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OKEx Becomes First Cryptocurrency Exchange to Create a Bitcoin Cash Market

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

OKEx users can now trade bitcoin cash against a dozen other tokens.

The post OKEx Becomes First Cryptocurrency Exchange to Create a Bitcoin Cash Market appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Fake News? Former New Zealand Prime Minister Denies Investing in Bitcoin

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

Former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he did not advise people to invest in bitcoin, as was stated in a post pretending to be the NZ Herald.

EBay ‘Seriously Considering’ Adding Bitcoin Payments

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

[…]

The post EBay ‘Seriously Considering’ Adding Bitcoin Payments appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

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

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

trader celebration

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 increased 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.5% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 slid 0.2%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,515.08, +129.05, (+0.53%)
  • S&P 500: 2,664.52, +4.52, (+0.17%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,861.65, -13.57, (-0.19%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.40%, +0.018
  • WTI crude oil: $57.21, -$0.78, -1.35%

1. Bank of America says the bull market has plenty of 'gas in the tank'. The firm's technical team says the S&P 500 could hit 3,000 by the end of 2018, and compares the chart for 2018 to the one from 2014, when the market gained 11%.

2. America's small businesses haven't been this pumped up since the 'roaring Reagan economy'. A measure of US small business optimism hit its highest level since 1983 last month, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey.

3. A $200 billion quant fund says one of the biggest concerns about how companies will spend their tax savings is overblown. AQR Capital argues against the idea that share buybacks don't help the economy, calling it a myth.

4. Goldman Sachs says Bitcoin hasn't taken a bite out of demand for gold. Jeffrey Currie, the firm's global head of commodities research, said that the groups of investors looking to invest in the two assets are vastly different, therefore protecting gold demand.

5. Shopping mall owner Westfield sells itself for $15.7 billion. France's Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to buy the company in what would be the biggest takeover of an Australian company on record.

ADDITIONALLY:

Brent crude oil zooms higher after a major European pipeline is shut

A top exec at trading giant Virtu is out

Bitcoin just set yet another record high

BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed

Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

SEE ALSO: BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

A top exec at trading giant Virtu is out

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

Capture.PNG

  • Raymond Holmes, the head of client execution services technology at trading giant Virtu Financial, has left the firm, according to people familiar with the matter. 
  • Virtu has been shedding jobs and integrating KCG —  which it acquired earlier this year — into its business. 
  • The future looks bright for the firm, according to analysts. 


A top exec at trading giant Virtu Financial has left the firm. 

Raymond Holmes, who had been head of client execution services technology at Virtu, is no longer with the company, according to people familiar with the situation. Holmes joined the trading giant when Virtu's acquisition of KCG closed earlier this year. 

Holmes got his start at Computer Clearing Services, a New York technology company, in 2001. He graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 1999 with a degree in classical guitar performance and computer science, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Holmes' departure comes at a pivotal time for Virtu. The firm has been integrating KCG into its infrastructure, cutting costs and laying off upper management at legacy KCG at a clip. The success of the integration pushed one analyst to boost his price target for the firm. In a note to clients in late November, UBS analyst Alex Kramm said the trading firm has moved quickly:

"After shutting down poorly performing offices (e.g. Singapore/Mumbai), closing down Neonet, selling BondPoint to ICE, and removing a management layer from legacy KCG, VIRT has already been able to upsize expense synergies and free up capital."

Mifid II, the European regulatory overhaul, is also on the horizon. It will create a new environment in which investment banks will no longer charge for their services - such as investment research and trade execution - in one bundled package. That could benefit trading firms like Virtu, which specialize in execution.

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

Mt Gox Creditors Want Bitcoin Exchange Taken Out of Bankruptcy

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

A group of creditors of the defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox has filed a new court petition in an effort to prevent a possible billion-dollar payout to its CEO.

Bitcoin Price Hits All-Time High as Futures See Second-Day Slump in Volume

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

Bitcoin breaks out to an all-time high on Bitfinex

The post Bitcoin Price Hits All-Time High as Futures See Second-Day Slump in Volume appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

JetBlue's new free flight promotion with Amazon has gone horribly wrong — and customers are furious (JBLU, AMZN)

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

jetblue get packing game

  • JetBlue's Get Packing! game comes with a free flight for the winner.
  • The game was to debut on Amazon at 12 pm et on Tuesday.
  • Angry customers complained on Twitter that the game was never available.
  • JetBlue will try to launch the game again on December 18. 

JetBlue's marketing department came up with a great idea. Create a fun little board game called Get Packing! where the winner receives a free flight on JetBlue and sell it through Amazon for the low price of $19.99. 

Extra buzz for the airline while 200 lucky people fly for free. A win for everyone involved. 

It's like JetBlue's version of Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket. 

But when it came time for consumers to actually order the game on Tuesday. Things didn't go as planned.  Would be JetBlue passengers promptly logged onto to Amazon at 12 pm ET, but alas. No game. 

Shoppers either got a message saying the game wasn't available or were told by Amazon that it was available from third-party sellers at exorbitant prices. 

Some customers reported paying more than $40 for the game while one seller offered the game for $9,999. 

JetBlue Get Packing AmazonNeedless to say, the Twittersphere was not pleased. Words like scam and price gouging were bandied about. One jilted customer has even started a new hashtag #getpackingscam

Some accused bots of snapping up the games before actual consumers could reach them. According to JetBlue, the game was supposed to be limited to one copy per Amazon account. 

Forty-five minutes after the promotion was scheduled to debut on Amazon, the JetBlue game's listing on the website was updated to show that it was sold out and that another allotment will be available on December 18 at 3 pm ET. 

Thus far, JetBlue has not issued any official explanation as to what happened during the game's launch. 

Airline representatives declined to comment on the matter when asked by Business Insider.

As for that free flight, the winner of Get Packing! would receive a certificate for a complimentary flight. The certificate is good for travel from January 1 through December 31, 2018, with the exception of certain blackout dates.

Here's what people are saying on Twitter about JetBlue's Get Packing! game. 

SEE ALSO: Take a look inside the hidden bedrooms on board Boeing's 787 Dreamliner

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

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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 just set yet another record high

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

Katie Ledecky Gold Medal

SEE ALSO: Litecoin creator issues stern warning after the cryptocurrency doubles in a single day

DON'T MISS: 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: One market expert says the financial system could collapse at any moment

Bitcoin just set yet another record high

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

Katie Ledecky Gold Medal

SEE ALSO: Litecoin creator issues stern warning after the cryptocurrency doubles in a single day

DON'T MISS: 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: One market expert says the financial system could collapse at any moment

Bitcoin Bulls Face 'Alt' Competition in Push to $20k

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

The price of bitcoin may be at all-time highs, but a wave of new investors could quickly tilt the market dynamic, analysis suggests.

IcyWallet Offers a Cold Storage Bitcoin Wallet for the Visually Impaired

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

IcyWallet Offers a Cold Storage Bitcoin Wallet for the Visually Impaired

Safely storing cryptocurrency can be confusing, especially for newcomers to the space, but for people with visual impairments, finding an accessible option is especially challenging.

IcyWallet is a cold wallet with a difference: it is designed to make it as simple as possible for people with visual impairments to manage offline bitcoin storage.

The project got its start when Adam Newbold and his wife took a braille reading course as a learning activity. Shortly afterward, Newbold struck up a Reddit conversation with a blind Bitcoin enthusiast who expressed frustration with the lack of support for the blind community from Bitcoin software developers. None of the wallets worked correctly in his reader and he required help to perform any functions with bitcoin.

“I learned even more about practical accessibility issues and the real-world challenges that the blind encounter every day,” Newbold told Bitcoin Magazine. “This turned into a stronger personal interest that merged with my existing interest in Bitcoin when I realized that there are pretty big opportunities for improving the state of accessibility in Bitcoin software.”

He started a campaign in October 2017 to create a braille version of the original Bitcoin white paper. That campaign was successful and the document is now available for anyone wanting to get a copy.

That first success led Newbold to create the IcyWallet. His goal is to provide a 100 percent free and open source bitcoin hardware wallet for the blind. Work is currently underway with early milestones achieved, the progress of which is tracked on their website.

“One of the points you hear a lot about Bitcoin is that you can ‘be your own bank,’ which always sounds fun and empowering (and it is!),” said Newbold. “But it also means that you need to take responsibility for all of the things that banks do, like keeping your funds secure.”

He explained that even though today’s technology has solved a substantial number of issues that people with disabilities face, when it comes to bitcoin and security, there are still several missing pieces.

“There isn’t any kind of hardware wallet on the market today that’s fully accessible to people with blindness,” said Newbold, “and there are barriers to setting up secured, air-gapped solutions. This leaves people with blindness limited choices that all involve compromising security to some degree. With the IcyWallet, the private keys never leave the device.”

According to Newbold, here is how the device will work:

  • First, the transaction is generated on a (different) computer connected to the internet, so that the fee can be properly estimated;

  • Then, the transaction is signed by the IcyWallet device;

  • Finally, the transaction is broadcasted to the Bitcoin network back on the internet-connected device. This keeps the IcyWallet device completely offline, ensuring that the private keys are safe at all times.

Users simply plug in headphones and a keyboard or a refreshable braille display. The device boots directly into the wallet app with functional audio and braille support.

“Refreshable braille display support means that it will even support someone with deaf/blindness right out of the box,” said Newbold.

IcyWallet generates hierarchical deterministic wallets with mnemonic seeds for safe backup. The code is developed using the BitcoinJS library and is intended to be run on an “air-gapped” Raspberry Pi, though Newbold points out that, in theory, the software can run on other hardware.

Newbold has plans to make a demo video/audio track available soon, as well as an early release of the software (probably limited to wallet generation only) so that he can start to get more feedback and code suggestions that will improve the IcyWallet.

As Bitcoin in particular, and cryptocurrencies in general, see wider adoption, the implementation of greater accessibility systems will be important to their continued growth. IcyWallet is expected to launch at some point in 2018.



The post IcyWallet Offers a Cold Storage Bitcoin Wallet for the Visually Impaired appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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.

To hear detractors of Republicans' tax bill tell it, the plan as written wouldn't actually boost economic activity. These skeptics think corporations will simply use the excess capital from tax cuts to buy back their own shares.

And that's not too far-fetched of an idea. After all, buybacks have swelled during the 8-1/2-year equity bull market, and stock gains have followed in spades.

But AQR Capital Management, the quantitative hedge fund that manages $208 billion, doesn't buy it. The firm thinks buybacks are misunderstood — and don't directly drive much share appreciation at all.

Elsewhere in investing news, BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed. And the bull market has plenty of "gas in the tank," according to Bank of America. 

In deal news, shopping mall owner Westfield sold itself for $15.7 billion. And Disney and 21st Century Fox are climbing as a report says a deal for assets is coming Thursday.

In crypto news:  

Lastly, we drove the $120,000 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS to see if it was worth the price — here's the verdict.

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

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.

