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Bitfinex Hires Law Firm to Challenge Critics

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

Bitfinex has hired white-shoe law firm Steptoe & Johnson and said it may sue a pseudonymous blogger who has accused the bitcoin exchange of fraud.

Winklevoss Twins: The First Verified Billionaire Bitcoin Holders?

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

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The post Winklevoss Twins: The First Verified Billionaire Bitcoin Holders? appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

STOCKS CLOSE MIXED: Here’s what you need to know

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

trader

Stocks closed mixed on Monday, with the Dow hitting a new record, after a whirlwind weekend in which the Senate narrowly passed its Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the early hours of Saturday morning. The bill proposes to cut the corporate rate to 20% while changing individual tax brackets and significantly undercutting portions of the Affordable Care Act. 

The news injected some much-welcomed volatility into markets. Tech stocks took a beating, while other sectors — like finance  — soared.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,290.05 (+0.24%)
  • S&P 500: 2,639.44 (-0.11%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,775.37 (-1.05%)
  • US 10-year: 2.36% (-1.96%)
  • Oil: $57.45 (-1.56%)
  1. Goldman Sachs' economic team estimates the tax bill would only slightly boost the US economy next year and in 2019, while beyond that things look negative, the analysts said.
  2. The bill also encourages companies to bring their cash back to the US through a one-time repatriation clause. Bank of America analysts rounded up the companies with the most cash reserves that could be brought back.
  3. Finally, the plan has injected volatility into a stock market that had been seeing some of its most muted price swings on record. Tech stocks, on the other hand, took a beating while other sectors soared.

In other news:

CVS is buying Aetna for $69 billion in a deal that could radically reshape the American healthcare system as we know it. The deal creates a new type of company that combines a health insurer, a retail pharmacy, and a company that negotiates prescription drug prices with drugmakers called a pharmacy benefits manager. It's the biggest merger to happen in the US in 2017.

The Winklevoss twins became the first confirmed bitcoin billionaires as the cryptocurrency crossed $11,500 for the first time on record.

CBOE Global Markets, the Chicago-based options and derivatives exchange, announced Monday it'll offer trading of its bitcoin futures product on December 11. The exchange, as well its cross-town rival CME Group, both received clearance from the US Commodity Futures Commission last week to launch bitcoin futures, which would allow investors to bet on the future price of the red-hot digital currency.

Broadcom is laying the foundation for a hostile takeover of competing chipmaker Qualcomm. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ether Price Analysis: Potential Reaccumulation Phase Could Push Stronger Highs

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

Ether Price Analysis

Since its rapid ascent from $8 to the $400s, ether has seen a fair amount of volatility. Over the last few weeks, there has been a surge in volume as it pushed out of its multi-month trading range:

Figure_1 (3).JPGFigure 1: ETH-USD, 12-Hour Candles, Macro Trend

The several months ether spent consolidating appears to have formed a macro Reaccumulation Phase that led to a breakout of the trading range on strong volume; ultimately yielding our current market position in the $450s.

A Reaccumulation Phase is a pause after a strong uptrend that attempts to shake out weak shareholders as the market consolidates toward the stronger holders of a given commodity. A Reaccumulation Phase is intended to torture the weak holders of a commodity into ultimately relinquishing their market share to the stronger market players, before a strong, upward continuation of the previous trend kicks back in.

Some of the characteristics of a Reaccumulation Phase include strong buyback on the dips with high volume and wide candle spread:

Figure_2 (3).JPGFigure 2: ETH-USD, 12 HR Candles, Volume and Price Movement

When analyzing trading ranges, it is paramount to contextualize the price movement and the volume. Doing so reveals the intent of the larger market players and will help give traders insight into the potential strength (or weakness) of their investments. Throughout the length of the trading range, it is common to see several tests of both the upper and lower boundaries (the blue horizontal lines).

One key trait we are looking for when identifying a Reaccumulation Phase is the increase in volume as the stock (or coin in our case) begins to rally toward the latter end of the trading range:

Figure_3 (2).JPGFigure 3: ETH-USD, 12 Hour Candles, Trading Range Breakout

Although the current market trend is somewhat consolidating in these higher price levels, it is a very bullish sign that we have broken out of the trading range and done so on increasing volume. This trend shows that the market is now dominated by demand and all the free-floating supply has been absorbed. As the market begins to test new highs, wait for volume to increase to confirm strength in the upward direction.

Summary:

  1. ETH-USD broke out of a potential, multi-month reaccumulation phase.

  2. Increasing volume on the move out of the trading range gives us confidence in a bullish continuation.

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 Ether Price Analysis: Potential Reaccumulation Phase Could Push Stronger Highs appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

STOCKS CLOSE MIXED: Here’s what you need to know

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

trader

Stocks closed mixed on Monday, with the Dow hitting a new record, after a whirlwind weekend in which the Senate narrowly passed its Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the early hours of Saturday morning. The bill proposes to cut the corporate rate to 20% while changing individual tax brackets and significantly undercutting portions of the Affordable Care Act. 

The news injected some much-welcomed volatility into markets. Tech stocks took a beating, while other sectors — like finance  — soared.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,301.20 (+0.29%)
  • S&P 500: 2,641.95 (-0.01%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,775.37 (-1.05%)
  1. Goldman Sachs' economic team estimates the tax bill would only slightly boost the US economy next year and in 2019, while beyond that things look negative, the analysts said.
  2. The bill also encourages companies to bring their cash back to the US through a one-time repatriation clause. Bank of America analysts rounded up the companies with the most cash reserves that could be brought back.
  3. Finally, the plan has injected volatility into a stock market that had been seeing some of its most muted price swings on record. Tech stocks, on the other hand, took a beating while other sectors soared.

In other news:

CVS is buying Aetna for $69 billion in a deal that could radically reshape the American healthcare system as we know it. The deal creates a new type of company that combines a health insurer, a retail pharmacy, and a company that negotiates prescription drug prices with drugmakers called a pharmacy benefits manager. It's the biggest merger to happen in the US in 2017.

The Winklevoss twins became the first confirmed bitcoin billionaires as the cryptocurrency crossed $11,500 for the first time on record.

CBOE Global Markets, the Chicago-based options and derivatives exchange, announced Monday it'll offer trading of its bitcoin futures product on December 11. The exchange, as well its cross-town rival CME Group, both received clearance from the US Commodity Futures Commission last week to launch bitcoin futures, which would allow investors to bet on the future price of the red-hot digital currency.

Broadcom is laying the foundation for a hostile takeover of competing chipmaker Qualcomm. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The stock market is flashing warning signs

Ethereum's blockchain is jamming up because of a new game that lets people buy virtual cats

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

Screen Shot 2017 12 04 at 12.41.10 PM

 

  • CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based game that let's users buy and sell virtual cats, is exploding in popularity.
  • It's putting pressure on Ethereum, the blockchain fueled by ether.


Just when you thought the world of cryptocurrencies couldn't get zanier, along comes CryptoKitties.

The online cat breeding game, which has been likened to both Beanie Babies and Pokemon, has taken the crypto-world by storm. Based on Ethereum's blockchain, the game allows users to breed, buy, and sell kittens with ether, a rival cryptocurrency to bitcoin. It was created by AxiomZen, a San Francisco- and Vancouver-based company. 

Just like bitcoin, the game has blown up with $3.3 million worth of transactions. Some kittens are listed on its site for more than 50 ether, or approximately $22,500 at ether's price at the time of this writing. More than 20,000 cats have been sold thus far. 

CryptoKitties appears to be pushing Ethereum to its limits with pending transactions on Ethereum's blockchain reaching new highs since the game exploded in popularity, according to data from Etherscan.

"[It's] causing a backlog of transactions," Josh Olszwicz, a bitcoin trader and writer for Brave New Coin, told Business Insider in a Twitter direct message. 

The game accounts for more than 10% of the activity on Ethereum's blockchain, according to EtherGasInfo.com.

Screen Shot 2017 12 04 at 12.55.54 PM

"Ethereum is very actively managed by well-known founders," according to Joe DiPasquale, founder of BitBull Capital, a cryptocurrency fund of funds. "I am confident management will be able to improve the transaction speed."

"I am surprised by the success of the game," he added. 

Ethereum's blockchain was designed to provide the basis for a number of use-cases outside of digital currencies. Companies ranging from 4G Capital, which seeks to help grow businesses in Africa via smart contracts, to WeiFund, a crowdfunding platform, are running applications on Ethereum. 

SEE ALSO: Cboe is racing to launch bitcoin futures trading ahead of rival CME

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real

Bitcoin Mining Now Uses More Power Than 159 Countries

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

Bitcoins

Mining Bitcoin now consumes more than 30 terawatt-hours of power globally, which is higher than the individual energy usage of 159 countries.

The post Bitcoin Mining Now Uses More Power Than 159 Countries appeared first on ExtremeTech.

