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Euro Bank Swissquote Adds Four Altcoins to Trading Platform

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

The post Euro Bank Swissquote Adds Four Altcoins to Trading Platform appeared first on CCN

Cryptocurrency is rapidly permeating the mainstream financial system.

The post Euro Bank Swissquote Adds Four Altcoins to Trading Platform appeared first on CCN

STOCKS RALLY: Here's what you need to know

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

rally race car jump

Stocks added to Friday's gains as the GOP tax plan continues to edge closer to President Donald Trump's desk. A report out Monday found the final bill to be "pro-growth" but not to the full effect that Republicans had promised. Lawmakers are expected to pass the final Tax Cuts and Jobs act on Wednesday. 

CME's bitcoin futures launched Sunday night, and the cryptocurrency shot to all-time highs before ultimately settling lower. CME's launch follows a similar launch by Cboe a week ago.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all posted gains on Monday. 

Here's the scoreboard:

  1. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway tops $300,000 a share for the first time. This comes despite four straight quarters of lower operating profit.
  2. GOLDMAN SACHS: Here's how to make a killing in a market that's barely moving. Goldman recommends investors look for stocks with high Sharpe ratios.
  3. A Fed official who has been voting against rate hikes thinks he knows why wages aren't rising faster. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari worries the central bank's interest-rate hikes are actively contributing to a decline in US inflation expectations that could make its job harder in the next downturn.
  4. Campbell Soup is buying snacks maker Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion. Campbell Soup has agreed to buy Snyder's-Lance for $50 a share in an all-cash deal.

Other Stories

Bitcoin falls after CME Group launches bitcoin futures

Citron Research gets short Riot Blockchain, says it's reached 'full mania'

A little-known import/export financier soared 2,400% after buying a blockchain technology — but now shares are crashing off their highs

SEE ALSO: A little-known import/export financier soared 2,400% after buying a blockchain technology — but now shares are crashing off their highs

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The biggest myth around the iPhone X

Hedge Fund Pro Bill Miller: 'Just About 50 Percent' Invested in Bitcoin

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

Investor Bill Miller said last week that his MVP1 hedge fund has half of its investments in bitcoin.

The derailed Amtrak train in Washington marks a tragic end to a $181 million project

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

Amtrak cascades derailment

  • An Amtrak Cascades passenger train derailed on its inaugural service through the Point Defiance Bypass near Tacoma, Washington.
  • The Bypass is a $181 million project designed to make train travel through the region safer, quicker, and more reliable.

On Monday, Amtrak inaugurated service through the brand new Point Defiance Bypass near Tacoma, Washington. What was to be a joyous morning turned into tragedy as the first Amtrak Cascades train to traverse the route derailed causing several fatalities.

The Point Defiance Bypass project had been in the works for more than a decade. Proponents of the $181 million project say that it will reduce congestion and cut much as 10 minutes off the trip time between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

The new bypass which takes the Amtrak train inland along the west side of Interstate 5 will allow for the addition of two new round-trip trains.

Point Defiance BypassTraditionally, Amtrak Cascades passenger trains going through Tacoma would take a route along the shores of the Puget Sound. While picturesque, the coastal route features single-track tunnels and a risk for landslides. In addition, the route features tight curves and heavy freight train traffic requires the Amtrak Cascades to reduce its speed.

Monday's derailment occurred during the morning rush hour with the train leaving the track right as it was about to cross over southbound lanes of I-5 near the south end of the bypass. As a result, the locomotive and several of the train's passenger cars landed on the freeway. Authorities have not announced the exact number of injuries and fatalities caused by the incident.

SEE ALSO: Delta's CEO explains why airline computers fail and how tech will change flying

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Op Ed: Bitcoin’s Scaling Challenge Brings the Battle for Liberation of Cyberspace

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

gpscaling.jpg

This year brought a climax in the prolonged Bitcoin block size debate. Heated disputes over scaling that have become toxic in the ecosystem have overshadowed the technology. The cancelation of SegWit2x, the most controversial proposal in this cryptocurrency’s history, averted a potential catastrophe. Innovation moves on and the community is finding some time for reflection. What did this latest crisis teach us? The political battle that came to the forefront in the last several months challenges all to examine a prevailing notion of Bitcoin as apolitical money and can help us explore the deeper vision behind this technology.

The trilogy of Wachowski’s science fiction film became a popular meme in the Bitcoin battle on social media. The Matrix is a story of a computer programmer played by Keanu Reeves who is said to become the One who can free people from a machine-controlled system. Neo’s struggle to liberate humanity from oppression seems to have resonated with many Bitcoiners who found a similar passion in the potential of Bitcoin to bring financial sovereignty to the common man in the world of central banks.

In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo confronts the man who designed the system. The Architect, who represents scientific reason and logic, tells Neo:

“Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision …”

To this, Neo responds saying, “Choice. The problem is choice.” Neo’s choice represents an irregularity that disrupts order and eventually threatens the system. This irregularity, in the eyes of the Architect, is a kind of bug that needs to be removed, yet he is unable to do so.

Bitcoin is an architecture that contains this anomaly. If we look back at the past nine years of its existence, the development of this network relied on the individual’s choice. In the white paper published in the midst of a financial crisis, the mysterious author put forward a blueprint of a decentralized network and set up its basic design. What created the network was participation of people who, of their own volition, followed the white rabbit. Yet at the same time as the network grew, this uncontrollable anomaly began to bring hostile forces to the network and create fluctuations in equations.

Clash of Two Visions

From Bitcoin XT to Bitcoin Classic to Bitcoin Unlimited, the proposals to change Bitcoin’s consensus emerged over time, which stirred up disagreements. The crux of the conflict can be found in opposing visions of Bitcoin. One camp views it as a payment system, wanting cheaper, faster on-chain transactions, while the other sees censorship resistance and permissionlessness as its defining feature and value proposition.

The friction of these two visions can be metaphorically depicted as a battle between Agent Smith and Neo involving their different ideas of freedom. Agent Smith represents the Adam Smith of the world, advocating a “free market” economy born in the Industrial Revolution. On the other hand, Neo is a symbol of civil liberty in the Digital Age, representing free speech and privacy enabled by asymmetric encryption. The growing schism between two visions of Bitcoin seemed to have reached the point of no return in May with the announcement of the “Bitcoin Scaling Agreement.”

SegWit2x, or the New York Agreement, was born in the heat of the scaling dispute. This proposal was put forward by opponents of the Core development team’s proposed protocol upgrade (a way to increase a new capacity without having to change consensus rules, while fixing a long-standing malleability bug). Most signers of the agreement saw SegWit2x as a compromise between Core’s planned SegWit implementation (BIP141) and Bitcoin Unlimited’s threat of a contentious hard fork alternative. They saw it as a way to keep the network together.

SegWit2x, a plan to double the block size through a hard fork, was developed in an invite-only meeting in a New York hotel by major actors in the industry. Unlike Bitcoin Cash, which was launched by supporters of a block size increase in response to the SegWit lock-in, SegWit2x lacked the replay protection needed to prevent potential loss of users’ funds through accidental replay spending and replay attacks. Concerns were raised about this proposal, specifically its rushed preparation done in a closed development process. Some perceived it as a dangerous and reckless hard fork, which is not a software upgrade as proponents claim, but an attack on Bitcoin.

Beginning of Resistance

In the Matrix series, aside from the Architect, who presents himself as the father of the system, there is another crucial character: the Oracle, who is the mother of the system. Morpheus speaks of how the Oracle, who made a prophecy, has been with the common people since the beginning of the resistance. He tells Neo just before he mets the Oracle, “Try not to think of it in terms of right and wrong. She is a guide. She can help you find the path.”

In a sense, the creator of Bitcoin was like a prophet who set up a path for a new future for others to find. What is contained in the white paper is a vision that has set everything in motion: a vision that existed from the very beginning. Before the architecture of 1s and 0s, whether numbers were used to calculate profit margins or to program software, there was a vision to guide human action.

The rabbit hole that took many of us to the Wonderland of this crypto-world goes much deeper. In a speech in Zurich titled “Call for a Revolutionary Hacker Movement,” Amir Taaki, who was one of the first developers to start working on Bitcoin, described the battle that has long been engaged since the dawn of the internet. He reminded the audience how Bitcoin is a political movement that was built on an earlier struggle.

Taaki spoke about another prophet who inspired him to engage in Bitcoin development. His name is Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, who brought about the idea of free software. This godfather of the GNU/Linux operating system described free software as “the first battle of liberation of cyberspace.”

Stallman explained that free software is “controlled by its users, rather than the reverse.” He defined “free” as freedom, libre in French, and not in terms of price. This vision of technology to empower individuals and change the world formed hacker ethics, which inspired a group known as the cypherpunks, an electric mailing list of activists who advocate free speech and privacy with the use of strong cryptography.

Amir noted how commercial interests co-opted Stallman’s vision by renaming free software as “open source” and rebranding it with an open-market idea focused on efficiency, profit and growth. Networks of committed individuals, who out of their own free resolution dedicated themselves to shared ideals greater than themselves, were slowly overtaken by business interests and people who were overly driven by self-interests. He then pointed out how the debacle of the block size debate was a hijacking of Bitcoin’s original vision, rooted in these ethics.

Resurgence of Free Software

Bitcoin is a breakthrough of computer science as free software, which ensures individual users’ rights to control its program. The first essential condition of freedom in the principle of free software that Stallman articulated is “freedom to run the program as you wish.” Stallman explained that if you are not a programmer and don’t know how to program, you can pay someone to do it for you and then, through them, you can exercise your freedom.

Bitcoin is a global project of free software, in which changes to the protocol are made through a broad consensus of the network. What maintains the integrity of this collective free software are full nodes run by individual users who enforce Bitcoin consensus rules, often referred to as the economic majority. By running codes of their own choice and using the nodes to receive transactions, users create economic activity. This way, they can support the developers who work on their behalf.

The proposed large block size violates this first premise of freedom, for it would increase the cost for individual users to run full nodes, making it impossible for them to use the free-market forces to exercise their own freedom. Thus, this idea for a bigger block size was rejected on technical grounds, with consideration of the security trade-off that centralization brings. A new solution has been put forward by core developers to preserve this essential condition of freedom on the first layer, with specialization to be built into other layers.

Responding to the SegWit2x initiative, CEO and co-founder of Prasos, Henry Brade, noted, “We are seeing the removal of #Bitcoin cypherpunk roots and the insertion of an industrial oligopoly to control all Bitcoin development.” Some articulated how the real story behind this scaling drama is all about control and noted how these were efforts partially driven by the desire to remove the influence of Bitcoin Core contributors and lock down development within their own vested interests.

Hash Power Supremacy

Like Agent Smith, who tried to keep Neo under his control, the world of IOU with laissez-faire economics collides with cypherpunks’ hacker ethics of free and open software. With ICOs and new BIPs filled with empty promises, corporate and Wall Street profiteers disguised as prophets try to infiltrate the cryptosphere.

Big business players, like wild cowboys, plunder knowledge in the Bitcoin source code repository that is carefully maintained through rigorous testing and peer review. Under the banner of “open source,” those driven by greed and commercial interests try to copy, modify and create their own versions of this currency and put the whole network under their proprietary control.

Here, the industrial infrastructure of power came in full force to resist the ascent of a new Digital Era. Ideology of hash power supremacy was taken up by SegWit2x proponents, who argued that miners can decide or should dictate the future of the Bitcoin protocol. This ideology is based on the belief (perhaps held by some out of lack of knowledge and by others more intentionally) that a blockchain with more hashing power dedicated to it becomes Bitcoin. Some criticized these miners’ attitudes to put themselves above the protocol rules enforced by users. They saw it as a dangerous, slippery slope toward changing all other rules, including the 21 million coin limit.

The community’s concern about this seemingly overarching power of miners reached another level last spring when the controversy over Bitmain’s AsicBoost technology emerged. The allegation was made that Chinese hardware maker Bitmain was secretly exploiting a previously known weakness in Bitcoin’s algorithm and engaging in unfair mining practices. If this was true, it was like a malicious malware in software that was released into the network. Monopoly through a patent on mining chip technology can be used as a weapon to disable fair market competition and restrict users’ access to participate in the network fully.

#UASF, Proof-of-Hats Consensus

While proponents of SegWit2x tried to command economically rational miners and intensify the threat of a hard fork, resistance had emerged. The attempted hashing power takeover was met by Twitter hashtag activism. Around this consensus algorithm, a human network of solidarity was quickly formed, and a spontaneous, self-directing organism emerged within the ecosystem.

A seed of this movement was planted when pseudonymous Bitcoin and Litecoin developer Shaolinfry proposed his User Activated Soft Forks (UASF). The vision of UASF is said to be inspired by game theory put forward by the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, namely a concept of the “intolerant minority.” This idea of an activation mechanism enforced by users began to grow when it kindled in the spirit of others. Samson Mow, the CSO of the blockchain technology company Blockstream, set up a bounty to fund the development of a UASF software implementation designed to trigger BIP141.

The UASF cap distributed by Mow became a Proof-of-Hat consensus, a torch of freedom that unites those whose hearts beat to keep the original vision of Bitcoin immutable. Linux software engineer Warren Togami reminded Bitcoiners that users are in charge: “Stop begging developers to decide. Users have the real power, and they need to step up their advocacy game. #BIP148.” The previously silenced majority had found an avenue to exercise their own power.

#NO2X, the Rise of Hashtag Activism

With his gift for social engineering, Mow created Twitter moments. Titled “Bitcoin vs. CorporateBitcoin (corporate takeover),” his “moment” called on users to rise up in this “battle for Bitcoin’s soul.” Dubbed as Bitcoin Independence Day, activation for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 148 (BIP148) was set for August 1. In an interview with Fortune magazine, Mow pointed out the contingency of individuals who are pushing for a hard fork and driven by an agenda to bring Bitcoin onto a path of centralization. Their irreconcilable differences were manifested right in the code of BIP148, with its different activation method being incompatible with SegWit2x.

Facing the challenge of a potential coin-split between two implementations, another individual rose to the occasion.

