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The interface of tech and biotech has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, but there's still something missing

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

Dr Axel Bouchon, head of Leaps by Bayer

  • The technology industry is becoming increasingly embedded into the world of life sciences. 
  • Axel Bouchon, who heads up Leaps by Bayer, an organization within Bayer focused on finding and funding breakthroughs, said he expects disruption of the healthcare industry within the decade to come from the intersection of tech and biotech. 
  • "The potential of how biophysical data could be combined with data management will revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry and all of life sciences," Bouchon said. 
  • It likely won't be a case of just bringing the two industries together, he said. It'll take a new group of people that's able to think differently.


Major tech companies are eyeing the healthcare world. And the pharmaceutical industry is starting to take note. 

"The true disruption of the next five to 10 years will come at the interface of tech and biotech," Axel Bouchon, head of Leaps by Bayer, told Business Insider.

"The potential of how biophysical data could be combined with data management will revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry and all of life sciences," he said. "And interestingly, nobody on the tech side nor on our side has the solution."

Leaps by Bayer is an organization within the life sciences and pharmaceutical company that's focused on finding and funding what Bouchon described as "fundamental breakthroughs that really change and cure."

Carsten Brunn, head of pharmaceuticals in the Americas at Bayer, told Business Insider he's already started seeing the influence of technology in his work.  For example, machine learning is helping companies better pinpoint which leaders within healthcare they might want to work with on a particular disease area or product launch. 

Ultimately, Bouchon hopes, this intersection of biotech and tech will benefit patients.

"What I would dream of is, if there's a cancer patient entering a clinic, he or she should have data on hand for him or herself. Believe me this is hardly possible," Bouchon said. Right now, there is a lot of data out there collected about patients that could potentially help. The problem is, that information isn't exactly the easiest to use. 

For now, though, something's still missing that's keeping the healthcare world from being disrupted. 

"I believe that someone will just realize that both sides miss fundamental expertise," Bouchon said. To fix that, it likely won't be a case of just bringing the two industries together — it'll take a new group of people that's able to think differently, he said. 

SEE ALSO: Why an investor at Andreessen Horowitz thinks software is the future of healthcare

DON'T MISS: Silicon Valley is getting interested in healthcare — here's why that could be a good thing

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NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Possible Bear Pennant Suggests End to Market Consolidation

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

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Looking back at bitcoin’s parabolic curve, we can see notable lines of support and resistance throughout its market cycle. Two highly reliable sources of support and resistance are the set of 50/200 EMAs and the Fibonacci Retracement set from the beginning of the bull market to the top of our current all-time high:

fig1Figure 1: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Trend

Over the last couple days, bitcoin has attempted to break the overhead resistance surrounding the 38% retracement values and the 50 EMA on the daily candles. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gathered enough bullish momentum to carry us through the resistance level.

If we begin to look at lower time frames, we can see the signs of bearish consolidation that could potentially lead to a significant markdown in price:

Figure_2.JPGFigure 2: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Macro Bear Pennant

The bear pennant (outlined by the pink dashed line) marks a strong, bearish continuation pattern that could have us testing values as low as the $4,000s. The textbook signs of the bear pennant include a bearish move leading into a symmetrical triangle. Confidence of this continuation pattern increases when we see volume consolidation throughout the length of the symmetrical triangle. Together, all these signs make the bear pennant continuation pattern very likely.

In the event of the bearish continuation, we can expect to find support in the follow zone that may slow the dramatic price target considerably until it meets its ultimate price target:
Figure_3.JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Support Below Bearish Pennant

The 61% Fibonacci retracement values and the daily 200 EMA are very strong support areas that will not be punctured without some significant volume and selling pressure. This area of support also coincides with the macro linear trendline outlined in Figure 1 above. This confluence of support leads me to believe that the 61% Fibonacci levels will be a logical level of consolidation where the market will decide if it has bottomed out or will ultimately continue further down.

Summary:

  1. Bitcoin appears to be at the end of its multiweek consolidation period.
  2. The market is consolidating in a bearish consolidation pattern called a bear pennant.
  3. If the market reaches its full measured move for the bear pennant, we could see prices as low as $4,000 region.
  4. If we break to new lows, we will logically find support around the 61% Fibonacci retracement values.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.



This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

UK Bitcoin Traders Robbed at Gunpoint

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

The post UK Bitcoin Traders Robbed at Gunpoint appeared first on CCN

Two British Bitcoin traders became the victims of what local media outlets are calling the “UK’s first Bitcoin heist” after they were robbed at gunpoint by masked men and forced to transfer an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency to the criminals’ accounts. The incident — which took place on Jan. 22 — occurred in the tiny

The post UK Bitcoin Traders Robbed at Gunpoint appeared first on CCN

The 31-year-old CEO of startup Outcome Health stepped down just 8 months after raising $500 million

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

Rishi and Shradha 2

  • It's been a rocky year for Outcome Health, a Chicago-based healthcare startup that sets up screens that provide educational health footage alongside advertisements from pharmaceutical companies to doctors' offices.
  • On Friday, Outcome said its two founders, Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal, would move from their roles as CEO and president to become chairman and vice chair of the board, respectively. 
  • The move was part of a settlement after investors sued Outcome Health accusing it of committing fraud to secure the large amount of funding. 


For a brief moment going into summer 2017, Outcome Health was one of the buzziest healthcare startups.

In May, the company, which places monitors in doctor's offices that display advertisements and health information, had raised more than $500 million and the lofty goal of being in 70% of all healthcare providers by 2020.

Then came a closer look. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal in October found the company had been misleading its advertisers, and the investors that were part of the massive funding round sued the company. 

On Friday, Outcome said its two founders, Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal, would move from their roles as CEO and president to become chairman and vice chair of the board, respectively. 

Here's how a 31-year-old and 32-year-old founding team went from raising $500 million at a $5.5 billion valuation to stepping down after a investor-led lawsuit against their 10-year-old company. 

A funding round 10 years in the making

Outcome Health screenWhat is now Outcome Health was founded back in 2006 under the name Context Media while Agarwal and Shah were undergraduates at Northwestern University. Shah dropped out of school to run the company, while Agarwal went on to graduate in 2008. 

Shah's sister has type 1 diabetes, and his father's a doctor. That background got him thinking about all the information chronic patients might not get from their doctor during the few minutes they might be with him or her for an appointment. 

"The idea at this point was simple: We want to be in every exam room in the world," Shah told Business Insider in May. "We want to bring all the available information and intelligence in the world to help doctors and patients make the best decision every time."

Rather than give up equity, the founders took out loans that totaled as much as $325 million, Forbes reports

Then in May 2017, the company raised more than $500 million at a $5.5 billion valuation from investors including CapitalG, Pritzker Group, Goldman Sachs, and Leerink Transformation Partners. There were more than 50 investors in the round, Outcome said at the time. 

At its $5.5 billion valuation, Shah's net worth was estimated by Forbes as $3.6 billion. 

The company had big plans to grow. As of May, Outcome said it was in 40,000 healthcare practices and works with 20% of healthcare providers in the US. The goal was to be in 70% of providers' offices by 2020. Shah told Business Insider in September that the company planned to move into a new headquarters and expected to add 2,000 jobs to the Chicago area by 2022.

Reality setting in

But all that growth may have come too quickly.

At its core, the company helps pharmaceutical companies advertise to patients waiting in doctor's offices. At least one pharmaceutical company reportedly received a refund for a $4 million campaign after not getting the returns the company was looking for. 

And in October, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company misled its advertisers about how well the ads were doing. According to The Journal, between 2014 and 2016, Outcome charged for more screen installations than it actually performed. Employees reportedly also doctored screenshots that were meant to show that certain ads had run in a particular doctor's office. 

The report led to the investors, including CapitalG, Pritzker Group, Goldman Sachs,  suing the company, accusing Outcome of committing fraud to secure the funding it got from the investors. 

"Plaintiffs now hold securities that may be worthless," the investors alleged in the lawsuit. 

When a private eye went to serve Shah, the Outcome founder wouldn't take the documents. Instead, the car he was in drove away with the papers the private eye had left on the roof

After the incident, a spokesman for Shah said that the drive-off was a misunderstanding — he hadn't realized that the person at the car door was trying to serve him. 

The controversy led three medical groups — American Epilepsy Society, CancerCare, and the American Health Association — to cut ties with the company. The organizations had been running their information on Outcome's screens for free. Outcome's plans to move into a new headquarters were canceled in December. 

Reshuffling and a settlement

The suit, filed initially in November, was settled just a few months later on January 26. 

As part of the settlement, $159 million has been recommitted to the company, with the plan to use that in part to pay down the company's debt by $77 million.  Shah and Agarwal will no longer serve as CEO and president of the company, but the two will still be involved in the company as chairman and vice chair ot the board. The board's now on the hunt for a new CEO, the company said in a release Friday. 

"The resolution is based on our conviction in the company's mission and path to growth that will be beneficial for all stakeholders in the healthcare community  patients, physicians, and life sciences companies — by enhancing delivery of effective and informed health information, services, and treatment options," Outcome said in the release. 

SEE ALSO: The billion-dollar startups revolutionizing healthcare you should be watching in 2018

DON'T MISS: Theranos is gearing up for a rebound with $100 million to get it through 2018

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NOW WATCH: Principal Global Investors CEO: Bitcoin lacks fundamental value and it won't replace gold

A crypto startup that vanished and changed its website to the word ‘penis’ allegedly stole the identities of its team

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

Hamilton Ten Dollar Bill

  • Three blockchain experts linked to an illegitimate startup called Prodeum told Business Insider they have nothing to do with the organization and are victims of identity theft.
  • The startup, Prodeum, raised $11 in an online fundraiser before disappearing on Sunday.
  • Prodeum's website went blank late Sunday aside for the text "penis" in the upper-left corner. 

