Goldman Sachs has a bullish outlook on gold. Analysts at the investment bank see prices pushing to $1,600 an ounce next year. The price of gold currently sits at $1459.62. That is a nearly 10% gain from present day prices. December gold futures are trading at about $1,456.70 an ounce. Read More
The Bitcoin price fell to $6,558.14 on Monday before rebounding on Tuesday. Now at its lowest level since May, Bitcoin has lost $3,000 in value one month after China cracked down on businesses involved in cryptocurrency operations. Bitcoin is currently trading at $7,222.12.
Bitcoin increased in price to $10,000 last month after Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke highly of blockchain technology, though there were no indications he included cryptocurrencies in that sentiment. Read More
Global debt will reach more than $255 trillion, according to the Institute of International Finance. Nearly $32,500 for each for the 7.7 billion people on the planet.
At the end of their report, economists warned that “high debt burdens could curb efforts to tackle climate risk.”
The IIF reported: “Global climate finance flows remain far short of what’s needed for an effective transition to a low-carbon economy.” Read More
U.K.-based Cashaa, a cryptocurrency banking platform, has launched bank accounts for U.S.-based crypto firms in U.S. dollars.
Cashaa is offering the accounts through a partnership with Metropolitan Commercial Bank, which saw a more than 300-percent increase, year-on-year, in its non-interest income. Metropolitan Commercial Bank, which is headquartered in New York City, is a full-service commercial bank with banking centers in Manhattan, Boro Park Brooklyn and Great Neck, Long Island. Read More
It had been reported that The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) –– the country’s largest bank at more than $965 billion in total assets –– might launch a cryptocurrency trading platform. But, those reports turned out to not be true. With that said, according to Forbes, RBC is leading in enterprise blockchain research.
“Like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected,” RBC spokesperson Jean Francois had told The Logic, before CoinDesk published an update clarifying that RBC had no plans to launch an exchange. Read More
Last month, Infinigold announced the launch of a digital token, The Perth Mint Gold Token, backed by gold stored in the vaults of Australia’s Perth Mint, a world-leading precious metal refinery. We spoke with Andreas Ruf, the CEO of Infinigold, about working with Perth Mint to launch the token. Read More
Beijing and Washington won’t be reducing some punitive tariffs on each other’s goods – at least according to the Trump White House. Talks on the trade war, it would seem, are not progressing as promisingly as reports indicated.
Reports surfaced that a new agreement originated during discussions to iron out a “Phase 1” deal between the two countries. A “phased cancellation” of tariff hikes were agreed to in the event of progressing trade talks, according to the Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng. Read More
350 Bankers and financial industry professionals think the United States will be the first to create a global digital currency – not China.
37% of attendees of the ACAMS anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime conference, when asked by Chainalysis, said they believe the U.S. would be the first to launch the first worldwide digital currency over the next five to ten years. Read More
The poor health of millennials could put a damper on the U.S. economy, according to Moody’s. It is more common for millennials, who are born between 1981 and 1996, to suffer from hypertension, high cholesterol, depression, and hyperactivity than their Generation X counterparts at the same point in their lives.
Moody’s Analytics found the data in a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield, concluding that by the year 2027 health costs for young adults could be 33% higher than they were for Generation X at the same page. This could lead to lower wages, Moody’s argues. Read More
Treasury Department officials are reportedly rolling back a tax rule issued under former president Barack Obama’s administration. The rule sought to prevent American companies from moving money offshore in an effort to avoid US taxes.
The Treasury issued final regulations that eliminated documentation requirements dating back to Obama. The department will propose regulations in the future changing other parts of the offshore tax rules. Read More
David Marcus is leading up Calibre, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project. As reported by CNBC, he said Wednesday that Bitcoin is digital gold, and not a good currency for transactions.
“I don’t think of Bitcoin as a currency,” Marcus told an audience at the New York Times DealBook Conference in New York. “It’s actually not a great medium of exchange because of its volatility. I see it as digital gold.” Read More
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has removed crypto mining activities as an unwanted industry from its Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog.
China has long been a mining leader in the crypto industry. As a world leader in computer hardware generally, the country was in a unique position to take lead the way when it came to mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As in most hardware-intensive industries, the lion’s share of cryptocurrency mining hardware comes from China. Read More
One Country, One System?