We’re Guarding Consumers Over Bitcoin: New York Regulator

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

[…]

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Lamborghini just unleashed the fastest SUV in the world

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

Lamborghini Urus

  • The Lamborghini Urus was unveiled on Monday.
  • The SUV is expected to double Lamborghini's annual sales.
  • It's powered by a 650 horsepower, 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, V8 engine.
  • Lamborghini claims the Urus has a top speed of 190 mph. 

Lamborghini unveiled the all-new Urus SUV on Monday in a presentation that could best be described as shambolic. A technical glitch forced Lamborghini to temporarily shut down the launch presentation and global webstream. 

While the presentation may have been a bit of a mess, the Urus is anything but. The Lambo looks lean, mean, and ready to take on the world.

The striking off-roader is just the second SUV in company history and is expected to double the company's annual sales total to around 7,000 cars globally. 

Lamborghini UrusPowered by a 650 horsepower, 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8, Lambo claims the Urus can hit 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 190 mph, besting the Bentley Bentayga's 187 mph mark.

According to Lamborghini, this makes the Urus the fastest SUV in the world.

"The Lamborghini Urus is a visionary approach based on the infusion of Lamborghini DNA into the most versatile vehicle, the SUV," Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali said in a statement. "The Urus elevates the SUV to a level not previously possible, the Super SUV."

Lamborghini UrusWith a starting price of $200,000, the Urus is firmly entrenched in a new class of ultra-luxury, high-performance SUVs dominated by the Bentley Bentagya, Range Rover Autobiography, Porsche Cayenne, and the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is set to join that group in the near future.

In addition to the 650 horses under the hood, the Lambo is also equipped with an 8-speed automatic that sends power to an advanced four-wheel-drive system with active torque vectoring and four-wheel-steering.

Lamborghini UrusThe Urus is also available with carbon ceramic brakes, adaptive air suspension, and six different driving modes.

Inside, the SUV boasts room for four in a leather lined cockpit with a modern touchscreen infotainment system featuring full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Lamborghini expected to begin delivery of the Urus in the Spring of 2018.

SEE ALSO: These are the 22 hottest cars at the 2017 LA Auto Show

FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real

CVS made a $69 billion bet it can become the first place you go when you’re sick (AET, CVS)

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

CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo

  • CVS Health on Sunday said it's acquiring Aetna in a $69 billion deal. 
  • The move could upend the way we pay for healthcare, with Aetna and CVS aiming to make pharmacies the "new front doors of healthcare." 
  • The hope is that by combining the two companies, CVS and Aetna may be able to keep healthcare spending from increasing as much as it has. 


CVS Health and Aetna are merging, in what's the largest deal of 2017. 

The $69 billion deal creates a new type of company that includes a health insurer, a retail pharmacy, and a company that negotiates prescription drug prices with drugmakers called a pharmacy benefits manager. 

The merger is intended to shift the way consumers interact with their healthcare. Both CVS CEO Larry Merlo and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said the plan is to make pharmacies the "new front doors of healthcare" — as opposed to a traditional doctor's office or a hospital. 

"It was clear that CVS Health was moving to become more of a healthcare company and getting closer to the payers, Mark had a similar strategy in getting closer to the customer," Merlo told CNBC on Monday. 

Bertolini recalled on CNBC a conversation he had with Merlo two years ago, in which Merlo said "Every time I do something to save — to you know, improve health, I lose revenue, and you make money." Bertolini responded: "And I said you've got the wrong revenue model. Wouldn't it be better if we could share risk in a way that would allow us to benefit you as a result as what you do to improve people's health?"

Now, with both companies under the same roof, that's a possibility. The hope is that a combined company will find ways to curb healthcare spending.

"More’s needed to truly impact the trajectory of healthcare spending," Merlo said in a call with investors on Monday. 

Visiting the pharmacy

While CVS might be best-known for its roughly 10,000 pharmacies around the US, CVS as a company operates a number of different businesses, including a pharmacy benefits manager, its MinuteClinic health clinics that are staffed by health care professionals, specialty pharmacy fulfillment and management services, mail prescription services, and long-term care services.

If CVS and Aetna are going to make pharmacies the "new front doors of healthcare," that's going to rely heavily on services like the MinuteClinics to have a more comprehensive healthcare experience than just picking up that month's pills. 

Fending off Amazon

The deal is coming at a time when a number of startups have popped up looking for ways to get prescriptions to people without them having to go into a pharmacy. Getting prescriptions without going to a pharmacy could also gain more momentum if Amazon decides to get into the prescription drug business and starts to distribute prescriptions. 

Robert Handfield, a professor of supply-chain management at North Carolina State University, told Business Insider in October that one area where this deal would help CVS out is by directing Aetna members to CVS's pharmacy locations. The actual amount of money prescriptions bring into pharmacies isn't all that much, Handfield said, it's what else you buy while you're at the pharmacy — snacks, drinks, beauty products — that makes pharmacies a booming business.

Say that prescription portion went online, it would be much harder for retail pharmacies to compete with convenience stores, grocery stores and anyone else selling candy bars and deodorant. But say you're an Aetna member, the preferred way to get your prescription might be by going to a CVS pharmacy, bringing foot traffic that might not come organically. 

Adam Holyk, the chief marketing officer at Walgreens, which has about 8,100 pharmacies around the US, said the appeal of going to a pharmacy in-person includes having a healthcare professonal like a pharmacist to get information from. 

"It's not the accessibility of the locations, it's knowing that there's somebody there that can answer your questions that come up," Holyk told Business Insider on Monday. 

SEE ALSO: Healthcare companies are taking Amazon very seriously

DON'T MISS: The year's biggest deal is far from certain

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real

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.

On Sunday, CVS Health agreed to buy insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion. The bankers who spent their weekend closing the transaction, the latest in a wave of megadeals, stand to earn a colossal amount of fees for their firms.

Between advising on the transaction — which could generate significant regulatory scrutiny — and arranging more than $40 billion in financing, seven banks could split more than $500 million if the deal closes. Here's the latest:

In Wall Street news, Morgan Stanley is getting in on the hottest trend in investing. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker told Business Insider that 2018 is a wild card for rate hikes.

And in an interview with Business Insider, President Barack Obama’s former economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, now back at the University of Chicago, said stagnant wages represent one key factor that could prevent the Federal Reserve from continue raising interest rates in 2018 and 2019

Bitcoin hit a new high above $11,500, as the Winklevoss twins became the first bitcoin billionaires. Cboe is racing to launch bitcoin futures trading ahead of rival CME. And a brand-new cybersecurity watchdog just shut down a $15 million cryptocurrency scam.

Lastly, go inside New York City's most festive bar, where they spend more than $60,000 a year getting ready for Christmas.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Cboe to Launch Bitcoin Futures Trading on Sunday

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

[…]

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The founders of Brooklyn's wildest club describe the craziest night out of their lives

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

IMG_4008.JPG

  • Artists Kae Burke and Anya Sapozhnikova are the founders of Brooklyn's wildest, weirdest club, House of Yes
  • The duo got their start working and performing at now-legendary New York warehouse parties, Rubulad and The Danger
  • Their craziest night out involved attending both warehouse parties and streaking, water balloons, a surprise marriage, and a trip to Coney Island

 

Kae Burke and Anya Sapozhnikova are veterans of the New York City nightlife scene, to put it mildly.

The two artists moved to New York over a decade ago as fresh-faced 19-year-olds and threw themselves into the colorful and strange Do-It-Yourself party and art scene that has dominated Brooklyn since the early 2000s. 

Now they run the successful Brooklyn nightclub House of Yes, which they describe as "the weirdest nightclub possible." Party-goers encounter trance and house DJs, aerialists, circus performers, marching bands, burlesque dancers, magicians, and tarot card readers — often all on the same night.

House of Yes, in Burke's words, is place of "cartoon logic" where "anything is possible." 

In their first years in the city, Burke and Sapozhnikova were underage. They weren't able to go out to bars or clubs and the only way they were allowed to go to parties was by working them.

At the time, the DIY-party scene was dominated by Rubulad, an underground warehouse party started in the early 1990s by artists Chris Thomas and Sari Rubinstein that Burke described as a disorienting place "where you have no idea what you are there for" and anything goes. Burke and Sapozhnikova got their start working at Rubulad.

At around the same time, the next generation of Brooklyn warehouse parties began, The Danger parties organized by Will Etundi. 

The Danger parties, according to Untapped Cities, were a "throwback to '80s New York, where there were simply less rules." In the case of one party in 2010, that meant "a four floor warehouse party with hot tub, circus swings, art and film installations, and ten simultaneous live acts." 

Burke and Sapozhnikova's craziest night in New York was when The Danger and Rubulad parties happened on the same night, and they decided to go to both.

The duo had recently lost their home, the first House of Yes, a rundown loft in Ridgewood, to a fire. Feeling mischievous because they hadn't been hired that night (they sometimes worked the parties), the two decided it was their mission to sabotage The Danger party. kae anya 1

They started the night by filling and tying enough water balloons to fill a garbage can, which they then hid from the party organizers. 