To hear detractors of Republicans' tax bill tell it, the plan as written wouldn't actually boost economic activity. These skeptics think corporations will simply use the excess capital from tax cuts to buy back their own shares.

And that's not too far-fetched of an idea. After all, buybacks have swelled during the 8-1/2-year equity bull market, and stock gains have followed in spades.

But AQR Capital Management, the quantitative hedge fund that manages $208 billion, doesn't buy it. The firm thinks buybacks are misunderstood — and don't directly drive much share appreciation at all.

Elsewhere in investing news, BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed. And the bull market has plenty of "gas in the tank," according to Bank of America. 

In deal news, shopping mall owner Westfield sold itself for $15.7 billion. And Disney and 21st Century Fox are climbing as a report says a deal for assets is coming Thursday.

In crypto news:  

Lastly, we drove the $120,000 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS to see if it was worth the price — here's the verdict.

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

Coinbase halts ether and litecoin trading as cryptocurrency market approaches $500 billion

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

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 12.09.40 PM

  • Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency trading platform, blocked users Tuesday from buying red-hot litecoin and ether
  • Investors poured into the two red-hot digital currencies Tuesday morning, pushing them both to new heights.
  • Litecoin hit a record of $312 on Tuesday, while ether soared over to more than $600 for the first time.
  • The cryptocurrency market is gunning for $500 billion. 

 

Cryptomania has propelled two lesser known cryptocurrencies to record highs Tuesday, forcing one exchange to halt trading. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 12.12.33 PM

Coinbase on Tuesday halted trading of red-hot litecoin and ether, according to tweets by cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk. The publication tweeted a photo showing Coinbase "temporarily disabled" trades of the two digital coins. 

Both litecoin and ether hit all-time highs Tuesday morning. 

Ether hit $600 a token, while litecoin gained more than 40% to $312. 

Across the market for digital coins, new investors are pouring in. The ten largest cryptocurrencies were all trading in the green Tuesday, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. 

At the time of print, the entire market stood at nearly half a trillion. 

Cryptocurrencies volumes approached record highs above $35 billion. 

This story is developing check back for updates.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

Coinbase Halts Litecoin, Ether Trades as Prices Spike

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

Digital currency startup Coinbase says it has paused trading for litecoin and ethereum.

Vanguard, the fund giant with nearly $5 trillion in assets, is using blockchain to underpin its mutual funds

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

Google engineer, servers

  • Vanguard, the $5 trillion mutual fund manager, announced on Monday it's using the blockchain to simplify how it updates the index data underpinning its mutual funds. 
  • Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. 


Vanguard
 is moving to use blockchain to simplify how it updates index data underlying mutual funds, executives said on Monday, an important sign of confidence for the new financial technology.

Closely-held Vanguard, the top mutual fund firm with nearly $5 trillion under management, has successfully tested blockchain to automatically update data like the names and share prices of companies in index funds, processes that must currently be closely overseen by individuals, said Warren Pennington, a principal in Vanguard's investment management group, in Pennsylvania.

Blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is a shared and immutable database maintained by a network of computers on the internet. Banks and other large financial institutions have ramped up their investments in the technology, aiming for it to simplify and cut the cost of back-office processes.

Pennington declined to give a specific date as to when fund updates would chiefly rely on blockchain, saying the goal is not to replace human workers but instead to free them for other tasks.

Blockchain's potential, he said, is to serve as "a real-time automated index process."

Vanguard funds tested with blockchain were built on indexes from the Center for Research in Security Prices, at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Vanguard manages 17 funds on those indexes including its largest, the $650 billion Total Stock Market Index Fund.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have hoped big institutional investors could start offering mainstream products based on blockchain, which would spur its popularity. Fund firms, however, seem more interested in making the technology part of their operations.

BlackRock, for example, has tested uses of blockchain with custodian bank clients, and CEO Larry Fink told analysts in October that the effort should reduce errors and could be expanded.

Fink told Reuters in November:

"Distributed ledger, lets be clear, is a real thing. I would love to see a blockchain for the whole financial system that’s legitimate, that is monitored, that is systematically monitored. I don’t see that day anytime soon."

For its blockchain effort, Vanguard partnered with New York-based technology firm Symbiont. Its CEO Mark Smith said in an interview the firm could license the technology to other firms, including additional asset managers and index providers.

"This can be used to automate all sorts of financial processes," he said.

SEE ALSO: Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

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NOW WATCH: Why Korean parents are having their kids get plastic surgery before college

BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed

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

Rick Rieder

  • Rick Rieder, who oversees $1.7 trillion as the global chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock, says market fears over Federal Reserve tightening are overblown.
  • He thinks that central banks are "maniacally focused" on not stirring up volatility.


As recently as two months ago, uncertainty around the Federal Reserve was among the market's biggest fears.

Of particular concern has been the unprecedented unwinding of the Fed's massive balance sheet, which is a reversal of the central bank’s extraordinary measures taken during the financial crisis. Now, with the Fed expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, that alleged reckoning could soon be upon us.

However, Rick Rieder, the chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock, who oversees $1.7 trillion, thinks that any fears around Fed-driven volatility are overblown. In his mind, the central bank is predisposed to keep conditions as calm as possible, and he argues that it simply won't inject chaos into the market.

In an interview with Business Insider, Rieder elaborated on those thoughts, and shared some other Fed-related wisdom. He also gave his take on the the GOP tax plan, the equity and bond markets, the rise of exchange-traded funds, and shared his biggest market fear.

It was part of a wide-ranging discussion that also included a deep dive into Rieder's hectic daily schedule, which you can read about here.

Here's what Rieder had to say (emphasis ours):

"The one thing a central bank is not supposed to be is the instigator of volatility, and they won't be. Central banks are maniacally focused on not being an instigant to disrupt markets.

As for the changing leadership at the Fed, the Federal Reserve chair tends to act differently than an elected official. They tend to continue the path laid out by the predecessor, while an elected official oftentimes tries to shift gears.

Also, when the Fed tightens it's different than easing, in the sense that it can be behind the curve. You want to make sure growth is still durable when you're tightening, which is very different than the easing process, where you want to be fast and ahead of the economy. I think they'll be deliberate in what they do from here."

SEE ALSO: Why BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief gets up at 3:30 a.m.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

New In-Game Cryptocurrency Systems Let You Buy Assets in the Virtual Reality World

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

New In-Game Cryptocurrency Systems Let You Buy Assets in the Virtual World

High Fidelity is announcing the launch of Avatar Island, a VR domain where High Fidelity users can purchase items for their avatars, all contributed by digital artists from around the world.

High Fidelity is a next-generation platform for Virtual Reality (VR) worlds developed by Philip Rosedale, the creator of the once very popular Second Life. In September 2017, the company announced that it was developing a blockchain for intellectual property protection and an in-game cryptocurrency .

“I’ve been looking at blockchain technology since Second Life, as the Linden dollar was one of the first digital goods currencies,” said Rosedale. “At the time that Bitcoin came out, I was thinking a lot about how we could generalize what we did at Second Life. I didn’t have all of the ideas, but in the last few quarters we have been building the backend system to make all of this work.”

Different sorts of VR items, such as custom wearables for avatars (which were and still are very successful in the Second Life marketplace) will be sold and bought in Avatar Island through a new cryptocurrency running on a blockchain, which will also track the history and ownership of each item.

“[This] is the first beta release of the commerce system, which is a cryptocurrency-based content protection and payment system,” said Rosedale in the High Fidelity forum. “[Behind]  the scenes, the currency is actually stored on a ‘blockchain’ very similar to Bitcoin but supporting a higher transaction rate and lower fees. This blockchain also stores the PoP [Proof of Provenance] information for digital goods, meaning that both your currency and your digital property will exist in a public database and cannot be altered.”

Contrary to Second Life, where the only option available to external operators was to host their VR worlds on servers operated by Second Life developer Linden Lab, High Fidelity allows developers to host VR worlds independently. In November 2017, High Fidelity released an update that allows developers to rapidly deploy High Fidelity VR domains to the cloud, in collaboration with DigitalOcean. The distributed nature of the upcoming High Fidelity VR network calls for full interoperability between different servers, including network-wide recognition of ownership rights.

High Fidelity’s Digital Asset Registry (DAR), is a decentralized, publicly auditable ledger that serves as a record of transactions made by High Fidelity users. Each item is uniquely identified with a digital fingerprint (a hash algorithm) and can be purchased using High Fidelity’s blockchain-based cryptocurrency, the High Fidelity Coin (HFC). The DAR includes tamper-proof PoP services for any asset’s chain of ownership, its characteristics and its entire history, from certification onward.

This approach is designed to solve the theft and counterfeiting problems that plagued Second Life. At the apex of Rosedale’s first VR world’s popularity, thousands of independent developers around the world made a living designing and selling virtual items, and the need for more solid anti-piracy measures was widely felt.

According to High Fidelity, the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains have limited throughput (transactions per second) and high transaction fees, which makes them unsuitable for HFC. Therefore, Rosedale’s team opted for a new, public but “permissioned” blockchain.

In a promotional video that predicts a booming future for the VR sector, with a billion users, 50 million servers and a trillion dollar economy, Rosedale explains the design and implementation criteria for High Fidelity’s blockchain.

“As of today, the blockchain is one node using the [Elements] codebase from Blockstream,” said Rosedale. “We’re going to federate it to a managed group of blocksigners and also provide a block explorer and a full read-only node as well, so that we have many backups of the blockchain. This is similar to the [DPoS] (Delegated Proof of Stake) model being used by [EOS] and others for upcoming public blockchains.”

For now, the High Fidelity Commerce system is in closed beta, and High Fidelity is giving HFCs to anyone interested in participating in the beta. Eventually, HFC will be traded on public exchanges like other cryptocurrencies.

“In the coming weeks and months, we will be attaching the HFC blockchain in several ways to the major cryptocurrency networks to enable you to freely trade HFC for other currencies like Bitcoin or Ether, or to use exchange markets to convert it back to real-world currency if you like,” said Rosedale. Considering high price volatility as a roadblock, High Fidelity will try and stabilize the value of HFC at 100 HFC = $1 USD.

Before getting too excited and rushing to buy HFC, it’s worth bearing in mind that Second Life never achieved mass-market appeal, and that could become the fate of High Fidelity as well. However, it can be argued that Second Life was launched too early, and modern VR interfaces, like the headsets and hand controllers developed by Facebook’s Oculus VR, could be the game changer that will permit High Fidelity to succeed where Second Life failed. As always, time will tell.

Crytek

Another VR game developer and technology provider, Crytek, is announcing a partnership with cryptocurrency startup Crycash to create a new cryptocurrency for gamers. Crytek is the maker of the high-performance game development platform CryEngine and publisher of many highly realistic VR games that are popular among hardcore gamers.

