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Lexus supersized its best-selling RX350 luxury SUV (TM)

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

Lexus RX

  • The Lexus RX luxury crossover is getting a third-row seat, making it a seven-passenger SUV for the first time since its introduction in 1998.
  • RX's extra row will be available on the RX350 and the hybrid-electric RX450hL variant.
  • Lexus stretched a standard RX by 4.3 inches to achieve the extra capacity.


LOS ANGELES — Sport-utility vehicles have been stealing the spotlight at the LA Auto Show this year, and Lexus led the way with the debut of extra-large versions of its best-selling RX crossover.

The luxury automaker, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, announced the RX350L and RX450hL, featuring for the first time a third row of seats. It's one of the most significant changes to the platform since it debuted in 1998.

The up-sized RX will accommodate six to seven passengers, depending on the configuration. On first glance, the added size and heft is not very noticeable. Lexus called it "the mastery of vehicle packaging" in a press release, but the company basically stretched a standard RX by 4.3 inches in the back. The longer versions also have a steeper tailgate and window angle, according to Lexus, which helps improve headroom for third-row passengers.

The new addition could help Lexus grab a prevailing segment of the luxury crossover market. Car buyers in the US have made dramatic moves toward SUVs and crossover vehicles beginning a few years ago. In 2016, SUVs accounted for 63% of auto sales in the US, according to Autodata numbers released in January. Demand for large SUVs with three-row seating have also shown its staying power.

The RX's extra row comes standard as a power-folding seat on both the RX350L and the hybrid-electric RX450hL models. They start at $47,670 and $49,070 respectively, keeping them in the same class of luxury three-row crossovers as the Acura MDX and the Volvo XC90.

A few pictures of the RX L:

Lexus RXL

Lexus RXL

Lexus RXL

Lexus RXL

SEE ALSO: Infiniti unveiled an SUV with a breakthrough new engine and no, it's not electric

DON'T MISS: I drove the $90,000 sport sedan Lexus built to challenge the BMW M5

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NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

Retailers Need to Know These 4 Things to Stay Relevant (Hint: It Involves Bitcoin)

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

The way we buy things will be completely different in the next 10 years.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: A Potential Correction Could Be Coming

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

Bitcoin Price Analysis

The market is swinging to more and more aggressive highs as bitcoin has traversed down the length of the macro, parabolic bull market. In a very rare event, bitcoin actually managed to break the upper parabolic curve and squeeze out a new all-time high in the upper $11,000s:

Figure_1 (2).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Parabolic Trend

Although bitcoin broke the parabolic trend on the smaller timescales, the chart above shows that bitcoin is still being governed by the parabolic resistance — an outlier in an otherwise parabolic trend. Something very important to note about the parabolic breakout is the amount of volume on the move: It was the highest volume seen at top of a trend in the last two years — it’s continuing to increase.

Figure_2 (2).JPGFigure 2: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Zoomed-in View of Macro Trend

Taking a closer look at the daily candles near the edge of the upper parabolic curve, we see a textbook reversal candle called a “Reversal Doji” (often just called “Doji”). This is a point where volume is high but overall price movement is low. Thus, supply is approximately equal to demand and it poises the market for a potential reversal. Although the current daily candle is still forming, it’s showing an increase in supply (downward price movement) and the volume is continuing to grow as the day moves on.

Figure_3 (1).JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 1-Week Candles, Macro Parabolic Trend

And so the story goes on the weekly candles. Sitting at the top of our 2.5 year bull market, a reversal candle is in the process of being formed. Thus, the higher timescales are indicating a balance of supply and demand and offering an opportunity to the market for a reversal. It should be noted that the current weekly candle still has a couple more days left on it and is in the process of forming. For those playing the macro markets, keep a close eye on this candle as it will give hints as to the likely direction of the market in the coming weeks/months.

On a macro scale, support lies on the linear and parabolic trendlines shown in Figure 1 and are likely to alleviate any potential downward movement in the coming days and weeks. As with any market setup or potential trend reversal, wait for confirmation of candle closes before acting and expect the unexpected.

Summary:

  1. Bitcoin managed to establish another new all-time high in the upper $11,000s.

  2. As of the time of this article, the parabolic envelope is providing solid resistance while the market tries to find solid support.

  3. Macro time frames are beginning to show signs of supply dominating the market. Should the market continue to pull back further, support can be found on the parabolic and linear trendlines outlined in Figure 1.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: A Potential Correction Could Be Coming appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

STOCKS HIT ALL-TIME HIGHS: Here's what you need to know

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

cheering celebrating american flag

Stocks had their best day of 2017 on Thursday. 

The Dow jumped above 24,000 for the first time as the Senate continued to progress towards passing its tax bill. Tech stocks also joined the party after a sell-off on Wednesday. 

Here's the scoreboard: 

  • Dow: 24,240.04, +299.36, (1.25%)
  • S&P 500: 2,645.61, +19.54, (0.74%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,866.10, +41.71, (0.61%)
  1. CVS is very close to buying Aetna, according to The Wall Street Journal. A deal would most likely be valued at $200 to $205 per Aetna share, the report said.
  2. Sen. John McCain said he would support the Senate Republican tax plan, significantly boosting the legislation's chances of passing as it speeds toward a vote in the chamber. McCain's support was considered a toss-up because he voted against tax cuts under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.
  3. OPEC and non-OPEC producers led by Russia agreed in Vienna to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018. The oil-producer cartel and other key players want to finish draining the excess supply of crude oil that dragged prices down in 2014.
  4. Sears continued its streak of declining sales in the third quarter, reporting a double-digit drop in comparable sales at its Sears and Kmart chainsSales at Sears stores open for more than a year fell 17 percent in the quarter ended Oct. 28, while comparable sales at Kmart fell 13 percent.

Additionally: 

SOCGEN: The good times are coming to an end in 2018

3 reasons the trillion-dollar M&A market will keep exploding in 2018

Billionaire Carl Icahn says bitcoin is a lot like an obscure bubble involving swampland in Mississippi

The GOP tax plan is a 'catastrophe' that'll make inequality 'materially worse'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The stock market is flashing warning signs

WHITE HOUSE: Cryptocurrencies are 'being monitored by our team'

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

sarah huckabee sanders

  • The White House is monitoring cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, according to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 
  • Bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, is up more than 850% year-to-date.

 

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House is monitoring cryptocurrencies like bitcoin

"I know this is something that is being monitored by our team here," Sanders during a press conference on Thursday, answering a reporter's question about whether the government will regulate cryptocurrencies. 

Sanders said she didn't have anything specific to share on the matter. Still, it was brought up by an advisor to President Trump recently.

"Tom Bossert, with the Homeland Security team, an advisor to the president, has brought this up in a meeting earlier this week," she said."I know this is something he is keeping an eye on."

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has been on a tear since the US Thanksgiving holiday. The coin is up 860% year-to-date. 

This appears to be the first time the White House has commented on the cryptocurrency craze sweeping both Wall Street and Main Street. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

‘A Vehicle to Perpetrate Fraud’: Goldman CEO Blankfein Sours on Bitcoin

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

[…]

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Billionaire Carl Icahn says bitcoin is a lot like an obscure bubble involving swampland in Mississippi

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

carl icahn

  • Carl Icahn is the latest investment legend to weigh in on bitcoin. 
  • He told CNBC it is similar to a bubble involving swamp land hugging the Mississippi River. 
  • The Mississippi Bubble was brought on by John Law, a Scottish adventurer, in the early 17th century.

Carl Icahn is the latest Wall Street legend to weigh in on bitcoin

The cryptocurrency has gripped the attention of Main Street and Wall Street as it has zipped to incredible heights, soaring over $11,000 a coin on Wednesday. 

Icahn falls among the many Wall Streeters who think the cryptocurrency is in a bubble. The billionaire, who admits to not know much about the technology of bitcoin, told CNBC it reminded him of an obscure bubble involving swampland in Mississippi. 

