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The hedge fund world is talking about a huge new fund from the former investment chief at Viking Global

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

space shuttle

  • Dan Sundheim, the former chief investment officer at Viking Global, is launching a new fund in 2018.
  • It's still early days, but hedge fund insiders say the fund launch could be one of the biggest in recent history.


Dan Sundheim, the former chief investment officer at Viking Global Investors, is expected to launch a hedge fund next year. And we keep hearing the fund launch is going to be one of the biggest in recent history. 

It has previously been reported that the fund, a long-short equity fund called D1 Capital, could raise more than $1 billion when it launches next year. But according to multiple people in the hedge fund world that Business Insider spoke with, the fund could raise multiple billions, with one person putting the figure at $4 billion to $5 billion on day one. 

Hedge-fund investors and others familiar with the launch told Business Insider they expect Sundheim to raise multiple billions of dollars, with the lowest estimate $2 billion. The fund is expected to include a significant amount of Sundheim's personal capital, some of the people said.

That range of $2 billion to $5 billion would make it one of the biggest fund launches next year, and comes at a time when most launches struggle to raise more than $1 billion.

To be clear, the fund isn't yet formally being marketed, according to people familiar with the matter. The situation is fluid and could change, said one of the people, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Sundheim, declined to comment.

But there's reason to believe the fund could be one of the biggest in recent memory. Sundheim is said to have had a strong track record at Viking, and his new fund is expected to attract money from previous Viking investors. Earlier this year, Viking said it would return about $8 billion in assets to clients.

The start-up has hired Eton Park CFO Tony Fox alongside Michael Lean, the former head of equity research at Hong Kong-based investment group CLSA, HFM Week reported. D1 Capital has also rented out a 32,300 square-foot office at 9 West 57th Street with a 15-year lease, according to a press release.

Other highly anticipated launches for next year include Steve Cohen's Stamford Harbor, which is targeting close to $2 billion, and former Millennium bond chief Michael Gelband's fund. Ex-GLG and Moore manager Greg Coffey is also prepping a fund.

DON'T MISS: What it takes to launch a hedge fund right now, according to the Wall Street pros who know

SEE ALSO: Greg Coffey, a hedge fund star who retired at 41, is eyeing a comeback

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

STOCKS EXPLODE TO RECORD HIGHS: Here's what you need to know

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

space shuttle columbia launch liftoff

US stocks surged to new record highs amid investor expectations that the final version of the GOP tax bill will be released on Friday evening.

The S&P 500 soared 0.8%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.6% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index climbed 1%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,623.27, +114.61, (+0.47%)
  • S&P 500: 2,674.94, +22.93, (+0.87%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,933.95, +76.47, (+1.12%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.36%, +0.01
  • WTI crude oil: $57.28, +$0.24, +0.42%

1. JPMorgan's quant guru says traders are waiting for tax cuts to unleash more stock market gains. Marko Kolanovic, the firm's global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, says a successful Republican tax overhaul will give equities a huge shot in the arm in 2018.

2. A photo from the CEO of Goldman Sachs is fueling Twitter takeover chatter. The company's stock surged as much as 7.3% on Thursday, closing at its highest level in 14 months, amid speculation that Twitter and Goldman are re-engaging in discussions around a sale to Disney.

3. Oracle tops Wall Street targets — but shares sink more than 4%. The company reported strong quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Thursday afternoon, beating revenue and profit estimates.

4. Bitcoin pops to new all-time high. The red-hot cryptocurrency reached a new record versus the dollar, and has been steadily recovering ground after falling as low as $13,000 on Sunday.

5. Facebook admits that social media can be bad for you. In a blog post published on Friday, Facebook addressed a "hard question": "Is spending time on social media bad for us?"

ADDITIONALLY:

Corker and Rubio reverse course, and the GOP tax bill now looks like a slam dunk to pass

Walmart and Amazon's long-simmering feud exploded in 2017 — and it's redefining retail

Ripple hires Facebook communications manager after its cryptocurrency triples in a week

Wall Street is obsessed with Tesla Model 3 production — but investors may be missing something more important

There's a lot to learn about bitcoin from looking at the tulip bulb bubble

TOP TECH ANALYST: Only one thing could stop the FANGs from skyrocketing in 2018

SEE ALSO: JPMorgan's quant guru says traders are waiting for tax cuts to unleash more stock market gains

Join the conversation about this story »

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

STOCKS EXPLODE TO RECORD HIGHS: Here's what you need to know

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

space shuttle columbia launch liftoff

US stocks surged to new record highs amid investor expectations that the final version of the GOP tax bill will be released on Friday evening.

The S&P 500 soared 0.8%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.6% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index climbed 1%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,623.27, +114.61, (+0.47%)
  • S&P 500: 2,674.94, +22.93, (+0.87%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,933.95, +76.47, (+1.12%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.36%, +0.01
  • WTI crude oil: $57.28, +$0.24, +0.42%

1. JPMorgan's quant guru says traders are waiting for tax cuts to unleash more stock market gains. Marko Kolanovic, the firm's global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, says a successful Republican tax overhaul will give equities a huge shot in the arm in 2018.

2. A photo from the CEO of Goldman Sachs is fueling Twitter takeover chatter. The company's stock surged as much as 7.3% on Thursday, closing at its highest level in 14 months, amid speculation that Twitter and Goldman are re-engaging in discussions around a sale to Disney.

3. Oracle tops Wall Street targets — but shares sink more than 4%. The company reported strong quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Thursday afternoon, beating revenue and profit estimates.

4. Bitcoin pops to new all-time high. The red-hot cryptocurrency reached a new record versus the dollar, and has been steadily recovering ground after falling as low as $13,000 on Sunday.

5. Facebook admits that social media can be bad for you. In a blog post published on Friday, Facebook addressed a "hard question": "Is spending time on social media bad for us?"

ADDITIONALLY:

Corker and Rubio reverse course, and the GOP tax bill now looks like a slam dunk to pass

Walmart and Amazon's long-simmering feud exploded in 2017 — and it's redefining retail

Ripple hires Facebook communications manager after its cryptocurrency triples in a week

Wall Street is obsessed with Tesla Model 3 production — but investors may be missing something more important

There's a lot to learn about bitcoin from looking at the tulip bulb bubble

TOP TECH ANALYST: Only one thing could stop the FANGs from skyrocketing in 2018

SEE ALSO: JPMorgan's quant guru says traders are waiting for tax cuts to unleash more stock market gains

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple hires Facebook communications manager after its cryptocurrency triples in one week

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

Tom Channick Linkedin

  • Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency has more than tripled in one week. 
  • The company hired a Facebook communications manager to keep up with demand. 


Ripple, the company behind the third-largest cryptocurrency, has hired Tom Channick to serve as its head of communications. Channick, who will start January 2, previously served as a corporate communications manager for Facebook's advertising and business integrity unit. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 2.58.02 PM

The move comes the same week that Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP, more than tripled in price, from $0.253 to $0.775 per token, and overtook bitcoin cash as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It trails only bitcoin and ethereum by that measure. 

Ripple, which was founded as Ripple Labs in 2012, is based in San Francisco. The firm is using blockchain technology to speed up global payments and transfers, most of which currently use an outdated network called Swift, which can take days to send money. 

Those payments are facilitates through its cryptocurrency called XRP, which saw major gains this week thanks to newly announced partnerships and tests with major banks and financial firms. 

In 2015, Channick was named to Business Insider's 50 best public-relations people in the tech industry for his work with the advertising software company Sharethrough. Before that he worked for the agencies WE communications and WCG.

XRP Price

SEE ALSO: Ripple's XRP overtakes bitcoin cash as third largest cryptocurrency

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple hires Facebook communications manager after its cryptocurrency triples in one week

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

Tom Channick Linkedin

  • Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency has more than tripled in one week. 
  • The company hired a Facebook communications manager to keep up with demand. 


Ripple, the company behind the third-largest cryptocurrency, has hired Tom Channick to serve as its head of communications. Channick, who will start January 2, previously served as a corporate communications manager for Facebook's advertising and business integrity unit. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 2.58.02 PM

The move comes the same week that Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP, more than tripled in price, from $0.253 to $0.775 per token, and overtook bitcoin cash as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It trails only bitcoin and ethereum by that measure. 

Ripple, which was founded as Ripple Labs in 2012, is based in San Francisco. The firm is using blockchain technology to speed up global payments and transfers, most of which currently use an outdated network called Swift, which can take days to send money. 

Those payments are facilitates through its cryptocurrency called XRP, which saw major gains this week thanks to newly announced partnerships and tests with major banks and financial firms. 

In 2015, Channick was named to Business Insider's 50 best public-relations people in the tech industry for his work with the advertising software company Sharethrough. Before that he worked for the agencies WE communications and WCG.

XRP Price

SEE ALSO: Ripple's XRP overtakes bitcoin cash as third largest cryptocurrency

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple hires Facebook communications manager after its cryptocurrency triples in a week

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

Tom Channick Linkedin

  • Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency has more than tripled in one week. 
  • The company hired a Facebook communications manager to keep up with demand. 


Ripple, the company behind the third-largest cryptocurrency, has hired Tom Channick to serve as its head of communications. Channick, who will start January 2, previously served as a corporate communications manager for Facebook's advertising and business integrity unit. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 2.58.02 PM

The move comes the same week that Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP, more than tripled in price, from $0.253 to $0.775 per token, and overtook bitcoin cash as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It trails only bitcoin and ethereum by that measure. 

Ripple, which was founded as Ripple Labs in 2012, is based in San Francisco. The firm is using blockchain technology to speed up global payments and transfers, most of which currently use an outdated network called Swift, which can take days to send money. 

Those payments are facilitates through its cryptocurrency called XRP, which saw major gains this week thanks to newly announced partnerships and tests with major banks and financial firms. 