“The Crycash ecosystem solves two problems at once: it gives gamers a way to monetize game time by completing in-game tasks, set by game developers, while providing developers with decentralized sales options for games and other virtual items,” said Crycash CEO Wachtang Budagaschwili. “Crycash will consist of four major components: Plink, a communications app for gamers and Crycash wallet; an advertising platform; an eSports platform for gaming tournaments and other events; and a virtual asset marketplace.”

“We see a lot of potential in the Crycash concept, and we were impressed by the Crycash team’s innovative approach to creating practical products and tools for gamers,” said Crytek Managing Director Faruk Yerli.

Crycash will hold a token sale from December 12, 2017, to January 15, 2018, and add Crycash payment options to games from Crytek and other developers.



The post New In-Game Cryptocurrency Systems Let You Buy Assets in the Virtual Reality World appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

‘I Remain Highly Skeptical’: Jamie Dimon Breaks Silence on Bitcoin as Futures Launch

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

This noted bitcoin-basher has not changed his outlook.

The post ‘I Remain Highly Skeptical’: Jamie Dimon Breaks Silence on Bitcoin as Futures Launch appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

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

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 10.27.40 AM

  • Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token Tuesday.
  • Ether was trading up 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider
  • The record comes a day after a group of banks led by UBS announced a data quality control project on Ethereum's blockchain.
  • Ethereum's blockchain, unlike bitcoin's, can support layered on applications and facilitates so-called smart-contracts. 

 

Cryptomania is sweeping Wall Street and it's sending digital currencies to new heights. 

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token for the first time Tuesday. The red-hot digital currency was trading up more than 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider

Across the vast market for digital coins records are being set. Bitcoin reached a record on Monday above $17,300 and litecoin hit a record above $300 Tuesday morning. 

Ether's record tear follows the announcement Monday of a data quality control project on Ethereum, the blockchain network underpinning ether, by a group of banks led by Switzerland-based money manager UBS. Ethereum, unlike bitcoin, can support applications on its network for projects outside of digital money, such as so-called smart contracts. 

Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS are among the banks involved in the pilot, which will help prepare them for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) II, a sweeping regulatory overhaul in Europe set to go live in 2018. 

"It is a tool that we are using to improve the quality of our reference data that will be used for regulatory reporting for Mifid II," Peter Stephens, head of blockchain innovation at UBS, told Business Insider. 

Instead of trusting a third party to review data and then provide feedback about the accuracy of each party's data, the banks will rely on the blockchain.

"We are putting our trust in the blockchain," Stephens said.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to the bond chief at the $6 trillion fund giant BlackRock about the most important issue for markets right now

Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

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

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 10.27.40 AM

  • Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token Tuesday.
  • Ether was trading up 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider
  • The record comes a day after a group of banks led by UBS announced a data quality control project on Ethereum's blockchain.
  • Ethereum's blockchain, unlike bitcoin's, can support layered on applications and facilitates so-called smart-contracts. 

 

Cryptomania is sweeping Wall Street and it's sending digital currencies to new heights. 

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token for the first time Tuesday. The red-hot digital currency was trading up more than 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider

Across the vast market for digital coins records are being set. Bitcoin reached a record on Monday above $17,300 and litecoin hit a record above $300 Tuesday morning. 

Ether's record tear follows the announcement Monday of a data quality control project on Ethereum, the blockchain network underpinning ether, by a group of banks led by Switzerland-based money manager UBS. Ethereum, unlike bitcoin, can support applications on its network for projects outside of digital money, such as so-called smart contracts. 

Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS are among the banks involved in the pilot, which will help prepare them for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) II, a sweeping regulatory overhaul in Europe set to go live in 2018. 

"It is a tool that we are using to improve the quality of our reference data that will be used for regulatory reporting for Mifid II," Peter Stephens, head of blockchain innovation at UBS, told Business Insider. 

Instead of trusting a third party to review data and then provide feedback about the accuracy of each party's data, the banks will rely on the blockchain.

"We are putting our trust in the blockchain," Stephens said.

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

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Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

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

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 10.27.40 AM

  • Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token Tuesday.
  • Ether was trading up 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider
  • The record comes a day after a group of banks led by UBS announced a data quality control project on Ethereum's blockchain.
  • Ethereum's blockchain, unlike bitcoin's, can support layered on applications and facilitates so-called smart-contracts. 

 

Cryptomania is sweeping Wall Street and it's sending digital currencies to new heights. 

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token for the first time Tuesday. The red-hot digital currency was trading up more than 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider

Across the vast market for digital coins records are being set. Bitcoin reached a record on Monday above $17,300 and litecoin hit a record above $300 Tuesday morning. 

Ether's record tear follows the announcement of a data quality control project on Ethereum, the blockchain network underpinning ether, by a group of banks led by Switzerland-based money manager UBS. Ethereum, unlike bitcoin, can support applications on its network for projects outside of digital money, such as so-called smart contracts. 

Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS are among the banks involved in the pilot, which will help prepare them for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) II, a sweeping regulatory overhaul in Europe set to go live in 2018. 

"It is a tool that we are using to improve the quality of our reference data that will be used for regulatory reporting for Mifid II," Peter Stephens, head of blockchain innovation at UBS, told Business Insider. 

Instead of trusting a third party to review data and then provide feedback about the accuracy of each party's data, the banks will rely on the blockchain.

"We are putting our trust in the blockchain," Stephens said.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

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

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 10.27.40 AM

  • Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token Tuesday.
  • Ether was trading up 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider
  • The record comes a day after a group of banks led by UBS announced a data quality control project on Ethereum's blockchain.
  • Ethereum's blockchain, unlike bitcoin's, can support layered on applications and facilitates so-called smart-contracts. 

 

Cryptomania is sweeping Wall Street and it's sending digital currencies to new heights. 

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token for the first time Tuesday. The red-hot digital currency was trading up more than 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider

Across the vast market for digital coins records are being set. Bitcoin reached a record on Monday above $17,300 and litecoin hit a record above $300 Tuesday morning. 

Ether's record tear follows the announcement of a data quality control project on Ethereum, the blockchain network underpinning ether, by a group of banks led by Switzerland-based money manager UBS. Ethereum, unlike bitcoin, can support applications on its network for projects outside of digital money, such as so-called smart contracts. 

Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS are among the banks involved in the pilot, which will help prepare them for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) II, a sweeping regulatory overhaul in Europe set to go live in 2018. 

"It is a tool that we are using to improve the quality of our reference data that will be used for regulatory reporting for Mifid II," Peter Stephens, head of blockchain innovation at UBS, told Business Insider. 

Instead of trusting a third party to review data and then provide feedback about the accuracy of each party's data, the banks will rely on the blockchain.

"We are putting our trust in the blockchain," Stephens said.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Gifto’s Vision for the Virtual Gifting Economy

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

Gifto Thumb


The digital age has changed many things about the way we work, play, think and live. And one key element of this is the act of giving.

In the online community, it’s hard to think of a more natural display of positive interaction than the act of giving virtual gifts.  In today’s digital age, giving has taken on a whole new meaning as growing numbers of transactions and exchanges occur online. 

At the nexus of this movement is a project called Gifto, a virtual gifting protocol for content creators and their fans throughout the world. 

Gifto seeks to forever change the way we give gifts through the use of smart contracts that facilitate customized, fun virtual gifts to be sent via the Ethereum blockchain, across all content platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Gifto achieves this through a decentralized, user-driven model which rewards quality content generation, while fostering a richer set of connections between content creators and their audiences.

The brains behind this idea, Andy Tian, is the co-founder and CEO of Asia Innovations Group (AIG), which is the leading mobile interactive entertainment group in Asia. Headquartered in Hong Kong, AIG operates a suite of mobile, social and online entertainment products for users worldwide. 

Launched in May 2016, AIG’s flagship, live-streaming product, Uplive, is already available in more than 100 countries. The app enables anyone around the world to broadcast and view real-time video streams via their smartphones.  It currently has 20 million users and 60,000 broadcasters worldwide, with a projected revenue of more than $100 million from virtual gifting in 2017 alone. With Gifto, AIG is decentralizing its successful virtual gifting model to all content creators, regardless of whether they are on Uplive or not.

Uplive is one of the top five streaming apps in the world. It is the culmination of AIG’s many years of experience and tech development in gaming, social media and video. And Gifto is the culmination of Uplive’s experiences.

The Chinese live streaming market was valued at $5 billion in 2017, according to a forecast by Credit Suisse. Tian sees a golden opportunity with Gifto to replicate this incredibly successful model in international markets across any content platform through its universal protocol.

The Inspiration Behind Gifto

Gifto sprang from Tian’s personal interest in the question of how to apply game mechanics to any and all things that people engage with.

Born in China before moving to New York at age 10, Tian ran Google’s mobile business in China, during which he introduced Android to the China market. He then started one of the earliest social gaming companies in the world, XPD Media, which was later sold to Zynga to become Zynga China. After leaving Zynga, he co-founded AIG, which now has over 300 staff members located around the world, from Casablanca to Tokyo. 

Tian said that Gifto arose from conversations with both broadcasters and users of the Uplive community platform. That dialogue reinforced the notion that only the top 10 percent of all online influencers these days are able to effectively monetize their work. 

“What about the 90 percent of content creators who have 100,000 fans?” he asked. “Or only 50,000 fans? They can’t monetize at all based on the traditional ad/sponsorship model that’s currently in place.” 

One challenge on the Uplive platform was how to calculate the amount of revenue share a broadcaster has across all of Uplive. 

“We currently have a centralized system that does calculations and verification, a common practice among any centralized, consumer-based service,” Tian said. “But when a number of my investors and friends introduced me to smart contracts, that was a game changer. By integrating these contracts into the virtual gift itself, a transaction could automatically be executed, allowing for the instant delivery of revenue share to gift creators and producers.” 

This was a major development with respect to Uplive, where more than 25 million virtual gifts are sent every month.

“With blockchain, we can transparently, quickly and accurately execute payments so that our creators don’t have to wait 30 days or more to receive their share of the gift proceeds,” Tian said. “They can gain revenues directly from their fans.” 

Tian extols the idea of a crypto token that has a common value regardless of which country it is sent to or received from. 

“We currently have users paying us from 50-plus countries, with 30-plus payment providers worldwide,” he said. “With fiat, we have experienced lots of credit card fraud issues like cancelled transactions among other problems associated with this form of money on an international scale. Cryptocurrency can solve that. Not having to convert between different currency types will be a big win for our users.” 

In addition, Gifto can be used universally by any platform, not just Uplive, said Tian.

“The Gifto protocol will be available to any content creator on virtually any platform, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram,” he said. “For the first time ever, content creators on these platforms won’t be constrained to the advertising-only model that generates very little revenue for the creators without millions of followers. Now, anyone will be able to accept virtual gifts through the Gifto platform and generate meaningful income from their content, directly from their fanbase.”   

Fostering a Global Gifting Economy

The concept of virtual gifts sent from fans to broadcasters is what drives Gifto. It allows creators to produce and place virtual gifts on a blockchain as a virtual asset and set their own pricing and value. Each created gift would have its own unique nature and character, adding the all-important element of fun to the whole gifting process. Broadcasters could then be digitally compensated regardless of the number of fans they have. 