"Where John Law went around selling all this land in Mississippi that was sort of worthless and the French were going crazy giving him all this money, and then one night it all blew up," Icahn said. 

What was the Mississippi Bubble?

The Mississippi Bubble was brought on by John Law, a Scottish adventurer and economist, in the early 17th century. Law was granted the authority by the French government to open up a company to oversee the French's territorial claims hugging the Mississippi River in the present day US. In order to fund the venture he issued paper shares to investors.

"The lure of gold and silver brought out many eager investors in the Mississippi Company," wrote historian Jon Moen at the University of Mississippi.

As such, the value of the company's share spiked as investors, enchanted by the idea of far-flung lands and riches, poured in. Here's Moen (emphasis ours):

"The financial district in Paris became so agitated at times with investors that soldiers would be sent in at night to maintain order. Shares in the Mississippi Company started at around 500 livres tournois (the French unit of account at the time) per share in January 1719. By December 1719, share prices had reached 10,000 livres, an increase of 1900 percent in just under a year."

By way of comparison, bitcoin is up more than 860% year-to-date. That tear has been triggered by new found interest from regulator investors looking to jump on the bandwagon. Coinbase, the largest platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in the US, added 100,000 users from Wednesday to Thursday the week of Thanksgiving.

During the Mississippi Bubble, even peasants were scrapping together whatever they could to get in on the scorching-hot venture. Many millionaires were created, according to Moen. But once people realized much of the lands were worthless swamps, things turned south.

"In the end, many of the new millionaires were financially destroyed. So was France," Moen wrote. "It would be eighty years before France would again introduce paper money into its economy."

UBS warned clients in October that it doesn't think bitcoin's price is supported by fundamentals.

"We think the sharp rise in crypto-currency valuations in recent months is a speculative bubble," the bank wrote.

A note sent from UBS's chief investment office compared the current rush to invest in cryptocurrencies to the Dutch Tulip bulb bubble of the 17th century, the South Sea bubble, and the dot-com bubble.

Now we can add the Mississippi Bubble to the list. 

SEE ALSO: We just got a glimpse of how bitcoin futures will work

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what you get when you invest in an initial coin offering

Hedge Fund Platforms Reject Bitcoin Funds, Fear It’s a Fad

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

[…]

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Bitcoin Vs. Ethereum: What You Need to Know About the Great Cryptocurrency Showdown

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

The difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin is the fact that Bitcoin is nothing more than a currency, whereas Ethereum is a ledger technology that companies are using to build new programs.

What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

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.

The GOP tax bill is nearing the finish line in the Senate — thanks in part to Sen. John McCain, who gave the legislation an enormous boost Thursday after announcing his support. The bill is now hurtling toward a floor vote, and it's been driving the stock market crazy on its way. 

Here's everything else you need to know about the tax push:

A federal judge gave Trump a huge victory in the battle over the interim leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — but the permanent boss of the top consumer watchdog could be even more anti-consumer than acting-director Mick Mulvaney, according to Business Insider's Pedro da Costa

Employees at the CFPB talked to Business Insider about the dramatic showdown with Trump, with some saying outgoing director Richard Cordray had the authority to name his successor, and others saying he knew the plan would fail all along and calling it a "political stunt." 

CVS and Aetna are reportedly nearing a $66 billion deal — the latest in a string of megadeals. The investment banking team at Baird says the trillion-dollar M&A market will keep exploding in 2018 for three key reasons.

In other news:

Lastly, here's how much it costs to get a haircut in cities around the world, in two charts.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what you get when you invest in an initial coin offering

Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Price Down by 20% as Cryptocurrency Market Corrects

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

[…]

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Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Price Down by 20% as Cryptocurrency Market Corrects

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

[…]

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Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein says it's too soon for the bank to need a bitcoin plan

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

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

 

  • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told Bloomberg Television it is too early for the firm to have a strategy for bitcoin. 
  • It has been reported that the firm was exploring a possible bitcoin trading operation.


Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein thinks its too early for the bank to need a strategy on bitcoin. 

The banker told Bloomberg Television the cryptocurrency is too volatile for the bank to consider it as an urgent matter — at least for now. 

“Something that moves up and down 20 percent in a day doesn’t feel like a currency, doesn’t feel like a store of value,” Blankfein said.

Bitcoin is known for its spine-tingling volatility. On Wednesday it crashed by more than $1,000 after it blew past $11,000 per coin. UBS Wealth Management's Paul Donovan is another financier who thinks bitcoin's erratic nature disqualifies it as a currency, according to reporting by Business Insider's Will Martin

"Bitcoin, in particular, has had, I think, three hyperinflation episodes this year," Donovan said. "That is to say its ability to purchase goods has dropped more than 25% in the course of a week. That is not a particularly stable store of value.

Screen Shot 2017 11 30 at 12.36.40 PMStill, bitcoin is far less volatile than it was 6 years ago. And proponents think it will become less volatile as an established ecosystem for the coin develops.

Already, three US exchanges have said they are preparing futures products for bitcoin, which would allow investors to bet on its future price. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a big report on cryptocurrencies that such products could potentially dampen volatility:

"Derivatives markets might play some role in reducing the volatility of cash markets. We would not overstate this, as a material reduction in volatility would require there to be a large community of speculators prepared to provide liquidity to the natural owners of the various coins, but given the volatility of the coin markets, maybe there already exists a cadre of participants who would look to short coins on strong days and vice versa, which could overall reduce volatility."

Read the full report on Bloomberg

Read more about blockchain, the technology powering bitcoin, here

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to the chief investment strategist at $920 billion fund giant Invesco about where you should invest right now

(+) Ripple XRP: Poised for Another Breakout?

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

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ECB's Yves Mersch: Banks Need Faster Payments to Counter Bitcoin

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

European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch has said banks need to launch instant payments systems to counter the rise of cryptocurrencies.

A 'Big Four' accounting firm is accepting bitcoin payments

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

bitcoin atm

  • PwC, the accounting firm and consultancy, announced Thursday it is accepting bitcoin payments from its clients.
  • Accounting firms have shown more interest in digital coins than Wall Street banks. 


PwC, the consultancy and "Big Four" accounting firm, announced Thursday that it accepted its first payment in bitcoin.

The announcement, which was reported first by The Wall Street Journal, was made by Raymund Chao, chairman of PwC Asia-Pacific. 

“This decision helps illustrate how we are embracing new technology and incorporating innovative business models across our full range of services," Chao said in a statement. 

Bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, has dominated financial news cycles as more Wall Street firms dive into the nascent market for digital coins. It blew past $11,000 per coin Wednesday before falling back below $10,000. 

As for PwC, this isn't the firm's first foray into the world of cryptocurrency. In 2014, the company wrote a report exploring how digital coins like bitcoin could impact a wide-range of industries, including travel and gambling.

"Bitcoin as the ideal casino chip? Possibly. It provides a high level of user privacy, immediate access to funds and irreversibility — to the casino’s and player’s benefit," the firm wrote.

Accounting firms such as PwC and rival Ernst Young have shown more interest in digital currency than Wall Street banks. EY, for instance, joined the Bitcoin Association, a Switzerland-based bitcoin advocacy firm, in May. 

"It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, smart contracts and digital currencies," Marcel Stalder, CEO of EY Switzerland, said. 

Bank CEOs have had less favorable view of cryptocurrencies. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon famously called bitcoin a "fraud." Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Thursday his firm is in no rush to develop a strategy on bitcoin, according to a Bloomberg News report. 

Read more about blockchain, the technology powering bitcoin, here

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin keeps sliding a day after wild trading

Join the conversation about this story »

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

As Bitcoin Proves, the Next Big Thing Is Probably Coming From Europe

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

Research finds that more than $19 billion has been invested in startups across the pond in 2017.

Bitcoin Price Declines to $9,200; Factors For Another Strong Rally?