In 2015, Channick was named to Business Insider's 50 best public-relations people in the tech industry for his work with the advertising software company Sharethrough. Before that he worked for the agencies WE communications and WCG.

XRP Price

SEE ALSO: Ripple's XRP overtakes bitcoin cash as third largest cryptocurrency

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Ripple hires Facebook communications manager after its cryptocurrency triples in a week

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

Tom Channick Linkedin

  • Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency has more than tripled in one week. 
  • The company hired a Facebook communications manager to keep up with demand. 


Ripple, the company behind the third-largest cryptocurrency, has hired Tom Channick to serve as its head of communications. Channick, who will start January 2, previously served as a corporate communications manager for Facebook's advertising and business integrity unit. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 2.58.02 PM

The move comes the same week that Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP, more than tripled in price, from $0.253 to $0.775 per token, and overtook bitcoin cash as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It trails only bitcoin and ethereum by that measure. 

Ripple, which was founded as Ripple Labs in 2012, is based in San Francisco. The firm is using blockchain technology to speed up global payments and transfers, most of which currently use an outdated network called Swift, which can take days to send money. 

Those payments are facilitates through its cryptocurrency called XRP, which saw major gains this week thanks to newly announced partnerships and tests with major banks and financial firms. 

In 2015, Channick was named to Business Insider's 50 best public-relations people in the tech industry for his work with the advertising software company Sharethrough. Before that he worked for the agencies WE communications and WCG.

XRP Price

SEE ALSO: Ripple's XRP overtakes bitcoin cash as third largest cryptocurrency

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

We talked to Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

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

  • Business Insider recently caught up with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman to talk taxes, Trump and bitcoin.
  • Krugman is skeptical about the impact of the Trump administration's tax plan. 
  • "Will workers see their wages increase in a way that anyone will notice over the next five years? No," he said. 
  • He expressed concern about some of the candidates for the Fed board, such as Marvin Goodfriend
  • He said any disruption of NAFTA could be a "hugely costly thing."
  • He also said that bitcoin is an obvious bubble. 


Here's the full interview as aired on The Bottom Line. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Josh Barro: Let's talk about this tax bill that seems to be rocketing it's way toward enactment in Washington. We got an analysis this week from the Treasury Department, this one page sheet that claims Trump's economic policies — including this tax plan — should increase economic growth so much that in fact budget deficits will shrink despite the large size of this tax cut. Is this a plausible analysis?

Paul Krugman: So this is an analysis with scare quotes because the number comes out of thin air; they just made it up. They said "we're going to increase growth by seven-tenths of a percentage point," which doesn't sound like that much. 

Barro: Each year?

Krugman: So over ten years, GDP is going to be seven percent larger. They have no explanation of where that comes from. They told the Treasury staff to assume that growth rate and tell us what it does for the budget deficit.

First of all, it's about nine-times as big as the Joint Committee on Taxation, which is Congress' official evaluator, says we're going to get out of these tax bills. And it's just a crazy number. Advanced economies like the United States, at the technological frontier, with not completely crazy economic policies, there's almost nothing the government could do, the most ideal policy in the world isn't going to boost GDP by seven percent. This is crazy.

The most ideal policy in the world isn't going to boost GDP by seven percent. This is crazy.

Barro: There have been a variety of analyses come out. You've talked about the Joint Committee number that found this modest-but-positive effect on economic growth. There was also an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, which is a joint project by two sort of left-of-center think tanks in Washington. Their analysis also finds a very modest positive effect on the economy. Do you think this is right? Will this tax plan be growth positive compared to doing nothing at all?

Krugman: There are two questions here. One is that none of these studies are very good at dealing with the impact of what the deficit itself actually does to growth. Deficits famously were not a problem during a depressed economy but now that we're close to full employment there may be some negative. There's another subtler issue that none of these organizations, the Tax Policy Center are great people, but there's something I don't think they've got a great handle on, which is growth in what exactly? 

What they find is that Gross Domestic Product, which is what we usually talk about, it will be bigger. But the way that happens is by increased inflows of foreign capital. That means that we have a bigger capital stock, which means that we produce more, but it also means that we pay more profits to foreign companies. Also, about a third, we think, of the corporate tax cut benefit to after-tax corporate profits will actually go to foreigners. If we ask what happens to Gross National Income, the actual income of US residents, it's not clear that that goes up at all. 

donald trumpBarro: That's interesting. Normally people talk about GDP, which is Gross Domestic Product, which is total economic activity within the United States. You're saying that the Gross National Product, which is the total economic activity that accrues to people in the US — including US profits from foreign activities, but excluding foreign owners from US activities — you're saying that could be negative even if GDP was positive?

Krugman: Yeah. I mean, it's never been an important issue in the United States until now because the difference between GDP and GNP is trivial. But for economies that are smaller and have lots of foreign investment, it can be very big deal. Ireland, GNP is only 75% of GDP, because there's so much foreign ownership. Now, if this bill even does what it's supposed to, it kind of moves us towards being more like Ireland. We could see a headline GDP number that is up some, but is almost all offset by these increased payments to foreigners. 

Barro: One of the key arguments that Republicans have been making for this bill is that when you cut corporate taxes, you give big benefits to workers. Not just through economic growth, but they contend that a substantial fraction of the corporate taxes is actually paid by workers in effect because companies prefer to locate in places with lower corporate tax rates and will be willing to pay higher wages. Even that Tax Policy Center analysis that we were discussing, they assume that about 20% of the corporate tax is ultimately borne by workers. Is this right? Is there a significant benefit to workers from reduction of the corporate tax?

Krugman: Probably some, a little bit. I mean, it matters a lot what horizon we're talking about. In the short run, nothing. All of this effect only works through capital coming in and building up and increasing the demand for labor. That takes time. If you ask what happens in the first year from a corporate tax cut, none of it goes to workers. Over the course of ten years, maybe a larger portion. But there are limits on how far this goes. So yeah, there's something there. Realistically we have to imagine there will be some effect, but will it be visible? Will workers see their wages increase in a way that anyone will notice over the next five years? No. 

Will workers see their wages increase in a way that anyone will notice over the next five years? No. 

Barro: So if the if the effects are small does that mean that sort of some of the doom and gloom about this bill from Democrats has been excessive? I mean, let's say it's going to add a few percentage points to public debt as a percentage of the economy 10 years from now. Interest rates are very low. It doesn't look to me like that there are likely to be significant crowd out effects from that. Are there significant downside risks from this bill?  Is this going to hurt us, or does it just not matter very much?

Krugman: I think probably it doesn't matter very much. I mean,  it's not a good thing. You're supposed to use times when you're near full employment to pay down debt, not run up additional debt. Running up additional debt with most of it going to a very small number of people is a particularly bad idea. But if you ask 'Is there a crisis?' It seems unlikely. Just, you know, politically, I would love to say this is going to be a disaster, but I actually, when I try to work through it, I can't I can't convince myself that there's going to be much of a market reaction at all.  

Barro: So you don't ascribe the run-up in stocks to to this to this bill?

Krugman: Oh, actually no. Look, stocks are up around the world. They're up by about the same amount all around the world. If you didn't know that the US numbers were US numbers and the European numbers were European numbers, and the Japanese, you wouldn't know which was which. There's a global stock boom, which is not particular to Trump. If you think there's a Trump bump you have to say there's a Merkel bump, and there's an Abe bump as well. 

If you think there's a Trump Bump you have to say there's a Merkel bump, and there's an Abe bump as well. 

Barro: How would you characterize economic performance right now? Is the economy good, and how much credit does President Trump deserve for how the economy's doing?

Krugman: The economy's pretty good. In fact, it looks like we're close to full employment, although we don't know why wages aren't rising more. I think Trump gets essentially zero ... First of all, there have been no actual policies. There hasn't really been any policy change. The convention, usually, when people try to assess the economic impact of administrations, is to assume that the first year reflects the policies of the previous administration, so no there's nothing, nothing that is Trumpian about what's going on. 

Barro: Is there any possibility of sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy of economic improvement under Trump? Which is to say, immediately after he was elected, there was a big improvement in consumer sentiment, all from Republicans who thought that the economy was terrible, and then it turned around. And because Trump was going to be president they thought things would be really good. Could that be manifesting as, you know, more consumption, more business investment just because people feel confident in Trump's performance, if that could be something that itself causes the economy to improve? 

Krugman: Well the thing is the economy's been adding jobs at a steady rate for years now. If anything, the rate of job increases is leveling off, the curve is bending downwards. You can't see any Trump effect in there. And look, these issues with self-fulfilling confidence is a big deal when unemployment is 10%. Then the economy's performance is crucially dependent upon having enough spending out there.  Where we are now, consumers get a lot more confident, the economy starts to grow faster, the Fed will raise rates faster, so it's kind of — we're not in that kind of universe anymore. That's a 2010 story. Not a 2017 story.  

Jerome PowellBarro: Let's talk a little bit about the Fed. Am I correct in saying that you think Jay Powell is a good pick to run the Fed, but you're concerned about some of the other choices that the President has made or might make about the Federal Reserve board?  

Krugman: Yeah, there was no good reason not to keep Janet Yellen. But Jay Powell appears to be a reasonable guy; there appears to be no significant policy error between him and the Yellen regime, which is fine. What I was afraid of was, given that Republicans have been insistently, and you know, defiantly wrong about everything monetary for the past 10 years, that they would make them having been wrong about everything be the criteria for being the chairman of the Fed. Well that didn't happen. Trump picked Powell who looks like he has been OK. The people who were now being floated for the Fed board do seem to fit that criteria. 

We have Marvin Goodfriend, who is a reputable monetary economist with a tremendous track record, saying 'inflation is coming, inflation is coming! We must get ready to start raising rates now now now!' during ten years of a depressed economy. 