They had also made a bunch of masks out of black and white stripes with the eyes cut out and put them in a cardboard box at the party. After a few hours at the party, they told all their friends to meet, put their clothes in the box, and put on the masks. 

Burke said she ran through the party recruiting friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers to join her and Sapozhnikova's prank. 

Over time, Burke said, "you develop this community of fellow people who party and work at parties and everyone is open."

Masked streakers — Burke and Sapozhnikova included —ran around the party naked disrupting the dancing partygoers and the performances. After it was over, the duo decided to head to Rubulad to see what was going on for a few minutes. They ended up staying until sunrise.

When they got back to The Danger, inebriated, they remembered the water balloons. After tracking the trash can down from the security guards, who had been moving it all night, they dragged it out to the yard where everyone still at the party was hanging out. Lots of the streakers were still naked. 

Burke and Sapozhnikova began throwing the water balloons at the partygoers, who then joined in on the water balloon fight. Some began throwing other objects back at the duo. 

"For a minute or two, there was this moment where the sky was full of objects flying through the air," Sapozhnikova said.

Then amidst the crowd, their friend Aaron Goldsmith decided that he needed to perform an impromptu marriage ceremony for Burke and Sapozhnikova.

The night (morning?) ended with the two getting on a train to swim in the ocean off Coney Island. By the time they got there at 10 AM, they were ready to go home.

"The journey there is more important than dancing in the waves," Burke said.

The sense of "vibrant play," spontaneity, and mischief is the essence of what Burke and Sapozhnikova try to offer at House of Yes, Sapozhnikova said.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is one of the best responses to Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a fraud that we have heard so far

A brand-new cybersecurity watchdog just shut down a $15 million cryptocurrency scam

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

A projection of cyber code on a hooded man is pictured in this illustration picture taken on May 13,  2017. Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

  

  • A brand new unit of the Securities and Exchange Commission has shutdown an initial coin offering scam. 
  • This is the first case filed by the new cyber unit, created in September to focus on nefarious activity in the world of crypto. 

 

US regulators appear to be paying more attention to the opaque world of initial coin offerings. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday it halted a fraudulent ICO "falsely promising" over 1,000% returns. The regulator said this was the first case filed by its brand-new cybersecurity unit, aptly named Cyber Unit. 

Initial coin offerings, the red-hot cryptocurrency-based fundraising method, have raised more than $3 billion this year by some estimates. They've come under the scrutiny of regulators across the world because they allow young companies to raise quick money without, in some cases, having to disclose proper information to investors. 

As for the Monday's case, the SEC filed charges against Dominic Lacroix and his firm PlexCorps for soliciting $15 million from thousands of investors. 

"The Commission's complaint, filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, alleges that Lacroix and PlexCorps marketed and sold securities called PlexCoin on the internet to investors in the U.S. and elsewhere, claiming that investments in PlexCoin would yield a 1,354 percent profit in less than 29 days," the regulator said in a statement. 

The Cyber Unit, according to the SEC, was created with the purpose of sniffing out nefarious activity in the crypto and initial coin offering space. 

SEE ALSO: Cboe's president hints at ether and bitcoin cash futures

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is one of the best responses to Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a fraud that we have heard so far

UK plans crackdown on criminals using Bitcoin to launder money

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

The UK government wants to increase regulation around Bitcoin by expanding financial regulations imposed by the European Union. It follows growing concerns that the cryptocurrency is being used to facilitate crime, including drug dealers, brothels an...

CBOE to Begin Bitcoin Futures Trading December 10

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

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has announced that its planned bitcoin futures product will begin trading on Dec. 10.

So what if bitcoin is another bubble? The dot-com bubble gave us the modern internet

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

 “I get asked a lot… is this another dot-com bubble” said Mona El Isa, the chief executive and co-founder of Melonport onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. “And, um… My response usually… goes something like… so what if it is?” Read More

Morgan Stanley is getting in on the hottest trend in investing (MS)

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

James Gorman

  • Morgan Stanley announced Monday that it is launching its own roboadviser.
  • Access Investing will help the New York-based bank reach a wider-net of clients, according to a statement. 


Morgan Stanley is going after the youngsters with a shiny new roboadviser.

The New York-based investment bank announced Monday the launch of Access Investing, an online roboadviser designed to capture a younger clientele.

Roboadvisers deliver financial advice through web platforms and mobile apps and use algorithms to design portfolios, not humans. Roboadvisers are growing fast with assets under management by such platforms expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020, according to research by Aite Group. That's up from approximately $166 at the end of 2017. 

The goal of Morgan Stanley's new offering is to serve as a stepping stone, so to speak, for younger savers who one day might want to tap into the bank's broader suite of wealth-management services when they are wealthier and older. 

“Morgan Stanley Access Investing is an opportunity for financial advisors to grow their book of business by making connections with prospects earlier and eventually establishing full service relationships when clients are ready," Naureen Hassan, chief digital officer, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, said in a statement. 

Roboadvisers were first introduced to the market just after the 2008 financial crisis by financial technology companies such as Wealthfront and Betterment, which today manage around $10 billion a piece. But larger firms have been leaning into the space with some success. For instance, Charles Schwab which launched its first roboadviser in 2015, boasts more than $20 billion under management. 

"As digital advice technology becomes more pervasive, the lines are blurring between traditional advisory services and robo advisors," a recent report on roboadvising by BackendBenchmarking noted. 

As for Morgan Stanley, the firm has already partnered with Twilio, a financial technology firm, to enable financial advisers to text clients, for instance. Also, the firm announced a machine-learning overhaul of its 16,000 financial advisers to help them more effectively interact with clients. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real

The founders of Brooklyn's wildest nightclub explain how partying can be 'resistance' in the Trump era

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

IMG_4008.JPG

  • Artists Kae Burke and Anya Sapozhnikova are the founders of Brooklyn's wildest, weirdest club, House of Yes
  • A central philosophy of House of Yes is acceptance of "all people" regardless of race, sex, size, culture, or religion
  • They say partying can be "resistance through pleasure-seeking" when you use it to connect with all different types of people

 

Artists Kae Burke and Anya Sapozhnikova  say they founded Brooklyn nightclub House of Yes in 2015 to be a place for all people "to truly connect, be themselves, express themselves, make their art, and present their art."

That mission has taken on new meaning as the United States, and the world, have seen pushback against globalization and surges in racism, nationalism, and xenophobia over the last year. 

Burke and Sapozhnikova say the welcoming and accepting ethos of House of Yes has made it a refuge for communities who feel marginalized in the Trump era. 

That aspect coalesced when New York-based South African collective One Tribe and DJ Ameme performed at the club one night in November. 

Sapozhnikova told Business Insider that the energy on the dance-floor felt "political."HouseofYes7

"Everyone in that room was having the time of their life ... but everyone could feel this diversity on the dance floor. It was all ages and races and genders dancing their ass off together," said Sapozhnikova.

"We're living in a really divided time, but to have that, there's a realization that we're going to be okay."

Burke called it "resistance through pleasure seeking."

"The more you do that, the more you can connect with like-minded people and the stronger you are because of it," Burke said.

"When you are partying intentionally, and when the people who are behind it all are creating a platform for you, you can actually connect at the party instead of going and getting f—ked up and escaping. It's revolutionizing yourself."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is one of the best responses to Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a fraud that we have heard so far

WALL STREET PAYDAY: Banks could pull in half a billion in fees from CVS-Aetna deal (CVS)

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

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany (L) and Lotus F1 Formula One driver Romain Grosjean (R) of France spray champagne on the face of Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany on the podium after the Indian F1 Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, October 27, 2013.  Vettel became Formula One's youngest four-times world champion on Sunday after winning the Indian Grand Prix for Red Bull.

  • The $69 billion CVS-Aetna deal could generate more than half a billion in fees for Wall Street investment banks.
  • The latest in a wave of megadeals is another big win for Goldman Sachs, as well as a handful of independents. 


On Sunday, CVS Health agreed a deal to buy insurance giant Aetna in a $69 billion deal. The bankers who spent their weekend closing the transaction, the latest in a wave of megadeals, stand to earn a colossal amount of fees for their firms.

Between advising on the transaction — which could generate significant regulatory scrutiny — and arranging more than $40 billion in financing, seven banks could split more than $500 million if the deal closes. 

It's a big win for Goldman Sachs, which advised CVS on the deal along with Barclays and boutique Centerview Partners. The banks will split $100 million to $125 million, according to Jeffrey Nassof, director of consulting firm Freeman & Co.

Goldman Sachs, along with Evercore Partners, is also representing Qualcomm, which is fending off a $130 billion takeover attempt by Broadcom in what would be the largest tech tie-up in history.

It's also another big win for boutiques and independents, with three independents advising Aetna: Lazard, Allen & Co., and Evercore will also split $100 million to $125 million, according to Nassof. 