China could change its “one country, two systems” arrangement that has been in place since 1997. The agreement stipulates that the United States is legally bound to treat Hong Kong separately from mainland China for matters concerning trade and economic policy. With troops from the mainland at the border of Hong Kong, the protests and trade war could escalate. Read More
InfiniGold is collaborating with the Perth Mint, the world’s largest refiner of newly minted gold, to release the digital token Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT), which is backed 1:1 by GoldPass certificates issued by the Perth Mint. It could be an alternative to current stablecoins, especially Tether, which is backed by the US dollar. PMGT gives users ownership of government-guaranteed gold stored at The Perth Mint. The Mint touts benefits like real-time trading and settlement thanks to blockchain. Read More
Bakkt futures and custodial exchange traded 50 BTC (~$400,000) in daily futures contracts during its second week of trading, a significant decline from its opening week, as reported by WSJ.
$5.8 million was traded on Bakkt, which was created by the Intercontinental Exchange, during its first week. The following week traders moved but $2 million. That is just $400,000 daily trading volume. Read More
Last week, almost every major online brokerage company – including Charles Schwab (SCHW), TD Ameritrade (AMTD) and E-Trade (ETFC) – stopped charging commissions, making it free to trade.
“For every broker out there, trying to sell services with explicit fees is going to be almost impossible. The next frontier will be centered around providing more financial well-being solutions — expanding beyond just brokerage products,” said Bill Capuzzi, CEO of Apex Clearing, a custodian of securities on behalf of brokerage firms. Read More
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said on Wednesday it is “inevitable” that central banks will issue digital currency. He also said the United States should not be the nation to lead such a move. He had been asked about the Fed’s creation of “FedNow,” its own real-time payments system. The comments were first reported by Reuters.
“Frankly I don’t think we should be the first mover as a nation to do this,” Harker said at a St. Louis community banking conference. He noted the dollar’s status as world reserve currency and underscored the need for experimentation and tests when it comes to such technology. Read More
The gap between cryptocurrency and the banking industry is shrinking.
For instance, Bitwala, a German crypto banking startup, has begun rolling out their mobile banking app. Users who own an Android or iOS device can begin experimenting with this new functionality. The services are available across the entire European Economic Area. Clients in 31 countries can obtain a German bank account which includes a Bitcoin wallet and trading support. The creation of an account takes just minutes, according to the company. This would make it on par with opening a traditional bank account in one’s own country. Read More
The International Monetary Fund must choose to either make more than $5 billion in funds under Argentina’s loan deal available to the government facing default or not. The IMF had agreed to a $57 billion line of credit with the South American nation last year, and funds were meant to be paid this month.
But pro-business President Mauricio Macri took a defeat in a primary election last month, resulting in a crash of the peso and capital controls. Populist candidate Alberto Fernandez is considered the front-runner to win the Oct. 27 election. And now there is doubt about whether or not the IMF will disburse the cash until after the election. Read More
The Bitcoin halving is coming next year.
Bitcoin’s emission rate will be cut in half in 2020. This is known as a block reward halving. It is the third reward halving since Bitcoin was first introduced to the masses in 2009. Given the scarcity aspect of the world’s leading cryptocurrency, this reduced emission rate can have a significant impact on the price.
Historically speaking, block reward halvings are significant for Bitcoin. It helps reduce the amount of “new” BTC brought into circulation. At the current rate, 12.5 BTC is added to the supply every 10 minutes. Over the course of a day, that equals to 1,800 bitcoin, or $1,8 million at current prices. For a currency which is deemed to be scarce, there is still a lot of value being brought into circulation every day. Read More
Israeli banks are facing lawsuits brought by domestic cryptocurrency enthusiasts. A recent freedom of information request demonstrates how Bitcoin holders in the country want more clarity regarding bank policies on cryptocurrency trading. Most banks there, like in much of the world, are cautious when banking blockchain companies, which makes life difficult for enterprise businesses in the blockchain industry.
In recent years, Israel has become a hotbed for cryptocurrency activity. Increasingly, people aim to obtain cryptocurrency, and this is often done through a bank account. For Bitcoin enthusiasts, this proves to be rather problematic in the country.
Spot gold hit a six-year high late last week. It is the first time since April 2013 prices soared so high – peaking at a value of $1,5334.31 an ounce. Due to this price bump, US gold futures rose by roughly 1.3% to $1,537 an ounce. Despite the positive momentum, these high levels could not be sustained over the weekend.
Several factors drive the current and future value of gold and silver. Weakness in the Argentine Peso, civil unrest in Hong Kong, and the US-China trade war has forced investors to seek safehaven. Read More
The US Securities and Exchange Commission continues to delay its Bitcoin ETF decision on the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust and the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, while Bakkt claims its acquired a New York state trust charter through the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), enabling the company offer its physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts.
For the cryptocurrency community, the Bitwise and VanEck delays are nothing new. Rejection or approval of those investment vehicles will now have to wait until October 2019. Read More
The IRS wants to learn about the transactions of Bitcoin users in the United States. Despite the perceived privacy of Bitcoin and alternative currencies, crypto users are not exempt from taxation.