Gifto’s public token sale on the Ethereum blockchain will begin on December 14, 2017. Thirty percent of the tokens, called “Gifto,” will be sold at that time subject to a $30 million hard cap. The campaign will adhere to a strict “know-your-customer” process, excluding citizens from China, the U.S., and Vietnam, based on legal regulations in those countries. 

Tian said the journey to exploring an initial coin offering (ICO) started early in 2017, when his company began examining the utility of blockchain technology as a solution to requests for new features from Uplive’s broadcasters and user base.  He said that monies garnered will be used for product development and engineering, marketing and market adoption, user acquisition and operations.

“We believe that we’ll be the highest revenue consumer company in Asia to launch a token offering,” Tian said. “Blockchain technology, in our opinion, is an awesome application and solution to decentralize everything and we want to advance this thinking.”

Tian’s ultimate goal is to make blockchain useful to mass-market consumers who don’t necessarily understand what the technology is, but can still enjoy the benefits of decentralization.

“It’s all about empowering the everyday people,” he concluded. “Content creators with a small, loyal fanbase now have a fun way to connect with their fans and make it easy for them to contribute.” 

The post Gifto’s Vision for the Virtual Gifting Economy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Here's What You Absolutely Need To Know Before Buying Bitcoin (And It Has Nothing To Do With The Price)

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

You're probably missing the most profound feature of Bitcoin.

Tesla is rallying after Pepsi places an order for 100 Semis (TSLA)

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

tesla trucks semi



Tesla shares are trading higher by 2.28% at $336.93 on Tuesday after the company received an order from PepsiCo for 100 of its new Semis.

The order is now the largest known preorder for the new Semi, which is set to start production in 2019. PepsiCo didn't disclose how much it paid to reserve the Semis, but Tesla is offering reservations for $20,000 a piece on its website, which suggests the reservation is worth about $2 million.

Walmart and Anheuser-Busch are among the other companies that have announced orders for the Semi, and Reuters' Eric Johnson the current total at 267 total reservations so far.

Even though production won't begin for over a year, Tesla is likely to fill preorders in the order it received them, meaning the first to request vehicles could gain a leg up on the competition.

The company's Model 3 was first available for preorders in April, and the waiting list quickly swelled to more than 400,000. Tesla has been plagued by production issues, and only made 260 of the cars in the third quarter, though it looks as if the production bottlenecks are slowly being solved. Ordering a Model 3 now is likely to see a delivery date well into 2018.

Before the Semi's launch, Morgan Stanley estimated preorder demand would hit 25,000. The trucking industry could benefit from the cost savings from the new truck, which will have autopilot capabilities, according to Tesla.

Tesla shares are up 56.05% this year.

Read more about the company's Model 3 production troubles here.

tesla stock price

SEE ALSO: Tesla is rising after Anheuser-Busch places an order for 40 electric semis

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BANK OF AMERICA: The bull market still has 'gas in the tank'

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

fuel gauge

  • The S&P 500 could hit 3,000 by the end of 2018, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's technical team says.
  • They say the chart for 2018 looks a lot like 2014, when the S&P gained 11%.
  • Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus also recently set his 2018 target for the S&P 500 at 3,000.


The S&P 500 has come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession. After bottoming at 666 in March 2008, the benchmark index has rallied 300% to a record high of 2,665. A decent chunk of those gains have come in 2017 as traders have begun to price in what Republicans say is the widest-ranging tax reform since 1986.  

And Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the good times are likely to keep rolling for investors as it expects the S&P 500's 2018 performance to be similar to 2014, when it gained about 11%.

In a note sent out to clients on Tuesday titled "Equity bull market still has gas in the tank," the bank's technical team, led by Stephen Suttmeier, says the S&P 500 could hit 3,000 by the end of next year. That would make for a gain of 12.7% from current levels. 

"The up channel from February 2016 is almost two years old and suggests that the S&P 500 could achieve 2700 to 2800+ during 1H18," the team wrote. "Price action hugged the upper end of the channel from 2011 in 2014. If a similar event occurs in 2018, the channel from 2016 hits 3000 in December 2018."

The 3,000 level is on the radar of at least one other Wall Street analyst. Last week, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus set his 2018 year-end S&P 500 target at that level.  

Zooming out to the bigger picture, and comparing to other secular bull markets, the bank says the index could hit 5,000 by 2024.

S&P 500

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

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Paying taxes on bitcoin isn't nearly as hard as it sounds

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

bitcoin dollar

  • Bitcoin has soared in value over the past year.
  • Paying taxes on bitcoin may seem daunting to people selling off their investments.
  • The reality is straightforward for most investors, based on how much you bought bitcoin for, how much you sold it for, and what you make in income.


Bitcoin's incredible rise in value from just shy of $1,000 per bitcoin on January 1 to more than $19,000 on December 8 has likely caused many bitcoin owners to sell all or part of their investment.

But as tax season approaches, it may not be immediately clear how the IRS imposes taxes on bitcoin: Are the gains considered income? Are they capital gains? Something else entirely?

With some help from financial experts, Business Insider dug into the tax code to make the process of paying taxes on bitcoin as simple as possible.

First, let's define our terms

Before we get lost in a forest of jargon, here's a handy glossary for common tax terms, which in this case apply to buying and selling bitcoin:

  • Capital asset: Basically anything you own, from a house to furniture to stocks and bonds — and bitcoin.
  • Basis: The amount you paid to buy bitcoin (including any fees you paid).
  • Realized capital gain or loss: The profit or loss you made when you sold bitcoin (i.e. the price you sold it for minus your basis). Losses can be deducted from your taxes (more on this below).
  • Unrealized gain or loss: The profit or loss you have on paper but have not actually cashed in on. You do not pay taxes on unrealized gains until you sell, at which point it becomes a realized gain or loss.
  • Short-term gain: Realized gain on bitcoin or any other investment held for one year or less before selling it.
  • Long-term gain: Realized gain on bitcoin or any other investment held for longer than one year before selling it.

bitcoin machine

Bitcoin investments are taxed as a capital asset

To properly pay taxes on an investment in bitcoin, you'll need to wrangle some information from each sale you conducted over the last fiscal year. This includes the basis for each amount of bitcoin you sold, the date you bought it, the date you sold it, and the price at which you sold it.

You can use these figures to calculate your realized gains or losses for each sale.

coinbase screenshot

You can also use the dates to figure out whether the specific sale qualifies as a short-term gain or a long-term gain. Short-term gains are taxed like regular income, so the rate is equal to your federal income tax bracket. Long-term gains are taxed at a lower rate, but still according to your income level.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • People in the 10% and 15% brackets pay 0%.
  • People in the 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35% brackets pay 15%.
  • People in the 39.6% bracket pay 20%.

Two hypothetical cases

Taking all that into account, consider a sample bitcoin investor who makes $75,000 a year.

Hypothetical case #1: short-term gain

The investor bought one bitcoin on January 2, when it cost $1,000. After it hit $2,000 later that May, she decided to sell, for a profit — or realized gain — of $1,000.

In this case, the basis was $1,000 and the realized gain was also $1,000 ($2,000 sale price minus the $1,000 basis). Since she held the investment for less than a year, it was a short-term gain, meaning the money would be taxed at her tax bracket of 25%, for a total tax bill of $250. All told, she'd keep $1,750 from the sale — $750 of which would be her after-tax profit.

Hypothetical case #2: long-term gain

Now let's assume she bought the bitcoin a year prior, on January 2, 2016, when the price was just $433. If she sold at the same time — when it hit $2,000 — she'd realize a gain of $1,567. Since she held it for more than a year, the gain would be taxed at 15%, for a total tax bill of $235.05. The sale would put $1,764.95 in her pocket — $764.95 of which would be her after-tax profit.

coinbase screenshot

Notice the long-term gain was larger than the short-term gain, even though the investor paid less in tax. The current US tax code rewards patience.

A final note on losses

With all the surges in price, it's hard to imagine bitcoin falling in value. But if the supposed bubble does pop, it helps to know you can deduct the losses on your tax return — even if you take the standard deduction.

(This is an "above the line" deduction. Student loan interest is a common one most people already claim.)

To calculate the loss, just subtract the sale amount from the basis. Your deduction will still be proportional to your income, so if our hypothetical investor lost $1,000 in bitcoin, her income level would impute an approximate tax savings of $250.

Keep in mind, however, that the IRS caps capital loss deductions at $3,000 annually. Anything above that will roll over each year until the remainder is depleted.

Disclaimer: This article is not a comprehensive list of how to pay taxes if you bought and sold bitcoin this year. Contact your tax adviser for advice catered to your specific situation.

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

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Disney and 21st Century Fox are climbing as report says a deal for assets is coming Thursday (FOXA, DIS)

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

Bob Iger Disney CEO



Reports that 21st Century Fox is expected to announce the sale of its entertainment business to Disney on Thursday have sent shares of both companies higher. Disney shares are trading up 0.18% at $107.02 on Tuesday while those of 21st Century Fox are higher by 0.53% at $33.84.

Fox is expected to split itself in two, selling its estimated $60 billion of entertainment and TV assets to Disney while holding on to its cable news business, CNBC's David Faber reports. The news business that remains is expected to be worth about $10 per share, and shareholders would receive one share of the remaining company as well as shares in Disney based on a fixed ratio, CNBC reports.

Shares of 21st Century Fox have surged about 34% over the past month as several interested buyers have circled the company. Comcast and Disney were seen as the leading bidders, but Comcast dropped its bid on Monday, leaving Disney in the pole position.

The size of the final bid is still unknown, but RBC analyst Steven Cahall previously said he expects a deal that values 21st Century Fox's assets at about $37 per share.

Read more about RBC's valuation of Fox here.

 

SEE ALSO: RBC: 21st Century Fox will keep going up as Disney acquisition talks simmer

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CBOE's Bitcoin futures are off the starting block

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

Traders attitude towards cryptos

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

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), a major US exchange, first announced plans to launch a Bitcoin futures product in August, and got the green light from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week. As planned, the CBOE launched the much-anticipated contracts on Sunday.

Early retail investor demand for the product seemed high, with the contract expiring soonest — on January 17 — seeing 672 sold within an hour of launching, said CoinDesk. In total, 2,368 CBOE contracts with various expiry dates had been sold by 6:30 a.m. GMT on Monday, Reuters reported. Institutional investor demand, meanwhile, appeared to be more modest, as the surge leveled off after US markets opened on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

However, the launch of the Bitcoin futures product wasn't entirely smooth:

  • The CBOE's website crashed as demand surged. Just a few hours after the CBOE launched its contracts, the exchange's website crashed due to unusually "heavy traffic," the CBOE said. The crash coincided with a spike in Bitcoin prices, which rose from circa $14,500 to $15,736 within minutes at around 11:00 p.m. GMT, reports CoinDesk. It's likely that a circular pattern emerged in which the contracts demand boosted Bitcoin prices, which in turn, drove up demand for the contracts even higher.
  • The CBOE had to apply emergency "circuit breakers" to manage high uptake. It had to implement the "circuit breakers" — an emergency temporary halt on trading used by large exchanges to reduce volatility and give investors breathing room — twice within the contracts' first 5 hours of trading, according to Bloomberg. The first breaker came 2.5 hours after launch when the contacts rose 10%, and lasted 2 minutes. The second came just over 4 hours after launch when the contracts had risen 20%, and lasted 5 minutes. A third circuit breaker will be implemented if the contracts rise 30%, the CBOE added. For context, the combined number of circuit breakers implemented for all FTSE350 shares between 2014 and 2015 stood at 397, indicating the high levels of volatility around the CBOE's offering.