Barro: How much should we think of Fed policy as being driven by the on-the-record ideological statements of people who end up on the board? I mean, it seems like the chairman ends up having a lot of influence even though decisions are made by a vote of the board, and then also it feels like there's a lot of reaction to political and economic events. Once you get on the board, it becomes a lot costlier to be wrong about monetary policy than when you're someone just observing. 

Krugman: That has historically been the case. It's historically been the case that the staff plus the chairman ends up setting monetary policy and that that members of the board rarely will block the will of the chairman if it agrees with what the staff is saying. You can see that in both directions by the way. Ben Bernanke was a much more aggressive monetary Dove before he went to the Fed than he was afterwards. During the crisis we kept on saying 'if only Ben Bernanke would listen to Ben Bernanke.' Once you get to the Fed, there is an environment, but you know this is Trump's America. So maybe the old rules don't apply anymore. 

Barro: But Trump says he's a low-interest-rate guy ... 

Krugman: Sometimes, but he's been all over the place on that, but the question is to what extent are they ... Paul Ryan is an Ayn Rand monetary theorist who thinks that Atlas Shrugged contains all the rules for monetary policy. We don't know what's going to happen.  

Barro: Let's talk about trade. Do you worry at all about Trump's rhetoric on trade? What if he follows through on threats to withdraw from NAFTA or to start a trade war with China? What's the effect of that in the US? 

Krugman: The NAFTA issue I think is a really a huge issue, if it happens, which is probably why it probably won't happen. The thing about NAFTA is not so much who are the beneficiaries. I mean, I think United States benefits from NAFTA, but the main point there is that there's no such thing now as Mexican manufacturing and US manufacturing. There's North American manufacturing.

There's no such thing now is Mexican manufacturing and US manufacturing. There's North American manufacturing.

It's this tightly integrated complex of industries where stuff is shipped back and forth. Different pieces of an automobile are made all over the continent, and if you break that up, if you disrupt it, then we're talking about a lot of disruption at the industry level, we're talking about a lot of plants closing, new plants opening. It would be exactly the same sort of thing that people complained about from the growth of trade, except this time it's like the old joke about the motorist who runs over a pedestrian and says 'I'm sorry let me fix it,' so he backs off and runs over him again. That would be a hugely costly thing if we really disrupt NAFTA. That means that industry is horrified at the prospect. So in a way trade is going to be the test of whether there's any of that Trump Orthodoxy left. Is he willing to block the big companies on that?  

Barro: Regardless of whether there's a good remedy available to Trump, or whether the remedy that he's talking about makes any sense, is he right in his critique that free trade and relatively loose immigration policies have depressed the wages of native-born American workers over the last few decades?  

Krugman: Trade a little bit. Most estimates do suggest that increased International Trade did have some depressing effect on blue-collar wages in the United States. We import labor-intensive products, that reduces the demand. It's probably not huge, and it's probably mostly in the past. It's not a continuing force of further downward pressure. Immigration, actually, the evidence suggests that immigrant workers are not for the most part competing with native-born workers. They're competing with immigrant workers who are already here, more than that. Even though you take somebody with 11 years of education from Mexico or Central America, compare them with somebody with 11 years of education born here, they're actually very different, the skill sets, the occupations are very different. The immigration thing, although it's the one that resonated most with with Trump voters, is probably in fact the place where his economics is just wrong. He has a better case on trade.  

Barro: Finally I want to ask you about Bitcoin. Does the run-up in Bitcoin prices make any sense to you?

Krugman: No.   

Barro: What's going on here? 

Krugman: Bitcoin ... nobody understands it. Which is, for the time being, a positive. 

Barro: A positive for the prices? 

Krugman: It's got this mystique about it because it's the some fancy technological thing that nobody really understands. There has been no demonstration yet that it actually is helpful in conducting economic transactions. There's no anchor for its value.

A general view of the Bitcoin booth at the 2015 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 9 and is expected to feature 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees.Unlike pieces of paper with with dead presidents on them, those are anchored by the fact that you can use them to pay taxes. There's no anchor for bitcoin, but bitcoin has developed this mystique. Probably the price going on partly this tied up with libertarian stuff. I'm told that there are apocalyptic "the end is coming" guys who are accumulating Bitcoin, because once we turn into a Mad Max wasteland, having a digitally distributed ... nevermind.  

I think it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And the psychology of it is clearly ... I mean, if you're using the shoeshine boy test, or 'my barber asked me about Bitcoin.' The feeling that that people are caught up in something that they really don't understand, is overwhelming. 

Barro: So you think this is an obvious bubble? 

Krugman: This is even more obvious I think than the housing bubble was and that one was, I thought tremendously obvious.  

Barro: Sometimes a bubble can be obvious and yet can persist for a long time. And in fact, I've been saying that Canadian housing is in a bubble for years, and it keeps going up. So the nice thing about calling a bubble is that if it doesn't burst you can always say 'well, it's just going to burst later.' I guess the question is how long can something like this go on with Bitcoin?  

Krugman: The thing about bitcoin is there isn't actually a whole lot of stuff. In a way, the fact that it's completely untethered to anything real, means that it doesn't fall until ... It can just hang there in mid-air for a long long time. It's not like housing prices. If housing prices are unrealistic, the more housing gets built, and you can see it. With Bitcoin, the cost of producing new bitcoins has gone crazy high, so that's not going to happen. We're waiting for a Wiley Coyote moment. Cartoon physics. He runs off the edge of a cliff and it's only when he looks down and realizes there's nothing under him that he goes *pchew.* So we're waiting forthat sort of thing to happen and that can go on for a long time.   

A bubble is a natural Ponzi scheme, that's how Bob Schiller puts it, that as long as it's going on, everybody that bought in keeps making money, and it looks good. In the end, somebody's going to be left holding the bag. Everybody assumes it's not going to be them.

Join the conversation about this story »

How to Buy, Sell and Keep Track of Bitcoin

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

Here's your step-by-step guide to using exchanges and wallet apps such as Coinbase to manage your bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Ether or Litecoin

How to Buy, Sell and Keep Track of Bitcoin

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

Here's your step-by-step guide to using exchanges and wallet apps such as Coinbase to manage your bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Ether or Litecoin

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.

Republicans are expected to release the final version of their massive tax bill on Friday, setting up a frantic stretch to pass the plan through Congress next week.

The bill will be a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, assembled by Republican members mostly from both chambers' tax-writing committees. The text of the legislation will be released around 5:30 p.m. ET, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady said. Here's what to expect

In related news, JPMorgan's quant guru says traders are waiting for tax cuts to unleash more stock market gains.

The repercussions of Disney's industry changing deal to buy $66 billion worth of 21st Century Fox's assets are still emerging. Here's our latest:

Elsewhere in deal news, a photo from the CEO of Goldman Sachs is fueling Twitter takeover chatter.

Tech executives from Sheryl Sandberg to Microsoft's Brad Smith spoke out Thursday to decry the Federal Communications Commission's vote to kill net neutralityThe move by the FCC eliminates rules designed to stop broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon from charging customers more for access to certain sites, blocking or slowing down competitors' content, and charging for internet "fast lanes."

Here's how some of the top tech companies and industry executives reacted to Thursday's vote.

Lastly, Tesla is opening a new showroom in one of NYC's trendiest neighborhoods — take a look inside.

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

Meet "Pine," the Bitcoin Philanthropist Who Set Up the $85 Million Pineapple Fund

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

Why One Philanthropic Early Adopter Is Donating Thousands of Bitcoins

Yesterday, one post set the Bitcoin subreddit on fire: An anonymous Bitcoiner who goes by the name of “Pine” announced that they are establishing the Pineapple Fund to donate 5,057 BTC, worth about $86 million at today’s exchange rate, to charitable causes.

“I’m very happy that I have held on to most of my bitcoins until today,” Pine told Bitcoin Magazine. “Most early adopters of bitcoin actually don’t have much. They’ve sold to pay bills and expenses.”

Indeed, last week it was revealed that Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos was one of those who had not been in a position to hold his early coins long enough to reap the rewards. In a subsequent outpouring of appreciation, Bitcoin enthusiasts sent him donations of more than 100 BTC, equivalent to more than $1.7 million.

In this same spirit of giving back, Pine is sharing their own newfound wealth.

“Sometime around the early days of bitcoin, I saw the promise of decentralized money and decided to mine/buy/trade some magical internet tokens,” states the Pineapple Fund website. “The expectation shattering returns of bitcoin over many years has [led] to an amount far more than I can spend. What do you do when you have more money than you can ever possibly spend? Donating most of it to charity is what I’m doing.”

Some charities that are already receiving donations from the Pineapple Fund include Watsi, The Water Project, EFF, MAPS, SENS Research Foundation, charity: water ($1 million each), BitGive ($500,000) and OpenBSD ($50,000).

Pine has a long history in the cryptocurrency world and started out mining on an old home PC. “I discovered bitcoin back when it was a small community of people trying to turn a toy project into a new decentralized monetary paradigm,” they told Bitcoin Magazine.

“It’s shorter to list the things I haven’t done in the cryptocurrency space. I’ve even created my own cryptocurrency; however, I can’t name it.”

The Pineapple Fund is planning to work with a nonprofit to help administer the fund. In spite of recent trends toward various forms of decentralized, crowdsourced decision-making, that’s not in the plans.  

“We’re not huge fans of the crowdsourcing approach,” explained Pine. “It does not solve a problem we’re facing now, and there would be many challenges we’d have to solve with crowdsourcing decision making.”

Pine is convinced that what the world needs is peace, love, unity and respect. They listed medical research, mental health, wildlife and environmental conservation, fighting domestic violence and sexual abuse, sustaining basic necessities, and technology-related causes (advocacy and open-source projects) as main areas of focus.

“Why these? Well, it’s not that I think they are the most important or have the highest impact, because I think everyone has a different set of values,” explained Pine. “They align with my values, and I think any contribution to those causes will bring some good to this world we all share.”