Prodeum_screen


Three blockchain experts linked to a bizarre cryptocurrency startup that sought to raise $6.5 million before vanishing have told Business Insider that they are victims of identity theft and have nothing to do with the company.

The startup, called Prodeum, had billed itself as a developing a system to use blockchain technology for agricultural commodities, like fruits and vegetables. 

But Prodeum caused waves online Sunday evening after trying to sell tokens to investors through a risky fundraising technique and subsequently disappearing from the web, leaving only the word "penis" on its homepage.

In the end, the company appears to have raised only an almost comical grand total of $11 from investors in its initial coin offering, or ICO. But the bizarre incident highlights the chaos and risks lurking in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies, as well as some of the unexpected dangers that are likely to become more common as interest in cryptocurrencies continues to surge. 

Darius Rugevicius, Vytautas Kaseta, and Mario Pazos were all listed as team members or advisors on TokenDesk fundraising page for Prodeum.   

While fake founders are a common trait among questionable cryptocurrency startups, Rugevicius, Kaseta, and Pazos all actually work with blockchain startups. All three expressed concern to Business Insider that the Prodeum scam could have an negative impact on their reputations.

Their photos and names were posted on the original website, along with links to active LinkedIn profiles. A fourth team member, Petar Jandric, does not appear to be linked to a real person.

All traces of Prodeum, a startup on the Ethereum blockchain, have been wiped from the internet, and its homepage now redirects to an anonymous Twitter account.

'It could be some Russian based scammers. But we can't confirm this yet.'

Rugevicius, a general partner at Connect Capital in New York, was at the airport Monday morning on his way to South Korea for a conference hosted by the blockchain company ICON

"I have personally worked with number of most prominent projects in blockchain field and certainly have no ties with this project," Rugevicius told Business Insider.

token_1

Pazos, a Miami-based blockchain startup advisor and angel investor, said he didn't know about Prodeum until he was contacted for this story. He advises the blockchain startups WaBi Project and Kairos, and is closely involved with both of their ICOs. 

An ICO is an unregulated fundraising technique used by blockchain companies where cyptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum are used to purchase "tokens" from a startup. In theory, the tokens will be valuable if the company takes off, though many people buy random digital tokens in the hopes that they can trade them like stocks. 

Though he said he hasn't thought much about scams until this happened to him, Pazos said that he takes the legitimacy of the companies that he works with very seriously, and has turned away clients that he didn't feel confident would succeed in the space. 

"We run a very thorough due diligence process and interview with the CEO and their team. In fact, we have face to face interactions. I make sure that they're legitimate companies," Pezos said, adding that he also looks at companies' financials to make sure they are not struggling to make ends meet.

Kaseta, a Lithuania-based blockchain engineer and advisor, said he and Rugevicius are looking into taking legal action against the alleged scammers. He also said he is working with the crypto community to find the people behind the Prodeum. 

"From the first information, looks like it could be some Russian based scammers. But we can't confirm this yet," Kaseta said. 

Though Prodeum ultimately raised just $11, the company originally set out to raise 5,400 ether, or $6.5 million. The project goal was to "bring fruits and vegetables to the blockchain." It may sound silly, but tracking produce from farm to store is one of the more practical uses of blockchain technology, with companies like IBM and Walmart partnering on similar projects

SEE ALSO: 20-something founders who love cash and cars — and got DJ Khaled to promote their startup — resign weeks after raising $32 million

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The iced tea company that avoided de-listing by pivoting to blockchain may once again be at risk of being kicked off Nasdaq’s exchange

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

Long Blockchain stock price

  • Long Island Iced Tea quadrupled its stock price — and avoided being kicked off Nasdaq's stock exchange — in a single day by changing its name to Long Blockchain
  • Without any actual cryptocurrency assets, the company is now back below a $35 million market cap, meaning it could get another warning. 
  • The company is currently attempting to merge with a British brokerage. 


The Long Island Iced Tea Company needed a boost and it needed one quick.

In October, the company was warned by Nasdaq that unless it could maintain its market value above $35 million for at least 10 consecutive business days in the next six months, the company could be de-listed by the exchange.

Its savior would come in the form of cryptocurrency. Unfortunately for the company, however, it appears the relief may be short lived.

In December, after Long Island Brand Beverages announced its new name, Long Blockchain, and new strategic focus on the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, its stock more than quadrupled from $2.15 to $9.49. The company's market cap was now well above the $35 million mark, at $67 million, and receiving mountains of mainstream press coverage it otherwise could only have dreamed of.

But on Wall Street, onlookers weren’t convinced a small beverage bottler from New York City’s suburbs could just simply pivot to blockchain. "I read the Long Island Iced Tea prospectus and then almost fell out of my chair when you reported they were becoming a Blockchain company," one industry insider told Business Insider.

Long Blockchain’s quest into cryptocurrency continued through the new year. In January, the company said it would sell $8.4 million worth of shares to finance the purchase of 1,000 S9 Antminer bitcoin mining machines, before balking on that plan less than a week later.

Now, less than a month later, the company’s stock price has fallen to $3.16, a level not seen since shortly after its pivot to blockchain. The decline has dragged Long Blockchain’s market cap down to $32.29 million, according to Bloomberg data, well below the $35 million level that previously triggered Nasdaq’s warning.

Neither Nasdaq nor Long Blockchain responded to requests for comment, and it is not clear if the decline will lead to yet another warning from the exchange operator. The exchange's website lists $35 million in market value of listed securities as one of three possible standards for continued listings. 

Still, Long Blockchain appears to be continuing its bet on the distributed ledger technology. The company said on January 16 that it had entered into a “letter-of-intent” to be acquired by British firm Stater Blockchain, a “technology company focused on developing and deploying globally scalable blockchain technology solutions in the financial market,” according to its website.

If the buyout is approved, Stater Blockchain would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Long Blockchain. This means Long Blockchain would finally have tangible blockchain assets, including Stater’s in-house currency futures brokerage. Currently, Long Blockchain owns no blockchain assets and has not clarified how or when it will purchase the bitcoin mining rigs it set out to earlier this month.

An agreement, if reached, is likely to be announced in the second quarter of 2018, the companies said.

“Stater has been making investments to build its cryptocurrency platform and blockchain solutions, and we look forward to combining our efforts in this transformational partnership,” Long Blockchain CEO Philip Thomas said in a press release.

“Our ultimate goal is to build a portfolio of investments that touch multiple points in the blockchain ecosystem and this transaction would be an important step in that direction.”

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

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NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

The Google Effect and Bitcoin Price Parallels Persist

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

The post The Google Effect and Bitcoin Price Parallels Persist appeared first on CCN

If you want to know where the bitcoin price is headed, just ask Google. Datatrek Research’s Nick Colas, an early analyst to track bitcoin, suggested to CNBC that the key to unlocking bitcoin’s next rally is to observe Google search and the ensuing digtal wallet creation, both of which have been on the decline in … Continued

The post The Google Effect and Bitcoin Price Parallels Persist appeared first on CCN

World Economic Forum Bitcoin Discussions “Validate the Movement”

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

World Economic Forum Bitcoin Discussions “Validate the Movement”

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has long been a lightning rod of global discussion on economic, social and political trends. This year’s gathering in Davos, Switzerland, was no exception.

Blockchain technology emerged center stage last week as a key discussion theme, receiving praise from attendees for its cutting-edge potential. Bitcoin and the future of cryptocurrencies, too, were highly discussed topics at the forum, not just casually but also in an official session and a few panel discussions. There, cryptocurrencies were the subject of intense debate among looming questions about its long-term viability and worth.

Ahead of Davos, Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Shiller joined a growing chorus of prominent Bitcoin naysayers, telling CNBC that Bitcoin “might totally collapse and be forgotten and I think that’s a good likely outcome[,] but it could linger on for a good long time, it could be here in 100 years."

Chatter surrounding Bitcoin’s reputation as a haven for illicit activities persisted among WEF attendees as well. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said during a panel discussion: “The fact that the anonymity, the lack of transparency and the way in which it conceals and protects money laundering and financing of terrorism and all sorts of dark trades is just not acceptable.”

In a brief interview by email with Bitcoin Magazine, WEF Member Jennifer Zhu Scott offered an alternative perspective to Shiller, Lagarde and others regarding Bitcoin’s meteoric rise and future possibilities.

“Most of the status quo are still in denial. But we are at the cusp of a complete transformation of the financial industry. The fact we are even talking about it at Davos is already a validation of progress within the [Bitcoin] movement.”

Zhu Scott is the founding principal at Radian Partners and Radian Blockchain Ventures, a firm that targets private investments in artificial intelligence and the blockchain and their applications to climate-change-related projects such as solar infrastructure and carbon-credit trading.

She said that Shiller lacks a comprehensive understanding of the underlying (blockchain) technology and its economic implications. According to Zhu Scott, Shiller’s comments on Bitcoin and those who believe in it were based on impressions instead of sound research.

“One common mistake the status quo often makes is to judge Bitcoin as the destination of the digital asset movement. For while it has certainly caught people’s imaginations, we are only seeing the very early stages of it,” said Zhu Scott, who was an active participant at this year’s forum.

She was quick to offer the reminder of how messy the internet was back in the 1990s, particularly with respect to its application to business. “Look back at those who said, ‘Because the dot-com boom is a bubble, the internet will go nowhere.’ They now sound silly. But people are making these same mistakes.”  

Zhu Scott was particularly taken aback by Shiller’s highly critical comments onstage, where he stated that Bitcoin enthusiasts are “selfish” and “in it for money.”

“It would have been like me asserting that his economic theories were hurting the little guys without understanding what GDP was. Those with a voice, such as Shiller and the other Nobel Laureates, have a responsibility to look beyond the noise and understand the fundamental shift that is happening.”

All debate aside, Zhu Scott says that the fact that we are still talking about Bitcoin after almost a decade, and the fact that Bitcoin is still alive and thriving, proves that it’s a powerful idea.

