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Blockchain Observatory and Forum to Bring EU to “Forefront” of Blockchain Tech

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

EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum

The European Commision (EC) has launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (BOF) to consolidate and grow blockchain initiatives within the European Union (EU).

With the support of the European Parliament, the BOF is a pilot project proposed by Member of the European Parliament Jakob von Weizsäcker, who is responsible for the recent report on virtual currencies. The project is intended to support the Commission’s work on financial technology. This new initiative will highlight key developments of blockchain technology and promote European actors to accelerate the growth and adoption of blockchain within the EU.

“Among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum will monitor developments and also inform our policy making,” said EC Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.

Many EU member states have announced initiatives with blockchain technology, and the EC wants to ensure those projects can work across borders, consolidate expertise and address challenges such as disintermediation, trust, security and traceability by design. Of concern are the many initiatives from banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and other business sectors, leading to diverse systems that cannot work together.

“I see blockchain as a game changer and I want Europe to be at the forefront of its development. We need to establish the right enabling environment — a Digital Single Market for blockchain so that all citizens can benefit, instead of a patchwork of initiatives. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is an important step in that direction,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

Following a call for tenders in July 2017, the EC selected ConsenSys as their partner to support the Observatory’s outreach in Europe.

“It is a mission of ConsenSys to enable open, transparent cooperation between citizens, institutions and governments,” Ken Timsit of ConsenSys France said to Bitcoin Magazine. “The EU was created to enable cooperation between member states.” This shared vision made the partnership a good fit.

According to Timsit, ConsenSys will manage the initiative in cooperation with the Commission, coordinate the preparation of a number of research reports, and organize workshops and events in order to collect input and feedback from a large number of stakeholders.

The Commission has been funding blockchain projects throughout the EU since 2013 and expects to fund up to $425 million through 2020.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

2 economists just eviscerated bitcoin, saying it should be trading at $20

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

Screen Shot 2018 02 01 at 3.09.56 PM

  • Bitcoin fell to its lowest level in months during Thursday trading. 
  • Two economists say that it is still trading at massive premium, estimating it is worth only $20. 


Bitcoin reached its lowest point in more than two months Thursday, but two economists still think the cryptocurrency is trading at a massive premium. 

The now-famous digital currency, which captured the attention of the public when it soared beyond $19,000 in mid-December, fell below $8,700 a coin during Thursday's trading session — a more than 50% decline. 

Richard Jackman, an economist at the London School of Economics, and Savvas Savouri, an economist at Toscafund Asset Management, however, estimate the coin is still trading far higher than it should.

"We often read in your pages the view that bitcoin has no value and therefore, in a rational market, would have no price, but that surely is wrong," the duo said Thursday in the Financial Times. "Bitcoin was developed as a form of money (the clue is in the name), and money has value even though most money, like bitcoin, has no substance other than the electronic."

That value, according to Jackman and Savouri, is based on its demand as a vehicle of exchange. 

"And on this basis it is fairly easy to calculate, approximately, what its fundamental value is."

That number, according to Jackman and Savouri, is a mere $20. Here's their logic:

The supply of bitcoin increases only slowly towards its famous fixed limit and is now around 15m. The use of bitcoin as a means of payment is currently around $100m per month, or $1,200m a year. Were bitcoin just like ordinary money each bitcoin would be used around four times a year in making transactions. So we have 60m bitcoin payments supporting $1,200m worth of bitcoin transactions, which requires that each bitcoin is worth $20. 

There's always a "but" with such analysis. And the "but" in this case is that bitcoin could be worth its current value, but it would have to see a 1000-fold increase in its use as a form of payment. 

"Of course that is possible; bitcoin currently supports only a tiny fraction of transactions," the duo said. "But to assume so enormous an increase requires faith not only in the superior cost efficiency of the technology but also in the absence of any effective competition."

Join the conversation about this story »

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

UPS Might Be Making a Locker That Accepts Bitcoin

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

A new patent application filed by UPS indicates that bitcoin could be used as a payment system.