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

[…]

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Bankrupt Toys R Us' plan to pay executives multimillion-dollar bonuses 'defies logic and sense,' US trustee says

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

toys r us

  • The Department of Justice trustee assigned to Toys R Us' bankruptcy case has written a fiercely worded letter criticizing the retailer's plan to pay executives multimillion-dollar sums.
  • In a statement, Toys R Us defended the motion as "standard practice." 
  • A final decision will be made in court in December.

 

Toys R Us' bankruptcy proceedings are off to a rocky start.

In a fiercely worded letter, Judy A. Robbins, the Department of Justice trustee assigned to Toys R Us' bankruptcy case, argued that the retailer's plan to pay multimillion-dollar bonuses to executives "defies logic and sense," as reported by The Record.

The letter was written in response to a motion, filed by Toys R Us in bankruptcy court on November 15, that requested permission to award bonuses to 17 executives. The bonuses would start at $16 million and later double should certain financial goals be met at the company.

"Apparently, this Christmas, Toys R Us intends to deliver not only 'children their biggest smiles of the year' but the insiders, too," Robbins wrote, making reference to an earlier bankruptcy filing by Toys R Us CEO Dave Brandon, who included the retailer's jingle to evoke nostalgia.

She noted that five executives were given a package of bonuses totaling $8.2 million just before the bankruptcy filing. This included a $2.8 million incentive for Brandon "just to stay with the company," Robbins wrote.

Robbins also questioned how all the company's financials would pan out, given that Toys R Us has not yet submitted a restructuring plan. 

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy restructuring earlier this year, after being crushed by a mountain of debt resulting from a leveraged buyout. In a statement to Business Insider, it defended its motions regarding the incentives and bonuses, saying it is "standard practice for a company involved in a restructuring."

"Toys R Us filed several motions with the court including a proposal for an incentive program which includes all team members, not just senior executives," the statement read.

The company did file a separate motion with the court, hoping to pay $45.8 million to 3,805 employees in management roles. If financial goals are met, the company would actually pay out $68 million to these managers.

"Before an incentive program can be implemented, we will continue consulting with our creditors and the US trustee regarding the program and the program must be reviewed and approved by the Federal Bankruptcy Court," the statements continued

DOJ trustees are assigned to bankruptcy cases to ensure all laws are followed, and to make sure all sides — including creditors and debtors — are represented and play fairly. The trustees do not have the power to make prosecutorial decisions or to rule on motions.

A judge will rule on Toys R Us' motion next month.

SEE ALSO: Fingerlings are officially the biggest toy of this holiday season — and they might already be impossible to get before Christmas

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

Coinbase Ordered to Hand IRS Data on Over 14,000 Users

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

A U.S. court has ordered bitcoin exchange Coinbase to disclose details of more than 14,000 customers to the Internal Revenue Service.

Giga Watt’s Facility Powers Local Economic Development

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

Giga Watt economic


Business innovation has long been a key element of civic progress. In more recent time, technology has served as a major contributor to local economic development.  

In fact, the Austrian-born American economist and political scientist, Joseph Schumpeter, argued that technological progress is the sole determinant of economic progress. What Schumpeter referred to as “creative destruction” has been pivotal for rapid economic expansion in less developed communities throughout the world.

One technology company that epitomizes this confluence between local growth and tech advancement is Giga Watt, a rapidly growing U.S. enterprise that offers hosted mining services through its facility in Wenatchee, Washington. The company recently announced the launch of its Giga Watt Demo Pod project, the beginning of a large, multi-phase data center initiative. The Demo Pod Project will consist of the construction of a major cul-de-sac in Wenatchee (population: 33,000) which will, in turn, support the completion of the Pods physical concept.

As a result, Giga Watt’s Demo Pod project has been made possible by the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB), which, in November 2017, approved over $900,000 in public monies for infrastructural expansion to the city of Wenatchee.

As the news breaks, many technology companies have begun flocking to the region to take advantage of the cheap energy rates. As the region’s urban center, Wenatchee depended on agriculture as the key driver of its local economy. While farming remains an integral part of economic activity in the region, there has been a great deal of diversification within the local economy in recent years.

While the region’s agricultural heritage still holds prominence, hydroelectric power, health care, technology and tourism have risen in terms of their impact and influence. The area’s Confluence Technology Center houses a Yahoo! data center in addition to a myriad of small-to-medium technology firms all part of a local business community where fiber infrastructure holds sway.

Giga Watt was founded by Dave Carlson, a software engineer who started a bitcoin mining company operating under the brand name MegaBigPower in 2012. The Giga Watt Project is a partnership between Giga Watt, a U.S. company, which offers mining hosting services at its Wenatchee, Washington, facilities, and GigaWatt Pte. Ltd., a Singapore company, which sells mining equipment to customers worldwide.

The company’s full-service mining solutions provide a full range of mining services from equipment sales, maintenance, repair and private blockchain servicing. It offers competitive services to not only clients of hosting companies but to those seeking alternatives to home mining, cloud mining and self-built facilities.

The proprietary Giga Pods, according to the white paper,

“Takes advantage of the mining hardware extremely high-power density, avoids active cooling consumption, and saves power for high-efficiency mining, thus minimizing costs in every aspect of mining operations.”

This development is seen as an additional boost to a Wenatchee region that continues to flourish due to the Public Utility District of Chelan County’s commitment to a fiber backbone that greatly expands data connectivity for the region. The area’s real estate continues to experience steady growth, even amid economic downturns. In 2015, Forbes ranked the Wenatchee Metro Area 7th best in the nation for cost of doing business.

Giga Watt plans to use the the data pod primarily for Bitcoin and Blockchain computing. However, Carlson admits that he sees a much greater scope for this new project. Lisa Parks, Executive Director of the Port of Douglas County supports this contention saying that the Giga Watt project is not only important to the development of the Airport’s Industrial Park, it’s also the future of new businesses in the area.

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A lot of zeros: As bitcoin’s price passes $10,000, its rise seems unstoppable

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

Print section Print Rubric:  Investors are piling into an illiquid asset. What can possibly go wrong? Print Headline:  A lot of zeros Print Fly Title:  Buttonwood UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  A lot of zeros MOST money these days is electronic—a series of ones and zeros on a computer. So it is rather neat that bitcoin, a privately created electronic currency, has lurched from $1,000 to above $10,000 this year (see chart), an epic journey to add an extra zero. On the way, the currency has been controversial. Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase, has called it a fraud. Nouriel Roubini, an economist, plumped for “gigantic speculative bubble”. Ordinary investors are being tempted into bitcoin by its rapid rise—a phenomenon dubbed FOMO (fear of missing out). Both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, America’s largest futures market, and the NASDAQ stock exchange have ...

A lot of zeros: As bitcoin’s price passes $10,000, its rise seems unstoppable

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

Print section Print Rubric:  Investors are piling into an illiquid asset. What can possibly go wrong? Print Headline:  A lot of zeros Print Fly Title:  Buttonwood UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  A lot of zeros MOST money these days is electronic—a series of ones and zeros on a computer. So it is rather neat that bitcoin, a privately created electronic currency, has lurched from $1,000 to above $10,000 this year (see chart), an epic journey to add an extra zero. On the way, the currency has been controversial. Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase, has called it a fraud. Nouriel Roubini, an economist, plumped for “gigantic speculative bubble”. Ordinary investors are being tempted into bitcoin by its rapid rise—a phenomenon dubbed FOMO (fear of missing out). Both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, America’s largest futures market, and the NASDAQ stock exchange have ...

A report found that fine-dining restaurants have 132 times as much bacteria as fast-food chains

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

mcdonalds french fries

  • A report found that fine-dining chains are harboring 100 times more bacteria than fast-food chains. 
  • While fast food has a bad reputation, there are reasons to believe it's safer to eat than the food at many fancy restaurants. 
  • Workers have less opportunities to spread bacteria, and corporate oversight cuts down on risks. 

