News

Dollar Vigilante Ed Bugos on Iran, Gold, Bitcoin, Monero, US National Debt & The Dollar

Edmond Bugos, gold analyst at the Dollar Vigilante, was kind enough to answer our questions. Thank you to Ed for his insightful, Austrian-minded look at current events and the gold market. Bugos talks geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, and how those might play out, as well as the implications there for gold. He also discusses how Bitcoin has been a boon for the precious metals market.

With the drone attack and news of Iran general Qasem Soleimani’s death, what could a destabilizing Middle East region mean for gold prices and why? What is unique today in 2020 about the relationship between gold and Middle East stability?

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James Turk: “La mejor manera de ahorrar dinero hoy es acumular oro físico y plata física”

James Turk es uno de los nombres más reconocibles en dinero sólido. Su carrera comenzó en Chase Manhattan Bank con proyectos en Tailandia, Filipinas y Hong Kong. Posteriormente se convirtió en el gerente del Departamento de Productos Básicos de la Autoridad de Inversión de Abu Dhabi y desempeñó diversos roles de asesoramiento en la gestión del dinero.

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James Turk: “The best way to save money today is to accumulate physical gold and physical silver.”

James Turk is one of the most recognizable names in sound money. His career started at Chase Manhattan Bank with assignments in Thailand, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. He thereafter became the manager of the Commodity Department of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and held various advisory roles in money management.

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Quantitative Easing is the New Normal: The Rise of the Free Lunch Theory of Money

Central bank independence is dead, according to Foreign Policy, though the publication notes that the U.S. Congress has yet to get the message. 

A recent survey demonstrates how 61 percent of former central bankers surveyed around the world believe central banks will become less independent in the future.

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Federal Reserve Governor Warns of Libra, Cryptocurrency Dangers

Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard noted key risks associated with cryptocurrency on Wednesday, including Facebook Libra in particular. 

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve member was speaking to the European Central Bank (ECB) colloqium in Frankfurt on “Monetary policy: the challenges ahead.” 

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This Businessman Thinks The Coming Economic Collapse Will Make People HAPPIER

Businessman Gary Vaynerchuk thinks we should worry about our own [expletive] before economic collapse wipes us out. He’s known for dominating new media and, before that, for making his father’s New Jersey wine business, Wine Library, a leading purveyor of wine’s on the country by hosting a YouTube show where he tasted wines alongside odd meal choices like a bowl of Fruit Loops.

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Surging Corporate Debt Could Soon Hit $10 TRILLION

Francois Trahan, a strategist at UBS, has seen U.S. corporate debt increasing by more than 50% this past decade, standing now at nearly $10 trillion. 

Such concerns could steal the show in 2020, he says. The slowing economic activity and a potential decline in corporate earnings could lead to debt downgrades for brands such as Amazon, 3M, and Walmart.

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State Street and Gemini Announce Digital Asset Pilot

State Street today announced it would launch a new digital asset pilot with Gemini Trust Company, LLC, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian launched by the Winklevoss twins. 

The pilot explores reporting scenarios on a user’s holdings within Gemini Custody. The pilot reports holdings on two cryptocurrencies, which have been chosen for liquidity reasons. The pilot applied to holdings such as security tokens, too. Users can consolidate the reporting of their digital assets, which have been serviced by Gemini, an independent digital asset custodian, with traditional assets serviced by State Street. 

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Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan Says Inflation is “Inevitably Going to Rise”

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan issued his latest warning Tuesday about the fiscal situation in the U.S. He says the larger budget deficits ultimately will cause inflation.

The spending shortfall rose to just shy of $1 trillion in fiscal 2019. Greenspan told CNBC that “inflation is inevitably going to rise,” posing larger threats to the economy.

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Silver Breaks Through $17.00. What to Expect in 2020.

Silver prices are trading at $17.04, up 0.65% on the day.

That comes on the heels of the U.S. and China announced on Friday that a limited trade deal had been reached.

Yet, silver trails gold in terms of gains in 2019. While gold is almost up 15% in 2019. The 200 EMA is at 17.14, which is below resistance at 17.25. The 50-day EMA is 16.72.