James Hilliard, Bitmain Warranty engineer (not to be confused with Bitmain), created BIP91, a largely miner-enforced soft fork that could keep the Bitcoin network together. Bitcoin Core contributor Matt Corallo helped a smooth rollout by making updates to FIBRE, the fast block-replaying network, and alerted miners to make sure their BIP-enforcing nodes had connections. With these collaborations, BIP91 gained rapid signals from the mining community and was locked in 10 days before BIP148’s flag day for activation.

The threshold momentum leading up to the SegWit lock-in and its activation attracted the attention of the entire global network to the blockchain. Rodolfo Novak, the CEO and founder of Coinkite, a Bitcoin web wallet system, tweeted in countdown for lock-in: “#SegWit is now locked-in! Thanks to #UASF #BIP148. Never forget who governs #Bitcoin, no one, but everyone.”

Exuberance created through BIP148 mobilization fueled a #NO2X protest movement. Strong support came from the Bitcoin community. Mir Serena Liponi, an organizer of the Milan Meetup and chief expert officer at BlockchainLab.it, announced the joint NO2X statement from the Italian Bitcoin community. On the first week of the month that this hard fork was planned to be activated, smart contract pioneer Nick Szabo went public with his opposition, adding the NO2X label to his Twitter profile. As a result of community reactions such as these, SegWit2x was called off. The announcement of the suspension was made, citing a lack of sufficient consensus.

Michael Goldstein, founder and president of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, tweeted, “Between #UASF and #No2x, I have to completely rethink my former disregard for hashtag activism,” to which Bitcoin Core contributor Peter Todd responded, “It’s almost like virtual activism is good enough for a virtual currency...”

Human Faces Behind Technology

What did this hashtag battle reveal? The disruption in cyberspace shook off the image of Bitcoin as apolitical money, which is often associated with cold algorithms and rational and impartial scientists. It has shown this community the role of human efforts in the development of this incredibly disruptive invention and how there are motives other than economic incentives. We have seen the faces of individuals on both sides who are deeply committed to their own vision of Bitcoin.

Miners no longer represent cold power plants and the roles of machines equipped with efficient computing chips. Co-founder and CEO of Bitmain, Jihan Wu, came to gain wide recognition with his sensational tweet; “F—k your mother if you want f—k.” Marek “Slush” Palatinus, founder of the world’s first Bitcoin mining pool, came out to announce that @slush_pool, responsible for ~4 percent of the global hashrate, was dedicated to signaling for BIP91. Behind the scenes, there are real people with their own values and ideas.

Political passion ignited the crypto space. One of the most well-known angel investors and Bitcoin evangelists, Roger Ver, showed his fierce will to unite his libertarian ideas and market forces in his new brand, Bitcoin Cash. Rick Falkvinge, IT entrepreneur and the founder of Pirate Party, distributed his wisdom of Swarmwise to guide a leaderless network.

Bitcoin Core contributors like Eric Lombrozo and Luke Dashjr have played key roles in forming the idea of deploying SegWit as a soft fork in 2015. These developers translated their knowledge into action by voicing their support for UASF and assisting the process. Pieter Wuille, one of the authors of the SegWit implementation, celebrated his SegWit transaction after its activation, thanking all who helped move it forward. We have seen strong dedication and enthusiasm behind this technology.

Choice: A Feature, Not a Bug

Both efforts behind #UASF and #SegWit2x represented an anomaly — individuals who acted of their own choice. In the old system of control, this choice represented something that needed to be eliminated. Bitcoin is a departure from that system. The events that unfolded around Bitcoin this last year have shown how the capacity for individuals to make choices, which exists prior to any scientific endeavor, is not a bug. It is not something that needs to be fixed, but is a vital feature.

In the story of Neo’s resistance, the Architect shows Neo two doors, one that leads to the salvation of Zion (the entire human race) or another that brings him back to the Matrix, to Trinity, who sacrificed herself to save him and the end of the species. Instead of trusting the third party and complying with the instructions given, he chooses what he knows to be true, that which is verified in his heart and networked with the heart of the other.

What guides his decision is a connection to another human that he feels in the heart, rather than an abstract concept of humanity presented by the Architect. Neo’s choice opens up a new possibility that was previously unavailable: to save both Zion and the woman he loves. His love for Trinity that gives him hope is regarded as an imperfection of humanity, which the creator of the Matrix describes as a fundamental flaw and an “anomaly revealed as both beginning and end.”

Yet it is this love that inspires visions; it is the moral code of cryptography and it is what fuels the engine of Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture. In the chaos of Bitcoin’s great civil war of 2017, we have seen this love, embodied by each person’s striving to make links, commit patches and make connections wherever the network could become broken.

The creator of this technology saw a different future. Satoshi’s message in the genesis block stands as a warning and a wakeup call. We are all Satoshi. We are the prophecy — the coming of a new source code and of an emerging P2P network that could crack this system of control and open all to a free society.

We are the One we have been waiting for, whose subjective value choice exercised adamantly can bring together two divergent paths toward freedom and end this battle. Computers are a universal machine, and with Bitcoin, programs that we choose to run that express collective values create a universal law of mathematics that cannot be corrupted. We are all united as users before being divided into merchants, miners, wallet providers and developers. We are the architects of our own future created through a consensus built on a perfect market in this harmony of mathematical precision.

This is a guest post by Nozomi Hayase. Views expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine.

The post Op Ed: Bitcoin’s Scaling Challenge Brings the Battle for Liberation of Cyberspace appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Op Ed: Bitcoin’s Scaling Challenge Brings the Battle for Liberation of Cyberspace

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

gpscaling.jpg

This year brought a climax in the prolonged Bitcoin block size debate. Heated disputes over scaling that have become toxic in the ecosystem have overshadowed the technology. The cancelation of SegWit2x, the most controversial proposal in this cryptocurrency’s history, averted a potential catastrophe. Innovation moves on and the community is finding some time for reflection. What did this latest crisis teach us? The political battle that came to the forefront in the last several months challenges all to examine a prevailing notion of Bitcoin as apolitical money and can help us explore the deeper vision behind this technology.

The trilogy of Wachowski’s science fiction film became a popular meme in the Bitcoin battle on social media. The Matrix is a story of a computer programmer played by Keanu Reeves who is said to become the One who can free people from a machine-controlled system. Neo’s struggle to liberate humanity from oppression seems to have resonated with many Bitcoiners who found a similar passion in the potential of Bitcoin to bring financial sovereignty to the common man in the world of central banks.

In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo confronts the man who designed the system. The Architect, who represents scientific reason and logic, tells Neo:

“Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision …”

To this, Neo responds saying, “Choice. The problem is choice.” Neo’s choice represents an irregularity that disrupts order and eventually threatens the system. This irregularity, in the eyes of the Architect, is a kind of bug that needs to be removed, yet he is unable to do so.

Bitcoin is an architecture that contains this anomaly. If we look back at the past nine years of its existence, the development of this network relied on the individual’s choice. In the white paper published in the midst of a financial crisis, the mysterious author put forward a blueprint of a decentralized network and set up its basic design. What created the network was participation of people who, of their own volition, followed the white rabbit. Yet at the same time as the network grew, this uncontrollable anomaly began to bring hostile forces to the network and create fluctuations in equations.

Clash of Two Visions

From Bitcoin XT to Bitcoin Classic to Bitcoin Unlimited, the proposals to change Bitcoin’s consensus emerged over time, which stirred up disagreements. The crux of the conflict can be found in opposing visions of Bitcoin. One camp views it as a payment system, wanting cheaper, faster on-chain transactions, while the other sees censorship resistance and permissionlessness as its defining feature and value proposition.

The friction of these two visions can be metaphorically depicted as a battle between Agent Smith and Neo involving their different ideas of freedom. Agent Smith represents the Adam Smith of the world, advocating a “free market” economy born in the Industrial Revolution. On the other hand, Neo is a symbol of civil liberty in the Digital Age, representing free speech and privacy enabled by asymmetric encryption. The growing schism between two visions of Bitcoin seemed to have reached the point of no return in May with the announcement of the “Bitcoin Scaling Agreement.”

SegWit2x, or the New York Agreement, was born in the heat of the scaling dispute. This proposal was put forward by opponents of the Core development team’s proposed protocol upgrade (a way to increase a new capacity without having to change consensus rules, while fixing a long-standing malleability bug). Most signers of the agreement saw SegWit2x as a compromise between Core’s planned SegWit implementation (BIP141) and Bitcoin Unlimited’s threat of a contentious hard fork alternative. They saw it as a way to keep the network together.

SegWit2x, a plan to double the block size through a hard fork, was developed in an invite-only meeting in a New York hotel by major actors in the industry. Unlike Bitcoin Cash, which was launched by supporters of a block size increase in response to the SegWit lock-in, SegWit2x lacked the replay protection needed to prevent potential loss of users’ funds through accidental replay spending and replay attacks. Concerns were raised about this proposal, specifically its rushed preparation done in a closed development process. Some perceived it as a dangerous and reckless hard fork, which is not a software upgrade as proponents claim, but an attack on Bitcoin.

Beginning of Resistance

In the Matrix series, aside from the Architect, who presents himself as the father of the system, there is another crucial character: the Oracle, who is the mother of the system. Morpheus speaks of how the Oracle, who made a prophecy, has been with the common people since the beginning of the resistance. He tells Neo just before he mets the Oracle, “Try not to think of it in terms of right and wrong. She is a guide. She can help you find the path.”

In a sense, the creator of Bitcoin was like a prophet who set up a path for a new future for others to find. What is contained in the white paper is a vision that has set everything in motion: a vision that existed from the very beginning. Before the architecture of 1s and 0s, whether numbers were used to calculate profit margins or to program software, there was a vision to guide human action.

The rabbit hole that took many of us to the Wonderland of this crypto-world goes much deeper. In a speech in Zurich titled “Call for a Revolutionary Hacker Movement,” Amir Taaki, who was one of the first developers to start working on Bitcoin, described the battle that has long been engaged since the dawn of the internet. He reminded the audience how Bitcoin is a political movement that was built on an earlier struggle.

Taaki spoke about another prophet who inspired him to engage in Bitcoin development. His name is Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, who brought about the idea of free software. This godfather of the GNU/Linux operating system described free software as “the first battle of liberation of cyberspace.”

Stallman explained that free software is “controlled by its users, rather than the reverse.” He defined “free” as freedom, libre in French, and not in terms of price. This vision of technology to empower individuals and change the world formed hacker ethics, which inspired a group known as the cypherpunks, an electric mailing list of activists who advocate free speech and privacy with the use of strong cryptography.

Amir noted how commercial interests co-opted Stallman’s vision by renaming free software as “open source” and rebranding it with an open-market idea focused on efficiency, profit and growth. Networks of committed individuals, who out of their own free resolution dedicated themselves to shared ideals greater than themselves, were slowly overtaken by business interests and people who were overly driven by self-interests. He then pointed out how the debacle of the block size debate was a hijacking of Bitcoin’s original vision, rooted in these ethics.

Resurgence of Free Software

Bitcoin is a breakthrough of computer science as free software, which ensures individual users’ rights to control its program. The first essential condition of freedom in the principle of free software that Stallman articulated is “freedom to run the program as you wish.” Stallman explained that if you are not a programmer and don’t know how to program, you can pay someone to do it for you and then, through them, you can exercise your freedom.

Bitcoin is a global project of free software, in which changes to the protocol are made through a broad consensus of the network. What maintains the integrity of this collective free software are full nodes run by individual users who enforce Bitcoin consensus rules, often referred to as the economic majority. By running codes of their own choice and using the nodes to receive transactions, users create economic activity. This way, they can support the developers who work on their behalf.

The proposed large block size violates this first premise of freedom, for it would increase the cost for individual users to run full nodes, making it impossible for them to use the free-market forces to exercise their own freedom. Thus, this idea for a bigger block size was rejected on technical grounds, with consideration of the security trade-off that centralization brings. A new solution has been put forward by core developers to preserve this essential condition of freedom on the first layer, with specialization to be built into other layers.

Responding to the SegWit2x initiative, CEO and co-founder of Prasos, Henry Brade, noted, “We are seeing the removal of #Bitcoin cypherpunk roots and the insertion of an industrial oligopoly to control all Bitcoin development.” Some articulated how the real story behind this scaling drama is all about control and noted how these were efforts partially driven by the desire to remove the influence of Bitcoin Core contributors and lock down development within their own vested interests.

Hash Power Supremacy

Like Agent Smith, who tried to keep Neo under his control, the world of IOU with laissez-faire economics collides with cypherpunks’ hacker ethics of free and open software. With ICOs and new BIPs filled with empty promises, corporate and Wall Street profiteers disguised as prophets try to infiltrate the cryptosphere.

Big business players, like wild cowboys, plunder knowledge in the Bitcoin source code repository that is carefully maintained through rigorous testing and peer review. Under the banner of “open source,” those driven by greed and commercial interests try to copy, modify and create their own versions of this currency and put the whole network under their proprietary control.

Here, the industrial infrastructure of power came in full force to resist the ascent of a new Digital Era. Ideology of hash power supremacy was taken up by SegWit2x proponents, who argued that miners can decide or should dictate the future of the Bitcoin protocol. This ideology is based on the belief (perhaps held by some out of lack of knowledge and by others more intentionally) that a blockchain with more hashing power dedicated to it becomes Bitcoin. Some criticized these miners’ attitudes to put themselves above the protocol rules enforced by users. They saw it as a dangerous, slippery slope toward changing all other rules, including the 21 million coin limit.

The community’s concern about this seemingly overarching power of miners reached another level last spring when the controversy over Bitmain’s AsicBoost technology emerged. The allegation was made that Chinese hardware maker Bitmain was secretly exploiting a previously known weakness in Bitcoin’s algorithm and engaging in unfair mining practices. If this was true, it was like a malicious malware in software that was released into the network. Monopoly through a patent on mining chip technology can be used as a weapon to disable fair market competition and restrict users’ access to participate in the network fully.

#UASF, Proof-of-Hats Consensus

While proponents of SegWit2x tried to command economically rational miners and intensify the threat of a hard fork, resistance had emerged. The attempted hashing power takeover was met by Twitter hashtag activism. Around this consensus algorithm, a human network of solidarity was quickly formed, and a spontaneous, self-directing organism emerged within the ecosystem.

