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Bitcoin Crossed $10K for the First Time: Global Validation or Speculative Bubble?

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin Crosses $10K for the First Time: Global Validation or Speculative Bubble?

Bitcoin surpassed $10K yesterday. To many, the event was a mark of Bitcoin’s accomplishments. But yet, others are concerned that bitcoin has become too speculative, and a pop in the bubble could be damaging.  

Introduced in 2009, bitcoin sort of flew under most people’s radars for several years, until 2012, when it became associated with Silk Road, the now-defunct dark marketplace. This year the decentralized currency captured widestream attention, skyrocketing from $1,000 in February to where it sits today.

Some, like former Fortress hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, are calling bitcoin a “spectator’s dream” and forecasting prices in the $40,000 range in the next 12 months. Others, like Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz are less enamored: “So it seems to me it ought to be outlawed,” Stiglitz said Wednesday in a Bloomberg Television interview with hosts Francine Lacqua and Tom Keene. “It doesn’t serve any socially useful function.”

Here is what a few people from within the Bitcoin industry are saying.

Staying Power

Riccardo Spagni, core developer at privacy cryptocurrency Monero, told Bitcoin Magazine he hopes that bitcoin’s hitting the $10K mark offers proof to naysayers that despite its ups and downs, bitcoin is here to stay.

“I hope it demonstrates that bitcoin has value,” he said. “Because there are still people saying stuff like, ‘Oh, bitcoin is eventually going to die,’ or ‘It’s a bubble and tulip mania.’”

Much of the recent increase in bitcoin’s price has been fueled by institutional money. There are now 120 hedge funds solely focused on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But Spagni isn’t worried. He sees that as evidence that bitcoin has proven its stability and staying power to a larger pool of investors.

“Maybe this is the point where [institutional investors] find it palatable to enter the market,” he said. “They don’t want to enter a market for quick wins; they want to enter a market and purchase an asset because they know it is going to be around for 10 to 20 years, and I think that is what we are seeing now.”

Concerns

Patrick McCorry, a cryptocurrency researcher and PhD candidate at University College London, agrees the $10K mark signals a broader acceptance. “I think the fact that it has reached $10K is like a global validation of the entire community’s work and the principles that surround it,” he told Bitcoin Magazine.

“Five years ago, bitcoin was not even accepted as a concept, but over the last four years, it has seen a big push toward social and regulatory acceptance,” he said. For instance, Japan now accepts bitcoin as a currency, whereas in the U.S., the IRS still considers it to be property.

He is also concerned that the main driving force of bitcoin is speculation, rather than its utility. “It’s more a growing population of users who want to make a quick return,” he said. His worry is that if the bubble pops, people will inevitably lose money, and that could be damaging to bitcoin’s image.

“It was envisioned to be a payment system,” said McCorry, who pointed out that people are not using bitcoin for that purpose.

“I attended a bitcoin conference recently. We went to a bitcoin pub and nobody bought pints with bitcoin. The greatest advocates in the space, and nobody used [bitcoin] for its primary purpose,” he said. “So what is the primary purpose of bitcoin? Is it for payments for digital gold or speculation?”

Profitable Mining

Marco Krohn, co-founder and CFO of cryptocurrency mining company Genesis Mining, admits bitcoin’s rapid escalation in price took even him by surprise.

“I’ve been in this [space] since 2011, and this is the first time I’ve seen the bitcoin price go up like crazy,” he told Bitcoin Magazine. “Everybody who was in the business kind of expected it would go up, but by a factor of 10 was really surprising.”

He thinks the price could go even higher, though, especially when making the popular comparison of bitcoin to gold. “You have to take into account the market capitalization of bitcoin is only two percent of the market cap of gold,” he said.

As the price of bitcoin climbs, so does the demand for mining.

“You can imagine you are in the gold mining business and the next day, the price of gold is 10 times higher. Everyone would get his axe and dig for gold, and that is what is happening,” he said. “And this creates a run at the moment for mining because mining is so profitable that everyone wants to do it.”

According to Krohn, cloud miners are struggling to keep up with the demand right now. Recently, when moving to a new facility, Genesis had to sell a lot of its older mining gear to make room for new equipment, but everything sold in a flash. “Within two and a half days, everything sold,” he said. “It is just beyond description at the moment.”

Road Ahead

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of blockchain company IOHK, has been in the space long enough to remember when bitcoin was below $5. Over the past five years, he says he has watched the markets move in all kinds of directions.

In fact, as this story is being published, after cresting at over $11,000 today, bitcoin has already dipped below $10,000 and then risen again.

The current bitcoin market cap is $167 billion, and while Hoskinson thinks $10K is a great “psychological barrier” to cross, he suspects that with bitcoin’s routine ups and downs, we may see it again. After all, that is just how bitcoin is. In an email to Bitcoin Magazine, he wrote: “We might be crossing 10k more than once on the ride to a trillion dollar market cap.”

The post Bitcoin Crossed $10K for the First Time: Global Validation or Speculative Bubble? appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Coinbase VP: Bitcoin Price Volatility Will Decrease With Institutional Capital

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

The post Coinbase VP: Bitcoin Price Volatility Will Decrease With Institutional Capital appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

The Fed has no plans for its own cryptocurrency — at least for now

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

John Williams

  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the Fed is not working on its own digital currency, right now. 
  • Reuters reported Wednesday Williams said the Fed is paying attention to research on blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The Federal Reserve isn't planning on launching its own digital currency — at least for now. 

While speaking at an event at Arizona State University on Wednesday, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, John Williams, said the Fed is not working on its own digital currency, according to Reuters reporting.

But the Fed is paying attention to research on blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin, the news wire said. 

Earlier this year, Jerome Powell, a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, said a central bank digital currency would face privacy issues and competition from private enterprises, according to Bloomberg News

Other countries have appeared more open to the idea of a national cryptocurrency.

A group of Japanese banks are set to launch a new national digital currency in a bid to wean citizens off cash. As reported by Business Insider's Oscar Williams-Grut in September, a consortium led by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank plans to launch the new digital currency called "J-coin" by 2020. The project has the support of Japan's central bank and regulators.

Estonia, a nation in eastern Europe, considered launching its own state-run digital currency. However, the so-called "estcoin" never got off the ground because the European Central Bank ultimately put the kabash on the idea, according to Quartz.

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Goldman Sachs says bitcoin is a commodity

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Goldman Sachs

  • Bitcoin is more like gold than the US dollar, Jeff Currie, Goldman Sachs' head of commodities research, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
  • Bitcoin doesn't have the same amount of liquidity as gold though, which is the primary difference between the two.
  • Watch bitcoin's price move in real time here.


Bitcoin is a commodity, just like gold, according to Goldman Sachs' Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research.

Currie laid out his simple thinking behind why he sees bitcoin as a commodity, instead of a security or a currency, in an interview with Bloomberg TV:

"It's a commodity. A security, by definition, has a liability attached to it. Take a dollar bill, it has a liability to the US government. Commodities do not have liabilities. They are bearer assets, and when you think about it in that context, you look at bitcoin, it's not that much different than gold. I don't see why there's all this hostility toward it."

Currie's argument is that bitcoin doesn't answer to anyone. The price is set by the market and isn't backed by a central government, public company or private entity, just like gold.

Bitcoin is much more volatile than gold, however, and Currie explains that liquidity is the main cause of this. There is $8.3 trillion worth of gold above ground, while bitcoin has a market cap closer to $165 billion, making it much more volatile and much less liquid. 

"Central banks control an enormous amount of the supply of gold, which does not make it a complete substitute between bitcoin and gold," Currie said.

Curries comments came as bitcoin crossed, then fell back below, $10,000 a coin for the first time. Other, smaller cryptocurrencies like ether and litecoin also touched all-time highs on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs CEO Llyod Blankfein has stated previously that he is "still thinking" about bitcoin and hasn't come to any conclusions yet. The bank has said it is looking into how best to serve its clients interested in digital currencies, however.

Bitcoin's meteoric rise has grabbed the attention of more traditional players on Wall Street. Business Insider reported on Wednesday that Nasdaq, the exchange operator, plans to begin offering bitcoin futures next year. CME and Cboe, two exchange giants, have also announced plans to offer bitcoin futures, which could help with volatility in the market.

Read more about bitcoin's historic rise, and how it crossed $10,000 here.

bitcoin price chart

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin clears $10,000

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Investors are running out of money — and that's bad news for stocks

Goldman Sachs says bitcoin is a commodity

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Goldman Sachs

  • Bitcoin is more like gold than the US dollar, Jeff Currie, Goldman Sachs' head of commodities research, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
  • Bitcoin doesn't have the same amount of liquidity as gold though, which is the primary difference between the two.
  • Watch bitcoin's price move in real time here.


Bitcoin is a commodity, just like gold, according to Goldman Sachs' Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research.

Currie laid out his simple thinking behind why he sees bitcoin as a commodity, instead of a security or a currency, in an interview with Bloomberg TV:

"It's a commodity. A security, by definition, has a liability attached to it. Take a dollar bill, it has a liability to the US government. Commodities do not have liabilities. They are bearer assets, and when you think about it in that context, you look at bitcoin, it's not that much different than gold. I don't see why there's all this hostility toward it."

Currie's argument is that bitcoin doesn't answer to anyone. The price is set by the market and isn't backed by a central government, public company or private entity, just like gold.

Bitcoin is much more volatile than gold, however, and Currie explains that liquidity is the main cause of this. There is $8.3 trillion worth of gold above ground, while bitcoin has a market cap closer to $165 billion, making it much more volatile and much less liquid. 