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This Indicator Might Show The Gold Industry is Real Bullish for 2020

Gold mining exploration in the Black Hills of South Dakota is a signal that the gold miners are becoming increasingly bullish.

According to  the Rapid City Journal, five companies are currently drilling for gold in the mountainous region of the black hills from western South Dakota to Wyoming. 

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Gold Price Could End Year With 15% Increase

Gold prices could end the year at more than 15% higher – their biggest annual increase in nine years.

“Gold has seen considerable safe haven buying from investors concerned [over] low and negative yields in the bond market and fearing a possible downturn in equities,” said George Milling-Stanley, chief gold strategist at State Street Global Advisors. Gold exchange-traded funds have also been “feeling the benefit of strategic asset allocation type buying by institutions and individuals.”

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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Wants to Decentralize Social Media

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has long been a proponent of Bitcoin. His startup Cash.App features a crypto buy and sell feature. 

Dorsey recently announced that Twitter would fund a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. Twitter, then, would be a client of this standard. 

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First Block Trade of Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Monthly Options (BTM) Submitted to ICE Futures

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc (NYSE: ICE), which operates global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listing services, announced its first block trade of Bakkt ™ Bitcoin (USD) Monthly Options (BTM) submitted to ICE Futures U.S.

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Electric Vehicles Like Tesla’s Cybertruck Could Increase Demand for Silver

New technology is increasing demand for silver. 

Like, for instance, the electrification of the vehicles. 

In order to electrify cards and trucks, including the new Tesla Cybertruck, manufacturers need silver. 

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Gold Stays Steady Trading Amid Trade and Economic Uncertainty

Gold was steady headed into the end of the week. Investors have been waiting to see if new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would emerge by a Dec. 15 deadline and after the Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged. 

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Convicted Silk Road Founder, Ross Ulbricht, Predicts $100,000 Bitcoin In 2020 & An Interview with His Mother Lyn

Ross Ulbricht, founder of infamous dark web, predicts a $100,000 bitcoin price in 2020. Ulbricht is currently serving two life sentences plus 40 years without the possibility of parole after being found guilty on charges of money laundering, computer hacking, conspiray to traffic fraudulent documents, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

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Blockchain.com, Coinshares Launch Gold-Backed Token

DGLD, a network which claims to have over $20m in investment grade gold allocated in Swiss vaults and secured using Bitcoin, launched and is now available for purchase on Blockchain.com’s cryptocurrency exchange, The PIT.

DGLD, which was created by CoinShares, Europe’s largest digital asset manager, and Blockchain.com, and MKS (Switzerland), is a digital asset or token which, at creation, represents 1/10th of a troy ounce of physical gold stored in Swiss vaults for which token holders can swap or physically redeem.

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The Rich Are Buying Physical Gold Bullion in Preparation for Recession

The rich are buying physical gold bullion, coins, and bars, according to Goldman Sachs.

“I think gold’s going to $2,500, $3,000 an ounce in the 2020s because the climate—the landscape for gold is so hugely supportive.” Paul Schatz, Heritage Capital president, told Yahoo Finance’s On The Move. Goldman predicted $1,600 gold by 2020.

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ING, Nomura, & SolarisBank Entering Into Crypto Custody

ING, with $980 billion in total assets is the largest bank in the Netherlands, is moving into the crypto custody market.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” according to Reuters, ING is working on developing technology to help clients store cryptocurrencies.

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Complex Illicit Finance Scheme Between Turkey and Gold Involved Gold and Gas

Online website ZeroHedge first reported on ‘odd’ exports of gold to Iran from Turkey all the way back in May 2012. Turkey’s trade balance fluctuated wildly as gold stocks flowed out of the country. 

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Turkey to Loosen Rules Governing Gold Imports

Turkey, one of the world’s largest precious metals consumers, is planning to loosen rules governing the importation of gold. The country’s Treasury plans to allow the certification and standardization of scrap or unregistered gold people may carry when entering Turkey. The plan also includes the registration of gold brought without certification from the London Bullion Market Association, according to unnamed sources. 

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Gold Price Increases Ahead of Tariffs Decision on Chinese Imports

The gold price increased Wednesday with a deadline for an additional round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports approaching. There is no so-called ‘phase-one’ deal in sight, and a U.S. central bank policy meeting could provide an outlook for 2020, causing either an increase or decrease in the price of gold.