Bitcoin Price Slump Merely “Growing Pains”: Cryptocurrency Brokerage Executive

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

The post Bitcoin Price Slump Merely “Growing Pains”: Cryptocurrency Brokerage Executive appeared first on CCN

It’s been raining on bitcoin in 2018, but one London-based broker is taking the pullback in stride. BitcoinBro CEO Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie told Bloomberg that despite bitcoin shedding nearly 50% of its value in the past four weeks, he’s not worried. Instead, he pointed to “growing pains,” saying that he remains “very bullish over the long

The post Bitcoin Price Slump Merely “Growing Pains”: Cryptocurrency Brokerage Executive appeared first on CCN

Cryptocurrency Regulation in 2018: Where the World Stands Right Now

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

FEB cover thb

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Greg Coffey, a star trader who retired at 41, is prepping a hedge fund launch that could be one of the biggest of 2018

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

space shuttle launch

  • Greg Coffey is about to launch one of the largest hedge funds of 2018, with $1 billion on day one, according to an investor familiar with the plans.
  • His new firm, called Kirkoswald, will hard close at $2 billion, with offices in London and New York, the investor said.
  • Coffey was once described as "the most impressive trader I've ever seen" by billionaire Louis Bacon.


Greg Coffey, a star trader who retired at 41, is prepping the launch of a new hedge fund, and it's shaping up to be one of the largest new funds of 2018.

Coffey's new fund, called Kirkoswald Capital Partners, is planning to launch within the next two months with $1 billion, according to an investor familiar with the plans. The fund aims to hard close at $2 billion, the investor said, meaning the fund will not accept capital after that threshold has been reached.

Coffey is expected to put a significant percentage of his net worth in the fund.

The fund, which will have offices in London and New York, will run a global macro strategy with an emerging markets focus.

Hires include Bob Price, previously global operations head at GLG Partners, as chief operating officer; Stuart Atkinson, previously of Moore Capital and GLG, who is heading risk; and James Saltissi, who will be head of execution.

Coffey had backed Saltissi's fund, Abbeville Partners, named after an area in London where Saltissi and Coffey used to live. Abbeville filed to change its name to Kirkoswald Capital Partners at UK Companies House on January 30, and with a UK regulator on January 31.  

Coffey retired from the industry in 2012 at the age of 41, saying at the time that he intended to spend more time with family in his native Australia. He previously worked at GLG Partners and Moore Capital, where he ran two emerging markets funds.

The founder of Moore Capital, Louis Bacon, once described Coffey as "the most impressive trader I've ever seen", according to a Financial News report from 2012. He specialized in big macro bets, and earned the nickname the "Wizard of Oz." Still, his investment performance at Moore "failed to live up to the stellar returns he delivered at rival manager GLG Partners, where he built his reputation and earned himself hundreds of millions of dollars by outperforming both the markets and other hedge funds in the heady bull market of 2005 to 2007," the report said.

Other sizable launches this year include funds from billionaire Steve Cohen, ex-Millennium head Mike Gelband and former Viking Global chief investment officer Dan Sundheim.

SEE ALSO: The rising stars of headhunting everyone on Wall Street should get to know

DON'T MISS: Clint Carlson's hedge fund assets drop $1 billion in five months after brutal performance

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

United is cracking down on people who use emotional support animals to let their pets fly for free (UAL)

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

United airlines

  • United Airlines has adopted tighter regulations for emotional-support animals.
  • The new rules will go into effect on March 1.
  • Service animals are not subject to the new regulations.

 

United Airlines announced on Thursday that it will institute tighter regulations regarding emotional-support animals.

"In an effort to better balance protecting our employees and customers while accommodating passengers with disabilities, we are expanding our existing policy regarding emotional-support animals," the Chicago-based airline said in a statement.

The new policy, which will go into effect on March 1, comes days after a passenger attempted to bring a peacock on board one of United's planes as an emotional-support animalDelta Air Lines announced last week that it will also tighten regulations for emotional-support animals.

United's current policy requires passengers to provide 48-hour notice and a letter from a mental health professional.

Starting March 1, United will require 48-hour notice, an "enhanced" letter from a mental health professional, confirmation that the animal has been trained to behave properly in public, and an acknowledgment of responsibility for the animal's behavior. The airline will also require a health and vaccination form signed by the animal's veterinarian.

According to United, customers whose documentation has already been approved will not be subject to the new policy. However, any additional reservations will be subject to the new requirements.

Those traveling with service animals will also not be subject to the new regulations.

In addition, the airline also published a list of animals that have been banned from the cabin of its aircraft. The list includes hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, sugar gliders, non-household birds, exotic animals, and animals that have not been properly cleaned or that carry a foul odor.

SEE ALSO: Delta is cracking down on people who use fake emotional-support animals to let their pets fly for free

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Join the conversation about this story »

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

BITCOIN 101: A beginner's guide to understanding the cryptocurrency, illustrated like a children's book

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

Cash App BTC explainer pg 1

Bitcoin, the digital currency that's been monopolizing conversations, has grown rapidly in value in the last year. Unfortunately, it's not always an easy concept to understand, much less to get involved in. 