"Central banks control an enormous amount of the supply of gold, which does not make it a complete substitute between bitcoin and gold," Currie said.

Curries comments came as bitcoin crossed, then fell back below, $10,000 a coin for the first time. Other, smaller cryptocurrencies like ether and litecoin also touched all-time highs on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs CEO Llyod Blankfein has stated previously that he is "still thinking" about bitcoin and hasn't come to any conclusions yet. The bank has said it is looking into how best to serve its clients interested in digital currencies, however.

Bitcoin's meteoric rise has grabbed the attention of more traditional players on Wall Street. Business Insider reported on Wednesday that Nasdaq, the exchange operator, plans to begin offering bitcoin futures next year. CME and Cboe, two exchange giants, have also announced plans to offer bitcoin futures, which could help with volatility in the market.

Read more about bitcoin's historic rise, and how it crossed $10,000 here.

bitcoin price chart

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin clears $10,000

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Investors are running out of money — and that's bad news for stocks

Goldman Sachs says bitcoin is a commodity

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Goldman Sachs

  • Bitcoin is more like gold than the US dollar, Jeff Currie, Goldman Sachs' head of commodities research, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
  • Bitcoin doesn't have the same amount of liquidity as gold though, which is the primary difference between the two.
  • Watch bitcoin's price move in real time here.


Bitcoin is a commodity, just like gold, according to Goldman Sachs' Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research.

Currie laid out his simple thinking behind why he sees bitcoin as a commodity, instead of a security or a currency, in an interview with Bloomberg TV:

"It's a commodity. A security, by definition, has a liability attached to it. Take a dollar bill, it has a liability to the US government. Commodities do not have liabilities. They are bearer assets, and when you think about it in that context, you look at bitcoin, it's not that much different than gold. I don't see why there's all this hostility toward it."

Currie's argument is that bitcoin doesn't answer to anyone. The price is set by the market and isn't backed by a central government, public company or private entity, just like gold.

Bitcoin is much more volatile than gold, however, and Currie explains that liquidity is the main cause of this. There is $8.3 trillion worth of gold above ground, while bitcoin has a market cap closer to $165 billion, making it much more volatile and much less liquid. 

"Central banks control an enormous amount of the supply of gold, which does not make it a complete substitute between bitcoin and gold," Currie said.

Curries comments came as bitcoin crossed, then fell back below, $10,000 a coin for the first time. Other, smaller cryptocurrencies like ether and litecoin also touched all-time highs on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs CEO Llyod Blankfein has stated previously that he is "still thinking" about bitcoin and hasn't come to any conclusions yet. The bank has said it is looking into how best to serve its clients interested in digital currencies, however.

Bitcoin's meteoric rise has grabbed the attention of more traditional players on Wall Street. Business Insider reported on Wednesday that Nasdaq, the exchange operator, plans to begin offering bitcoin futures next year. CME and Cboe, two exchange giants, have also announced plans to offer bitcoin futures, which could help with volatility in the market.

Read more about bitcoin's historic rise, and how it crossed $10,000 here.

bitcoin price chart

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin clears $10,000

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How the iPhone X could make Apple a $1 trillion company

Goldman Sachs says bitcoin is a commodity

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Goldman Sachs

  • Bitcoin is more like gold than the US dollar, Jeff Currie, Goldman Sachs' head of commodities research, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
  • Bitcoin doesn't have the same amount of liquidity as gold though, which is the primary difference between the two.
  • Watch bitcoin's price move in real time here.


Bitcoin is a commodity, just like gold, according to Goldman Sachs' Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research.

Currie laid out his simple thinking behind why he sees bitcoin as a commodity, instead of a security or a currency, in an interview with Bloomberg TV:

"It's a commodity. A security, by definition, has a liability attached to it. Take a dollar bill, it has a liability to the US government. Commodities do not have liabilities. They are bearer assets, and when you think about it in that context, you look at bitcoin, it's not that much different than gold. I don't see why there's all this hostility toward it."

Currie's argument is that bitcoin doesn't answer to anyone. The price is set by the market and isn't backed by a central government, public company or private entity, just like gold.

Bitcoin is much more volatile than gold, however, and Currie explains that liquidity is the main cause of this. There is $8.3 trillion worth of gold above ground, while bitcoin has a market cap closer to $165 billion, making it much more volatile and much less liquid. 

"Central banks control an enormous amount of the supply of gold, which does not make it a complete substitute between bitcoin and gold," Currie said.

Curries comments came as bitcoin crossed, then fell back below, $10,000 a coin for the first time. Other, smaller cryptocurrencies like ether and litecoin also touched all-time highs on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs CEO Llyod Blankfein has stated previously that he is "still thinking" about bitcoin and hasn't come to any conclusions yet. The bank has said it is looking into how best to serve its clients interested in digital currencies, however.

Bitcoin's meteoric rise has grabbed the attention of more traditional players on Wall Street. Business Insider reported on Wednesday that Nasdaq, the exchange operator, plans to begin offering bitcoin futures next year. CME and Cboe, two exchange giants, have also announced plans to offer bitcoin futures, which could help with volatility in the market.

Read more about bitcoin's historic rise, and how it crossed $10,000 here.

bitcoin price chart

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin clears $10,000

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How the iPhone X could make Apple a $1 trillion company

TECH STOCKS PLUNGE: Here's what you need to know

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

cracked screen chromebook

Tech stocks had a bad day. The FANG stocks — Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google — saw their biggest intraday drop in 22 months. 

Meanwhile, bitcoin had a wild day of trading, surging past $11,000 a day after it rose above $10,000, before falling by more than 20%. 

Here's the scoreboard: 

  • Dow: 23,924.18 +87.47 (0.37%)
  • S&P 500: 2,624.50 -2.54 (-0.10%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,816.72 -95.64 (-1.38%)
  1. The second estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product showed the US economy grew at a 3.3% annualized rate. This was the strongest growth since Q3 2014.
  2. Chipotle founder and CEO Steve Ells said on Wednesday he would step down and the chain would look for a new bossThis is the second time in less than a year that Chipotle has announced a CEO change.
  3. Nasdaq is preparing to launch bitcoin futures contracts. Two Chicago-based exchanges, CME and CBOE, have also announced bitcoin futures products, which would allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin.
  4. Amazon said Cyber Monday was its single-biggest shopping day ever. Though the company enjoyed a 17% increase in Thanksgiving holiday sales from the previous year, its stock was under pressure on Wednesday as investors rotated out of the the broader tech space.

Additionally: 

GOLDMAN SACHS: Pain is coming for investors with markets the most expensive since 1900

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Bitcoin's price collapsed and people couldn't trade because two big exchanges crashed

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As Bitcoin Passes $11,000 Regulators Are Accelerating The Adoption of Blockchain 3.0 Technology

Inc, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Distributed ledger technology is here to stay and who knows when the cryptocurrency will slow down. Regulators and technologists are moving forward regardless.

Nasdaq plans to offer bitcoin futures in early 2018

Engadget, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin continues to grow, hitting a $11,000 price per coin valuation less than a day after it topped $10,000. The cryptocurrency has been normalizing with investors, getting its own federally-regulated exchange this past July. Now, Nasdaq is plannin...

Don’t expect AWS to launch a blockchain service anytime soon

TechCrunch, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

 Bitcoin may be reaching for new heights, but don’t expect AWS to launch a service that’s based on the underlying blockchain technology anytime soon. During a press conference at AWS’ annual re:Invent conference in Last Vegas, AWS CEO Andy Jassy took a question on his team’s plans for a blockchain service. Jassy seemed anything but enthused about the prospect. Read More

Bitcoin Price Falls $1,000 in Minutes to Drop Below $10k

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The price of bitcoin experienced a dramatic decline today at a time when many major exchanges were showing signs of stress from new interest.

Investors ‘Risk’ Buying Bitcoin At High Prices: ECB Vice President

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

The post Investors ‘Risk’ Buying Bitcoin At High Prices: ECB Vice President appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

A Greener Cryptocurrency From Bittorrent Inventor, Bram Cohen

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A Greener Cryptocurrency From Bittorrent Inventor, Bram Cohen

The inventor of Bittorrent has now turned his attention to blockchain technology and building a greener Bitcoin called Chia. Bram Cohen released Bittorrent to the world in 2004, but, in early 2017, he stepped away from the company he built to focus on blockchain technology. A very technical paper was co-authored by Cohen and released in September 2017 titled "Beyond Hellman's Time-Memory Trade-Offs with Applications to Proofs of Space," that covered “Proofs of Space” as a blockchain consensus method. Then, in November 2017, Chia was announced to the world, with a presentation available and the associated slides covering the concepts they plan to develop.

Engineering work has begun on the resurrected Proof of Space (PoSpace) protocol that makes use of empty space on your hardrive and adding another consensus algorithm, Proof of Time (PoT), to both get around problems with a pure PoSpace protocol, and the energy-consuming, heat-producing Proof of Work (PoW) performed by Bitcoin.

Visa says they process 150 million transactions per day, while Bitcoin processes only about 300,000. Those Bitcoin transactions come at a cost, however; it is estimated that Bitcoin energy consumption is currently around 30 terawatt-hours per year. The average home in the U.S. consumes about 11 megawatt-hours per year, which works out to about 3 million homes worth of electricity consumption. Cohen plans to change all that by replacing proof-of-work miners with what he calls “farmers.”

btc energy chartbtc energy chartSource: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

How It Will Work

The goal is to make a better bitcoin, fix the centralization problems, reduce the environmental impact and remove the instability that can happen when miners have an excessive amount of influence on mining operations from cheap electricity and massive mining operations.

