Is Bitcoin Crashing?…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Bitcoin jolted by regulation worries, tumbles 11% on extended sell-off

Bitcoin plummeted below $10,000 this week, half what it was worth at its peak, because investors are afraid regulators might clamp down on the volatile cryptocurrency. The price of bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, fell to as low as $9,500 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, the lowest since December 1. (Source: Fox Business)

Why this is important for your business:

As I write this – and for all I know – Bitcoin may have doubled in value.  But that’s the point. Digital currencies are absolutely the future and if you’re running a small business you need to pay close attention as to when you’ll start accepting these in some form.  But, given the extreme volatility of these assets that time is still far in the future.

2 — Business tech shows off at CES 2018.

This week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas CES featured a number of trending products and services that will impact small businesses. Just a few of the exciting new items showcased were convertible tablets/laptops with higher functionality, AI for smarter processes and tech solutions, 5G technology that promises multigigabit download speeds, wireless charging for multiple devices, and better 3D printers. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

Many of the items mentioned above will be on the market during 2018 and should be worth a look.  Take a look at the above link and consider.

3 — 39 million Americans reportedly own a voice-activated smart speaker.

New research shows that one in six American adults now has a voice-activated smart speaker. The Smart Audio Report says uptake of these devices over the last 3 years is “outpacing the adoption rates of smartphones and tablets.” About two-thirds of speaker users said they use it to entertain friends and family, mostly to play music but also to ask general questions and check the weather. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Voice activated devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are real and being used in homes just about everywhere. It is only a matter of time before these devices will make their way into our office, allowing workers to perform tasks (make calls, lower temperature, alert customers) with a voice command.

4 —An entrepreneur is making online ordering much easy for restaurants.

Alex Canter, the fourth generation to work at his family’s Los Angeles deli, is also the founder of Ordermark, a company that provides an online ordering management service for his restaurant and others. The service streams all of their online orders to one device in the kitchen, which helps optimize their online ordering potential and increase sales. It can be implemented quickly, without any complicated integrations, and there is no set-up cost. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

Today’s restaurants almost have to sign up for various delivery, ordering and reservation services if they want to attract new customers and better serve their existing customers. The problem is that there are so many of them and it’s hard to track all the incoming requests.  Canter’s application consolidates all of these services into one place with one output.  It’s worked for his business and may very well work for yours.

5 – Google plans to build 3 new underwater cables to expand its cloud business.

To compete with its rivals Microsoft and Amazon, Google plans to build three underwater cables in 2019 to help expand its cloud business to new regions. The first of the subsea cables will go from L.A. to Chile, the second will connect the U.S. to Denmark and Ireland, and the third will be from Hong Kong to Guam. Google’s cloud platform VP says this will improve the planet’s largest network, which reportedly delivers 25% of worldwide internet traffic. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

This is good news for small companies because, with Google’s continuing investments into cloud services and infrastructure, we’ll continue to have another company to compete against Microsoft and Amazon for who will host our applications.

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