A seed of this movement was planted when pseudonymous Bitcoin and Litecoin developer Shaolinfry proposed his User Activated Soft Forks (UASF). The vision of UASF is said to be inspired by game theory put forward by the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, namely a concept of the “intolerant minority.” This idea of an activation mechanism enforced by users began to grow when it kindled in the spirit of others. Samson Mow, the CSO of the blockchain technology company Blockstream, set up a bounty to fund the development of a UASF software implementation designed to trigger BIP141.

The UASF cap distributed by Mow became a Proof-of-Hat consensus, a torch of freedom that unites those whose hearts beat to keep the original vision of Bitcoin immutable. Linux software engineer Warren Togami reminded Bitcoiners that users are in charge: “Stop begging developers to decide. Users have the real power, and they need to step up their advocacy game. #BIP148.” The previously silenced majority had found an avenue to exercise their own power.

#NO2X, the Rise of Hashtag Activism

With his gift for social engineering, Mow created Twitter moments. Titled “Bitcoin vs. CorporateBitcoin (corporate takeover),” his “moment” called on users to rise up in this “battle for Bitcoin’s soul.” Dubbed as Bitcoin Independence Day, activation for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 148 (BIP148) was set for August 1. In an interview with Fortune magazine, Mow pointed out the contingency of individuals who are pushing for a hard fork and driven by an agenda to bring Bitcoin onto a path of centralization. Their irreconcilable differences were manifested right in the code of BIP148, with its different activation method being incompatible with SegWit2x.

Facing the challenge of a potential coin-split between two implementations, another individual rose to the occasion.

James Hilliard, Bitmain Warranty engineer (not to be confused with Bitmain), created BIP91, a largely miner-enforced soft fork that could keep the Bitcoin network together. Bitcoin Core contributor Matt Corallo helped a smooth rollout by making updates to FIBRE, the fast block-replaying network, and alerted miners to make sure their BIP-enforcing nodes had connections. With these collaborations, BIP91 gained rapid signals from the mining community and was locked in 10 days before BIP148’s flag day for activation.

The threshold momentum leading up to the SegWit lock-in and its activation attracted the attention of the entire global network to the blockchain. Rodolfo Novak, the CEO and founder of Coinkite, a Bitcoin web wallet system, tweeted in countdown for lock-in: “#SegWit is now locked-in! Thanks to #UASF #BIP148. Never forget who governs #Bitcoin, no one, but everyone.”

Exuberance created through BIP148 mobilization fueled a #NO2X protest movement. Strong support came from the Bitcoin community. Mir Serena Liponi, an organizer of the Milan Meetup and chief expert officer at BlockchainLab.it, announced the joint NO2X statement from the Italian Bitcoin community. On the first week of the month that this hard fork was planned to be activated, smart contract pioneer Nick Szabo went public with his opposition, adding the NO2X label to his Twitter profile. As a result of community reactions such as these, SegWit2x was called off. The announcement of the suspension was made, citing a lack of sufficient consensus.

Michael Goldstein, founder and president of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, tweeted, “Between #UASF and #No2x, I have to completely rethink my former disregard for hashtag activism,” to which Bitcoin Core contributor Peter Todd responded, “It’s almost like virtual activism is good enough for a virtual currency...”

Human Faces Behind Technology

What did this hashtag battle reveal? The disruption in cyberspace shook off the image of Bitcoin as apolitical money, which is often associated with cold algorithms and rational and impartial scientists. It has shown this community the role of human efforts in the development of this incredibly disruptive invention and how there are motives other than economic incentives. We have seen the faces of individuals on both sides who are deeply committed to their own vision of Bitcoin.

Miners no longer represent cold power plants and the roles of machines equipped with efficient computing chips. Co-founder and CEO of Bitmain, Jihan Wu, came to gain wide recognition with his sensational tweet; “F—k your mother if you want f—k.” Marek “Slush” Palatinus, founder of the world’s first Bitcoin mining pool, came out to announce that @slush_pool, responsible for ~4 percent of the global hashrate, was dedicated to signaling for BIP91. Behind the scenes, there are real people with their own values and ideas.

Political passion ignited the crypto space. One of the most well-known angel investors and Bitcoin evangelists, Roger Ver, showed his fierce will to unite his libertarian ideas and market forces in his new brand, Bitcoin Cash. Rick Falkvinge, IT entrepreneur and the founder of Pirate Party, distributed his wisdom of Swarmwise to guide a leaderless network.

Bitcoin Core contributors like Eric Lombrozo and Luke Dashjr have played key roles in forming the idea of deploying SegWit as a soft fork in 2015. These developers translated their knowledge into action by voicing their support for UASF and assisting the process. Pieter Wuille, one of the authors of the SegWit implementation, celebrated his SegWit transaction after its activation, thanking all who helped move it forward. We have seen strong dedication and enthusiasm behind this technology.

Choice: A Feature, Not a Bug

Both efforts behind #UASF and #SegWit2x represented an anomaly — individuals who acted of their own choice. In the old system of control, this choice represented something that needed to be eliminated. Bitcoin is a departure from that system. The events that unfolded around Bitcoin this last year have shown how the capacity for individuals to make choices, which exists prior to any scientific endeavor, is not a bug. It is not something that needs to be fixed, but is a vital feature.

In the story of Neo’s resistance, the Architect shows Neo two doors, one that leads to the salvation of Zion (the entire human race) or another that brings him back to the Matrix, to Trinity, who sacrificed herself to save him and the end of the species. Instead of trusting the third party and complying with the instructions given, he chooses what he knows to be true, that which is verified in his heart and networked with the heart of the other.

What guides his decision is a connection to another human that he feels in the heart, rather than an abstract concept of humanity presented by the Architect. Neo’s choice opens up a new possibility that was previously unavailable: to save both Zion and the woman he loves. His love for Trinity that gives him hope is regarded as an imperfection of humanity, which the creator of the Matrix describes as a fundamental flaw and an “anomaly revealed as both beginning and end.”

Yet it is this love that inspires visions; it is the moral code of cryptography and it is what fuels the engine of Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture. In the chaos of Bitcoin’s great civil war of 2017, we have seen this love, embodied by each person’s striving to make links, commit patches and make connections wherever the network could become broken.

The creator of this technology saw a different future. Satoshi’s message in the genesis block stands as a warning and a wakeup call. We are all Satoshi. We are the prophecy — the coming of a new source code and of an emerging P2P network that could crack this system of control and open all to a free society.

We are the One we have been waiting for, whose subjective value choice exercised adamantly can bring together two divergent paths toward freedom and end this battle. Computers are a universal machine, and with Bitcoin, programs that we choose to run that express collective values create a universal law of mathematics that cannot be corrupted. We are all united as users before being divided into merchants, miners, wallet providers and developers. We are the architects of our own future created through a consensus built on a perfect market in this harmony of mathematical precision.

This is a guest post by Nozomi Hayase. Views expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine.

The post Op Ed: Bitcoin’s Scaling Challenge Brings the Battle for Liberation of Cyberspace appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Canadian TSX Venture Exchange Approves Crypto-Mining Company HashChain to Launch Monday

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

hashchainTSX.jpg

On December 18, 2017, HashChain Technology, a cryptocurrency mining company, went public for the first time on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol KASH, joining at least eight other crypto-related startups including HIVE Blockchain Technologies (Genesis Mining).

At least 50 more blockchain and cryptocurrencies firms are preparing to list on the TSX in the coming year, including Hut 8 Mining Corp., according to Harris Fricker, CEO of GMP Capital Inc., noting that the TSX Venture Exchange tends to be less risk-averse than many other stock exchanges around the world.

In the past, the TSX Venture Exchange has been mainly for smaller companies trading oil and gas, traditional mining and, recently, medical marijuana futures according to Fricker. He says that “at least eight cryptocurrency-related stocks are now trading in Canada.”

HashChain stock started trading today at $2.20 CDN a share. The company has already raised $4.4 million with 41,179,000 common shares both issued and outstanding, in preparation for today’s launch on the TSX.

HashChain says it will initially mine the altcoin Dash but will go on to mine bitcoin in January 2018. After that they say they will “be supporting highly scalable and flexible operations across all major cryptocurrencies.”

The company is counting on their Canadian location to give them an edge:

“Our ideal location for mining will maximize revenue on each coin, and our proprietary approach to operations can sustain rapid growth and scalability.”

HashChain CEO Patrick Gray told Bitcoin Magazine in an interview that although their office is in New York, mining operations will be run out of Vancouver, Canada.

“We have our mining operation in Vancouver because it's the optimal location to reduce the costs of large-scale mining. Canada has cheap internet, low energy costs and a cold climate that greatly reduces the cost of cooling mining equipment,” noted Gray.

“We monitor these operations 24/7 from New York with a web interface that ensures IP, temperature, hashrate, wattage, fans and memory are all operating at maximum efficiency. This allows us to minimize expenses for each coin mined.”

HashCoin Hopes to Benefit from Canadian Energy Efficiency

As a start, HashChain is mining on the Ethereum blockchain using high-performance ASIC 100 Dash mining rigs. It has also purchased 770 ASIC bitcoin rigs.

“One of HashChain's core advantages is that our operations are in Canada, which is one of a few places globally that offers the most energy-efficient mining conditions,” said Gray.

“On top of that, there is likely to be new rigs on the market in the near future that reduce the amount of energy required to mine at high hashrates, similar to how the market largely moved from GPUs to ASICs for this reason. From a general standpoint, as the country begins to move towards renewable energy, this could lessen the environmental impact as well.”

HashChain hopes to set up more mining locations in cool climates, with low-cost energy and reliable high-speed internet, what the company calls the “trifecta” most critical to mining success.

They are also currently working on proprietary software capable of monitoring hash rates of equipment so they will automatically switch computing power to the currency that is most profitable at that time.

The post Canadian TSX Venture Exchange Approves Crypto-Mining Company HashChain to Launch Monday appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Canadian TSX Venture Exchange Approves Crypto-Mining Company HashChain to Launch Monday

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

hashchainTSX.jpg

On December 18, 2017, HashChain Technology, a cryptocurrency mining company, went public for the first time on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol KASH, joining at least eight other crypto-related startups including HIVE Blockchain Technologies (Genesis Mining).

At least 50 more blockchain and cryptocurrencies firms are preparing to list on the TSX in the coming year, including Hut 8 Mining Corp., according to Harris Fricker, CEO of GMP Capital Inc., noting that the TSX Venture Exchange tends to be less risk-averse than many other stock exchanges around the world.

In the past, the TSX Venture Exchange has been mainly for smaller companies trading oil and gas, traditional mining and, recently, medical marijuana futures according to Fricker. He says that “at least eight cryptocurrency-related stocks are now trading in Canada.”

HashChain stock started trading today at $2.20 CDN a share. The company has already raised $4.4 million with 41,179,000 common shares both issued and outstanding, in preparation for today’s launch on the TSX.

HashChain says it will initially mine the altcoin Dash but will go on to mine bitcoin in January 2018. After that they say they will “be supporting highly scalable and flexible operations across all major cryptocurrencies.”

The company is counting on their Canadian location to give them an edge:

“Our ideal location for mining will maximize revenue on each coin, and our proprietary approach to operations can sustain rapid growth and scalability.”

HashChain CEO Patrick Gray told Bitcoin Magazine in an interview that although their office is in New York, mining operations will be run out of Vancouver, Canada.

“We have our mining operation in Vancouver because it's the optimal location to reduce the costs of large-scale mining. Canada has cheap internet, low energy costs and a cold climate that greatly reduces the cost of cooling mining equipment,” noted Gray.

“We monitor these operations 24/7 from New York with a web interface that ensures IP, temperature, hashrate, wattage, fans and memory are all operating at maximum efficiency. This allows us to minimize expenses for each coin mined.”

HashCoin Hopes to Benefit from Canadian Energy Efficiency

As a start, HashChain is mining on the Ethereum blockchain using high-performance ASIC 100 Dash mining rigs. It has also purchased 770 ASIC bitcoin rigs.

“One of HashChain's core advantages is that our operations are in Canada, which is one of a few places globally that offers the most energy-efficient mining conditions,” said Gray.

“On top of that, there is likely to be new rigs on the market in the near future that reduce the amount of energy required to mine at high hashrates, similar to how the market largely moved from GPUs to ASICs for this reason. From a general standpoint, as the country begins to move towards renewable energy, this could lessen the environmental impact as well.”

HashChain hopes to set up more mining locations in cool climates, with low-cost energy and reliable high-speed internet, what the company calls the “trifecta” most critical to mining success.

They are also currently working on proprietary software capable of monitoring hash rates of equipment so they will automatically switch computing power to the currency that is most profitable at that time.

The post Canadian TSX Venture Exchange Approves Crypto-Mining Company HashChain to Launch Monday appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Citron Research gets short Riot Blockchain, says it's reached a 'full mania'

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

Andrew Left

  • Short seller Andrew Left's Citron Research has initiated a position against Riot Blockchain.
  • Shares of the company have soared more than 375% since the company pivoted to blockchain from biotech in October. 
  • Riot Blockchain shares are shrugging off the news of Left's short position. 

 

Shares of Riot Blockchain are shrugging off the news that short seller Andrew Left's company, Citron Research, has initiated a position against the company. They're trading up 33.5% near $38 apiece on Monday.

Riot Blockchain has soared about 375% since the company announced in early October that it was pivoting to focus on buying cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses. The company was previously named Bioptix and focused on making diagnostic machinery for the biotech industry.

"Full mania..," Citron's Twitter account said. "No reason to short any stocks now that even have business while the market has given us stocks like $RIOT. Starting short position here. The bar for finding good shorts has been lowered."

Riot Blockchain is just one of many companies that have seen a significant jump in market cap after announcing a pivot to the blockchain space. Over the past week, shares of LongFin Corp. soared as much as 2,400% after that company announced it had purchased Ziddu, a blockchain company specializing in business-to-business warehouse payments. 

Getting in on the area has been a hot trend as of late as companies look to capitalize on the booming cryptocurrency space. This past weekend, CME Group launched bitcoin futures, sending the cryptocurrency to a record high near $20,000 a coin. 

In total, the cryptocurrency universe has a market cap of more than $600 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

The Secret to Getting a Tax Deduction for Buying Bitcoin

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

Considering a Bitcoin investment? The Bitcoin 401k is a tax efficient approach for business owners.