Chia is calling it “farming” instead of “mining” because it is more environmentally friendly and there is no massive energy consumption or wasted heat. This model opens up the farming operation to anyone that has free disk space. In the PoSpace system, farmers will allocate unused disk space to the network. The chances of successfully mining a block are going to be proportional to the amount of space allocated divided by the total capacity of the network. With a 4TB hard drive going for as little as $100 these days, it will even be simple and inexpensive to create a dedicated Chia farm.

According to Cohen's presentation on Chia, they have solved various problems with PoSpace, including grinding attacks, by adding PoT and alternating between them. To quote from his presentation on both: "When a new block is minted, it propagates rapidly to all full nodes and farmers start working on top of it. When a farmer finds a new block, they publish it to the network.

“Farmers all find the best proof of space they have and the three best proofs of space propagate through the whole network, and proofs-of-time servers start working on top of them. When a proof-of-time server finishes the proof of time for a proof of space, it publishes the whole thing as a fully validated block and publishes it to the network to be built on top of again. Each block starts with a proof of space and is finalized with a proof of time."

There is only a small number of PoT servers running currently, and, if two people are running the same PoT on something, they will get the same answer. Since there is no direct incentive in the protocol for doing proofs of time, and the only way to process more PoSpace transactions would be to coordinate with PoSpace farmers, the system is less prone to abuse and centralization of power.

Furthermore, they contend that PoSpace is made to be non-outsourceable, so when trying to run a mining pool, if a device in the pool wins the block, that device/owner can only keep it for themselves and not give it to the pool. How this works in practice is not clear at this stage.

PoSpace is ASIC resistant, with disc space so cheap and prevalent now; however, PoT could certainly be optimized in hardware with specialized chips. Unlike PoW though, a PoT chip has many potential uses outside of farming cryptocurrency. Even if PoT servers remain scarce and centralized so that they always win the block, they are acting as part of the entire ecosystem, not controlling it. Conceptually, this brings a lot of democracy back to the generation of blockchain blocks.

Chia has raised an undisclosed amount of money to get started and are currently looking to hire software developers to accelerate the development of Chia with the intent of releasing in 2018. After the release, the goal for Chia is to eventually implement the Lightning Network for more efficient transactions.

The post A Greener Cryptocurrency From Bittorrent Inventor, Bram Cohen appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

American Airlines is facing a 'crisis' after thousands of flights are left without a pilot Christmas week (AA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

American Airlines

  • Thousands of American Airlines flights may not have pilots during the last two weeks of December. 
  • The shortage is occurring because a glitch in the company's scheduling system allowed for too many pilots to take off at the same time. 
  • A spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association calls the incident a "crisis."


American Airlines is having its own nightmare before Christmas. 

More than 15,000 American flights between December 17-31 do not yet have pilots because the airline accidentally gave all of its pilots that time off, according to the Allied Pilots Association.

The issue stems from a glitch in the company's scheduling system, the union said. 

“Basically there’s a crisis at American for manning the cockpits,” Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union, told Reuters

Pilots were told about the scheduling problem on Friday, the union said. 

A spokesperson for the airline told Bloomberg that the carrier is offering up 150% of its regular hourly wage to pilots willing to pick up certain flights. 

“We are working through this to make sure we take care of our pilots and get our customers where they need to go over the holiday,” the American Airlines spokesman said. 

But the union says that this actually violates its labor pact. 

American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  

This story is developing, check back for updates. 

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Bitcoin collapses below $10,000 — gives up all of its gains

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

bitcoin below 10k

Bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the first time on Wednesday, after crossing the milestone just a day earlier.

The crypto currency is now trading 13% below its peak of $11,413.03, according to data from Markets Insider.

Other currencies like Ethereum and litecoin also crossed major milestones in the past 24 hours. Ethereum traded above $500 for the first time, and litecoin above $100, but both have since fallen below those marks as well.

Watch bitcoin trade in real time on Markets Insider.

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NOW WATCH: One type of ETF is taking over the market

Bitcoin collapses below $10,000 — gives up all of its gains

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

bitcoin below 10k

Bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the first time on Wednesday, after crossing the milestone just a day earlier.

The crypto currency is now trading 13% below its peak of $11,413.03, according to data from Markets Insider.

Other currencies like Ethereum and litecoin also crossed major milestones in the past 24 hours. Ethereum traded above $500 for the first time, and litecoin above $100, but both have since fallen below those marks as well.

Watch bitcoin trade in real time on Markets Insider.

SEE ALSO: Nvidia is getting hit harder than the rest of the tech sector

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NOW WATCH: One type of ETF is taking over the market

Nvidia is getting hit harder than the rest of the tech sector (NVDA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

FILE PHOTO: Nvidia co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang attends an event during the annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu



Shares of Nvidia are down 5.30% to $199.71 on Wednesday, as the tech sector at large sells off.

The slide on Wednesday continues Nvidia's fall from the previous day, which came after Mizuho analyst Vijay Rakesh called an end to the crypto boom for Nvidia and other graphics chip makers. Nvidia's graphics cards are often used by cryptocurrency "miners" to try and speed up their systems, and the company has seen increased demand as cryptocurrencies skyrocket in value.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have hit several major milestones this week, including bitcoin's crossing of $10,000 per coin for the first time ever on Tuesday.

Nvidia's declines are more than double many of the larger tech companies that also saw a decline on Wednesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index was down 1.57%, and the FANG stocks were all down around 3% as investors likely rolled their tech investments into other areas.

Nvidia is up 95.17% this year, despite the recent declines.

Read more about the end of the crypto boom for Nvidia and AMD.

nvidia stock price

SEE ALSO: MIZUHO: The crypto boom is over for AMD and Nvidia

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NOW WATCH: The stock market is flashing warning signs

Two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges are experiencing issues as bitcoin surges past $11,000

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Brothers Cameron (L) and Tyler Winklevoss talk to each other as they attend a New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) virtual currency hearing in the Manhattan borough of New York January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

  • Two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini, both crashed on Wednesday morning.
  • Coinbase said it saw "all-time high traffic" which contributed to system outages.
  • Bitcoin soared over $11,000 on Wednesday, after hitting a record high of $10,000 on Tuesday. 


 

Two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the US crashed on Wednesday as bitcoin mayhem sent prices for the cryptocurrency surging above $11,000 a pop.

Users of the digital exchanges Coinbase and Gemini saw slowed performance on the websites, and in some cases still cannot log into their accounts. 

Coinbase, which has exchanged over $50 billion since its launch in 2012, posted about a "partial system outage" on Wednesday.

Dave Farmer, director of Business Operations at Coinbase, said that the company experienced "all-time high traffic" early Wednesday morning, which gave some users slower performance.

"Should be fully resolved in the next couple of hours," Farmer said in prepared remarks.

Gemini, the exchange started by Facebook's notorious Winklevoss twins in 2015, showed many users a "504 Gateway Time-out" message, which means its servers were not responding to requests. The company posted on its status page that "systems are currently experiencing degraded performance."

As of 10:08 am pacific time, Gemini's system was under maintenance.

Gemini exchange issues

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin has been on a wild ride since crossing $10,000

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Billionaire Bull Novogratz: Bitcoin Will be the ‘Biggest Bubble of Our Lifetimes’ [And That’s Okay]

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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What you need to know on Wall Street today

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Chipotle Burrito

Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

Snap Inc. announced the biggest redesign in Snapchat's six-year history, featuring a new kind of algorithmically sorted feed that borrows ideas from the likes of Facebook and Netflix. Business Insider first reported details of the planned redesign earlier this month. So far, markets have not responded enthusiastically

Chipotle's founder plans to step down as the struggling chain begins the hunt for a new CEO — news that sent the company's stock soaring. The company is facing a reckoning — we visited a Chipotle and saw why it may never be the same again

Secretive trading firm Jump Trading is undergoing a shakeup. CTO Steve Hunt has left the firm after a tenure of more than a decade, Business Insider reports. 

US GDP surged to 3.3% in the third quarter — the best level since 2014.

In other markets news:

And in Washington: 

ESPN is laying off another 150 employees, most of which worked behind the scenes. The network laid off almost 300 employees in 2015, and in April, 100 more employees were let go, including many on-air personalities.

Lastly, here are the 50 best beaches in the world, according to travel experts.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund explains the value in cryptocurrency — and why the market will explode over the next 2 years

Bitcoin 'Ought to Be Outlawed,' Economist Joseph Stiglitz Says

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin "doesn’t serve any socially useful function," says Joseph Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist and onetime adviser to the U.S. president.

Bitcoin has been on a wild ride since crossing $10,000

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

bitcoin price chart

Watch the price of Bitcoin move in real time on Markets Insider.

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin breaks $11,000, less than 24 hours after passing $10,000 for the first time

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How the iPhone X could make Apple a $1 trillion company

Bitcoin has been on a wild ride since crossing $10,000

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

bitcoin price chart

Watch the price of Bitcoin move in real time on Markets Insider.

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin breaks $11,000, less than 24 hours after passing $10,000 for the first time

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How the iPhone X could make Apple a $1 trillion company

Bitcoin Price Flash Crashes to $10,075 as Market Goes Berserk

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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The Ethereum Killer Is Ethereum 2.0: Vitalik Buterin’s Roadmap

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

VitalikTalk.jpg

Speaking on November 25 at BeyondBlock Taipei 2017, Ethereum inventor and co-founder Vitalik Buterin outlined his vision for Ethereum 2.0. He described major changes in Ethereum’s architecture that are likely to be implemented over the next few years to improve Ethereum in terms of privacy, safety (consensus safety and smart contract safety) and, of course, scalability, which was the main focus of Buterin’s talk.