These trip-ups raise questions about Bitcoin futures. The main conclusion to be drawn from these adverse developments is that, even though Bitcoin futures have overcome the regulatory approval hurdle, they still face a more basic one: That the infrastructure to support demand for the product simply isn't in place yet. The CBOE, no novice to futures contracts, undoubtedly planned thoroughly for the launch of this new product, and presumably went over multiple risk scenarios and how to mitigate them before proceeding.

That the exchange nevertheless ran into major hurdles suggests Bitcoin introduced many unknown factors that the exchange didn't take into account. This reinforces the point that, even when packaged in a familiar instrument like futures, Bitcoin itself remains a black box for the mainstream global financial system.

Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on U.S. fintech regulation that:

  • Examines the current regulatory landscape in the U.S. 
  • Explains how it is negatively affecting the fintech industry.
  • Outlines the initiatives currently in play from major regulatory agencies. 
  • Considers the future of U.S. fintech regulation and its potential impact on the fintech sector. 

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

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

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Bitcoin Investing: A 10,000-Year View

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

Far from a bubble, bitcoin is on the path to becoming a significant part of global money supply, according to trader and analyst Willy Woo.

Litecoin creator issues stern warning after the cryptocurrency doubles in a single day

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

Charlie Lee CNBC

  • Litecoin, a smaller cousin of bitcoin, has seen its value more than double in just one day. 
  • Litecoin creator Charlie Lee tweeted a sobering warning to those not prepared to lose their entire investment.
  • Still, Litecoin fans on Reddit were preparing celebrations, some of which seem fairly risky. 


Cryptocurrencies have exploded since bitcoin futures began trading in Chicago over the weekend.

Litecoin, the fifth-largest coin by market-cap, has seen its value more than double since Sunday afternoon, trading above $300 Tuesday morning — 110% above its weekend price. 

Creator Charlie Lee wasn’t celebrating like some other Litecoin holders, though. The former director of engineering at crypto exchange Coinbase tweeted a dire warning for potential litecoin holders Monday night:

"Sorry to spoil the party, but I need to reign in the excitement a bit…," he wrote. "Buying LTC is extremely risky. I expect us to have a multi-year bear market like the one we just had where LTC dropped 90% in value ($48 to $4). So if you can't handle LTC dropping to $20, don't buy!" 

Charlie Lee twitter

That didn’t stop some Redditors from planning celebrations as litecoin passes more milestones.

One user, rashadthedad, claimed he would record himself eating a Carolina Reaper, one of the world’s hottest peppers, if Litecoin passed $300 before New Years Eve. Another user said he would streak down Wall Street in New York before swimming to the Statue of Liberty if the coin passed $1,000 before the same date.

Jay Clayton, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, also weighed in on the cryptocurrency craze Monday. 

"The world's social media platforms and financial markets are abuzz about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. There are tales of fortunes made and dreamed to be made," he said. "Investors should understand that to date no initial coin offerings have been registered with the SEC.  The SEC also has not to date approved for listing and trading any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies. If any person today tells you otherwise, be especially wary." (emphasis his)

Litecoin has mostly lived in the shadow of bitcoin, but has garnered a fan base through its slightly different mining technique which aims to use less electricity than its rival. A recent estimate from the UK said the electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage of 159 countries.

Litecoin is up 5953% so far this year. You can watch its price move in real time here

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 9.12.55 AM

SEE ALSO: SEC head Jay Clayton weighs in on cryptocurrency mania

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NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Litecoin creator issues stern warning after the cryptocurrency doubles in a single day

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

Charlie Lee CNBC

  • Litecoin, a smaller cousin of bitcoin, has seen its value more than double in just one day. 
  • Litecoin creator Charlie Lee tweeted a sobering warning to those not prepared to lose their entire investment.
  • Still, Litecoin fans on Reddit were preparing celebrations, some of which seem fairly risky. 


Cryptocurrencies have exploded since bitcoin futures began trading in Chicago over the weekend.

Litecoin, the fifth-largest coin by market-cap, has seen its value more than double since Sunday afternoon, trading above $300 Tuesday morning — 110% above its weekend price. 

Creator Charlie Lee wasn’t celebrating like some other Litecoin holders, though. The former director of engineering at crypto exchange Coinbase tweeted a dire warning for potential litecoin holders Monday night:

"Sorry to spoil the party, but I need to reign in the excitement a bit…," he wrote. "Buying LTC is extremely risky. I expect us to have a multi-year bear market like the one we just had where LTC dropped 90% in value ($48 to $4). So if you can't handle LTC dropping to $20, don't buy!" 

Charlie Lee twitter

That didn’t stop some Redditors from planning celebrations as litecoin passes more milestones.

One user, rashadthedad, claimed he would record himself eating a Carolina Reaper, one of the world’s hottest peppers, if Litecoin passed $300 before New Years Eve. Another user said he would streak down Wall Street in New York before swimming to the Statue of Liberty if the coin passed $1,000 before the same date.

Jay Clayton, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, also weighed in on the cryptocurrency craze Monday. 

"The world's social media platforms and financial markets are abuzz about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. There are tales of fortunes made and dreamed to be made," he said. "Investors should understand that to date no initial coin offerings have been registered with the SEC.  The SEC also has not to date approved for listing and trading any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies. If any person today tells you otherwise, be especially wary." (emphasis his)

Litecoin has mostly lived in the shadow of bitcoin, but has garnered a fan base through its slightly different mining technique which aims to use less electricity than its rival. A recent estimate from the UK said the electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage of 159 countries.

Litecoin is up 5953% so far this year. You can watch its price move in real time here

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 9.12.55 AM

SEE ALSO: SEC head Jay Clayton weighs in on cryptocurrency mania

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Ethereum, Litecoin Prices Headline $20 Billion Altcoin Rally

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

[…]

The post Ethereum, Litecoin Prices Headline $20 Billion Altcoin Rally appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Bitcoin Isn't Sapping Demand for Gold, Says Goldman Sachs Exec

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

A Goldman Sachs executive has said there is "no evidence" that bitcoin's price gains have reduced demand for gold.

“Cheap Shot”: CBOE Chief Dismisses “Irresponsible” Bitcoin Futures Complaints

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

CBOE's chief executive has no time for Wall Street's inarticulate bitcoin futures critique.

The post “Cheap Shot”: CBOE Chief Dismisses “Irresponsible” Bitcoin Futures Complaints appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures starting on the right foot as Energy Commodities rally and the “FOMC Drift” starts to take hold.   Industrials leading again to the upside, adding 10bp early.   Pretty much a sea of Green over in Europe, where the DAX is adding 10bp with Tech and Energy outperforming.   Industrials weighing a bit in Frankfurt, but volumes off 25% as traders await a speech from Draghi after the EU Close.   London is up 25bp despite Profit-taking in the Fins and Miners, as Healthcare jumps 1% in early trade.    It was a Weak overnight in Asia - Nikkei off 30bp as Consumer stocks weighed - Hang Seng lost 60bp as Tencent got hit for 3% and Sunny Optical 8% - Shanghai dropped 1.3% as Airlines were crushed on profit-taking due to the Brent Spike - KOSPI off 40bp despite Sammy rallying small, and Aussie managed a 25bp gain behind commodity stocks 

The 10YY is hovering around week’s highs as NFIB Optimism hits the highest since 1983 – but the DXY is under a bit of pressure as Sterling jumps on UK Inflation printing the highest in 5years.  Euro seeing a bounce despite a Weaker ZEW, while Petro Currencies like Ruble, Aussie, Kiwi and Krone are all acting well.   No bounce in Gold despite the weaker Greenback, the Yellow metal just off yesterday’s 5month low – while Bitcoin surrenders 1.5% in early, thin trade.  Ore was up 1.5% in China, but Copper remains slightly red.  All eyes on the Energy Complex, where Brent is up 1.5% and at 2 1/2year highs, while front--month Natty prices in the UK are up 20% on the Forties Pipe outage and a explosion at Austria’s main LNG terminal.

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: One market expert says the financial system could collapse at any moment

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures starting on the right foot as Energy Commodities rally and the “FOMC Drift” starts to take hold.   Industrials leading again to the upside, adding 10bp early.   Pretty much a sea of Green over in Europe, where the DAX is adding 10bp with Tech and Energy outperforming.   Industrials weighing a bit in Frankfurt, but volumes off 25% as traders await a speech from Draghi after the EU Close.   London is up 25bp despite Profit-taking in the Fins and Miners, as Healthcare jumps 1% in early trade.    It was a Weak overnight in Asia - Nikkei off 30bp as Consumer stocks weighed - Hang Seng lost 60bp as Tencent got hit for 3% and Sunny Optical 8% - Shanghai dropped 1.3% as Airlines were crushed on profit-taking due to the Brent Spike - KOSPI off 40bp despite Sammy rallying small, and Aussie managed a 25bp gain behind commodity stocks 

The 10YY is hovering around week’s highs as NFIB Optimism hits the highest since 1983 – but the DXY is under a bit of pressure as Sterling jumps on UK Inflation printing the highest in 5years.  Euro seeing a bounce despite a Weaker ZEW, while Petro Currencies like Ruble, Aussie, Kiwi and Krone are all acting well.   No bounce in Gold despite the weaker Greenback, the Yellow metal just off yesterday’s 5month low – while Bitcoin surrenders 1.5% in early, thin trade.  Ore was up 1.5% in China, but Copper remains slightly red.  All eyes on the Energy Complex, where Brent is up 1.5% and at 2 1/2year highs, while front--month Natty prices in the UK are up 20% on the Forties Pipe outage and a explosion at Austria’s main LNG terminal.