 

President Donald Trump seems to be right about one thing — fast-food locations are less likely to have bacteria than fine-dining restaurants, according to a new report. 

Samples collected at three fast-food joints and three fine-dining establishments found the upscale locations to be a more likely host for germs, according to dinnerware supplier Restaurantware. The average bacteria colony count of the fast-food locations was a little over 20,000; the average colony count of the three fine-dining establishments was more than 2.7 million. 

mcdonald's fast food worker

Six samples don't make for a very complete study — but there are reasons to believe that fancy restaurants tend to have more bacteria than fast-food. 

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has said in the past that McDonald's and other fast-food chains "may be the safest paces to eat out," Time reported. 

Many of the most dangerous opportunities to spread bacteria happen when employees are handling food, especially raw food. Since fast-food chains often get food delivered frozen and then simply reheat or fry the meals, there's less opportunity for bacteria to spread.

Chipotle, a rare chain where workers did handle raw food and uncooked vegetables, witnessed the dangers of more hands-on methods of food preparation during its E. coli outbreak in 2015. 

Additionally, fast-food chains have stricter regulations than some independent restaurants do. Corporations have rules regarding everything from hand-washing to the specific temperature and time that food needs to be cooked.

There may not be much room for creativity — but there's also little room for error. 

SEE ALSO: Reports of fecal bacteria in drinks at chains like McDonald's are a red flag for bigger problems, a scientist explains

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

Walgreens CEO isn't convinced Amazon will get into healthcare

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

stefano pessina

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Stefano Pessina doesn't see Amazon getting into the pharmacy business. 
  • His comments come at a time when other healthcare companies have been taking Amazon's potential entry into healthcare very seriously.
  • Pessina said if Amazon were to get into the pharmacy business, it would have to "buy or team up."
  • But if Amazon does start offering direct delivery of medicines to customers, that would hurt Walgreens' retail business as people have less reason to stop by a drug store.


There's a lot of speculation these days about whether Amazon is going to enter the pharmaceutical industry. Not everyone in the industry is worried about this, though.

"They will not come in an industry so complicated as our industry," Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Stefano Pessina said at the Forbes Healthcare Summit on Thursday

If Amazon does want to enter the pharmaceutical industry, it would have to "buy or to team up," Pessina said.

That's a different sentiment than we've seen lately: worry about the drug-sales business being Amazon'd has sent healthcare stocks tumbling, and is even credited with sparking a potential $60 billion takeover.

Whether Amazon does enter the business, and if it does, what that business will look like, remains to be seen. There are a lot of people involved in the process of delivering and paying for your prescription, from the drugmakers, to insurers, to the pharmacy. 

But one way Amazon could get into the pharmacy business would directly impact Walgreens. It could distribute drugs to people who aren't using insurance, at a cash price. If patients could get their drugs through Amazon, they might not have to stop by a pharmacy like Walgreens, which could hurt its retail business

But if Amazon wants to serve people who do have insurance, that will require extra legwork, which could mean buying or teaming up as Pessina mentioned. 

ZS principal Pratap Khedkar told Business Insider that ultimately, should Amazon decide to get into the pharmacy business, it will have to acquire a pharmacy benefits manager, which negotiate discounts to drug prices for health plans. "Things are so arcane that they will have to buy something and fix it instead of build it from scratch," he said. 

SEE ALSO: Healthcare companies are taking Amazon very seriously

DON'T MISS: 13 times bosses mocked new technology and got it wrong

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NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

Opinion: Bitcoin Mining Consuming More Electricity Than 159 Countries is a Positive

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

[…]

The post Opinion: Bitcoin Mining Consuming More Electricity Than 159 Countries is a Positive appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

PwC's Hong Kong Office Accepts Bitcoin Payment

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

'Big Four' firm PwC recently accepted bitcoin in exchange for advisory services, a news report revealed Thursday.

Bitcoin keeps sliding a day after wild trading

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

Screen Shot 2017 11 30 at 10.05.26 AM

  • Bitcoin, the red-hot digital coin, was trading down 3.8% Thursday morning. 
  • The coin has been under pressure as anxiety mounts over a number of outages at leading crypto-exchanges.

Bitcoin is under pressure a day after a wild trading session for the scorching-hot digital currency. 

Bitcoin, which pushed past $11,000 on Wednesday, was trading down 3.8% Thursday morning at $9,465 a coin, according to Markets Insider data. On Wednesday, the coin shed more than $1,000 in a couple of hours as anxiety mounted over a number of outages at leading cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Users of Coinbase's professional trading platform, and Bitstamp, a bitcoin exchange based in Luxembourg, reported slow performance and outages. Such platforms have struggled to keep up with the explosive rise of bitcoin and increased trading volumes for cryptocurrencies. 

24-hour volumes, according to crypto data site CoinMarketCap, hit all-time highs in November. At the time of publication, they were just under $20 billion. To put that in context, the New York Stock Exchange sees approximately $50 billion of shares exchange on its floor during any given trading day. 

The problem is platforms like Coinbase don't have the infrastructure to handle volumes that high, according to Garrett See, the CEO of DV Chain, the crypto trading division of Chicago-trading firm DV Trading. 

See told Business Insider his firm is focusing on how it can improve the interface between his trading desks and cryptocurrency exchanges. 

"We have been adapting the software we use on the traditional side and applying them to cryptocurrency markets," See said. 

Coinbase blamed high volumes for problems with their site in a tweet out early Thursday morning. 

Screen Shot 2017 11 30 at 9.54.45 AM

Exchanges appear to be stepping up their game, however. San Francisco-based Kraken, for instance, has been actively hiring developers to improve their infrastructure. 

"Development team growth has been part of our strategy all along," CEO Jesse Powell wrote in a statement to Business Insider. "The increased volume has validated our hunch. The key to hiring though is to ensure we are preserving Kraken's extremely high standards."

Still, traders are incredulous about whether efforts on the part of exchanges will translate into anything meaningful.

"They've said this for years," said Josh Olszewicz, a trader and writer for Brave New Coin."It's been s--- for a while."

Screen Shot 2017 11 30 at 9.29.00 AM

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Major Japanese crypto exchange lands in the US

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

us crypto attitudes

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Fintech Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

The world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Japan-based bitFlyer, launched in the US on Tuesday as bitFlyer US, after receiving a BitLicense from New York's Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), as well as licenses from 40 other states. bitFlyer US is targeted at professional traders who trade a minimum of $100,000 in cryptocurrency monthly, says Forbes.

For now, the platform only supports Bitcoin trading, but plans to allow Ether, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies in early 2018. bitFlyer first revealed its US expansion plans in August.

bitFlyer US seems to have a major advantage to steam ahead in the US market. It plans to give US traders access to its Japanese exchange, and hence Japan's booming crypto market. Unlike major US rival Coinbase, bitFlyer will allow US traders to access its Japanese exchange.

This is significant, as Bitcoin trading in yen constitutes about 60% of global Bitcoin trading volumes, and bitFlyer holds a whopping 80% of this, according to CNBC. By comparison, the US dollar accounts for just 20% of global Bitcoin trades, says Forbes. As such, bitFlyer US would be giving US traders access to one of the world’s most dynamic Bitcoin markets via a regulated platform, a powerful differentiator.

However, bitFlyer US' success is by no means guaranteed. Since surpassing $10,000, the price of Bitcoin has been extremely volatile — it rose as high as $11,340 on Wednesday before dropping back down to $9,290, and at the time of writing continued to swing wildly. This ongoing volatility will likely make many institutional investors think twice before committing significant volumes of funds to the asset. As such, it seems likely that bitFlyer US' future will remain uncertain until more stability in the price of Bitcoin is established.

Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a report that compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

 In full, the report:

  • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
  • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
  • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
  • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

 Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

Join the conversation about this story »

Major Japanese crypto exchange lands in the US

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

us crypto attitudes

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Fintech Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

The world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Japan-based bitFlyer, launched in the US on Tuesday as bitFlyer US, after receiving a BitLicense from New York's Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), as well as licenses from 40 other states. bitFlyer US is targeted at professional traders who trade a minimum of $100,000 in cryptocurrency monthly, says Forbes.

For now, the platform only supports Bitcoin trading, but plans to allow Ether, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies in early 2018. bitFlyer first revealed its US expansion plans in August.

bitFlyer US seems to have a major advantage to steam ahead in the US market. It plans to give US traders access to its Japanese exchange, and hence Japan's booming crypto market. Unlike major US rival Coinbase, bitFlyer will allow US traders to access its Japanese exchange.

This is significant, as Bitcoin trading in yen constitutes about 60% of global Bitcoin trading volumes, and bitFlyer holds a whopping 80% of this, according to CNBC. By comparison, the US dollar accounts for just 20% of global Bitcoin trades, says Forbes. As such, bitFlyer US would be giving US traders access to one of the world’s most dynamic Bitcoin markets via a regulated platform, a powerful differentiator.

However, bitFlyer US' success is by no means guaranteed. Since surpassing $10,000, the price of Bitcoin has been extremely volatile — it rose as high as $11,340 on Wednesday before dropping back down to $9,290, and at the time of writing continued to swing wildly. This ongoing volatility will likely make many institutional investors think twice before committing significant volumes of funds to the asset. As such, it seems likely that bitFlyer US' future will remain uncertain until more stability in the price of Bitcoin is established.

Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a report that compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

 In full, the report:

  • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
  • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
  • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
  • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

 Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

Join the conversation about this story »

Bitcoin Price Fights for $10,000 as Volatility Triggers Record Trading Volume

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Price Fights for $10,000 as Volatility Triggers Record Trading Volume appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

There's a 'fatal' flaw in cryptocurrencies which means they can never be real currencies

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

Bitcoins and a ten pound note are seen in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2017.

  • UBS Wealth Management economist Paul Donovan says that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can never truly be considered currencies.
  • "A currency has to be a widely used medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies are never going to achieve that. Period."
  • They fail key tests for what a currency actually is, including that they cannot be used as a store of value.


LONDON — Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum will never become true currencies thanks to a series of "fatal" flaws, a senior economist at Swiss banking giant UBS has said.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion attended by Business Insider on Thursday, Paul Donovan, the global chief economist at UBS's wealth management arm, tore into the argument that cryptocurrencies could eventually replace fiat currencies like the pound and the dollar.

"The problem that cryptocurrencies face is that they fail the two key metrics of what makes a currency a currency," Donovan said. "A currency has to be a widely used medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies are never going to achieve that. Period."

One of the main reasons for this, Donovan said, is to do with taxation, and the inability to use cryptocurrencies to settle tax liabilities.

"The reason I'm so definite about this, is that if you look in the OECD, on average, 34% of all economic activity is taxed," he said.

"Governments are not likely to accept cryptocurrencies that they do not control" to settle taxes.

"Cryptocurrencies that they do not control will not be accepted by governments for tax payments. You are therefore removing one of the main sources of demand for a currency. One of the key issues whenever we talk about monetary economics, is that the money supply should never, ever, ever be considered in isolation.

"Money supply needs to be considered against money demand. If you do not have the ability to use cryptocurrencies for the largest single transaction in the economy, then it will never be a majority medium of exchange.

Citing the example of the 1,000-year-old jiaozi — widely believed to be the first paper currency — Donovan pointed out fatal flaws in the current crypto market.

"If you're interested in historical parallels, the 10th or 11th century kingdom of Sichuan introduced a paper currency. It was an enormous success initially because the kingdom of Sichuan insisted that people pay their taxes using paper currency. As a result, there was an enormous demand, and initially the paper currency kept its value," he said.

"Unfortunately, there weren't any economists in the kingdom of Sichuan, and they just kept printing the stuff, and then money supply exceeded demand, and it all went horribly wrong."

total cryptocurrency bitcoin market cap

Donovan's point is that cryptocurrencies are almost certain to end up having huge imbalances in supply and demand, simply because there is effectively an unlimited supply of them, but a very clear demand ceiling.

"The fatal issue for cryptocurrencies is that the supply of them can only ever go up. There is unlimited upside to the supply of cryptocurrencies," he said.

"An individual cryptocurrency may have a ceiling on supply, but if were to introduce the Donovan cryptocurrency next week — which clearly would be superior to all existing cryptocurrencies — then what you would see would be a massive move out of existing cryptocurrencies, and into the new technically superior currency."

"And because you cannot reduce the supply of a cryptocurrency, that drop in demand would not be matched by a drop in supply, and therefore if demand goes down, but supply does not, we all know what happens to value. It is basic economics."

That ever-growing supply of cryptocurrencies can be seen in the recent boom in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The basic concept of the ICO is that startups issue digital coins or tokens in exchange for real money used to fund projects. ICOs have become hugely popular this year, with over $3 billion raised using the method in 2017 so far.

Without a central bank to regulate things like bitcoin, Donovan said, there is simply no way of controlling the "money" supply.

In the USA right now, he said "the Federal Reserve is reducing money supply in the USA at the rate of $10 billion a month. That's because "demand for liquid dollars has dropped, and in order to preserve the value of the dollar, i.e. avoid inflation, the Fed is reducing money supply to match a reduction in demand."

"That cannot happen with a cryptocurrency," he said.

Furthermore, Donovan noted, a key feature of anything that can be considered a true currency is that it must act as a store of value — essentially meaning that you can put your money into it and be reasonably comfortable that in normal circumstances its value is not going to fluctuate massively.

Cryptocurrencies cannot do that, he says.

"Bitcoin in particular has had, I think, three hyperinflation episodes this year. That is to say its ability to purchase goods has dropped more than 25% in the course of a week. That is not a particularly stable store of value."

"Cryptocurrencies are, at the moment, universally treated as assets not as currencies for tax purposes."

"What that means is that if the price of bitcoin rises against the pound sterling and I cash in, I am liable to capital gains tax on the appreciation of the currency. If the value of sterling rises 20% against the US dollar, then I am not liable to capital gains tax on that appreciation."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is what you get when you invest in an initial coin offering

Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Says Bitcoin Should be ‘Outlawed’

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

[…]

The post Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Says Bitcoin Should be ‘Outlawed’ appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

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

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

chicago traders

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning! Nasdaq trying to bounce back from its worst session since June, but so far a uninspiring 40bp bounce with NVDA and NFLX only ~1% higher.  The beneficiaries of yesterday’s rotation, Banks and Retailers, are drifting around unch.  Overseas, Tech remains for sale in Europe and Asia, while Banks remain well bid.   DAX is up 80bp tho, with every sector in the green, but Semis under pressure, with Dialog off 1%+.   Stronger Sterling has FTSE lagging, with London trading 20bp higher.   In Asia, Nikkei gained 60bp, but Tech smoked everyone else - Hang Seng got smoked for 1.5% as Tech followed Tencent’s 2%+ hit - Shanghai lost 60bp, Shenzhen 90bp as Chinese Financials were under pressure - KOSPI down 1.5% as Sammy hit for 3.5% and Hynix 6% - While Oz lost 70bp after the launch of a judicial inquiry into its financial industry 

The US 10YY kissed 2.4% in the overnight, before weaker EU data caused a bid in Bunds, knocking Yields slightly lower.   The DXY is in rally mode, despite Gilts continuing to get hit as hawks eyeball a Brexit resolution and Sterling 2month highs.  A Big miss in German Retail Sales and weaker EU Inflation prints, while that $/Y 1 week highs.  South Korea’s won falls after first rate rise in 6 years.  Bitcoin was rejected from $10,000 again overnight, will be interested in today’s action with a $9,000 “Floor” set yesterday.  Chinese PMIs drove their 10YY down 5bp, and is sparking a bid in Commodities.  Ore jumped 1.5% in Dalian, while Rebar adds to this week’s 4% gain.  Copper is up 60bp, while the $ has Gold under some pressure.  WTI up 1% as the OPEC Decision looms, and the market has priced in a 9month extension to the end of 2018