Buterin doesn’t seem worried about competitors. “The Ethereum killer is Ethereum, the Ethereum of China is Ethereum, the Ethereum of Taiwan is Ethereum… 2.0,” he said.

The fact that Ethereum is booming seems to confirm Buterin’s optimism. ETH’s price has been relentlessly climbing, recently reaching almost $500, and Ethereum is handling more transactions than all other major blockchains combined.

Decentralization, scalability and security are among the important properties that blockchain systems should have, but there are conflicts. Off-chain solutions are useful, but limited. According to Buterin, it’s very easy to have two of these properties but very hard to have all three. However, Ethereum’s ambitious goal should be that of achieving all three at the same time. “We want to scale to thousands of transactions per second, on chain, without any supernodes,” reads one of Buterin’s slides.

Sharding

Sharding — dividing a blockchain network into several smaller component networks (called shards) capable of processing transactions in parallel — is considered to be a promising way to achieve high throughputs comparable to the thousands of transactions per second of traditional payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard.

“You can think of [sharding] as, in a fairly simple version, creating a blockchain where you have, let’s say, a hundred different universes, and each of these universes is a different account space,” said Buterin. “So you can have an account in some universe or you can have a contract in some universe and you can send a transaction in some universe, and if you send a transaction in some universe it only affects stuff in some universe.

“But these kind of 100 universes are not just separate blockchains; they are systems that are also interconnected with each other,” continued Buterin. “Particularly, they share consensus. So in order to break even one of them, you have to break the whole thing.”

Buterin went on to describe relatively easy and more sophisticated ways to implement sharding in the Ethereum blockchain, outlining a sharding roadmap that foresees, at least initially, the creation of new “universes” that don’t impact the main chain while permitting iterative experimentation, such as introducing higher levels of scalability, starting with “quadratic scalability as nodes validate certain shards and act as light clients for other shards.”

Privacy

Buterin noted that zero-knowledge proof (zk-Snarks) privacy technology equivalent to Zcash has been implemented in the recent “Byzantium” Ethereum upgrade, offering application developers new ways to implement tighter privacy. These new privacy tools will permit showing transactions to specific parties while hiding them from public view. Buterin went as far as saying that the privacy problem is now three quarters of the way to being solved.

Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake

A major upgrade to Ethereum will be the introduction of Proof of Stake (PoS) in Casper which, according to Buterin, might be ready by next summer. With the first release of Casper, Ethereum will transition from pure Proof of Work (PoW) to hybrid PoW/PoS. “In this scheme, all of the proof-of-work mechanics will continue to exist, but additional proof-of-stake mechanics will be added,” noted Buterin.

The main reason why PoS is seen as a necessary development is, of course, the need to reduce the energy requirements of PoW blockchains like the current versions of Ethereum and Bitcoin. A recent report claims that Bitcoin mining consumes as much power in a year as 159 countries, which is clearly far too much, and Buterin admitted that today’s Ethereum isn’t any better than Bitcoin in that respect.

Smart Contract Security

Smart contracts implemented with Turing-complete programming languages are arguably the main innovation introduced by Ethereum. While smart contracts are finding countless applications and moving lots of money, the security and safety of Ethereum smart contracts have been questioned. Buterin confirmed that Ethereum will eventually introduce formal verification for smart contracts and that a new Python-like smart-contract programming language — dubbed “Viper” — is being implemented to enable the development of safer Ethereum applications.

While Buterin hasn’t said anything that he has not said in previous talks and papers, his BeyondBlock talk served as a useful confirmation and summary of the ambitious Ethereum development roadmap.

Besides Buterin’s talk, all the talks given at BeyondBlock Taipei 2017 are included in the full video recordings of the morning session and the afternoon session.

The post The Ethereum Killer Is Ethereum 2.0: Vitalik Buterin’s Roadmap appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Futures Trading is Coming to Nasdaq, the World’s Second Largest Stock Market

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Nasdaq is set to launch bitcoin futures

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

adena friedman

  • Nasdaq, the exchange operater based in New York, is preparing to launch a bitcoin futures contracts. 
  • Bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, soared over $11,000 on Wednesday. 
  • Bitcoin futures would allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin.

 

Nasdaq is hopping on the bitcoin bandwagon. 

The exchange operator is set to launch a bitcoin futures product next year, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider. 

Two Chicago-based exchanges, CME and Cboe, have announced their own bitcoin futures products. Such products would likely dampen bitcoin's spine-tingling volatility and help the coin further push into the mainstream. 

Bitcoin has been on a tear since the US Thanksgiving holday, blowing past $10,000 on Monday and then $11,000 on Tuesday. 

It is up more than 900% year-to-date. 

The story is breaking. Check back for updates.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund explains the value in cryptocurrency — and why the market will explode over the next 2 years

China State TV: OTC Bitcoin Platforms May Violate Regulation

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Commentary on China's state television suggests a ban on cryptocurrency trading platforms may extend further than startups originally thought.

Bank deputy warns of Bitcoin bubble risks

BBC, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Investors should "do their homework", says Bank of England official, as Bitcoin passes $11,000.

Nasdaq Plans Bitcoin Futures Launch in 2018: Wall Street Journal

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Bitcoin Exchange Coinbase Suffers Outage During Trading Frenzy and Record Highs

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Daily chart: Bitcoin hits $11,000

The Economist, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Main image:  ALTHOUGH it may defy all reason, it should surprise no one that the price of bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, has just passed $11,000. Bitcoin’s ascent has been dizzying: four days ago it was worth less than $9,000 and a year ago it was worth less than $800. The cryptocurrency has plenty of doubters, including Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase, a bank. In September Mr Dimon declared that bitcoin was a “fraud”, and that he would fire any employee found trading the cryptocurrency for being “stupid”. Markets were initially rattled, but have regained their resolve. The price of bitcoin has since risen by around 160%.Bitcoin’s boosters argue that the currency is valuable because its supply is limited to 21m, a number no central bank can change. But its rapid appreciation should still worry all who hold it. What has changed in the past ten days to suggest that bitcoin should be worth $11,000 rather than, say, $8,000? Bubbles also burst. 20171129 15:10:04 Comment Expiry Date:  Thu, 2017-12-14

Ripple Splash: TechCrunch Founder Launches $100 Million XRP Hedge Fund

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Bitcoin Topping $11k And Ethereum Hitting $515 Shouldn't Surprise Anyone, Here's Why

Inc, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Here's the inside scoop on what's happening.

Ethereum hits new high above $500

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

  • Ethereum passes $500 per coin for the first time on Wednesday.
  • The cryptocurrency has risen over 5,000% so far this year. The rally has been supported by the popularity of "initial coin offerings" that use the Ethereum network.


LONDON — Ethereum passed $500 for the first time on Wednesday.

The digital currency is up over 8% against the dollar at close to 2.30 p.m. GMT (9.30 a.m. ET).ethereumThe price surge mirrors that of bitcoin, which passed $10,000 per coin for the first time on Tuesday evening and has already surpassed $11,000 per coin.

The cryptocurrency market has ballooned in size this year to over $330 billion amid a flurry of interest from retail investors. Ethereum itself has risen over 5,000% in 2017.

Ethereum's price rise has been supported by the boom in popularity of initial coin offerings, where startups issue digital coins in exchange for real money to fund their projects. Most issuances are based on the ethereum blockchain and this usage has pushed up the price.

Charles Hayter, the CEO of Cryptocompare, said in an email on Wednesday: "To invest in many of these ICOs one must use Bitcoin or Ethereum in the majority of cases. $3.2 Million was invested in January 2017, this has increased to a peak of over $720 Million in June.

"With a total of $3.8 Billion invested to date, the vast majority of which has been invested in 2017. The ICO craze has had a much more significant impact on the price of Ethereum which is the primary way to invest in ICOs."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what Bernie Madoff's life is like in prison

Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at JonesTrading, has an overview of today's markets.

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  Global Futures continue higher, driven by a bevy of positive Macro headers (Tax thru Senate Committee, Powell on Banks, London on Brexit) outweighing concerns of North Korea’s latest attack on the Ocean.   US Futures up 20-30bp, mirroring action overseas.  The DAX is climbing 1% in decent volume - Banks leading stock markets in Europe and Japan higher after Powell’s Testimony yesterday caused US Banks to have their best day since March, pushing EU Fins up 1.5%, while Autos are jumping on Daimler headers.  The EU Periphery is strong, driven by Greece up 2% as their Banks rip nearly 8% higher as positive headers roll.   The Pound Rally a big headwind for FTSE tho, with London trading off 60bp as their Exporters get mushed.   Asia shrugged off the North’s latest missile test - TOPIX up 80bp - Hang Seng lost 20bp - Shanghai added small, rebounding from early weakness - KOSPI basically unch despite Samsung continuing to be under pressure - Vietnam up 1.2% on reports the Government is selling ½ its stake in Saigon Beer, and Aussie up 50bp

Ahead of Yellen at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress today, the US 10YY is drifting near yesterday’s highs, just under 2.35% as bunds see some slight selling pressure.   The DXY is basically unchanged, recovering from early losses as the Pound climbs to two-month high on Brexit divorce bill settlement.  Euro was climbing after strong German regional inflation readings, but has surrendered most gains.  Korea’s Won and Japan’s Yen showing no reaction to the North’s latest Missile Test.   Gold off small, but eyes on Bitcoin up another 8% and well thru $10,000.  Ore jumping another 1.6%, while Spot Rebar squeezes higher in China, but we have Copper getting hit for 70bp early.   WTI still seeing sellers into the OPEC call tomorrow as API inventories showed another build, against expectations for a drawdown, while Natty continues the recent upward trajectory, gaining 2.5% early.

