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Munchee ICO Halted by SEC for Securities Violations

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

Munchee ICO Halted by SEC for Securities Violations

On December 11, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) issued a cease-and-desist to California-based Munchee Inc. to stop their ICO and return the funds that had been collected.

Munchee had been seeking $15 million in capital to improve their existing mobile app and create a restaurant review ecosystem that they described as being “Yelp meets Instagram” in their Bitcointalk announcement. The problem arose when Munchee emphasized that it would take steps to create a secondary market for the tokens as an investment vehicle, leading investors to have a reasonable belief that their tokens would rise in value, long in advance of the utility of the token being made available.

In the SEC announcement, Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC Enforcement Division, said, “We will continue to scrutinize the market vigilantly for improper offerings that seek to sell securities to the general public without the required registration or exemption. In deciding not to impose a penalty, the Commission recognized that the company stopped the ICO quickly, immediately returned the proceeds before issuing tokens, and cooperated with the investigation.”

In the SEC complaint, the commission argued that the MUN tokens were considered securities because “they were investment contracts” and were deemed a security regardless of their utility at the time of the sale. Munchee consented to the SEC’s order without admitting to, or denying, the findings.

The action is significant as it shows the willingness of the SEC to step in and take action. It also illustrates a willingness on the part of the SEC to work with companies that are cooperative when they run afoul of the regulations.

The post Munchee ICO Halted by SEC for Securities Violations appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight was arrested on a felony charge after threatening to kill everyone on the plane

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

southwest death threat

  • A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight threatened to kill the flight's passengers and crew on Saturday.
  • The passenger had disabled a bathroom smoke detector and was caught smoking a cigarette by a flight attendant, the airline told Business Insider. 
  • The passenger was arrested on a felony charge and sent to jail on a $75,000 bail.


A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from Portland to Sacramento threatened to kill everyone on the flight on Saturday after she was caught smoking a cigarette in the bathroom.

KOIN 6 reports that the passenger, Valerie Curbelo, disabled the smoke detector in one of the plane's bathrooms before smoking a cigarette. After a flight attendant discovered what Curbelo had done, she entered the bathroom and attempted to return Curbelo to her seat. Curbelo then became agitated and confronted the flight attendant.

"I have a destination for myself, and I need to go there," Curbelo says in a video taken by another passenger. "I swear, if you don't...land, I will f------ kill everybody on this f------ plane!"


Curbelo was restrained by passengers and crew for 30 minutes until the flight landed, at which point she was arrested on a felony charge and sent to jail on a $75,000 bail, according to the Washington Post

"The safety of our crew and passengers is our top priority, and we take all safety violations seriously," Southwest Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider. 

When a reporter from CBS 13 asked Curbelo why she made the threat, she replied that she was confused by her behavior. 

“I don’t know,” Curbelo said. “It was not me. It was not me.”

 

SEE ALSO: The woman who was forcibly dragged by police from a Southwest Airlines flight is now facing multiple charges

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 Futures Are Here: The Story So Far

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

cboefutures.jpg

The week ahead will give better future indication of Bitcoin derivatives products as yesterday at 6 p.m. EST, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) allowed bitcoin futures to begin trading under the symbol “XBT.” Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is set to allow futures trading in the cryptocurrency of their own accord on December 18, 2017. Bitcoin futures were up over 20 percent leading into the U.S. market open. Current appetite for the futures contracts seems to show a stronger preference for near-term bitcoin futures priced above the current spot rate. According to the CBOE twitter feed, over 800 contracts were traded in the first two hours.

47c7ff34bce0ce6132eef3b1762bee2b.png

Image source: CBOE delayed quotes dashboard as of 3:53 PM. EST

At least one outage plagued the CBOE in early trading, including two minutes of downtime from 8:31 p.m. EST to 8:33 p.m. EST, while the CBOE stated at 11:34 p.m. EST that there would be a 5-minute hiatus if the front month (January expiration) rose above 30 percent.

square cboe

Image Source: www.cboe.com

These deliberate halts in trading are known as “circuit breakers” and are meant to protect the market from unmanageable volatility.

While we wait to see how futures trading unfolds in the U.S. markets today, here are some of the notable events that got us into a world of bitcoin futures.

October 31

The CME Group gave bitcoin investors around the world a bit of a Halloween treat when they announced plans to allow bitcoin futures to be traded on their exchange. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s announcement notably coincided with the anniversary of the publication of Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakomoto’s original 2008 white paper on the cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts took this as a signal of mainstream acceptance of the asset class, and bitcoin closed the day (according to historical data provided by www.coinmarketcap.com) at $6,468.40. When futures trading opened last night, bitcoin was trading at $14,901.70.

December 1, 2017

Regulators gave bitcoin futures the green light for the CME Group as well as for self-certification by the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) as well as for the Cantor Exchange’s new contract for bitcoin binary options. The exchanges assured the CFTC that the new products were compliant with the self-certification process rules, and the CFTC refrained from halting the self-certification. CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo stated in a press release:  

Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is a commodity unlike any the Commission has dealt with in the past…[a]s a result, we have had extensive discussions with the exchanges regarding the proposed contracts, and CME, CFE and Cantor have agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets.

December 4

The CBOE announced it would launch futures trading in bitcoin under the symbol “XBT” on Sunday night, December 10, 2017, at 6 p.m. EST. This move was seen as a manoever to beat the earlier announcement from the competing CME that they would allow futures trading in bitcoin beginning December 18, 2017. Not surprisingly, the CBOE’s usage of the exchange platform Gemini, owned by the Winklevoss twins, may allow the newly minted “Bitcoin Billionaires” to further capitalize on the successes of the cryptocurrencies.

December 5

A Natixis Investment Managers Survey of 500 global investors managing more than $19 trillion of assets has found that “nearly two-thirds [of survey participants] said Bitcoin was in a bubble, and this was a month before the cryptocurrency surged above $10,000 last week.”

Also bearish on bitcoin was Stephen Roach, a Yale University economist who told CNBC’s “The Rundown” that exchange legitimization makes bitcoin “somewhat dangerous [for investors],” citing a “lack of intrinsic underlying economic value to the concept.”

December 6

S3 Partners, a data research and analytics firm, sent this note to investors on GBTC ETF, the only ETF which trades bitcoin. In the note, Managing Director of Predictive Analytics at S3, Ihor Dusaniwsky, suggested that bitcoin as an asset would be “ripe for a pullback once the CBOE futures contracts go live” but also cautioned that the fees for shorting the GBTC ETF will be extremely high. While futures contracts would enable easier and safer access to both long and short positions, Dusaniwsky noted, futures trading would also carry premium costs for all GBTC ETF investors, stating:

Long GBTC holders may feel the pain of its 53% asset premium shrinking, while short sellers will probably be incurring a 50%+ stock borrow fee — both sides will be paying a premium in order to ride the Bitcoin rollercoaster once the CBOE futures start trading.

Also on December 6, 2017, trading volume for BTC nearly doubled from 6.9 billion to 12.7 billion and crosses the 10 billion volume threshold for the first time since Bitcoin crossed $10,000 (November 28, 2017). Whether this run up was related to the prospect of bitcoin futures or just normal market machinations is unclear.

historical cboe

Screenshot of historical data from Coinmarketcap.com (link above)

December 7

The Futures Industry Association, an industry organization whose primary members consist of the largest clearing houses and clearing firms for futures in the world, published an open letter it had sent to the CFTC chairman on December 6, 2017, decrying the lack of “a healthy dialogue between regulators, exchanges, clearing houses and the clearing firms who will be absorbing the risk of these volatile, emerging instruments during a default.” This is in spite of the fact that the letter also admits that, “Under law, exchanges may self-certify a product for trading by the close of business one day and then list the product for trading the next day.This process does not require CFTC approval or input…”

Also on December 7, in a joint interview with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, stated that, “We’ll [Goldman Sachs] see. If it works out and it gets more established and it trades like a store value and it doesn't move up and down 20% and there's liquidity in it, we’ll get to it.”

That same interview includes the suggestion that, according to an unnamed source with knowledge of Goldman Sachs plans, the investment bank plans to help clear bitcoin futures contracts for certain clients when the derivatives go live and that “the decision to clear client trades will be made on a case-by-case basis.” Goldman Sachs “will act in an agency capacity” and “won’t serve as a market-maker or build inventory in the derivatives.”

December 8

As the normal trading week came to an end, Coinbase and its exchange platform GDAX sent a reminder from Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, to its users via blog and email to “invest responsibly,” also noting that “there may be downtime which can impact your ability to trade.” While seemingly innocuous, it appears the Coinbase team was preparing for a surge in trading volume that would crash its platform. At 10 p.m. on December 10, 2017, Coinbase tweeted that it would be offline for one hour of scheduled maintenance to “help to prevent slow performance and login issues during larger traffic surges.”

Conclusion

The market on Bitcoin Futures is open for business. After 14 hours of premarket bitcoin futures and a full day of trading from both European and U.S. investors, “XBT” seems to be functioning as planned. While spectators of the past week have foretold of everything from rosy outlooks to apocryphal warnings, we, at least for the moment, seem to be on a path toward embracing cryptocurrency futures as a new wave of derivatives.

The post Bitcoin Futures Are Here: The Story So Far appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

STOCKS HIT A RECORD HIGH: Here's what you need to know

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

A man climbing a snowy mountain

US stocks climbed to a record high ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday, where the central bank is expected to announce a 25-basis-point rate hike.

The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.4%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,358.65, +29.49, (+0.12%)
  • S&P 500: 2,659.54, +8.08, (+0.31%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,875.04, +35.25, (+0.50%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.39%, +0.002
  • WTI crude oil: $57.95, +$0.59, +1.03%

1. Bitcoin soars after futures launch. The contracts, which allow investors to bet on the future price of the red-hot virtual currency, debuted Sunday night at about $16,000, a premium over the price of bitcoin in the underlying spot market.

2. Morgan Stanley laid out 3 things that could slow red-hot FAANG stocks in 2018. While the firm isn't bearish on the group heading into next year, it does say that its massive outperformance could slow.

3. Bitcoin bull Tom Lee has identified 12 stocks that are perfect if you don’t want to own the cryptocurrency. The basket of 12 stocks has gained 136%, which has beaten the S&P 500 but is dwarfed by bitcoin's rise.

4. Citigroup says a pattern is popping up in the euro that suggests it could soar 20%. The firm is closely watching the level at 1.1616 versus the US dollar.

5. Big-money investors singled out the biggest risk to markets over the next year. They're most scared of a geopolitical shock, according to a survey conducted by Barclays.

ADDITIONALLY:

Only one thing matters at the next Fed meeting

Litecoin is surging after Bitcoin futures launch

Tesla is rising after reports it has started to deliver the Model 3 to regular customers

The Winklevoss twins think bitcoin could 'go up another 20 times' and trounce gold

TOP TECH ANALYST: Almost nothing will stop the FANGs in 2018

HP says nearly 500 laptop models have a dangerous bug that can record everything you type

Take a closer look at Ford's F-series pickup trucks — the most popular vehicles in the US

SEE ALSO: Big-money investors single out the biggest risk to markets over the next year

Join the conversation about this story »

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

STOCKS HIT A RECORD HIGH: Here's what you need to know

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

A man climbing a snowy mountain

US stocks climbed to a record high ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday, where the central bank is expected to announce a 25-basis-point rate hike.