The $250 million tab is the second-biggest payday of the year for advisory fees on an announced deal, according to Nassof, following only the Broadcom-Qualcomm transaction, which is very much in limbo

The Aetna-CVS deal will also require an enormous amount of financing, where Goldman Sachs once again wins big. Along with Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the firm will share in as much as $150 million for arranging the $45 billion bridge loan, and the underwriters could see another $200 million for placing some $40 billion in long-term bond financing, according to Nassof. 

All told, that's potentially $600 million in advisory and financing fees from one deal.

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NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real

Bitcoin Price Will Hit $20,000 Before Tanking: Financial Expert

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Price Will Hit $20,000 Before Tanking: Financial Expert appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

The Sun Exchange funds solar installations with micro-investments and bitcoin

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

 Solar power could transform small communities around the world, but remote villages can’t always scrape together the thousands of dollars required to install the cells. The Sun Exchange wants to change that by leveraging the hearts and wallets of hobby investors, who cover the installation costs and then have their share of the revenue trickle in for years to come. There’s even… Read More

Talla Ignites New Frontiers with Blockchain Platform for A.I. Security, Compliance and Trust

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

Botchain


An often heard narrative over the years has centered on the potential impact of artificial intelligence (A.I.) on work. According to CB Insights, last year (2016) more than $5 billion dollars of venture capital was raised by companies where A.I. is a core piece of their product—up from around $3B the year before, and $2.6B prior to that. However while A.I. technology and investments are advancing rapidly, system trust remains a commonly discussed concern for autonomous systems.


Situated at the epicenter of this trend is Talla, a company that has an A.I. powered knowledge and information management platform for business teams like HR, IT and product management.


Aware from the beginning that compliance, auditability and security would be a critical layer of their software—which can make decisions on behalf of humans, and learns and changes over time—Talla became the first enterprise to deliver a blockchain platform for fellow developers of A.I. software to make chatbots and digital agents meet audit and compliance standards.


Known as BotChain, the blockchain platform is based on the premise that, as A.I.-based systems continue to be widely adopted, both users and products will need a technical infrastructure in which identities and transactions are verifiable and auditable. For instance, when an A.I. bot takes action on behalf of a human, such as booking travel, sharing meeting information, or compiling documentation, a digital certificate of those transactions is hashed to a ledger, so that in the event that an audit of what was authorized is needed, it’s immutably stored on the blockchain for reference. Talla believes this technology is the missing element for truly widespread A.I. adoption in business.


“We will soon be in a world in which hundreds of thousands of bot  transactions occur each minute,” said Rob May, Talla CEO and author of a popular machine intelligence newsletter.


“Some [transactions] are human-to-bot; others are bot-to-bot, and some even involve a series of autonomous bots. Each transaction requires an immutable digital certificate to record what happened and why. Bots in the enterprise will only grow when there are ways for them to establish trust with humans and with other bots.”


May asserted that traditional APIs, intended for simple data exchange, are ill-equipped to handle autonomous systems driven by A.I. He also pointed out that the new generation of systems emerging can intelligently adapt, change and make decisions over time. He believes this new generation will help fuel the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” a historical theme in which artificial intelligence becomes critical to how most work is accomplished.


The beauty of BotChain is that it delivers critical systems that it benefits  anyone utilizing A.I. products, as well as those developing them.


Another integral part of BotChain’s value is that it maintains that bot identities are verified with certainty for humans that use them, as well as to other bots. Maintaining verifiable bot identities prevents bot spoofing and spamming.


BotChain’s value to the world of business and enterprise encompasses the following attributes to govern artificial intelligence:  

  • transparency: an auditable, decentralized trail on autonomous decisions reached as well as clear retraining of machine learning models, something many current systems are missing
  • standardization: regulated protocols for autonomous systems which allow them to communicate and, therefore, synchronize work across the network
  • open commerce: later next year, Talla will launch an open marketplace of skills that bot developers can access and add to their product offerings


The Genesis of Talla’s Blockchain-powered A.I.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Talla has raised over $12 million in venture capital, making it one of the best funded startups targeting A.I. autonomous agents for business. The Talla team possesses decades of experience in software building, A.I. and data science. Led by May, the leadership team includes COO Catharina Mallet, Chief Data Scientist Byron Galbraith and Chief Architect Jon Klein.


During the first couple years of building their B2B A.I. knowledge management software, Talla recognized that blockchain technology would be the ideal fit for the platform’s compliance, security and audit infrastructure. In addition, the distributed nature of blockchain allowed for a tool for the entire ecosystem of developers to standardize on protocols, helping accelerate adoption and transactions between multiple intelligent agents. Though some time would elapse before they could dedicate their resources to building the BotChain platform, “the idea, once stuck in our heads, continued to grow,” said May.  


The BotChain Token Sale

The token sale for BotChain’s BOT token is set to commence in early 2018. There is a total supply for 30,000,000 BOT tokens and the initial price for one BOT token will be $5 USD, though the company notes that those are subject to change.


Concludes May: “Ultimately our decision to build BotChain is tied to our belief in the importance of this solution to enable long term adoption of bots in large enterprises. We invite you to read our white paper here and stay tuned as we dive into these issues in greater detail in the days ahead.”

The post Talla Ignites New Frontiers with Blockchain Platform for A.I. Security, Compliance and Trust appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Spin-Offs Caught in a Bull-Bear Tug Of War

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

Bitcoin's recently forked spin-offs bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold are caught up in battles between the bulls and bears. But which side will win out?

Cboe is racing to launch bitcoin futures trading ahead of rival CME

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

traders cboe

  • Cboe Global Markets announced Monday it will offer trading of bitcoin futures on December 11.
  • Chairman and CEO Ed Tilly told Business Insider that the firm is prepared to "redesign and relaunch" bitcoin futures, if appropriate. 

 

Cboe Global Markets, the Chicago-based options and derivatives exchange, announced Monday it'll offer trading of its bitcoin futures product on December 11. 

Cboe and its cross-town rival CME Group got clearance from the US Commodity Futures Commission on Friday to launch bitcoin futures, which would allow investors to bet on the future price of the red-hot digital currency. CME announced Friday it would launch bitcoin futures on December 18. 

Ed Tilly, chairman and chief executive officer of Cboe Global Markets, described the interest in bitcoin futures as unprecedented.

"It has really been the driving force," Tilly told Business Insider."We are not new to launching new products so this is remarkable."

Tilly declined to comment on how that interest will translate into trading volume. Still, he said the firm designed the product to ensure it'll provide the best, most liquid market.

"We dedicated significant time hardening our systems, talking with market makers, and this will continue to be a work in progress," he said. "With other products we've gone back, we've redesigned, we've relaunched."

Trading on Cboe will be free throughout the month of December and will trade under the symbol "XBT."

Terry Duffy, the CEO of CME, said the path forward for bitcoin futures is relatively uncertain. 

"Though we have worked through a lengthy, comprehensive process with the CFTC to get to this point, we recognize bitcoin is a new, uncharted market that will continue to evolve, requiring continued collaboration with the Commission and our clients going forward," he said in a statement. 

As for bitcoin, the cryptocurrency itself is up more than 1,000% at $11,389 at last check. 

SEE ALSO: Cboe's president hints at ether and bitcoin cash futures

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Warren Buffett lives in a modest house that's worth .001% of his total wealth — here's what it looks like

Why Coinbase's blip isn't all bad

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

Comparison of 2017 returns

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

Coinbase, a leading US cryptocurrency exchange, has been ordered to give the IRS the account details of users who bought, sold, sent, or received $20,000-plus worth of Bitcoin between 2013 and 2015 to help the regulator investigate potential cases of tax avoidance on the exchange, after it discovered conspicuously few Bitcoin-related gains and losses filed for 2015.

The IRS originally wanted a far wider set of information that would have affected between 1 million and 480,000 users, but narrowed its request following uproar about user privacy. Some 14,000 users will be affected.

The battle is between customer privacy and legal compliance. The IRS considers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to be property rather than a means of exchange, making them subject to US tax laws. The IRS claims that Bitcoin owners failed to comply with "provisions of the internal revenue laws,” and that it needs access to Coinbase’s records to detect avoidance, as the exchange holds the largest volume of US Bitcoin trades. Coinbase and supporters counter that the move “sets a bad precedent for financial privacy.” More pertinently for Coinbase, it undermines one of Bitcoin’s most appealing features, the anonymity it grants holders.

However, the ruling may benefit the US cryptocurrency space as a whole. Although the verdict could lead to privacy concerns among Coinbase's existing user base, in the end, the company and its peers may benefit from the court's decision to allow the regulator access to information on traders of the cryptocurrency.

This is because, in an environment of volatile Bitcoin prices, fears of a Bitcoin bubble, and allegations of fraud-enabling, anything that brings cryptocurrency exchanges under more regulatory oversight should help improve governance in the relatively freewheeling space and reassure investors, improving the image of cryptocurrency players overall.