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How the iPhone X could make Apple a $1 trillion company

Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at JonesTrading, has an overview of today's markets.

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  Global Futures continue higher, driven by a bevy of positive Macro headers (Tax thru Senate Committee, Powell on Banks, London on Brexit) outweighing concerns of North Korea’s latest attack on the Ocean.   US Futures up 20-30bp, mirroring action overseas.  The DAX is climbing 1% in decent volume - Banks leading stock markets in Europe and Japan higher after Powell’s Testimony yesterday caused US Banks to have their best day since March, pushing EU Fins up 1.5%, while Autos are jumping on Daimler headers.  The EU Periphery is strong, driven by Greece up 2% as their Banks rip nearly 8% higher as positive headers roll.   The Pound Rally a big headwind for FTSE tho, with London trading off 60bp as their Exporters get mushed.   Asia shrugged off the North’s latest missile test - TOPIX up 80bp - Hang Seng lost 20bp - Shanghai added small, rebounding from early weakness - KOSPI basically unch despite Samsung continuing to be under pressure - Vietnam up 1.2% on reports the Government is selling ½ its stake in Saigon Beer, and Aussie up 50bp

Ahead of Yellen at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress today, the US 10YY is drifting near yesterday’s highs, just under 2.35% as bunds see some slight selling pressure.   The DXY is basically unchanged, recovering from early losses as the Pound climbs to two-month high on Brexit divorce bill settlement.  Euro was climbing after strong German regional inflation readings, but has surrendered most gains.  Korea’s Won and Japan’s Yen showing no reaction to the North’s latest Missile Test.   Gold off small, but eyes on Bitcoin up another 8% and well thru $10,000.  Ore jumping another 1.6%, while Spot Rebar squeezes higher in China, but we have Copper getting hit for 70bp early.   WTI still seeing sellers into the OPEC call tomorrow as API inventories showed another build, against expectations for a drawdown, while Natty continues the recent upward trajectory, gaining 2.5% early.

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Tesla's biggest problem is one nobody saw coming

Bitcoin Cash Plans to Increase Its Block Size, Again

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin cash could have its block size increased next year, according to an early roadmap from Bitcoin ABC.

Pound hits two-month high after £50bn Brexit bill reports – business live

The Guardian, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Sterling is rallying amid reports that the UK has bowed to EU demands on the Brexit divorce bill, in an attempt to start discussing trade

The price of bitcoin is going up even faster than Britain’s potential Brexit bill.

The cryptocurrency smashed through the $10,000 mark overnight, and is currently changing hands at $10,900.

Bitcoin -
Over $10,000 today
Under $1,000 on Jan. 1
Up nearly 1,000% this year pic.twitter.com/SpE22fw3ZZ

Bitcoin vs other “bubbles”: on track to surpass the original Tulip mania pic.twitter.com/YCqMb1jeR6

“This is not a currency in the accepted sense. There’s no central bank that stands behind it. For me it’s much more like a commodity.

“This is not at a size where it’s a macroeconomic risk to the global economy, but when prices are moving like that, my view would be investors need to do their homework.”

Related: Bitcoin too small to threaten world economy, says Bank of England deputy

Back to Brexit, and the BBC’s Katya Adler reports that some EU officials are irritated that the £50bn settlement hit the headlines last night.

Although they do want money from the UK, they don’t want to be bounced into an agreement. They also don’t accept that any payment will guarantee Britain the post-Brexit deal it wants...

If and when an agreement on the Brexit bill is made, the EU will push back hard at UK government assertions that Brexit financial payments be tied to a future trade and transition deal.

Brussels insists this is money the UK owes - dating back to commitments made on annual and long-term budgets while an EU member.

#Brexit Bill doesn’t ‘buy’ a good trade deal .. The view - and my thoughts -from Brussels https://t.co/eQVmcsSluw

Continue reading...

trade.io Trade Token to Be Listed on HitBTC Exchange

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Overstretched? Bitcoin Price on Shaky Ground After 1,000% Gains

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin prices are showing the first signs of bull market exhaustion, with several indicators suggesting overbought conditions.

Bitcoin Price Hits $11,000 Global Average as Altoin Markets Shatter Records

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The mania surrounding bitcoin is also spilling over to the altcoin market.

The post Bitcoin Price Hits $11,000 Global Average as Altoin Markets Shatter Records appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Bitcoin Price Hits $11,000 Global Average as Altoin Markets Shatter Records

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The mania surrounding bitcoin is also spilling over to the altcoin market.

The post Bitcoin Price Hits $11,000 Global Average as Altoin Markets Shatter Records appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

“Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague”, We’ll Talk When It’s $100: Vanguard Founder

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Another Wall Street giant joins the bitcoin bashing brigade.

The post “Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague”, We’ll Talk When It’s $100: Vanguard Founder appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, ROKU)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

North Korea missile

Here is what you need to know.

Yellen testifiesFed Chair Janet Yellen will give her economic outlook before the Joint Economic Committee, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. 

The pound is rallying after the UK reportedly agrees to a Brexit billThe British pound trades up 0.49% at 1.3406 versus the US dollar following reports the United Kingdom and European Union agreed to a Brexit "divorce bill" worth about 50 billion pounds.  

Oil is sliding ahead of OPECBrent crude oil, the international benchmark, trades down 1.15% at $62.64 a barrel ahead of Thursday's meeting of OPEC ministers which is expected to lead to an extension of the production cuts introduced last November. 

Bitcoin is closing in on $11,000The cryptocurrency crossed the $10,900 level less than 24 hours after clearing $10,000 for the first time.   

The head of the London Stock Exchange is outCEO Xavier Rolet is leaving "with immediate effect" after losing a shareholder battle. 

Uber's loss widensThe ride-hailing app's loss widened from $1.1 billion in the second quarter to $1.46 billion in the third quarter, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. 

Short seller Andrew Left is targetting RokuThe Twitter account of Andrew Left's Citron Research fired out a series of tweets on Tuesday suggesting Roku, the video streaming device maker which has gained more than 200% since its initial public offering in September, is a "total joke." 

Stock markets around the world are higherJapan's Nikkei (+0.49%) led the gains in Asia and Germany's DAX (+0.8%) paces the advance in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,629.

Earnings reporting is lightTiffany reports ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data keeps comingGDP — Second Estimate will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before pending home sales and the Fed's Beige Book cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET, respectively. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.34%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, ROKU)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

North Korea missile

Here is what you need to know.

Yellen testifies. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will give her economic outlook before the Joint Economic Committee, beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

The pound is rallying after the UK reportedly agrees to a Brexit bill. The British pound trades up 0.49% at 1.3406 versus the US dollar following reports that the United Kingdom and the European Union agreed to a Brexit "divorce bill" worth about 50 billion pounds.

Oil is sliding ahead of OPEC. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, trades down 1.15% at $62.64 a barrel ahead of Thursday's meeting of OPEC ministers that is expected to lead to an extension of the production cuts introduced last November.

Bitcoin is closing in on $11,000. The cryptocurrency crossed the $10,900 level less than 24 hours after clearing $10,000 for the first time.

The head of the London Stock Exchange is out. CEO Xavier Rolet is leaving "with immediate effect" after losing a shareholder battle.

Uber's loss widens. The ride-hailing app's loss widened from $1.1 billion in the second quarter to $1.46 billion in the third quarter, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Short seller Andrew Left is targeting Roku. The Twitter account of Andrew Left's Citron Research fired out a series of tweets on Tuesday suggesting that Roku, the video-streaming-device maker that has gained more than 200% since its initial public offering in September, was a "total joke."

Stock markets around the world are higher. Japan's Nikkei (+0.49%) led the gains in Asia and Germany's DAX (+0.8%) paces the advance in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,629.

Earnings reporting is light. Tiffany reports ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data keeps coming. GDP — Second Estimate will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before pending-home sales and the Fed's Beige Book cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.34%.

Join the conversation about this story »

$10,884: Bitcoin Price Achieves New All-Time High Amidst Strong Rally

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Trump's new pick for the country's top health position is going to the Senate today — where he'll be grilled about drug pricing

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Alex Azar

  • President Donald Trump's new pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, is set to answer senators' questions in a hearing on Wednesday. 
  • Azar has drawn criticism, especially from Democratic senators, for his tenure at Eli Lilly.
  • While he was at the company, the price of insulin, a life-saving drug used by people with diabetes, increased by about 300%. 

 

The Senate's Health committee is holding a confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Alex Azar, President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Since his nomination, Azar has drawn criticism for his tenure at Eli Lilly. While at the company, the price of insulin, a life-saving drug used by people with diabetes, increased by about 300%. 

Within his capacity as HHS secretary, Azar would be responsible for finding ways to decrease prescription drug costs: The Department of Health and Human Services oversees health agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates pharmaceutical and medical device makers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which pay for prescription drugs.

"He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices," President Donald Trump said in a tweet announcing Azar as his pick.

But Azar's own track record with drug prices is giving Democrats fodder to attack the choice. Even though he's already served in the department that he's now being tapped to run, Azar was also a senior executive at
Eli Lilly. 

Lilly is one of three companies that have substantially increased the price of insulin, the lifesaving drug used to treat diabetes. Some of those increases came while Azar was president of the company's US unit.

Decade of price hikes

Azar worked as HHS deputy secretary from 2005 to 2007 under President George W. Bush.

In 2007, he joined the drugmaker Eli Lilly as a senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications and eventually became president of Lilly USA, according to his LinkedIn profile. He left Lilly in January this year and has since consulted with pharmaceutical and health-insurance companies. Lilly did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Azar's time at the company. 