Now, Cash App, Square's payment app that lets friends settle debts, is inserting itself into the cryptocurrency craze by giving many of its users the option to trade and hold bitcoin instantly. CEO Jack Dorsey says the feature is "the first step" to making bitcoin more widely accessible, so the team also built a beginner's manual for bitcoin to further the effort. 

The scrollable explainer features abstract illustrations like a children's book and provides a high-level synopsis on what bitcoin is, where it came from, and how it works, all in easy-to-understand language.

The last page includes a bitcoin FAQ, along with a page that lists some risks to owning bitcoin. So far, the explainer has gotten some great reactions on Twitter.

You can scroll through the slides to get the full explainer here: 







See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Square’s Cash App Makes It Easier Than Ever to Buy Bitcoin

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

The post Square’s Cash App Makes It Easier Than Ever to Buy Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

Fintech startup Square rolled out full support for Bitcoin to the majority of US customers this week, making it easier than ever to buy bitcoin — and, as seems to be the prevailing trend this year — sell it. Square CEO Jack Dorsey revealed the rollout on Twitter, adding that the digital payments firm believes

The post Square’s Cash App Makes It Easier Than Ever to Buy Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

A bitcoin conference held an event at a Miami strip club, and you can guess what happened next

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

Miami Florida homes

  • The North American Bitcoin Conference booked a Miami-based strip club for a networking event, according to Bloomberg News.
  • The event ran until 11 p.m., at which point nude performances started up again. Many of the attendees stayed at the club, wearing their conference badges. 
  • The decision shines light on a space that is dominated by men. 


A cryptocurrency conference in Miami hosted a networking event at a strip club last month.

Screen Shot 2018 02 01 at 10.46.53 AM

As reported by Bloomberg's cryptocurrency watcher Lily Katz, The North American Bitcoin Conference booked the Miami-based strip club E11even club to close out the week-long conference of panels and discussions.

The networking event ran until 11 p.m., at which point the nude performances started up again. "Plenty of attendees kept their conference badges on and stayed to party," Katz reported. 

Katz quoted one crypto trader who said: “We’re a bunch of dudes with a lot of money in our 20s. We like naked girls."

The event, which was open to all conference attendees and sponsored by cryptocurrency Dash, made many women feel uncomfortable, Katz reported. 

Zineb Belmkaddem, a crypto trader who decided not to attend the event, told Bloomberg it made her feel un-welcomed. 

“There was a message being sent to women, that, ‘OK, this isn’t really your place,”’ she said. “‘This is where the boys roll.’”

One blockchain tech startup founder took to Twitter to share her experience at the event, where one person suggested she "get on stage." Here's Hadjar Homaei in a tweet:

Screen Shot 2018 02 01 at 11.22.49 AM

The event's organizers told Bloomberg they regretted hosting the event at the venue, but only after originally defending the decision.

"Having the networking party at E11even was a misstep,” Keynote CEO Moe Levin said in an email. “We always aim to be as inclusive as possible and create a safe environment.”

The decision to host reflects the male-dominated environment in the cryptocurrency world. Bloomberg reported in December that just four out of 30 initial coin offering projects had a female cofounder. And statistics from Coin Dance suggest Google search activity related to bitcoin is overwhelmingly male. Here's a chart:

Screen Shot 2018 02 01 at 12.11.21 PM

Some metrics, however, suggest that the crypto-world is opening up to women. A survey from January found bitcoin users were 71% male, down from 90% in 2015. 

SEE ALSO: A crypto company touted by rapper The Game just got hit with a lawsuit from investors who want their money back

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Most Cryptocurrencies Decline by Over 15% in Market Slump: Factors and Trends

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

The post Most Cryptocurrencies Decline by Over 15% in Market Slump: Factors and Trends appeared first on CCN

The price of bitcoin has fallen below $9,400, by more than 8 percent, as the cryptocurrency market experienced yet another major correction. Trend Most cryptocurencies in the market fell by more than 15 percent, as major cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, and Stellar have fallen in the range of 12 percent to 16 percent.

The post Most Cryptocurrencies Decline by Over 15% in Market Slump: Factors and Trends appeared first on CCN

Most Cryptocurrencies Decline by Over 15% in Market Slump: Factors and Trends

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

The post Most Cryptocurrencies Decline by Over 15% in Market Slump: Factors and Trends appeared first on CCN

The price of bitcoin has fallen below $9,400, by more than 8 percent, as the cryptocurrency market experienced yet another major correction. Trend Most cryptocurencies in the market fell by more than 15 percent, as major cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, and Stellar have fallen in the range of 12 percent to 16 percent.