“The debate at Davos this year was important as it offers a pragmatic view on Bitcoin and the token economy,” said Zhu Scott. “It was an opportunity to acknowledge its weaknesses while also inspiring people to focus on its potential. To me, Satoshi Nakamoto’s gift to the world will likely have a much larger impact on the future monetary reality than any of the Nobel Laureates who feel so urged to offer conclusions.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Hong Kong–Based Investment Firm Acquires Pioneering Bitcoin Exchange BTCC

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

BTCCacqu.jpg

BTCC is exiting the Chinese market to focus on making digital currencies accessible to everyone globally. This acquisition by a Hong Kong–based blockchain investment fund is a milestone for BTCC and will allow BTCC to focus on global digital currency adoption.

BTCC, located in China and founded in 2011, was the world’s oldest bitcoin exchange until it closed in September 2017 under pressure from the Chinese government. It changed business focus to its international pool, wallet and exchange markets.

“Today’s acquisition is an incredible milestone for BTCC that validates all of our hard work over the past few years,” said Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, in a statement. “I’m very excited about the resources this gives BTCC to move faster and aggressively grow our businesses in 2018 and beyond.”

Calvin Cheng, an advisor to the Hong Kong investment fund that acquired BTCC, stated: “We’re humbled that we were able to acquire BTCC. BTCC has an unparalleled brand and reputation, and we look forward to taking it [to] greater heights of success internationally.”

The three major products from BTCC include BTCC Pool, Mobi and BTCC Exchange, which will be led by Denver Zhao, Mark Ma and Aaron Choi, respectively.

BTCC Pool is a digital currency pool that operates on a pay-per-share model that guarantees miners a return on investment regardless of whether or not the pool mines a block. Zhao, senior vice president of BTCC Pool — who has an MBA from the University of Strathclyde in addition to years of sales experience — said that the acquisition would allow BTCC to realize its vision of global digital currency adoption.

“We now have the resources to more fully realize our vision of safeguarding and stabilizing digital currencies’ blockchains,” Zhao said. “Going forward, we’ll provide better, fairer, more transparent, and more comprehensive mining services to our customers worldwide.”

Mobi is a digital wallet app running on iOS and Android, with a web portal also available, that allows for the storage, conversion and transfer of over 100 currencies, and which “now has customers from over 180+ countries,” according to Ma, vice president of BTCC Mobi.

Ma, who has several years of product design experience at Alibaba among other companies, said, “The capital injection we received today gives us a boost towards reaching our goal to grab a dominant market share in the payments and digital currency industries of each of those countries.”

BTCC Exchange is a BTC-USD exchange with seven years of history in providing a simple-to-use interface that is appropriate for casual as well as dedicated traders. BTCC said their exchange services will benefit greatly from vice president Choi’s startup management experience at RockYou, Tapjoy, Chinapex and other companies, to provide the most accessible digital currency services going forward.

Choi said, “The acquisition gives us resources to more effectively apply our unparalleled industry knowledge to provide customers with the most accessible digital currency services.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

Dealmaking continues to move at a torrid pace in 2018.

Keurig Green Mountain and Dr. Pepper Snapple announced Monday they're planning to merge in a deal worth nearly $19 billion, sending the soda-maker's shares skyward. A secretive banker beloved by Warren Buffett played a role on the deal. 

Four years after going private, Dell is weighing a sale of its business to VMware, a massive and unusual deal that would allow Dell to go public by essentially selling itself to a company that it owns. Dell owns 80% of VMware, a publicly traded software virtualization company that Dell acquired when it purchased EMC for $67 billion in 2015. VMware stock slipped on the news.

Sanofi is buying another blood-disease biotech for $4.8 billion. Its purchase of Ablynx on Monday comes a week after buying Bioverativ for $11.6 billion

Fears over 9/11 lawsuits could stop Saudi Aramco bringing its $2 trillion IPO to New York.

In non-deals news, Wynn Resorts stock continues to fall after casino mogul Steve Wynn stepped down from the RNC amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Here's what else is happening today:

Apple stock dipped after reportedly telling suppliers to cut iPhone X production targets in the first three months of the year. The company also said it might launching a new cheap iPhone this year — and it feels like the iPhone 5C fiasco all over again.

Almost every major cryptocurrency is falling. Here's what else is going on in crypto-land:

Customers are freaking out after Panera Bread announced it would be recalling five varieties of its cream cheese sold in US locations because of a potential bacteria contamination. 

Lastly, thousands of people in Kenya are getting basic income for 12 years in an experiment that could redefine social welfare around the world.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

CRYPTO INSIDER: A sea of red

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

red tide

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.

Most major cryptocurrencies were down slightly coming off the weekend, but there was one shining speck of green among the sea of red. 

Here are the current standings: 

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: A popular bitcoin stock announced a 91-for-1 split that could make it more accessible to the masses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

CRYPTO INSIDER: A sea of red

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

red tide

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.

Most major cryptocurrencies were down slightly coming off the weekend, but there was one shining speck of green among the sea of red. 

Here are the current standings: 

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: A popular bitcoin stock announced a 91-for-1 split that could make it more accessible to the masses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

CRYPTO INSIDER: A sea of red

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

red tide

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.

Most major cryptocurrencies were down slightly coming off the weekend, but there was one shining speck of green among the sea of red. 

Here are the current standings: 

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: A popular bitcoin stock announced a 91-for-1 split that could make it more accessible to the masses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

CRYPTO INSIDER: A sea of red

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

red tide

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.

Most major cryptocurrencies were down slightly coming off the weekend, but there was one shining speck of green among the sea of red. 

Here are the current standings: 

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: A popular bitcoin stock announced a 91-for-1 split that could make it more accessible to the masses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

CRYPTO INSIDER: A sea of red

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

red tide

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.

Most major cryptocurrencies were down slightly coming off the weekend, but there was one shining speck of green among the sea of red. 

Here are the current standings: 

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: A popular bitcoin stock announced a 91-for-1 split that could make it more accessible to the masses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

CRYPTO INSIDER: A sea of red

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

red tide

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.

Most major cryptocurrencies were down slightly coming off the weekend, but there was one shining speck of green among the sea of red. 

Here are the current standings: 

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: A popular bitcoin stock announced a 91-for-1 split that could make it more accessible to the masses

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NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

Over 1 million people have signed up for Robinhood Crypto

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 1.01.39 PM

  • The sign-up list for Robinhood Crypto soared above 1 million just five days after its announcement. 
  • Robinhood, the brokerage known for its zero-commission stock trading app, said it would enable bitcoin and ethereum trading in February. 


Over 1 million people have signed up for early access to Robinhood Crypto, just five days after the California brokerage announced it was crashing the gates of cryptocurrency trading.

Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 1.01.54 PM

Robinhood, which is best known for its zero-commission stock trading app, announced Thursday it would offer bitcoin and ethereum trading in February. Since making the announcement, 1,000,400 people have signed up for the service. 

Robinhood is rolling out the new feature in waves, launching first in five states: California, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Montana. 

"Crypto is going to change the world and we want to help drive that," Baiju Bhatt told Business Insider in an interview prior to the announcement.

Still, some market-watchers think the milestone indicates a broader bubble in the market for digital coins. 

Joe Saluzzi, cofounder of brokerage firm Themis Trading, told Business Insider it shows "a lot of people are trying to get in."

"When any Joe-Schmo can issue a coin and then have a $1 billion market cap, it makes you think there's a bubble," he added. 

Robinhood would be one of the first non-crypto companies to try to break into the cryptocurrency trading market, which is known for outages, high-fees, and long periods of downtime. Bhatt said the company is prepared to onboard new clients and handle volumes. Here's Bhatt:

"Today our business transacts 10,000 different symbols in equities and ETFs. We see millions of trades a day. In our brokerage industry there is no excuse for down time. We plan on bringing that mind-set to the crypto space. We don't view any of that stuff as acceptable."

From a business standpoint, Bhatt said the move is a customer acquisition play. The firm has already racked up over 3 million users. Bhatt sees cryptocurrency bringing that number to new heights.

"We are going to break-even on this," he said. "But it could dramatically increase user growth."

Robinhood is valued at $1.3 billion, according to the company, and has raised over $170 million. The firm has declined to comment on its profitability.

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NOW WATCH: The CEO of $445 billion fund giant Principal Global Investors says everyone has the economy all wrong

Bitcoin Price Drops 4% as Cryptocurrency Market Struggles in Recovery

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

The post Bitcoin Price Drops 4% as Cryptocurrency Market Struggles in Recovery appeared first on CCN

The price of bitcoin has dropped by 4 percent earlier today, on January 29, as the entire cryptocurrency market struggled to recover from its previous corrections. Other major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Cardano, and Stellar have also fallen by small margins, in the 3 to 5 percent region. Bitcoin’s Performance The slump in the performance of

The post Bitcoin Price Drops 4% as Cryptocurrency Market Struggles in Recovery appeared first on CCN

A California investing startup just launched a new feature to show how much home you can afford

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

home for sale

  • Investment startup Wealthfront is adding a new feature to its Path platform to help users plan to buy a home. 
  • The company is betting big on Path to increase its assets under management. 


Wealthfront, the California investing startup with $10.5 billion under management, announced Monday a new feature to help users with the home-buying process. 

The home planning feature is the latest addition to Wealthfront's Path platform, which gives users a sense of their broader financial picture to help plan for major financial events.  

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“With the introduction of Path’s home planning service, our clients can now easily plan for all of their major life milestones — from saving for their children’s future to one day retiring — with just a few taps on their phone,” said Andy Rachleff cofounder and CEO of Wealthfront.

Drawing on data from real estate database Redfin, the feature allows people to explore housing costs in neighborhoods across the US. It also shows them whether or not a certain home purchase is affordable and how it might impact other financial goals. 

