollars on developing systems that can detect and prevent fraud. Top of the list is identity theft and money laundering, where people still manage to bypass security frameworks and infiltrate loan, investment, and other sensitive financial transactions.

The good news is that cryptocurrencies can be used to enhance transaction security by verifying a person’s identity. Indeed, cryptocurrencies that use a distributed ledger provide a detailed trail of how transactions occurred during a specific period. Any party cannot modify this distributed ledger, and thus will provide evidence of the identity, background, and nature of each transaction.   

Using cryptocurrency for efficient money transfer

A large portion of the FinTech sector is devoted to making money transfer more efficient across the world. By using cryptocurrencies, cross border payments can be streamlined to become cheaper, faster, and safer. Current money transfer processes are bogged down by physical currencies, cumbersome bank procedures, and complex exchange rates. 

By using cryptocurrencies as the primary means of money transfer, financial institutions will be able to save on costs while moving funds more efficiently. 

Increasing the availability of credit 

Just when the financial sector is choking up loans and the smooth flow of credit, cryptocurrencies are increasing accessibility to loans and other similar services. Blockchain technology makes it easier and cheaper for financial institutions to avail credit to customers at competitive rates.

How so? First off, a distributed ledger makes borrowing and repayment more secure. This reduces the prevalence of fraud, and financial institutions are more likely to get their money back (plus interest) after extending credit to a customer. And because the entire process is streamlined and efficient due to cryptocurrencies, banks and other creditors will have an easier time expanding their loan portfolios. 

Shifting payments to mobile phone platforms

Accessibility to FinTech services has long been a challenge for millions of people around the world. Cryptocurrencies are making access to digital payments, money transfer, banking, and other similar services more accessible. By bringing FinTech to mobile phones, cryptocurrencies can be used to pay bills, transfer money, access loans, and even purchase insurance. All these transactions can be done safely- thanks to the distributed ledger.

The accessibility of FinTech on mobile phones is also made possible via cryptocurrencies. This is because users don’t need to own a bank account, carry around physical notes/coins, or go to a specific location (such as an ATM) whenever they need to make a financial transaction.  

SOX compliance and cryptocurrency

As cryptocurrencies continue to disrupt the FinTech industry, the need for regulation and monitoring is at an all-time high. Indeed, financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies will need to be checked for compliance with SOX reporting standards.

SOX was initially implemented to control how financial reporting is done, especially with regards to assets, expenses, auditing, and management oversight. With cryptocurrencies and blockchain becoming more prominent, FinTech companies will need to develop a compliance model that falls in line with accounting and auditing best practices- particularly when it comes to recording crypto currency-related transactions.