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

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The early stage slump

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

Silicon Valley

  • The seed and early stage angel investing market has cooled over the past few years.
  • On a dollar basis, the cooling off has been mild. On a deals basis, the cooling off has been dramatic and looks to be getting worse.
  • For entrepreneurs just starting out, this means it will be tougher to raise your first rounds. For investors, it means seed rounds are going to be the place to be. 

I tweeted out this article from TechCrunch in the middle of last week:

And the response from the Twittersphere was a desire to hear my views on it.

The data is pretty clear. The seed and early stage investing market has cooled substantially in the past few years.

Angel seed activity

On a dollar basis, the cooling off has been mild.

On a deals basis, the cooling off has been dramatic and looks to be getting worse.

So what is going on?

When I talk to my friends who do a lot of angel investing, I hear that they are being more selective, licking some wounds, and waiting for liquidity on their better investments.

When I talk to my friends who started seed funds in the past decade, I hear them thinking about moving up market into larger funds and Series A rounds.

You can see that in the data. Less deals and bigger deals.

Here is the thing. Seed is really hard. You lose way more than you win. You wait the longest for liquidity. You lose influence as larger investors come into the cap table and start throwing their weight around.

It is where most people start out. Making angel investments, raising small seed funds. They learn the business and many see better economics higher up in the food chain and head there as soon as they can.

If you hit one or two right, you can make a fortune in seed. But those bets take a long time to get liquid. And if you don’t hit one or two right, you end up with a mediocre portfolio.

The Facebook IPO in May 2012 was a real boon to the angel and seed markets. A lot of instant millionaires re-invested their gains back into startups (just as BTC and ETH instant millionaires are re-investing their gains into ICOs right now). Many startup people reinvented themselves as angel investors, AngelListers, seed VCs, and early stage VCs. As I quoted TechCrunch in my tweet “2012-2016 was a bubble in early-stage funding.” I think the bubble actually started letting out air in mid 2015.

You could see all of this in the pricing of seed rounds. For most of my career, seed rounds were sub $1mm and they bought 15-25% of the company ($4-6mm post money). At the peak of the seed bubble, uncapped notes of $3-5mm were the norm for seed rounds. That wasn’t going to work. It was unsustainable.

So where does that leave us now?

For entrepreneurs just starting out, it will be tougher to raise your first rounds. That is how it always has been so it is a return to normal. It is not great news, but it is the reality. If you price your seed round appropriately and have a good team and plan, you can raise money. But it will be harder.

For investors, it means seed rounds are going to be the place to be. When others leave the market, it is time to get in. The uncapped note will turn into a priced $1mm round at $4mm pre/$5mm post. This is as it should be. The risks of seed investing are so significant that the valuations need to be reasonable. When you lose on 60-80% of your investments, you really need the ability to make 10-20x on your winners. And getting the entry pricing right is part of how that happens.

You can tell where there is too much money and too little money by looking at valuations. When valuations are extended, that means there is too much money. That was seed in 2014, growth in 2015/2016, and ICOs in 2017. The trick is to get into these sectors before the money shows up and get out when it does. And then get back in after it leaves. And not get burned along the way.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This animation shows how terrifyingly powerful nuclear weapons have become

UK government mulls Bitcoin regulation

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

The crypto-currency remains popular with criminals, the police have warned.

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 (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning, and Happy Merger Monday (CVS for AET, Prysmian for BGC)!   Tax Optimism and ABC News softening their Flynn bombshell fromFridayhas US futures starting strong this AM, with Russell up 1%, and despite decent indications in FANG, Semis and Biotech have the Nasdaq lagging a lot.   Big Sea of Green in Europe, where the DAX is up 1.3% - Industrials acting well across the Continent led by Autos, while banks remain in demand with SX7P up well over 1%, while even Tech shrugging off Dialog Semi.   London is lagging a bit despite Miners higher as Ore jumped overnight, as Healthcare and Staples drift near unch.   In Asia, Nikkei off 50bp as Tech stocks weighed - Hang Seng gained 20bp as Tencent rebounded slightly from last week’s smashdown - Shanghai off small, Shenzhen off 75bp - KOSPI climbed 1%, and Aussie off small as Miners were in demand

With the Fed in Blackout, we have the 10YY hovering around 2.4% and the Greenback stronger on headlines of Senate Tax Passage - Euro is weaker despite hawkish chatter from Villeroy - Better Japanese Consumer Confidence shrugged off as Yen weaker, Sterling weaker into EU Brexit Showdown Week as it ignores off a better UK Construction Print, while the Turkish Lira reeling from a strong Inflation Print.  Gold weaker on Risk and Stronger $, while Bitcoin rallied as high as $11,800 in Asia trading “as crypto fever reaches Venezuela” - Ore ripped 5% higher in China, that has Copper up 30bp, while WTI is fading from last week’s OPEC highs, and Natty up 1.5% as cold weather greets US Traders this AM

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: This is why you should be buying gold

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 (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning, and Happy Merger Monday (CVS for AET, Prysmian for BGC)!   Tax Optimism and ABC News softening their Flynn bombshell fromFridayhas US futures starting strong this AM, with Russell up 1%, and despite decent indications in FANG, Semis and Biotech have the Nasdaq lagging a lot.   Big Sea of Green in Europe, where the DAX is up 1.3% - Industrials acting well across the Continent led by Autos, while banks remain in demand with SX7P up well over 1%, while even Tech shrugging off Dialog Semi.   London is lagging a bit despite Miners higher as Ore jumped overnight, as Healthcare and Staples drift near unch.   In Asia, Nikkei off 50bp as Tech stocks weighed - Hang Seng gained 20bp as Tencent rebounded slightly from last week’s smashdown - Shanghai off small, Shenzhen off 75bp - KOSPI climbed 1%, and Aussie off small as Miners were in demand

With the Fed in Blackout, we have the 10YY hovering around 2.4% and the Greenback stronger on headlines of Senate Tax Passage - Euro is weaker despite hawkish chatter from Villeroy - Better Japanese Consumer Confidence shrugged off as Yen weaker, Sterling weaker into EU Brexit Showdown Week as it ignores off a better UK Construction Print, while the Turkish Lira reeling from a strong Inflation Print.  Gold weaker on Risk and Stronger $, while Bitcoin rallied as high as $11,800 in Asia trading “as crypto fever reaches Venezuela” - Ore ripped 5% higher in China, that has Copper up 30bp, while WTI is fading from last week’s OPEC highs, and Natty up 1.5% as cold weather greets US Traders this AM

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: The Fed is trying to prepare for the next recession without causing it

Bitcoin Price Holds Near $11,500 Despite Regulatory Heat

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Price Holds Near $11,500 Despite Regulatory Heat appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Closing China's Bitcoin Exchanges Was the Right Move, Says PBoC Official

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

The vice governor of the People's Bank of China has said that regulators took the right decision in banning ICOs and closing cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bitcoin-Friendly Philippines Plans ICO Regulation

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin-Friendly Philippines Plans ICO Regulation appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Inside the lavish private members' club where 2-year-old Princess Charlotte is reportedly taking tennis lessons — despite not being a member

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

princess charlotte kate middleton ap Star Max IPx

  • Princess Charlotte is reportedly a keen tennis player.
  • The two-year-old royal has been taking tennis lessons at The Hurlingham Club in south-west London.
  • Other members of the exclusive club are reportedly unhappy, as the young royal and her parents are not members of the club.


Princess Charlotte has started taking tennis lessons — and is a complete natural, according to the Sun.

The two-year-old royal — who has yet to start nursery — reportedly started taking tennis lessons at the prestigious and exclusive Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London earlier this year.

A source close to the family told the Sun: "She might not be three until May but [parents, William and Kate] were convinced she'd love it and so far she has. She seems a bit of a natural."

With her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, being a tennis fan and current patron of the London Tennis Association — the governing body of tennis in Great Britain — it should come as no surprise that the princess took to the sport easily.

Charlotte's paternal grandmother, the Queen, has also previously spoken in public about her love of the sport and was also the patron of the LTA before Kate took over.

But some members of the club, which prides itself on its traditions, reportedly aren't too happy that the princess has been allowed to use the facilities.

hurlingham club flickr herry lawford

The club's rules state that the sports facilities are only open to members and those directly invited by members to join them. Since Charlotte's parents aren't members, some of the club's other guests are reportedly kicking up a fuss.

"Unfortunately some patrons feel Charlotte shouldn't be allowed to play there," a source told the Sun.

hurlingham club croquet flickr herry lawfordBut it isn't a simple as William and Kate applying for membership — the waiting list for even being considered is long and closed for the time being, anyway.

"Club rules are usually very rigid and they don't see why exceptions should be made, even if they happen to be royal," the source added.

Kensington Palace declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

Members or not, it's easy to see why the exclusive Hurlingham Club has attracted the royals.