Over the 10-year period when Azar was at Lilly, the price of insulin notched a three-fold increase. It wasn't just Lilly's insulin product, called Humalog. The price of a rival made by Novo Nordisk has also climbed, with the two rising in such lockstep that you can barely see both trend lines below. 

The gains came despite the fact that the insulin, which as a medication has an almost-century-long history, hasn't really changed since it was first approved.

insulin prices may 2017 v2

Price increases to insulin have put pressure on people living with diabetes who don't have insurance, or whose insurance plans require them to pay the full price of the medication. It's led some people living with diabetes to turn to the black marketcrowdfunding pages, and Facebook pages to get access to insulin.

What Azar might do about drug costs

It's likely that should Azar try to do something about drug prices, he might look at taking action against more than just pharmaceutical companies.

Instead, he may target the middlemen who many drugmakers blame for jacking up prices. Lilly, for example, says that that the net price for its insulin Humalog was actually down 24% in the third-quarter of 2016, from the third-quarter of 2015 — because of the complicated system of payments. 

Azar's spoken out about this before:

"We're trying to usher in a golden age of medicines with a payment system that is in its golden years," Azar said at a Manhattan Institute event in 2016, Bloomberg reported. "That system needs to be retired and replaced. The only way to do that is for every private health care institution, drug companies, insurers, employers, PBMs, hospitals, to work together to create a better way to pay for medicines."

SEE ALSO: Eli Lilly tripled the price of insulin under Trump's pick for HHS and Democrats are pouncing on that

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why this New York City preschool accepts bitcoin but doesn't accept credit cards

Teenagers + Bitcoin = Drugs & Pyramid Schemes: Korea’s Prime Minister

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Korea's leader worries for the country's kids, because bitcoin.

The post Teenagers + Bitcoin = Drugs & Pyramid Schemes: Korea’s Prime Minister appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

FCA: 4 asset management firms may have colluded over share prices

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

fca financial conduct authority

  • The UK's financial regulator has alleged four asset management firms may have broken competition law by colluding over prices.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority is seeking further information from the firms before concluding its investigation.
  • This is a preliminary decision and none of the four firms have yet been found to have broken competition law.

 

LONDON — The UK's financial regulator has alleged four asset management firms may have broken competition law by colluding over share prices.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement that Artemis Investment Management, Hargreave Hale, Newton Investment Management and River & Mercantile Asset Management shared information about the price they intended to pay in relation to two initial public offerings and one placing, shortly before the share prices were set.

The sharing generally occurred "on a bilateral basis and allowed firms to know the others' plans during the IPO or placing process when they should have been competing for shares," the FCA said.

The Competition Act 1998 prohibits agreements, practices and conduct that may damage competition in the UK.

These are provisional findings and may not necessarily lead to an infringement decision, the FCA said.

The FCA alleges that in 2014 Artemis Investment Management and Newton shared information about the price they intended or were willing to pay for shares in relation to an IPO. In 2015, the FCA alleges, Newton Investment Management, Hargreave Hale and River & Mercantile Asset Management shared information about share prices relating to one IPO and a placing.

The regulator's announcement gives the firms in question the opportunity to respond to the allegations, before it decides whether the law has been broken.

"Newton is not in a position to comment on any actions with regard to the FCA's ongoing investigation, except to note that Newton has been cooperating fully with the FCA and will continue to do so until this matter reaches its conclusion," a spokesperson from Newton Investment Management said.

Business Insider has approached the three other named firms for comment.

This is the first case the FCA is bringing using its competition enforcement powers.

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Bitcoin is on course to break $11,000, just hours after passing $10,000 for the first time

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A bitcoin sign is seen during Riga Comm 2017, a business technology and innovation fair in Riga, Latvia November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

  • Bitcoin passed $10,000 for the first time on Tuesday evening.
  • Cryptocurrency already closing in on $11,000.


LONDON — The price of bitcoin is leaping after passing the symbolically significant level of $10,000 on Tuesday evening.

Bitcoin passed $10,000 per coin at around 6.30 p.m. GMT (1.30 p.m ET) on Tuesday after flirting with the level all day. The level was seen as symbolically significant and, now it's passed $10,000, the price is motoring.

Bitcoin is up 8.2% to $10,789.46 at 10.05 a.m. GMT (5.05 a.m. ET).bitcoin

Charles Hayter, the CEO of CryptoCompare, called breaching the $10,000 level a "seminal moment" for the cryptocurrency.

He said in an email: "$10k represents the closing of the second cycle in Bitcoin which has drawn the interest of institutional investors who have so far been constrained from trading by their remits. This is starting to change as more sophisticated and regulated instruments are made available. This will lead to Bitcoins third cycle."

Mati Greenspan, an analyst with trading platform eToro who follows the crypto space closely, said in an email: "Wall Street's resident bitcoin buff Mike Novogratz has moved his target to $40,000 by the end of 2018, stating that not only is this a bubble but that the bubble is going to get a lot bigger from here due to the global nature of this unique asset.

"Whether it is indeed a bubble or something else entirely remains to be seen. What I can tell you from my conversations with clients is that more and more people are starting to see bitcoin as money and the potential to replace the current fiat central banking system that has gotten out of hand."

Elsewhere in the cryptocurrency space, Litecoin, the sixth largest cryptocurrency by value, has reached a new all-time high of $103.46 overnight.

The entire cryptocurrency market is now worth over $330 billion, just two days after passing $300 billion for the first time. The market has rallied hugely this year despite some people warning that the market is in a bubble.

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Bitcoin is on course to break $11,000, just hours after passing $10,000 for the first time

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A bitcoin sign is seen during Riga Comm 2017, a business technology and innovation fair in Riga, Latvia November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

  • Bitcoin passed $10,000 for the first time on Tuesday evening.
  • Cryptocurrency already closing in on $11,000.


LONDON — The price of bitcoin is leaping after passing the symbolically significant level of $10,000 on Tuesday evening.

Bitcoin passed $10,000 per coin at around 6.30 p.m. GMT (1.30 p.m ET) on Tuesday after flirting with the level all day. The level was seen as symbolically significant and, now it's passed $10,000, the price is motoring.

Bitcoin is up 8.2% to $10,789.46 at 10.05 a.m. GMT (5.05 a.m. ET).bitcoin

Charles Hayter, the CEO of CryptoCompare, called breaching the $10,000 level a "seminal moment" for the cryptocurrency.

He said in an email: "$10k represents the closing of the second cycle in Bitcoin which has drawn the interest of institutional investors who have so far been constrained from trading by their remits. This is starting to change as more sophisticated and regulated instruments are made available. This will lead to Bitcoins third cycle."

Mati Greenspan, an analyst with trading platform eToro who follows the crypto space closely, said in an email: "Wall Street's resident bitcoin buff Mike Novogratz has moved his target to $40,000 by the end of 2018, stating that not only is this a bubble but that the bubble is going to get a lot bigger from here due to the global nature of this unique asset.

"Whether it is indeed a bubble or something else entirely remains to be seen. What I can tell you from my conversations with clients is that more and more people are starting to see bitcoin as money and the potential to replace the current fiat central banking system that has gotten out of hand."

Elsewhere in the cryptocurrency space, Litecoin, the sixth largest cryptocurrency by value, has reached a new all-time high of $103.46 overnight.

The entire cryptocurrency market is now worth over $330 billion, just two days after passing $300 billion for the first time. The market has rallied hugely this year despite some people warning that the market is in a bubble.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Bitcoin Price is Nearly $12,000 in South Korea and Japan

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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The pound is jumping after reports that the UK has agreed a €50 billion Brexit bill

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Davis Barnier

  • Sterling climbs after reports that UK and EU have settled on the cost of the so-called Brexit "divorce bill."
  • Estimates suggest that it will be around €50 billion.
  • The pound reacts well to the news, climbing above 1.34 against the dollar to a two-month high.


LONDON — The value of the pound is climbing on Wednesday as traders and investors react to reports overnight that the UK and EU have finally reached an agreement on the amount Britain will pay in a so-called "divorce bill" when it leaves the bloc.

Both the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times reported on Tuesday evening that bill had been agreed, although their estimates of how much that bill would be differed.

Citing unnamed diplomats, The FT reported that Britain has agreed to liabilities of up to €100 billion, while it expects to ultimately pay "less than half that amount."

The Telegraph, meanwhile, reported that the UK will reportedly pay between €45-55 billion as it leaves the European Union, with the exact figure depending on how it is calculated.

The divorce bill has been a major sticking point in negotiations, with EU negotiators refusing to progress talks onto subjects like the transition deal until "sufficient progress" was reached on it and other issues like EU citizens' rights and the Irish border.

Initial reports of the agreement sent the pound substantially higher on Tuesday evening, and it has continued to rise on Wednesday morning in European trading, climbing above 1.34 against the dollar to hit a two-month high.

The logic behind the move seems to be that the agreement of a settlement represents substantial progress in talks, and removes a little bit of the uncertainty that has been plaguing market participants in recent weeks and months.

By just after 9.15 a.m. GMT (4.15 a.m. ET) the pound is around 0.3% higher on the greenback, having pulled back from a gain of around 0.6% a little earlier during trade. Here is the chart:

pound divorce bill nov 29

"Following last night’s jump, the cable continued its rise today on hopes of a significant Brexit breakthrough. Shorts are coming out as the squeeze comes on but will the rally last? It’s down to the politics again, with various risks to the bullish case still unresolved. Nevertheless it may be time to turn cautiously optimistic on sterling," Neil Wilson, senior analyst at ETX Capital said in an email earlier on Wednesday morning.