Pine said they won’t become actively involved in the charities and projects they support: “As much as I would like to, I have other ventures that I’m busy with,” they said.

Will Pine ever share their real identity? That’s unlikely. “I prefer keeping my identity a mystery. The Pineapple Project isn’t about publicity. In fact, zero people in my life know that I'm behind it. It’s better for people to think you are well off than super rich.

“But I can share my love for pineapple,” they added. “I once ate so much pineapple that I suffered an allergic reaction and had to go to urgent care! Don’t do that.”

The post Meet "Pine," the Bitcoin Philanthropist Who Set Up the $85 Million Pineapple Fund appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Charlie Lee: Japan and South Korea Regulations Good For Bitcoin

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

[…]

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Want to Short Bitcoin? It’s Going to Cost You

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

This firm requires will now allow clients to short bitcoin, but the margin requirement is 200 percent.

The post Want to Short Bitcoin? It’s Going to Cost You appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Bitcoin ‘Keeping Me Awake at Night’: Bank of Canada Governor

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

This central banker is losing sleep over bitcoin.

The post Bitcoin ‘Keeping Me Awake at Night’: Bank of Canada Governor appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

(+) Trade recommendation: Lisk/Bitcoin

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

[…]

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PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

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

Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman talks to Business Insider senior political editor Josh Barro about bitcoin. Krugman says the price of bitcoin is helped by the fact that no one understands it and are caught up in the mystique of this new technology. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Josh Barro: Finally, I want to ask you about Bitcoin. Does the runup in bitcoin prices make any sense to you?

Paul Krugman: No.

Barro:  What's going on here?

Krugman: Bitcoin, nobody understands it. Which is for the time being a positive. It comes with this —

Barro: A positive for the prices?

Krugman: For the price of it. It's got this mystique about it, because it's some fancy technological thing that nobody really understands. There's been no demonstration yet that it actually is helpful in conducting economic transactions. There's no anchor for its value. You know, unlike pieces of paper with dead presidents on them, those are anchored by the fact that you can use them to pay taxes. There's not anchor for bitcoin. But bitcoin has developed this mystique. The price is going up, partly, it's tied up with Libertarian stuff ... I'm told that there are apocalyptic, the-end-is-coming guys who are accumulating bitcoin because once we turn into a Mad Max wasteland, having a digitally distributed – nevermind. So … I think it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And the psychology of it is clearly — if you're using the shoeshine boy test, my barber asked me about bitcoin. The feeling that people are caught up in something that they really don't understand, is overwhelming.

Barro: So you think this is an obvious bubble?

Krugman: It's the most — if this isn't … this is even more obvious, I think, than the housing bubble was. And that one was, I thought, tremendously obvious.

Barro: So sometimes a bubble can be obvious and yet can persist for a long time. And in fact you can – I mean, you know, I've been saying that Canadian housing is in a bubble for years, and it keeps going up. And so, I mean, the nice thing about calling a bubble is that you can always — if it doesn't burst, you can always say well it's just going to burst later. But I guess the question is how long can something like this go on with bitcoin?

Krugman: Well, the thing about bitcoin is there isn't actually a whole lot of stuff… there's not — in a way the fact that it's completely untethered to anything real means that it doesn't fall until it … it can just hang there in mid-air for a long, long time. There's no obvious real — it's not like, you know, the housing crisis. If housing prices are unrealistic, then more housing gets built and you can see it. Bitcoin — the cost of producing of new bitcoins has gone crazily high. So that's not going to happen. So we're waiting for a Wylie Coyote moment. You know, the cartoon physics, he runs off the edge of a cliff and it's only when he looks down and realizes there's nothing under him and he goes ... So we're waiting for that sort of thing to happen. And that can go on for a long time. You know, a bubble is a natural Ponzi scheme, that's how Bob Shiller puts it. That it's — as long as it's going on everybody who bought in keeps making money and it looks good, and the fact that in the end somebody's going to be left holding the bag. Everybody assumes it's not going to be them.

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Centerview Partners has crushed 2017 — and its investment bankers are going to make a fortune in 2018 as well

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

Blair Effron, Centerview Partners

  • Boutique investment bank Centerview Partners is having a monster year.
  • It has advised on some of the biggest deals in 2017, including the $69 billion CVS-Aetna merger and Disney's $66 billion buyout of 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets. 
  • With just 37 senior bankers on staff, the small firm is projected to pull in as much as $13.5 million per partner.


In the first two weeks of December, two industry-shaking transactions hit the wire: CVS Healthcare announced a deal to acquire Aetna for $69 billion, and then Disney agreed to buy $66 billion worth of 21st Century Fox's assets, including debt. 

In a major coup, boutique investment bank Centerview Partners advised on both of the megadeals, setting itself up for a major payday if the combined $135 billion in deals close, and launching the bank into 10th place on Wall Street's mergers-and-acquisitions league tables. 

The December deal frenzy caps a stellar year for the firm, which has advised on five announced transactions worth over $10 billion since August. That includes: Gilead's $10.1 billion takeout of Kite Pharma, Vantiv's $11.3 billion buyout of Worldpay, and the $18 billion sale of Toshiba's memory chips unit to a group of buyers led by Bain Capital.

Centerview has now leapfrogged fellow independent Evercore on the M&A league tables, with $213 billion in announced deals to its name and an average deal size of $11.2 billion, according to Bloomberg data. 

On a per-banker basis, few banks are having a better year than Centerview, which was founded in 2006 by ex-UBS stalwart Blair Effron and ex-Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein star Robert Pruzan.  

The firm has just 37 partners yet routinely battles for high-profile assignments with Wall Street's bulge-bracket banks. By comparison, Citigroup promoted more than 30 new managing directors in its corporate and investment bank this week alone, and in November Goldman Sachs promoted 101 new investment-banking MDs. 

Centerview is projected to earn between $400 million and $500 million in 2017 from advising on M&A deals, according to Jeffrey Nassof, director of consulting firm Freeman & Co. 

That works out to as much as $13.5 million in revenue per partner. 

And that figure doesn't include fees from either of the two mega-transactions from the past two weeks, according to Nassof, as roughly 90% of fees are paid out when a deal closes. The CVS-Aetna and Disney-Fox deals could bring in as much as $70 million in fee revenue to the bank.

Centerview has more than 10 deals valued at over $1 billion that have been announced but not closed heading into 2018, meaning the plucky boutique is tracking to have a very rich 2018 as well. 

SEE ALSO: We asked 2 of Citigroup's top executives what they look for when hiring senior investment bankers

NOW READ: The looming threat from supercorporations like Amazon is helping spur a new wave of megadeals

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

At $300 Billion, Bitcoin Is Now the World’s 15th Most Valuable Liquid Currency

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

[…]

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Japanese company will pay part of workers' salaries in Bitcoin

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

Employees at a Japanese firm will soon be able to receive part of their salary in Bitcoin, if they're feeling brave enough. GMO Internet, which offers a range of web-related services including a Bitcoin exchange, will pay workers up to 100,000 yen (a...

Ethereum, Ripple And Litecoin Have Arrived on Bloomberg Terminals

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

Financial data firm Bloomberg has added three new cryptocurrencies to its Terminal service.

Ethereum, Ripple And Litecoin Have Arrived on Bloomberg Terminals

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

Financial data firm Bloomberg has added three new cryptocurrencies to its Terminal service.

Bitcoin cash falls after losing its title of 3rd most valuable crypto

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

bitcoin mining supercomputers

  • Ripple's XRP overtook bitcoin cash to become the third most valuable cryptocurrency on Thursday.
  • Bitcoin cash is falling on Friday after dropping a spot on the most valuable cryptocurrencies list.
  • Ripple also fell slightly on Friday.
  • Check out the live price of the top cryptocurrencies here.


Bitcoin cash is down 9.83% in the 24 hours after losing its spot as the third most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. 

On Thursday, Ripple's XRP currency jumped about 78% to a market cap of $320.29 billion, overtaking bitcoin cash as the third largest digital currency. XRP is trading down 6.69% on Friday, according to data from Markets Insider. 

Bitcoin cash was created earlier this year when it split from bitcoin. Some bitcoin miners were unhappy with the direction of the cryptocurrency and decided to clone bitcoin's payments history and begin going in their own direction. Since the split, bitcoin cash has struggled to keep pace with its namesake, but is still up 534%.

Bitcoin and ethereum hold the top two spots in terms of cryptocurrency market cap, with the former's commanding more than $300 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. There are currently 24 cryptos with a market cap larger than $1 billion.

Bitcoin cash is up 48.97% over the past seven days, currently trading at $1,763 a coin.

Read more about bitcoin futures here.

bitcoin cash price

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin pops to new all-time high

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin cash falls after losing its title of 3rd most valuable crypto

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

bitcoin mining supercomputers

  • Ripple's XRP overtook bitcoin cash to become the third most valuable cryptocurrency on Thursday.
  • Bitcoin cash is falling on Friday after dropping a spot on the most valuable cryptocurrencies list.
  • Ripple also fell slightly on Friday.
  • Check out the live price of the top cryptocurrencies here.


Bitcoin cash is down 9.83% in the 24 hours after losing its spot as the third most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. 

On Thursday, Ripple's XRP currency jumped about 78% to a market cap of $320.29 billion, overtaking bitcoin cash as the third largest digital currency. XRP is trading down 6.69% on Friday, according to data from Markets Insider. 

Bitcoin cash was created earlier this year when it split from bitcoin. Some bitcoin miners were unhappy with the direction of the cryptocurrency and decided to clone bitcoin's payments history and begin going in their own direction. Since the split, bitcoin cash has struggled to keep pace with its namesake, but is still up 534%.