The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.4%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,358.65, +29.49, (+0.12%)
  • S&P 500: 2,659.54, +8.08, (+0.31%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,875.04, +35.25, (+0.50%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.39%, +0.002
  • WTI crude oil: $57.95, +$0.59, +1.03%

1. Bitcoin soars after futures launch. The contracts, which allow investors to bet on the future price of the red-hot virtual currency, debuted Sunday night at about $16,000, a premium over the price of bitcoin in the underlying spot market.

2. Morgan Stanley laid out 3 things that could slow red-hot FAANG stocks in 2018. While the firm isn't bearish on the group heading into next year, it does say that its massive outperformance could slow.

3. Bitcoin bull Tom Lee has identified 12 stocks that are perfect if you don’t want to own the cryptocurrency. The basket of 12 stocks has gained 136%, which has beaten the S&P 500 but is dwarfed by bitcoin's rise.

4. Citigroup says a pattern is popping up in the euro that suggests it could soar 20%. The firm is closely watching the level at 1.1616 versus the US dollar.

5. Big-money investors singled out the biggest risk to markets over the next year. They're most scared of a geopolitical shock, according to a survey conducted by Barclays.

ADDITIONALLY:

Only one thing matters at the next Fed meeting

Litecoin is surging after Bitcoin futures launch

Tesla is rising after reports it has started to deliver the Model 3 to regular customers

The Winklevoss twins think bitcoin could 'go up another 20 times' and trounce gold

TOP TECH ANALYST: Almost nothing will stop the FANGs in 2018

HP says nearly 500 laptop models have a dangerous bug that can record everything you type

Take a closer look at Ford's F-series pickup trucks — the most popular vehicles in the US

SEE ALSO: Big-money investors single out the biggest risk to markets over the next year

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin Price Back Above $17k to Set New All-Time High

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

The price of bitcoin has pushed back above $17,000, hitting a new all-time high on CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI)

Bitcoin hits all time high above $17,300 after bitcoin futures premiere

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

Capture.PNG

  • The price of bitcoin, the red-hot digital currency, topped its previous all-time high set Friday, according to data from Markets Insider.
  • Bitcoin was trading up more than 14% against the US dollar on Monday at a record $17,346, less than a day after the launch of Cboe's bitcoin futures market.
  • The price picked up just after Coinbase's cryptocurrency exchange, GDAX, went back online after a very brief crash.
  • Bitcoin is up more than 1,500% year-to-date.

Story is developing check back for updates.

SEE ALSO: Coinbase's cryptocurrency exchange crashes briefly

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone

Bitcoin hits all time high above $17,300 after bitcoin futures premiere

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

Capture.PNG

  • The price of bitcoin, the red-hot digital currency, topped its previous all-time high set Friday, according to data from Markets Insider.
  • Bitcoin was trading up more than 14% against the US dollar on Monday at a record $17,346, less than a day after the launch of Cboe's bitcoin futures market.
  • The price picked up just after Coinbase's cryptocurrency exchange, GDAX, went back online after a very brief crash.
  • Bitcoin is up more than 1,500% year-to-date.

Story is developing check back for updates.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Litecoin is surging after Bitcoin futures launch

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

bitcoin mining supercomputers

Litecoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has gained more than 25% in value over the last 24 hours, reaching an intra-day high of $195.66 per coin.

The gains come the day after Cboe Global Markets, a a Chicago-based exchange operator, launched trading of Bitcoin futures contracts.

Litecoin initially saw a hefty loss after Coinbase’s GDAX exchange crashed last week, briefly sagging below the $100 mark before this week’s skyrocket in price.

Litecoin uses a slightly different mining technique than bitcoin, but has been largely left out of the cryptocurrency explosion. While the cryptocurrency has seen its value skyrocket by 4,975% this year, it’s still trading at just $187 per coin, compared to bitcoin’s $17,006. For comparison's sake, bitcoin is up 2,062% in the last 12 months.

The electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage of 159 countries, a British research firm recently estimated.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 3.16.48 PM

SEE ALSO: WALKTHROUGH: How traders 'pump and dump' cryptocurrencies

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Litecoin is surging after Bitcoin futures launch

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

bitcoin mining supercomputers

Litecoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has gained more than 25% in value over the last 24 hours, reaching an intra-day high of $195.66 per coin.

The gains come the day after Cboe Global Markets, a a Chicago-based exchange operator, launched trading of Bitcoin futures contracts.

Litecoin initially saw a hefty loss after Coinbase’s GDAX exchange crashed last week, briefly sagging below the $100 mark before this week’s skyrocket in price.

Litecoin uses a slightly different mining technique than bitcoin, but has been largely left out of the cryptocurrency explosion. While the cryptocurrency has seen its value skyrocket by 4,975% this year, it’s still trading at just $187 per coin, compared to bitcoin’s $17,006. For comparison's sake, bitcoin is up 2,062% in the last 12 months.

The electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage of 159 countries, a British research firm recently estimated.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 3.16.48 PM

SEE ALSO: WALKTHROUGH: How traders 'pump and dump' cryptocurrencies

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Litecoin is surging after Bitcoin futures launch

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

bitcoin mining supercomputers

Litecoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has gained more than 25% in value over the last 24 hours, reaching an intra-day high of $195.66 per coin.

The gains come the day after Cboe Global Markets, a a Chicago-based exchange operator, launched trading of Bitcoin futures contracts.

Litecoin initially saw a hefty loss after Coinbase’s GDAX exchange crashed last week, briefly sagging below the $100 mark before this week’s skyrocket in price.

Litecoin uses a slightly different mining technique than bitcoin, but has been largely left out of the cryptocurrency explosion. While the cryptocurrency has seen its value skyrocket by 4,975% this year, it’s still trading at just $187 per coin, compared to bitcoin’s $17,006. For comparison's sake, bitcoin is up 2,062% in the last 12 months.

The electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage of 159 countries, a British research firm recently estimated.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 3.16.48 PM

SEE ALSO: WALKTHROUGH: How traders 'pump and dump' cryptocurrencies

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Litecoin is surging after Bitcoin futures launch

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

bitcoin mining supercomputers

Litecoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has gained more than 25% in value over the last 24 hours, reaching an intra-day high of $195.66 per coin.

The gains come the day after Cboe Global Markets, a a Chicago-based exchange operator, launched trading of Bitcoin futures contracts.

Litecoin initially saw a hefty loss after Coinbase’s GDAX exchange crashed last week, briefly sagging below the $100 mark before this week’s skyrocket in price.

Litecoin uses a slightly different mining technique than bitcoin, but has been largely left out of the cryptocurrency explosion. While the cryptocurrency has seen its value skyrocket by 4,975% this year, it’s still trading at just $187 per coin, compared to bitcoin’s $17,006. For comparison's sake, bitcoin is up 2,062% in the last 12 months.

The electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage of 159 countries, a British research firm recently estimated.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 3.16.48 PM

SEE ALSO: WALKTHROUGH: How traders 'pump and dump' cryptocurrencies

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Tesla is rising after reports it has started to deliver the Model 3 to regular customers (TSLA)

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

Tesla Model 3

  • Tesla has been seen stocking up on the new Model 3 at its stores and delivery centers.
  • Tesla has been plagued by production issues for the Model 3 recently and is working to overcome them.
  • Watch Tesla's stock move in real time here.


Tesla is up 3.88% to $327.29 on Monday after reports that the company is starting to deliver its Model 3 to regular customers.

Electric car blog, Electrek, is reporting that Tesla is starting to deliver cars to customers that aren't employees or company insiders. Electrek is also reporting that Tesla has been stocking its stores and delivery centers around Los Angeles with Model 3s, and posted a video showing more than 100 Model 3s at the company's Fremont delivery center.

Deliveries and full parking lots do not necessarily mean the company has overcome the production bottlenecks that have plagued the Model 3 thus far, but it is a good sign. The Model 3 has a preorder list of about 450,000 customers, while Tesla only produced 260 of the vehicles in the third quarter.

Panasonic, Tesla's major battery production partner, said the bottleneck had to do with the assembly of the Model 3's battery. At the end of October, Panasonic's CEO said the problems have been solved, and production would "rise sharply."

The company is working toward its revised goal of producing 1,500 Model 3s per week by the end of the first quarter, which was originally its goal for 2017.

Tesla is up 52.6% this year.

Read more about the company's production bottlenecks here.

tesla stock price

SEE ALSO: Tesla jumps more than 3% after reportedly solving its Model 3 bottleneck

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

Coinbase's cryptocurrency exchange crashes briefly

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

Brian Armstrong Coinbase

  • The Global Digital Asset Exchange, the cryptocurrency exchange run by Coinbase, was down briefly Monday afternoon.
  • The exchanged resumed trading at 2:57 p.m. ET. 

 

Coinbase, the US-based cryptocurrency trading platform, saw its Global Digital Asset Exchange crash for a brief time Monday afternoon.

The exchange stopped executing trades for clients at around 2:50 p.m. ET, according to an alert on its website, citing issues relating to their application programming interface, the technology that communicates information between computers.

"All markets are now in post-only mode and we are preparing to re-enable trading," the company said. "New maker orders will be accepted, but no matches will occur." 

c.PNGThe company had things back up and running by 2:57 p.m. ET.

This isn't the first time Coinbase has experienced issues during periods of high volume. When bitcoin soared over $11,000 per coin in November, Coinbase experienced a "partial system outage," during which time many users found themselves locked out of their accounts. It also experienced issues during a wild-trading session Thursday.

Cryptocurrency exchanges, which don't have the industrial infrastructure of traditional exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq, are under pressure to handle record-trading volumes. As such, they are building out their infrastructure and hiring more developers. Here's Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on his company's expansion:

"Over the course of this year we have invested significant resources to increase trading capacity on our platform and maintain availability of our service. We have increased the size of our support team by 640% and launched phone support in September. We have also invested heavily in our infrastructure and have increased the number of transactions we are processing during peak hours by over 40x."

Still, Monday's crash occurred during a relatively calm trading session for bitcoin. Volumes for bitcoin were nearly half of what they were during the previous outage, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin just hit an all-time high — here's how you buy and sell it

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Understanding Futures: A Primer for Bitcoiners

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

You may be able to trade the bitcoin cash market anonymously, but you cannot do the same with futures.

Two Firms File Bitcoin ETF Applications in Wake of CBOE Futures Launch

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

[…]

The post Two Firms File Bitcoin ETF Applications in Wake of CBOE Futures Launch appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

The Winklevoss twins think bitcoin could 'go up another 20 times' and trounce gold

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

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

  • The Winklevoss twins think bitcoin could appreciate 20 times and trounce gold.
  • Others say the cryptocurrency is in a bubble.

 

Traders in the new bitcoin futures market appear bullish on the red-hot coin.

Contracts for the January futures contract on Cboe Global Markets were trading well-above the spot market for bitcoin, at over $17,500 a coin on Monday.