Snap jumps on news its still the app of choice for teenagers (SNAP)

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

Snapchat


 

Snap's stock was up on Monday after a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets found that its Snapchat app is still the darling of US teenage consumers.

Snapchat was the most popular app among teenagers from aged 13 to 18, with 79% of respondents claiming to have an account. Among the age cohort, 73% said they had an Instagram account and only 57% said they had a Facebook account.

The teenage cohort has become an important demographic among social media platforms because teenagers can provide a signal of future internet consumer trends. 

Snapchat was also the app of choice among teenagers when asked to pick only one social media network they could keep with them if they were stuck on a deserted island. The survey found that 44% of teenagers picked Snapchat, followed by Instagram with 24% and Facebook with 14%.

Though Snap has fallen out of favor with some investors this year—plummeting below $12 a share after its disastrous third-quarter earnings—it has since climbed back after some positive news from analysts

The company is trying out a new redesign of its app, which could draw in more users and boost user engagement, a Barclays analyst found. 

Snap's stock was up 1.75% at $16.03 per share on Monday. It's down 5.7% since its March initial public offering. 

To read more about how Snap's new look could change its fortunes for the better, click here.

Snap stock price

SEE ALSO: BARCLAYS: Snap's redesign could be a turning point

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Snap jumps on news its still the app of choice for teenagers (SNAP)

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

Snapchat


 

Snap's stock was up on Monday after a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets found that its Snapchat app is still the darling of US teenage consumers.

Snapchat was the most popular app among teenagers from aged 13 to 18, with 79% of respondents claiming to have an account. Among the age cohort, 73% said they had an Instagram account and only 57% said they had a Facebook account.

The teenage cohort has become an important demographic among social media platforms because teenagers can provide a signal of future internet consumer trends. 

Snapchat was also the app of choice among teenagers when asked to pick only one social media network they could keep with them if they were stuck on a deserted island. The survey found that 44% of teenagers picked Snapchat, followed by Instagram with 24% and Facebook with 14%.

Though Snap has fallen out of favor with some investors this year—plummeting below $12 a share after its disastrous third-quarter earnings—it has since climbed back after some positive news from analysts

The company is trying out a new redesign of its app, which could draw in more users and boost user engagement, a Barclays analyst found. 

Snap's stock was up 1.75% at $16.03 per share on Monday. It's down 5.7% since its March initial public offering. 

To read more about how Snap's new look could change its fortunes for the better, click here.

Snap stock price

SEE ALSO: BARCLAYS: Snap's redesign could be a turning point

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Bitcoin 101: Your essential guide to cryptocurrency

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

A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration

Bitcoin is everywhere.

The cryptocurrency is seemingly in the news every day as investors and businesses try to understand the future of this digital finance.

But what is Bitcoin all about?

Why is it suddenly on every financial news program?

And what does it mean to you?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in Bitcoin 101, a brand new FREE report from BI Intelligence.

To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.

Join the conversation about this story »

Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto is Among the 50 Richest People

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

The post Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto is Among the 50 Richest People appeared first on CCN

Satoshi Nakamoto, a person or a group who founded bitcoin in 2009 by mining the genesis block, has become one of the 50 richest people in the world with a net worth of $19.4 billion. For many years, bitcoins mined by Satoshi Nakamoto have remained unspent, all 980,000 of it. If the price of bitcoin

The post Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto is Among the 50 Richest People appeared first on CCN

A little-known import/export financier soared 2,400% after buying a blockchain technology — but now shares are crashing off their highs (LFIN)

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

longfin stock price

  • Longfin is a small import-export financier that was little known before buying Ziddu, a blockchain company specializing in business-to-business warehouse payments.
  • Longfin shares skyrocketed 2,400% in a matter of days after buying Ziddu.
  • Shares were up more than 500% on Monday before crashing off their highs. Longfin still trades up 240% on Monday. 
  • Longfin is the most recent example in a long-running list of companies that explode after pivoting to cryptocurrencies or announcing a new focus on blockchain technology.

Subscribe to our Crypto Insider newsletter for the best of the blockchain every day.

SEE ALSO: Subscribe to our Crypto Insider newsletter for the best of the blockchain every day.

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

CFTC Launches Online Resources for Bitcoin Investors

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

The top derivatives regulator in the U.S. has created a new information portal for cryptocurrencies, a move that came just days ahead of a major bitcoin futures launch.

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.

Every day, an army of Wall Street stock analysts issue target prices, stock predictions and forecasts for many of the thousands of publicly traded companies.

We scoured our contacts for the best and brightest of these analysts, receiving recommendations from bosses, colleagues, investors and recruiters. The editors made final decisions. To be eligible, the rising stars had to be aged 35-years-old or younger as of December 1, and involved in sell-side equity research at a Wall Street firm, as well as be distinguished in some way from the pack.

You can read Business Insider’s list of the top young Wall Street stars of equity research here

You can read what they had to say about the markets here

In finance news, the hedge fund world is talking about a huge new fund from the former investment chief at Viking Global. And in deal news, Campbell and Hershey both announced billion-dollar acquisitions of snack makers.

We've launched Crypto Insider, a roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get the email delivered direct to your inbox.

In markets news: 

Lastly, we talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

Join the conversation about this story »

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

The power outage that crippled the busiest airport in the world will be painful for Delta

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

Atlanta airport power outage

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport suffered a power outage on Sunday.
  • Delta Air Lines has canceled more than roughly 1,400 flights since Sunday.
  • It will take days for Delta's network days to recover.

Delta Air Lines is working to get its flight operations back to normal after a massive power outage crippled its home base at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Delta is Hartsfield-Jackson's single largest tenant and operates more than 1,000 departures a day from the airport.

The airline has already canceled roughly 400 flights on Monday. That's on top of the nearly 1,000 flights it canceled Sunday.

Even though Atlanta is Delta's largest base of operations, it will still take a tremendous amount of time and coordination to reposition stranded crews and aircraft into position to operate flights. 

The cascading effects of the outage will be felt for days as further delays and cancellations are all but inevitable in Atlanta and Delta's outposts around the world. 

In fact, the final passenger flight of a US-operated Boeing 747 was set to depart on Sunday from Detroit but had to be canceled because of the outage. According to Delta, it could not assemble the necessary crew to operate the flight. 

It took Delta roughly a week to recover from a series of severe storms that rolled through Atlanta in April; forcing it to cancel 4,000 flights. That incident cost the airline $125 million in lost revenue.

With the holiday travel season in full swing and airlines already operating near capacity, there will be fewer open seats to accommodate stranded travelers.

Delta is offering a travel waiver that will allow customers affected by the outage to change their reservations free of charge. Other airlines are offering similar waivers. Here are links to waivers from American, United, Southwest, and JetBlue.

The airline has also instituted a temporary stop on travel for unaccompanied minors to or from Atlanta.

Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in the world and handles more than 104 million passengers a year. The facility went dark around 1 pm on Sunday. Georgia Power, the airport's utility provider, believes the outage was caused by an underground electrical fire. According to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, the intense fire not only knocked out the airport's primary power network but also its backup system.

SEE ALSO: Delta's CEO explains why airline computers fail and how tech will change flying

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

What the Public Relations Industry Needs To Know About Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings

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

It's exciting, it's inviting, and it's so complex that you probably don't want to be involved

A Fed official who has been voting against rate hikes thinks he knows why wages aren't rising faster

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

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks during an interview at Reuters in New York, United States on February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

  • Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari explains his third dissent against interest rate hikes this year, citing weak labor force participation and low inflation.
  • Kashkari worries the Fed's interest rate hikes are actively contributing to a decline in US inflation expectations that could make the central bank's job harder in the next downturn.
  • "The job market is not as tight as the 4.1% unemployment rate suggests," Kashkari writes in a blog explaining his dissent.

 

For many Federal Reserve officials, the lack of wage growth in a labor market that has improved steadily and brought the unemployment rate to a historically low 4.1% remains a mystery.

Not so much for Neel Kashkari, the president of the Minneapolis Fed who has dissented against all three of the Fed’s interest rate increases this year, including last week’s rise to a range between 1.25% and 1.50%.

"Why aren’t wages picking up?" Kashkari asked in a blog post explaining his latest dissent. "In my view, the two most likely explanations are that the job market is not as tight as the 4.1% unemployment rate suggests and that people’s expectations for future inflation have fallen, which can become self-fulfilling."

Kashkari believes low labor-force participation and other underlying pockets of weakness are still leaving workers in too precarious a situation to bargain for higher wages.

"One measure of the labor force — the participation rate for workers between 25 and 54 years old, typically called ' prime age' — suggests that there could be more than a million workers still on the sidelines," Kashkari said.

Participation

Underemployment

"We don’t know how many will return, but with wage growth still well below its precrisis pace, it’s easy to argue that we might not really be at full employment," he said. "If wage growth climbs, I expect to see more people come into the labor force."

Kashkari is similarly concerned about low inflation and inflation expectations, which he fears points to the same kind of underlying weakness he sees in the labor market.

"People’s beliefs about future inflation are enormously important to where inflation is actually headed," he added. "If workers believe inflation will be low in the future, they demand smaller wage increases from their employers."

US inflation has been chronically below the Fed’s 2% target for most of this economic recovery, despite seven years of zero interest rates and several rounds of bond purchases aimed at stimulating economic growth. Wage growth has also lagged, with average hourly earnings climbing a modest 2.5% in the year to November. 

"While high inflation is clearly bad for society, excessively low inflation can limit the Fed’s ability to respond to future recessions, potentially making them longer and more damaging," Kashkari said. "Market-based measures suggest that US inflation expectations have fallen well below precrisis levels."

Kashkari remains skeptical of the argument made by some of his colleagues that a recent decline in inflation is temporary. "We don’t know that for certain, and the longer it persists, the more tenuous the transitory factors story becomes."

Inflation

Expectations

SEE ALSO: Something doesn't add up in Janet Yellen promise of higher wages

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

JPMORGAN: Twitter is one of our top ideas for 2018 (TWTR)

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

Jack Dorsey

  • Twitter shares are up after JPMorgan upgraded the company and called it a top idea for 2018.
  • New product improvements could bring a lot of new users and advertisers to the platform.
  • The company also said it will start acting on its previously announced rules banning hate speech on Monday.
  • Watch the stock trade in real time here.


Shares of Twitter are up 7.31% to $24.01 after an upgrade from JPMorgan and saying it will begin enforcing its rules aimed at reducing hateful and abusive speech.

On Monday, JPMorgan upgraded Twitter to overweight, calling it one of the bank's best ideas for 2018.

"We believe both the Twitter story and financial results will strengthen over the next year as the company continues to build on its differentiated value proposition for users and returns to revenue growth," Doug Anmuth, an analyst at JPMorgan, said in a note to clients.

Anmuth said that the negative drumbeat around Twitter could start to change in the coming new year. The company is improving its product, growing users and ad revenue, and should become GAAP profitable in 2018, according to Anmuth. 

Twitter has started to make good on its promise to clean up its platform. On Monday, the company said it will begin taking action against users that promote or glorify violence on or off the platform. Offending tweets will be removed, and multiple violations will result in a permanent ban, according to Twitter.

Twitter has faced harsh criticism in the past from its users from not taking action against hateful accounts. After releasing new features that haven't combated hate speech, users often criticize the company for not working to "ban nazis." The new rule enforcement includes a loophole for members of the military or government, which means US President Trump would not be subject to the rules.

Twitter has also implemented a new way of tweeting threaded tweets and a longer character count recently. Anmuth says these, and other product announcements will help accelerate user and advertising growth on the platform.

JPMorgan has a $27 price target on Twitter, which is about 12.5% higher than the company's current price. Anmuth's earnings estimate for 2018 is about 15% higher than Wall Street's consensus.   

Twitter is up 45.13% after Monday's move.

Click here to read about the top research analysts on Wall Street.

Twitter stock price

SEE ALSO: Introducing Wall Street's Rising Stars of Equity Research age 35 and under

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

France Wants G20 Nations to Discuss Bitcoin Regulation

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

France's finance minister is planning to push for a discussion on bitcoin regulation at a G-20 summit next spring.

Bitcoin Price Has a $400,000 ‘End-game’: Research Analyst Ronnie Moas

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

The post Bitcoin Price Has a $400,000 ‘End-game’: Research Analyst Ronnie Moas appeared first on CCN

Independent market research analyst Ronnie Moas said that he believes the bitcoin price has the potential to reach a long-term target of $400,000. Bitcoin Price Has Six-Figure Potential Moas, the founder of Standpoint Research, has been recommending bitcoin since July when it was trading at $2,600. At that time, Moas set his 2018 bitcoin price

The post Bitcoin Price Has a $400,000 ‘End-game’: Research Analyst Ronnie Moas appeared first on CCN

There's an easy way to show the stock market rally has little to do with Trump

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

Trump

  • President Donald Trump loves to take credit for the relentless rally in stocks that took on fresh momentum in 2017.
  • A Council on Foreign Relations analysis uses international stock comparisons to show US markets have been riding the coattails of stronger global growth. 
  • Interest in equities from other rich nations has been nearly as strong during the rally, suggesting US policies have little to do with the market's strength. 

 

President Donald Trump tends to get really excited about a rallying stock market, neglecting that most of the benefits from rising share prices accrue to the richest Americans.

He also loves to take credit for the run-up in equities that, while having preceded him, took on new momentum in 2017. However, not only do presidents generally have little control over the direction of financial markets, there is a particular reason not to ascribe the recent record-breaking surge in stock prices to this administration.

My colleague Joe Ciolli has analyzed Trump's stock market claims extensively, finding that "while there have been times this year when the so-called Trump trade — or the promise of business-friendly policies — has undoubtedly been responsible for the gains, there have also been long stretches when other factors were driving returns."

Now a new analysis from the Council on Foreign Relations takes a different approach to dissecting Trump's stock market claims — yet it comes to a remarkably similar conclusion.

"The S&P 500 index is up 28%," write CFR economist Benn Steil and analyst Benjamin Della Rocca in Foreign Affairs. "But is the president right to credit himself? A wider and closer look at the numbers shows he is not.