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$10,000: Bitcoin Passes the Historic Milestone

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

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Crypto exchange Bittrex warns traders against 'pump and dump' scams

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bittrex

  • Bittrex emails users to "discourage any type of market manipulation, including pump groups."
  • Email follows BI investigation that exposed widespread "pump and dump" scams in parts of the $300 billion cryptocurrency market.


LONDON — The world's third-largest cryptocurrency exchange has written to users warning them against market manipulation following a Business Insider investigation that found "pump and dump" scams operating on the platform.

Bittrex wrote an email to users several days ago warning they could be banned or have their accounts frozen if they artificially manipulate the price of coins trading on its platform.

"Bittrex actively discourages any type of market manipulation, including pump groups," the email said according to a source. "Consistent with our terms of service, we will suspend and close any accounts engaging in this type of activity and notify the appropriate authorities."

The email follows an investigation by Business Insider earlier this month that found traders are colluding in groups on chat app Telegram to inflate the price of digital coins on platforms such as Las Vegas-registered Bittrex and Russian exchange Yobit. The aim is to make a quick profit by selling the coins on to new investors attracted by the price rise.

Securities lawyers contacted by Business Insider dubbed the actions "market manipulation 101" and suggested that financial regulators should take the same approach to the activities as is does in the stock market, where this type of market manipulation is illegal.

Business Insider emailed Bittrex to confirm the contents of the email by the company did not respond in time for publication. Messages on "pump and dump" chat groups on Telegram, seen by Business Insider, appear to corroborate the email.bittrex messagesBittrex, which was founded by former Amazon security engineers, is the world's third-largest fee-charging cryptocurrency exchange by volume, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.com. The platform turns over close to $1 billion each day.

Cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity this year thanks to the success of so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), in which startups issue new digital coins in exchange for real money used to fund their ideas. These coins can be traded on online exchanges, offering greater liquidity to investors in private companies.

The total cryptocurrency market recently reached $300 billion and there are now over 1,300 cryptocurrencies in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

While Bittrex has contacted its members since the publication of BI's investigation on November 14, the company has not been in touch with BI.

However, several companies that issued coins manipulated in "pump and dump" scams have contacted us. Representatives for Belize-based ChillCoin and Singapore-based Indorse expressed surprise and alarm that their coins were being manipulated in such a way on the secondary market. There is no suggestion that the companies that issue the coins are involved in any way.

You can read BI's full investigation into cryptocurrency "pump and dump" scams here.

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The value of UK property has grown £2 trillion since the financial crisis

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Terraced houses in Mayfair, London

  • Britain's overall housing stock has risen in value by almost £2 trillion in the last 10 years, data from Halifax shows.
  • Halifax estimates that London properties are worth a combined £1.338 trillion — more than the value of all houses in Scotland, Wales, and the North of England combined.
  • According to the figures, only 3.3% of property wealth in the UK is controlled by under 35s — the so-called millennial generation.
  • By contrast, over 55s hold close to two-thirds of Britain's property wealth.


LONDON — The overall stock of housing in the UK has grown more than £2 trillion in the ten years since the beginning of the financial crisis, new figures released by building society Halifax show.

Halifax's research, cited by The Guardian newspaper, says that Britain's residential properties are now worth a combined £6.015 trillion, up from £4.077 at the same point in 2007. That represents an increase of 47% over ten years.

While the data highlights the rapid growth of property valuations in the last decade, it also sheds a light on the increasing imbalance between the UK's regions in terms of the cost of housing.

Halifax estimates that London properties are worth a combined £1.338 trillion — more than the value of all houses in Scotland, Wales, and the North of England combined.

"The value of housing stock has grown by close to £2tn in the past decade, and with the equity rich regions of London and the south-east largely responsible, it highlights a considerable regional imbalance in the distribution of housing wealth," Russell Galley, a managing director for Halifax said in a statement.

"Within the capital there is also a mix of fortunes. While more than a fifth of total property wealth is in London, lower levels of owner-occupation reflect a major barrier to the property ladder with a far greater number of people renting where house prices are at their highest."

Changes in the value of properties has also been massively skewed towards London, the data shows. London housing is now a combined £620 billion in value higher than in 2007, while houses in the North East have only added £22 billion to their overall value. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the total housing stock is worth less in 2017 than it was in 2007.

Halifax's data also sheds light on the growing inability of younger Brits to get on the housing ladder. According to the figures, only 3.3% of property wealth in the UK is controlled by under 35s — the so-called millennial generation. By contrast, over 55s hold close to two-thirds of Britain's property wealth.

Housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable, particularly for younger Brits in the south of England, with recent research from Hometrack showing that the ratio between house prices and salary in London has now hit a record high of 14.5 times higher than salaries. 

The average house price in London reached £496,000 in October, and average earnings were £34,200.

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Online mattress retailer eve Sleep's revenue has grown by 130% so far this year

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

eve Sleep   Sleep Rich ad campaign

  • Online mattress company eve Sleep says revenues up 130% so far this year.
  • On track for UK profitability by Q4, group profitability by next year.
  • Shares jump 12% on the news.


LONDON — Online mattress retailer eve Sleep has boosted revenues by 130% in the first 11 months of the year, the company said on Wednesday.

Eve told investors: "Trading in the UK has been stronger than expected and is anticipated to be up over 105% year-on-year over the same period, while international revenues are expected to increase more than 180% year-on-year."

The startup, which listed on the AIM stock exchange in May, said it remains on track to hit UK profitability in the fourth quarter of this year and reach group profitability next year.

Founded in 2014, Eve sells just one mattress that it manufacturers itself and sells for £399 for a single bed. Eve's mattresses are made from foam and compressed to make them cheaper to ship. The company offers buyers the opportunity to sleep on its products for 100 days and still return it, another unusual quirk for the industry.

Eve said at the time of its IPO that the £35 million it raised would be put towards marketing but the business said on Wednesday that it is now cutting marketing costs to help spur profit. Marketing spend fell from 64% of revenues in September to 50% of revenues in October. The business said it is on track for marketing costs of 35% of revenues in November.

CEO Jas Bagniewski said in a statement: "We continue to be in a period of acceleration with strong momentum across our 15 territories.

"eve is making good progress towards its objective of achieving UK profitability in Q4 2018, demonstrated by the UK business now anticipated to report a maiden profit after marketing costs in Q4 this year, a significant improvement on the first half of the year.

"We look forward to continuing our expansion as we drive towards achieving our plans for 2018 and beyond."

Eve's share price jumped 12% at the open.eve sleep

Investors are likely cheered that eve is managing to hold its own in what has become a fiercely competitive market. Eve is one of a number of new startups that manufacture hybrid foam mattresses and sell them online. Others include Casper, SIMBA Sleep, and Leesa.

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‘Like the civil service of a medium-sized country’: Tesco’s huge management team made it hard to detect financial trouble, lawyers say

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Former Tesco executive Carl Rogberg arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain September 26, 2017.

  • Tesco's former UK finance director Carl Rogberg is one of three former Tesco executives standing trial for fraud in relation to their alleged involvement in overstating the firm's profits in 2014.
  • Lawyers defending Rogberg say the UK finance operation was like the "civil service of a medium-sized country," meaning Rogberg was not shown key documents linked to the firm's brewing troubles.

LONDON — A court heard the sheer size of Tesco’s UK finance operation meant former finance director Carl Rogberg was not aware of key documents that led to Tesco announcing it had overstated its profits by nearly £250 million in 2014.

Rogberg is one of three former Tesco executives standing trial for fraud in relation to their alleged involvement in overstating the firm's profits. All three deny guilt.

Defending Rogberg, barrister Nicholas Purnell told the jury at Southwark Crown Court that Rogberg as UK finance director in 2014 had been in charge of 200 to 300 people who were responsible for preparing 2,860 individual reports every month, comparing the operation to the "civil service of a medium-sized country."

Purnell also said that Tesco placed "various different [UK management] functions in various different geographical areas," meaning his own office was in a completely different location to the accounting department's, and meaning he had not been shown key documents or attended meetings relevant to the firm's accounting troubles.

Purnell also said that, according to evidence given during the prosecution's case, Rogberg had been "outside the circle of knowledge" of the existence of the "legacy paper," a bombshell report which ultimately led to Tesco's board discovering it had overstated profits.

The jury previously heard from Amit Soni, the senior Tesco accountant who secretly prepared the paper, that he had not told colleagues including Rogberg about the report because it would be a "distraction."

Rogberg told the jury that he had little control over directors beneath who performed oversaw more specific roles, meeting with them once a week as a team, and once every week or fortnight individually.

READ MORE: 'I don't want to go to jail for this': Fear and tension at Tesco before £250 million accounting scandal broke

Former Tesco UK managing director Christopher Bush, former UK finance director Carl Rogberg, and former food commercial director John Scouler are all charged with fraud by false accounting and of fraud by abuse of position.

The trio were formally charged by the Senior Fraud Office last year. Lawyers acting for the trio have already pleaded not guilty.

The trial, which started on September 29, is expected to last beyond December.

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Bitcoin bubble?

BBC, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The digital currency Bitcoin is going through the roof - but what is it, and why has it shot up in price?

London Stock Exchange CEO Xavier Rolet is leaving 'with immediate effect' after shareholder battle

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Xavier Rolet London Stock Exchange

  • LSE CEO Xavier Rolet leaving "with immediate effect" after shareholder battle.
  • LSE chairman Donald Brydon also leaving the business.
  • Rolet's exit speeded up after shareholder The Children's Investment Fund claimed the board were forcing him out against his will.