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Goldman Sachs is Bullish on Gold in 2020

After a strong first nine months of 2019, gold peaked at a nearly 25% gain at the onset of September. Goldman Sachs remains bullish on the yellow metal.

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Winklevoss Capital, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and Polychain Capital Back Bitcoin Mining as Digital Flare Mitigation Services

Crusoe Energy Systems, which converts natural gas to energy-intensive computing from its Denver base, has landed capital to build a new bitcoin mining facility.

The company plans to install 70 units next year, each having a capacity of about 1 megawatt (MW). Chase Lochmiller, Crusoe CEO, told Bloomberg in an interview on Saturday that Crusoe raised $70 million in fresh capital to fund its projects.

The new capital comes from two rounds, including $30 million in equity funding and $40 million in project financing. Bain Capital Ventures, already an invstor in Crusoe, KCK Group, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Winklevoss Capital, and Polychain Capital took part in the fundraising. New York-based credit fund Upper90 led the $40 million round. Read More

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker Dead at 92

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker died at 92. He was suffering from prostate cancer, according to reports.

“The economic hero of post-World War II America I would have to say was Paul Volcker,” Robert Kavesh, a professor at New York University. “And that’s saying something.”

President Carter appointed Volcker as chairman of the Fed in 1979 amid a stagflation crisis, in which both high inflation an rising unemployment led to gas rationing, etc.Volcker constricted the nation’s money supply and allowed interest rates to rise to more than 18 percent on mortgages. Read More

Six Months In, No End to Hong Kong Protests in Sight

A recent election victory by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp led to hundreds of thousands of protestors to take to the city’s streets on Sunday. The largest march in weeks signaled to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, that the protests against his authoritarian policies enjoyed broad support in Hong Kong as the economy weakened and violent clashes between protesters and police made headlines. Read More

How You Can Get a Gold-Backed Debit Card

While precious metals have long been a store of value, they are not practical for using in everyday transactions. You would need to hold the coins on your person whenever you went to a store. While transacting with gold might make sense for a central bank, it doesn’t make sense for most people and institutions. But, a gold-backed debit card changes this. With a gold-backed debit card, which is a card backed by gold stored in a vault, now gold buyers can hold the metal in their wallet alongside their other debit cards. Here is how it all works. Read More

The Beyond Meat Burger: Tastes Like Real Meat, But How Healthy Is It?

Once vegetarians had their chance to chow down on a vegetarian burger that bleeds, Beyond Meat took the investing world by storm with the biggest IPO of 2019. Since then, as the veggie burger has landed on the shelves of more and more stores, debate has turned to whether its share value is sustainable. At the time of writing, Beyond Meat shares trade at $74.36. Read More

Deutsche Bank: Inflation Could Lead to Increased Cryptocurrency Adoption

Deutsche Bank says that inflation could become “more embedded” in the world economy, leading people to later question fiat money. The bank predicts “demand for alternative currencies will therefore likely be significantly higher by the time 2030 rolls around.”

The bank even wonders if, as authorities will face policy dilemmas as they try to balance higher yields with record debt levels, fiat currencies will survive. Read More

Mitsubishi Head of Business Dev: “Smart Money” is Turning to Gold as a Hedge

Central banks continue to buy gold after a summer rally that stalled as the calendar turned to fall. The latest Mitsubishi precious-metals update says many factors could sour 2020, and so therefore “smart money” is looking to gold as a hedge.

“Illustrating lingering macroeconomic concerns, the importance of diversification away from dollar assets and tail risk hedging, central banks around the world have continued to be net buyers of gold: November saw Turkey, Russia, Poland and newcomer Serbia (which bought 9 tons of gold) all add to their holdings of the yellow metal,” wrote Mitsubishi head of business development Jonathan Butler. Read More

Here’s How Goldman Sachs Private Equity Clients Prepare for Recession

Goldman Sachs’ private equity clients are bracing for a recession. “Every one of our clients is focused on being prepared for a recession,” said Alison Mass, the bank’s chairman of investment banking.