Anyone who moved cryptocurrency through a centralized exchange are required by law to file their taxes properly. Just last year, the US government won a court order for CoinBase’s customer list. Read More
A Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo halted services on July 12 and announced a major hack. Bitpoint, a Japan-based and licensed cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked for $32 million or $3.5 billion yen. Customers received an email alerting them to the fact that Bitpoint would cease all services while it investigates. Read More
What is surprising, novel, ironic or controversial about Bitcoin in Q2 2019?
MK: I think it’s the recognition now by mainstream analysts and media that bitcoin represents a store of value. I think that story, which we’ve been talking about for years, seemed ludicrous a few years ago. But, more and more on the institutional level they’re getting to understand that this does represent a risk-off store of value safe haven. Read More
Bitcoin is poised to move beyond $10,000. At the time of writing, it currently sits at $9,922, and has already surpassed $10,000 on Chinese exchanges. Its record high is $19,666. Bitcoin is currently at its highest price since May 2018.
Bitcoin has tested the technical resistance set in April 2018 of $9,949, and the psychological resistance of $10,000 is next. Since April 1, Bitcoin is up 140 percent. Read More
Western Union shares declined Tuesday amid the Facebook announcement of its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which is supposed to be integrated with Facebook, and its subsidiary apps Instagram, WhatsApp, and more. Western Union, a legacy consumer-to-consumer money sending platform was among the worst performers on the S&P Index on Tuesday, as it fell 2.4%. It closed at $19.57 a share.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra is supported by a legion of well-known companies from both within the crypto industry and outside of it, including payment companies like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. Blockchain companies involve Coinbase, Xapo and others. The cryptocurrency is expected to launch in the first half of 2020. Read More
We did some research on what Navy SEALs are saying about getting after it in real life. Let’s just dig right in.
- Common sense won’t work anymore
“Our fathers before us lived in a much less dynamic and competitive time than we do,” writes Former U.S. Navy SEAL Eric Davis for The Epoch Times. “In today’s world, using the simplistic and common sense strategies that were handed down to us is like trying to bring a sword and shield to the modern battlefield. It just isn’t going to work anymore. Read More
Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant the U.S. government fears could be used by the Chinese government to spy and sabotage infrastructure, is a crucial contributor to the development of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks worldwide. Yet, Washington’s fear led the Commerce Department to add Huawei to its “entity list” in May 2019, forbidding Huawei to buy U.S. goods without permission from the government.
Huawei, which is the world’s biggest seller of telecommunications equipment like new 5G network infrastructure and second-largest smartphone maker, is based in Shenzhen, China. It helps connectivity in some rural areas in the US. Read More
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced that starting in September it will disallow U.S. residents from using its flagship exchange. Instead, it will launch a U.S.-based service, called Binance US, where U.S. passport holders will face restrictions when using the website.
Binance has been known for letting anyone use its services to trade tokens. The Malta-based exchange will partner with Bam Trading Services, a FinCEN-registered company with links to Binance-backed Koi Compliance, the “fully-managed solutions” department of over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trader Koi Trading. Binance Labs invested $3 million in Koi Trading on January 24. Read More
Despite increased tensions in the Middle East between the Iranian Republic and the U.S. over attacks on two ships in the Strait of Hormuz, crude oil was down for the week. President Donald Trump said that Iran was behind attacks on two fuel tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
“It was them that did it,” Trump said on Fox. “We will see what happens. We are being very tough on sanctions … We’re going to see how to stop (it),” Trump said, before claiming that because of his policies “they are pulling back from everywhere.”
The President did not outline his plans for a response, and neither did Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who cited intelligence, the weapons that were used, and the sophistication of the attack as evidence for Iran’s involvement in the assault against “freedom-loving nations.” Read More
Crypto Wendy, who is keeping her eye on Bitcoin ETFs, futures and institutional interest in the crypto market these days, wants you to know that she is no trading expert.
“…I am here to learn and grow with everyone,” she says.
She started out in the space as a trader and hosting free meetups at Cryptospace in San Pedro, teaching and talking about basic trading methods. Three times a week, she does a live stream and discusses news and current events that impact the market on her YouTube channel. She believes we’ve seen the bottom in the crypto market for now. Read More
Tens of thousands of young people – for the most part – descended upon Hong Kong’s government headquarters on Wednesday, and police fired tear gas and rubber bullets back. The debate was over a controversial bill, allowing fugitives to be extradited to China and other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has no rendition agreement. Read More
Ziya Sadr spoke with Let’s Talk Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency podcast, about the importance of Bitcoin in Iran. He discussed how it allows great financial freedom for the Iranian people, and how Bitcoin is superior to other cryptocurrencies in Iran.
