Bitcoin & Blockchain Basics

Bitcoin & Blockchain Basics

My name is Francine Joseph and I’m a mother, lover of God, business owner, and a crypto enthusiast! What is a crypto enthusiast you ask? Well, crypto short for cryptocurrency is digital currency. By now, some of you have probably heard of Bitcoin and at some point, rolled your eyes when you heard of it! Bitcoin is known as the king of cryptocurrency, just because of it leading the pack so to speak, in value and in the coin market! But there are over 1400 different types of cryptocurrencies that are currently on the market and are being traded daily; with thousands being created or mined every day!

What makes me an enthusiast? Well, it’swithin I’m by no means an expert in this industry, however, I became involved with cryptocurrencies in May of 2017 as something to learn about during my maternity leave, and as a way to make some extra coin. Since then, I’ve become heavily involved, that I haven’t looked back since! In December of 2017, I partnered with a university in the field to offer cryptocurrency workshops, seminars, and courses for various communities. However, our main focus is to educate women, particularly women of color, in this heavily male-dominated industry, as a way of empowering them to make educated decisions about crypto currency investments. Because let’s face it, as much as this is a new industry for many people, specifically women, there is also major potential for people to earn big profits, and with that comes a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing who prey on the uneducated or novice investor.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be created 9 years ago, in January 2009 by an unknown person or group of people referred to as Satoshi Nakamoto. Up until last year, the coin and industry kept a pretty low profile. Known its volatility, in December of 2016, 1 coin was worth $1000. Fast forward a year later, and its value skyrocketed to $20,000 for 1 coin. If that wasn’t enough, it’s projected by crypto and other financial analysts to hit $50,000 by the end of 2018! So what’s driving the price up, you wonder?? Well, there are a few factors, but the main one simply being supply and demand. Only 21 million Bitcoin will be mined and circulated on the global trading market. Sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that’s 21 million being created for the whole world!! The global population as of December 2017 was 7.6 BILLION people.

Currently, there are approximately 16.7 million Bitcoins being circulated and traded on the market, which means only 4.3 million Bitcoins remain to be mined. So naturally, with the predictions analysts are making regarding what it could potentially be worth in the future (up to 1 million) and the scarcity of supply, you get a very high demand. And high demand usually means higher price!

As of today, February 20, 2018, the price of one bitcoin is $11,300 US (according to and fluctuates based on the market every minute. What’s cool, or not so cool, depending on who you ask, is that the cryptocurrency market never closes! Which means you can buy, sell, and trade 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unlike many stock exchanges that have an open and close time, and are closed on weekends and holidays.

For one looking to invest, you also don’t need to drop $11,300 today to buy 1 Bitcoin. Bitcoin can be purchased in percentages. For example, you could buy 50% or 0.5 of 1 Bitcoin. Blockchain technology If you haven’t heard about Blockchain technology by now, in the most basic terms, Blockchain is an electronic ledger for cryptocurrencies, and it’s a safe and secure way to store transactional data; also, very transparent. The core concept and benefit of Blockchain are that there is no need for a trusted third party or intermediary to validate transactions. For these basic reasons plus many more, is why innovative companies, specifically within the financial and technology industry known as FINTECH, are racing to have Blockchain technology apart of the way they do business. The demand for Blockchain technology has become increasingly popular within the last 6 months, that governments and regulatory bodies are starting to pay attention! So, one may ask themselves if this Bitcoin and Blockchain thing a bubble? It’s up to you to do your research to come to a conclusion! One thing I know for sure is that from fintech start-up companies to established businesses, and government institutions trying to get onboard with Blockchain technology, it’s apparent that cryptocurrency and Blockchain are here to stay and will be a transformational evolution in the way we do business in the future!

Pregnancy, Planning, and Paperwork

Pregnancy, Planning, and Paperwork

So, you’re pregnant. Congratulations!! If you’re like most new moms to be: excited, overwhelmed, and counting down the weeks left until you meet your little bundle of joy that you have been carrying for 9 months.

But, if you are also like most new moms to be, you’re also pretty tired from being pregnant and having to work long hours to ensure you are financially secure for your little one or existing family, even if you have a partner. Whether your self-employed, got a 9-5, 5-10, or managing a few side hustles all once, I’ve compiled 5 key points to remember when you’re a work ninja, but also expecting!

My company, Baby Steps Guru provides maternity and parental leave guidance, and saves parents a headache, hassle, and lots of time, knowing how to navigate through the business side of having a baby!
Time better spent on bonding with your newborn baby, instead of handling paperwork!

As someone with extensive knowledge and more than a decade of experience, when dealing with group benefits, human resources, and government agencies such as Service Canada, I know how to make the planning of your little arrival less stressful.

I’ve listed 5 tips no one ever tells you but is important to know when preparing for your little one and can save you a lot of prep time and unnecessary paperwork:

TIP 1:  If you are employed, make sure you review and/or update your group benefits prior to your mat leave. It’s way more time consuming and a headache to get it done on your leave. If your self-employed and have an independent plan, notify your agent directly to look into your family options

TIP 2: Speaking of self-employment, did you know that you could qualify for EI maternity benefits if you’re self-employed?? For more details on this, email me at

TIP 3: If you have a medically complicated pregnancy and need to leave work early, ensure you utilize all your sick time, and vacation time if it can’t be carried forward to when you return. You don’t want to lose those days! FYI, you could also apply for sickness EI prior to starting your mat leave

TIP 4: You only need 600 hours to qualify for EI maternity or sickness benefits, but you need them within a 1-year period from your last day worked.  Hours worked prior to 1-year period do not get used.

TIP 5:  If your baby needs additional care and needs to stay in the hospital for medical reasons for 1 week or more, your mat leave period could potentially be extended for the duration of the period that your baby remains in the hospital before going home. For more info on this, feel free to send me an email.

Bonus tip: Did you know you could apply for maternity leave up to 8 weeks prior to your due date if you’re no longer working?

If you are expecting and would like to discuss information in this post or other maternity benefit related question or would like to know about the services I provide, send me an email at or visit my website, .