At the beginning of January, Wealthfront said it would use newly raised capital to further expand its Path Platform, which the company says has been a darling among younger users. The company raised $75 million in a fundraising round led by Tiger Global Management.

"We just closed a record breaking 2017, having grown our assets 100% to about $10.5 billion under management," Rachleff told Business Insider through a spokeswoman. "We attribute this accelerated growth rate to the launch of Path."

Across the investment startup space, companies are rolling out new features and products to stand out in a marketplace that's crowded.

"There has been a rapid increase in competition in the digital advice industry and it shows no signs of stopping," an industry report by BackendBenchmarking noted. "Independent robo advisors need to quickly acquire market share and innovate or they risk being overshadowed by larger, more established financial institutions."

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NOW WATCH: Principal Global Investors CEO: Bitcoin lacks fundamental value and it won't replace gold

Ripple Vets Raising Money for Crypto Hedge Fund

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

Two former employees of distributed ledger startup Ripple are raising money for a new cryptocurrency hedge fund, public records show.

Getting a huge tax refund can be a costly mistake — here's why a financial planner would rather get a bill

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

cash money dollars

  • Many people celebrate getting big tax refunds, but it's not necessarily the best financial move.
  • The money you get back when you file your taxes is your money — and it could have been in your bank account all along.
  • Certified financial planner and Business Insider senior editor Lauren Lyons Cole says the smarter approach is to break even when filing your tax return.


Tax refunds are easily, and perhaps widely, misunderstood.

Though a lot of people see them as a hefty windfall, the truth is the money you get back when you file your taxes is your money. It always was.

And it could have been in your bank account all along.

"I always try to either owe slightly or break even when filing my tax return," Lauren Lyons Cole, a senior editor at Business Insider and a certified financial planner, told me.

How tax refunds work

Throughout the year, you pay taxes on the money you earn — either by having it withheld from your paycheck or by making estimated payments.

Then, by tax day, you reconcile the amount you paid with the amount you actually owe. If you overpaid, which most people do, you get your money back in the form of a tax refund.

Big tax refunds mean you paid too much in taxes — that you had too much income tax taken out of each paycheck, and now the IRS is returning what is rightfully yours. Instead of keeping your money in a savings or retirement account where it could earn interest all year, you essentially gave an interest-free loan to the government.

A tax refund of zero, in other words, means you optimized your income throughout the year, putting yourself in the best possible position to increase your net-worth.

throwing moneyTo increase the chance of getting a small return, Lyons Cole recommends people review and update their withholding status at work to preserve some of their gross income.

She did specify one situation where big refunds can be valuable, however.

If you're someone who tends to overspend each month, withholding extra money from your paycheck can serve as a natural savings strategy. When you get the money back as a refund, Lyons Cole said it can be easier to divvy up between debts, savings, and expenses than budgeting throughout the year.

Why you might want to owe money

Lyons Cole said she would rather owe money than get a big refund because owing money — ideally just a little — means she was able to maximize every last dollar she earned.

It's possible to take this approach too far, however. The risk of withholding too little each month is you could end up paying a small fine if you underpay by too much. On its website, the IRS states that few people incur this penalty, and offers guidelines on how to avoid it.

"Make sure your goal is just to get to that no-refund or no-bill kind of place," she said. "And if you end up owing a few bucks, that's better than getting a monster refund."

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

SEE ALSO: The IRS is now accepting tax returns — here's what to expect this year

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NOW WATCH: Here's what Trump's tax plan means for people at every income level from $20,000 to $269,000 a year

REPORT: Fears over 9/11 lawsuits could stop Saudi Aramco bringing its $2 trillion IPO to New York

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

saudi oil pumping gas

  • Saudi Aramco could avoid listing in the USA over fears surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter, senior figures in the IPO process worry that a New York listing "could expose the kingdom to lawsuits from shareholders and 9/11 victims."
  • Saudi Aramco is expected to list at some point during 2018.


Saudi Arabia's ruling family could avoid listing its state oil company, Saudi Aramco, in New York, due to fears over lawsuits related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter, senior figures in the IPO process worry that a New York listing "could expose the kingdom to lawsuits from shareholders and 9/11 victims." Among those figures is Saudi oil minister and Aramco's chairman, Khalid al-Falih.

Saudi Aramco's imminent stock market flotation — which is expected to take place at some point in 2018 — will likely make it the most valuable public company on earth, and has attracted huge attention from major financial sectors around the world, who are vying to attract the listing.

As it stands, the kingdom’s ruling family plans to list at least part of its business on Saudi Arabia's stock exchange, the Tadawul, in 2018. It is then widely expected to list another segment on an exchange in an international financial centre — most likely be New York or London.

There is also some suggestion that the kingdom is still considering whether to actually pursue an international listing for part of its behemothic state oil company, and if it may instead favour a private placement of its shares.

"We hope that 2018 will be the right time, but ultimately we have to make sure the market is ready," al-Falih said at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week. "We will calibrate that as we get closer."

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NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

(+) $50,000 Bitcoin Could Come Sooner Than You Think, According to Portfolio Manager

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

The post (+) $50,000 Bitcoin Could Come Sooner Than You Think, According to Portfolio Manager appeared first on CCN

The post (+) $50,000 Bitcoin Could Come Sooner Than You Think, According to Portfolio Manager appeared first on CCN

Following Massive Cryptocurrency Hack, Coincheck Pledges to Improve Operations, Refund Losses

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

Following Massive Cryptocurrency Hack, Coincheck Pledges to Improve Operations, Refund Losses

Following one of the largest hacks in the history of cryptocurrency, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has announced that it will comply with an order from Japan’s Financial Services Agency to improve its business operations.

On Friday, January 26, 2018, Coincheck was hacked, resulting in the loss over over $530 million USD worth of NEM (XEM) tokens. A full transcript of the announcement from Coincheck executives can be found here.

The core of the problem was that Coincheck was keeping the currency in a “hot” wallet, which meant the method of storage was connected to the internet. By contrast, U.S.-based Coinbase keeps 98 percent of its holdings offline in “cold” storage. The hack ranks among the largest of cryptocurrency since the launch of bitcoin. Coincheck subsequently restricted deposits and withdrawals of most currencies pending investigation and resolution of the problems.

“We earnestly accept the terms of the order and vow to re-examine our business practices while simultaneously striving to make all facts involved in this case clear, discover the root cause of the breach, safeguard our customers, and develop stronger and more effective measures for system risk management and prevention of similar events in the future.”

The exchange also announced a reparations policy yesterday, January 28, which will reimburse 523,000,000 XEM to 260,000 users.

The hack caused an immediate 20 percent drop in the price of XEM to $0.79, but it has since recovered those losses and more, rising to $1.07 within 24 hours.

Like Bitcoin, NEM is a cryptocurrency built on top of blockchain technology. Unlike bitcoin, which uses Proof of Work (PoW), NEM uses Proof of Importance (PoI) to establish consensus on the blocks. PoI uses “harvesters” in a variation of the Proof of Stake (PoS) model as opposed to miners used for PoW methods to generate tokens and does not require special computing or energy requirements to arrive at consensus. XEM is the name of the cryptocurrency associated with NEM harvesting and it is those tokens that were stolen from Coincheck.

Vice President of the NEM Foundation, Jeff McDonald, told Bitcoin Magazine, “Coincheck contacted us immediately, so we knew about the problem and had devised a plan to tag the stolen coins before the news had even hit the media. The NEM technology is fully intact, so there is no need to hard fork the code.”

McDonald said that NEM immediately reached out to the exchanges and identified 10 different accounts where most of the XEM tokens went. All of those tokens have been tagged, so anyone who is considering buying these tokens will be able to see they were stolen from the Coincheck exchange and should not accept them.

“Had Coincheck used the NEM multi-signature wallet, this could not have happened,” McDonald added. “A third-party audit would have uncovered the problems, but Coincheck was the single exchange in Japan that was not FSA licensed and illustrates the value of good governance and oversight in this space.”

Coincheck is expected to produce a written report summarizing the actions it will take to improve security and customer support by Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

UK Crypto Trader Forced to Hand Over Bitcoin at Gunpoint

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

A British man who runs a cryptocurrency trading firm was yesterday forced at gunpoint to hand over an unknown quantity of bitcoin.

More companies are trying to cash in on the crypto craze

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

conventional funding vs ico blockchain

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

Even as global cryptocurrency markets remain extremely volatile and regulators continue raising concerns about the asset class, the fact remains that investor demand for such assets keeps booming, making the space a potentially lucrative one.

To capitalize on this opportunity, more companies are making bids to open crypto access up to ever-more investors, hoping to reap fees on investments made in the asset class.

This trend was further illustrated this week by two new developments:

  • Robinhood said it will start offering Bitcoin and Ether trading. Robinhood, a US-based stock trading app, announced that it will start offering Bitcoin and Ether trading for free on its mobile app next month, and potentially add other cryptocurrencies down the line. This move will give Robinhood’s existing clients access to the cryptocurrency market, while also allowing the company to cross-sell its premium account to active cryptocurrency investors, in what Robinhood says is a $550 billion market. The company’s premium account already targets sophisticated investors by enabling services like leveraged trades and after-hours trading.
  • Trading Technologies partnered Coinbase to provide crypto access to institutional investors. Trading Technologies, a trading software provider, has partnered Coinbase, one of the US’ biggest crypto exchanges, to give its institutional investor clients access to cryptocurrency markets. Trading Technologies already works with major exchanges including Deutsche Borse, Nasdaq, CME, and Cboe, and said the deal followed strong demand from users on these venues for crypto market access. These clients will now be able to engage in spot Bitcoin trading, and tap into Bitcoin futures products. They will also have access to market data and automated trading tools to trade cryptos on GDAX, Coinbase’s trading platform.