Bitcoin and ethereum hold the top two spots in terms of cryptocurrency market cap, with the former's commanding more than $300 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. There are currently 24 cryptos with a market cap larger than $1 billion.

Bitcoin cash is up 48.97% over the past seven days, currently trading at $1,763 a coin.

Read more about bitcoin futures here.

bitcoin cash price

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin pops to new all-time high

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Treasury wants to regulate virtual currency Bitcoin

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

Some MPs believe the government should help bring digital currencies into the mainstream, and say this could have advantages for public services.

Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

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

Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget discusses the meteoric rise of bitcoin. He references a recent research note published by former Merrill Lynch chief investment strategist Richard Bernstein, who refers to the cryptocurrency as "bitcon." Blodget walks through Bernstein's assertion the bitcoin meets all five characteristics of a bubble: available liquidity, leverage, democratization, new issues and turnover. The good news for bitcoin speculators is that Bernstein thinks the rally will continue until the Fed siphons off liquidity.

Business Insider editor-at-large Sara Silverstein, who is generally a bitcoin enthusiast, recognizes that it could be a bubble, but nothing like past catastrophic ones like the tulip bubble. She says it could end up drawing some parallels to the tech bubble, however, because after that market blowup, tech remained a large asset class and a big part of the market. Blodget then points out that there's no real way to value bitcoin, and that efforts to do so are absurd. In the near to medium term, Silverstein still sees lots of money flowing into bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space at large.

Join the conversation about this story »

$20k Bitcoin? Not Yet As Changing Charts Favor Crypto Rivals

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

A look at bitcoin's value across various crypto trading pairs suggests a substantial push higher might not be likely in the short term.

A photo from the CEO of Goldman Sachs is fueling Twitter takeover chatter (TWTR)

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

lloyd blankfein jack dorsey

  • Twitter's stock surged as much as 7.3% on Thursday after Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted a picture of himself at the company's headquarters.
  • Goldman had reportedly advised Twitter in takeover discussions with Disney last year, and the tweet fueled speculation that a deal could be in the works.
  • Meanwhile, short sellers are scaling back bearish bets on Twitter.


Traders are piling back onto the Twitter bandwagon.

The company's stock surged as much as 7.3% on Thursday, closing at its highest level in 14 months, after Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted a picture of himself with Jack Dorsey at Twitter's offices in San Francisco.

The tweet fueled speculation that Twitter may be re-engaging in the deal talks it started last year when it was considering a sale to Disney, with Goldman as its adviser. And it was interestingly timed, considering Disney had completed a $52.4 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets earlier that same day.

A Twitter spokesperson said that Blankfein was at Twitter's office for a long-running series of Q&As with well-known users, according to Bloomberg.

The speculation has provided a welcome boost for Twitter's stock, which lost almost half of its market value over a six-month period starting in October 2016. The company has been grappling with declining revenue and slowing user growth for some time now, although its shares have recovered in recent weeks.

Amid the fervor around Twitter's stock, and looking past Thursday's single-day share surge, traders are looking more bullish on the company going forward. Short interest — a measure of bets that a stock will drop — has declined by $32 million, or 44%, since hitting a high in April, according to data compiled by financial analytics firm S3 Partners.

In other words, bearish speculators are seeing less of a reason to bet against the stock, or protect against future losses.

Twitter's stock fell 0.1% to $22.55 in early trading on Friday.

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 9.39.35 AM

SEE ALSO: The mysterious trader known as '50 Cent' has lost $197 million betting on a stock market meltdown

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 24, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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

Here's Lutz:

Good Morning!  We have a heavy volume session ahead of us, with the “Quad Witch” (expiration of stock options, index options, index futures and single stock futures), S&P and Nasdaq Rebalances, and it’s SPDR Ex-Divvy Day, including SPY, QQQ, XOP, XBI, and all the “XL” ETFs.   Tax Angst (Smells like normal DC Positioning to me, but we’ll see) from yesterday being shrugged off early, with Russell rebounding 40bp from yesterday’s selloff.   Continental Europe all under pressure, with Consumer getting whacked on H&M and Ferragamo headers, while Fins and Tech see selling – pressing the DAX down 30bp.   FTSE is outperforming into their rebalance on the close, with weakness in Banks being offset by a nice pop in Miners.  In Asia, Nikkei down 60bp for 4 straight as Yen broke higher and Telecom got smoked as DB downgrades KDDI - Hang Seng lost 1.1% despite the pop in Li&Fung as Tech weakened - Shanghai 80bp as Chinese banks got hit on the PBoC Hike - KOSPI added 50bp, while Aussie off 25bp as banks continued to see selling

The US 10YY is basically unch, but eyes are on Bund Yields trying to hold 30bp, while Portugal's yields are dropping quick ahead of a Fitch Review.   DXY has a slight bid, with Euro drifting around $1.18, but the Pound is struggling to hold $1.34 – The $/Y approaching 112 as Tankan shows confidence at 11Y highs, while the Lira trying to claw back from yesterday’s smash.   Ore was up 2% in China, and Nickel is up 1% and Copper 30bp.  Gold adding to yesterday’s gains early, adding 30bp.  Focus remains on the Energy Complex, as the Forties Pipe Outage and Iran Angst continue to support WTI and Brent despite headers of increasing production. 

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: Billionaire Alibaba CEO Jack Ma is the star of an ultra-popular kung fu film

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 24, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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

Here's Lutz:

Good Morning!  We have a heavy volume session ahead of us, with the “Quad Witch” (expiration of stock options, index options, index futures and single stock futures), S&P and Nasdaq Rebalances, and it’s SPDR Ex-Divvy Day, including SPY, QQQ, XOP, XBI, and all the “XL” ETFs.   Tax Angst (Smells like normal DC Positioning to me, but we’ll see) from yesterday being shrugged off early, with Russell rebounding 40bp from yesterday’s selloff.   Continental Europe all under pressure, with Consumer getting whacked on H&M and Ferragamo headers, while Fins and Tech see selling – pressing the DAX down 30bp.   FTSE is outperforming into their rebalance on the close, with weakness in Banks being offset by a nice pop in Miners.  In Asia, Nikkei down 60bp for 4 straight as Yen broke higher and Telecom got smoked as DB downgrades KDDI - Hang Seng lost 1.1% despite the pop in Li&Fung as Tech weakened - Shanghai 80bp as Chinese banks got hit on the PBoC Hike - KOSPI added 50bp, while Aussie off 25bp as banks continued to see selling

The US 10YY is basically unch, but eyes are on Bund Yields trying to hold 30bp, while Portugal's yields are dropping quick ahead of a Fitch Review.   DXY has a slight bid, with Euro drifting around $1.18, but the Pound is struggling to hold $1.34 – The $/Y approaching 112 as Tankan shows confidence at 11Y highs, while the Lira trying to claw back from yesterday’s smash.   Ore was up 2% in China, and Nickel is up 1% and Copper 30bp.  Gold adding to yesterday’s gains early, adding 30bp.  Focus remains on the Energy Complex, as the Forties Pipe Outage and Iran Angst continue to support WTI and Brent despite headers of increasing production. 

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple Overtakes Bitcoin Cash to Become the Third Largest Cryptocurrency

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

[…]

The post Ripple Overtakes Bitcoin Cash to Become the Third Largest Cryptocurrency appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Ripple Overtakes Bitcoin Cash to Become the Third Largest Cryptocurrency

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

[…]

The post Ripple Overtakes Bitcoin Cash to Become the Third Largest Cryptocurrency appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Bitcoin pops to new all-time high

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

  • Bitcoin posts new high of $17,956.50 on Friday morning.
  • Price has been rising steadily over the week.


LONDON — Bitcoin reached a new all-time high against the dollar in late morning trade in London.

Bitcoin reached a fresh high of $17,956.50, according to data from Markets Insider. As of 11.55 a.m. GMT (6.55 a.m. ET), the digital currency is up 8.6% against the dollar to $17,925.45.bitcoinBitcoin fell as low as $13,000 on Sunday but has been steadily recovering ground throughout the week.

Bitcoin has now surged over 1,500% so far this year. The recent search has been driven by the launch of bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday, which has given institutional investors access to the new asset. Bitcoin futures sold by Cboe currently have bitcoin ending January at $18,500.00.

Regulators are warning both institutional and retail investors to be cautious investing in bitcoin, which is prone to wild price swings. The head of Britain's financial market regulator said on Friday that bitcoin is not a real currency and warned people could lose all their money if they invest.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, ORCL, JPM, DIX, FOXA)

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

Trump highway chart

Here is what you need to know. 

The FCC repeals net neutralityThe Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of repealing net neutrality, which paves the way for broadband providers to sell different tiers of internet service but which critics say will leave consumers and web startups at the mercy of the big telecommunications companies.

JPMorgan sets its S&P 500 target for 2018 targetJPMorgan quat guru Marko Kolanovic set his year-end 2018 target for the S&P 500 at 3,000 — as long as tax reform gets done.  

Russia surprises with a bigger rate cutThe Central Bank of Russia cut its benchmark interest rate 50 basis points to 7.75% (8% expected), noting a slowdown in inflation. 

Bitcoin hits a new highThe red-hot cryptocurrency hit a record high $17,933 a coin on Friday, according to data from Markets Insider. It's up 1,644% this year.

Ripple's XRP becomes the 3rd largest cryptocurrencyXRP, which aims to use blockchain technology to speed up cross-border money transfers and bank settlements, became the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap on Thursday as its total value hit $32.029 billion.

Disney is buying 21st Century Fox's studio and TV assetsThe entertainment giant agreed to pay $52.4 billion for Fox's 39% stake in Sky, Star India, a collection of pay-TV channels like FX and National Geographic, as well as popular entertainment brands like X-Men, Avatar, and The Simpsons.

Oracle beats, but its stock sinksThe database giant beat on both the top and bottom lines, but shares fell more than 4% in after-hours trading on Thursday as its adjusted earnings-per-share forecast for the third quarter missed Wall Street estimates. 