“The thing about bitcoin is that we are on equal ground with the rest of the world and that is nice for a change,” Mr. Sadr, who is 25 years old, told the long-serving podcast. “We’ve never been on equal ground. We’ve had inflation, we’ve been sanctioned by the whole world. With Bitcoin, we are on equal ground with the rest of the world and this is kind of new.” Read More
Jim Rogers believes governments will interfere with the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, but not blockchain.
“The blockchain has a great future,” the famous investor told BBLOKK OFFICIAL. “Blockchain is changing everything we know, and it’s going to change even more. A lot of people are going to lose their job because of blockchain, but a lot of people lost jobs because of electricity, and electricity turned out to be a good thing for all of us; likewise with blockchain.” Read More
More Quantitative Easing (QE) could be coming to the US and Eurozone as soon as the end of the year. The European Central Bank is preparing to cut interest rates and start a new round of bond purchases come Autumn to stymy economic uncertainty amid a global economic slowdown. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it too is considering aggressive asset purchases.
ECB Bank president Mario Draghi has made it clear that all options are on the table for the ECB, which oversees an export-driven European economy that is currently enduring a considerable slowdown due to the German economy’s poor economic indicators, tensions between Brussels and Italy over the latter’s budgetary policy, as well as the threat of a No Deal Brexit. Read More
Beyond Meat ($BYND) shares moved higher once again Monday morning. The stock persists at higher than expected levels after one of the most successful IPOs of 2018 2019 so far.
The next closest IPO of 2018-2019 has been Zoom Video ($ZM) which is up a mere 185% compared to Beyond Meat’s 600%. For comparison Uber ($Uber) is down 3% while Lyft ($LYFT) is down 18%. Read More
Top Federal Reserve policymakers might cut interset rates if trade tensions continue to get worse.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his No. 2, Richard Clarida are watching disputes between the US and its trading partners. The next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee takes place June 18-19, with Clarida noting that the Fed “can’t be handcuffed” by market pricing. Read More
Bitcoin is acting similar to a safe haven asset with uncertainty plaguing the stock market amid President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade policies. Bitcoin was trading at over $8,700 earlier this week and traded above $7,800 on Wednesday morning.
“I watch bitcoin as a signal, as an indicator, not because I want to own it,” said Bleakley Advisory Group’s Peter Boockvar, who is generally bearish on bitcoin. “Over the last couple weeks, we’ve seen this sharp rise in bitcoin, and to me, that was saying something in terms of what markets were thinking about what the Fed was going to do [and about] the turmoil created by the threatened tariffs. ” Read More
Human civilization will collapse by 2050, according to an Australian climate change analysis endorsed by a former Australian defense chief and senior royal navy commander.
According to the analysis, which was published by the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, a think-tank based in Melbourne, Australia, climate change is “a current and existential national security risk” that “threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development.” Read More
The National Regeneration Movement, known as MORENA and led by Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), won two governorships and many local elections in yesterday’s vote, which took place in six Mexican states.
The elections underscore AMLO’s popularity nearly one year after he easily won the Presidency, and his party won majorities in both houses of Congress. No Mexican President since 1997 has won such a broad mandate.
The vote marks the first since AMLO’s inauguration in December. MORENA won governorships in Baja California and Puebla. It also won mayoral offices and seats in statehouses. Read More
In the first three months of 2019, Uber brought in over $3 billion in revenue, marking a 20% jump from the same quarter a year earlier. Uber did not, however, offer its full-year revenue, which dampened confidence in the stock’s outlook due to a lack of transparency.
Uber’s stock fell immediately upon its IPO, finishing one day lower than it started, and have yet to trade at or above the value set for its initial offering. Its stock was up over 1% during early trading on Friday.
The ride-hailing and food delivery company is still expanding while fending off South American competitor Didi, while Lyft is formidable competition.
Uber’s first-quarter earnings report released Thursday revealed that Uber’s pricing would soon increase while its growth slows. Uber has relied on cheap wages for its drivers and subsidizing fares.
“We expect to deploy fewer consumer promotions in Q2 of 2019,” Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai said.
Uber shares gained after the stock market closed on Friday. The shares gained 70 cents, or 1.76%, to $40.50 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company sees long-term profitability in autonomous vehicles.
Lyft shares increased more than 5% on Friday, gaining more than $800 million in value. The market cap is now $16.8 billion compared to Uber’s $67 billion. Just like Uber, Lyft has incurred large losses thanks to consistent promotions. Lyft reported an adjusted per-share loss of $9.02.