"With the exceptions of a post-election bump, subsequently reversed, and the recent boost from Republican tax cut legislation, which the president has merely cheerled from the sidelines, the markets have done no more than reward US stocks for riding the coattails of global growth," they argue.

To be clear, US market have outperformed many of their rich-country peers. The Dow Jones industrial average has jumped 23% this year, while Germany's DAX, for instance, has put in a solid but less impressive 15%. However, it is overseas growth, including in Europe and China, that has shown surprising strength this year, underpinning equities globally. 

But Steil and Della Rocca try to "extract the market’s expectations of earnings prospects around the world" in order to gauge "to what degree the US market actually stands out."

The results suggest  the "Trump effect" on stock prices was "precisely nil: the U.S. market under Trump had done no better than its peers abroad."

As the chart below shows, investors were just as keen to buy Canadian, European and Japanese stocks, "even though the policy agendas under which those companies operate are very different from those in the United States."

International Equities CFR

SEE ALSO: Trump just took credit for stock-market records once again — so we graded his claims

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

Bitcoin's wild volatility could soon start shaping other markets

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

coal furnace

  • Despite bitcoin's wild price moves, it's still not considered a risk to the financial system. 
  • But it could start to matter a lot more to the coal market, according to Jordan Rochester, an FX strategist at Nomura. 
  • China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, and hosts more than half of the world's bitcoin mining pools. 

 

On a normal day, bitcoin can shed or gain several thousand dollars of its value with double-digit percentage moves. 

While experts debate bitcoin's role in a world still dominated by fiat currencies, the real risk is how the cryptocurrency starts to impact other markets, according to Jordan Rochester, an FX strategist at Nomura. 

In a note on Monday, Rochester forecast that bitcoin would have a growing impact on energy markets, particularly coal

Bitcoin mining requires a lot of electricity. And China, the world's largest coal producer and consumer, hosts about 71% of the cryptocurrency's mining pools, Rochester said. 

"Estimates were made in March 2016 expecting Bitcoin’s energy consumption to match that of Denmark by 2020," Rochester said.

"Today bitcoin already has matched that, three years ahead of schedule. So if it’s not risk-off inspired price action from bitcoin that moves other markets how about higher energy costs?"

Bitcoin's energy consumption stems partly from the fact that it's a proof-of-work cryptocurrency, meaning that miners are rewarded for solving mathematical puzzles on the blockchain, and for helping to prevent attacks on the bitcoin network. As the calculations get more complicated, more energy is required.

"For as long as POW is the most common form of cryptocurrency, this could start to have an economic and environmental cost," said Rochester, who disclosed that he "holds a personal interest in bitcoin and ethereum."

Bitcoin, with a market value of nearly $300 billion, already impacts other asset classes. Chipmakers like Nvidia and AMD have been supported by demand for their products to mine bitcoin. In more baffling moves, some stocks have surged right after the companies announced they were adding the word "blockchain" to their names.

"It may be too early for Bitcoin to have a global impact on other asset markets at this stage," Rochester said.

"Instead, we need to look where investors are most exposed on a regional basis for where this cross-market correlation could bite. With Japan accounting for nearly half of global trade in bitcoin compared with just 25% in the US, it could be in Asia where Mrs. Watanabe pulls back."

Screen Shot 2017 12 18 at 10.09.26 AM

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

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

Wall Street's brightest young analysts are still bullish on markets — despite being surrounded by bears

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

BI Graphics_Rising stars of euity research 2x1

  • Business Insider today published its list of the rising stars of equity research.
  • We spoke to dozens of nominated analysts. These are their views on markets' hottest sectors. 


In conversations with dozens of finalists for the Rising Stars of Equity Research, Business Insider got an inside look at how some of Wall Street's top young stock analysts view the market today. 

These young analysts spoke optimistically about the current bull market, now in its 10th year of record gains. They’re not worried about a correction or downturn anytime soon, despite what some of their older peers are predicting. You can see the full list of finalists here. 

Here’s more on three of the candidates' top sectors, from dozens of conversations with the rising stars of equity research:

Retail

Goods will always be bought and sold, regardless of medium, says Simeon Siegel of Nomura-Instinet. It’s just a matter of convincing a consumer to spend at one particular store and not a competitor.

"If you think about what was the job of a retailer, it has always been two-fold: getting you into their store, and then getting you to open your wallet. Those are two very different jobs," he said in an interview.

"The ability to do both has changed. I would argue the ability to get someone to open up their wallet actually is not as hard as it sounds. It's convincing them that you're worth buying. I don't think people are spending less, if they're given something they want to spend on."

Siegel says brands like Tiffany, which recently opened a highly exclusive "blue box cafe" in its Fifth Avenue store, and Amazon, the clear dominator of e-commerce, are best poised to whether this shift in the retail industry.

Technology

Cybersecurity is an ever-increasing threat, and company’s are taking notice. Firms dedicated to cybersecurity are poised to gain from this trend, our finalists said.

"Target’s security breach was the watershed moment," one rising star analyst said. "Everything today is online, and hackers are become increasingly sophisticated."

Data service providers are also seeing increased business as more companies move their operations to the cloud. For security-sensitive information, specialized data center providers like Equinex and Switch are well-positioned to outperform next year, an analyst said, as businesses realize not all clouds are created equal.

Other top technology picks from the rising stars of equity research include network security provider Forescout, Microsoft and Amazon, this time a pick for its web services unit.

Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, & Healthcare

A significant portion of the rising stars list consisted of biotechnology, biopharma and other science-related fields as banks and investors pay closer attention to the sector.

Two areas of studies mentioned by multiple rising stars are gene therapy and RNA therapeutics. CRISPR, short for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats," is a revolutionary tool that allows researchers to go into a cell’s DNA and modify a mutated part of the gene, a process known as gene editing. The technology is on track to be a $10 billion market by 2025, analysts say.

Top stock picks in this space are Quorum Health, Blueprint Medicines, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, our finalists say.

You can view the full list of Wall Street's Rising Stars of Equity Research on Business Insider Prime here.

SEE ALSO: Introducing Wall Street's Rising Stars of Equity Research age 35 and under

Join the conversation about this story »

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

CRYPTO INSIDER: Bitcoin slips as CME futures go live

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

Krugman Bottom Line still

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

CME Group became the second exchange group to launch a bitcoin futures market on Sunday. Bitcoin was down slightly on the news. Here’s the full scoreboard from Markets Insider:

  1. ING: Bitcoin will be a niche asset for 'tech nerds,' the privacy-obsessed, and criminals. "One day, beyond the hype, Bitcoin will return to being the niche product that it was in its initial years. Users will include tech nerds, people obsessed about their privacy, people afraid for (hyper)inflation in traditional currencies, and people wanting to circumvent central banks for ideological or criminal reasons,” the bank said
  2. TD Ameritrade is turning on bitcoin futures on Cboe’s exchange for some of its clients.
  3. Bitcoin’s bubble is “even more obvious than the housing bubble,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told Business Insider on an episode of The Bottom Line.
  4. XRP, a cryptocurrency created by Ripple, briefly overtook bitcoin cash last week in terms of market cap, but it’s back in third place this morning.
  5. Bitcoin is a “highly speculative asset,” Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said in a press conference on Friday — but the central bank played a key role in its rise.
  6. Bitcoin's creator is now one of the richest 50 people in the world — we just don't know who they are.

You can watch the prices of the 13 largest cryptocurrencies in real-time on Markets Insider's cryptocurrency page. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's creator is now one of the richest 50 people in the world — we just don't know who they are

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

CRYPTO INSIDER: Bitcoin slips as CME futures go live

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

Krugman Bottom Line still

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

CME Group became the second exchange group to launch a bitcoin futures market on Sunday. Bitcoin was down slightly on the news. Here’s the full scoreboard from Markets Insider:

  1. ING: Bitcoin will be a niche asset for 'tech nerds,' the privacy-obsessed, and criminals. "One day, beyond the hype, Bitcoin will return to being the niche product that it was in its initial years. Users will include tech nerds, people obsessed about their privacy, people afraid for (hyper)inflation in traditional currencies, and people wanting to circumvent central banks for ideological or criminal reasons,” the bank said
  2. TD Ameritrade is turning on bitcoin futures on Cboe’s exchange for some of its clients.
  3. Bitcoin’s bubble is “even more obvious than the housing bubble,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told Business Insider on an episode of The Bottom Line.
  4. XRP, a cryptocurrency created by Ripple, briefly overtook bitcoin cash last week in terms of market cap, but it’s back in third place this morning.
  5. Bitcoin is a “highly speculative asset,” Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said in a press conference on Friday — but the central bank played a key role in its rise.
  6. Bitcoin's creator is now one of the richest 50 people in the world — we just don't know who they are.

You can watch the prices of the 13 largest cryptocurrencies in real-time on Markets Insider's cryptocurrency page. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's creator is now one of the richest 50 people in the world — we just don't know who they are

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

CRYPTO INSIDER: Bitcoin slips as CME futures go live

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

Krugman Bottom Line still

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

CME Group became the second exchange group to launch a bitcoin futures market on Sunday. Bitcoin was down slightly on the news. Here’s the full scoreboard from Markets Insider:

  1. ING: Bitcoin will be a niche asset for 'tech nerds,' the privacy-obsessed, and criminals. "One day, beyond the hype, Bitcoin will return to being the niche product that it was in its initial years. Users will include tech nerds, people obsessed about their privacy, people afraid for (hyper)inflation in traditional currencies, and people wanting to circumvent central banks for ideological or criminal reasons,” the bank said
  2. TD Ameritrade is turning on bitcoin futures on Cboe’s exchange for some of its clients.
  3. Bitcoin’s bubble is “even more obvious than the housing bubble,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told Business Insider on an episode of The Bottom Line.
  4. XRP, a cryptocurrency created by Ripple, briefly overtook bitcoin cash last week in terms of market cap, but it’s back in third place this morning.
  5. Bitcoin is a “highly speculative asset,” Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said in a press conference on Friday — but the central bank played a key role in its rise.
  6. Bitcoin's creator is now one of the richest 50 people in the world — we just don't know who they are.

You can watch the prices of the 13 largest cryptocurrencies in real-time on Markets Insider's cryptocurrency page. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's creator is now one of the richest 50 people in the world — we just don't know who they are

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

Wall Street's brightest young analysts are still bullish on markets — despite being surrounded by bears

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

BI Graphics_Rising stars of euity research 2x1

  • Business Insider today published its list of the rising stars of equity research.
  • We spoke to dozens of nominated analysts. These are their views on markets' hottest sectors. 


In conversations with dozens of finalists for the Rising Stars of Equity Research, Business Insider got an inside look at how some of Wall Street's top young stock analysts view the market today. 

These young analysts spoke optimistically about the current bull market, now in its 10th year of record gains. They’re not worried about a correction or downturn anytime soon, despite what some of their older peers are predicting. You can see the full list of finalists here. 

Here’s more on three of the candidates' top sectors, from dozens of conversations with the rising stars of equity research:

Retail

Goods will always be bought and sold, regardless of medium, says Simeon Siegel of Nomura-Instinet. It’s just a matter of convincing a consumer to spend at one particular store and not a competitor.

"If you think about what was the job of a retailer, it has always been two-fold: getting you into their store, and then getting you to open your wallet. Those are two very different jobs," he said in an interview.

"The ability to do both has changed. I would argue the ability to get someone to open up their wallet actually is not as hard as it sounds. It's convincing them that you're worth buying. I don't think people are spending less, if they're given something they want to spend on."

Siegel says brands like Tiffany, which recently opened a highly exclusive "blue box cafe" in its Fifth Avenue store, and Amazon, the clear dominator of e-commerce, are best poised to whether this shift in the retail industry.

Technology

Cybersecurity is an ever-increasing threat, and company’s are taking notice. Firms dedicated to cybersecurity are poised to gain from this trend, our finalists said.

"Target’s security breach was the watershed moment," one rising star analyst said. "Everything today is online, and hackers are become increasingly sophisticated."

Data service providers are also seeing increased business as more companies move their operations to the cloud. For security-sensitive information, specialized data center providers like Equinex and Switch are well-positioned to outperform next year, an analyst said, as businesses realize not all clouds are created equal.

Other top technology picks from the rising stars of equity research include network security provider Forescout, Microsoft and Amazon, this time a pick for its web services unit.

Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, & Healthcare

A significant portion of the rising stars list consisted of biotechnology, biopharma and other science-related fields as banks and investors pay closer attention to the sector.

Two areas of studies mentioned by multiple rising stars are gene therapy and RNA therapeutics. CRISPR, short for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats," is a revolutionary tool that allows researchers to go into a cell’s DNA and modify a mutated part of the gene, a process known as gene editing. The technology is on track to be a $10 billion market by 2025, analysts say.

Top stock picks in this space are Quorum Health, Blueprint Medicines, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, our finalists say.

You can view the full list of Wall Street's Rising Stars of Equity Research on Business Insider Prime here. [LINK]

SEE ALSO: RISING STARS LINK WILL GO HERE

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

Litecoin Faces Key Hurdle in Push Back to Record Highs

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

The price of litecoin is up from a recent low, but Monday's chart analysis suggests it's facing a key crossroads in a bid to push much higher.

Spread betting company shares are down over 10% after the EU announced a crackdown

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

  • ESMA considering crackdown on binary options and CFDs.
  • Shares in IG Group, CMC Markets, and Plus500 all down close to 10%.


LONDON — Shares in spread betting companies are diving on Monday after the EU announced a crackdown on a controversial product offered by many of them.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on Friday announced it was considering banning binary options, a highly risky speculative investment product. ESMA also proposed limiting the marketing and leverage offered on contracts for difference (CFDs), another form of financial product offered to retail investors.

A review by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority last year found that 82% of people who use binary options or CFDs lose money, suggesting it is more akin to gambling than investing.

IG Group, which is credited with investing CFDs, said on Monday that it stopped offering binary options in January 2017 but said it believed the leverage options being considered are "disproportionate."

IG said the financial impact this year is "unlikely to be significant" but added: "It remains difficult to predict what impact regulatory change may have on the business in subsequent financial years."