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: One market expert says the financial system could collapse at any moment

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures starting on the right foot as Energy Commodities rally and the “FOMC Drift” starts to take hold.   Industrials leading again to the upside, adding 10bp early.   Pretty much a sea of Green over in Europe, where the DAX is adding 10bp with Tech and Energy outperforming.   Industrials weighing a bit in Frankfurt, but volumes off 25% as traders await a speech from Draghi after the EU Close.   London is up 25bp despite Profit-taking in the Fins and Miners, as Healthcare jumps 1% in early trade.    It was a Weak overnight in Asia - Nikkei off 30bp as Consumer stocks weighed - Hang Seng lost 60bp as Tencent got hit for 3% and Sunny Optical 8% - Shanghai dropped 1.3% as Airlines were crushed on profit-taking due to the Brent Spike - KOSPI off 40bp despite Sammy rallying small, and Aussie managed a 25bp gain behind commodity stocks 

The 10YY is hovering around week’s highs as NFIB Optimism hits the highest since 1983 – but the DXY is under a bit of pressure as Sterling jumps on UK Inflation printing the highest in 5years.  Euro seeing a bounce despite a Weaker ZEW, while Petro Currencies like Ruble, Aussie, Kiwi and Krone are all acting well.   No bounce in Gold despite the weaker Greenback, the Yellow metal just off yesterday’s 5month low – while Bitcoin surrenders 1.5% in early, thin trade.  Ore was up 1.5% in China, but Copper remains slightly red.  All eyes on the Energy Complex, where Brent is up 1.5% and at 2 1/2year highs, while front--month Natty prices in the UK are up 20% on the Forties Pipe outage and a explosion at Austria’s main LNG terminal.

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures starting on the right foot as Energy Commodities rally and the “FOMC Drift” starts to take hold.   Industrials leading again to the upside, adding 10bp early.   Pretty much a sea of Green over in Europe, where the DAX is adding 10bp with Tech and Energy outperforming.   Industrials weighing a bit in Frankfurt, but volumes off 25% as traders await a speech from Draghi after the EU Close.   London is up 25bp despite Profit-taking in the Fins and Miners, as Healthcare jumps 1% in early trade.    It was a Weak overnight in Asia - Nikkei off 30bp as Consumer stocks weighed - Hang Seng lost 60bp as Tencent got hit for 3% and Sunny Optical 8% - Shanghai dropped 1.3% as Airlines were crushed on profit-taking due to the Brent Spike - KOSPI off 40bp despite Sammy rallying small, and Aussie managed a 25bp gain behind commodity stocks 

The 10YY is hovering around week’s highs as NFIB Optimism hits the highest since 1983 – but the DXY is under a bit of pressure as Sterling jumps on UK Inflation printing the highest in 5years.  Euro seeing a bounce despite a Weaker ZEW, while Petro Currencies like Ruble, Aussie, Kiwi and Krone are all acting well.   No bounce in Gold despite the weaker Greenback, the Yellow metal just off yesterday’s 5month low – while Bitcoin surrenders 1.5% in early, thin trade.  Ore was up 1.5% in China, but Copper remains slightly red.  All eyes on the Energy Complex, where Brent is up 1.5% and at 2 1/2year highs, while front--month Natty prices in the UK are up 20% on the Forties Pipe outage and a explosion at Austria’s main LNG terminal.

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Over $300? Pullback Likely for Surging Litecoin

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

New users are crowding into the litecoin market, driving up one of the market's oldest and most accessible assets.

Litecoin Price Spikes 82% in a Single Day to Hit $300, Surpasses IOTA

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

[…]

The post Litecoin Price Spikes 82% in a Single Day to Hit $300, Surpasses IOTA appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Bitcoin Futures Isn’t Taking Gold’s Shine Away: Goldman Sachs

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Futures Isn’t Taking Gold’s Shine Away: Goldman Sachs appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Indian Bitcoin Investors Face Paying Taxes on their Bitcoin Sales [Profits]

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

[…]

The post Indian Bitcoin Investors Face Paying Taxes on their Bitcoin Sales [Profits] appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

No Stopping? After New High, Bitcoin Price Eyes $20k

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

Following yesterday's all-time high, bitcoin bulls look set to push prices as high as $20,000 over the next few days.

A $200 billion quant fund says one of the biggest market concerns over GOP tax reform is completely overblown

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

cohn mnuchin

  • AQR Capital Management, a quantitative-focused hedge fund overseeing $208 billion, seeks to dispell the four biggest myths associated with corporate share repurchases.
  • The firm argues that companies using cash to repurchase stock isn't negative for economic growth, as has been suggested in recent weeks.
  • One of the arguments against the GOP plan has been that companies will use excess capital to simply buy back their own shares.


To hear detractors of the GOP tax bill tell it, the plan as currently proposed won't actually boost economic activity. These skeptics think corporations will simply use the excess capital to buy back their own shares.

And that's not too far-fetched of an idea. After all, buybacks have swelled during the 8 1/2-year equity bull market, and stock gains have followed in spades.

The conventional explanation for the strength has been as follows: companies artificially boost their per-share prices by reducing the number of units outstanding, while simultaneously signaling to the market that their shares are attractively priced.

But AQR Capital Management, the quantitative hedge fund that manages $208 billion, doesn't buy it. The firm thinks that buybacks are completely misunderstood — and don't directly drive much share appreciation at all.

AQR has even gone as far as to compile what it sees as the four main myths of share repurchases, which the firm published in a recent research paper entitled "The Premature Demonization of Stock Repurchases." And while the study doesn't specifically reference the GOP tax reform, it does refute worries specifically related to it.

"A common critique is that each dollar used to buy back a share is a dollar that is not spent on business activities that would stimulate economic growth," a team led by AQR managing and founding principal Cliff Asness wrote in the study. "Oh, if only it were that simple."

Here are the four myths:

Myth #1: Companies are self-liquidating using share repurchases at a historically high rate

AQR admits that the total dollar amount spent on buybacks is higher than in the past, but says this "muddles changes in the scale of the economy and changes in the typical balance sheet of firms throughout time."

The firm points out that the total money spent on buybacks, relative to aggregate market cap, is not at a record. In fact, the measure is far below where it was during the last financial crisis. AQR also notes that, when properly normalized, there hasn't even been an upward trend in buybacks over the past five years.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 4.24.19 PM

Myth #2: Share repurchases have come at the expense of profitable investment

AQR says this assertion is "not consistent with either finance theory or an empirical examination of the sources and uses of capital among US corporates."

The firm stresses that there's no apparent negative relationship between normalized investment and stock buyback activity. It also highlights that the two readings have actually been positively correlated lately, with both rising since the financial crisis.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 4.28.25 PM

Myth #3: The recent increase in stock prices is the result of share repurchases

In order to disprove this one, AQR computed a rough estimate of cumulative index level returns using stock buybacks as the only input. The firm found that if every member of the gauge bought back shares in a given year at historically normal sizes, it would account for 1-2% of index-level price appreciation. That's a far cry from the gain of more than 15% for the Russell 3000 index.

Perhaps an important nuance to this point is that, while buybacks can't possibly be fully responsible for the large gains seen in the stock market, they are accretive to a degree.

Myth #4: Companies that repurchase shares do so only to increase EPS and thereby ‘price’

For this one, AQR points out that while buybacks reduce share count, the depletion of cash to buy back those shares is negative for earnings. "Only if the cash that is used for share repurchases is truly idle (sitting in the chairman's desk drawer) would we agree that share repurchases increase EPS," Asness wrote.



Going off AQR's logic, investors shouldn't be worried about the tax plan's massive windfall being misused. Assuming companies realize that buybacks aren't directly responsible for share gains, they'll theoretically be more likely to spend money on capital expenditures and corporate reinvestment — the activities most closely tied to economic growth.

And based on recent equity market performance, companies should already be favoring reinvestment to share repurchases anyway.

Since the beginning of 2016 and through October, a Goldman Sachs-curated basket of stocks spending the most on capex and research and development has beaten a similarly constructed index of companies offering high dividends and buybacks by a whopping 21 percentage points. That outperformance totaled 11 percentage points in 2017 alone, according to the firm's data.

Goldman's data-backed argument that companies should be reinvesting, combined with AQR's myth-busting around the use of buybacks, should be give corporations all the information they need to use tax reform proceeds in a way that will help the overall economy.

But will they? That's another discussion entirely.

SEE ALSO: Why BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief gets up at 3:30 a.m.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin Community Grows with Gamble.io

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Community Grows with Gamble.io appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

How China became a haven for people looking to cash in on the Bitcoin gold rush

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

  • Business Insider UK spoke with Garrick Hileman about Bitcoin.
  • Hileman explains the best conditions to mine Bitcoin and why certain countries are ideal.
  • He then explains why China produces more Bitcoin than any other country.

 

Business Insider UK spoke with University of Cambridge Research Fellow Garrick Hileman about cryptocurrency mining and the countries that are best suited for it and why China produces the most Bitcoin of any country.

He explains that there are four key ingredients that make the ideal conditions for cryptocurrency mining; low-cost electricity, cold weather, reliable internet and low population density.

Countries like Sweden and Iceland are good examples of this but Hileman says that China has become a haven for cryptocurrency mining.

This is due to its under-utilised infrastructure in provinces like Szechuan where vast amounts of cheap electricity is being produced through coal and hydro-electric dams. These areas are less populated and a lot of this electricity would otherwise go to waste.

Some of these hydro-facilities have even started Bitcoin mining as a way of using the excess electricity that is being generated.

Read the full transcript below. 

Garrick Hileman: So, where is cryptocurrency mining taking place today?

Well, it’s taking place all over the world but there are certain countries where the four key ingredients – low cost electricity, cold weather, reliable internet and low population density – are more present than others.

So you see a lot of cryptocurrency mining taking place in the far northern hemisphere so countries like Iceland, Sweden, Canada.

You also see cryptocurrency mining taking place in countries like the United States, they have hydroelectric power there that’s relatively inexpensive.

But by far and away the country where most of this mining is taking place is China for a couple of reasons. One – and the biggest reason of all – is low-cost electricity or free electricity.

China has very cheap coal-based electricity and also a lot of extra hydro-capacity.

So a number of hydro-facilities in provinces like Szechuan were developed in anticipation of new cities coming online to take advantage of this new inexpensive electricity.

However that electricity is idle, it’s not being utilised so many hydro dam operators have gone into the cryptocurrency mining business and I think this is important to keep in mind as we think about the environmental impact of bitcoin.

If that electricity is just going to waste it’s already less of a negative externality for bitcoin to be having this excess hydro-capacity used for bitcoin mining.  

Produced by Jasper Pickering. Camera by Leon Siciliano. Research by Fraser Moore.

Join the conversation about this story »

Inflation jumps to its highest level in nearly 6 years, hitting 3.1%

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

A shopper pushes a trolley in a supermarket in London, Britain April 11, 2017. British inflation shot past the Bank of England's 2 percent target last month, potentially adding to uneasiness among some officials at the central bank about keeping interest rates near zero. Consumer prices rose by a stronger-than-expected 2.3 percent, the biggest annual increase in nearly three-and-a-half years, pushed up by an increase in global oil prices and the impact of the Brexit vote on sterling.

  • Inflation jumps to its highest level since March 2012, as Brexit related price increases continue.
  • Economists had predicted that inflation would remain flat at 3%, but it rose to 3.1%.
  • The sharp fall in the value of the pound following the UK's vote to leave the EU last year has raised the cost of imports.
  • Bank of England Governor Mark Carney must now write a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond.