But most traders are nowhere near as bullish as the Winklevoss twins. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, whose bitcoin holdings are worth more than $1 billion, told Fox Business Monday the coin could reach well above $300,000 a coin.

“Today it’s about a $300 billion market cap, gold is at $6 trillion, so we think it could very well go up another 20 times from today," Cameron Winklevoss said.

Bitcoin, he said, could ultimately trounce its earthly rival.

“We think it’s definitely realistic that it could grow and disrupt gold and maybe even beyond that.” Winklevoss said.

Bitcoin, which gained 1,500% so far this year, was trading up 8.9% at $16,407% on Monday afternoon. The coin, which is known for its spine-tingling volatility, has traded higher since Cboe's launch of bitcoin futures. The exchange operator is partnered with Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, for the new market. 

Still, that hasn't kept naysayers quiet. Some of the most well-respect analysts and economists on Wall Street have said bitcoin is a bubble. In fact, in a note sent out to clients on Monday, UBS Global Chief Economist Paul Donovan referred to bitcoin as the "bubble to end all bubbles." Here's Donovan:

"Cryptocurrencies only have value if accepted as currencies. However, they cannot be used for the most important transaction in an economy, and cryptocurrency supply can only rise and never fall (making them a poor store of value). To date, using cryptocurrencies requires (effectively) a simultaneous asset sale and purchase of goods or services."

Capture.PNG

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin bull Tom Lee has identified 12 stocks that are perfect if you don’t want to own it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A self-made millionaire describes the financial mistakes to avoid if you want to get rich by 30

CBOE CEO Blasts 'Uncalled For' Bitcoin Futures Critiques

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

CBOE's chief executive is pushing back at suggestions that the exchange's newly-launched bitcoin futures market was hastily done.

TOP TECH ANALYST: Almost nothing will stop the FANGs in 2018 (FB, AAPL, NFLX, GOOGL)

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

marco pierre white jr iphone x apple launch london

  • Tech has outpaced the broader market by a wide margin in 2017.
  • But it wasn't all smooth sailing, as many of the largest companies faced public and regulatory scrutiny along with company-level issues.
  • Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, told Markets Insider that he sees little risk to the future growth of the largest tech companies.


Tech has been the fastest-growing sector this year, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 nearly doubling the gains of the S&P 500.

But tech has made its share of negative headlines this year. Facebook and Google have been facing investigations over their roles in allowing foreign influence in the 2016 presidential elections. Additionally, Apple has seen highly mixed results to its newest editions of the iPhone.

As the EU cracks down on tax evasion and anticompetitive practices by tech companies in its member states, American lawmakers have started to ponder regulating or even breaking up some of the big tech companies.

As the capabilities of AI programs skyrocket, and tech companies successfully automate more human jobs, anxiety over the future of work in the US seems to grow with the market cap of many of the tech giants.

But is it all doom and gloom for some of the world's largest companies?

With 2018 fast approaching, Markets Insider sat down RBC's Mark Mahaney to find out what could be in store for the tech sector next year.

Mahaney is one of the most widely respected analysts in the tech space and is rated in the top five analysts by Bloomberg for 14 of the 25 stocks he covers.

Following is transcript of a phone interview with Mahaney. It has been edited for clarity.

Seth Archer: Going into 2018, what are you looking out for, what gets you excited, and what are you worried about?

Mark Mahaney: Three things have remained constant about the large-cap internet stocks, at least the high-quality ones. One of these facts is that revenue growth is extraordinarily consistent. The expression we use is 'insanely consistent' in our last earnings preview.

Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix — all four of the FANGs — have had almost the exact same growth rate in '17, '16 and '15. Facebook has faded a little bit, but it's faded from, like, 60 down to high 40. I've been struck by how consistent the growth rates have been.

I've also been struck by how consistent the aggressive investment has been by these companies. All these companies have been spending aggressively on new areas of growth: whether it's Netflix spending more money on original content and expanding internationally, whether its Amazon spending more money on buying Whole Foods and on distribution centers for its retail business and data centers for its cloud business, whether it's Facebook investing aggressively into artificial intelligence and machine learning and into video content.

And Google is still aggressively investing in cloud — also into its projects like autonomous vehicles. The investment outlook remains aggressive for all four of those companies, and the revenue growth has remained very consistent.

And the third thing that is constant is really the multiples. The valuations on these names are very similar to where they were two years ago. The multiples have either held or have come down. It’s interesting: They've had three years in a row of dramatic market outperformance. It's not been due to a multiple rerating. That would typically be it, you'd expect. It's been entirely been due to earnings growth. The stocks have gone up because the earnings have gone up, and the earnings have gone up because the revenue growth has been consistent.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

So those are the three constants. As I think about '18, I don't see a reason why the fundamental trends behind the leading internet platforms, so I call them "PEFANG": Priceline, Expedia, FANG. I don't think there is any reason — except for the online travel names — I don't think there is any reason to expect a change, either a material change in their revenue growth or in their aggressive investment outlook.

And the multiples. It’s sort of interesting. I feel less conviction about the multiples than I do about the fundamentals of the company. Because I feel like the fundamentals are extremely intact, and since multiples have been very consistent the last three years, I don't know why they wouldn't be this year.

But as a stock picker, I would worry about if there's a rotation out of growth into value. Then, clearly, no matter how high quality they are, the internet names would underperform if there's a material rotation out of growth into value.

Archer: So you are worried about multiples going down, not them going higher right?

Mahaney: Yeah, I guess that's right. I don't think that given where the multiples are, I don't know that there's room for a lot of correction in the multiples. But I could see the multiples go down by a couple of points on each of the names as a part of the trade rotation out of growth and into value. That's a risk that I would think about.

I think the high-quality internet names, they probably face portfolio risk. I don't foresee any particular macro risk and I don't see any particular fundamentals risk. You know, famous last words — but they've been very consistent the last three years.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager Google Antitrust

Archer: You mentioned government regulations. Does that come to a head in 2018, and how does that affect earnings?

Mahaney: I don't know if it comes to a head, but there's no doubt that there is greater regulatory scrutiny of these names. OK, maybe not Netflix — but Google, Amazon and Facebook. There's no doubt that there's greater public and regulatory scrutiny now than there was 12 and 24 months ago.

And it's not only that, but there's been actual, regulatory action taken against Google in the EU. And there are two more investigations that the EU is undergoing. I'm skeptical that the regulatory public scrutiny will lead to either a material change in their revenue growth outlooks or in their cost structures. But the latter is a possibility. It's possible that they are going to have to spend more money to comply with regulations. Whether that's data-privacy regulations like those that are going to be imposed by the EU in 2018, that could lead to a rise in their cost structure. I don't think it would be material, but it's possible.

Facebook — one of the reasons they are going to be accelerating their expense growth in '18 is the need to spend more on security because of the Russian hacking of the US elections. So that's an odd expense. I don't know if that really falls under scrutiny, except that it was public scrutiny that made Facebook get more aggressive about it. I guess that's probably the biggest variable I can think of. Does regulatory and public scrutiny cause their operating costs to rise more aggressively than they would otherwise? That, to me, is one of the most interesting changes.

A couple of other trends I find interesting in the group are the increasing focus on AI and machine learning. It's very hard to see that impact from a financial perspective; it's hard to find their line in the P&L that says this is artificial intelligence, but it's in there in terms of the expenses. And it should be in there in the form of more relevant and more effective services. I guess that's point one.

The stocks have gone up because the earnings have gone up, and the earnings have gone up because the revenue growth has been consistent.

Point two is, I'm very intrigued by what I call the "voiceification" of the internet. It's not only in emerging markets. I'm not certain on this, that voice is much more of a user interface, an application-interaction method than in the developing markets. And more and more of the growth of the internet is in developing markets.

In the US, that will essentially carry the internet, or bring the internet into the car and the kitchen. I'm thinking about Alexa devices, Google Home devices, the HomePod, by Apple, whenever that comes out. So I think about that. It's not the most important platform shift of the last five years or next five years.

It's still going to be smartphones. But voiceification could also move the needle — not exactly as smartphones did, but it will move the needle.

Archer: And does AI move that needle? You said it's hard to see.

Mahaney: Yes, it must. It's one of those "submarine trends." It's impacting the tides, but it’s below the surface, so it's very hard to see it.

Read more about how tech is in the crosshairs of regulators here.

SEE ALSO: RBC: Google is in the ‘crosshairs’ of antitrust regulators — and should be kicked out of FANG

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CITI: A pattern is popping up in the euro that suggests it could soar 20%

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

Mario Draghi

  • The euro is on track to post its biggest annual gain since 2003.
  • An "outside year" could occur for just the third time since floating exchange rates began in the 1970s.
  • The CitiFX Technicals team says the euro could hit 1.30 against the dollar in 2018 if that occurs.

 

The euro is poised to end its three-year losing streak in 2017, with a gain of 10.88% against the dollar so far, according to Markets Insider data. While that would account for the single currency's biggest annual gain since 2003, it could just be the beginning of a big move higher, according to the CitiFX Technicals team led by Tom Fitzpatrick.

The team is paying close attention to where the euro finishes this year. Specifically, they're watching 1.1616, as a close above there would make for an "outside year." That means the euro would end 2017 above the previous year's high after trading below the previous year's low.

Take a look at their chart below:

Euro

An outside year would be rare, according to Fitzpatrick's team, as it has only occurred three times since floating exchange rates began in the 1970s.

"All three have seen moves in the same direction as the reversal in the following year," Citi wrote. "On average the move the following year has been over 20%." 

So where will the euro go from here?

"The smallest move in the year following such a reversal was seen after the 2014 bearish outside year that yielded a 13.5% fall in 2015," Fitzpatrick's team concluded. "That move also started with a bearish outside month first (in May). If replicated that would suggest a real danger of a move above 1.30 in 2018."

And Citi isn't alone in its call for the euro hitting 1.30 against the US dollar. BNP Paribas FX Strategist Sam Lynton-Brown also has that price target for the single currency, except he expects that level to be reached by the end of 2019. 

"A reduction of expectations of US rate hikes and an earlier than anticipated move by other G10 central banks towards tighter monetary policy have caused us to bring forward our expectation of USD weakness," he wrote in a July note. 

He points to the European Central Bank moving away from its very accommodative policy, which in turn causes investors to "begin to unwind or hedge their large holdings of foreign debt securities," providing support to the euro. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin and tulipmania have a lot more in common than you might think

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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.

Citigroup officially ended its long overhaul this summer, with CEO Michael Corbat declaring at the bank's first investor day since the financial crisis that the firm "strong and stable" and that its "restructuring is over."

While Corbat was talking about the group as a whole, he could just as easily have been talking about Citi's investment bank.

Citi has largely loomed outside of the upper ranks of the investment banking league tables since the crisis. But Corbat's comments this summer arrived at a telling time for Citi's investment bank, which, like the financial giant overall, is showing strong signs of progress. Here's our story.

Elsewhere in Wall Street news, compensation is surging at private-equity firms, especially for junior-level employees, thanks to a "perfect storm" that's fueling competition for talent. And fund manager pay is headed for a reversal, according to a big Wall Street report. 

