First of a Kind Roadmap to the Future Economy

So what can the labor flow of 500 million people on LinkedIn tell us about the structure of the global economy?  Quite a bit according to a first of a kind study conducted by researchers at Indiana University and LinkedIn.   One example:  there are strong ties in the flow of labor between the credit card and airline industries.  Learn more here.


German Investment in Charlotte

According to research from the former Charlotte Regional Partnership, there are 194 German-owned firms in the greater Charlotte region; making Germany the most largely represented foreign country in the region.  Learn more about Germany’s investment in Charlotte and why so many German firms have chosen to conduct business in our region.


The Gig Economy Goes Global

This past summer, Morgan Stanley published research on the growing global gig economy.  The study shared that the USA’s freelance workforce has grown three times faster than the overall workforce.  Freelancers today represent about 35% of the total U.S. working population, and Morgan Stanley shared that this number could represent more than 50% of the nation’s workforce by 2027.   Read a high-level overview of the study to learn more about the drivers behind today’s gig economy.


Blockchain Simplified

Croixstone‘s CXO Patti Weber recently participated in Skookum‘s largest Tech Talks to date. Josh Miller, Senior Software Engineer at Skookum, provided insight into blockchain technology and the uses beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The original blockchain was described in a 2008 bitcoin paper by Satashi Nakamoto, just 2 months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. What makes blockchain so attractive is that it provides a level of trust that is interwoven in business transactions. People can now make transactions without middlemen which translates to greater control of funds and lower fees.

So, what is a blockchain? A blockchain is a digital encrypted ledger in which transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. Like the name indicates, a blockchain is a chain of blocks containing information. Each block contains data, the hash (i.e., digital fingerprint that uniquely identifies the block and all the contents), and the hash of the previous block. When a block is created, a copy of the block is distributed on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Each member of the P2P network gets a copy of the block, and a consensus is obtained to ensure that the chain has not been tampered with.
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The way the blocks are chained together using hashes, along with a “proof of work” mechanism and distribution through a P2P network, makes blockchains secure and trustworthy. The term immutability – its resistance to tampering or other changes – is often used when describing blockchain.
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Blockchains eliminate the need for middlemen (e.g., banks) making it more efficient than legacy systems. They exist within communities, and participants that operate within an industry can all operate on the same chain, and therefore, have a copy of the distributed ledger.
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Applications of Blockchain
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As a result of the tamper-proof and hack-proof nature of blockchain, it is one of the most promising technologies with far-reaching applications. Here are just a few of the industries that are/will be impacted..
For a more detailed explanation of blockchain, see CNET’s recent article titled Blockchain explained: It builds trust when you need it most.
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For more information about industries impacted, check out: Banking Is Only The Beginning: 36 Big Industries Blockchain Could Transform

Global Cities 2016

So do you think you know the world’s most powerful “global” cities? 

A recently published study by The Brookings Institution and JPMorganChase might surprise you.  The study suggests that our idea of a global city has become outdated in a rapidly urbanizing world in the midst of seismic technological change. A handful of financial centers, like New York, London and Tokyo, no longer drive world economy. Instead a “vast and complex” network of cities – some surprisingly small, others mid-sized – powers the international flow of goods, services, people, capital and ideas.

The study identified seven types of global cities comprised of 123 urban areas – including our very own Charlotte (defined by the study as one of sixteen “American Middleweight” global cities).

Learn more here.