“While there is no guarantee that this will last, we believe that over the next 12 months both will focus more on competing via service innovations (micro mobility, loyalty etc), which should provide a significant tailwind to Uber’s unit economics,” Atlantic Equities analysts wrote in a note Friday, upgrading its rating on Uber from neutral to overweight.
Now that both ride-sharing services are public, riders can expect fewer deals. But, if price point becomes a determining factor for riders, then Uber likely has the advantage, since Lyft is a quarter of the size of Uber.
In spite of bitcoin’s recent gains, the digital currency’s exchange volume still remains well below historic highs. The peak for Bitcoin exchange volume was December 2017, just before the entire crypto index collapsed after the 2017-2018 ICO craze.
US exchange volume fell precipitously after a November high. On May 28, the available stat, US trade volume for bitcoin sat at 150,000,000. When it peaked in December 2017, exchange volume shy of 4,000,000.
In bitcoin’s history, USD trading volume has increased exponentially. In April 2013 amid bitcoin’s first bullish run to $1,000, USD bitcoin exchange trading volume touched $55,000,000. Later that year, in November 2013, bitcoin USD exchange trading volume peaked at shy of $175,000,000.
More recently, in November 2018, amid what many termed a crypto bear market, bitcoin’s exchange trading volume surpassed half a billion. The current 150,000,000 is comparatively small for USD exchange trading volume compared to bitcoin’s recent bull runs.
What this means is ambiguous. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have long claimed major crypto exchanges falsify trade data. Furthermore, the cryptocurrency market in late 2017 was much different than it is today, for 2017 was the Age of the ICO, when projects were spinning up tokens, launching crowdsales, and paying money to be listed on exchanges.
Now that the ICO craze has calmed down, and the market has returned to earth, increased scrutiny on the token space has forced exchanges perhaps to implement further reaching AML and KYC.
When we zoom into the 30-day timescale for Bitcoin trading volume on US based exchanges, trading peaked on May 13, 2019 at just over $7,000.
Coinbase, perhaps the leading bitcoin exchange, has been busy adding tokens in recent months in order to establish itself in a market where Binance came out of nowhere.
The San Francisco-based exchange hinted this week that it could introduce bitcoin margin trading, bringing ever more sophistication to what’s still, admittedly, a nascent industry. Bitcoin margin trading has been BitMEx’s territory until now, but that could be changing.
With the halvening one year away, and bitcoin USD exchange trading volumes nowhere near all time highs, its easy to imagine increased trading volume and price in the mid-t0-long term. In the short term, with $9,000 showing formidable resistance, there’s no telling where bitcoin could go.
(GSB) – Alongside stock market losses, cannabis stocks were mixed Thursday ahead of the first public hearing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration aimed at providing information on the substance and its ingredients. The goal of the hearing is a regulatory framework for CBD. The hearing comes after Congress legalized CBD, which is derived from the hemp plant.
The FDA will listen to testimony from proponents and opponents to CBD, which the FDA has yet to fully research. The watchdog views CBD as a drug. The FDA has only approved one drug with CBD: GW Pharmaceuticals PLC’s Epidiolex, which treats childhood epilepsy.
Companies hoping to launch edibles and beverages with CBD are expected to present evidence for the benefits of the substance.
We are reviewing available databases and medical literature about CBD’s safety. Thus far, the data appear insufficient. A key goal of our upcoming public hearing on 5/31 is to obtain better information. We hope some of the knowledge gaps can be filled but there is uncertainty.
— Dr. Amy Abernethy (@DrAbernethyFDA) May 23, 2019
The FDA has cracked down on companies claiming that CBD treats illnesses, which the Administration argues is not back by scientific evidence.
Marijuana Business Daily reports that U.S. retail cannabis sales should rise 35% in 2019, approaching the $30 billion mark by 2023.
“Interest continues to skyrocket,” said D.C. attorney Miriam Guggenheim, co-chair of the food, drug and device practice group at Covington & Burling. “It is mainstream, interest is mainstream. It is not fringe anymore, which doesn’t mean mainstream companies are ready to jump in. But they want to be prepared to do so once the legal landscape is clarified.”
Cresco Labs Inc. shares were up 4.7% early Thursday. The company reported positive first-quarter earnings. The operator, which is based in Chicago and serves multiple states, claimed a net loss of $7.6 million. Revenue rose 300% to 21.1 million and was up 24% from the quarter prior.
MedMen Enterprises Inc. shares fell 3.5% after the company said it would cut executive salaries due to growing losses, which in the fiscal third-quarter comprehensive net losses of $63.1 million, approximating 20 cents per share.