Bitcoin futures started trading on Cboe Global Markets on Sunday night. Here's what you need to know: 

In markets news, BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief told us his biggest market fear. Big-money investors singled out the biggest risk to markets over the next year. A Wall Street bank just made the most bullish call on stocks yet. And there's an attractive way to profit from the $1.3 trillion student-loan bubble, according to Goldman Sachs. 

In DC news, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise rates at its December policy meeting, making what it signals about future increases more of the focus

Law professors published a 34-page list of ways people will game the GOP tax plan. The Treasury released a bizarre one-page report on the GOP tax bill, and it's already getting shredded. And the last time the GOP pulled this kind of trick with tax cuts, it triggered a financial disaster, according to Daniel Alpert at Westwood Capital. 

In deal news, Apple is buying Shazam. A Tesla-SpaceX merger would be the deal of the decadeThe latest $2 billion rights deal between the NFL and Verizon doesn't seem to be good for anybody. And an early Facebook exec explains why investing in startups without meeting them is the future of venture capital.

Lastly, here's what it’s like to eat at the elite spot frequented by Wall Street billionaires where you have to pony up $50,000 to walk in the door.

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

MORGAN STANLEY: There are 3 things that could slow red-hot FAANG stocks in 2018

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

fire hose extinguish

  • FAANG stocks could be a victim of their own success in 2018, says Morgan Stanley.
  • The outperformance of the tech-focused group could leave it vulnerable to some trend reversals that could weigh on performance, according to the firm.


All good things must come to an end. Which is why Morgan Stanley has already started brainstorming about what could derail torrid gains for scorching-hot tech stocks.

The FAANG group — which consists of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google — has crushed the broader market in 2017, buoyed by strong earnings growth and a momentum-chasing mindset from investors looking to buy stock in proven winners.

And while Morgan Stanley isn't yet prepared to get outwardly bearish on FAANG heading into next year, it does note that there are some elements present that could slow the group's roll. They include:

1) A heavy concentration of broader market gains in FAANG

FAANG has driven 24% of the benchmark S&P 500's gains in 2017, which is the third-highest level of concentration in the last 20 years, trailing only 1999 and 2004, according to Morgan Stanley data.

Still, the firm notes that the average over the period is a 22% contribution from the market's top five stocks, so FAANG dominance isn't as overextended as it might appear on the surface. But it remains something to watch.

2) Growth stocks are beating their value counterparts — which could be due for a reversal

Growth stocks have beaten their value-based peers for 10 years running after a six-year period where the opposite was true, according to Morgan Stanley. This trend could weaken or even see an outright reversal in 2018, the firm says. And that would impact FAANG because they're among the most notable examples of successful growth stocks.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 12.24.20 PM

3) Market outperformers tend to slow the following year

Morgan Stanley finds that, throughout history, the top five market cap growers in a given year have only returned 3.7% over the following 12 months. What's more, those companies actually see a -0.6% median return, relative to the S&P 500.

This fits in perfectly with Morgan Stanley's bullish-but-tempered outlook. These stocks may rise in 2018, but they'll be hard-pressed to keep pace with their outstanding 2017 gains.

SEE ALSO: Big-money investors single out the biggest risk to markets over the next year

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NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone

The market for bitcoin futures is heating up

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

trading desk

  • Cboe Global Markets' bitcoin futures market is heating up after it launched Sunday evening.
  • Ed Tilly, CEO of the exchange group, told Business Insider volumes and the number of participants in the market are picking up.


The market for bitcoin futures is heating up. 

With much fanfare, Cboe Global Markets' bitcoin futures contracts started trading Sunday. The new market, which allows investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin, sent the digital currency up by more than $1,000 within the first ten minutes of its launch. And interest in the new market triggered a crash of Cboe's website.

Still, volumes were relatively low with only 800 contracts traded within the first two hours, according to Cboe. On the whole, the order book was thin with only a handful of participants trading in the new market.

But Cboe CEO Ed Tilly told Business Insider in an interview Monday morning that the market is picking up. For starters, volumes have more than tippled to 3,350, according to Bloomberg data. More participants are entering the market as well, according to Tilly.

"I am pretty pleased," Tilly said of the new market launch. "We started with about 12 participants in the market, some of them are trading for customers. That's up to 22 this morning."

Tilly said that number will build over the coming days and weeks as trading firms and brokers waiting on the sidelines see the order book fill up.

"I talked to one this morning who wants to wait and see and then make their decision mid-week," Tilly said of one brokerage firm considering clearing the new products for customers."They didn't raise a concern about the market."

TD Ameritrade is one such firm taking a "wait and see" approach. JB Mackenzie, a managing director on the brokerage's futures and forex trading team, said in an interview with Business Insider on Thursday that the firm is waiting for the right amount of liquidity in the market before it jumps in.

Mackenzie couldn't be reached at the time of publication for an update.

As for the future of the cryptocurrency world, Tilly said a futures market for bitcoin could pave the way for the listing of the first exchange traded fund linked to bitcoin. That could bring a lot more money from retail investors into the burgeoning market for bitcoin.

Van Eck and REX Shares proposed such a product in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday.

The US regulator rejected an earlier attempt by Bats Global Markets, which was acquired by Cboe earlier this year, to list a bitcoin exchange-traded fund with Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange.

"It's going to take time," Tilly said. "The mandate of the SEC is consumer protection so they are going to be diligent."

"But we will get there," he said.

Capture.PNG

SEE ALSO: Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, extends maintenance after massive bitcoin sell-off

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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 Headed for $100,000, Says Trader Who Called Q4 Rally

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

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McLaren built a $1 million hypercar that it says is unlike any other vehicle in the world

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

McLaren Senna

  • The McLaren Senna hypercar debuted on Saturday.
  • It's named after legendary Formula One racer Ayrton Senna.
  • McLaren will on build only 500 Sennas with a price tag of $1 million each.
  • The Senna is powered by a 789 horsepower twin-turbo V8.


Ayrton Senna is arguably the greatest driver in Formula One history and one who made an indelible mark on McLaren. The Brazilian spent six of his 11 seasons in F1 with McLaren during which time he delivered 35 race victories and three world championships.

On Saturday, McLaren unveiled a new $1 million (£750,000) hypercar called the Senna in a ceremony at the company's headquarters outside of London.

The McLaren Senna will be just the second member of the company's Ultimate Series, which has remained without a production model since the P1 hybrid hypercar ended its run in 2015.

"The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA, legalized or road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit," McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said in a statement. "Every element of this new Ultimate Series McLaren has an uncompromised performance focus, honed to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and machine and deliver the ultimate track driving experience in the way that only a McLaren can."

Ayrton SennaAccording to McLaren, the Senna is built to be the ultimate track-focused road car. Thus, everything about the Senna is about putting up insane lap times on the track while offering a comfortable commute on the road. That also means function over form when it comes to aesthetics. 

The Senna is powered by a 789 horsepower version of the McLaren's 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, M840TR V8 engine. It's development of the M840T engine that debuted earlier this year in the 720S supercar.

McLaren has yet to announce any performance figures associated with the Senna. But, I wouldn't be shocked to see a 0-60 mph time quicker than 2.8 seconds and a top speed north of 212 mph. 

McLaren SennaWith that said, the Senna's party piece won't be its straight-line speed. Instead, the car's forte will be its ability to meld that speed with mechanical and aerodynamic grip to deliver mind-blowing lap times.

The new hypercar built on McLaren's new Monocage III carbon fiber structure. At just 2,641 pounds, the Senna is the lightest McLaren since the company's ground-breaking 240 mph F1 hypercar of the 90s. 

The McLaren Senna will make its official world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March. Unfortunately, all 500 Sennas are already spoken for. 

McLaren Senna

SEE ALSO: Lamborghini is the world's craziest supercar maker — here's how it came to be

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

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

New Bitcoin ETF Filings Follow CBOE Futures Debut

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

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A top private equity recruiter explains why there's a 'perfect storm' for hiring right now

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

A line of severe storms cross the Mississippi River

  • Fundraising and "dry powder" in the private-equity industry is booming.
  • This "perfect storm" has stoked demand for talent and increased compensation for junior-level employees, according to top recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.
  • Senior talent is as coveted as ever, but money is less of a concern and they're harder to lure away.


Compensation is surging at private-equity firms, especially for junior-level employees, thanks to a "perfect storm" in the industry that's fueling competition for talent, according to top Wall Street headhunting firm Heidrick & Struggles. 

The firm recently released its "2017 North American Private Equity Investment Professional Compensation Survey," compiling compensation data from more than 600 private-equity professionals.

Fifty-four percent of respondents reported their base salary increasing from 2016 to 2017, consistent with last year's survey figures. Associates and senior associates saw the largest increase, with salaries growing 14% to $125,000, followed by vice presidents with a 13% increase to $198,000, according to the survey. 

"That's a reflection of the fact that fundraising has been so strong. There's so much capital pouring into private equity right now, to a certain extent away from real estate and away from hedge funds," Jonathan Goldstein, a partner at Heidrick & Struggles who heads their private equity practice in the Americas, told Business Insider. "The allocation to alternatives is growing, because you have so many pension funds with underfunded commitments, so everybody is looking for yield."

Fundraising boomed in the first half of the year, with investors committing $113 billion to 117 US funds, according to Heidrick's report. Dry powder stands at a staggering $545 billion. 

Deal-making and exits were also robust, with $300 billion across 1,770 completed deals, according to the report.

The influx of money to private equity and record-sized funds has created more opportunities and thus more demand for young talent. 

"This creates a perfect storm for increased hiring," Goldstein added.

Salaries for principals increased 6% to $250,000, while managing directors and managing partners saw no increase. Of course, most of the compensation at these levels comes not from salary but rather from bonus and carried interest — a slice of the profits a fund generates. 

That data isn't yet available for 2017. 

Senior private-equity talent is as coveted as ever, but the opportunities at the top are fewer and the industry's strength has made it more difficult to lure away the best talent, according to Goldstein. 

Robust fundraising and performance has made already well-compensated managers "stickier," and Heidrick, which focuses on hiring at the VP level or higher, reports having to reach out to two to three times as many prospective candidates as in recent years to fill positions. 

Money isn't as much a draw at this point as a bigger platform or more influence. 

"To move requires an extraordinary opportunity," Goldstein said. "Candidates don't look to move from one firm or another for a slight uptick in comp."

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

Bitcoin bull Tom Lee has identified 12 stocks that are perfect if you don’t want to own it (GBTC, MGTI, GROW, HIVE.CN, DCC.AU, NVDA, AMD, CME, CBOE, OSTK, GS, SQ, XBT)

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

Screen Shot 2017 08 18 at 12.07.16 PM

Bitcoin is still too risky for many investors with a lot of money at stake.  

But there's a handful of stocks that stand to benefit from bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology, according to Tom Lee, a strategist at Fundstrat and one of the most prominent advocates for the cryptocurrency.

The basket of 12 stocks he recommended in a note Friday has gained 136% this year. That's more than the S&P 500's 18% rally, but is dwarfed by bitcoin's 1,588% rise.  

"We believe investors should have exposure to blockchain, particularly given bitcoin has essentially zero correlation to equities, bonds and commodities — hence, as a portfolio strategy, bitcoin is a good diversification tool," Lee said. He sees one bitcoin costing $25,000 by the end of 2022. 