Spotify's valuation swellsThe streaming-music service has seen its valuation swell 20% over the past few months to $19 billion as it readies to file for an initial public offering, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. 

Stock markets around the world are mostly lowerHong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.09%) trailed in Asia and France's CAC (-0.27%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open higher by 0.21% near 2,657.

US economic data flowsEmpire Manufacturing will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before industrial production and capacity utilization cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.36%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, ORCL, JPM, DIX, FOXA)

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

Trump highway chart

Here is what you need to know. 

The FCC repeals net neutralityThe Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of repealing net neutrality, which paves the way for broadband providers to sell different tiers of internet service but which critics say will leave consumers and web startups at the mercy of the big telecommunications companies.

JPMorgan sets its S&P 500 target for 2018 targetJPMorgan quat guru Marko Kolanovic set his year-end 2018 target for the S&P 500 at 3,000 — as long as tax reform gets done.  

Russia surprises with a bigger rate cutThe Central Bank of Russia cut its benchmark interest rate 50 basis points to 7.75% (8% expected), noting a slowdown in inflation. 

Bitcoin hits a new highThe red-hot cryptocurrency hit a record high $17,933 a coin on Friday, according to data from Markets Insider. It's up 1,644% this year.

Ripple's XRP becomes the 3rd largest cryptocurrencyXRP, which aims to use blockchain technology to speed up cross-border money transfers and bank settlements, became the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap on Thursday as its total value hit $32.029 billion.

Disney is buying 21st Century Fox's studio and TV assetsThe entertainment giant agreed to pay $52.4 billion for Fox's 39% stake in Sky, Star India, a collection of pay-TV channels like FX and National Geographic, as well as popular entertainment brands like X-Men, Avatar, and The Simpsons.

Oracle beats, but its stock sinksThe database giant beat on both the top and bottom lines, but shares fell more than 4% in after-hours trading on Thursday as its adjusted earnings-per-share forecast for the third quarter missed Wall Street estimates. 

Spotify's valuation swellsThe streaming-music service has seen its valuation swell 20% over the past few months to $19 billion as it readies to file for an initial public offering, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. 

Stock markets around the world are mostly lowerHong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.09%) trailed in Asia and France's CAC (-0.27%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open higher by 0.21% near 2,657.

US economic data flowsEmpire Manufacturing will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before industrial production and capacity utilization cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.36%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, ORCL, JPM, DIX, FOXA)

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

Trump highway chart

Here is what you need to know.

The FCC repeals net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of repealing net neutrality, which paves the way for broadband providers to sell different tiers of internet service but which critics say will leave consumers and web startups at the mercy of the big telecommunications companies.

JPMorgan sets its S&P 500 target for 2018. The JPMorgan quant guru Marko Kolanovic set his year-end 2018 target for the S&P 500 at 3,000 — as long as Republicans pass their tax overhaul.

Russia surprises with a bigger rate cut. The Central Bank of Russia cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 7.75% (8% expected), noting a slowdown in inflation.

Bitcoin hits a new high. The red-hot cryptocurrency hit a record high $17,933 a coin on Friday, according to data from Markets Insider. It's up 1,644% this year.

Ripple's XRP becomes the 3rd-largest cryptocurrency. XRP, which aims to use blockchain technology to speed up cross-border money transfers and bank settlements, became the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap on Thursday as its total value hit $32.029 billion.

Disney is buying 21st Century Fox's studio and TV assets. The entertainment giant agreed to pay $52.4 billion for Fox's 39% stake in Sky, Star India, a collection of pay-TV channels like FX and National Geographic, as well as popular entertainment brands like X-Men, Avatar, and the Simpsons.

Oracle beats, but its stock sinks. The database giant beat on both the top and bottom lines, but its shares fell by more than 4% in after-hours trading on Thursday as its adjusted earnings-per-share forecast for the third quarter missed Wall Street estimates.

Spotify's valuation swells. The streaming-music service has seen its valuation swell 20% over the past few months to $19 billion as it readies to file for an initial public offering, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.09%) trailed in Asia, and France's CAC (-0.27%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open higher by 0.21% near 2,657.

US economic data flows. Empire Manufacturing will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before industrial production and capacity utilization cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.36%.

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, ORCL, JPM, DIX, FOXA)

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

Trump highway chart

Here is what you need to know.

The FCC repeals net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of repealing net neutrality, which paves the way for broadband providers to sell different tiers of internet service but which critics say will leave consumers and web startups at the mercy of the big telecommunications companies.

JPMorgan sets its S&P 500 target for 2018. The JPMorgan quant guru Marko Kolanovic set his year-end 2018 target for the S&P 500 at 3,000 — as long as Republicans pass their tax overhaul.

Russia surprises with a bigger rate cut. The Central Bank of Russia cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 7.75% (8% expected), noting a slowdown in inflation.

Bitcoin hits a new high. The red-hot cryptocurrency hit a record high $17,933 a coin on Friday, according to data from Markets Insider. It's up 1,644% this year.

Ripple's XRP becomes the 3rd-largest cryptocurrency. XRP, which aims to use blockchain technology to speed up cross-border money transfers and bank settlements, became the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap on Thursday as its total value hit $32.029 billion.

Disney is buying 21st Century Fox's studio and TV assets. The entertainment giant agreed to pay $52.4 billion for Fox's 39% stake in Sky, Star India, a collection of pay-TV channels like FX and National Geographic, as well as popular entertainment brands like X-Men, Avatar, and the Simpsons.

Oracle beats, but its stock sinks. The database giant beat on both the top and bottom lines, but its shares fell by more than 4% in after-hours trading on Thursday as its adjusted earnings-per-share forecast for the third quarter missed Wall Street estimates.

Spotify's valuation swells. The streaming-music service has seen its valuation swell 20% over the past few months to $19 billion as it readies to file for an initial public offering, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.09%) trailed in Asia, and France's CAC (-0.27%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open higher by 0.21% near 2,657.

US economic data flows. Empire Manufacturing will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before industrial production and capacity utilization cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.36%.

Join the conversation about this story »

More to Come? Bitcoin Sets Record High Near $18k

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

Having successfully defended $16,000 earlier this week, bitcoin regained bid tone today and clocked a fresh record high above $17,800.

‘Mrs. Watanabe’ Driving Bitcoin Price Higher: Deutsche Bank

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

[…]

The post ‘Mrs. Watanabe’ Driving Bitcoin Price Higher: Deutsche Bank appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

JPMorgan's quant guru says there are still huge stock gains to come — if GOP tax reform gets done

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

stock trader happy

  • The US stock market is not even close to pricing in the full positive effect of a successful GOP tax bill, says JPMorgan quant guru Marko Kolanovic.
  • The firm has a 2018 year-end price target of 3,000 for the S&P 500, which ties it with Oppenheimer as the most bullish on Wall Street.
  • JPMorgan also forecasts that volatility will rebound from near-record levels next year, and it sees tail risks mounting in the second half.


Despite already sitting close to record levels, US stocks are a sleeping giant, waiting to be awakened so they can unleash more gains upon the market.

So says JPMorgan quant guru Marko Kolanovic, who predicts that a successful GOP tax bill will give equities a huge shot in the arm in 2018. In his mind, the institutional investors that control a huge chunk of the market are still in wait-and-see mode when it comes to tax reform, patiently biding time before putting more capital to work.

"The upcoming reduction of US corporate tax rates may be one of the biggest positive catalysts for US equities this cycle," Kolanovic, who serves as JPMorgan's global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, wrote in a client note. "We think that little is priced into the market and hence there is potential for market upside. Clients are not repositioning portfolios until they see the reform passed."

This optimism around the effect of tax reform on US stocks informs JPMorgan's 2018 year-end S&P 500 forecast of 3,000. The estimate ties the firm with Oppenheimer as the most bullish on Wall Street, and it marks a 13% gain from Thursday's closing level.

The importance of tax reform to that call can be seen in the breakdown of JPMorgan's earnings growth forecast for next year. The firm projects that half of earnings upside — or roughly $10 per share for the S&P 500 will be due to a successful GOP tax bill.

An uptick in volatility

JPMorgan also forecasts that price swings in the US stock market will pick up in 2018 after almost a full year locked near the lowest levels ever. The CBOE Volatility Index — or VIX — has been at an average of 11 in 2017, about 10 points below its historical norm. The firm expects the measure of stock market fear to climb into the 13 to 14 range next year, with price swings beginning in earnest during the second half.

JPMorgan also sees record low intra-stock correlations increasing in 2018, which could add to volatility. After all, when equities are moving independently of one another, they're more likely to offset each others' moves, leading to minimal shifts in broad indexes.

"Like a frog being boiled"

That uptick in volatility in the second half of 2018 will correspond directly to a higher likelihood of tail risk derailing the market, says JPMorgan. Out of all potential headwinds, the firm fears the reduction of central bank monetary accommodation most of all. With the Federal Reserve set to start unwinding its massive balance sheet, JPMorgan thinks that could have an adverse impact on risk premia across asset classes, levels of leverage and valuations.

"However, asset classes may not react immediately, and like a 'frog being boiled' tail risks may be realized with a significant delay and triggered by an unrelated catalyst," wrote Kolanovic.

In terms of how that tail risk might manifest itself, JPMorgan sees three possibilities: forced deleveraging of systematic strategies, disruptions to market liquidity and failure of bonds to offset equity risk. As such, while the firm is still bullish on US stocks as a whole, it recommends that investors start hedging in the second quarter.