Trade Via Trend sees cannabis, and other markets as sitting on a support level, with a possible change of trend on the horizon. Pot stocks could be due for profit-taking.
Across the board, the stock market is facing resistance. Since the last stock market correction, pot stocks have traded more in line with the broader market, so expect them to pull back if the S&P does, as well.
In 2020, the next Bitcoin halving will take place. Increasingly over the coming months, this will become discussed on internet forums, social media, and at conferences. The current bullish cycle we see, even if shortlived, is most likely a sign of what’s to come throughout the rest of 2019 and 2020 due to the halving event.
There are currently 17,700,000 bitcoins in circulation. That means just shy of 85% of the bitcoins to ever be produced have already been mined. There are just over 3 million bitcoins left to mine. There are at present 1,800 bitcoins minted per day.
The next Bitcoin halving takes place on May 24, 2020. The block reward for miners on the network will decrease from 12.5 to 6.25 bitcoins. This represents the third “halving” event ever in the history of bitcoin. Due to Bitcoin’s overall controlled supply of just 21 million, that the supply halves every four years ensures scarcity for bitcoin.
“Large drawdowns are not unique to digital assets and occur across all asset classes and markets, typically following periods of excessive risk-taking,” wrote Grayscale about halving. “These ‘re-pricings’ can create compelling investment opportunities and in many cases offer above-average risk-adjusted returns in the years that follow. For investors with a multi-year investment horizon and a high-risk tolerance, the confluence of discounted prices, improving network fundamentals, strong relative investment activity and the upcoming halving may offer an attractive entry point into Bitcoin. This is especially relevant for investors building core strategic positions in Bitcoin over time.”
The daily price change in May has averaged 4.7%, compared with 3.5% in April and 1.1% in March, reports Bloomberg. December, the last time prices had swung so much, averaged 4.2%.
While bitcoin fell on Tuesday 2.4%, it had not fallen in the four days prior. Bitcoin is currently at $8,860. The last time the price of bitcoin reached $9,000 was a year ago.
“The recent surges in Bitcoin are mainly based on the supply side,” wrote eToro’s Mati Greenspan in a note this week. “There’s already a shortage of Bitcoin in the world and with the halving event coming up next May, the countdown to even less supply has already begun.”
The Crypto Index pushed its upper band during Tuesday’s trading sessions and then fell. Bitcoin makes up 30% of that index.
Beijing is threatening to cut Washington off from rare earth minerals, according to media reports in China’s papers that included quotes from the state planning agency. The stocks of rare earth producers were up following the news.
One newspaper included the Chinese phrase “don’t say I didn’t warn you”, which the country used before it went to war with India. The paper wrote “those familiar with Chinese diplomatic language know the weight of this phrase.” The language, which appeared in the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, was also employed ahead of conflict between China and Vietnam in 1979.
The People’s Daily made it clear China would use the elements as retaliation in its trade war. 80% of U.S. rare earth supplies come from China.
The editor-in-chief of the Global Times tweeted that China is “seriously” weighing the restriction of rare earth exports to the U.S. and could also implement countermeasures.
A National Development & Reform Commission official told CCTV that people in the country won’t be happy to see products made as exported rare earths are being used to suppress China’s development. Editorials in the Global Times and Shanghai Securities News took similar stances in their Wednesday editions.
The U.S. is dependent on importing rare earth minerals from China, which are used in electronics, hybrid vehicles, and energy storage systems. The U.S. imports the rare earth materials because it’s cheaper than producing them domestically.
This is driving rare earth stocks up with the help of President Xi Jinping, who visited a plant earlier this month along with his chief trade negotiator with the U.S.
China already raised tariffs on America’s sole producer of rare earths from 10% to 25%. The U.S., however, excluded rare earths from its list of prospective tariffs on roughly $300 billion in Chinese goods.
In December 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reduce the country’s dependence on external sources of critical minerals, including rare earths, which was aimed at reducing U.S. vulnerability to supply disruptions.
China’s rare earth market:
- China Northern Rare Earth Group
- Minmetals Rare Earth Co.
- Xiamen Tungsten Co.
- Chinalco Rare Earth & Metals Co.
Shares of JL Mag Rare-Earth increased by 10% while Innuovo Technology increased by 9.95%. The shares of Australia rare earth miner Lynas also increased by more than 10%.
“We’ve been here before,” Fraser Howie, an independent analyst, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Wednesday. China banned the export of rare earth minerals to Japan after Tokyo detained a Chinese fishing trawler captain.
Norway’s exports of salmon plummeted after Beijing curbed them. That move was seen as retaliation to a Norwegian committee’s decision in 2010 to award a Chinese dissident the Nobel Prize.