Companies wishing to capitalize on cryptocurrency demand will have to act quickly.It’s increasingly apparent that, despite incumbents’ and regulators’ reservations about the asset class, companies providing investment and trading services will now be under increasing pressure to give their clients access to cryptocurrency markets, or risk seeming out of touch with public sentiment, as global demand for the assets accelerates and more companies oblige.

However, any companies that wish to capitalize on this opportunity would do well to follow in Robinhood and Trading Technologies' footsteps and roll out such services quickly, as it seems increasingly likely that US, EU, and UK regulators will soon act on their warnings and clamp down on the sector.

To receive stories like this one directly to your inbox every morning, sign up for the Fintech Briefing newsletter. Click here to learn more about how you can gain risk-free access today.

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‘Bitcoin is a Fork, Bitcoin Cash Is the Original Blockchain,’ Claims NIST Report

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

The post ‘Bitcoin is a Fork, Bitcoin Cash Is the Original Blockchain,’ Claims NIST Report appeared first on CCN

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a draft of its blockchain technology primer, and — consciously or not — it takes a controversial stand on the Bitcoin scaling debate. As currently written, the 57-page “Blockchain Technology Overview” (Draft NISTIR 8202), which was published by the institute’s Computer Security Resource Center (CRSC), … Continued

The post ‘Bitcoin is a Fork, Bitcoin Cash Is the Original Blockchain,’ Claims NIST Report appeared first on CCN

Still Wondering If Bitcoin Is A Good Investment? Read This First!

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

The problem with bubbles is that you can almost never tell it's a bubble when you're inside of it.

A wildly popular bitcoin stock is popping after a 91-for-1 split

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

FILE PHOTO: Bitcoin mining computers are pictured in Bitmain's mining farm near Keflavik, Iceland, June 4, 2016.  REUTERS/Jemima Kelly/File Photo

  • Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust gave investors 91 shares for every one they previously owned, and the stock is spiking now that shares are cheaper.
  • The move makes the stock more accessible to those who want to invest. 


It just got easier to invest in bitcoin without actually buying the digital currency.

Shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, a stock that seeks to imitate the price of bitcoin through its ownership of 0.09 BTC per share, opened up more than 8% Monday — rising as high as $19.57 — after a 91-for-1 split over the weekend made the stock more accessible to the masses.

The company announced the split in January, when the stock was trading at more than $1,000.

Now, shares of the investment trust are trading at a much more affordable $18. The split didn't affect the company’s market value, which remains just above $3 billion.

GBTC is the second most popular stock on trading app Stockpile, which allows users to buy fractional shares of expensive companies they may not otherwise be able to afford.

Shares of GBTC gained roughly 1,700% in the past year. Bitcoin is up 1,659% in the same period. 

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NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

A wildly popular bitcoin stock is popping after a 91-for-1 split

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

FILE PHOTO: Bitcoin mining computers are pictured in Bitmain's mining farm near Keflavik, Iceland, June 4, 2016.  REUTERS/Jemima Kelly/File Photo

  • Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust gave investors 91 shares for every one they previously owned, and the stock is spiking now that shares are cheaper.
  • The move makes the stock more accessible to those who want to invest. 


It just got easier to invest in bitcoin without actually buying the digital currency.

Shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, a stock that seeks to imitate the price of bitcoin through its ownership of 0.09 BTC per share, opened up more than 8% Monday — rising as high as $19.57 — after a 91-for-1 split over the weekend made the stock more accessible to the masses.

The company announced the split in January, when the stock was trading at more than $1,000.

Now, shares of the investment trust are trading at a much more affordable $18. The split didn't affect the company’s market value, which remains just above $3 billion.

GBTC is the second most popular stock on trading app Stockpile, which allows users to buy fractional shares of expensive companies they may not otherwise be able to afford.

Shares of GBTC gained roughly 1,700% in the past year. Bitcoin is up 1,659% in the same period. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

Bitcoin Exchange BTCC Just Got Acquired

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

Bitcoin services startup BTCC said it's been acquired by a Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund. It did not name the buyer or reveal the price.

Almost every major cryptocurrency is falling

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 9.04.19 AM

  • The six largest cryptocurrencies have all lost value in the last 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin was down 4.6%, Ethereum was down 4.6%, and Ripple’s XRP was down 6.3%.


The six largest cryptocurrencies, including the flagship bitcoin, have all sunk in the last 24 hours, according to data from Markets Insider, following a major cyberattack against a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last week which resulted in the loss of $400 million.

Bitcoin, which still makes up 33% of the entire digital currency market cap, was down 4.6% at the time of writing. Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP token, the second and third largest cryptocurrencies, were down 4.6% and 6.3% respectively.

Smaller coins with market caps of less than $1 billion had also taken a hit.

Bitcoin cash, the rival that split from bitcoin in August 2017, was down 4.3%, giving the offshoot a market cap of $399 million.

There was only one speck of green in the sea of red Monday morning: Neo. The Chinese Ethereum spinoff is up 3.1% in the last 24 hours — and up a staggering 153% in the last month.

Cryptocurrency markets are struggling to match their stellar 2017. Threats of crackdowns in China and South Korea, as well as increased scrutiny from regulators in the US, have sent chills through price charts which previously seemed to only move up.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Deutsche Bank’s head of wealth management warned that crypto investments could eventually result in total loss. "It’s only for investors who invest speculatively," Markus Mueller told the network. "There is a realistic risk of total loss."

You can track the prices of 12 cryptocurrencies in real-time here>>

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

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NOW WATCH: A $445 billion fund manager explains what everyone gets wrong about the economy

Almost every major cryptocurrency is falling

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 9.04.19 AM

  • The six largest cryptocurrencies have all lost value in the last 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin was down 4.6%, Ethereum was down 4.6%, and Ripple’s XRP was down 6.3%.


The six largest cryptocurrencies, including the flagship bitcoin, have all sunk in the last 24 hours, according to data from Markets Insider, following a major cyberattack against a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last week which resulted in the loss of $400 million.

Bitcoin, which still makes up 33% of the entire digital currency market cap, was down 4.6% at the time of writing. Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP token, the second and third largest cryptocurrencies, were down 4.6% and 6.3% respectively.

Smaller coins with market caps of less than $1 billion had also taken a hit.

Bitcoin cash, the rival that split from bitcoin in August 2017, was down 4.3%, giving the offshoot a market cap of $399 million.

There was only one speck of green in the sea of red Monday morning: Neo. The Chinese Ethereum spinoff is up 3.1% in the last 24 hours — and up a staggering 153% in the last month.

Cryptocurrency markets are struggling to match their stellar 2017. Threats of crackdowns in China and South Korea, as well as increased scrutiny from regulators in the US, have sent chills through price charts which previously seemed to only move up.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Deutsche Bank’s head of wealth management warned that crypto investments could eventually result in total loss. "It’s only for investors who invest speculatively," Markus Mueller told the network. "There is a realistic risk of total loss."

You can track the prices of 12 cryptocurrencies in real-time here>>

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A $445 billion fund manager explains what everyone gets wrong about the economy

Almost every major cryptocurrency is falling

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 9.04.19 AM

  • The six largest cryptocurrencies have all lost value in the last 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin was down 4.6%, Ethereum was down 4.6%, and Ripple’s XRP was down 6.3%.


The six largest cryptocurrencies, including the flagship bitcoin, have all sunk in the last 24 hours, according to data from Markets Insider, following a major cyberattack against a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last week which resulted in the loss of $400 million.

Bitcoin, which still makes up 33% of the entire digital currency market cap, was down 4.6% at the time of writing. Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP token, the second and third largest cryptocurrencies, were down 4.6% and 6.3% respectively.

Smaller coins with market caps of less than $1 billion had also taken a hit.

Bitcoin cash, the rival that split from bitcoin in August 2017, was down 4.3%, giving the offshoot a market cap of $399 million.

There was only one speck of green in the sea of red Monday morning: Neo. The Chinese Ethereum spinoff is up 3.1% in the last 24 hours — and up a staggering 153% in the last month.

Cryptocurrency markets are struggling to match their stellar 2017. Threats of crackdowns in China and South Korea, as well as increased scrutiny from regulators in the US, have sent chills through price charts which previously seemed to only move up.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Deutsche Bank’s head of wealth management warned that crypto investments could eventually result in total loss. "It’s only for investors who invest speculatively," Markus Mueller told the network. "There is a realistic risk of total loss."

You can track the prices of 12 cryptocurrencies in real-time here>>

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A $445 billion fund manager explains what everyone gets wrong about the economy

Almost every major cryptocurrency is falling

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 9.04.19 AM

  • The six largest cryptocurrencies have all lost value in the last 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin was down 4.6%, Ethereum was down 4.6%, and Ripple’s XRP was down 6.3%.


The six largest cryptocurrencies, including the flagship bitcoin, have all sunk in the last 24 hours, according to data from Markets Insider, following a major cyberattack against a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last week which resulted in the loss of $400 million.

Bitcoin, which still makes up 33% of the entire digital currency market cap, was down 4.6% at the time of writing. Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP token, the second and third largest cryptocurrencies, were down 4.6% and 6.3% respectively.

Smaller coins with market caps of less than $1 billion had also taken a hit.

Bitcoin cash, the rival that split from bitcoin in August 2017, was down 4.3%, giving the offshoot a market cap of $399 million.

There was only one speck of green in the sea of red Monday morning: Neo. The Chinese Ethereum spinoff is up 3.1% in the last 24 hours — and up a staggering 153% in the last month.

Cryptocurrency markets are struggling to match their stellar 2017. Threats of crackdowns in China and South Korea, as well as increased scrutiny from regulators in the US, have sent chills through price charts which previously seemed to only move up.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Deutsche Bank’s head of wealth management warned that crypto investments could eventually result in total loss. "It’s only for investors who invest speculatively," Markus Mueller told the network. "There is a realistic risk of total loss."