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: A senior investment officer at a $695 billion firm breaks down tax reform

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

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

chicago traders

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning! Nasdaq trying to bounce back from its worst session since June, but so far a uninspiring 40bp bounce with NVDA and NFLX only ~1% higher.  The beneficiaries of yesterday’s rotation, Banks and Retailers, are drifting around unch.  Overseas, Tech remains for sale in Europe and Asia, while Banks remain well bid.   DAX is up 80bp tho, with every sector in the green, but Semis under pressure, with Dialog off 1%+.   Stronger Sterling has FTSE lagging, with London trading 20bp higher.   In Asia, Nikkei gained 60bp, but Tech smoked everyone else - Hang Seng got smoked for 1.5% as Tech followed Tencent’s 2%+ hit - Shanghai lost 60bp, Shenzhen 90bp as Chinese Financials were under pressure - KOSPI down 1.5% as Sammy hit for 3.5% and Hynix 6% - While Oz lost 70bp after the launch of a judicial inquiry into its financial industry 

The US 10YY kissed 2.4% in the overnight, before weaker EU data caused a bid in Bunds, knocking Yields slightly lower.   The DXY is in rally mode, despite Gilts continuing to get hit as hawks eyeball a Brexit resolution and Sterling 2month highs.  A Big miss in German Retail Sales and weaker EU Inflation prints, while that $/Y 1 week highs.  South Korea’s won falls after first rate rise in 6 years.  Bitcoin was rejected from $10,000 again overnight, will be interested in today’s action with a $9,000 “Floor” set yesterday.  Chinese PMIs drove their 10YY down 5bp, and is sparking a bid in Commodities.  Ore jumped 1.5% in Dalian, while Rebar adds to this week’s 4% gain.  Copper is up 60bp, while the $ has Gold under some pressure.  WTI up 1% as the OPEC Decision looms, and the market has priced in a 9month extension to the end of 2018

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: One type of ETF is taking over the market

‘Big 4’ Accounting Giant PwC Accepts its First Bitcoin Payment

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

'Bitcoin has developed as a broadly accepted form of settlement,' PwC's APAC chairman.

The post ‘Big 4’ Accounting Giant PwC Accepts its First Bitcoin Payment appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Rebel investor TCI Fund still isn't ending its fight with the London Stock Exchange

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

Christopher Hohn of The Children's Investment Fund leaves Portcullis House on January 27, 2009 in London. Senior hedge fund managers appeared before the Treasury Select Committee hearing into the banking crisis. (Photo by )

  • Hedge fund TCI Fund, which owns 5% of London Stock Exchange, believes CEO Xavier Rolet is being forced out by the board.
  • Rolet left "with immediate effect" on Wednesday due to "unwelcome publicity."
  • TCI Fund still wants to call a general meeting of shareholders where the board will be asked questions about the reasons for Rolet's departure.


LONDON — The investment group battling the London Stock Exchange's board is continuing its fight despite the company's efforts to draw a line under the fight.

The Children's Investment (TCI) Fund had accused the LSE board of forcing out CEO Xavier Rolet and called for Rolet to remain in the role and chairman Donald Brydon to leave instead.

The hedge fund, which owns 5% of LSE Group, claims Brydon and the board are forcing Rolet out with the threat of reputational damage from an alleged dossier and says that the board are using confidentiality agreements to prevent proper scrutiny of their actions. TCI Fund claims there is a "major corporate governance problem" at the company.

LSE announced on Wednesday that Rolet's departure was being accelerated by a year and he was leaving "with immediate effect" as a result of what Rolet called "unwelcome publicity, which has not been helpful to the Company." Brydon also announced that he would not seek re-election as chairman.

LSE called for TCI Fund to withdraw its call for a general shareholder meeting at which investors would be asked to vote on calling off the search for a new CEO and keeping Rolet in place.

TCI Fund CEO Sir Christopher Hohn said in a letter sent to the LSE board on Thursday and seen by Business Insider that he will not withdraw its request for a general meeting. But he said he would withdraw the request for a vote on keeping Rolet in place and ending the search for a new CEO.

Hohn wants the LSE board to answer questions from shareholders on the specific reasons for Rolet's departure, its succession planning arrangements, and whether alternatives to Rolet's departure were discussed.

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NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

Topped Out? Bitcoin Flirts with Short-Term Bearish Reversal

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

Bitcoin prices are taking a hit at press time, and could suffer a deeper pullback over the weekend, the price charts indicate.

iPhone X, Bitcoin, WannaCry and more: Biggest tech stories of 2017

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

As in previous years, 2017 was a huge year across the technology landscape. New products were announced, backlash against the tech sector became more pronounced than it has been in years and concerns about how technology is being used for nefarious reasons popped up seemingly daily.

Bitcoin Price Tops $13,000 in India as Investors Join Boom Time Despite 30% Premium

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Price Tops $13,000 in India as Investors Join Boom Time Despite 30% Premium appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

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

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

Army dog

Here is what you need to know. 

The US economy registers its strongest growth in 3 years. A second estimate of third quarter gross domestic product showed the US economy grew at a 3.3% annualized rate, its strongest since 2014.  

The Senate GOP tax bill clears a hurdleThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed a motion to proceed with a 52 to 48 vote along party lines. There will be 20 hours of debate before a final vote happens on Friday.  

Oil is little changed ahead of OPEC's decisionBrent crude oil, the international benchmark, trades down 0.17% at $63.24 a barrel as traders await the cartel's decision on whether to extend the production cuts agreed to last November. 

Bitcoin dives back below $10,000The cryptocurrency trades down 1.71% at $9,681 a coin, sliding back below the $10,000 level just before midnight ET. Bitcoin hit a record high of $11,413 on Wednesday before plunging by at least 20%. 

The IRS wants to know Coinbase's biggest players. A court ordered the cryptocurrency exchange to hand over information to the Internal Revenue Service about the 14,355 account holders who made a transaction of $20,000 or more between 2013 and 2015. 

Sears' loss narrows, same-store sales plungeThe retailer announced a loss of $558 million in the third quarter and said same-store sales plunged 15.3% versus a year ago.  

Nokia denies report that it's in talks to buy Juniper Networks"Nokia is not currently in talks with, nor is it preparing an offer for, Juniper Networks related to an acquisition of that company," the company said in a statement after CNBC reported a deal was in the works. 

Stock markets around the world trade mixedHong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.51%) was hit hard in Asia and Germany's DAX (+0.76%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.24% near 2,632.

Earnings reports trickle outKroger reports ahead of the opening bell and VMware releases its quarterly results after markets close. 

US economic data keeps comingInitial claims, personal income and spending, and PCE core prices will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before the Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index crosses the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 2.38%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

Army dog

Here is what you need to know.

The US economy registers its strongest growth in 3 years. A second estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product showed the US economy grew at a 3.3% annualized rate, its strongest since 2014.

The Senate GOP tax bill clears a hurdle. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed a motion to proceed with a 52-48 vote along party lines. There will be 20 hours of debate before a final vote happens Friday.

Oil is little changed ahead of OPEC's decision. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, trades down 0.17% at $63.24 a barrel as traders await the cartel's decision on whether to extend the production cuts agreed to last November.

Bitcoin dives back below $10,000. The cryptocurrency trades down 1.71% at $9,681 a coin, sliding back below the $10,000 level just before midnight ET. Bitcoin hit a record high of $11,413 on Wednesday before plunging by at least 20%.