LONDON — London Stock Exchange (LSE) CEO Xavier Rolet's exit from the business has been sped up by a year after a battle between shareholders and the board over his tenure.

LSE announced in October that Rolet would leave the business by December 2018 but the company said in a statement on Wednesday that he would now leave "with immediate effect." Chief Financial Officer David Warren will take over as interim CEO until a successor can be found.

LSE chairman Donald Brydon is also departing the business. The exchange operator said Brydon would not be seeking re-election to the board "as he and the Board believe that at that point it would be in shareholders' interests to have a new team at the helm to steer the future progress of the Company."

Shares in London Stock Exchange Group opened over 1.5% lower on the news.lseThe departures follow a row between LSE's board and shareholder The Children's Investment (TCI) Fund, which owns 5% of shares, over Rolet's departure.

TCI Fund founder Sir Christopher Hohn is suspicious of Rolet's abrupt departure, believing he was being forced out against his wishes.

Hohn said in a letter to the board earlier this month he believes Rolet is "being improperly threatened by the board with severe reputational damage unless he immediately steps down as CEO... or publicly confirms that he does not want to remain."

Hohn called for "the Bank of England and the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority]... to immediately intervene to instruct the board to appoint a new chairman."

Rolet said in a statement on Wednesday:

"Since the announcement of my future departure on 19 October, ‎there has been a great deal of unwelcome publicity, which has not been helpful to the Company. At the request of the Board, I have agreed to step down as CEO with immediate effect. I will not be returning to the office of CEO or director under any circumstances. I am proud of what we have achieved during the past eight and a half years."

Brydon said in a statement:

"The Board is confident LSEG will continue to prosper with David Warren as Interim CEO and the existing strong management team. They have deep knowledge of LSEG's business and helped shape, lead and execute its strategies. They are already working towards LSEG's current three-year financial targets. I look forward to working with David and his team. We acknowledge, as I said last month, Xavier's immense - indeed transformative - contribution to the business."

TCI Fund has called for a general meeting of shareholders to challenge the board on Rolet's exit. LSE said on Wednesday that it wants TCI Fund to withdraw its request in light of new of Rolet's accelerated departure. If the hedge fund doesn't withdraw its request, LSE said it will send a notice of the general meeting date to shareholders by November 30.

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'China's Jeff Bezos' is now running a village and vows e-commerce will eliminate poverty

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Richard Qiangdong Liu, founder, chairman and CEO of JD.com speaks to employees as JD.com has its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq exchange on May 22, 2014 in New York City.

The billionaire founder of China's biggest online retailer, JD.com, is now the honorary head of a provincial Chinese village and has promised to eradicate poverty.

Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, said his five-year goal is to increase the average income of Pingshitou village tenfold. Locals in Pingshitou, which is west of Beijing, have an average annual income between $600-$1000, according to the China-focused news website Sixth Tone.

Liu reportedly plans to use e-commerce to help villagers in Pingshitou, many of whom grow and sell apples, increase their incomes.

State-run People's Daily reported in August that JD.com's poverty alleviation program, which provides assistance with production, employment, and selling, helped more than 100,000 households increase their annual incomes by about $500 per year, a significant amount for impoverished families.

Liu founded JD.com in 1998 and is now worth nearly $10 billion, making him one of China's richest people.

But having grown up poor, Liu has repeatedly said he always dreamed of becoming a village head.

"The rural area expanded afar, but I was near-sighted and could only see as far as the pork slices hung below the roof of our village head," said Liu speaking to students at his alma mater middle school last month. "The villagers didn’t have much to eat, but our village head had pork all the year round. That’s why I dreamed of becoming a village head when I was a child. I wondered, if I became one, whether I could enable all families in the village to have pork on their tables?"

SEE ALSO: Beijing's mass evictions have kicked out tens of thousands in the name of 'safety'

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MORGAN STANLEY: Get ready for another UK election in 2018

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Theresa May

  • "Likely" that Britain will have a general election in 2018 as rifts in the Tory government intensify, according to Morgan Stanley.
  • "With a minority government torn over Europe and facing a divisive choice between 'taking back control' and maintaining close links, we see another early election as likely," Jacob Nell and Melanie Baker say.
  • Brexit uncertainty will continue to dampen the UK economy next year, they argue.

LONDON — It is "likely" that the UK will see another election in 2018 as Theresa May's government becomes increasingly divided, according to research from economists at Morgan Stanley.

The US bank's British economics team of Jacob Nell and Melanie Baker write in their European Economic Outlook that the Conservative Party is "torn." This disharmony will eventually lead to the government's untimely demise, they believe.

"With a minority government torn over Europe and facing a divisive choice between 'taking back control' and maintaining close links, we see another early election as likely," the pair write.

May's slender parliamentary majority means only a handful of hardline Brexiteers would need to rebel against her on the issue of Brexit to cause a disastrous government collapse. Her position has been further weakened in recent weeks following the resignations of key cabinet figures including Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and International Development Minister Priti Patel.

Morgan Stanley's argument follows a similar line to one it made in September, when Nell and Baker said that the government will collapse in 2018.

Back then, Morgan Stanley's basic argument for suggesting that the government will collapse in 2018 was that May would be able to tread a tightrope of just about satisfying both the moderate and more radical wings of the Conservative Party — as well as the general public — until the end of 2017, but not for much longer.

Brexit talks are still failing to make any real progress, with key issues such as the Irish border and citizens' rights still needing to be resolved ahead of the European Council meeting next month. That meeting is crucial in the timeline of Brexit, as it is then when it will be decided whether "sufficient progress" has been made to allow talks to advance to their next stage.

If sufficient progress is not deemed to have been made, it effectively further shortens the UK-EU negotiation period even further, making the likelihood of a Brexit deal lower. Morgan Stanley's team do believe that a deal will be struck eventually, saying: "In the end, we expect an 11th hour deal to avoid a hard Brexit and allow time for further trade talks."

That deal, however, won't come before the uncertainty around Brexit has further weakened the British economy, the pair argue, with the chart below illustrating their argument:

UK econ growth

"With investment deterred by uncertainty and real consumption squeezed by inflation, we see growth continuing to run at a sub-par rate of around 0.3%Q through 1H18," they write.

"We then expect rising uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit talks and associated political turbulence to drive growth to a standstill in late 2018," they add.

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AWS launches GuardDuty, its new intelligent threat detection service

TechCrunch, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

 Amazon’s AWS cloud computing division today announced a new threat detection service that aims to help the company’s users safe from potential security threats. The service applies machine learning to identify threats (think an EC2 instances that starts mining Bitcoin without your knowledge or an instance that launches in a region you’ve never used before) and then… Read More

(+) Is Bitcoin a Currency or a Commodity?

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post (+) Is Bitcoin a Currency or a Commodity? appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Credit for Cryptos: Leverage Trading Is Coming to Bitcoin

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The arrival of institutional investors has created openings for services similar to the prime brokerage that banks have long provided to hedge funds.

Infiniti just unveiled an SUV with a breakthrough new engine — and it's not electric

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Infiniti QX50

  • Infiniti unveiled its newest SUV, the QX50, at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Tuesday night.
  • It features Infiniti's new, variable compression ratio engine, better known as the VC-Turbo.
  • The company says the VC-Turbo combines the thrust of a small turbocharged gas-powered engine with the fuel-efficiency of a four cylinder diesel.
  • It boasts 268 horsepower and 27 miles per gallon, according to Infiniti.


LOS ANGELES — Infiniti has pulled the wraps off of its newest luxury SUV, the QX50, at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show on Tuesday night.

The QX50 adds to Infiniti's already robust SUV lineup, but the newest version features the first production-ready example of Infiniti's new, variable compression ratio engine, better known as the VC-Turbo.

The company, which is the luxury subsidiary of Nissan Motors, says the VC-Turbo combines the thrust of a small turbocharged engine with the fuel-efficiency of a four cylinder diesel. The result is a small, economical engine that churns enough ponies to run with some larger V6 engines, while generating fuel economy on par with some hybrids.

Perhaps more notably, the VC-Turbo engine has been in development for two decades — a significant departure from the auto industry's more recent focus on hybrid and electric drivetrains — but it is also unsurprising. As Business Insider's Matt DeBord wrote earlier this year, the internal-combustion engine is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

And because of varying consumer tastes, market demands, and lingering infrastructure limitations, automakers are best-served by offering a wide range of powertrain options — gas, hybrid, and electric — in order to stay competitive. That might explain why, in 2017, a luxury car company is debuting yet another gas-powered SUV.

Some quick stats on the QX50:

  • Turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with variable compression ratio technology.
  • 268 horsepower, 280 pound-feet torque.
  • Continuously variable transmission.
  • About 27 miles per gallon, according to Infiniti.
  • Features Nissan/Infiniti's latest driver-assistance technology.
  • Price: TBD

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One bitcoin is now worth $10,000

TechCrunch, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

 It happened. One bitcoin is now worth $10,000. The milestone was hit on international exchanges earlier in the day (where prices are normally a few percent higher) and was just crossed on U.S exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini a few minutes ago. This comes two days after bitcoin hit $9k, and eight days after it crossed $8k. This $10,000 marks a bull rally essentially never before seen in… Read More

It's Official: Bitcoin's Price Makes History Passing $10k

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The price of bitcoin has risen above $10,000 on CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) for the first time. 

Bitcoin crosses $10,000 milestone

BBC, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The virtual currency has surged in value during the past few weeks.

Japan’s BitFlyer Opens Bitcoin Exchange in the United States

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Japan’s BitFlyer Opens Bitcoin Exchange in the United States

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

The post Japan’s BitFlyer Opens Bitcoin Exchange in the United States appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

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