IG's shares are down almost 10% at 2.00 p.m. GMT (9.00 a.m. ET):ig group

CMC Markets is another listed company that markets CFD and binary options to retail customers. The company said on Monday: "Binary products generated £2.1 million of revenues from the UK and Europe in H1 18 and therefore any prohibition on the marketing of binary options to retail clients will be immaterial in a group context.

"Proposed margin changes are likely to have an impact on how clients trade, although at this stage it is not possible to quantify the impact."

CMC Markets' shares are down over 9% at 2.10 p.m. GMT (9.10 a.m. ET):

cmc

Israeli-headquartered trading company Plus500 is also falling on news of the ESMA crackdown. CEO Asaf Elimelech said in a statement: "Until details are finalised, it is difficult to assess the impact upon our business, however, as we have previously stated, we have a flexible business model, already provide many of the protections suggested by ESMA, and are well diversified globally, now with seven licenses in different jurisdictions following the recent licence approval in Singapore earlier this month."

Plus500 is down almost 10% too:plus500

Join the conversation about this story »

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

GOLDMAN SACHS: Here's how to make a killing in a market that's barely moving

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

china chinese traffic gridlock

  • Goldman Sachs recommends investors look for stocks with high Sharpe ratios in a historically low-volatility environment.
  • The Sharpe ratio is calculated by dividing a stock's future price target by its 6-month implied volatility.
  • The firm maintains a proprietary basket of high-Sharpe-ratio stocks, which is tilted at the industry level towards semiconductors, pharma and biotech, capital goods and insurance.


Sometimes, when the market isn't moving enough to whip up returns, you have to take matters into your own hands.

That's the crux of a recent recommendation made by Goldman Sachs, which has been strategizing ways to profit from a stock market that's been stuck at a standstill for most of 2017, with the CBOE Volatility Index — or VIX — sitting close to the lowest levels on record.

The key, according to Goldman, is to identify companies with high Sharpe ratios — a measure calculated by dividing a stock's future price target by its 6-month implied volatility. In doing so, traders are then presented with stocks set to provide the best risk-adjusted return on investment. These types of companies tend to outperform in a low-volatility environment, says the firm.

And luckily, Goldman has constructed a basket of stocks with lofty Sharpe ratios, which it says is a much better bet than simply making trades set to profit from subdued price swings. The firm notes that when six-month realized volatility has been less than 12, its proprietary index has beaten a minimum-volatility strategy 73% of the time since 1999.

Screen Shot 2017 12 18 at 8.56.34 AM

As of right now, Goldman's newly rebalanced 39-company basket is tilted at the industry level towards semiconductors, pharma and biotech, capital goods and insurance. The firm says that, relative to the median S&P 500 stock, its basket offers triple the expected return, at a similar level of expected volatility.

Here's a sampling of the companies located within Goldman's index:

  • Consumer discretionary — DISH Network, Expedia
  • Consumer staples — Molson Coors, CVS Health
  • Energy — Range Resources, EQT
  • Financials — Assurant, XL Group
  • Healthcare — Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Incyte
  • Industrials — General Dynamics, General Electric
  • Tech — Western Digital, Xerox
  • Materials — Ball Corp., Newmont Mining

SEE ALSO: BANK OF AMERICA: Tech will sound the alarm on the next big market bubble

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

Watch out, North Korea wants your bitcoin

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

Bitcoin experts beware.

Irony Alert: Global Bitcoin Mining is a New Environmental Issue

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

The post Irony Alert: Global Bitcoin Mining is a New Environmental Issue appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin mining has continued to grow over the years, but never more so than through this year as Bitcoin’s price surge draws in new miners. Bitcoin’s price has surged over 1,000 percent year-to-date and cryptocurrency miners are only interested in mining for currencies with the highest possible returns. While in the early days miners were

The post Irony Alert: Global Bitcoin Mining is a New Environmental Issue appeared first on CCN

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 inside a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  Spoos adding to record close as US Tax Reform nears final votes this week (House and Senate targeting Tuesday).   Russell is up 60bp, Nasdaq 50bp and S&P 40bp early.  We also have a Broad Based rally in Europe, where the DAX is adding 1.6% as Banks, construction, technology and autos all up ~1.5%+.  London is lagging, with the FTSE adding only 40bp as Sterling stages a rally.   Volumes are light, with London trading 20% below normal averages.   Strong Overnight in Asia - Nikkei up 1.5% as Banks ripped 2% higher - Hang Seng up 70bp on Financials - Shanghai up small as China’s Central Economic Work Conference begins - KOSPI unch - Aussie gained 70bp as Banks and Miners popped, while the Sensex had a 3.5% trading range as peeps worried Modi lost 2 regional elections

The US 10YY remains rangebound, while Bunds are trying to hold 30bp, as eye in Europe focus on the rip higher in Portuguese debt on the Fitch upgrade – The DXY is rolling as Tax reform is a “Sell the News” at this point - $/Y unch into BOJ later this week - Rand is stronger on Election headers - Kiwi$ higher on better consumer confidence.   Gold trying for upside $1260 early, while the launch of CME Bitcoin Futures has Bitcoin up 9% and upside $19,000.   Ore ripped 5%+ higher in China, but Copper is seeing some selling early.   WTI nearing $58, buoyed by headers about a falling Rig Count, Continued Forties outage, and Strikes in Nigeria, while Natty gas is rebounding 3% from last week’s 8%+ smackdown. 

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

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

Traders work inside a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  Spoos adding to record close as US Tax Reform nears final votes this week (House and Senate targeting Tuesday).   Russell is up 60bp, Nasdaq 50bp and S&P 40bp early.  We also have a Broad Based rally in Europe, where the DAX is adding 1.6% as Banks, construction, technology and autos all up ~1.5%+.  London is lagging, with the FTSE adding only 40bp as Sterling stages a rally.   Volumes are light, with London trading 20% below normal averages.   Strong Overnight in Asia - Nikkei up 1.5% as Banks ripped 2% higher - Hang Seng up 70bp on Financials - Shanghai up small as China’s Central Economic Work Conference begins - KOSPI unch - Aussie gained 70bp as Banks and Miners popped, while the Sensex had a 3.5% trading range as peeps worried Modi lost 2 regional elections

The US 10YY remains rangebound, while Bunds are trying to hold 30bp, as eye in Europe focus on the rip higher in Portuguese debt on the Fitch upgrade – The DXY is rolling as Tax reform is a “Sell the News” at this point - $/Y unch into BOJ later this week - Rand is stronger on Election headers - Kiwi$ higher on better consumer confidence.   Gold trying for upside $1260 early, while the launch of CME Bitcoin Futures has Bitcoin up 9% and upside $19,000.   Ore ripped 5%+ higher in China, but Copper is seeing some selling early.   WTI nearing $58, buoyed by headers about a falling Rig Count, Continued Forties outage, and Strikes in Nigeria, while Natty gas is rebounding 3% from last week’s 8%+ smackdown. 

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin Price Trades Down after CME Futures Launch

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

The post Bitcoin Price Trades Down after CME Futures Launch appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin trades down following its debut on CME. Is trouble ahead?

The post Bitcoin Price Trades Down after CME Futures Launch appeared first on CCN

Bull Market Breather? Bitcoin Retreats After Run on $20k

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

Bitcoin is facing significant resistence at $20,000, potentially putting in place the possibility the cryptocurrency's bull run could cool.

Campbell Soup is buying snacks maker Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion (CPB, LNCE)

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

Snyders pretzels

  • Campbell Soup has agreed to buy Snyder's-Lance for $50 per share in an all-cash deal. 
  • The deal would fold Snyder's pretzels and other snacks into Campbell's biscuits and snacks division that includes brands like Goldfish crackers and Milano cookies. 
  • Campbell Soup has pushed into the market for snacks amid declining soup sales. 

 

Campbell Soup announced Monday that it agreed to buy the snack maker Snyder's-Lance for $50 per share.

The all-cash deal is worth $4.87 billion. 

Amid declining soup sales, Campbell has pushed into other markets. This acquisition was its sixth in five years. Earlier in December, it bought organic broth and soup maker Pacific Foods. 

The deal "will provide our consumers with an even greater variety of better-for-you snacks," said Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison, in a statement. "The combination of Snyder’s-Lance brands with Pepperidge Farm, Arnott’s and Kelsen will create a diversified snacking leader, drive sales growth and create value for shareholders." 

Snyder's-Lance will become part of Campbell's global biscuits and snacks division which includes brands like Goldfish crackers and Milano cookies. 

Campbell's offer represents a 27% premium to Snyder's closing price on Wednesday, a day before CNBC first reported that the company had hired an investment bank to consider a sale after being approached by Campbell. Snyder's stock rose 7% to as high as $49.95 in premarket trading, nearly matching the offer price. 

Credit Suisse and Rothschild were financial advisers to Campbell Soup, while Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank worked with Snyder's-Lance. 

SEE ALSO: Campbell Soup cuts its 2018 profit forecast

DON'T MISS: Here's what 12 Wall Street pros are predicting for the stock market in 2018

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

The EU is probing IKEA's Dutch tax arrangements

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

IKEA Sheffield opening day (2) LR[3]

  • European Commission opens "in-depth" investigation into IKEA's tax affairs in Europe.
  • Probe centres around two Dutch rulings that EC believes may have given IKEA "an unfair advantage over other companies, in breach of EU State aid rules."


LONDON — The European Commission has opened an "in-depth" investigation into IKEA's tax affairs in Europe, centring around two rulings made in the Netherlands that the EC believes may have allowed IKEA to pay less tax.

The EC announced the investigation on Monday, saying it is concerned that IKEA may have been given "an unfair advantage over other companies, in breach of EU State aid rules."

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: "All companies, big or small, multinational or not, should pay their fair share of tax.

"Member States cannot let selected companies pay less tax by allowing them to artificially shift their profits elsewhere. We will now carefully investigate the Netherlands' tax treatment of Inter IKEA."

The Dutch tax deals

The inquiry centres around two tax rulings made in the Netherlands, one in 2006 and one in 2011. 

The 2006 ruling endorsed a tax arrangement that IKEA's core company used to shift "a significant part" of its revenues to a special tax scheme in Luxembourg that was exempt from corporation tax.

The EC declared that scheme illegal in 2011. However, IKEA then restructured its businesses. The EC alleges that IKEA used an intercompany loan to offset tax, saying: "As a result of the interest payments, a significant part of Inter IKEA Systems' franchise profits after 2011 was shifted to its parent in Liechtenstein."

Here's a diagram provided by the EC outlining the two tax arrangements:ikea

The EC said on Monday: "The Commission considers at this stage that the treatment endorsed in the two tax rulings may have resulted in tax benefits in favour of Inter IKEA Systems, which are not available to other companies subject to the same national taxation rules in the Netherlands."

IKEA did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment in time for publication.

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A five-star hotel in Scotland that looks like a castle is being ripped apart by fire

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

cameron house hotel

  • A massive fire broke out at the luxury Cameron House Hotel by Loch Lomond around 6.45 am. Monday morning.
  • At least four people have been taken to hospital.
  • It was still burning as of midday Monday.


A massive fire ripped through a five-star hotel in Scotland on Monday morning, leaving at least four injured.

The Cameron House Hotel called firefighters at 6.41 a.m. local time to say that the building, a stone-built mansion, was ablaze.

Residents were evacuated from the building in Balloch, on the banks of Scotland's Loch Lomond, as more than 45 firefighters attended the scene, Scottish news channel STV reported.

Three victims — two adults and a child — were taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, while a fourth was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, the BBC reported. Their conditions remain unknown.

Firefighters are still at the scene, the Scottish Fire and Rescue told Business Insider in a statement. 

It said: "Firefighters are currently in the process of searching the building while fighting the fire using powerful water jets."

A family with a baby was rescued from a third-floor window as smoke continued to billow out of the building, STV reported.

Here is footage of the fire this morning, via local news site GlasgowLive:

Cameron House said on its website that it had closed to arriving guests for at least the next two days, citing an "ongoing incident."

The hotel houses luxury lodges, a spa, and multiple restaurants.

Happy #Easter from us all at #CameronHouse We hope you're enjoying your long weekend !

A post shared by Cameron House on Loch Lomond (@cameronhousehotel) on Apr 16, 2017 at 11:26am PDT on

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

This £30 million Kensington mansion complete with a wine vault, pool, and cinema was the most viewed house for sale in London in 2017

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

3 Upper Phillimore Gardens   Rear Exterior

  • An exclusive property on Upper Phillimore Gardens in Kensington, London is listed on Rightmove for £29,950,000.
  • It features 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, four reception rooms, a cinema, pool, sauna, wine vault, and roof terrace.
  • The mansion's online listing was viewed 83,000 times in 2017, making it the eighth most visited online listing in the UK, and the most clicked-on London property.


If you've ever wondered what a cool £30 million would get you on the London property market, it turns out you're not alone.

Rightmove — the UK's number one property search website — has revealed the properties that racked up the most views on the site in 2017, including a £30 million mansion in London's exclusive Kensington neighbourhood which was the most clicked-on property in the capital

The property — located on Upper Phillimore Gardens, and on the market for £29,950,000 — has 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and boasts four reception rooms, a cinema, a pool, a sauna, a wine vault, and a roof terrace among its impressive features.

The mansion, which is set across 12,000 square feet, racked up 83,000 views over the course of the year, making it the eighth most visited online listing in the UK, as well as the most clicked-on London property.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside told Homes & Property: "This year's list of most popular homes shows just how much people love having a nosy around some of the most luxurious properties across the UK, some to dream about living there and others to perhaps look for design inspiration."

And it's not hard to see why.

Set back from the street behind its own landscaped front garden, the entrance to the house is approached via steps that lead up and into a rather grand-looking entrance hall, complete with marble pillars.

hall

All three main rooms on the raised ground floor can be accessed from the hall. Below, the drawing room features a stunning bay window

sitting room

The drawing room leads a formal dining room — and the garden.

dining room

On the lower ground floor there's a swimming pool/spa complex.

pool

The spa area is complete with a sauna and steam rooms, a jacuzzi, massage area, showers, a changing area, and a gym.

Screen Shot 2017 12 18 at 10.45.21

There's a cinema in the sub-basement which can seat up to 12 people.

cinema

There's also a temperature-controlled wine vault with storage for up to 1,251 bottles, a utility room, and "plant rooms."