The club's estate boasts perfectly lavish dining rooms, manicured grounds, wandering peacocks, and a clubhouse with plenty of sports facilities including croquet, bowls, cricket, outdoor swimming, and tennis.

hurlingham club inside flickr herry lawford

The stunning club identifies itself as "a green oasis of tradition and international renown," according to its website.

conservatory flickr herry lawford

"Recognised throughout the world as one of Britain's greatest private members' clubs, it retains its quintessentially English traditions and heritage," the club's website added — making it the perfect backdrop for royal P.E. lessons.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is one of the best responses to Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a fraud that we have heard so far

Looking Heavy: Bitcoin Price Eyes Correction After New Record High

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

Despite having clocked a new lifetime high of $11,831 yesterday, bitcoin prices could be on the verge of a pullback.

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

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

Running of the brides

Here is what you need to know.

The Senate passes its tax billThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed through the Senate on Saturday by a vote of 51 to 49 with Sen. Bob Corker being the only Republican to vote against the bill. The bill can either be passed as is by the House — or the two chambers will go to a conference committee.

Stocks are set to open at all-time highsThe S&P 500 is on track to open higher by 0.66% near 2,660. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.22%) led in Asia and Germany's DAX (+1.28%) is out front in Europe.

CVS Health is buying Aetna for $69 billionThe deal, which is the biggest of 2017, will pay Aetna stockholders $207 a share ($145 a share in cash and 0.8378 CVS shares per Aetna share).

Global market cap is about to hit $100 trillion and Goldman Sachs thinks the only way is downThe value of all stocks in all companies in all countries, globally, is about to hit $100 trillion and Goldman Sachs believes the "bull market in everything" is about to come to an end.

A mystery trader keeps betting that the stock market will go crazyA trader just rolled over a massive volatility bet that could pay out $260 million if all goes according to plan.

Fed's Harker says next year is a wild card for rate hikesPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker told Business Insider's Pedro da Costa low inflation may be a more persistent trend than previously believed, and that the Fed can take a wait-and-see approach to further monetary tightening in 2018.

Bitcoin hits new heightsThe cryptocurrency hit a new all-time high above $11,800 a coin on Sunday. Currently its little changed near $11,338.

The UK and EU want to force bitcoin users to reveal their identitiesThe UK and other EU governments plan to regulate cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, amid concerns they are being used for money laundering, the Guardian and Telegraph report.

Venezuela announces its a cryptocurrency backed by oil. In an effort to circumvent US-led sanctions, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced "petro," a cryptocurrency backed by Venezuela's oil reserves.

US economic data is lightFactory orders and durable goods orders will both be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 3 basis points at 2.39%.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

Running of the brides

Here is what you need to know.

The Senate passes its tax bill. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed through the Senate early Saturday by a 51-49 vote, with Sen. Bob Corker being the only Republican voting against it. Now the House can either pass the bill as written or join the Senate for a conference committee.

Stocks are set to open at all-time highs. The S&P 500 is on track to open higher by 0.66% near 2,660. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.22%) led in Asia, and Germany's DAX (+1.28%) is out front in Europe.

CVS Health is buying Aetna for $69 billion. The deal, which is the biggest of 2017, will pay Aetna stockholders $207 a share ($145 a share in cash and 0.8378 CVS shares per Aetna share).

Global market cap is about to hit $100 trillion, and Goldman Sachs thinks the only way is down. The combined value of all stocks in all companies in all countries is about to hit $100 trillion, and Goldman Sachs believes the "bull market in everything" is about to come to an end.

A mystery trader keeps betting that the stock market will go crazy. A trader just rolled over a massive volatility bet that could pay out $260 million if all goes according to plan.

Fed's Harker says next year is a wild card for rate hikes. Patrick Harker, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, told Business Insider's Pedro da Costa that low inflation may be a more persistent trend than previously believed and that the Fed could take a wait-and-see approach to further monetary tightening in 2018.

Bitcoin hits new heights. The cryptocurrency hit an all-time high above $11,800 a coin on Sunday. It is now little changed near $11,338.

The UK and the EU want to force bitcoin users to reveal their identities. The UK and other European governments plan to regulate cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, amid concerns they are being used for money laundering, The Guardian and The Telegraph report.

Venezuela announces a cryptocurrency backed by oil. In an effort to circumvent US-led sanctions, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced "petro," a cryptocurrency backed by Venezuela's oil reserves.

US economic data is light. Factory orders and durable-goods orders will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 3 basis points at 2.39%.

Join the conversation about this story »

The pound jumps on reports that a Brexit divorce deal is edging closer

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

  • The pound is up 0.47% against the euro at 11.25 a.m. GMT (6.25 a.m. ET).
  • Sterling rose sharply against the euro after a report that the UK has made a concession on the issue of the Irish border in Brexit negotiations.


LONDON — The pound jumped against the euro on Monday following reports that the UK has made an important concession in Brexit negotiations on the issue of the Irish border.

A report from Irish broadcaster RTE said that the UK has conceded that there "will be no divergence of the rules covering the EU single market and customs union on the island of Ireland post-Brexit." Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts told the European Parliament the same thing.

If these reports are confirmed, it would mark an important moment in the talks, and make it far more likely that the UK and EU can agree on a divorce settlement and move on to the next stage of Brexit negotiations.

As a result, the pound has climbed sharply against the single currency, gaining more than 0.5% from the day's open, as the chart below illustrates (as of 11.25 a.m. GMT/6.25 a.m. ET):Screen Shot 2017 12 04 at 11.25.49"Sterling appeared to receive a double dose of good news this Monday," Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex said in an email.

"First November’s construction PMI followed in the footsteps of its manufacturing peer, handily beating expectations at 53.1. Then there were reports that the UK had conceded there will be no ‘regulatory divergence’ for Ireland on the single market and customs union, potentially unclogging one of the major blockages preventing the unlocking of trade talks."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real

Polychain Capital CEO: Bitcoin Is a 'Breakthrough Technology'

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

Olaf Carlson-Wee, founder and CEO of Polychain Capital, has said that bitcoin is a "breakthrough technology," and perhaps bigger than the internet.

Brexit will never happen, according to the only analyst to call the last general election correctly

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

Samuel Tombs Pantheon

  • Pantheon Macroeconomics' Samuel Tombs argues that Britain won't actually end up leaving the EU.
  • He believes a transition deal will be agreed and implemented, but once the UK comes to the end of the transition period, Britain will stay in the bloc.
  • That's because Brexit will be so bad for the UK that no politician will be willing to stake their career on its implementation.
  • Tombs is known for correctly calling the result of June's general election when most commentators failed to do so.


LONDON — Samuel Tombs, an economist renowned for correctly predicting the result of June's general election, has a fresh prediction: Brexit isn't actually going to happen.

Writing in a note circulated to clients of Pantheon Macroeconomics on Sunday evening, Tombs — Pantheon's chief UK economist — argued that Brexit will be so damaging to Britain's economy in the short term that no politician will feel comfortable actually pulling the UK out of the bloc when push comes to shove, both for the sake of their own reputations, and the UK's economic health.

Tombs writes that he believes the UK and EU will eventually agree to a transition deal to smooth Britain's passage out of the EU, once Britain reaches the intended end of the transition period, but it will then stay in the EU.

"A transition deal—which keeps the U.K. inside the single market and customs union but gives it no say over its rules—is the only viable outcome in 2019," Tombs said.

"The U.K. likely will go into a transition deal intending it to last for only two years, but we see a high chance of it becoming permanent."

Here's what Tombs has to say in a little more detail (emphasis ours):

"The key issue is that leaving the single market would entail short-term economic pain in return for the possibility of long-term gain, in the form of closer ties with fast-growing emerging market economies. This sequencing of the costs and benefits means Brexit always will be unpalatable for any politician, given their myopia. It will be particularly unattractive for the Conservatives to implement Brexit in 2021, one year before the deadline for the next election."

Along with the fact Brexit will be unpalatable for any prime minister to implement when the transition period ends, Tombs points to data showing that support for a harder version of Brexit is falling.

"Public enthusiasm for a clean break from the EU has ebbed," he writes, citing a YouGov poll that found 46% of people now think the UK was wrong to vote to leave, compared to just 42% who think the opposite. Here's the chart:

Screen Shot 2017 12 04 at 10.05.16

Tombs also notes that one of the biggest drivers of the Leave vote — immigration — is fading in importance in the eyes of the public. 

"Pressure on the government to leave the EU in order to reduce immigration also is fading. Official figures last week showed that net migration fell to 230,000 in the year ending June 2017, from 336,000 in the previous year," he said.

"In addition, the proportion of people saying that controlling immigration should be the government's priority has declined to just 11%, less than half the level at the time of Brexit vote, when it was voters' top concern."

In short: "No politician will ever implement Brexit, as the costs are upfront, but the potential benefits are far ahead."

Tombs' prediction about Brexit may seem outlandish, but given his track record, it is definitely one to keep an eye on.

He is known for his bold calls on major UK political issues, having correctly argued long before June's general election that the Conservative Party would fail to win a majority in the House of Commons.

At the time, the vast majority of commentators, as well as the polls, were predicting that Theresa May's party would increase their majority significantly. 