You can track the prices of 12 cryptocurrencies in real-time here>>

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A $445 billion fund manager explains what everyone gets wrong about the economy

Bitcoin Price Slips Into the Red as Robinhood-Fueled Rally Stalls

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

The post Bitcoin Price Slips Into the Red as Robinhood-Fueled Rally Stalls appeared first on CCN

Cryptocurrency prices went south on Monday after Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) announced that it may conduct on-site inspections of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges in response to Coincheck’s $530 million hack. The Bitcoin price led the retreat with a five percent decline, and most other top-tier coins followed suit. As a rule, Japan has been very … Continued

The post Bitcoin Price Slips Into the Red as Robinhood-Fueled Rally Stalls appeared first on CCN

10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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

RTX4KU0I

Here is what you need to know.

Stocks are facing a barrage of sell signals as the market's 'non-stop euphoric cabaret' rages on. A gauge maintained by Bank of America Merrill Lynch — known as the Bull & Bear indicator — is on the brink of reaching sell territory, while other overbought indicators flash.

Intel warned Chinese companies like Lenovo and Alibaba before the US government about Spectre and Meltdown. This raised concerns as the Chinese government might have come across the information before the US, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been released after having been arrested last November amid a corruption crackdown. He is an investor in companies like Twitter and Lyft.

2 bitcoin traders were held at gunpoint in an armed raid in rural England. Danny Aston and his girlfriend Amy Jay, who jointly run a cryptocurrency trading company, were forced to digitally transfer bitcoin by four men who broke into their house in Moulsford, Oxfordshire, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.

A senior figure at Deutsche Bank's $880 billion asset management arm warns against bitcoin. Markus Mueller, global head of the chief investment office at Deutsche Asset Management, says the cryptocurrency is "only for investors who invest speculatively."

This chart underlines the risks facing global stocks as money printing comes to an end. Returns for global stocks have shown a strong correlation with central bank asset purchases over the past decade.

The US dollar has been slammed in January — and there could be more weakness to come. "If history is a guide, this move could have further to go," says Robert Rennie, head of financial market strategy at Westpac.

Stock markets around the world are weaker. China's Shanghai Composite (-0.99%) decreased, while Germany's DAX (-0.09%) fell. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.3% near 2,866.75.

Corporate earnings reports continue. Lockheed Martin, First Bancorp and Seagate Technology are set to report before the market open, while Houlihan Lokey and J&J Snack Foods will report after the close.

US economic data reports are due. Personal income and spending figures will be release at 8:30 a.m. ET, while Dallas Fed manufacturing data comes out at 10 a.m. The US 10-year yield is up 4 basis points at 2.66%.

SEE ALSO: Stocks are facing a barrage of sell signals as the market's 'non-stop euphoric cabaret' rages on

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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

RTX4KU0I

Here is what you need to know.

Stocks are facing a barrage of sell signals as the market's 'non-stop euphoric cabaret' rages on. A gauge maintained by Bank of America Merrill Lynch — known as the Bull & Bear indicator — is on the brink of reaching sell territory, while other overbought indicators flash.

Intel warned Chinese companies like Lenovo and Alibaba before the US government about Spectre and Meltdown. This raised concerns as the Chinese government might have come across the information before the US, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been released after having been arrested last November amid a corruption crackdown. He is an investor in companies like Twitter and Lyft.

2 bitcoin traders were held at gunpoint in an armed raid in rural England. Danny Aston and his girlfriend Amy Jay, who jointly run a cryptocurrency trading company, were forced to digitally transfer bitcoin by four men who broke into their house in Moulsford, Oxfordshire, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.

A senior figure at Deutsche Bank's $880 billion asset management arm warns against bitcoin. Markus Mueller, global head of the chief investment office at Deutsche Asset Management, says the cryptocurrency is "only for investors who invest speculatively."

This chart underlines the risks facing global stocks as money printing comes to an end. Returns for global stocks have shown a strong correlation with central bank asset purchases over the past decade.

The US dollar has been slammed in January — and there could be more weakness to come. "If history is a guide, this move could have further to go," says Robert Rennie, head of financial market strategy at Westpac.

Stock markets around the world are weaker. China's Shanghai Composite (-0.99%) decreased, while Germany's DAX (-0.09%) fell. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.3% near 2,866.75.

Corporate earnings reports continue. Lockheed Martin, First Bancorp and Seagate Technology are set to report before the market open, while Houlihan Lokey and J&J Snack Foods will report after the close.

US economic data reports are due. Personal income and spending figures will be release at 8:30 a.m. ET, while Dallas Fed manufacturing data comes out at 10 a.m. The US 10-year yield is up 4 basis points at 2.66%.

SEE ALSO: Stocks are facing a barrage of sell signals as the market's 'non-stop euphoric cabaret' rages on

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NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn't get 'too isolationist'

In Their Own Words: Real Companies Talk Ripple XRP Pilots

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

Coming off several weeks of intense criticism enterprise blockchain startup Ripple has revealed several clients using its native cryptocurrency, XRP.

Japanese Electronics Retail Giant Launches Bitcoin Payments

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

Major Japanese electronics retailer Yamada Denki is partnering with the BitFlyer exchange to trial bitcoin payment in two of its stores.

Starbucks Chairman Interested in Cryptocurrency Market, Just Not Bitcoin

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

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Howard Schultz, who recently revealed an ambitious 30,000 square-foot Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai in partnership with Alibaba, expressed his enthusiasm towards the cryptocurrency market. Cryptocurrency For Retailers In the next few years, Schultz stated that he believes several legitimate cryptocurrencies will emerge, endorsed and adopted by retailers. He said: “I personally believe that there is

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Hong Kong plans TV ad campaign to warn against ICO and crypto investments

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

 Most financial authorities worldwide have warned their citizens on the risks of buying bitcoin or investing in ICOs, but Hong Kong is going a step further. Concern is such in the country that authorities are taking to TV and other media to warn of the risks of investment. Today the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and the Investor Education Centre (IEC), which is a subsidiary… Read More

Bitcoin Price Looking Heavy As News Turns Negative

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

Bitcoin's possible upside appears capped by a recent run of negative news, most notably a major Japanese exchange hack.

South Korea’s Largest E-Commerce Platform is Integrating 12 Cryptocurrencies Including Bitcoin

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

The post South Korea’s Largest E-Commerce Platform is Integrating 12 Cryptocurrencies Including Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

WeMakePrice, better known as Wemepu, one of South Korea’s largest e-commerce platforms, is integrating 12 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in collaboration with Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. First Major Retailer and E-Commerce Platform in South Korea According to local mainstream media outlets, WeMakePrice is cooperating with Bithumb on adding cryptocurrencies to its

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South Korea’s Largest E-Commerce Platform is Integrating 12 Cryptocurrencies Including Bitcoin

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

The post South Korea’s Largest E-Commerce Platform is Integrating 12 Cryptocurrencies Including Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

WeMakePrice, better known as Wemepu, one of South Korea’s largest e-commerce platforms, is integrating 12 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in collaboration with Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. First Major Retailer and E-Commerce Platform in South Korea According to local mainstream media outlets, WeMakePrice is cooperating with Bithumb on adding cryptocurrencies to its

The post South Korea’s Largest E-Commerce Platform is Integrating 12 Cryptocurrencies Including Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

2 bitcoin traders were held at gunpoint in an armed raid in rural England

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

crypto raid location

  • Four robbers broke into a home in the Oxfordshire countryside last week.
  • They held traders Danny Aston and Amy Jay at gunpoint, reports say.
  • The pair was reportedly forced to make transfers.


Two bitcoin traders were robbed at gunpoint at their home in rural England when armed criminals forced them to carry out cryptocurrency transfers.

Danny Aston and his girlfriend Amy Jay, who jointly run a cryptocurrency trading company, were forced to digitally transfer bitcoin by four men who broke into their house in Moulsford, Oxfordshire, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.

The balaclava-clad assailants jumped over a fence, kicked down a door, and left the couple's baby outside in a pram as they forced the traders to transfer their bitcoin on a computer, the paper said.

Crime involving firearms is rare in the UK, especially outside of London, and usually associated with organised criminals.

The incident took place on January 22, but was first reported almost a week later. It's unclear how much the couple was forced to hand over.

Nobody was seriously injured, a spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police told Business Insider. Police are still looking for the robbers.

Aston traded cryptocurrency online under the pseudonym "Goldiath," the Mail said. According to The Times newspaper, he has carried out more than 100,000 cryptocurrency trades with more than 16,300 different accounts, and offers trading tips and analysis online.

Police are trying to figure out how the robbers found the two brokers. They believe that the raid was targeted.

The Times reported that some of Aston's clients referred to him by his real name, which may have helped thieves identify him and find his home.

Aston and Jay are registered as directors of Aston Digital Currencies, a company incorporated last June, on Companies House. Their home address is listed on the online registry.

The couple, who have a baby, have been staying with relatives since the break-in, The Mail on Sunday quoted neighbours as saying.

While Monday's raid is believed to be Britain's first bitcoin heist, it's not the first in the world: Bitcoin traders and owners have been stabbed, kidnapped, and held at gunpoint, and forced to hand over their cryptocurrency, in cities including Vancouver, New York City, Istanbul, and Kiev, the Daily Beast reported.

A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman told Business Insider:

"Thames Valley Police is investigating an aggravated burglary which occurred at a property in Moulsford on Monday (22/1).

"Officers were called at about 9:40 a.m. to a report that offenders had entered a residential property off Reading Road and threatened the occupants. No one was seriously injured during the incident. [...]

"People in the local community may notice an increased presence of officers in the area while our enquiries are ongoing. The investigation is in its early stages however initial enquiries suggest this may be a targeted incident.

"No arrests have been made at this stage."

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NOW WATCH: Kimbal Musk tells us how traumatic experiences helped shape his food empire

PayPro – How the Banks of the Future Will Look Alike Thanks to Bitcoin

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

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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

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A Little Lightning Project Has Two Big Implications for Bitcoin's Tech

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

A small Japanese startup is paving the way in ideating how bitcoin's experimental Lightning network could take shape on two fronts.