The upper floors are accessible via a winding spiral staircase.

staircase

The master suite is on the first floor...

master

...and features his and her dressing rooms and bathrooms.

bathroom

Most of the other bedrooms have their own ensuite bathrooms or shower rooms.

dressing room

The master suite also leads to a roof terrace, where you can enjoy views of the surrounding area. 

3 Upper Phillimore ROOF TERRACE 2

The Phillimore Estate is located to the north of Kensington High Street between two of London's biggest parks: Holland Park and Kensington Palace Gardens/Hyde Park.

SEE ALSO: These were the 10 best places to visit in Europe in 2017, according to Lonely Planet

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

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

Space launch

Here is what you need to know. 

Here's what Wall Street is predicting for 2018Almost no one is bearish, as Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus and JPMorgan's Dubravko Lakos-Bujas are the most optimistic with year-end 2018 S&P 500 price targets of 3,000. 

Tech will sound the alarm on the next big bubbleThe best way to spot the next big market bubble is to pay attention the divergence between tech stocks and tech companies with high-yield credit ratings, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Home prices in China keep fallingNew home prices grew by 5.1% over the year, down from 5.4% in the 12 months to October, as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenzhen all saw declines from a year earlier, National Bureau of Statistics data showed. 

CME Group launches bitcoin futuresBitcoin futures trading got off to an uneventful start at the CME, with light trading volumes in the opening hours. 

Bitcoin gets close to 20,000The cryptocurrency hit a high of $19,843 a coin before paring its gains. It's currently little changed at $19,034, according to Markets Insider data. 

Oracle agrees to buy Australia's AconexOracle has agreed to pay $1.19 billion for the Australian web-based project management software company, Reuters says.

Hershey is closing in on a deal to buy the maker of SkinnyPop. Hershey is close to buying SkinnyPop maker Amplify for $1.6 billion, or $12 a share, according to CNBC. 

Power has been restored after more than 1,000 flights grounded at the world's busiest airportAtlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport power has been restored after a fire in an underground electrical facility caused more than 1,000 flights to be grounded, AP says.

Stock markets around the world are gaining groundJapan's Nikkei (+1.55%) led the advance in Asia and Germany's DAX (+1.43%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open higher by 0.50% near 2,689.

US economic data trickles outNAHB home prices will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 2 basis points at 2.37%.

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Fidelity's Charity Arm Raises $22 Million in Bitcoin in 2017

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

Despite the rising price of bitcoin, some investors are choosing to donate their gains to a cause, according to figures from Fidelity Charitable.

Official: CME Bitcoin Futures Exchange is Live, Inflow of $10 Billion Expected

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

CME Group, the world’s second-largest options exchange behind Cboe with a market cap of $51.4 billion, has officially listed bitcoin futures contracts on its trading platform earlier today, on December 18. Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) on the CME bitcoin futures exchange, which aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges during a specific calculation

The post Official: CME Bitcoin Futures Exchange is Live, Inflow of $10 Billion Expected appeared first on CCN.

Bought Your First Bitcoin or Ether? Brace for the Fees

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

Frustrated by crypto transaction fees? This CoinDesk Explainer gives an overview of why they're necessary for the blockchains being built.

Online mattress startup Simba closes £40 million investment round

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

Gareth Bale SIMBA

  • Simba raises £40 million 'Series B' investment, led by VC Atami Capital.
  • Forecasting revenue of £41 million this year and £167 million next year.


LONDON — Online mattress retailer Simba has closed a £40 million investment round.

Simba announced the fundraising on Monday, led by new investor Atami Capital. Existing investors Lombard Odier, Wharton Asset Management, and Saracens Rugby Club chairman Nigel Wray also took part.

Business Insider reported exclusively in July that Simba had raised £13.2 million as "part of a much larger raise." Launched in February 2016, Simba has now raised a total of £58.5 million.

London-headquartered Simba manufactures hybrid memory foam mattresses and ships them in vacuum compressed boxes. The cheapest bed starts from £399 for a single and Real Madrid football star Gareth Bale advertises the brand's products. Most sales come through its website but the company also has a partnership with upmarket department store John Lewis in the UK.

Simba said in Monday's statement that it is forecasting revenue of £41 million for 2017 and £167 million in 2018. Both figures are slight downgrades on forecasts in an investor deck prepared at the start of the year, seen by Business Insider.

The company said the fresh investment would be used for product development. CEO and co-founder James Cox said in a statement: "This fourth-round investment ensures innovation remains at the core of our business ethos and aligns with our global momentum.

"By the end of 2017, we will have a presence in over twenty global retail outlets and will have achieved 350% YoY revenue growth. We’re also on course for profitability in our core markets in early 2018 as well as exponential growth in the large £10 billion US and £11 billion Asian markets."

Simba is one of a number of mattress startups which have sprung up across the US and Europe over the last few year. All of them manufacture a limited number of mattresses, sell them online, and ship them in compressed boxes, thus making them more cost efficient to send.

The first and most successful of these online mattress startups was Casper in the US. The startup has reportedly been valued at over $1 billion and counts the Hollywood stars such as Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio among its investors.

Aside from Casper, Simba faces competition from the likes of Tuft and Spring, Leesa, and Eve, another British startup that floated on the stock market in May with a valuation of £140 million.

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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

Sportsbet.io Re-Brand Cements Position as Premier Bitcoin Sportsbook

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

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned

The post Sportsbet.io Re-Brand Cements Position as Premier Bitcoin Sportsbook appeared first on CCN.

ARK Signs Partnership with PR Release Firm Bitcoin PR Buzz

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

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned

The post ARK Signs Partnership with PR Release Firm Bitcoin PR Buzz appeared first on CCN.

Binance Becomes Top 3 Cryptocurrency Exchange 143 Days after Launching

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

As most cryptocurrency exchanges based on poor architectural infrastructures struggle to scale during bitcoin’s meteoric rise, Binance has been rising to the podium less than a year after launching, as it recently surpassed the 1 million user mark. According to data from CoinMarketCap, pure cryptocurrency exchange Binance recently made it to the podium amongst exchanges,

The post Binance Becomes Top 3 Cryptocurrency Exchange 143 Days after Launching appeared first on CCN.

'We should be far more ambitious': UK banks fear a Canada-style Brexit trade deal

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

Office blocks of Citi, Barclays, and HSBC banks are seen at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain November 16, 2017.

  • A lobby group for UK banks want the government to seek a Brexit deal that includes financial services so the UK can maintain its position as the financial hub of Europe.
  • Brexit secretary David Davis says the UK can have a "Canada plus plus plus" trade deal with the EU that includes services.
  • But no non-EU member state has ever negotiated trade terms with the EU that extend to financial services.


LONDON — UK banks have written to Theresa May to warn that a Canada-style trade deal with the EU will not go far enough because it would not cover financial services.

Brexit secretary David Davis last week said the UK can have a "Canada plus plus plus" trade deal with the EU after Brexit. It would involve "Canada plus the best of Japan, the best of South Korea and that the bit that is missing, which is the services," Davis said.

The open letter from UK finance, sent on Sunday, said the Canada-EU deal was an "interesting template" but the government should seek a deal which includes financial services so that the UK can maintain its position as the financial hub of Europe.

"CETA [the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU] is an interesting template, but given the UK and the EU 27 start with a position of regulatory convergence that the UK and Canada didn’t, we should seek to be far more ambitious," the letter said.

CETA — still subject to formal ratification by the EU — will eliminate 98% of the tariffs between Canada and the EU if it comes into force, but does not include any alignment on financial services.

A failure for the UK to organise a deal including services would likely see it lose its European financial passport, a set of rules and regulations which allow UK-based finance firms to trade with and sell their services into Europe. Many non-EU lenders use the passport to operate a hub in the UK and then sell services across the 28-nation bloc.

No non-EU member state has ever negotiated trade terms with the EU that extends to financial services.

Citi Bank warned last week that the UK faces a "binary" choice between remaining in the EU single market or leaving with a narrow trade deal that excludes services.

The letter from UK Finance, a lobby group which represents Britain's financial sector, also called on Prime Minister May to focus on organising a transition deal that will avoid a "cliff-edge" for UK firms.

"The proposed solution which involves extending the application and legal effect of the EU 'acquis' in the UK for a time-limited period is sensible and would provide an orderly transition," UK Finance wrote in the letter.

"For the trillions of euros in current financial services contracts between the EU and the UK, a sensible transition agreement would help minimise disruption."

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ING: Bitcoin will be a niche asset for 'tech nerds,' the privacy-obsessed, and criminals

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

Gabriel Scheare uses the world's first bitcoin ATM on October 29, 2013 at Waves Coffee House in Vancouver, British Columbia. Scheare said he 'just felt like being part of history.' The ATM, named Robocoin, allows users to buy or sell the digital currency known as bitcoins. Once only used for black market sales on the internet, bitcoins are starting to be accepted at a growing number of businesses. (Photo by )

  • ING: "Bitcoin has little to offer to a wider audience, and will likely return to being a niche product for a select group of enthusiasts."
  • Economist argues that issues around regulation, volatility, transaction speed and cost, and a lack of intermediaries will hold bitcoin back in the long run.
  • "We join the crowd of analysts observing typical bubble characteristics."


LONDON — "Bitcoin is destined to become a niche asset," according to Dutch banking giant ING.

Economist Teunis Brosens argues in a note circulated on Monday that bitcoin has drifted too far from its original goal of being a decentralized payment system and its recent price rise is unsustainable.

"Bitcoin has little to offer to a wider audience, and will likely return to being a niche product for a select group of enthusiasts," Brosens wrote.

"One day, beyond the hype, Bitcoin will return to being the niche product that it was in its initial years. Users will include tech nerds, people obsessed about their privacy, people afraid for (hyper)inflation in traditional currencies, and people wanting to circumvent central banks for ideological or criminal reasons."

In the note, titled "A cryptocurrency reality check," ING argues that bitcoin will fail to break into the mainstream because of various shortcomings with the technology and the bitcoin network.

Brosens argues that a lack of regulatory supervision, a lack of intermediaries looking after customers' bitcoins, slow transaction speeds and high transaction costs on the network, and high volatility will all put off bitcoin users in the long run.

"Currently, Bitcoin is able to process about 7 transactions per second," Brosens writes. "For Bitcoin to play a meaningful role as a payment system, the transaction processing power needs to be a 100, maybe even a 1000 times better."transaction

As for volatility, Brosens wrote: "A world in which your money buys you a large latte today, but only a small
espresso tomorrow, is hardly convenient."

Bitcoin is prone to wild price swings, with moves of 10% or even 20% on a day not uncommon. The price has almost doubled over the last month, for example.

Despite the shortcomings Brosens identifies, bitcoin has rallied over 1,500% against the dollar this year. How does he explain the rise?

"Bitcoin’s high-value today is based on shaky foundations," he wrote. "The only justification for investing in bitcoin today is the assumption that others are willing to buy bitcoin at higher prices in the future."

Speculation has driven bitcoin's big price gains, he argues. The phenomenon has been exacerbated by bitcoin enthusiasts urging people to HODL (a bastardization of "hold" that has become a common motto in the cryptocurrency world.

Brosens writes: "You will find people (often invested in bitcoin themselves) arguing that buy-and-hold is the Bitcoin strategy to use. Oh and please don’t sell but do hold, because otherwise, you’re spoiling it for everyone else. If that indeed is today’s dominant Bitcoin application, then it has drifted far from the goal [bitcoin founder Satoshi] Nakamoto had in mind in 2008."

Brosens said that many bitcoin investors in 2017 probably "don’t really understand the basics and original goals and ideals of cryptocurrencies, and don’t care much either."

As for whether bitcoin is overvalued, Brosens wrote: "A niche asset adopted worldwide could still have a substantial user base and hence value. It is therefore impossible to say whether the current bitcoin market price is “too high” for a niche asset.

"Then again, we join the crowd of analysts observing typical bubble characteristics: the idea of an asset that is new, revolutionary, almost magic – hard to understand, but let’s invest anyway because it will become huge. This idea is a form of “this time is different”-thinking. “Yes we know about all those previous bubbles that popped, but Bitcoin is really, really different.” We are not so sure."

Brosens is careful to distinguish this bitcoin disdain from his thoughts on blockchain technology, which underpins bitcoin.

"The blockchain is a great technology and may bring progress to a variety of fields, ranging from finance to health care, and from notary to voting," Brosens said. "Long live the blockchain."

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

Amazon Prime may be investigated after late delivery complaints

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

amazon prime

  • Online retail giant Amazon may be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority after Prime customers complained the one-day delivery time was not being met.
  • Amazon Prime customers, who pay for a premium next day delivery service, have also taken to social media to complain.  
  • Amazon advises standard customers to order by Wednesday to receive their items before Christmas, but says Prime customers can order as late as Saturday.


LONDON — Online retail giant Amazon may be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over complaints that premium delivery service Prime is failing to deliver purchases on time in the run-up to Christmas.

Customers using Amazon Prime, which promises "unlimited one-day delivery," have contacted the ASA and taken to social media to complain that deliveries are not being made on time.

A spokesperson from the ASA told the Guardian, "We have received a handful of complaints. We are considering whether to launch an investigation." If retailers fail to deliver goods within the time frame a customer has paid for, this could be regarded a breach of contract.

Amazon Prime's express delivery service costs £7.99 per month after an initial 30-day free trial period. In order to receive purchases by Christmas, Amazon says the latest order date is Wednesday for standard customers but Saturday for Prime customers.

According to the site's guidance, an order placed with Amazon's one-day delivery service "will be dispatched with the intention that it's delivered one day after dispatch." Amazon advises customers to contact customer services if packages are not delivered on time.

In 2015, the ASA investigated Amazon after six people claimed advertising for Prime was misleading. It ruled in the customers' favour, that an emailed advert for Prime did not make clear that a paid subscription to the service would automatically start unless cancelled during the free trial period.

Amazon UK did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The government doesn't know how much is spent to counter modern slavery

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

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a meeting on action to end modern slavery and human trafficking on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • The National Audit Office found the government's Modern Slavery Strategy was not working effectively, and the Home Office did not know how much money is being spent.
  • Safe houses for potential victims are not subject to care quality inspections or standards, the report found.
  • The process by which individuals are identified as victims of modern slavery is taking much longer than expected, it said, and there is no target time frame.