With Brexit still looming over the UK, and the end of Theresa May’s leadership putting the country in yet another stage of transition, the pound has endured its longest losing streak against the euro since the creation of the latter currency 20 years ago. In recent weeks, the sterling has recorded its steepest losses ever when compared to major world currencies.
The pound dropped from just over €1.17 to under €1.14. It fell from over $1.32 to less than $1.27 versus the dollar – its lowest level since February.
Financial markets have declined over the past month over US and China trade war fears. Donald Trump’s administration raised the stakes by ramping up US tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Tensions raised as the US blacklisted the Chinese telecoms company Huawei. The FTSE 100 has fallen by more than 2% to trade at about 7,270.
UK inflation increased to above the government’s 2% target in April. Last week, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May resigned as the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party.
“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” said May outside No. 10 Downing St. in London during a speech at the end of which she shed a tear. May spent nearly three years trying to deliver the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The Bitcoin Brexit Boon
According to one expert, increasing numbers of millionaires in the UK are moving their cash into cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, due to fear over the possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.
With Conservative Party support waning thanks to Brexit chaos, a Corbyn-led Labour Party could take power. Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group (which has more than $12 billion under its advisement), believes the nation’s rich, fearing such a result, are turning to Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“High-net-worth individuals in Britain and wealthy international investors with UK assets and business know that they will be hit by Mr. Corbyn’s tax hikes on wealth, income and inheritance,” Green said. “As such, many of them aren’t waiting to find out how his anti-wealth rhetoric would play out, and more and more of them are seeking advice on established, legitimate overseas opportunities to create, build, and importantly, protect their wealth.”
He adds: “An increasing conversation we’re having with clients in this regard involves investing in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, in lower tax, crypto-friendly jurisdictions. In a broader sense, high-net-worth individuals are increasingly seeking exposure to the associated benefits of these digital assets as our recent global survey highlights. It can be expected that a Corbyn-led government will help fuel this trend.”
In analyzing the state of the Bitcoin network as a payment system, people often point to transactions per day. Yet, since Bitcoin is a one-to-many payments solution, meaning one transaction can have multiple recipients, to truly know the state of the payment network, one must dig a bit deeper.
Increasingly, people are catching onto the fact that outputs per day, as illustrated at Outputs.Today, which is a feature used by exchanges and senders of considerable bitcoin transactions to minimize the fees they must pay to miners.
Critics of Bitcoin as a payment network point towards high transaction fees, which have at various points through the lifecycle of bitcoin, such as in mid-2017, been a main critique of the network.
Exchanges have faced pressure to batch transactions, and thereby make better use of this scarce block space. Bitcoin’s scaling issues during periods of increased transactions meant that transactions took longer and cost more.
Exchanges, mixers, payment processors, and mining pools employ ‘batching’. A sender can do this by combining transactions into one input. This means the transaction input has multiple outputs (addresses to send bitcoin or recipient).
The Bitcoin mempool is a pool of bitcoin transactions that have as yet been confirmed. Sometimes this becomes congested and transactions slowed. By combining, say, 10 payments into one transaction, block space might be freed up. Transactions can have unlimited outputs. Batched transactions might have three or more outputs.
Outputs Per Day
Outputs.Today tracks ‘outputs per day’. The top of the website reads, “better indicator of overall economic activity on the bitcoin blockchain than transactions per day.”
The website claims the number of total outputs is a more accurate indicator than the number of transactions. “Large players in the Bitcoin space use batching – the process of including multiple outputs in a given transaction – to reduce their overall transaction fees,” the site says. “Therefore, looking at only transactions misses an important part of the picture.”
As seen in the chart above, the Average Outputs to Transaction Ratio declined throughout 2018. The ‘Average Outputs Per Block’ in 2018 approximately mirrored ‘Average Transactions Per Block’.
On January 4, 2018 we saw the average output per block reach a high of 7,420. The peak for Transactions Per Block came much earlier when there were 2,532 transactions per block on January 4.
Throughout 2018, the Average Outputs to Transaction Ratio has declined. So far in 2019, the use of transaction batching has been on a steady rise, and just recently, accompanying the price rise, it spiked.
This could be indicative of one particular important price indicator: buying demand.
While social media giant Facebook is reportedly moving forward with its own cryptocurrency, controversy surrounds the social networking platform this weekend.
CrossFit, which refers to itself as a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition, has removed its accounts from Facebook and Instagram, calling Facebook “utopian socialists”.
Meanwhile, a video manipulated to make Nancy Pelosi drunk and sluggish has made its rounds on the social media platform. Facebook says the video will remain online.