The stocks Lee recommends offer "three types of leverage—  (i) price gains of bitcoin/tokens; (ii) transaction activity (either wallets or exchanges); and (iii) mining based on proof of work or proof of stake." 

Here they are, in ascending order of how much exposure Lee estimates they have to bitcoin:

Square

Ticker: SQ

Market cap: $14.8 billion

Year-to-date performance: 179% 

Comment: Allows bitcoin to be bought and sold, accepts bitcoin.

Source: Fundstrat



Goldman Sachs

Ticker: GS

Market cap: $94.4 billion

Year-to-date performance: 4.5% 

Comment: Likely "first mover" investment bank in bitcoin. 

Source: Fundstrat



Overstock

Ticker: OSTK

Market cap: $1.13 billion

Year-to-date performance: 158% 

Comment: Accepts bitcoin and owns Medici Ventures, its blockchain subsidiary.

Source: Fundstrat



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Missed the bitcoin boom? Five more baffling cryptocurrencies to blow your savings on

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

Regretting not spending a few hundred quid on bitcoin five years ago? Get ahead of the speculators by spending thousands of dollars on a imaginary cat or the Paris Hilton-backed LydianCoin

If you are worried you’ve missed out on making millions by betting on bitcoin, don’t worry: there will be plenty more bizarre, borderline-incomprehensible digital bubbles in the future, and their value is only going to go up (until it all comes crashing down, that is). Here are five assets each competing to be the next bitcoin.

Continue reading...

Goldbug Ron Paul ‘Surprised’ His Followers Prefer Bitcoin to Gold

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

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Bitcoin Fans Beware: An Unofficial App for MyEtherWallet Rises to Top of Apple's App Store

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

The digital wallet app is not associated with MyEtherWallet, sparking concern that it's misleading customers or trying to scam them.

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Bitcoin gold is well bid today, but chart analysis suggests the upturn in prices may be ephemeral.

The Fed seems to be giving up on a key driver of the economy

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

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after a two-day Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) policy meeting in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

  • Federal Reserve officials are pinning their interest rate hikes on recent job market strength, with the unemployment rate at a 17-year low of 4.1%.
  • However, signs of weakness in the economy remain, including an inflation rate that continues to undershoot the Fed's target.
  • Wage growth has remained meager, so the Fed's ongoing monetary tightening signals a lack of desire to see a further pick up.

 

For Federal Reserve officials, the whole point of keeping interest rates low for a prolonged period was to get the US economy on a solid footing where unemployment was low and wages could begin to climb.

So with inflation still chronically below the Fed’s target and wage growth continuing to disappoint, coming in at a tepid 2.5% annual reading at last brush, why are central bank officials so keen to continue raising interest rates, as they are widely expected to do this week?

One key reason, albeit a misguided one, is the sense that Fed officials would be out of tools if another downturn were to hit the economy. That means the Fed should get rates up now in order to be able to cut them later — even if it risks slowing economic activity in the short run.

But this argument doesn’t make sense, and has been debunked as wrong-headed by top economists, including former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Another potential argument is that the Fed needs to act preemptively, because inflation is likely to be right around the corner with the jobless rate this low. Except that theory has proven wrong time and again, year after year.

"When the Fed says they are just about to the 2% target or that they are afraid of rapid inflation, many look at the forecasts from each of the last 32 quarters and say, 'Didn't you say that five, four, three, two years, even one year ago, too?'" said Austan Goolsbee, President Barack Obama’s former top economic adviser and a University of Chicago professor. 

Maybe something else entirely is going on. Perhaps Fed officials aren’t so keen to see wages rise after all.  That seems to be the interpretation of Paul Mortimer-Lee, economist at BNP Paribas.

"Despite the strength in the labor market, the November employment report highlighted that faster wage growth is struggling to come through," he wrote in a research note.

"With the Fed signaling a desire to raise rates in December, and in our opinion focusing more on economic activity than inflation, we think the softness in wages is unlikely to shift the Fed off its current course."

Wage growth is an especially thorny issue because median wages have been stagnant for several decades, causing a deteriorating standard of living for millions of middle- and low-income Americans.

For an economy that garners more than two-thirds of its activity from consumer spending, stifling wage growth could be actively detrimental to a longer-term recovery, including by forcing consumers to rely increasingly on dangerous loads of debt.

 

SEE ALSO: There's an important social reason incomes aren't rising in America

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Snap erases the entire drop from its earnings disaster (SNAP)

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

SNAP IPO 11

  • Snap is now trading at the price it was at before its disastrous third-quarter earnings report.
  • Shares plummeted by as much as 18% after missing revenue and user growth numbers.
  • Barclay's released a report recently that placed an $18 price target and an overweight rating on Snap.
  • Watch the price of Snap move in real time here.


Snap is back to where it was trading before its disastrous third-quarter earnings results.

Shares are trading up 0.53% at $15.15 apiece on Monday. That's above the $15.12 its share price settled at right before its third-quarter earnings report badly missed Wall Street's revenue expectations. At the time, the company also reported a measly 3% user growth, adding 4.5 million users when Wall Street was expecting around 8 million.

After reporting the disappointing earnings, Snap shares plummeted about 18%, reaching $12.38.

The morning after, Tencent announced it had purchased a 10% stake in Snap, equivalent to about 145.8 million nonvoting shares. 

Snap has rebounded with the help a Barclays research note that put an $18 price target on its shares. Barclay's said that the company has a chance to reverse the negative story surrounding the company and start growing its revenue and users.

The company is currently rolling out a redesign of its app, it's biggest in history, that could spark more users and engagement than before, Barclays said. The redesign separates content from friends from content from brands and celebrities, and it begins to arrange content using an algorithm.

Snap is still trading 11% below its initial offering price of $17.

Read more about Barclay's buy rating of Snap here.

snap stock price

SEE ALSO: Snap flops with disastrous Q3 earnings that send shares diving

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Major delays and services changes on the NYC subway as authorities investigate explosion

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

port authority explosion

  • The MTA announced major service changes to the subways in the Times Square area.
  • Re-routings and delays affected subway service in other parts of the city.
  • Subway service not running through Times Square or Port Authority wasn't affected by the service changes.
  • The system continued to operate as authorities investigated a reported pipe-bombing.


On Monday morning, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority alerted New York City subway riders to major delays and service changes as authorities investigated a reported pipe-bomb explosion at Port Authority.

According to the MTA:

  • The 1-2-3 subway lines are bypassing the Times-Sq.-42nd St. station in both directions.
  • The N-Q-R-W subway lines are bypassing Times-Sq.-42nd St. station in both directions.
  • The 7 trains are bypassing Times-Sq.-42nd St. station in both directions.
  • The A and E subway lines are  bypassing 42 St/Port Authority-Bus Terminal in both directions.
  • The S 42nd St. shuttle service has been suspended in both directions.
  • Throughout the rest of the subway systems, there were delays and re-routings.

Apart from delays and service changes, the system was operating with normal service on lines not affected by the investigation at Port Authority, the city's major transit hur near the bustling Times Square area.

With the streets closed in Midtown Manhattan, buses were experiencing major delays. According to the MTA, "the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M7, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34-SBS, M34A-SBS, M42, M50, M55, and M57 buses are running with delays in both directions because of traffic conditions between 5 Ave. and 12 Ave. between 34 St. and 57 St."

New Jersey Transit announced that as of 10 a.m. ET, Port Authority had re-opened to inbound and outbound buses, but with delays.

Subway changes

new york pipe bomb port authority

SEE ALSO: Possible ISIS-linked attack at New York City's Port Authority injures 3, suspect in custody

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

Big-money investors single out the biggest risk to markets over the next year

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

north korea

  • Geopolitical risk is the biggest fear in markets right now, according to a Barclays survey of over 700 institutional clients.
  • The firm says it's a combination of developments on the Korean peninsula, tensions with Russia, political turmoil in Saudi Arabia, Brexit, and less predictability in US foreign policy.


Sometimes there's no bigger fear than the unknown.

That seems to be the case in global markets right now, at least according to a survey of 700 institutional clients conducted by Barclays.

Roughly 40% of respondents named geopolitical uncertainty as the biggest risk to markets, the survey showed. It's an interesting selection, says Barclays, because there's no immediately obvious global threat looming right now, meaning that anything that transpires will be a major surprise that catches people off guard.

"The only way in which the global expansion seriously disappoints in 2018, in our view, is if the world economy faces a large exogenous shock — one that we cannot plausibly identify right now," Barclays analyst Aziz Sunderji wrote in a client note.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 8.38.17 AM

So which geopolitical developments are most likely to spur anxiety? Barclays says it's a combination of "developments in the Korean peninsula, tensions with Russia, political turmoil in Saudi Arabia, Brexit, and less predictability in US foreign policy."

And despite the lack of immediate clarity, it's not altogether surprising that investors are citing some big global unknown as their biggest fear, considering where volatility conditions are right now, says Barclays.

The firm notes that, over the life of its survey, geopolitical risk has been a popular response during periods of low overall market uncertainty. As noted in the chart above, the CBOE Volatility Index — or VIX, otherwise known as the stock market fear gauge — has been notably subdued during such stretches in the past, sitting near 13.

"Historically, clients have cited this as the biggest risk when volatility has been low," said Sunderji.

SEE ALSO: BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief tells us his biggest market fear

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NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

A blockchain tech company raised $42.5 million in 2 weeks — in 'one of the easiest fundraising processes ever'

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

A man walks past a bitcoin ATM in Vilnius, Lithuania December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

  • BitGo, a blockchain technology company, closed a $42.5 million fundraising round.
  • The company, which provides technology for institutional investors to dive into the cryptocurrency market, said the fundraise took just 2 weeks.


BitGo, a US-based blockchain technology company, raised $42.5 million in a Series B fundraising round, the company announced Monday.

BitGo, which is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, said it will use the money to expand its business outside the US to help more companies dive into the nascent digital coin market. Hedge funds and other institutional investors leverage BitGo's technology to overcome some of risk and compliance issues associated with digital currencies.

The fundraise was led by Valor Equity Partners, according to the firm, with DRW, a Chicago-based trading firm, also participating. Already, a number of companies utilize BitGo's technology to power their own cryptocurrency products, including CME Group and The Royal Mint.

A spokesperson for the firm told Business Insider the fundraise took two weeks. The length of the fundraising round is striking, mirroring the speed at which cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have appreciated in recent months.

"This has been one of the easiest fundraising processes ever," CEO Mike Belshe, an engineer who was among the first to work on the Google Chrome team, told Business Insider in an interview.

Belshe said 2018 will be the year in which traditional asset managers and hedge funds enter the market.

"We need to be prepared for the $1 billion fund which needs our technology," Belshe said.

Crypto-focused hedge funds have launched this year at an eye-popping rate, according to fintech analytics firm Autonomous NEXT. The launch of bitcoin futures by two established exchanges in December could further push the cryptocurrency market, which exceeds $400 billion, to new heights next year.