LONDON — Inflation climbed to another fresh high in November, coming close to its highest level in six years, as the impact of Brexit continues to hit the price of goods in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday that the UK's Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate — the key measure of inflation — was 3.1% in November, above consensus estimates, and a little higher than the 3% seen for the three previous months.

CPI measures the weighted average of prices of a basket of goods and services, such as food, transportation, and medical care.

November's reading marks the highest rate of consumer price inflation since March 2012, when prices rose an average 3.5%.

CPIH, a measure which includes costs associated with maintaining a home — and which the ONS cites as a more useful indicator of living costs than CPI — was 2.8% in the month, unchanged from October's reading.

"CPI inflation edged above 3 per cent for the first time in nearly six years with the price of computer games rising and air fares falling more slowly than this time last year," the ONS' Head of Inflation Mike Prestwood said in a statement.

"These upward pressures were partly offset by falling costs of computer equipment."

"The prices of raw materials and goods leaving factories continued to increase as oil and petrol prices continued to rise," he said.

Tuesday's data means that Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor must write a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond to explain why inflation is more than one percentage point away from the 2% target the bank is mandated to acheive for the UK by the Treasury.

The chart below shows Tuesday's data as part of the longer term trend surrounding inflation:

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 09.37.55

The sharp fall in the value of the pound following the UK's vote to leave the EU last year has raised the cost of imports and pushed up the rate of inflation. Most major forecasters believe that inflation's peak is likely to be somewhere around the mark reached in the latest data.

Pantheon Macroeconomics' Samuel Tombs points out that November's rising inflation "was driven by a 0.06 percentage point increase in the contribution to the headline rate from airline fares inflation."

"The usual sharp month-to-month fall in plane ticket prices in November depressed the index by much less than in November 2016, because the weight of airline fares in the CPI has declined to 5%, from 8% last year."

Inflation's impact on the British economy is being exacerbated by the fact that real wages are actually growing more slowly than prices are rising, meaning that the average Brit is actually seeing the amount of money they have to spend decrease.

The ONS' latest wage growth numbers will be released on Wednesday, helping to create a fuller picture of just how intense the squeeze on Britain's consumers is right now.

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

'Pretty bleak': British firms are more pessimistic about hiring workers than any point in 5 years

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

Drivers wait next to their parked lorries on the M20 motorway, which leads from London to the Channel Tunnel terminal at Ashford and the Ferry Terminal at Dover, as part of Operation Stack in southern England, Britain July 31, 2015.

  • Pessimism about hiring UK staff is growing.
  • Just 4% UK employers planned to hire rather than cut staff in the last months of this year.

LONDON — Falling unemployment has been a bright spot in a bleak picture for the economy since the Brexit vote, but pessimism about hiring staff is growing.

A new poll of 2,102 employers found a net balance of just 4% UK employers plan to hire rather than cut staff in the first quarter of 2018, the lowest figure in five years. That figure fell furthest in London to 0%, blamed on the capital's prospects after leaving the EU, and to 3% in south-east England.

The survey was conducted by employment agency ManpowerGroup Solutions, and it is used by the Bank of England to track hiring sentiment. It comes ahead of official jobs figures on Wednesday.

"This makes for a pretty bleak midwinter considering it comes at a time when Brexit talks are on a knife-edge," said James Hick, managing director of ManpowerGroup Solutions, in an emailed statement.

He said the country was "starting to see tangible signs of London's pre-eminence fading with the capital reporting its weakest outlook in four years."

ManpowerGroup also said there were signs of growing skills shortages in some sectors, including for freight lorry drivers, with 52,000 vacancies in the transport industry.

The Treasury predicted unemployment would rise by more than 500,000 in two years following a vote to leave the EU, but it has fallen. The Office for National Statistics said it dropped 59,000 to 1.42 million in the three months to September.

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

GOLDMAN SACHS: Bitcoin hasn't taken a bite out of demand for gold

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

1 kg. gold bars are seen on a production line in Ahlatci Metal Refinery in the central Anatolian city of Corum, Turkey, May 11, 2017

  • Gold demand is not being impacted by rising bitcoin prices, Goldman Sachs' Jeffrey Currie argues.
  • Some analysts have suggested that gold prices — which have dropped significantly in recent months — are falling because of bitcoin.
  • However "there is no evidence of a mass exodus from gold," Currie argues.


LONDON — The surging price of bitcoin has not put investors off buying gold, with "no evidence of a mass exodus" from the safe haven metal despite a drop in prices recently, according to research released by Goldman Sachs this week.

Jeffrey Currie, Goldman's global head of commodities research, said that the groups of investors looking to invest in the two assets are vastly different, therefore protecting gold demand, he wrote in a note to clients reported by the Financial Times.

There have been concerns from some in the commodity markets that gold demand could slip as bitcoin surges, given that both assets are favoured by investors with similar mindsets — that of generally mistrusting more traditional assets. 

Gold has dropped to its lowest level in almost six months in the last few days, with some analysts blaming the surge in bitcoin for that drop. Larry McDonald, head of U.S. macro strategy at ACG Analytics told CNBC on Monday that he believes rising bitcoin demand is pushing down the price of the precious metal.

Currie is not minded to agree.

"With this week’s launch of the CBOE bitcoin futures contract, many commodity investors have been asking: “is bitcoin taking demand from gold?” We believe the answer is no," he writes in a note titled "It pays to be late."

Alongside the different investor pools, Currie notes that "there has been no discernible outflow of gold from ETFs. Indeed, total known gold ETF holdings recently reached their highest level since mid-2013 (currently up 12% YTD). This is somewhat related to the first point, as mutual funds are the largest holders of gold ETFs, but even accounting for this there is no evidence of a mass exodus from gold."

Here's the chart, showing just that:

Gold ETF demand

The dynamics and characteristics of the two assets are also hugely different, Currie argues.

"While bitcoin has a mathematically certain total supply, and gold has a finite (but less certain) supply in the earth’s crust, even a cursory examination shows very different market dynamics," he writes.

"We believe the composition of demand between bitcoin and gold is the key difference in the recent price action. In our view bitcoin is attracting more speculative inflows relative to gold."

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

Confused By Bitcoin? You're Not Alone--Here's What to Know

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

The future of Bitcoin is uncertain. In simple terms, here's the cryptocurrency's history and what you can do with it.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to hike petrol prices by 80%

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

saudi oil pumping gas

  • Saudi Arabia plans to raise gas and jet fuel prices in January, a person with knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg.
  • Gas prices are set to jump by about 80%, and other fuel types are expected to rise in price over the coming years.
  • The move is part of the Kingdom's drive to bolster state finances and reduce subsidies.


LONDON — Saudi Arabia plans to raise petrol and jet fuel prices in January in an effort to reduce energy subsidies and bolster state finances, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Petrol prices are set to jump by about 80% while jet fuel prices will be raised to international levels, a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. Other fuel types and electricity tariffs are also expected to rise in price over the coming years.

Fuel prices, excluding jet fuel, are not expected to rise to international levels until 2023 at the earliest. Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plans to reform the economy, fuel subsidies are eventually to be totally eliminated.

Saudi Arabia's Finance Ministry did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

The price hikes are part of the Kingdom's efforts to reduce the amount it spends on state handouts and subsidies, and to diversify its economy away from oil. In 2015, the International Monetary Fund predicted the Kingdom could run out of resources within five years if its rate of spending and the oil price slump continued.

Saudi Arabia first reduced subsidies in December 2015, when prices rose 40% to $0.24 per litre. As part of the Kingdom's plan to bolster its finances, state oil giant Saudi Aramco is expected to float next year.

Such moves symbolise a change in the social contract between the Saudi absolute monarchy and its people, which has become increasingly untenable in the face of low oil prices.

According to the World Economic Forum, the Saudi state deficit stands at 12.4% of GDP, which Saudi authorities said last December they aimed to abolish by 2020. Next year's budget is expected to be announced on December 19.

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 08.43.26

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

Korea’s Justice Ministry Mulls Total Ban on Bitcoin Trading: Report

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

"We do not rule out an option that bans trading of [all] cryptocurrencies," - a Korean Justice Ministry official.

The post Korea’s Justice Ministry Mulls Total Ban on Bitcoin Trading: Report appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

People are mortgaging their houses to buy Bitcoin

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

Bitcoin is sitting at $16,674 at the time of writing, after rocketing from $1,000 to more than $19,000 in the course of this year. Those types of eye-catching numbers (and the resulting media hype) are bound to draw the interest of casual folk. But,...

BlackRock exec on bitcoin: 'We are seeing bubble-like valuations'

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

The company logo and trading information for BlackRock is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 30, 2017.

  • BlackRock Asian executive says bitcoin "isn’t a financial asset like we would trade."
  • Comments come after the launch of first bitcoin futures on Sunday.


LONDON — BlackRock has become the latest financial services company to express caution over bitcoin.

Bloomberg reported that Belinda Boa, BlackRock’s head of active investments for Asia-Pacific, told reporters: "We are seeing sort of bubble-like valuations. BlackRock’s view is that this isn’t a financial asset like we would trade in terms of equities and fixed-income instruments."

Derivatives exchange operator Cboe launched bitcoin futures on Sunday evening, giving institutional investors exposure to the digital currency. Over $60 million-worth of contracts were purchased in the first 24 hours but volumes have tailed off significantly.

Several banks such as JPMorgan and Citi have said they will not clear bitcoin futures contracts for clients, at least initially. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been a vocal critic of bitcoin in the past, calling it a fraud. The Futures Industry Association has also complained about the risks of bitcoin futures.

Bitcoin has risen over 1,000% against the dollar so far this year and the phenomenal rise has led to increased interest from Wall Street.

However, some fear bitcoin's price rise could be unsustainable. Joseph Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, said on Monday that he has seen people taking out mortgages just to buy bitcoin.

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

Hong Kong Regulator Warns Investors of Unregulated Bitcoin Futures

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

[…]

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10 things you need to know in markets today

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

Two young women carry a model reindeer past 10 Downing Street in London, Britain December 11, 2017.

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

1. Leaving the EU without a deal would be the most damaging Brexit outcome for the UK economy and could cost $140 billion 10 years after Brexit, according to a new report by non-profit organisation the RAND Corporation. Of all the possible Brexit scenarios, leaving without a deal and operating under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would reduce GDP by nearly 5%, or $140 billion (£105 billion), 10 years after Brexit, compared with EU membership, the report said.

2. Apple has bought Shazam, the popular music-recognition app and augmented-reality service. Shazam and Apple both confirmed the purchase on Monday morning. "We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple," an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider.

3. Brent oil has jumped above $65 after major North Sea producer INEOS announced it is shutting its pipeline for at least two weeks due to a crack. Brent is up 1.34% to $65.56 at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET). The Financial Times has the full story on the pipeline shutdown.

4. 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 0.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2%, and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.5%.