The post Most Cryptocurrencies Decline by Over 15% in Market Slump: Factors and Trends appeared first on CCN

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.

Whole Foods' new order-to-shelf (OTS) inventory-management system is aimed at making stores more efficient and cutting down on food waste. But employees say the retailer's method of ensuring compliance is crushing morale.

The grocer enforces compliance with OTS by instructing managers to regularly walk through store aisles and storage rooms with checklists called "scorecards" to make sure every item is in its right place, according to nearly 80 pages of internal company documents reviewed by Business Insider.

"The stress has created such a tense working environment," a supervisor at a West Coast Whole Foods store said. "Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal." Read the full story

The new year isn't off to a great start at billionaire investor David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, either, continuing a recent rough patch for the hedge fund. The Greenlight Capital (Gold), L.P. - Dollar fund fell 6% in January, according to a client update from Wednesday seen by Business Insider

A veteran of the sales and trading world has joined upstart IEX at a critical junction in the young stock exchange's life — right as its going after the marquee business of NYSE and Nasdaq.

Here's the latest in markets news:

Tech earnings season rolls on with three of the biggest companies on the planet reporting Thursday: Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple.

Alphabet, Google's parent company, is expected to report a monster quarter that was nonetheless tainted by YouTube's nasty year.

Millennials are loading up on Amazon ahead of earnings. The company is shockingly more expensive than Walmart — here's how their prices compare for 50 popular products. Cities that lure Amazon with incentives may be getting a 'bad bargain,' a new study says.

Millennials also like Apple ahead of earningsThe company's investors made a big bet on a rare and powerful event that’s about to pay off or fizzle in the sky.

Facebook is climbing after crushing earnings yesterday and saying a fundamental change could be coming to its platform. Microsoft shares are sliding after earnings failed to impress Wall Street.

Bitcoin briefly dropped below $9,000 on Thursday. The cryptocurrency has lost more than $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018. Here's what else is going on in crypto-land: 

Lastly, Taco Bell is taking aim at its fast-food competition with $1 fries — here's how they stack up against the other major chains.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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.

Whole Foods' new order-to-shelf (OTS) inventory-management system is aimed at making stores more efficient and cutting down on food waste. But employees say the retailer's method of ensuring compliance is crushing morale.

The grocer enforces compliance with OTS by instructing managers to regularly walk through store aisles and storage rooms with checklists called "scorecards" to make sure every item is in its right place, according to nearly 80 pages of internal company documents reviewed by Business Insider.

"The stress has created such a tense working environment," a supervisor at a West Coast Whole Foods store said. "Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal." Read the full story

The new year isn't off to a great start at billionaire investor David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, either, continuing a recent rough patch for the hedge fund. The Greenlight Capital (Gold), L.P. - Dollar fund fell 6% in January, according to a client update from Wednesday seen by Business Insider

A veteran of the sales and trading world has joined upstart IEX at a critical junction in the young stock exchange's life — right as its going after the marquee business of NYSE and Nasdaq.

Here's the latest in markets news:

Tech earnings season rolls on with three of the biggest companies on the planet reporting Thursday: Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple.

Alphabet, Google's parent company, is expected to report a monster quarter that was nonetheless tainted by YouTube's nasty year.

Millennials are loading up on Amazon ahead of earnings. The company is shockingly more expensive than Walmart — here's how their prices compare for 50 popular products. Cities that lure Amazon with incentives may be getting a 'bad bargain,' a new study says.

Millennials also like Apple ahead of earningsThe company's investors made a big bet on a rare and powerful event that’s about to pay off or fizzle in the sky.

Facebook is climbing after crushing earnings yesterday and saying a fundamental change could be coming to its platform. Microsoft shares are sliding after earnings failed to impress Wall Street.

Bitcoin briefly dropped below $9,000 on Thursday. The cryptocurrency has lost more than $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018. Here's what else is going on in crypto-land: 

Lastly, Taco Bell is taking aim at its fast-food competition with $1 fries — here's how they stack up against the other major chains.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Someone is selling their New Jersey house for $2.3 million in bitcoin — and it's a growing trend

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

BitcoinRealEstateNJ 1

  • A $2.3 million house in Middletown, New Jersey, is accepting bitcoin as a form of payment.
  • Bitcoin is becoming increasingly accepted in the real estate market with hundreds of listings accepting the cryptocurrency over the last six months.
  • There are a lot of risks to using bitcoin for payment due to the cryptocurrency's volatility, but buyers and sellers are finding creative ways to deal with it.

 

A house for sale in one of America's most desirable places to live is accepting bitcoin as payment, a growing trend in the real estate market.