Now that JPMorgan has weighed in, here's a round-up of the other 2018 year-end S&P 500 targets on Wall Street, ordered from most to least bullish:

  • Oppenheimer — John Stoltzfus — Target: 3,000
  • Bank of Montreal — Brian Belski — Target: 2,950
  • UBS — Keith Parker — Target: 2,900
  • Credit Suisse — Jonathan Golub — Target: 2,875
  • Jefferies — Sean Darby — Target: 2,855
  • Deutsche Bank — Binky Chadha — Target: 2,850
  • Goldman Sachs — David Kostin — Target: 2,850
  • Bank of America — Savita Subramanian — Target: 2,800
  • Canaccord — Tony Dwyer — Target: 2,800
  • Morgan Stanley — Mike Wilson — Target: 2,750
  • Scotiabank — Vincent Delisle — Target, 2,750
  • Stifel Nicolaus — Barry Bannister — Target: 2,750
  • Citigroup — Tobias Levkovich — Target: 2,675
  • HSBC — Ben Laidler — Target: 2,650
  • Goldman Sachs — David Kostin — Target: 2,500

SEE ALSO: The mysterious trader known as '50 Cent' has lost $197 million betting on a stock market meltdown

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

A woman from New York could spend 90 years in prison for allegedly sending bitcoin to ISIS

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

A man with an ISIS flag

  • Zoobiah Shahnaz allegedly sent cash to ISIS via cryptocurrencies.
  • The 27-year-old New Yorker funnelled $62,000 to the group via bitcoin and other currencies, according to the Department of Justice.
  • She is standing trial in New York and faces 90 years in prison if convicted.


A woman from New York could be imprisoned for as long as 90 years for allegedly sending ISIS money in the form of bitcoin.

Zoobiah Shahnaz, an American from Long Island, is accused of funnelling $62,000 to the group via bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies earlier this year.

Shahnaz took out more than a dozen credit cards earlier this year and used the money she borrowed to by cryptocurrency and send it abroad, according to an indictment filed by US attorneys in federal court.

Her overall financial support for ISIS totals $150,000(£112,000), according to a press release by the Department of Justice, which did not specify what form the other $88,000 took.

According to the release, Shahnaz "engaged in a pattern of financial activity, culminating in several wire transactions, totaling over $150,000, to individuals and apparent shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey."

It added: "These transactions were designed to avoid transaction reporting requirements, conceal the identity, source and destination of the illicitly obtained monies, and, ultimately, benefit ISIS."

She then allegedly tried to leave the US for Syria via Pakistan and Turkey, but was stopped before she left the country.

Shahnaz was indicted on five counts, three of money laundering, one of bank fraud and one of conspiracy to money launder. If convicted on all counts she could spend 90 years in federal prison: 20 for each count of money laundering and 30 for fraud.

This is not the first time terrorist groups have been linked to funding via cryptocurrencies.

Terrorists have increasingly started to use bitcoin over the past few years, increasing from about 100 daily transactions in 2009 to 282,000 daily transactions in 2017 so far, the Council on Foreign Relations said.

The Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center, a jihadi propaganda group in the Gaza Strip, started soliciting funds on bitcoin — at least $2,500 for each fighter — as early as June 2016, according to former CIA counterterrorism analyst Yaya Fanusie.

SEE ALSO: The caliphate may be destroyed, but ISIS isn't defeated

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NOW WATCH: Watch the F-22 in action — the most dangerous jet fighter in the US Air Force for the last 20 years

The Queen gives a Tesco Christmas pudding to every member of her staff each year

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

queenie xmas getty WPA Pool

  • Every year, the Queen gives each member of her staff a Christmas pudding.
  • This year, the puddings are from Tesco at a cost of £8 ($10.73) each.
  • They used to come from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.
  • Long-serving members of staff also receive vouchers.


The Royal family are no strangers to Christmas spirit. The Queen and her brood are known to spend the day scoffing roast turkey, attending Church service, and giving out jokey presents just like millions of families across the UK.

But a day packed with cracker jokes and family at Sandringham Hall in Norfolk isn't where the Christmas spirit ends. The Queen likes to spread the festive feeling far and wide — starting with her staff members.

Every year, the Queen and Prince Philip give each of their 1,500 employees, at Buckingham Palace and beyond, a Christmas gift to show their thanks. And not just any gift, but a Tesco Finest, 12-month matured Christmas pudding no less, according to a Hello Magazine report, which BI has verified.

That's right — you, too, can savour a slice of royally-approved pud for just £8 ($10.73) without having to venture further than your nearest high street.

xmas pud tesco

The pudding tradition — which is always accompanied by a Christmas card — was started by Her Majesty's grandfather, King George V, according to the Independent.

But the Tesco treat is a bit of step down from previous gifts, no doubt reflecting more austere times. The puddings once came from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, the official royal grocers.

And the Queen's Christmas gifts to her household staff don't just stop at puddings.

Senior members of staff, and those that have worked for Her Majesty for a considerable amount of time, also receive a gift card.

Each voucher is handed out ceremoniously with senior household staff going first, followed by clerks, and then domestic workers, maids, and gardeners, according to Hello.

SEE ALSO: Here's how the royal family spends Christmas every year

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

These are the major roadblocks stopping Bitcoin from becoming a mainstream currency

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

  • Business Insider UK spoke with Garrick Hileman about Bitcoin and whether it should be considered more of an asset or a currency.
  • Hileman explains that there are several prohibitive factors that could prevent Bitcoin becoming a mainstream currency.
  • Two of those factors are fixed transaction fees for small purchases and the increasingly volatile nature of Bitcoin.

 

Business Insider UK spoke with University of Cambridge Research Fellow Garrick Hileman about cryptocurrency and how Bitcoin could become a mainstream currency.

He explains that there are two key factors that would limit Bitcoin's ability to become used for everyday purchases. One of those factors is high-transaction fees for every Bitcoin exchange. 

Another factor is the high volatility of cryptocurrencies which means that it's value fluctuates much quicker than other traditional, more stable currencies. 

Read the full transcript below. 

Garrick Hileman: Is Bitcoin an asset or a currency? Well today I think the data suggests that it’s primarily used as an asset, as an investment vehicle, so the comparisons to gold and the name ‘digital gold’ is getting a lot of favour in regards to how to describe Bitcoin.

I think that’s a fair point to make. I think the term ‘crypto-asset’ is actually more helpful for describing what Bitcoin is today than cryptocurrency which implies it’s being used predominantly for payments.

It is used for payments but with transaction fees running as high as $20 per transaction that makes using Bitcoin for something like buying coffee prohibitively expensive.

So will Bitcoin ever become a currency? It certainly has the potential to become a more widely used currency especially with the rate of growth and the user base.

With tens of millions of people using Bitcoin already as an asset and the rate of growth, if that were to sustain it wou ldn’t take long for Bitcoin to get to a user base of 100 million or more.

When you start to look at a user base of 100 million or even a billion people are holding something that can function as a currency that commonality, that common asset that everyone is holding, it can make it much more likely for people to start to use it not just as an asset but actually to settle payments with each other.

Having said that, the transaction fee situation would need to improve with new technologies like Lightning, for example, that may be on the not-so-distant horizon.

The volatility of Bitcoin is another thing that would probably prevent it from being a widely used currency and here you could look at the advent of stable coins as another potential solution to Bitcoin’s volatility problem.

So Bitcoin may have a future just as an asset class, just as ‘digital gold’ but it’s certainly possible that it could become a currency or something else, some other cryptocurrency steps in and becomes a currency for people.

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

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UK's FCA Chief Warns Bitcoin Investors: Be Prepared to Lose Your Money

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

The head of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority has warned that people stand to lose their funds if they invest in bitcoin.

UK MARKETS CHIEF: 'Be prepared to lose your money' if you want to invest in bitcoin

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

Bitcoin

  • The UK's top financial market regulator warned bitcoin is not a real currency and people could lose their money if they invest.
  • Andrew Bailey said bitcoin was a high risk commodity, and investing was like gambling.
  • Bailey said he was not pressing for changes in legislation to bring bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies under the regulator's remit.


LONDON — The head of Britain's financial market regulator said bitcoin is not a real currency and warned people could lose all their money if they invest.

Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), told the BBC the cryptocurrency was not a secure investment and was similar to gambling. He said neither central banks nor the government backed bitcoin, making it high risk.

"It's not a currency, it's actually not regulated in its bitcoin form," Bailey told BBC Newsnight. "It's a very volatile commodity in terms of its pricing. If you look at what has happened this year, I would caution people," he said.

"If you want to invest in bitcoin be prepared to lose your money — that would be my serious warning," said Bailey.

Bitcoin has soared in value this year, rising over 1,000% against the dollar so far. This has prompted both increased interest and concern from investors and financial executives. Bitcoin was near its all time high point on Friday morning, at $17,176.

Bailey said relatively little was known about what drives the price of bitcoin. He described bitcoin as a commodity, which he said financial regulators did not currently oversee, and denied regulators were being left behind by new technology.

He said it was for the government to decide whether or not to change the rules and have cryptocurrencies and other commodities fall under the FCA's remit. Bailey said he was not pressing for this change.

He warned the use of the term "currency" to describe bitcoin was misleading, and was causing people to regard it as a "fiat currency." A fiat currency is backed by a central authority, which is "what preserves the value of the currency through the actions that central banks take," said Bailey.

He also pointed to the fact that bitcoin buyers and sellers are anonymous, something that has caused concerns that it is being used to facilitate financial crimes and launder money.

The UK government is planning to crack down on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in response to these concerns. New UK legislation will include forcing traders to reveal their identities in some circumstances, and under an EU-wide plan online platforms where cryptocurrencies are traded will be forced to carry out due diligence on buyers.

Earlier this week, a BlackRock executive expressed caution over the cryptocurrency, saying "we are seeing bubble-like valuations."

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 08.41.56

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

US Government to Sell Off $10 Million in Seized Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

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

U.S. prosecutors in the state of Utah are moving to sell millions of dollars-worth of cryptocurrencies seized in an opioid drug case.