5. Japanese stocks endured choppy trade, with gains in financial stocks, mining shares, and shipping companies. The Nikkei stock index ended down 0.22%. Elsewhere in Asia, the Hong Kong Hang Seng index is down 0.32% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. GMT/1.25 a.m. ET) and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.85%.

6. UK inflation data is coming. The Office for National Statistics will release price growth figures for November at 9.30 a.m. GMT, with economists expecting the headline rate to remain unchanged at 3%.

7. SEC chairman Jay Clayton weighed in on the crypto-mania sweeping Wall Street in a statement Monday. Clayton warned investors about threats associated with cryptocurrencies and ICOs, a crypto-based fundraising method.

8. People have taken out mortgages to buy bitcoin and others are purchasing the cryptocurrency with credit cards, a securities regulator told CNBC on Monday. "We've seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin… People do credit cards, equity lines," said Joseph Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and director of the Alabama Securities Commission, told CNBC.

9. Bitcoin topped its previous all-time high on Monday, according to data from Markets Insider. The digital currency 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 highs didn't last though — bitcoin is down 1.4% to $16,456.40 at the time of writing (6.42 a.m. GMT/1.42 a.m. ET).

10. Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive, said in an interview at Stanford's Graduate School of Business that social media was damaging society. The November talk, which was picked up by The Verge on Monday, is another example of early Facebook executives criticizing what they created.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These are the watches worn by the smartest and most powerful men in the world

Hong Kong Regulator Issues Warning on Unregulated Bitcoin Futures

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

A Hong Kong finance regulator has published a new circular on bitcoin futures contracts and other cryptocurrency-related investment products.

(+) Is Bitcoin Driving Gold Prices Lower?

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

The post (+) Is Bitcoin Driving Gold Prices Lower? appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

MyEtherWallet plans official iOS app after knockoff version is booted from App Store

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

 The organization behind MyEtherWallet is planning to release an official version of its popular cryptocurrency wallet for iOS after Apple removed a knockoff that had been in the App Store for around a week. The unofficial version of the open source software, which is used to hold ETH and other alt coins outside of bitcoin, got as high as number three in the financial section of the App… Read More

2017: The 'Butt' of Bitcoin's Joke

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

Sanity? You weren't going to find it in the crypto world in 2017 according to author David Gerard. Insanity, though, there's plenty to go around...

Analysts Blame Gold’s Fall On Bitcoin’s Rise

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

[…]

The post Analysts Blame Gold’s Fall On Bitcoin’s Rise appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

'According to Plan': CBOE Bullish on First Day of Bitcoin Futures Trading

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

The first day of trading for CBOE's bitcoin futures contracts is over and the day largely went according to plan, according to its CEO.

Bitcoin’s Dark Secret

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin’s Dark Secret appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

A no-deal Brexit could cost the UK economy $140 billion

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

Brexit

  • Leaving the EU without a deal could cost the UK economy $140 billion 10 years after Brexit, according to a new report by the RAND Corporation.
  • The best case scenario would be a trilateral UK-EU-UK deal, the report said, which could be better for the UK economy than continued EU membership.
  • Three possible hard Brexit and three possible soft Brexit deals would all result in net declines in UK GDP 10 years after Brexit, the report predicted.


LONDON — Leaving the EU without a deal would be most damaging Brexit outcome for the UK economy and could cost $140 billion 10 years after Brexit, according to a new report by non-profit organisation the RAND Corporation.

Of all the possible Brexit scenarios, leaving without a deal and operating under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would reduce GDP by nearly 5%, or $140 billion (£105 billion), 10 years after Brexit, compared with EU membership, the report said. The best case scenario, it said, would be a trilateral UK-EU-US agreement.

"The analysis clearly shows that the UK will be economically worse off outside of the EU under most trade scenarios," said Charles Ries, international vice president of RAND and lead author of the report. "The key question for the UK is how much worse off."

"It is in the best interests of the UK, and to a lesser extent the EU, to achieve some sort of open trading and investment relationship post-Brexit," he said.

RAND and RAND Europe used economic modelling to predict changes to GDP growth, GDP per capita, trade and foreign direct investment for the UK, EU and US across eight possible trade scenarios.

According to the report, a WTO outcome would "likely move the UK further from EU standards and over time significantly increase non-tariff barriers, harming the ability of UK businesses to sell goods and services to EU countries."

This would be particularly problematic, it said, since the service sector, which includes financial and banking, dominates the UK economy and contributes to around 80% of GDP. Although the EU would also lose out under the WTO scenario, the report said, the effect would be "relatively minor."

The best case scenario for the UK, the report said, would be a trilateral UK-EU-US agreement, or a TTIP-like agreement. This would cause UK GDP to be 2.2% higher ten years after Brexit, the report predicted, or 7.1 percentage points better than under the WTO rules scenario.

This scenario could also be "slightly better" than continued EU membership, the report said, and would be beneficial for both the EU and US.

However, such an arrangement is seen as "very unlikely in the current political environment, on both sides of the Atlantic," it said.

Moving away from a "zero sum game"

The report recommends that the UK moves away from a "zero sum game" and towards a "positive sum game" as negotiations proceed, to ensure the best possible deal for all parties.

Trying to pick apart European unity is unlikely to result in a good deal for the UK, the report warned, since it is in the best interests of all EU member states to work together, and Europe's "top political priority" is to discourage other member states from leaving the EU.

"The EU is likely to want to ensure that it does not give too much away to the UK during negotiations, and may seek to adopt a "zero sum game" approach to preserve the union," said Ries.

Apart for in a trilateral agreement-type scenario, the report said, the potential economic gains and losses for the US after Brexit are relatively small.

"The US will greatly miss the influence and global perspective that the UK brings to EU decision making, particularly around security and defence," said Ries.

"The UK's EU membership often ensured that EU measures did not undermine NATO and the strong transatlantic partnership. The economic impact from Brexit it very much a secondary concern for the US," he said.

Various trade scenarios could be better for the UK than WTO rules, said the report, but still lead to economic losses compared with EU membership:

Possible hard Brexit scenarios:

  • UK-EU free trade agreement — net UK GDP decline of 1.9% ten years after Brexit
  • UK-US free trade agreement — net UK GDP decline of 2.5% ten years after Brexit
  • UK-EU transitional zero-tariff agreement — net UK GDP decline of 2.1% 10 years after Brexit

Possible soft Brexit scenarios:

  • Norway option — net UK GDP decline of 1.7% ten years after Brexit
  • Switzerland option — net UK GDP decline of 2.4% ten years after Brexit
  • Remaining part of the Customs Union — net UK GDP decline of 1.8% ten years after Brexit

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

CBOE Bitcoin Futures Trade Near $18,000; ‘Speculative Mania’ Carries Volume Past 3,400 XBT

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

[…]

The post CBOE Bitcoin Futures Trade Near $18,000; ‘Speculative Mania’ Carries Volume Past 3,400 XBT appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

People are putting their homes at risk to buy Bitcoin

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

Upsidedown house

  • Bitcoin hit a new all-time high on Monday.
  • The cryptocurrency has soared over the last two years, and regular Americans have started to get interested.
  • Some people have reportedly taken out mortgages to buy Bitcoin, while others are paying for the cryptocurrency with their credit cards, according to CNBC.

 

Bitcoin keeps soaring higher. And people have started to do creative things to get in on the action.

Some have even taken out mortgages to buy Bitcoin, while others are purchasing the cryptocurrency with credit cards, a securities regulator told CNBC on Monday.

"We've seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin. … People do credit cards, equity lines," said Joseph Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, a voluntary organization devoted to investor protection, and director of the Alabama Securities Commission told CNBC.

"This is not something a guy who's making $100,000 a year, who's got a mortgage and two kids in college ought to be invested in," he added.

Bitcoin's price has exploded over the last two years, and touched a new all-time high on Monday. Its rapid ascent, and the cottage industry that has started to grow around around it, have both galvanized investors' interests and elicited their fair share of criticism.

Earlier this year, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called it "a fraud" that is "worse than the tulip bulbs," referring the 17th century Dutch tulip-mania bubble.

Still, the cryptocurrency frenzy has started attract the attention of regular Americans, some of whom have been keen to get in on the action, as well.

It's impossible to predict what will happen to Bitcoin tomorrow, let alone next year. It's entirely possible that some people could make a killing on their investments in the cryptocurrency.

But, for the average investor who is also trying to save for retirement and their kids' college educations, taking out a mortgage or going into credit card debt to buy an unregulated cryptocurrency is probably not the most foolproof financial decision.

Check out the full interview at CNBC here »

SEE ALSO: How your tax bracket could change in 2018 under Trump's tax plan, in two charts

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

With markets going crypto-crazy, SEC chairman weighs in

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

 Given the crazy run cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether and litecoin have been on in the last week, it was only a matter of time before the Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in. Well, now it has in the form of an open letter from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.  Read More

With markets going crypto-crazy, SEC chairman weighs in

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

 Given the crazy run cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether and litecoin have been on in the last week, it was only a matter of time before the Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in. Well, now it has in the form of an open letter from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.  Read More

SEC head Jay Clayton weighs in on cryptomania

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

Jay Clayton S.E.C. Chairman

  • SEC chairman Jay Clayton weighed in on the crypto-mania sweeping Wall Street in a wide-ranging note Monday.
  • Clayton warned investors about threats associated with cryptocurrencies and ICOs, a crypto-based fundraising method.


Jay Clayton, the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Committee, weighed in on the crypto-mania sweeping Wall Street in a statement Monday.

"The world's social media platforms and financial markets are abuzz about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings," Clayton said. "There are tales of fortunes made and dreamed to be made."

The market for cryptocurrencies has reached new heights in 2018, with bitcoin appreciating over $1,500% and gaining its own futures market. Initial coin offerings, a cryptocurrency-based twist on the initial public offering fundraising process, have raised more than $3 billion by some estimates. And Wall Street and Main Street are in a frenzy.

But Clayton wants investors to take off the rose-tinted glasses and approach the highly unregulated space with great caution. He emphasized that not a single initial coin offering has registered with the SEC. Here's Clayton (emphasis his own):

"Investors should understand that to date no initial coin offerings have been registered with the SEC.  The SEC also has not to date approved for listing and trading any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies. If any person today tells you otherwise, be especially wary."

The international nature of cryptocurrencies can also pose a threat to investors, Clayton said:

"Please also recognize that these markets span national borders and that significant trading may occur on systems and platforms outside the United States. Your invested funds may quickly travel overseas without your knowledge. As a result, risks can be amplified, including the risk that market regulators, such as the SEC, may not be able to effectively pursue bad actors or recover funds."

Still, Clayton recognizes the revolutionary potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

"The technology on which cryptocurrencies and ICOs are based may prove to be disruptive, transformative and efficiency enhancing," he said. "I am confident that developments in fintech will help facilitate capital formation and provide promising investment opportunities for institutional and Main Street investors alike."

Read the full SEC statement here.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Cryptocurrency is the next step in the digitization of everything — 'It’s sort of inevitable'

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