Read more about blockchain, the technology powering bitcoin »

SEE ALSO: The first bitcoin futures depend on trading at the Winklevoss twins' tiny exchange — and that's a problem

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

Bitcoin Price, Crypto Markets Trade Up After Cboe Futures Launch

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

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Labour details radical plans to move parts of the Bank of England to Birmingham

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

Britain's Shadow Finance Minister John McDonnell speaks at the Labour Party Post-Budget Rally in West Bromwich, Britain, November 23, 2017.

  • The Labour party has detailed proposals to move parts of the Bank of England to Birmingham and lend £250 billion to British firms through a publicly-owned RBS, should the party be elected to government.
  • Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said investment should "tackle our productivity problems," and do so on "a basis of regional fairness."

LONDON — The Labour party has detailed proposals for a radical shake-up of the government's financial strategy which would see it move parts of the Bank of England to Birmingham and lend £250 billion to British firms over a decade through a publicly-owned RBS should it be elected.

Speaking on Monday morning at the launch of a report commissioned by the party, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the UK economy required "long-term, stable, patient investment" into sectors such as manufacturing and technology which would boost the UK's chronically low productivity levels.

The report, prepared by GFC Economics, outlined proposals for a "Strategic Investment Board" which would answer to the Treasury. Under the radical plans, the Royal Bank of Scotland — currently part-owned by the taxpayer — would be taken into full public ownership distribute loans to British start-ups and other businesses.

McDonnell said the Strategic Investment Board would oversee the distribution of £250 billion over a decade.

The Conservative party, meanwhile, plans to sell £3 billion tranches of its RBS shares every year until it is privately-owned.

The report said other countries such as the US and Japan are racing ahead in areas such as the use of industrial robots — which are widely acknowledged to boost overall productivity — because they receive considerably higher levels of investment.

McDonnell also called for the Bank of England to relocate major parts of its operations to Birmingham, and said the new Strategic Investment Board would also be relocated in the Midlands city in a bid to "rebalance" the UK economy on "a basis of regional fairness."

The Bank of England has been independent from poilitical control since 1997 and McDonnell insisted would remain so, despite having a role in "implementing strategic direction" and "regulatory oversight" for the RBS loans under the new plans.

"The structures outlined in this report will operate effectively and the government's job is to set the overall framework from which those structures will be able to achieve their objective," he said.

McDonnell said the plans demonstrate "how we could harness [other financial institutions] to do two things: provide investment and provide it in a way that tackles our productivity problems, and does so on a basis of regional fairness."

He also suggested Labour would hold sessions of parliament outside London if it was elected. "I think there's an argument for ensuring that Cabinet and maybe sessions of parliament could be held elsewhere. Jeremy has been talking about holding shadow cabinet meetings around the country on a regular basis, and I think you'll see that evolve into other forms of direct devolution."

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

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) shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., August 30, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning, and Happy Central Bank Week!  US Futures are tracking slightly higher, as Tech is outperforming again.   Hedging early, as VIX is up 2.4%, trying to get back near 10.   Mostly a sea of red in Europe despite Fins having a nice overnight.  The DAX is off small as Tech and Telecom lagging, while Retailers not popping despite the rebound in Steinhoff.   4” of snow in London has trading volumes light today, but the FTSE is jumping 50bp as Banks and Miners rally 1% .    Thanks to a Nice afternoon rally in Asia, Nikkei hit a 26year high and the TOPIX was up 50bp behind the Banks - Hang Seng jumped 1.2% as Tencent and HSBC leap 3% - Shanghai up 1% as PBoC injected $3B into Money Markets - KOSPI added 30bp, while Aussie up small as Miners rallied on Chinese Trade data

Bund Yields are diving towards 28bp, taking out last week’s lows, but the US 10YY is off small.  That “Policy Sensitive” 2YY is just off decade highs tho into the Central Bank Headers (Fed Weds, BoE, ECB, SNB, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Indonesia, Ukraine and Turkey on Thursday - Russia on Friday.  The DXY is below Friday’s lows despite Sterling sliding a bit, as Euro rebounds towards $1.18 early.  Norway’s krone the big mover, getting hit after Inflation came in weak, while the Kiwi$ loves the new Central Bank Candidate.   The weaker greenback has Gold regaining $1250, while all the talking heads are yammering about Bitcoin leaping 26% initially as CBOE starts futures trading.  Ore lost small overnight in China, but Copper is slightly green, and WTI is giving back some of Friday’s1% gain

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

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Futures Launch Puts Record Bitcoin Highs Back in Play

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

Having landed on Wall Street with a bang, bitcoin is solidly bid and looks set to scale new heights.

Bitcoin Futures Are Wall Street’s New Big Thing — And They’re Up 26%

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

Here's what all the fuss is about

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

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

Mount Agung erupts

Here is what you need to know.

Bitcoin futures are live at the Cboe. Trading in the early stages was light with Nanex Founder Eric Scott Hunsader tweeting that liquidity was "thinner than oat futures in January."

South Korea has reportedly banned bitcoin futuresThe Financial Services Commission of Korea issued a directive banning securities firms from taking part in bitcoin futures transactions, Business Korea reports, citing sources. 

Bitcoin is threatening record highsThe cryptocurrency trades up 9.96% at $16,566 a coin on Monday. 

Deutsche Bank warns on China. China has "nearly twice the probability of a crisis in the next riskiest country and nearly three times the probability of a crisis in any random country at any random point in time," according to a note written by Deutsche Bank's chief economist for the Asia Pacific region, Dr. Michael Spencer.

London's property market is in for another rough rideHome values in London are likely to fall another 2% in 2018 after a 1.8% decline this year, Bloomberg reports, citing data from real estate website operator Rightmove.   

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has a new governorAdam Orr has been named the new head of the central bank, effective March 27. He replaces acting governor Grant Spencer. 

Saudi Aramco execs are worried about UberSenior officials at oil giant Saudi Armaco told the Financial Times they are are more concerned about the growth of ride-sharing apps such as Uber than about the rise of electric vehicles.

Bill Ackman's insider-trading case may go to trialOn Friday, a California judge denied Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals' request to have their insider-trading case thrown out, meaning Allergan Pharmaceuticals investors can proceed with their lawsuit over the attempted hostile takeover of the company in 2014.

Stock markets around the world are higherHong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.14%) led the gains in Asia and Britain's FTSE (+0.64%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,653.

US economic data is lightJOLTS Job Openings will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 2.37%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

Mount Agung erupts

Here is what you need to know.

Bitcoin futures are live at the Cboe. Trading in the early stages was light, with Nanex's founder, Eric Scott Hunsader, tweeting that liquidity was "thinner than oat futures in January."

South Korea has reportedly banned bitcoin futures. The Financial Services Commission of Korea issued a directive banning securities firms from taking part in bitcoin futures transactions, Business Korea reports, citing sources.

Bitcoin is threatening record highs. The cryptocurrency trades up 9.96% at $16,566 a coin on Monday.

Deutsche Bank warns on China. China has "nearly twice the probability of a crisis in the next riskiest country and nearly three times the probability of a crisis in any random country at any random point in time," according to a note written by Deutsche Bank's chief economist for the Asia Pacific region, Dr. Michael Spencer.

London's property market is in for another rough ride. Home values in London are likely to fall another 2% in 2018 after a 1.8% decline this year, Bloomberg reports, citing data from the real-estate website operator Rightmove.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has a new governor. Adam Orr has been named the new head of the central bank, effective March 27. He replaces the acting governor Grant Spencer.

Saudi Aramco execs are worried about Uber. Senior officials at the oil giant Saudi Aramco told the Financial Times they were more concerned about the growth of ride-sharing apps such as Uber than about the rise of electric vehicles.

Bill Ackman's insider-trading case may go to trial. On Friday, a California judge denied Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals' request to have their insider-trading case thrown out, meaning Allergan Pharmaceuticals investors can proceed with their lawsuit over the attempted hostile takeover of the company in 2014.

Stock markets around the world are higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.14%) led the gains in Asia, and Britain's FTSE (+0.64%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,653.

US economic data is light. Jolts Job Openings will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 2.37%.

Join the conversation about this story »

Prince Harry has reportedly quit smoking for fiancée Meghan Markle

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

prince harry getty chris jackson

  • Prince Harry has reportedly been an avid smoker since his days at Eton.
  • But the prince has given up the habit for his fiancée, Meghan Markle.
  • Smoking is officially banned on the grounds of Kensington Palace, where the couple lives.


Prince Harry has been known to enjoy a few cigarettes after a drink or two.

The prince made multiple headlines for his partying ways during his twenties, including "strip billiards" with a group of strangers in Las Vegas back in 2012.

During his wild years, the Daily Mail claims that the prince could "easily" get through a packet of Marlborough Lights in just one day.

But those days are reportedly over, according to the Mail on Sunday. The prince has apparently given up smoking for his fiancée Meghan Markle.

The American actress, entrepreneur, and activist leads a health-conscious and active lifestyle, so it's no surprise that she doesn't smoke herself.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle engagement photos

"Harry has promised no smoking at all at home. It's not nice for Meghan as a non-smoker," a friend of the couple told the Mail on Sunday.

"So there's no more hanging out of the window for a quick puff. Harry has quit for Meghan."

Prince Harry has reportedly smoked since his school days at Eton, and has often been spotted smoking on a night out or in the throes of a dinner party.

prince harry kanye p diddy ap roger allen

However, smoking is in fact banned at Kensington Palace — where Harry lives — and all other royal residences.

The rule was passed in May this year, and Clarence House was the only royal residence unaffected by the rule change. However, Prince Charles — who lives there with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall — reportedly hates the habit and banned smoking on the premises years ago, according to the Daily Mail.

SEE ALSO: The most iconic image from 26 royal weddings throughout modern British history

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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 Surges 20% Overnight as Volume of CBOE Futures Skyrockets

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Citigroup's investment bankers are challenging Wall Street's best — and they may be on the verge of a breakthrough (C)

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

Michael Corbat

  • Citigroup's investment bank has ambitions to compete for the top spots in the league tables.
  • The bank has been mid-tier since the financial crisis, but recent improvements in mergers and acquisitions and equity-capital markets suggest the bank may be on the verge of a breakthrough.
  • The bank may be firing on all cylinders, but industry analysts and top executives say Citi still has work to do to climb the final few rungs.
  • "It continues to be a very, very competitive landscape, so we take nothing for granted," one senior banker says.


Citigroup officially ended its long overhaul this summer, with CEO Michael Corbat declaring the firm "strong and stable" and that its "restructuring is over" at the first investor day the bank has held since the financial crisis.

While Corbat was talking about the group as a whole, he could just as easily have been talking about Citi's investment bank.

Citi has largely loomed outside of the upper ranks of the investment banking league tables since the crisis. While JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch duked it out for league supremacy, Citi was busy cleaning up messes, shedding extraneous businesses, and generally getting its affairs in order.

But Corbat's comments this summer arrived at a telling time for Citi's investment bank, which, like the financial giant overall, is showing strong signs of progress.

"If you look at all the metrics for the latest 12 months, for a couple of years, and year to date, we have demonstrated a significant increase in our wallet share," Raymond McGuire, head of Citi's corporate and investment bank, told Business Insider.