LONDON — The UK's public spending watchdog produced a damning report on Friday into the government's system for tackling modern slavery, saying the Home Office "does not know" how much money is being spent or whether services meet care quality standards.

The National Audit Office said the Home Office has "limited means" of tracking the Modern Slavery Strategy's progress and an "incomplete picture" of the crime, the victims and perpetrators. Until the government is able to establish effective oversight of the system, the report said, it will not be able to significantly reduce modern slavery or achieve value for money.

"The Home Office does not know how much is spent on tackling modern slavery across government, or how effectively this money is spent," it said.

“To combat modern slavery," said Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, the government "will need to build much stronger information and understanding of perpetrators and victims than it has now.”

Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. In 2014, the Home Office estimated there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013.

"No minimum care standards"

The NAO found there are no independent inspections done to check the quality of care and support provided in safe houses to potential victims of trafficking and slavery, and there are "no minimum care standards." Although the Home Office said safe houses are required to be inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), it was unaware safe houses do not fall within the CQC's remit.

The process by which individuals are identified as victims of modern slavery — done via the National Reporting Mechanism (NRM) — was also found to be "inefficient." NRM decisions being made by the Home Office and National Crime Agency are taking longer than expected, the report said, and the average wait time for a final decision is 132 days.

Almost half (46%) of all referrals made in 2016 had not received a final "conclusive grounds" decision by March 2017, and as of April 2017 there were still 16 referrals made in 2013 pending decisions, 312 waiting from 2014, 845 waiting from 2015 and 2,053 from 2016. There is no target time frame within which these decisions should be made.

Although the Home Office found in 2014 the NRM process needed to be redesigned, this is yet to occur.

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 11.35.57

Slavery in supply chains

Under legislation introduced in 2015, any business (excluding public bodies) with a turnover in excess of £36 million must produce an annual slavery and human trafficking statement, detailing what it is doing to prevent trafficking in their supply chains. But the Home Office does not monitor compliance, and there are no requirements regarding the quality or detail of the statement.

"Failure to comply may damage the reputation of the business," said the government's reporting guidance, "it will be for consumers, investors and NGOs to engage and/or apply pressure where they believe a business has not taken sufficient steps."

Screen Shot 2017 12 15 at 11.36.31The Home Office itself has a contract with charity the Salvation Army for support with victim care. However, neither the charity nor its subcontractors are subject to independent inspections or standards of care. Instead, this relationship works on a "trust basis."

Earlier this year, new legislation was passed to force banks and building societies to carry out immigration checks on accounts deemed to belong to illegal immigrants, and close them down.

But this will play into traffickers' hands, Joanna Hunt, senior associate at law firm Lewis Silkin, told Business Insider, because victims of slavery will be even more reliant on cash jobs and the black economy.

The Home Office's plan to create a "hostile environment" for people without settled status will have "adverse consequences" and drive more people "underground," she said.

The Modern Slavery Unit's budget is £1.5 million for 2017-18, most of which are staff costs, but the Home Office does not calculate how much it spends on tackling modern slavery each year, the NAO found.

Overall, it said, the Strategy "does not include measures of success for its objectives nor a definition of what success looks like," and accountability for delivering the strategy is unclear.

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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

Christmas shoppers can expect more deals this week than on Black Friday

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

Christmas lights decoration at Oxford street and lots of people walking during the Christmas sale

  • High street and online retailers are expected to offer more promotions next week than they did over Black Friday.
  • Analysis by PwC suggests most major retailers will offer discounts for last minute Christmas shoppers. 


LONDON — Good news for last minute Christmas shoppers: high street and online retailers are expected to offer more promotions this week than they did over November's Black Friday weekend.

Accounting firm PwC found online and high street retailers are likely to slash prices for products in the week before Christmas, after having upped prices at the beginning of December to preserve profit margins.

"As we rapidly approach Christmas itself, we are already seeing an uptick in promotional activity as retailers try to attract customers through their doors and clear festive stock, particularly as last week's snow and ice put a dent on high street footfall across large parts of the country," said Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC.

PwC has collected data in November and December on shop promotions for leading department and chain stores across the UK for the last seven years.

Here's the chart:

pasted image 0

Last year, 98% of online retailers surveyed had some kind of homepage promotion in the week before Christmas. Although PwC does not expect the same level to be reached this year, the report said shoppers should expect to see "more bargains" in the coming week.

The number of promotions is expected to exceed those seen over this year's Black Friday, when 84% of online retailers and 75% of high street stores offered some kind of promotion, a similar level to last year.

"Our research shows that several of the retailers that did not previously participate in Black Friday did offer some kind of promotion this year — confirming the place of the American tradition in the British shopping calendar," said Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC.

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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

10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

Theresa May

Good morning! Here's what you need to know.

1. The leader of Italy's main opposition party said he was keeping the option of a referendum on the euro open. Luigi Di Maio, the man widely tipped to be the candidate for prime minister of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, said he wanted to negotiate concessions on EU governance.

 2. A poll has found that 51% of Britons would now keep European Union membership while 41% want to leave the bloc, a near reversal of last year's referendum result. The BMG poll of 1,400 people for The Independent came as Britain moves into a second phase of negotiations on exiting the EU, which will focus on trade.

3. Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday she would not be derailed from leaving the European Union, laying the groundwork for difficult meetings this week in which she will try to unite a divided cabinet behind her vision for post-Brexit Britain. May was applauded by European Union leaders in Brussels on Friday after securing an agreement to move previously-deadlocked talks forward onto the topic of interim and long-term trading arrangements.

4. Brazilian prosecutors have asked that all the vice presidents of Caixa Economica Federal be replaced for what officials suspect are "irregularities" at the state bank. Federal prosecutors said Rocha Loures, a former adviser to President Michel Temer, sought out Caixa Chief Executive Gilberto Occhi and then Antonio Carlos Ferreira, a Caixa vice president, to discuss the interests of Rodrimar, a company that operates Brazil's largest port.

5. Metlife failed to pay pensions to potentially tens of thousands of people and will have to strengthen its reserves because of the costs of finding and repaying them, the New York insurer said. Metlife said that it believed the group missing out on the payments represented less than 5% of about 600,000 people who receive benefits from the company via its retirement business. 

6. French aerospace and defense technology group Thales has agreed to buy chipmaker Gemalto at a price of €51 euros per share, with the aim of creating a "world leader in digital security." The cost represents a 57% premium over Gemalto's closing price as of Dec. 8, the statement said.

7. Vietnam is set to auction an up to $5 billion stake in top brewer Sabeco on Monday, with Thai Beverage the only potential bidder to have expressed interest in a majority stake. The keenly anticipated sale of the state-owned maker of Bia Saigon gained momentum in recent months after being hampered for years by political resistance, fickle policy-making and complications over valuations.

8. Bitcoin investors expect futures volumes to perk up when CME Group, the world's largest derivatives exchange operator, launches its own contract. The second US bitcoin futures launch is seen as another step towards big institutional investors warming up to a volatile asset that had until recently been accessible only via largely unregulated markets.

9. At least one Chinese Air Force Yun-8 transport plane conducted a long-haul flight near Taiwan on Sunday, amid tensions between the two rivals. Taiwan dispatched its aircraft and ships to "monitor and deal with" the Yun8, which returned to its base after flying through the Bashi Channel and Miyako waterway.

10. Star Wars: The Last Jedi debuted with a massive $450 million in global ticket sales over the weekend. The total includes $220 million in the United States and Canada, the second largest domestic opening of all time behind 2015 movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

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

Bitcoin futures trading is underway on the CME exchange, and prices are falling

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

A man walks past an electric board showing exchange rates of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (top L) at a cryptocurrencies exchange in Seoul, South Korea December 13, 2017.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

  • Bitcoin futures are underway on the CME exchange.
  • The underlying value of Bitcoin has dipped slightly.
  • Early volumes were similar to those seen on the Cboe exchange last week.


Bitcoin futures got underway in Australia Monday morning on the Chicago-based CME exchange.

Early volumes have been light, and a short time ago 354 contracts had changed hands on the most actively traded one-month forward contract.

The value of the forward contracts fell as low as $18,775, down $725 from the opening value of $19,500.

A short time ago, one-month contracts expiring in January 2018 were trading at $19,005.

CME is the world’s largest futures exchange, which is expected to add more liquidity to the market after last Monday’s launch of future’s trading on the Cboe exchange.

“This market should see way bigger volumes. CME is a way bigger player in futures than Cboe,” John Spallanzani, chief macro strategist at CFI Group, told Business Insider.

Once CME futures trading commenced this morning, the underlying value of Bitcoin on the composite index provided by coindesk.com was initially little-changed at a value of around $19,260.

Since then, prices have declined, and a short time ago Bitcoin was trading at $18,230.92.

Garrett See, the CEO of cryptocurrency trading firm DV Chain, told Business Insider that early volumes were similar to those seen on the Cboe exchange last week.

“The order book is thin. The CME futures are trading at a premium to Cboe futures, but the premium has come in a bit since the open,” See said.

The CME exchange may see higher volume overnight as markets open on Monday morning in the US.

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CME Bitcoin Futures Price Above $20k in First Day Trading

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

CME Group's bitcoin futures trading began today with an opening price above $20,000 for its January 2018 contract.

The busiest airport in the world has been shut down by a catastrophic power outage

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

Atlanta Airport

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport suffered a catastrophic power outage on Sunday.
  • The outage is believed to have been caused by a fire at an underground Georgia Power facility.
  • Power is expected to be restored by midnight local time.
  • More than 700 flights have been canceled as a result of the outage. 


Flight operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have grounded to a halt after a suffering a massive power outage around 1 pm local time on Sunday. 

The bustling airport that handles an average of more than 280,000 travelers a day has been plunged into pitch black darkness.

Footage captured by WSB-TV in Atlanta show airport officials making their way through darkened terminal buildings with only flashlights to guide them.

Georgia Power, the airport's utility provider, is on the scene and working to restore power by midnight tonight, the company said in a statement.

The company believes the outage was the result of a fire that caused extensive damage to one of its underground electrical facilities. No employees or passengers were in danger at any time, Georgia Power said.

Consequently, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for all aircraft bound for Atlanta. This means that planes headed for the airport will be held at their point of origination. While the control tower in Atlanta is operational, departing flights are delayed due to the power outage in the terminal, the FAA said in a statement.

Flights already en route to Atlanta has been diverted to alternate airports.

Delta Air Lines has, thus far, canceled more than 450 flights as a result of the outage and is working to deplane those stuck on board its aircraft at the airport. Atlanta is Delta's home base from which it operates more than 1,000 departures a day to more than 200 destinations.

In a statement, the airline said:

"A power outage at the Atlanta Airport affecting all concourses and terminal buildings started at approximately 1 p.m. ET Sunday and is ongoing. Due to the power outage, more than 450 Delta mainline and regional flights have been canceled today. A ground stop is in effect for all flights into the airport, resulting in flight diversions. Delta is working to deplane customers from aircraft that have not been able to park at a gate due to the outage.

Delta customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight via the Fly Delta mobile app or delta.com before heading to the airport. A travel waiver has been issued for Delta customers flying to, from or through Atlanta allowing customers to make one-time changes to their travel plans. Details are available at delta.com."

Southwest, Atlanta's second largest tenant, has canceled all of its remaining flights into and out of the airport on Sunday. American, United, and JetBlue have also canceled all inbound and outbound Atlanta flights, WSB-TV reported.

For passengers affected by the power outage, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and United are offering travel waivers that will allow you to rebook on a later flight.

According to Flightaware.com, a total of 776 flights to or from Atlanta have been canceled today with another 525 flights delayed more than 15 minutes.

Here's what it looks like at the airport:

 

SEE ALSO: Delta's CEO explains why airline computers fail and how tech will change flying

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

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

Bitcoin trading starts on the huge CME exchange

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

The Chicago-based CME exchange begins Bitcoin trading for investors, as the price surges again.

'WINTER MAY BE COMING': Wall Street report warns fund manager pay is headed for a reversal

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

Scream the Hymn  Staff Sgt. John Freeseha, instructor and instructor with the Animal Packers Course, begins singing the Marine’s Hymn after completing a plunge into freezing water during an Ice-Breaker Drill as part of Winter Mountain Leaders Course 1-15 at Levitt Lake, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California, Jan. 30, 2015. It was the first time in approximately three years since the drill was conducted at MCMWTC.

  • According to an annual survey by Wall Street intelligence firm Greenwich Associates, asset management compensation increased by 7% from 2016 to 2017.
  • Despite this, 2018 is likely to be a tough year for managers thanks to the rise of passive investing and high technology costs.


Life was good for Wall Street asset managers in 2017.

According to an annual report by intelligence firm Greenwich Associates, average compensation for asset managers in the United States is set to increase 7% from 2016 to this year. In aggregate, pay is likely to be higher for managers in equities as opposed to fixed income, in a split that's expected to be wider than previous years.

But the gains might be short lived.

The firm warns that "these heady days are likely an Indian Summer" and that "winter may be coming, so asset management firms and professionals should prepare."

As investors shift money out of actively managed portfolios and into lower-cost passive products, like indexes and ETF’s, inflows have taken a hit.

“For most active managers, increases in AUM over the past 12 months have been caused by asset appreciation—not growth in new assets," says the report. "The industry is shifting towards a structure which rewards managers based on performance, rather than fixed fees that are paid by clients regardless of return.

"Employees will feel that pressure in several ways, including reductions in incentives and the “juniorization” of jobs that depress salaries and overall compensation for internal roles. At the same time, professionals will also be asked to do more, meaning they will be covering more clients, sectors, etc."

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 10.21.02 AM

Not surprisingly, technology and data were two bright spots in the report, fueled by increased spending on cost-saving solutions.

"In the technology space, business efficiency, security and the desire to improve the customer experience are driving demand," said the report. 

“The boom in quantitative products and continued strong demand from hedge funds has created a buyers’ market for experienced programmers and data scientists. In both areas, the fact that asset managers are being forced to compete for talent against companies across financial services, technology and virtually all other industries is putting upward pressure on compensation."

SEE ALSO: One of the top recruitment firms on Wall Street just published its annual compensation guide for traders — and it's not pretty

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