Tombs, however, pointed to a chart showing the relationship between consumer confidence and the size of a UK government's majority in the House of Commons after a general election.

He predicted "only a slender Tory win," noting that low consumer confidence tends to correlate with governments losing their majorities. That prediction is basically exactly what transpired in the election.

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Indonesia’s Central Bank is Planning to Ban Bitcoin in 2018: Report

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

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The UK and EU want to force bitcoin users to reveal their identities

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.

  • The UK and other EU governments plan to regulate cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, amid concerns they are being used for money laundering.
  • New legislation will bring cryptocurrencies in line with anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing legislation by increasing transparency.
  • The new legislation is expected to come into effect next year.

 

LONDON — The UK government is planning to crack down on bitcoin as concerns grow that cryptocurrencies are being used to facilitate financial crimes and launder money.

The Treasury is planning new legislation that will mean anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing rules apply to cryptocurrency in future, according to reports in the Guardian and the Telegraph.

It will include rules forcing traders to reveal their identities in some circumstances. Under an EU-wide plan, online platforms where currencies are traded will be made to carry out due diligence on buyers.

In October, economic secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay said in a written parliamentary answer: "The UK government is currently negotiating amendments to the fourth anti-money laundering directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing regulation, which will result in these firms' activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas."

He said the government "supports the intention behind these amendments," and negotiations are expected to conclude at EU level in late 2017 or early 2018.

A Treasury spokesperson told ZDNet: "We have clear tax rules for people who use cryptocurrencies, and like all tax rules, these are kept under review. We also intend to update legislation to bring virtual currency exchange platforms into anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing regulation."

Nicholas Gregory, CEO of CommerceBlock, said in an email to Business Insider: "What some will bill as censure, the cryptocurrency community will deem as a stamp of approval that finally recognises the pivotal role that digital currencies will ultimately hold for the global economy.

"Industry players want the same thing as politicians — cryptocurrencies that offer cheap, frictionless, international transactions used for legal purposes. If anything, regulation will only increase bitcoin's rate of growth as regulation lends credibility and engenders trust."

The planned rule changes come as the London's Metropolitan Police warned this week drug dealers are using cryptocurrency ATMs to stash the proceeds of crime. Even small-time dealers are embracing currencies like bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum as a way of banking drug money without getting caught, the police said.

The Serious and Organised Crime Command said the number of cases involving cryptocurrencies has gone from "zero" at the start of 2016 to several dozen today, and they believe this number will increase.

Bitcoin hit a new high of $11,826.76 per coin on Sunday, surpassing its previous high of $11,300. The currency is subject to continued interest from ordinary investors as well as those working in financial services. Last week it emerged that exchange operator Nasdaq could follow rival CME Group in launching bitcoin future contracts next year.

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The UK and EU want to force bitcoin users to reveal their identities

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.

  • The UK and other EU governments plan to regulate cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, amid concerns they are being used for money laundering.
  • New legislation will bring cryptocurrencies in line with anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing legislation by increasing transparency.
  • The new legislation is expected to come into effect next year.

 

LONDON — The UK government is planning to crack down on bitcoin as concerns grow that cryptocurrencies are being used to facilitate financial crimes and launder money.

The Treasury is planning new legislation that will mean anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing rules apply to cryptocurrency in future, according to reports in the Guardian and the Telegraph.

It will include rules forcing traders to reveal their identities in some circumstances. Under an EU-wide plan, online platforms where currencies are traded will be made to carry out due diligence on buyers.

In October, economic secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay said in a written parliamentary answer: "The UK government is currently negotiating amendments to the fourth anti-money laundering directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing regulation, which will result in these firms' activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas."

He said the government "supports the intention behind these amendments," and negotiations are expected to conclude at EU level in late 2017 or early 2018.

A Treasury spokesperson told ZDNet: "We have clear tax rules for people who use cryptocurrencies, and like all tax rules, these are kept under review. We also intend to update legislation to bring virtual currency exchange platforms into anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing regulation."

Nicholas Gregory, CEO of CommerceBlock, said in an email to Business Insider: "What some will bill as censure, the cryptocurrency community will deem as a stamp of approval that finally recognises the pivotal role that digital currencies will ultimately hold for the global economy.

"Industry players want the same thing as politicians — cryptocurrencies that offer cheap, frictionless, international transactions used for legal purposes. If anything, regulation will only increase bitcoin's rate of growth as regulation lends credibility and engenders trust."

The planned rule changes come as the London's Metropolitan Police warned this week drug dealers are using cryptocurrency ATMs to stash the proceeds of crime. Even small-time dealers are embracing currencies like bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum as a way of banking drug money without getting caught, the police said.

The Serious and Organised Crime Command said the number of cases involving cryptocurrencies has gone from "zero" at the start of 2016 to several dozen today, and they believe this number will increase.

Bitcoin hit a new high of $11,826.76 per coin on Sunday, surpassing its previous high of $11,300. The currency is subject to continued interest from ordinary investors as well as those working in financial services. Last week it emerged that exchange operator Nasdaq could follow rival CME Group in launching bitcoin future contracts next year.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Expect 'long-run turbulence': Central bankers warn of worrying echoes of 2008's global financial crash

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

A bull styrofoam figure is pictured in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange September 16, 2008.

  • Bank for International Settlements warns of possible "long-run turbulence" in the global economy.
  • The "central bankers' central bank" argues that investors are ignoring inflated asset prices because of the strong global economic picture right now.
  • The warnings echo those of the Bank of England, and star fund manager Neil Woodford.


The global financial system is showing worrying echoes of the years leading up to 2008's global financial crisis, and central banks must act to prevent major damage, according to the Bank for International Settlements has said.

The BIS — often known as the "central bankers' central bank" — warned in its quarterly report of potential "long-run turbulence" and said it has concerns about the potential for overheating global financial markets.

It also warned that consumer debts are starting to reach unhealthy levels in many countries around the world.

"The vulnerabilities that have built around the globe during the unusually long period of unusually low interest rates have not gone away," said BIS chief Claudio Borio.

"High debt levels, in both domestic and foreign currency, are still there. And so are frothy valuations, in turn underpinned by low government bond yields — the benchmark for the pricing of all assets."

"What’s more, the longer the risk-taking continues, the higher the underlying balance sheet exposures may become. Short-run calm comes at the expense of possible long-run turbulence," Borio said.

Essentially, Borio and the rest of the organisation are worried that the current strong, low volatility global market and economic environment is encouraging investors to ignore fears about high levels of debt and overvalued financial assets.

On the consumer debt side, the bank's words echo those of the Bank of England, which has consistently argued that debt levels in the UK are worryingly high.

Warnings from BIS add to a growing chorus of negative sentiment about bubble-like patterns in the global economy.

Last week, Neil Woodford — the UK's best-known fund manager — argued stock markets around the world are in a "bubble" which could result in one of the worst market crashes in history.

"Whether it’s bitcoin going through $10,000, European junk bonds yielding less than US Treasuries, historic low levels of volatility or triple-leveraged exchange traded funds attracting gigantic inflows — there are so many lights flashing red that I am losing count," Woodford said in the Financial Times.

He said current equity valuations represent a bubble the likes of which he had "only witnessed two or three times in my career as an investor."

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UK Treasury Plans Tighter Regulation of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

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

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700,000 children and pensioners fell into poverty in the UK over the last 5 years

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

Activists of global anti-poverty charity Oxfam, wearing traditional Bavarian lederhosen and a dirndl and masks depicting leaders of the member countries of the G7 (L-R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, protest prior to the G7 summit, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany June 6, 2015. The Group of Seven (G7) two-day summit, being held at Elmau palace near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, begins on Sunday.

  • Hundreds of thousands more people in the UK are now living in poverty than were four years ago, according to a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • The think tank said the progress to reduce poverty made over the last 20 years had started to reverse.
  • Increasing rent prices and falling state support were significant contributing factors to the rise in poverty, the report said.


LONDON — Hundreds of thousands more UK children and pensioners are living in poverty than were four years ago, according to a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JFR).

The report found "continued increases in poverty" since 2012/13, with an increase of almost 400,000 children and 300,000 pensioners living below the poverty line.

Although the last 20 years witnessed a dramatic reduction in the number of children and pensioners living in poverty, the report said that progress "is beginning to unravel," with both group now experiencing a sustained rise in poverty.

Screen Shot 2017 12 04 at 08.20.07

The JRF called for a "national mission" to transform the prospects of millions of people living in poverty in the UK. That would include unfreezing benefits, increasing training for adult workers, and working on a house-building programme to ensure there is more affordable housing available.

"These worrying figures suggest that we are at a turning point in our fight against poverty," said Campbell Robb, chief executive of the JRF.

"Political choices, wage stagnation and economic uncertainty mean that hundreds of thousands more people are now struggling to make ends meet. This is a very real warning sign that our hard-fought progress is in peril," he said.

The news comes after Theresa May's entire social mobility board quit over the weekend, amid fears that the government is failing to create a more equal society.