The IRS wants to know Coinbase's biggest players. A court ordered the cryptocurrency exchange to hand over information to the Internal Revenue Service about the 14,355 account holders who made a transaction of $20,000 or more from 2013 to 2015.

Sears' loss narrows, same-store sales plunge. The retailer announced a loss of $558 million in the third quarter and said same-store sales plunged by 15.3% versus a year ago.

Nokia denies report that it's in talks to buy Juniper Networks. "Nokia is not currently in talks with, nor is it preparing an offer for, Juniper Networks related to an acquisition of that company," the company said in a statement after CNBC reported that a deal was in the works.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.51%) was hit hard in Asia, and Germany's DAX (+0.76%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.24% near 2,632.

Earnings reports trickle out. Kroger reports ahead of the opening bell, and VMware releases its quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data keeps coming. Initial claims, personal income and spending, and PCE core prices will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before the Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index crosses the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 2.38%.

Join the conversation about this story »

A Rollercoaster: Bitcoin Price Dips Below $9,100, Recovers to $10,300

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

[…]

The post A Rollercoaster: Bitcoin Price Dips Below $9,100, Recovers to $10,300 appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Bitcoin takes stock after rollercoaster ride

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

The price of Bitcoin fell 21% after passing a record $11,000, but later recovered some of the fall.

Ukrainian Shipping Company Accepts Bitcoin for Faster, Sanctions-Free Global Trade

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

[…]

The post Ukrainian Shipping Company Accepts Bitcoin for Faster, Sanctions-Free Global Trade appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Investors Taking a Risk Buying Bitcoin, Says ECB Vice President

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

The vice president of the European Central Bank said yesterday that investors are taking a risk buying bitcoin at current high prices.

TSB apologises as payments glitch hits on payday

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

Chief Executive of the TSB bank, Paul Pester, poses outside the bank's Baker Street branch in London September 9, 2013. Britain's 200-year-old TSB bank returned to the high street on Monday after an 18-year absence, the result of action by regulators and the government to introduce greater competition for the country's banks following several consumer scandals.

  • Payments to and from TSB bank experiencing issues on Thursday morning.
  • Some customers complain they have been left without their salary on payday.
  • Bank apologises to customers, saying it's "working as hard and as fast as we can to resolve any issues."


LONDON — TSB is investigating problems with standing orders and bank-to-bank transfers, leaving some customers without their salary on payday.

The bank is experiencing issues with payments on Thursday and a customer service assistant confirmed to BI that the bank has been aware of problems since around 7 a.m. (Disclosure: the author is a TSB customer affected by the issue.)

The assistant said it is unclear whether the issue is specific to TSB or affecting other banks too.

Some TSB customers took to Twitter to complain of issues:

A spokesperson for TSB confirmed the bank was aware of problems and investigating.

The spokesperson said: "We’d like to apologise to our customers who might be experiencing some disruption when making or receiving payments to TSB. We’re working as hard and as fast as we can to resolve any issues and will update our customers as soon as we possibly can."

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Shares in the owner of the Daily Mail plunge 25% after warning of a tough 2018

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

Daily Mail

  • Shares in Daily Mail owner DMGT dropped nearly 25% in early trading on Thursday
  • The company announced losses of £112.3 million for the full year to September.

 

LONDON — Shares in Daily Mail owner DMGT dropped nearly 25% in early trading on Thursday after posting a pre-tax loss for the full year to September and warned 2018 will be "adversely affected by recent disposals and challenging conditions."

The firm, which also owns the Metro newspaper brand, said in a results statement that its full-year loss was £112.3 million pounds, including impairment charges, compared to last year's profit of £201.7 million.

Here's the chart:

DMGT

It said 2018 would be a "year of transition" and added:

"The Group's short-term earnings will be adversely affected by recent disposals and challenging conditions in some of our sectors.  However, the Board is confident that in the medium term the strategy will result in DMGT being well-positioned to generate sustainable earnings growth with a strong balance sheet which will underpin DMGT's long-standing commitment to deliver real dividend growth."

Shares were down 24% at 531p at 8.40 a.m. GMT (3.40 a.m. ET).

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Mark Carney: Britain could scrap bankers' bonus caps post-Brexit

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

Mark Carney 4

  • Bank of England governor said bankers' bonus rules could be scrapped post-Brexit.
  • Regulation of insurers and challenger banks could also be relaxed, Carney suggests.


LONDON — Britain could scrap restrictions on bankers' bonuses after it leaves the European Union, the Bank of England governor has hinted.

Mark Carney said at an event in London: "There are things we don’t think are necessary... There are areas we would make changes but within the context of maintaining the overall levels of resilience," according to The Financial Times.

Carney highlighted bankers' bonus caps and some parts of insurance regulation as areas that could be changed. He added that he doesn't think challenger banks and building societies shouldn't feel the full weight of regulation that established banks deal with.

EU bonus cap rules currently limit investment bankers' bonuses to 100% of their pay unless shareholders approve awards of up to 200%.

Britain clashed with the EU over the rules and former Chancellor George Osborne fought a legal challenge against the rules in 2014. British authorities believe the rules simply encourage banks to pay higher base salaries to bankers, which cannot be "clawed back" by authorities if any subsequent bad behaviour is uncovered.

Carney was speaking at an event to mark the two-year anniversary of the FICC Markets Standards Board and was asked whether the City of London could become "Singapore-on-sea" after Brexit.

Many pro-Leave politicians have called for a bonfire of regulation after Britain leaves the EU in the hope that it will make Britain more competitive on a global scale.

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South Korea Nears Mandating Regulations for Bitcoin Exchanges

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

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'Frankfurt's importance will continue to increase due to Brexit': Siemens picks Frankfurt over London for a £35 billion health float

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

The headquarters of Siemens AG is seen before the company's annual news conference in Munich, Germany, November 9, 2017.   REUTERS/Michael Dalder

  • Industrial manufacturing giant Siemens will float its medical business in Frankfurt rather than London or New York next year in a move which appears to have been partially influenced by Brexit.
  • "Frankfurt is one of the world’s largest trading centres for securities, and its importance will continue to increase due to Brexit," said a Siemens board member.

LONDON — Industrial manufacturing giant Siemens will float its medical business in Frankfurt rather than London or New York next year in a move which appears to have been partially prompted by Brexit.

The IPO will see Siemens sell 15% to 25% of Healthineers, its medical imaging and diagnostistics business, in a float which would value the company at around £35 billion (€40 billion), the biggest in Germany since 1996.

Siemens is a German company, but the move nonetheless represents a coup for Frankfurt's Deutsche Börse exchange, which has been largely overshadowed by London and New York's exchanges in recent years.

Michael Sen, the Siemens board member responsible for healthcare, previously touted the attractions of listing in New York, but suggested Frankfurt's importance would continue to grow as London's standing diminished as a consequence of Brexit.

"Frankfurt is one of the world’s largest trading centres for securities, and its importance will continue to increase due to Brexit," he said in a statement.

Siemens has already appointed Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan as lead organisers for the share sale.

The listing is expected to take place in the first half of 2018.

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Attention-sapping smartphones could be driving the UK's productivity crisis

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

A member of the audience watches on her smart phone as Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a campaign speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in central London, Britain, June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

  • Britain's poor productivity is a central cause of its economic woes.
  • Many point to a lack of business investment as a root cause, but a recent Bank of England paper has a more novel suggestion: Smartphones.
  • Dan Nixon, a senior analyst at the Bank of England, said an influx of emails and phone calls is estimated to reduce workers' IQ by 10 points — "equivalent to losing a night's sleep."

LONDON — During a speech last year, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane cited Paul Krugman: "Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything."

Britain's productivity crisis has been a driving force behind the dismal economic growth that has characterised its economy since 2009, and policy wonks are increasingly concerned, with Chancellor Philip Hammond last week announcing billions of pounds of extra investment more pounds to his "National Productivity Investment Fund."