Facebook has been researching cryptocurrency as part of its entrance into the payments space.
While speaking at F8 last month, Zuckerberg said that sending money should be “as easy as sending a photo.”
The currency, reportedly to be called “GlobalCoin”, has been much discussed, especially as the social media giant brought on blockchain experts from San Francisco-based Coinbase, Mikheil Moucharrafie and Jeff Cartwright to work on compliance.
Facebook, which has invested in at least one blockchain company, has hired payment experts to develop a payment method for its WhatsApp messaging platform.
Plus, when Libra Networks registered its company in Switzerland, it became public that Facebook Global Holdings is a stakeholder therein. The fintech company is set to work on payments, data analytics, and investment activities, as well as house a software lab.
The Silicon Valley-based giant plans on increasing its employees in the European financial centers of London and Dublin.
Its Instagram shopping feature makes purchasing products and managing orders on the photo-sharing app possile, and it makes sense that a native payment solution is in the works.
The US Senate banking committee showed interested. In a letter to Zuckerberg in early May, the banking committee asked for details about the cryptocurrency and how Facebook would protect user data.
Last week, CrossFit accused Facebook of being “utopian socialists” upon leaving Facebook and Instagram. The social network had deleted a group dedicated to a particular type of diet, prompting CrossFit to leave the platforms, claiming Facebook deleted “without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan”, which advocated a diet aimed at eating “food that is as close to its natural state as possible – free of processing, additives, preservatives, and sugar.”
Facebook ultimately re-instated the group, but in the CrossFit statement, it outlines the reason it will remain off the platforms.
“All activity on CrossFit, Inc.’s Facebook and Instagram accounts was suspended as of May 22, 2019, as CrossFit investigates the circumstances pertaining to Facebook’s deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan and other well-known public complaints about the social-media company that may adversely impact the security and privacy of our global CrossFit community,” the statement read.
Reason 1: “Facebook collects and aggregates user information and shares it with state and federal authorities, as well as security organizations from other countries.”
Reason 2: “Facebook collaborates with government security agencies on massive citizen surveillance programs such as PRISM,.”
Reason 3: “Facebook censors and removes user accounts based on unknown criteria and at the request of third parties including government and foreign government agencies.”
Reason 4: “Facebook collects, aggregates, and sells user information as a matter of business. Its business model allows governments and businesses alike to use its algorithmically conjured advertising categories as sophisticated data-mining and surveillance tools.”
CrossFit even accused Facebook of censorship.
“Facebook’s news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook’s utopian socialists while remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns designed to stir up violence and prejudice,” it wrote.
The workout regimen added that CrossFit is a “voluntary user of and contributor to this marketplace, can and must remove itself from this particular manifestation of the public square when it becomes clear that such responsibilities are betrayed or reneged upon to the detriment of our community.”
It added: “Common decency demands that we do so, as do our convictions regarding fitness, health, and nutrition, which sit at the heart of CrossFit’s identity and prescription.”
Fake Nancy Pelosi Video
Beyond cryptocurreny and CrossFit, Facebook is also facing criticism over a fake video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). The video, which has been viewed millions of times, was apparently altered to make her appear drunk and sluggish. While YouTube removed duplicates, Facebook has said the video will remain on its platform.
Facebook agrees the video is “false”, and Monika Bickert, a company vice president for product policy and counterterrorism told CNN the video was reviewed by fact-checking organizations and the social networking platform than reduced its distribution, but did not remove it.
“We think it’s important for people to make their own informed choice for what to believe,” she said. “Our job is to make sure we are getting them accurate information.”
CNN host Anderson Cooper believes the answer is yes and pressed Bickert on her company’s responsibilities.
“You’re making money by being in the news business,” he said. “If you can’t do it well, shouldn’t you just get out of the news business?”
Bickert replied: “We aren’t in the news business. We’re in the social media business.”
But Cooper did not buy into that.
“The reason you’re sharing news is because you make money from it. . . . But if you’re in the news business, which you are, then you have to do it right. And this is false information you are spreading.”
Lawmakers are not happy.
Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) told Facebook to “fix this now!”
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted: “Facebook is very responsive to my office when I want to talk about federal legislation and suddenly get marbles in their mouths when we ask them about dealing with a fake video. It’s not that they cannot solve this; it’s that they refuse to do what is necessary.”
As well, the company is facing headlines regarding its having deleted 2.2 billion fake accounts from the platform from January to March, which surpasses a record high for the company.
“The health of the discourse is just as important as any financial reporting we do, so we should do it just as frequently,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with reporters on Thursday about the report. “Understanding the prevalence of harmful content will help companies and governments design better systems for dealing with it. I believe every major internet service should do this.”