According to the report, 14 million people live in poverty in the UK — over one in five of the population. Four million of these are children, and eight million are from families where at least one person is in work. In 1994/95, it said , 58% of lone parents lived in poverty, which fell to a low of 41% in 2010/11. But by 2015/16 this had risen again to 46%.

Since 2012, "very little progress has been made in reducing poverty among working-age adults," the report said.

The JRF pointed to three factors that had previously contributed to a fall in poverty which were now in question: state support for those on low incomes is falling in real terms, rents are increasing, and rising employment is no longer reducing poverty.

"Record employment is not leading to lower poverty, changes to benefits and tax credits are reducing incomes and crippling costs are squeezing budgets to breaking point," said Campbell. "The Budget offered little to ease the strain and put low income households' finances on a firmer footing," he said.

In England, London and the North East have the highest rates of poverty. While all parts of England and Wales saw a drop in poverty between 1993 and 2004, all regions have seen a significant increase since then.

In November the Institute for Fiscal Studies forecast that child poverty will continue to rise until the end of this Parliament.

Screen Shot 2017 12 04 at 08.23.35

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A UK supermarket chain will sell pasta, crisps, and rice for just 10p to reduce food waste

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

garbage food waste rotten rotting vegetables

  • The East of England Co-op, which is independent of the national Co-operative Group, will sell dried and tinned food past its "best before" date in 125 UK stores.
  • Rice, crisps, and pasta will be sold for as little as 10p following a successful trial. 
  • The offer will not apply to perishable foods such as meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.


LONDON — A supermarket chain will be the first major retailer to sell food beyond its "best before" dates.

The East of England Co-op, which has 125 stores in East Anglia, plans to sell dried and tinned food including rice, crisps, and pasta for just 10p in a bid to reduce food waste.

The East of England Co-op is independent of the national Co-operative Group. Its joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said a three-month trial in 14 stores had been successful, with 10p items selling out within hours of being reduced.

"The vast majority of our customers understand they are fine to eat and appreciate the opportunity to make a significant saving on some of their favourite products," he told the East Anglian Daily Times.

"This is not a money-making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain."

The offer will not apply to perishable foods such as meat and fresh fruit and vegetables, which can be unsafe to eat when they surpass their "use by" date.

Best before dates, on the other hand, indicate the quality of a product, rather than safety, and food being sold past its best before date will not remain on display for longer than a month.

The Food Standards Agency says the UK manufacturing and retail sectors wastes 1.9 million tonnes of food and waste every year, 1.1 million tonnes of which is avoidable.

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Bitcoin hits new high above $11,500 as the Winklevoss twins become the first bitcoin billionaires

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

Entrepeneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (Met Gala) to celebrate the opening of

  • Bitcoin hit a new high of $11,826.76 per coin on Sunday, according to Markets Insider data.
  • Bitcoin's meteoric recent rise means Winklevoss twins' $11 million bet on the cryptocurrency in 2011 is now worth over $1 billion.



LONDON — Bitcoin is back to its winning ways, posting a new record high on Sunday.

Bitcoin suffered big price falls last week but recovered over the weekend. The digital currency hit a new high of $11,826.76 per coin on Sunday, according to data from Markets Insider, surpassing its previous high of around $11,300.

The digital currency retraced some of its gains on Sunday after hitting the peak. As of 8.05 a.m. GMT (3.05 a.m. ET), bitcoin is up 2.79% against the dollar to $11,554.83.bitcoin

Bitcoin's rise comes amid continued interest in the digital currency from both ordinary investors and institutions. Last week it emerged that exchange operator Nasdaq could follow rival CME Group in launching bitcoin future contracts next year, a sign that professional investors are increasingly taking the asset seriously.

Investors are being drawn in by the promise of big gains. The Telegraph reported over the weekend that the Winklevoss twins, who famously sued Mark Zuckerberg saying he stole the idea for Facebook from them, are now the world's first bitcoin billionaires.

Former Olympic rowers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss disclosed in 2013 that they owned $11 million worth of bitcoin. The cryptocurrencies meteoric rise since then — it has risen over 10,000% this year alone — has propelled that investment to over $1 billion, according to the Telegraph. The Winklevoss twins are long-time bitcoin bulls and are investors in crypto exchange Gemini.

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10 things you need to know in markets today

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

CVS Pharmacy

Good morning! Here's what you need to know in markets on Monday.

1. US pharmacy group CVS Health is buying health insurance provider Aetna in a deal worth $69 billion, the companies announced on Sunday. The deal creates a new type of company that includes a health insurer, a retail pharmacy, and a company that negotiates prescription drug prices with drugmakers called a pharmacy benefits manager. It's the biggest merger to happen in the US in 2017.

2. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the world of digital currency to circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the "petro" backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy. The petro, he said, would help Venezuela "advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."

3. Brexit ranks a lowly sixth in a new survey of UK consumer concerns, according to a new Deloitte survey. Across all respondents, 53% said they were concerned about Brexit, less than the figure concerned about the state of the NHS (85%), the environment (64%), and funding for retirement (54%).

4. It is not yet clear if Britain and the European Union will be able to agree on written assurances to avoid a hard Northern Ireland border in time for a Monday deadline, Ireland's foreign minister Simon Coveney said on Sunday. "The hope is that those [Monday] meetings will result in a momentum that can be carried in to the leaders' summit the week after ... and can allow this Brexit negotiation process to open up to phase two of discussions," Coveney told RTE radio.

5. The British Treasury is set to announce plans to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, according to a report from the Daily Telegraph newspaper. The new plans "will force traders in so-called crypto-currencies to disclose their identities and report suspicious activity," according to the report.

6. Facebook opens its new London office on Monday and said it would add 800 more jobs in the capital next year, underlining its commitment to Britain as the country prepares for Brexit. The social network said more than half of the people working at the site in central London will focus on engineering, making it Facebook's biggest engineering hub outside the United States.

7. The negative impact of so-called "Brexit uncertainty" on the UK economy since the vote to leave last summer has been "surprisingly small," according to a new analysis from bankers at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "We do not think Brexit uncertainty has had a particularly large effect on consumption and investment," a team led by Gilles Moec said.

8. Japan's Nikkei share average fell on Monday with weakness in large-cap stocks such as Fanuc and SoftBank taking a toll, while tech shares also lost ground, offsetting gains in retail stocks which rose on strong monthly sales. The Nikkei dropped 0.5 percent to 22,707.16. The broader Topix slipped 0.5 percent to 1,786.87.

9. MI6, the secret intelligence service, has reclassified Russia as a "tier one" threat, alongside Islamic terrorism, after years of regarding the nation as a second-rung security issue. Russia has at least 700,000 security and intelligence personnel on its payrolls, while Britain has only about 16,000 equivalent  people in its special security services.

10. US President Trump is scheduled to visit Britain on February 26 and 27, according to prime minister Theresa May's diary, The Times reports. "The trip has been in the diary for at least 10 days, according to those familiar with the plans," the paper said.

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China was Right to Shut Down Bitcoin Exchanges & ICOs: PBoC Official

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

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Venezuela will start its own digital currency to beat sanctions

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

The authoritarian streak of Venezuela's recent leaders has cost the country dearly. Mismanagement and sanctions have crippled its infrastructure, its money is increasingly worthless and the public is fuming. President Maduro thinks he has a solutio...

Brexit? What Brexit?: Leaving the EU ranks a lowly 6th on a list of UK consumer concerns

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

Union Jack man

  • Brexit ranks a lowly sixth in a new survey of UK consumer concerns, according to a new Deloitte survey.
  • Across all respondents, 53% said they were concerned about Brexit, less than the figure concerned about the state of the NHS (85%), the environment (64%), and funding for retirement (54%).


LONDON — Brits seem to talk about little else besides Brexit, which makes it surprising that the issue ranks a lowly sixth in a new survey of UK consumer concerns.

The latest Deloitte Consumer survey found UK consumers are more worried about issues linked to Brexit — including inflation (ranked fourth) and the health of the economy (ranked second) — than they are about leaving the EU itself.

Across all respondents, 53% said they were concerned about Brexit, less than the figure concerned about the state of the NHS (85%), the environment (64%), and funding for retirement (54%). 68% of consumers said they were concerned about the health of the economy, and 56% said they were concerned by rising inflation.

The survey also illustrated the gulf between Remain and Leave voters in terms of their expectations of price rises:

Expected price rises by referendum vote

On average, there was a 40% gap between the proportion of consumers who voted Remain and Leave which expect prices to rise.

David Noon, UK & global Brexit lead at Deloitte, said: "Brexit ranks low in terms of consumer concerns, in contrast to our recent CFO Survey, which found that Brexit was considered the number one risk for business.

"With March 2019 drawing closer, continued uncertainty could weigh heavier on consumers and so it is reassuring to see that discussions around the UK’s financial settlement appear to be concluding as it is crucial that we enter the next phase of the negotiations as quickly as possible," he said. 

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