But it's difficult to fix a problem for which causes haven't been properly diagnosed. While politicians point to a lack of investment in technology and skills as root causes, a recent Bank of England research paper has a more novel suggestion: Smartphones.

Dan Nixon, a senior analyst at the Bank of England, says persistently weak growth in productivity over the past decade has coincided with a ten-fold rise in global shipments in smartphones:

Screen Shot 2017 11 27 at 11.59.28

That in itself is no more than proof of a weak correlation, but the question is worth exploring: how might distractions be weighing down on productivity? Nixon writes:

"The intuition is simple enough: our minds comprise the bulk of our human capital and what we direct our attention towards is integral to the 'output' of our mental activity. You would therefore expect the ability to pay attention to be a key input into productivity.

Nixon contends that distractions at work — including emails, smartphone notifications, or office noise — might cause weaker productivity via two main channels:

1. The direct impact of distractions on the amount of effective time spent working.

A recent study by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that workers typically spend one hour of their workday browsing social media, rising to 1.8 hours for millennials. The total output lost is greater than those figures, however, because office workers typically take around 25 minutes to recover from interruptions before returning to their original task, Nixon says.

Distractions also appear to reduce the quality of work: An influx of emails and phone calls is estimated to reduce workers' IQ by 10 points — "equivalent to losing a night's sleep."

2. Persistently lower productivity caused by habitually distracted minds.

Nixon's second basic contention here is that frequent distractions might be permanently damaging our ability to work productively, "over and above the direct effects."

The principal argument for that being the case is habit formation: the idea that "our habits are shaped by the way that consumer technologies, such as smartphone apps, are designed to be as addictive as possible."

He cites the Oxford Internet Institute's James Williams, who argues that "distracted moments can quickly lead to distracted days," and former Google employee Tristan Harris, who argues that smartphone technologies are designed to "hijack the mind."

Harris offers the example of the bottomless scrolling newsfeed, which is designed to encourage the user to scroll on their phone endlessly on social media apps in case something better appears.

"The psychological mechanism at play here – intermittent variable rewards – is the same as the one that gets people hooked on slot machines," Nixon says.

The second argument for smartphones permanently damaging workforce productivity essentially boils down to "multi-tasking."

"The more we have different sources of notifications in the workplace competing for our attention, the more we’ll constantly scan different channels in an attempt to stay on top of things," Nixon writes.

"The problem is that this mode of working – termed “continuous partial attention” – serves to fragment our attention, reducing our focus on the task at hand. In effect, this is a variation on multitasking – which is widely discredited as an effective mode of working."

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‘We need to start doing things in a different way’: Tesco executives discussed the need for ‘cultural change’ months before £250 million accounting scandal broke

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, which wiped billions from the retailer's value.
  • An email sent to Rogberg nearly a year before the scandal broke suggested the firm needed "cultural change about doing the right thing."
  • Rogberg said references to terms such as "pull-forward" challenges were a sign of financial health, rather than “internal jargon used … to describe the falsification of figures” as the prosecution alleges.

LONDON — A Tesco executive suggested the firm’s management "need[ed] to start doing things in a different way" nearly a year before the supermarket chain admitted it overstated profits by nearly £250 million in 2014, a court heard on Wednesday.

Former UK finance director Carl Rogberg, 50, is one of three former Tesco executives on trial for fraud at Southwark Crown Court. All three deny the charges.

Defending Rogberg, barrister Nicholas Purnell showed the jury an email sent on November 14, 2013 to Rogberg by John Fearne, a former senior member of Rogberg’s finance team who faces no charges of wrongdoing.

Fearne said in the email that Tesco’s management "needs cultural change about doing the right thing and not always following others," singling out the marketing team specifically.

Asked by Purnell what the comment meant, Rogberg said it suggested "we need[ed] to start doing things in a different way."

The defendants are charged with abusing their position by dishonestly concealing the true nature of Tesco’s financial accounts.

The prosecution previously alleged that the executives commissioned employees to "pull forward" income from future accounting periods to disguise a black hole in its existing accounts, and used "jargon" terms like "legacy challenge" to "describe the falsification of figures and the problems this created."

Purnell highlighted in emails sent to Rogberg "repeated" references to terms including "pull-forward income" and "legacy," and asked if such references had concerned him.

Rogberg told the jury: "Not at all. I would almost say on the contrary."

"Legacy was about making sure that we had a really good stock of inventory, not full of old stock, and making sure that we accounted for it in a proper way," he said.

Tesco’s disclosure of a £247 forecast profit overstatement in September 2014 wiped billions of pounds from its stock market value and plunged the supermarket giant into crisis.

The overstatement was identified three weeks after current chief executive Dave Lewis replaced Phil Clarke.

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 trial began on September 29, and is expected to last until January.

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Hackers Infiltrate Official Bitcoin Gold Wallet Repository

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

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Just 400%? Willy Woo's Magic Math for Insane Crypto Returns

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

High stakes altcoin investor Willy Woo has the math to back up his (at times turbulent) investment thesis.

The bitcoin exchange Coinbase has been ordered to hand the IRS info on 14,355 of its highest-rolling customers

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

taxes

  • On Wednesday, a court ordered Coinbase to hand over information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about users that made transactions over $20,000 between 2013 and 2015.
  • That request includes information on 14,355 Coinbase customers across 8.9 million transactions, according to the court order. 
  • The order comes nearly a year after the IRS first requested records on all of Coinbase's transactions between 2013 and 2015 as part of its efforts to catch tax evaders.


Just hours after wild fluctuations in bitcoin prices put Coinbase's servers on the fritz, the cryptocurrency exchange is facing a new challenge: the US government. 

Coinbase must turn over information about thousands of its users to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a US district court ruled on Wednesday.

As one of the leading exchanges for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, Coinbase has seen billions of dollars exchanged on its platform— some of which the IRS believes is not being accurately reported by taxpayers.

The court order requires Coinbase to hand over info on all customers who made a transaction worth $20,000 or more between 2013 and 2015. Coinbase has estimated that this request would total 8.9 million transactions between 14,355 different account holders, according to the court order.  

Among the information requested are the names, birth dates, addresses, tax IDs, transaction logs and account invoices of the Coinbase users.

That sounds like a lot of information but it's actually a major narrowing from the IRS's initial summons in November 2016, which sought information about every single transaction on the exchange during the period. Coinbase argued that this was an invasion of its customers' privacy. The company initially ignored the request, before the IRS filed a petition to enforce the summons in March of this year. 

An "unprecedented victory for the industry"

A blog post from Coinbase Wednesday celebrated the ruling as a partial success, calling it an "unprecedented victory for the industry." 

"The government’s own lawyers noted at the hearing that the IRS is not accustomed to having to fight for records in this context, and most companies just turn records over without going to court," David Farmer, director of business operations at Coinbase, wrote in the blog.

Farmer wrote that the final number of people whose records were ordered on Wednesday is 97% lower than when the IRS first requested information.

Despite the celebration, Farmer suggested in the blog that Coinbase may not obey the request, or may challenge the order further. "In the event that we ultimately produce the documents under this Court order, we intend to notify impacted users in advance of any disclosure," Farmer wrote. 

Wednesday's court order denied Coinbase's request for an "evidentiary hearing," which Coinbase could have used to argue that the IRS showed bad faith in requesting the documents it asked for. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's price is collapsing and people can't trade because 2 big exchanges have crashed

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Coinbase ordered to turn over data on users trading more than $20,000 to the IRS

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

 Most digital currencies exist in a sort of twilight state just beyond the grasp of federal regulators, but the U.S. tax authority is starting to get savvy to this whole Bitcoin thing. On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Coinbase must supply the IRS with identifying information on users who had more than $20,000 in annual transactions on its platform between 2013 and… Read More

Here’s How Rich You Would Be If You Bought $1000 Worth of Bitcoin a Year Ago

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

As it hits $10,000

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