While interviewed on Bloomberg TV, Mass said the bank’s clients are creating checklists of ways in which to navigate a recession. Read More

Shipping Containers Housing Bitcoin Mining Equipment Topple During Colorado Gale

Shipping containers housing bitcoin mining machines topped over amid high winds. Those containers, which are stacked four high, fell amid high winds on Nov. 29 and 30.

“As you may know, a wall of shipping containers came crashing down at Bldg 1625 — 3G Venture II — during the high winds of this past Friday and Saturday, 29 & 30 November, 2019,” wrote Graham Becker in an email to officials with the city, Fire Department and Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. “Fortunately, as far as I know, no one was killed or injured. Very fortunate, indeed.” Read More

Top US Financial Regulators Warn Against Perils of Stablecoins

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which was set up in 2008 to combat risks to the financial sector after the financial crisis, believes stablecoins could cause potential problems if they gained wider use.

“If a stablecoin became widely adopted as a means of payment or store of value, disruptions to the stablecoin system could affect the wider economy,” the regulators stated in its financial report for 2019. “Financial regulators should review existing and planned digital asset arrangements and their risks, as appropriate.” Read More

Moody’s Downgrades Outlook for Global Banks

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the outlook for global banks. Slowing growth, low interest rates, and volatile operating conditions turned the ratings firm’s outlook on banks from stable to negative.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China “appear entrenched, with negative consequences for banks in those countries as well as in other export-oriented economies and for banks funding trade,” Moody’s said. Read More

SEC: A Bitcoin ETF Approval Forthcoming

Dalia Blass, the director of the Division of Investment Management at the Securities and Exchange Commission, says the agency could soon approve a Bitcoin ETF.

The unlisted, closed-end interval fund will not provide daily redemptions nor be subject to considerable and unexpected liquidity demands during short periods, she commented during a keynote speech for the iCI Securities Law Development Conference. Read More

Court Upholds Nordea Bank’s Ban on Employee Bitcoin Purchases

Nordea, a Danish Bank, won a court case allowing it to prevent staff from buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Nordea first banned its employees from owning bitcoin in January 2018, after which Danish finance and workers’ rights figures threatened legal action. Read More

Survey: Bitcoin Mining Firm Finds Nearly One-Third of Americans Think US Dollar Backed by Gold

Genesis Mining, a cryptocurrency miner, found that one-third of Americans believe the US Dollar is still backed by gold. The dollar has not been backed by gold since 1973.

The survey, conducted in late September, included 1,000 participants. Its goal: to determine just how much U.S. citizens understood money. In late October, the miner found that 29% of those surveyed believed a gold reserve backed the U.S. dollar. 24% of respondents answered that the Federal Reserve was tasked to secure the nation’s gold reserve. Read More

China Forms Alliance to Fast-Track Blockchain Development

China’s state-backed blockchain alliances features big cryptocurrency and financial companies. One of the first name brands to join the ‘Blockchain Services Network Alliance’ (BSN) is Huobi China.

Huobi China, which is a part of global bitcoin and crypto exchange conglomerate Huobi Group, revealed its participation at the Blockchain Service Network Partner Conference.

The company’s Chinese-based operations do not include the trading of cryptocurrency. “It is not an exchange. It is a fully compliant legal entity in China doing blockchain education and blockchain solutions for large corporations, solely focused on blockchain technology, said Ciara Sun, chief of staff of Huobi Group. Read More

New Bitcoin Exchange Traded Product Launches on Switzerland ‘s SIX Stock Exchange

New York-based WisdomTree launched a new bitcoin exchange traded product (ETP) on Switzerland’s SIX stock exchange. This product, which is physically backed by crypto, will compete on SIX with Amun AG’s similarly-designed bitcoin ETP, and is settled in the underlying asset.

WisdomTree, which has provided gold-based ETPs in Europe since 2003, said its Bitcoin ETP provides investors, “a simple, secure and cost-efficient way to gain exposure to Bitcoin while utilising the best of traditional financial infrastructure and product structuring.” Under the WBTC ticker, it is listed at a total expense ratio of 0.95%. Read More

Weak U.S. Industrial Data Leads Array of Worrying Economic Indicators, Gold Remains Steady

There are several reasons experts presently warn of potential economic downturn. China’s growth has been slowing, despite recent positive reports, as the trade war wages on and geopolitical tensions increase. Among others, countries like Singapore and South Korea, who export manufactured goods to China, are slowing.