Through the first three quarters of the year, Citi generated $3.8 billion in investment-banking fees, a 27% increase from 2016 and good enough for fourth place in the league tables, according to data from Thomson Reuters. It's the highest year-over-year gain so far of any of the top-10 investment banks.

The bank has been strong in bonds and loans for years — it maintained its third-place ranking in debt-capital markets through the first nine months of 2017 — but now its mergers-and-acquisitions advisory and equity-capital markets businesses are gaining steam as well, setting the stage for a serious challenge to the upper echelon of Wall Street's global investment banks.

Citi ranked fifth in fees from M&A, climbing 25%, to $860 million, the biggest gain in the top 10 aside from fourth-place Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which increased fees by 40%. In ECM, Citi ranked fourth with $902 million in fees, a 90% gain — the largest among the top 10.

"It seems like it's finally coming together for Citi," said a consultant who regularly works with top management at the largest investment banks on Wall Street. (The consultant declined to comment on the record because their firm doesn't authorize discussing individual clients publicly.) "They've always been ranked mid-tier. But we're seeing significant improvement."

Still, the bank hasn't reached the pinnacle yet, and it will be a hard fight surpassing the competitors ahead of them.

Ray McGuire

"It's been a mission for them probably for the last five or more years to do better in equity league tables and M&A. They fell down in the ranks during their crisis years," said David Hendler, founder of Viola Risk Advisors and a bank analyst of more than 30 years.

"They're making strides to try to penetrate it at some point, but they probably still have to work on their overall relationships and expertise."

A prime seat at the table

In early November, McGuire sent around a memo to his corporate and investment-banking division staffers praising the group's strong year. In the opening line, he highlighted Broadcom's record-breaking $130 billion takeover offer of Qualcomm, in which Citi played a leading advisory role, illustrating "the momentum that we have heading into 2018."

It hardly matters that the offer was rejected days later — Broadcom is still pursuing — as it served as a symbol of the level Citi has reached: In the largest M&A deal of the year, and the largest tech deal in history, Citi had a prime seat at the table.

It was the largest, but it was only one of a handful of megadeals Citi advised on in 2017. The bank is also defending Spanish infrastructure conglomerate Abertis Infraestructuras from takeover bids worth as much as $44 billion, advised on the $30 billion aerospace merger of Rockwell Collins and United Technologies, and advised medical devices company Becton Dickinson's $24 billion acquisition of CR Bard, taking the lead on lining up a combination of loans, bonds, and equity to finance the deal as well.

"If you look at the roster of transactions where we've been involved and been in a lead position, that roster of transactions can pull comparable to many of our competitors," McGuire recently told Business Insider.

What's changed for Citi?

According to McGuire, it's partly a result of the investments Citi has made in pulling in top-tier bankers to complement its already high-caliber roster of veterans.

"The foundation to this, the bedrock to this is talent. You have to make certain that you have the talent that is the best trained, that has the best experience, that can exercise the most refined judgment," said McGuire, who's personally involved in every major strategic hire.

Citi has hired more than 20 at the managing director level around the world for its corporate and investment-banking division this year, according to the memo. That includes a new head of M&A in EMEA, Alison Harding-Jones; a new head of the China corporate and investment bank, Guorong Jiang; and a new head of investment banking in Brazil, Eduardo Miras.

Leveraging a global presence

Structural changes have also helped the massive bank better leverage its largesse and global presence, according to McGuire.

Citi has touted its worldwide footprint often throughout its more than 200-year history. The bank repeatedly emphasized its "global network" at its investor day, referring to the company's presence serving large multinational companies in 98 markets around the world.

Most of the revenue from these large clients comes from providing traditional corporate banking services — daily financial tasks like sending and receiving money, trading financial products, using commercial credit cards, corporate lending, and exchanging currency.

citi headquarters

Investment banking's needs are more episodic, but the global roster of clients Citi serves daily would seemingly provide an advantage in capturing these opportunities when they do arise.

"The corporate bank has historically been the foundation of how we engage with our clients and how we do this globally," McGuire said. "If we can leverage the infrastructure that we have with the corporate bank and the relationships we have there to bring in those people who have the experience and expertise and judgment on the advisory side, including equity-capital markets as well as M&A, then we can bring solutions to that client, wherever they need solutions in the world."

It's an opportunity Citigroup hasn't always been able to make the most of. The investment bankers and corporate bankers haven't historically always worked in concert to leverage these relationships, and the largest and most complex global deals have more routinely gone to competitors at the top of the league tables.

After Actavis bought Allergan for $73 billion in a highly complex deal in 2015, CEO Brett Saunders said he couldn't fathom the transaction happening without a single, universal bank with broad expertise. He was referring to JPMorgan, saying, "Very few banks could have done what they pulled off."

"There's no reason why Citi, with its presence and capabilities, shouldn't be doing these," the industry consultant said. "You never really see them on those large, mega-structured deals."

But under McGuire, Citi has taken steps to better leverage its global presence. About seven years back, the corporate and investment banks were formally combined with the clear direction to collaborate.

"In many instances where we had more senior, more client impacting corporate bankers, we coheaded them with a similar profile from the investment bank," McGuire said. The global industrials unit, for instance, is coheaded by a top investment banker and a senior corporate banker.

The integration was physical too. Corporate and investment banking teams used to be separated, but now they share facilities and many physical barriers have been eliminated. They use the same elevator banks, for instance.

"We made sure that the likelihood of interaction is high," McGuire said.

Citi's IPO bonanza

Citi's equity-capital markets team has also delivered a strong performance, with the bank's $900 million in revenues through three quarters, nearly double last year's level.

Tyler Dickson, Citi's global head of Capital Markets Origination, credits the firm's global presence with helping the ECM business generate money from several macro trends that others weren't as prepared to capitalize on, including the volatility of oil commodity prices, interests rates defying expectations, and unexpected geopolitical results, like the election of President Donald Trump.

According to Dickson, Citi is able to more quickly and effectively respond to such developments and then match companies needing capital with investors looking to deploy.

"When you're in close to 100 countries and doing business in 160, I think that's allowed us to identify market industry trends that other people may have naturally missed because they're good in a certain geography or product base."

The company has had a bonanza of IPO assignments this year, and ranks No. 1 on the league tables in global IPOs through the first nine months, according to Thomson Reuters data. It's finished in the middle of the table in recent years.

The bank had a lead role on Altice's $1.9 billion US IPO this summer, the largest US telecom public offering in nearly two decades. It also had a lead role on the $2.4 billion IPO of South Korean gaming firm Netmarble Games in May, the largest IPO in the country in seven years.

Talent, again, has also played a crucial role. Citi set itself up for success by adding to its strong ECM roster during the lean IPO years of 2015 and 2016 when other banks retreated.

Tyler Dickson

"We invested in the lower-volume period of the cycle," Dickson said. "And we did that while a number of our competitors pared back on their banking talent and pared back on their equity-capital-markets talent. And when the markets snapped back, they had to redouble their efforts in anticipation of catching up, and I think we sort of had the slow and steady wins the race strategy around that."

Dickson's team is also proactive about moving top bankers around the world to take advantage of opportunities. In 2015, for instance, Citi felt that the trends driving ECM in the US — like low interest rates and central-bank liquidity — would soon manifest in Europe as well.

Philip Drury, a longtime veteran and head of Citi’s equity-capital-markets operation for the Americas, was sent to London to capitalize on the opportunity, taking over as the head of Capital Markets Origination for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

"Our existing talent, plus our new talent, has given us the best banking and capital-markets team on the street, and that's translating to all of our products," Dickson said.

"I think we've had a longstanding commitment to the equity-capital-markets business, but I do think we're firing on all cylinders right now," he added. "It continues to be a very, very competitive landscape, so we take nothing for granted."

There's still some ground to cover

McGuire is clear about his goals for the investment bank: It wants to be perpetual contender for the top spot in the league tables.

Despite its recent momentum, McGuire acknowledges Citi still has "some ground to cover" to get there.

"I have confidence and conviction that we'll get there just based on the talent that we have and some of the investments that we've made and some investments that we intend to make going forward," he said.

The deal business is lumpy, and banks can move up and down the rankings year to year because of a handful of big transactions. Whether the bank can sustain its momentum will play out over the coming quarters.

In M&A and ECM, Citi still sits behind the familiar faces — JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley.

"We know they have all these historical tentacles all over the world, but maybe this time they can pull it together. But they've got stiff competition," Hendler said.

"Citi's still trying to catch up," he added. "They've had a good couple of quarters. Let's see if they can put it together for a year or two."

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

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Saudi Aramco execs see Uber as a bigger threat to oil demand than Tesla

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

electric car charging street

  • Saudi Arabian state oil giant Saudi Aramco said ride-sharing apps like Uber were of greater immediate concern than the rise of electric vehicles.
  • Two senior executives at Saudi Aramco told the Financial Times that the company was looking at how best it could position itself in the changing landscape.


LONDON — Senior officials at oil giant Saudi Aramco are more concerned about the growth of ride-sharing apps such as Uber than about the rise of electric vehicles.

Speaking to the Financial Times, two senior executives at the Saudi Arabian oil company said they predict the sale of battery powered and hybrid cars will increase, but will still only account for a between 10-20% of the market by 2040.

"Electric vehicle [usage] will grow; we have no doubt it will grow," Amir Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Aramco told the Financial Times. "[But] we need to be realistic," he said.

Saudi Aramco plans to float next year in a move to boost the state's finances, which have been hit in recent years by falling oil prices.

Ride-sharing is of greater immediate concern than either electric or self-driving cars, said Yasser Mufti, vice president of corporate planning. "I would argue that ride sharing is a far more advanced trend than the other two," he told the Financial Times, since ride-sharing technology could lead to a reduction in private car ownership.

He said Saudi Aramco was "looking across the entire mobility value chain at where we can invest and where we can position ourselves," in response to the changing landscape. "The whole thing is up for grabs," he said. He suggested this could include selling fuel in bulk to car sharing operators as well as directly to consumers in future.

Nasser was optimistic demand for fuel would continue: "the middle classes will increase and they will require more of the modern lifestyle," he said. "Energy requirements will also increase."

Mufti said he was "very confident" that there was "still at least two decades of growth in oil in the entire transportation sector."

Last year Saudi Aramco acquired a 5% stake in ride sharing app Uber.

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DEUTSCHE BANK: A major financial crisis is almost twice as likely in China as anywhere else in the world

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

china

  • Deutsche Bank argues that China is almost twice as likely as any other major economy to experience a financial crisis in the coming years.
  • The bank points to the country's notoriously high levels of debt as the reason for this.
  • Chief economist for Asia Pacific Michael Spencer does note however, that the risks are low compared to "some countries prior to the peripheral European debt crisis or the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s."


LONDON – The probability of a financial crisis starting in China is almost twice as high as in any other major global economy, according to new research from analysts at Deutsche Bank.

Writing in a note titled "How much risk in China?" — Deutsche Bank's chief economist for the Asia Pacific region, Dr Michael Spencer, warned that the probability of a crisis in the world's second largest economy was as much as 13%.

That, Spencer said, is "nearly twice the probability of a crisis in the next riskiest country and nearly three times the probability of a crisis in any random country at any random point in time."