'A realistic risk of total loss': A senior figure at Deutsche Bank's $880 billion asset management arm warns against bitcoin

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

An employee of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) reacts as he works at the bourse in Tokyo August 9, 2011. The Nikkei stock average closed down 1.7 percent on Tuesday, having trimmed losses on bargain hunting after the index tumbled more than 4 percent in the wake of a plunge on Wall Street and a downgrade of U.S. sovereign debt.

  • Markus Mueller, Global Head of the Chief Investment Office at Deutsche Asset Management warns investors of "total loss" when buying bitcoin.
  • "We do not recommend that. It’s only for investors who invest speculatively," he said in an interview.
  • Mainstream investors and institutions remain split on cryptocurrencies, with some see it as the future of global markets, and others remaining highly sceptical.


Investors in bitcoin face a "realistic risk of total loss" and everyone but the most speculative should steer clear of cryptocurrencies, a senior staff member at the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank has warned.

"We do not recommend that. It’s only for investors who invest speculatively," Markus Mueller, Global Head of the Chief Investment Office at Deutsche Asset Management said in an interview with Bloomberg.

"There is a realistic risk of total loss." 

Mueller went on to say that for bitcoin to considered a real, tradeable asset that Deutsche AM may include in its portfolio, huge strides are needed on "regulation, security and transparency," in the crypto world.

"Important issues such as liability and documentation are unclear," he said. "We are still at the very beginning."

"When security and trust are created, crypto-currencies can be assessed like established asset classes. It is possible that the governance required will exist in five to ten years from now," Mueller added.

Mainstream investors and institutions remain split on cryptocurrencies. Most see at least some scope for the blockchain technology underlying bitcoin to have real world applications, but many institutions see bitcoin itself (as well as other cryptocurrencies) as worthless exercises in speculation, not worth the distributed ledger they're printed on.

Late in 2017, for example, Paul Donovan,  the global chief economist at UBS's wealth management arm, tore into the argument that cryptocurrencies could eventually replace fiat currencies like the pound and the dollar.

"The problem that cryptocurrencies face is that they fail the two key metrics of what makes a currency a currency," Donovan said. "A currency has to be a widely used medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies are never going to achieve that. Period."

Mueller's assertion that Deutsche AM will steer of the crypto space for the foreseeable future comes after analysts at boutique research house Bernstein said similar.

"Cryptocurrencies and underlying blockchains seem set to grow and become a disruptive force. Thus they will have significant implications for investors. But, for now at least, they do not have a direct role in asset allocation," a note from a Bernstein team led by Inigo Fraser-Jenkins circulated last week said.

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NOW WATCH: Expect Amazon to make a surprising acquisition in 2018, says CFRA

Building New Businesses on Blockchain One “DApp” at a Time

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

The post Building New Businesses on Blockchain One “DApp” at a Time appeared first on CCN

This is a submitted sponsored story. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the content below. With the quick rise of the almighty Bitcoin, the world has finally acknowledged the influence of decentralized applications (DApps). Built properly from the ground up, they could be

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Latest Bitcoin Fork Hands Users a Chance at Generating Interest

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

The post Latest Bitcoin Fork Hands Users a Chance at Generating Interest appeared first on CCN

This is a submitted sponsored story. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the content below. In Bitcoin’s history, there have been a number of forks along the way that have seeked to assist the original digital currency along its path.  As issues continue

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Tether, the troubled cryptocurrency hit by a $31 million hack, has split with its auditors

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

tether

  • Tether, hit by $31 million hack in November, has built a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar.
  • Critics are suspicious of whether it has dollar reserves it claims, but Tether calls scepticism "uninformed and baseless."
  • The company has now parted ways with its auditor, which was reviewing its holdings, blaming auditor's "the excruciatingly detailed procedures."


LONDON — Under-fire cryptocurrency company Tether has parted company with its auditors, according to CoinDesk.

CoinDesk reports that Tether said in a statement on Saturday night that its relationship with Friedman LLP "is dissolved."

"Given the excruciatingly detailed procedures Friedman was undertaking for the relatively simple balance sheet of Tether, it became clear that an audit would be unattainable in a reasonable time frame," Tether said in the statement.

The ending of the audit is likely to fuel critics of the cryptocurrency, who are suspicious of its backing.

Tether created a cryptocurrency called USDT that is pegged to — and supposedly backed by — the dollar. It is meant to function as a "stablecoin" — a cryptocurrency that allows you to avoid the volatility of bitcoin but still have the operability of a cryptocurrency (i.e. being able to send to digital wallets and exchanges.)

The cryptocurrency was hit by a $31 million heist in November. The attack led to online rumours that Tether, which is closely linked to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, is facing deeper issues around its solvency. The press has also raised questions about Tether's handling of its cryptocurrency.

The New York Times wrote shortly after the hack: "One persistent online critic, going by the screen name Bitfinex’ed, has written several very detailed essays on Medium arguing that Bitfinex appears to be creating Tether coins out of thin air and then using them to buy Bitcoin and push the price up."

Bloomberg wrote earlier this month: "Among the many mysteries at the heart of the cryptocurrency market are these: Does $814 million of a digital token known as tether really exist?" The article highlighted suspicions that the company may not hold the dollar reserves to back Tether that it claims to.

Tether has called this criticism "uninformed and baseless" and promised in a statement in December that Friedman's audit of its books would vindicate the company.

"We understand that the public is anxiously awaiting the completion of this process, but it cannot be rushed and we are not Friedman’s only customer," the company said in December. "Moreover, the amount of due diligence that is being performed by Friedman is substantial."

Tether said in its Saturday statement to CoinDesk: "As Tether is the first company in the space to undergo this process and pursue this level of transparency, there is no precedent set to guide the process nor any benchmark against which to measure its success."

Business Insider contacted Tether for clarification of when it parted ways with Friedman LLP and whether it has hired a new auditor. The company did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

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All the theories behind the pound's surprising rise

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

strongest man weightlifter

  • Sterling is the strongest performer in the G10 basket of major currencies over the past six months when compared to the US dollar.
  • The pound has strengthened significantly in 2018, but what is behind that increase in value?
  • Numerous factors, ranging from the increased markets now seem to have in the UK and EU to strike a Brexit deal, to falling confidence in the agenda of US President Donald Trump, are playing a role.


LONDON — 2018 has started with a bang for the pound.

Sterling has gained several percent against the dollar in just a few weeks, continuing the strong performance it saw towards the end of 2017.

Sterling, in fact, is the strongest performer in the G10 basket of major currencies over the past six months when compared to the US dollar.

As of Monday morning, sterling is trading above $1.41 against the greenback, a level not seen since the months before the Brexit referendum.

But what is behind the appreciation of a currency which for over a year was the laggard of the foreign exchange? There are several factors at play, ranging from the increased markets now seem to have in the UK and EU to strike a Brexit deal, to falling confidence in the agenda of US President Donald Trump.

Brexit isn't going as badly as expected

Former Prime Minister David Cameron summed it up nicely this week when he was overheard at the World Economic Forum in Davos saying that Brexit has been a "mistake, not a disaster."

"It's turned out less badly than we first thought," Cameron said.

Cameron's view seems to be fairly similar to the markets, which are now far less pessimistic about Brexit than in the immediate aftermath of the vote.

One driver of that dwindling pessimism has been the better than expected performance of the British economy over the last 18 months. For sure, UK growth has slowed and is way lower than it would have been had the UK stayed in the EU, but things are nowhere near as bad as first predicted.

On Friday, for example, GDP data from the ONS showed UK showed the economy growing 1.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017. The ONS now estimates that the economy grew 1.8% over the course of 2017.

That's hardly explosive, but it is nowhere near the recession some predicted. 

An annual figure of 1.8% for 2017 puts the UK ahead of OECD forecasts for growth in fellow G7 members Japan and Italy, both of which are expected to grow at 1.5% in 2017, and in line with France, which is expected to grow at 1.8%.

Previous estimates had suggested that UK would be easily the slowest growing G7 economy last year.

Add to this the fact that more Brits are employed than ever before, and that employment is still rising 19 months after the vote, and the economic picture is, if not rosy, certainly solid.

This is undoubtedly pound positive.

The government's stance is softening

philip hammond red briefcase

For much of 2017 it looked like Britain was heading for the hardest of Brexits, with a complete severing of ties with the EU, but recent words from senior figures on both sides of the negotiating table suggest that stance is softening somewhat.

This was typified by Chancellor Philip Hammond, who on Thursday said that Brexit would only lead to "very modest" changes to Britain's current relationship with the European Union.

"We are taking two completely interconnected and aligned economies with high levels of trade between them, and selectively, moving them, hopefully very modestly, apart," he said in a speech at Davos.

"In my opinion, starting with what we have got and working out what we need to subtract to get to a workable future model that respects everybody’s red lines is a more preferable way forward than starting with a blank sheet of paper which is what the Canada model would entail."

Postive Brexit developments are very clearly drivers of sterling strength. Earlier in January, Bloomberg reported that "Spanish and Dutch finance ministers have agreed to work together to push for a Brexit deal that keeps Britain as close to the European Union as possible." That news pushed the pound higher by almost 1% against the dollar. This has been a fairly frequent trend for sterling — news that seems to suggest a softer Brexit = a stronger pound.

The agreement of a transition deal for Brexit in the near future could also be a substantial boon for sterling, helping boost it even further.

"The timing and clarity of the transition deal will be key in terms of the outlook for sterling," Roger Hallam, Chief Investment Officer for currencies at JPMorgan Asset Management told Business Insider back in December.

"It seems likely a transition deal will be agreed in the first quarter, with the terms likely to be dictated by the EU (developments over the past month have made it clear the EU is the dominant partner in the negotiations)."