Positive economic signs do persist, with consumption remaining steady at 2%, and private residential investment increasing in the third quarter of 2019. (though this has steadily declined since the end of 2017). Despite this, business investment has begun to fall. Read More

Cryptocurrency Trading Basics

Here are some simple trading concepts as they pertain to cryptocurrency. 

Price

The ask price is totally determined by the supply (represented by the ones selling) and demand (represented by the buyers). The price (shown) is the price at which the last trade was done, it is the result of buyers and sellers interacting. When they agree to trade at a certain price, operation takes place and a new ask price is determined Read More

Bank of Russia Supports Ban on Crypto as Payment Method

The Bank of Russia supports a ban on cryptocurrency payments. The Bank says that “private cryptocurrencies cannot be equated with fiat money and cannot be legal tender.”

It added: “If it is decided to ban cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at the legislative level, we consider it appropriate to support this position.” Read More

Chair of Slovakia’s Biggest Party: U.K. “Can Hardly” Be Trusted with Nation’s Gold

Slovakia’s former premier told parliament it should force the central bank to repatriate the nation’s gold, which is stored in the U.K. He said history has shown that allies “can hardly” be trusted.

Ex-Premier Robert Fico now chairs the biggest party in Slovakia. He seeks a special parliamentary session on the issue, claiming the gold isn’t safe in the U.K. because of Brexit and a possible global economic crisis. Read More

Gold Price Declines Monday Due to Bullish Factory Reports Out of China

Gold prices declined Monday with investors turning to other asset classes after reports of an expanding Chinese factory sector and a rising dollar reduced demand.

Spot gold fell 0.3% at $1,459.94 per ounce at 0645 GMT. Prices had earlier reached highs dating back to Nov. 22. U.S. gold futures declined 0/5% to $1,466.

An expansion in factory activity during November in China, which ranks as the world’s second largest economy and biggest consumer of gold, led investors into equity markets. Read More

Ethereum Foundation Researcher Spoke at a North Korea Cryptocurrency Conference. The U.S. Arrested Him.

Federal prosecutors accused Virgil Griffith, a research scientist at the Ethereum Foundation , of helping North Korea evade US sanctions. Formally charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Griffith faces up to 20 years in prison. He allegedly attended the conference after the U.S. government refused him permission to go. Read More

German Bundestag Approves New Law So Banks Can Sell And Custody Bitcoin

German banks will begin to offer the sale and storage of cryptocurrencies under new legislation. The banks had been barred from offering direct access to crypto assets.

The new law, which was written in the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive, rewrites this starting in 2020. Reported by Handelsblatt on Wednesday, the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, passed the bill, which will likely be signed by the nation’s sixteen states. Read More

How Bad is Bitcoin Mining for the Environment? New Research Suggests Not So Bad.

Bitcoin mining emissions were on par with Estonia, suggesting that the climate change impact of the first digital asset is less than previously reported. Furthermore, the research seems to suggest that where Bitcoin is mined contributes to how much carbon Bitcoin emits. With so much of the mining being done in China, one might wonder if that country’s infrastructure is more to blame than Bitcoin. Read More

High-End Finance Jobs Will Be Displaced By AI, Too

Artificial intelligence is not just coming for the jobs of barbers and baristas. It is coming for high-paid professions, too. Even financial professionals could see increasing pressure from technology, too.

According to a recent Brookings Institution report, white-collar jobs and occupations requiring higher education, as well as production workers, will see their jobs eaten by AI.  The report uses a new analysis of patent data by Stanford University graduate student Michael Webb. Read More

An Interview with Steve Bellotti, Chairman of TCM Capital, An Advisor on The Perth Mint Gold Token

As we covered here, The Perth Mint Gold Token could prove to be an alternative to U.S. dollar-based stablecoins, such as Tether. While Tether is backed by dollars in a U.S. bank account, the Perth Mint gold token is backed by gold held by one of the most renowned precious metals refineries in the world.

GoldSilverBitcoin fielded answers about the Perth Mint Gold Token from the Chairman of TCM Capital, Steve Bellotti. TCM Capital AM Pty Ltd is the Advisor to the PMGT project. Read More


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