Like the majority of discussions around a potential financial crisis in China, Deutsche Bank's concerns centre around the huge levels of indebtedness in the country, which have soared in conjunction with the rapid expansion of the Chinese economy in the last few decades.

"Since 2008, the level of debt owed by Chinese non-financial corporations, households and governments has risen by more than 100% of GDP. As the debt burden has grown, so has concern about financial stability," Spencer wrote.

"The stock of debt owed by all non-financial borrowers rose by 36% of GDP in 2009 alone. An easy monetary policy stance since 2013 has seen indebtedness rise steadily, with total nonfinancial sector borrowing reaching 255% of GDP at the end of last year. And with each step higher in the credit/GDP ratio, investor concerns have risen," he continued.

Now, China may be the major economy at the greatest threat of a financial crisis, but Spencer noted that the likelihood of a crisis "is well below the probabilities calculated for some countries prior to the peripheral European debt crisis or the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s."

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 08.24.23

That's largely down to the significant current account surplus China's government continues to run, which provides a large amount of protection against any crisis.

"The current account surplus does, according to our estimates, play an important role in reducing the risk of a crisis in China," Spencer wrote.

"Had the current account been a deficit of 2% of GDP last year rather than a surplus of nearly 2%, the probability of a crisis would have been 7% higher."

While he is relatively sanguine about China, Spencer's warnings do echo the thoughts of the International Monetary Fund, which has warned on numerous occassions about the threats China's ballooning debt poses not only to its own economy, but also the global financial system.

Last week, for example, an IMF report warned of the global financial stability risks created by the situation in China right now.

The report, released after the fund's annual fact-finding mission to the world's second largest economy, noted that while China's political classes have taken steps to try and prevent debt levels getting out of control and improve overall financial stability in recent years, more still must be done.

"The system’s increasing complexity has sown financial stability risks," the IMF’s assessment said.

"Credit growth has outpaced GDP growth, leading to a large credit overhang. The credit-to-GDP ratio is now about 25% above the long-term trend, very high by international standards and consistent with a high probability of financial distress.

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South Korea has reportedly banned bitcoin futures

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

Soccer Football - International Friendly - South Korea v Colombia - Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon, South Korea - November 10, 2017 - South Korea's national soccer team members stand behind the national flag.

  • South Korea has banned securities firms from handling bitcoin futures.
  • Exchange operator Cboe launched first bitcoin futures on Sunday night.
  • Huge demand for the product crashed Cboe's website and sent prices jumping.


LONDON — South Korean officials have reportedly banned local finance firms from handling bitcoin futures, one of the hottest new financial products to launch in years.

Business Korea reported that the Financial Services Commission of Korea issued a directive banning securities firms from taking part in bitcoin futures transactions, citing sources.

South Korea has taken a tough stance on digital currencies, banning initial coin offerings (ICOs) earlier this year. ICOs involve startups issuing their own digital currencies to raise funds.

Bitcoin is hugely popular in South Korea. Mati Greenspan, an analyst with trading platform eToro, said in an email last week: "Recent estimates state that 21% of all global BTC volume are done in Korean Won."

Greenspan said proximity to North Korea might help explain the higher risk appetite of South Koreans. He added: "After recently going through a political meltdown and ousting the former President Park Geun-Hye, and after watching the CEO of the Samsung go to prison on corruption charges, their faith in the system is currently at a justifiable all-time low."

Bitcoin was originally created as an anti-establishment currency meant to be above the control of governments.

Bitcoin futures start with a bang

The ban on bitcoin futures was made ahead of the launch of the new products on Sunday evening. Chicago-based exchange operator Cboe began offering bitcoin future contracts on Sunday and was met with huge demand. Cboe's website briefly crashed and the price of both bitcoin and futures contracts leapt higher.

Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said in an email: "The initial reaction was beyond expectations with the futures contract climbing more than 20% and triggering two trading halts. CBOE’s website experienced unprecedented traffic which may well have sent a new benchmark; the frenetic activity led to delays and outages."

Cboe's product is the first that gives institutional investors such as hedge funds and asset managers exposure to bitcoin. The market allows them to speculate on the future price of bitcoin without having to directly buy and hold the digital currency. This skirts any regulatory and custodian issues that might be presented by bitcoin.

Institutional investors have grown increasingly interested in bitcoin as the cryptocurrency's price has continued to rise. Bitcoin is up over 1,000% against the dollar so far this year and rose as much as 40% in the last week alone.

Sayed said: "So far, it seems professional investors aren’t willing to bet against the bitcoin, despite the many warnings of a bubble that will burst soon. Many traders aren’t even interested in the price direction, but the listing of the futures contract on CBOE and later next week on the CME will provide them an arbitrage trading opportunity due to the vast pricing differences."

Futures fears

South Korea's regulators aren't the only people worried about bitcoin futures. The digital currency is subject to huge amounts of volatility — swings of 20% on the day are not unusual — and some market participants fear futures contracts could add a large degree of unquantified risk to the financial system.

The Futures Industry Association wrote to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week to complain that there had not been "proper public transparency and input" from industry over the products. Banks such as JPMorgan and Citi are also reportedly not clearing bitcoin futures for clients, at least for now.

Sayed said: "The arbitrage trading will lead to improved price efficiency and probably less volatility. After volatility settles down, the focus will return to the price direction."

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Apple let a knockoff version of one of the world’s biggest crypto wallets into the App Store

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

 An app masquerading as MyEtherWallet.com, one of the internet’s most popular services for storing ETH and other crypto coins, has made its way to the top of the iOS App Store charts. The app rose to the number three spot in Finance category of the App Store this weekend as part of a bitcoin frenzy that saw bitcoin exchange Coinbase top Apple’s free download list in the U.S.. In… Read More

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin in 2 Minutes

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

Before you get caught up in the hype, get to know the basics.

Bitcoin Breaks CBOE as Futures Up 20% Hours After Launch, Trading at $18,210

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Breaks CBOE as Futures Up 20% Hours After Launch, Trading at $18,210 appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

10 things you need to know in markets today

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

People watch as Mount Agung spews ash and smoke during an eruption from an obeservation post in Rendang, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia December 9, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.

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

1. Bitcoin futures went live on Cboe Global Markets, the Chicago-based exchange group, Sunday evening and the price of the red-hot coin shot up. Cboe's future contracts, which trade under the ticker XBT, allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin. Bitcoin shot up over $1,000 after investors could start purchasing contracts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

2. Blockchain, the world's biggest provider of bitcoin wallets, saw a huge surge in new sign-ups last week as bitcoin's price skyrocketed. Blockchain CEO Peter Smith said in an email to investors seen by Business Insider that the company "added half a million new sign-ups this week alone."

3. Japanese stocks struggled for traction on Monday as gains in financial shares were offset by drops in real estate and construction companies. The Nikkei closed up 0.61%. Elsewhere in Asia, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.81% at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. GMT/1.20 a.m. ET) and China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.75%.

4. Troubled international retail conglomerate Steinhoff, whose shares plunged last week after disclosing accounting problems, said on Sunday it had appointed two advisory firms ahead of a meeting with lenders on December 19. The South African company said it has appointed U.S. investment bank Moelis & Co to advise the company on talks with its lenders and has asked management consultancy AlixPartners "to assist on liquidity management and operational measures."

5. Man Group is launching a quantitative hedge fund in China that it will market to wealthy Chinese investors as it becomes the first foreign investment company to start an onshore hedge fund in the country. The Financial Times reports that the fund, to be managed by Man’s AHL quantitative trading unit in Shanghai, will trade using computer algorithms seeking to capitalise on market swings.

6. Squeezed British consumers reined in Christmas travel plans and bought fewer new cars last month, setting the stage for the first fall in festive spending in five years, credit card company Visa said on Monday. Reuters reports that the downbeat message came alongside a cut by the British Chambers of Commerce to its economic outlook for the next two years as the business organisation sees inflation rising faster than pay.

7. London’s property market is in for another rough ride next year, according to Rightmove. Bloomberg reports that home values in the capital are likely to fall another 2% in 2018 after a 1.8% decline this year, the real estate website operator said Monday.

8. Uber will defend its right to operate in London in a court hearing on Monday after the app was deemed unfit to run a taxi service and stripped of its licence in its most important European market. Regulator Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley firm by rejecting its licence renewal bid in September, citing its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

9. Britain's Labour Party is considering moving some of Bank of England's functions to Birmingham, from its current home in Threadneedle Street in the City of London, according to an interim report on the British financial system released on Sunday. Launched by the opposition Labour Party's finance policy chief John McDonnell, the report was led by consultants GFC Economics.

10. Currency traders, as a whole, still expect the US dollar to strengthen in the period ahead. However, confidence in that view appears to be slipping. That’s the finding of the latest Commitment of Traders (CoT) report released by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last Friday, with net long US dollar positioning in the greenback falling for a third consecutive week.

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Australia’s Financial Watchdog Will Monitor Bitcoin Exchanges

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

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(+) Asian Market Update – Monday: Bitcoin Surges After Futures Debut

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Bitcoin Futures Launch Sees Price Spike as CBOE Website Crashes

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

The CBOE's website became unavailable just as it launched its first bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday.

Bitcoin futures are now tradable on the CBOE

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

 Bitcoin futures trading on CBOE, the world’s largest futures exchange, just launched at 5pm CT. Within a minute of the launch bitcoin spiked about 10% from ~$14,700 all the way up to $16,200 before settling a few minutes later to around $15,500, up about 5%. Now an hour after launching the actual price of bitcoin is still up, trading around $15,350. Currently the settlement price of… Read More

Bitcoin futures trading begins on Cboe exchange in Chicago

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

Trading in futures contracts is a step towards legitimising the digital currency, its supporters say.

Bitcoin futures launch sends bitcoin up $1,000

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

traders cboe

  • Bitcoin futures went live on Cboe Global Markets, the Chicago-exchange group, Sunday night.
  • Liquidity appears to be thin and Cboe's website has crashed.
  • The price of bitcoin soared by more than $1,000 after the contracts went live.


Bitcoin futures went live on Cboe Global Markets, the Chicago-based exchange group, Sunday evening and the price of the red-hot coin shot up

Cboe's future contracts, which trade under the ticker XBT, allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin. Bitcoin shot up over $1,000 after investors could start purchasing contracts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

According to data from CoinDesk, bitcoin soared from $14,509 a coin at 5:59 p.m. ET to $15,704 at 6:07 p.m. It gave up some of those gains and was trading at $15,178 at 6:11 p.m. The futures contracts were trading at $16,000, higher than where bitcoin is trading in the spot market at the time of print. 

Interest in the new market appeared to put pressure on Cboe. Its website crashed soon after trading for the contracts went underway.

Bitcoin futures are the latest evolution in the market surrounding the red-hot coin, which has appreciated more than 1,400% this year. Two other exchange operators are also set to launch their own bitcoin futures contracts.

There are a number of reasons why bitcoin futures products are a big deal for Wall Street and the world of crypto. First, the launch of bitcoin futures by establishment firms is likely to to open the door to wider participation in bitcoin trading by other Wall Street firms. It could also pave the wave for an exchange-traded fund, which could bring more investments into the space. Most importantly, it could help dampen bitcoin's spine-tingling volatility.

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