Under-fire crypto exchange Bittrex is hiring 2 ex-government security officials and a former Amazon exec

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

Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on

  • Bittrex hires two former Homeland Security officials and Amazon security chief as executives.
  • Bittrex was criticised by customers over withdrawal and customer service issues.
  • Business Insider has also reported on the existence of "pump and dump" scams on the exchange.


LONDON — An under-fire US cryptocurrency exchange has hired two former top government officials and a former Amazon executive to beef up its management.

Las Vegas-registered Bittrex hired:

  • Kiran Raj as chief operating officer: Raj was a partner at law firm O’Melveny & Myers and was formerly the Deputy General Counsel of the Homeland Security Department. He has also worked at the Justice Department.
  • John Roth as chief compliance and ethics officer: Roth was Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security prior to joining Bittrex and spent 25 years at the Justice Department.
  • Jim Waschak as chief operating officer: Waschak is a 12 year veteran of Amazon, most recently serving as director of information security for Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer Organization.

The senior appointments come at a time when Bittrex is facing criticism from customers and grappling with the problem of market manipulation on its exchange.

Business Insider reported earlier this month that multiple users of the exchange were complaining they were unable to withdraw money and were left in the dark as to why. Bittrex said the withdrawal issues are down to new identity verification procedures and said they were hiring additional support staff to deal with the backlog.

Business Insider has also reported on the existence of "pump and dump" scams organised on the Bittrex exchange. A trader who claimed to organise the scams told BI he had made "hundreds of thousands" in profits and bought a Tesla. "We all use Bittrex for market manipulation," the traders told BI.

Bittrex wrote to customers shortly after BI's first "pump and dump" story warning them against "any type of market manipulation, including pump groups."

Roth and Raj said in a joint op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday: "Everyone in this industry can do better. That includes the company we decided to join. But as blockchain technology evolves and grows, we urge U.S. regulators to move carefully and judiciously to avoid driving more innovation outside the U.S. and harming the legitimate industry players."

The pair said they "plan to work with our former government colleagues to bridge the gap between the industry and policymakers."

Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara, a former Amazon engineer, said: "Our mission is to develop the most trusted cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and we believe the breadth of experience that these individuals bring will be critical to achieving that goal.

"They will drive our enduring commitment to foster a secure and regulated trading environment that creates more opportunities for blockchain technology and the future of finance and security."

Bittrex was founded in 2014 and had a 24-hour trading volume of $3.2 billion over its exchange as of Friday, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

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Ryanair to avoid Christmas strikes by recognising trade unions

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

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair commercial passenger jets are seen at Barcelona El-Prat Airport in Barcelona, Spain, October 10, 2017. Picture taken October 10, 2017.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

  • Budget airline Ryanair will recognise pilot unions to avoid a Christmas strike on December 20 which would have grounded some flights.


LONDON — Ryanair will recognise pilot unions for the first time in its 32-year history to avoid a Christmas strike, according to a statement from the budget airline.

Around 100 Dublin-based pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (IALPA) voted on Tuesday to strike on December 20 as part of a dispute over workers' rights, including its refusal to recognise trade unions.

Ryanair said it had written to the pilot unions in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal to recognise unions as the representative body for pilots in each of those countries.  

The airline on Tuesday had previously insisted that any discussion of pay and working conditions should be discussed through management-controlled "employee representative councils."

Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary said: 

"Christmas flights are very important to our customers and we wish to remove any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week.

"If the best way to achieve this is to talk to our pilots through a recognised union process, then we are prepared to do so, and we have written today to these unions inviting them to talks to recognise them and calling on them to cancel the threatened industrial action planned for Christmas week.

"We hope and expect that these structures can and will be agreed with our pilots early in the New Year."

The strike action threatened to ground hundreds of flights at a time when the airline is battling to regain its reputation following a series of high-profile blunders which has already seen it cancel thousands of flights this year.

pilot rostering error in September led to the company cancelling thousands of flights, a move which affected over 700,000 bookings.

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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

Survey: Most Bitcoin Investors Expect Even Fatter Returns in 2018

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

According to the survey by LendEDU, almost three-quarters of bitcoin investors in the U.S. plan to increase the size of their holdings next year.

10 things you need to know in markets today

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

Visitors gather near an open-air monitor during a live broadcast, showing Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual end-of-year news conference, at the Bobrovy Log ski resort in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, December 14, 2017.

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

1. In a move that could fundamentally reshape the internet — and spur a new wave of legal wrangling — the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal its net-neutrality rules. The repeal is most likely mean higher prices and fewer choices for US consumers.

2. More skilled tech workers came to the UK from India, the USA, and Australia in 2016 than from the top five EU countries, according to LinkedIn data. The data — touted in a Tech City UK study on Friday — shows that India provided 12% of all the skilled tech workers migrating to the UK in 2016, while the US provided 10%. European neighbours Spain and France provided 6% each, while Italy provided 5%, Ireland 5%, and Germany 3%.

3. An influential British MP has slammed Twitter for its "completely inadequate" response to questions about Russian meddling in the EU referendum last year. Damian Collins, chair of the UK's Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee (DCMSC), is leading an inquiry into fake news and has called on Twitter, Facebook, and Google to disclose the activity of Russian actors on their platforms during Brexit.

4. US stocks fell overnight amid mounting worry that the GOP tax bill will struggle to pass the Senate. The S&P 500 slipped 0.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3%, and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 declined 0.3%.

5. Japanese stocks fell to more than a week low on Friday morning, with mobile firms extending a sell-off on concerns of increased competition after Rakuten said it aims to become Japan's fourth wireless carrier.The Nikkei closed down 0.68%. Elsewhere in Asia, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 1.20% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. GMT/1.25 a.m. ET) and China's Shanghai Composite index is down 0.90%.

6. Oracle reported strong quarterly results after the closing bell on Thursday afternoon, beating Wall Street expectations. Even so, the stock fell more than 4% in after-hours trading.

7. The Bank of England's quarterly bulletin is coming. The central bank will release its regular commentary on market developments and monetary policy thinking at 12.00 p.m. GMT (7.00 a.m. ET). Monetary Policy Committee member Andy Haldane is also giving a speech at 1.15 p.m. GMT (8.15 a.m. ET).

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in cinemas at a time when the British film industry is booming, according to official figures. Helped by generous tax reliefs, the Guardian reports that the film and TV industry contributed £7.7 billion to the economy in 2016 – an 80% jump in five years.

9. Amazon may not be able to lean on its increasing Prime membership numbers to fuel its insatiable appetite for growth much longer. Results from a Morgan Stanley survey of 1,000 US adults, sent in a note to investors, showed that 40% of Americans likely have Amazon Prime memberships. That's virtually unchanged from a year ago.

10. A Japanese internet services provider will start to pay employees partially in bitcoin, according to cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk. Beginning in 2018, GMO Internet Group will give employees the option to receive payments from 10,000 yen (about $88) to 100,000 yen (about $881) in the digital currency.

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

Israel’s Prime Minister Asks the Question: Can Bitcoin Destroy Banks?

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

[…]

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Mimblewimble's Small Step: Grin Raises Funds for New Development

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

Bitcoin startup BlockCypher is among those backing development for a new alternative blockchain that aims to break cryptographic ground.

China is preparing for a trillion-dollar autonomous-driving revolution

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

car china autonomous

  • China is eager to develop smart cities to cater to an autonomous-driving revolution.
  • Nearly 300 Chinese regions and have already introduced projects for "smart cities" controlled by artificial intelligence that can be optimized for autonomous transportation.
  • In addition to autonomous driving, ride-sharing and ride-hailing services are projected to generate a collective $1 trillion in revenue by 2040.


China has begun preparing programs and cities for an autonomous driving revolution expected to generate $1 trillion in revenue globally, the South China Morning Post reported.

Nearly 300 Chinese cities and regions, including Xinjiang and Nanjing, and have already introduced “smart-city” projects controlled by artificial intelligence technology to enhance daily life, SCMP said.

Smart cities use cloud-based technology to integrate across several industries, including transportation, health care and public security, according to government-owned China Daily.

Ninety-three of the smart city projects are focused on transportation, according to SCMP, and could potentially use its connected infrastructure to build the number of driverless cars and shared-driving models on the road.

In addition to driverless cars, increased usage of ride-sharing and ride-hailing services are projected to generate $1 trillion in revenue for suppliers globally by 2040, latest industry figures indicate, according to SCMP.

China, the world’s largest market for electric cars, has sought to position itself to spearhead the future of autonomous driving.

“The combined impact of mobility services, driverless technologies, electric cars and government policies [promoting them] will propel a national transformation in personal mobility,” said IHS Markit executive Jim Burkhard.

According to CNBC, China is poised to set up an autonomous-driving market faster than other countries due to its ability to make regulatory decisions quickly. Michael Dunne, president at US-based Dunne Automotive, told CNBC: "The Chinese government can, and will, facilitate autonomous driving sooner than we will in the United States," Dunne said.

In June, Shanghai opened the country’s first intelligent vehicle pilot zone, where its trialed about 200 vehicles across nine miles (15 kilometers) of test roads in a closed zone at Shanghai’s international automobile city, the government said in a statement.

The test zone uses cameras, communication bases, and radar systems to help intelligent vehicles drive in nearly 30 simulated environments.

Shanghai is expected to build an intelligent-vehicle network covering about 62 miles (100 square kilometers) by 2020, the government said, adding that Shanghai will explore the possibility of connecting to major transportation junctions within the city.

In September, Chinese search giant Baidu announced a $1.52 billion (10 billion yuan) autonomous-driving initiative called the "Apollo Fund" as part of a broader plan to spread technological advancement of autonomous vehicles.

The Apollo Fund will invest in 100 autonomous driving projects over the next three years, Baidu said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: China's Baidu launches $1.5 bln autonomous driving fund

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