Dollar weakness

Trump

For sure, some of the pound's recent strength has been related to growing confidence in Brexit, and Britain's reasonably strong economic performance, but ultimately the pound's recent rally is more a story of a weak dollar than a strong pound, with the greenback dragged lower by a number of factors.

As Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at Dutch lender ING notes, political risks in the USA "lie deeper than the noise around Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’ book."

"A change in America’s status in the world political order may have long-run economic consequences for a country reliant on ‘the kindness of strangers’ to fund its twin current account and fiscal deficits," Patel wrote in a recent note.

"For a US economy in the latter stages of its economic cycle, such structural risks – coupled with the ambiguous economic and repatriation effects of the GOP Tax Bill, relative US asset valuations and the better goldilocks investment opportunities outside of the US – is why we retain a bearish view on the broad US dollar index over 2018.

The dollar, as a result, is dwindling in attractiveness as an investment currency, creating further weakness.

This, Patel adds, means that the dollar is "trading under new rules where an environment of rising US rates no longer guarantees dollar strength. Greater synchronicity across bond markets – amid a broadening global economic recovery – is one factor we’ve touted before.

But equally a fragile US political environment ahead of the November midterm also reduces the USD’s investment appeal. 

Messaging from senior officials in the Trump administration is also causing confusion in the markets.

Ultimately, politicians should have no influence over a free floating currency, but comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier in the week that a weaker currency was beneficial to US trade sent the dollar lower, before President Trump himself intervened on Thursday, saying that the dollar would get "stronger and stronger" in the future.

Brexit and the UK's domestic outlook may have some sway on the pound, but ultimately, it is the almighty dollar that is king.

Should the greenback keep falling in 2018, the pound will likely keep appreciating — some think it could reach as high as $1.53. On the flipside, if the dollar stops the rot, there could be pain in store for sterling.

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NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

The MP who heads Parliament's fintech group says Brexit is 'more of an opportunity than a threat' — despite fears from the sector

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

Adam Afriyie MP

  • Fintech community has warned: "Brexit has the potential to slow down the growth of UK fintech."
  • Tory MP Adam Afriyie heads the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fintech.
  • Afriyie told BI: "Brexit, I think, is actually more of an opportunity than a threat."
  • He says funding is still going strong and talent will be protected.


LONDON — The head of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fintech says Brexit will present "opportunities" for the sector, despite reservations in the industry.

Leading British fintech businesses last year set up the Fintech Delivery Panel (FDP) to "produce an ambitious post-Brexit vision for the UK's fintech sector." Deputy chair Eamon Jubbawy said at the time: "There is a wide-ranging consensus in the tech sector that Brexit has the potential to slow down the growth of UK fintech."

But Conservative MP Adam Afriyie told Business Insider: "I think we’re poised to continue to take the world by storm on fintech... Brexit, I think, is actually more of an opportunity than a threat."

Afriyie, who supported Brexit, chairs Parliament's cross-party fintech group and regularly meets with fintech businesses doing everything from peer-to-peer lending to back-office banking processes. Afriyie set up his own IT business prior to going into politics.

He told BI: "Where there’s change, where there’s complexity, that is where businesses more than any others, they’ll find the gaps where there’s money to be made.

"Do I have some question marks about the politicians' ability to resolve uncertainty in a sensible way? Yes I do. Do I have any doubt that our businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage, find the opportunities, in any changes that are upcoming? I think they’ll find those opportunities quicker than anybody else in society because it’s in their interest to do so."

He added: "People do worry about Brexit but the data shouldn’t worry people at all. I’m absolutely stunned by the rise in foreign direct investment into fintech in the UK and also by the rise in investment into tech generally in the UK over the last year."

More than $1 billion was invested into UK fintech during the first three quarters of 2017 despite the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016.

Afriyie told Business Insider: "Even myself as a Brexiter, I thought, oh well we’re going to have a bit of a fall-off in investment. Actually, the opposite has happened. That’s a sign that our fintech industry is very strong but also that our fundamentals are pretty strong too."

Many in the fintech industry also fear that it will be difficult to attract top international talent to the UK post-Brexit.

Afriyie countered: "People didn’t particularly notice but last November we actually doubled the number of what’s called exceptional talent visas."

The government announced last November that the number of "Tier 1" visas for skilled immigrants would be increased from 1,000 to 2,000 per year.

"I can quite safely predict that that will increase enormously at the point at which we leave the EU, because we recognise — the government recognises, we recognise as a nation — that fintech and those very highly talented people, the international people in the fintech sector, need to feel welcomed — and they will be," Afriyie told BI.

"Obviously, there are challenges, as we work out what the nature of the deal is. But quite frankly there’s a big willingness around the world to back Britain, to back British fintech and to continue to invest here, to continue to develop here, and to continue to assimilate the standards and regulatory environments that we are developing here."

Despite his optimism, Afriyie stressed in the same interview with Business Insider that the government and financial regulators must continue to take the same "light touch" approach to fintech in order for continued success.

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NOW WATCH: Principal Global Investors CEO: Bitcoin lacks fundamental value and it won't replace gold

10 things you need to know in markets today

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

Tennis - Australian Open - Men's singles final - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 28, 2018. Winner Roger Federer of Switzerland cries while holding the trophy.

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

1. Three former Cabinet ministers have been secretly filmed and exposed trying to make money from giving out information on Britain's exit from the European Union. Andrew Lansley, Peter Lilley, and Andrew Mitchell were caught trying to profit from providing "intelligence" on Brexit negotiations to a Chinese company, according to a joint investigation by The Sunday Times and Channel 4's Dispatches.

2. Asian shares are stuttering on Monday despite upbeat corporate earnings and strong global economic growth, while more rumblings from the White House about "unfair" trade practices are keeping the US dollar on the defensive. Japan's Nikkei closed more or less flat, down 0.04%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index is down 0.37% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET) and China's Shanghai Composite is down by 0.82%.

3. Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten said on Monday it would acquire Asahi Fire & Marine Insurance for 45 billion yen ($413.6 million, £292.7 million), its latest move to diversify beyond its online shopping site. Rakuten said it would launch a tender offer and pay 2,664 yen per share of Asahi Fire, a property insurance firm owned by Nomura Holdings and its subsidiary.

4. Google has invested in Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek, as part of its strategy to support and participate in the growth of Indonesia's internet economy, Caesar Sengupta, a vice president at Google said in a company blog. "This investment lets us partner with a great local champion in Indonesia's flourishing startup ecosystem, while also deepening our commitment to Indonesia's internet economy," Sengupta said in a post titled "Investing in Indonesia."

5. Coincheck, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, is set to use its own money to pay back victims of a hack of its exchange. The Tokyo-based exchange said in a statement it would reimburse the 260,000 customers affected by the $400 million (£283.1 million) heist of digital currency NEM, "at a rate of 88.549 yen (81 US cents) for each coin," Bloomberg News reported.

6. Specialist investment bank Exotix argues that the biggest potential for blockchain technology, first developed to underpin bitcoin, lies in frontier markets. Analyst Paul Domjan says blockchain could be used for things like property registration, contract law, and exchange in countries with volatile local currencies.

7. US President Donald Trump is expected to ask for $716 billion (£506.8 billion) in defence spending in the 2019 budget he is to unveil next month, two US officials said on Friday, representing a 7% increase over the 2018 budget. The $716 billion would cover the Pentagon's annual budget as well as spending on ongoing wars and the maintenance of the US nuclear arsenal.

8. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Monday that military equipment manufacturers will be offered government-backed loans as part of an A$3.8 billion ($3.1 billion, £2.1 billion) package to become one of the world's top 10 defence exporters. Australia said in 2016 it would boost defence spending by A$30 billion by 2021, purchasing frigates, armoured personnel carriers, strike fighter jets, drones and a fleet of new submarines - many of which would be built at home.

9. Carillion "wriggled out" of payments into its company pension schemes as its troubles grew, while it carried on paying shareholder dividends and bosses' bonuses, say MPs. The BBC reports that the Work and Pensions select committee is questioning the way pension investments were managed at the collapsed outsourcing giant.

10. Billionaire IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad has died aged 91, the Swedish company said on Sunday, with the furniture empire he launched more than half a century ago familiar around the globe. Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943 when he was just 17, but didn't hit gold until 1956, when the company pioneered flat-pack furniture.

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Can Bitcoin Be Destroyed? The 7 (Unlikely) Paths to Irrelevance

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

How likely is an end-of-days scenario for bitcoin? Not very, according to investor Sebastien Meunier in a piece that outlines the possibilities.

Bitcoin Won’t Do a Lehman Collapse: Singapore Central Bank FinTech Chief

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

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The financial technology chief of Singapore’s central bank does not foresee a scenario where bitcoin would trigger a global financial meltdown akin to the 2008 collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers. In an interview with Channel News Asia, Sopnendu Mohanty – chief of financial technology at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank,

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Bitcoin Atom: Exchange Disrupter?

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

The post Bitcoin Atom: Exchange Disrupter? appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Atom (BCA) cut itself from the original Bitcoin blockchain in another controversial hard fork (a hard fork is a permanent software divergence from the previous version of the blockchain). Bitcoin Atom introduces the Atomic Swap as a means to potentially disrupt the current exchange-based buying and selling paradigm. Atomic Swaps The new technology allows owners

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IMF’s Lagarde Says That Bitcoin Mining Consumes Too Much Electricity

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

The post IMF’s Lagarde Says That Bitcoin Mining Consumes Too Much Electricity appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin mining is too energy intensive — that’s the message that International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde has for advocates of the flagship cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Mining Too Energy Intensive: IMF Director Lagarde Lagarde, who was speaking from Davos at the World Economic Forum, said that Bitcoin mining is an “energy angry” industry, a

The post IMF’s Lagarde Says That Bitcoin Mining Consumes Too Much Electricity appeared first on CCN

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