The Middletown, New Jersey, house was nominally listed for $2.15 million on Zillow in late January. The listing, however, stipulates that seller will accept bitcoin as payment based upon a "non-negotiable" sale price of $2.3 million.

Far from Silicon Valley and other tech hubs, the listing in Middletown, often ranked one of the best places to live in the US, shows just how far cryptocurrency and bitcoin have reached into the national conversation. 

The listing is far from the only one in the US to accept bitcoin.

Over the last six months, an increasing number of real estate listings have begun accepting or requesting cryptocurrency for payment. There have even been some that only accept bitcoin as payment.

Bitcoin Real Estate, a website specializing in real estate listings that accept cryptocurrency, told Mercury News in late January that it has nearly 400 homes listed on its website.

Real estate website Trulia told Mashable last week that it had around 80 listings that mentioned cryptocurrency in some way, while Redfin said it had seen the number of listings accepting cryptocurrency rise from 75 in December to 134 in January.

BitcoinRealEstateNJ 2

Meanwhile, Ben Shaoul, the president of New York-based Magnum Real Estate Group, told CNBC in October that he plans to accept bitcoin as payment for condominiums in a building he is currently redeveloping in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Should a buyer pay in bitcoin for an apartment, which range in price from $700,000 to $1.5 million, Shaoul said he would hold the bitcoins as an investment.

A 1.4 acre home in Lake Tahoe, California, was the first home to be sold with bitcoin in 2014. It sold for 2,739 bitcoins, which were converted to $1.4 million cash by BitPay, a global bitcoin payment service provider headquartered in Atlanta.

Most real estate sales involving cryptocurrency have operated similarly. The parties agree on a fixed price in dollars and then decide on a fair exchange rate at closing. The bitcoins are then converted to cash by a third party, like BitPay, which are then given to the seller. Buyers therefore assume all the risk.

The problem with buying or selling real estate with bitcoin currently — or any other cryptocurrency — are the massive fluctuations in value on a day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour, basis. What seems like a fair exchange rate at the time, can seem like a steal or ripoff months later.

The first known real estate purchase using exclusively bitcoin (i.e. not bitcoin-to-cash conversion) occurred late last December.

Bitcoin aficionado Ivan "Paychecks" Pacheco paid 17.741 bitcoin to Frank Mainade Jr. for a two-bedroom condo in Miami's Upper East Side, reported The Real Deal. At closing, that was equivalent to $275,000 with an exchange rate of about $15,500 per bitcoin.

As of publish time on Thursday, those 17.741 bitcoins were worth $159,577

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

DON'T MISS: Bitcoin just hit an all-time high — here's how you buy and sell it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here’s your year-long guide to financial stability

Novo Nordisk got beat out on one of the first big healthcare deals of the year — here's what the CEO is still looking for in an acquisition (NVO)

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

Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen

  • Novo Nordisk in January came out with a $3.1 billion bid for Belgian biotech Ablynx, one of the first signs of M&A in a now-busy year. 
  • Novo was ultimately beaten out by rival Sanofi, which acquired Ablynx for $4.8 billion.
  • Novo CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told Business Insider that the company is still on the lookout for deals in the $2-3 billion range. 


2018 is shaping up to be a big year for deals in the pharmaceutical industry. 

In the month of January alone, there was a total of $27.5 billion worth of deals, including a $9 billion deal for a cancer drugmaker and a bidding war for Belgian biotech Ablynx

Diabetes drugmaker Novo Nordisk ultimately lost that bidding war over Ablynx to rival Sanofi, leaving it to look elsewhere. Sanofi came out with an offer that was close to $2 billion more than what Novo had offered. It's consistent with the other biotech deals that unfolded in January that gave companies high valuations.

"The current environment makes it harder to justify the acquisitions, but that's just the part of the work you have to do to make sure we improve the value and stay disciplined," Novo CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told Business Insider. Novo reported earnings on Thursday and fell short on operating profit, citing pressure on drug prices. 

But that doesn't mean Novo's out of the game. The hope is to find smaller deals in the $2 billion to $3 billion range to add to the company's diabetes, hematology, or orphan disease areas rather than a mega-merger. 

"We continue to evaluate what's out there, and we have already some dialogues ongoing," Jorgensen said. 

SEE ALSO: MORGAN STANLEY: Here are the 10 healthcare companies most likely to get bought this year

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

2-Month Low: Bitcoin Price Drops Below $9K

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

The price of bitcoin has fallen below $9,000 for the first time in two months, representing a decline of roughly 11% on the day.

Austrian Startup Completes First Lightning Transaction on a Bitcoin ATM

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

The post Austrian Startup Completes First Lightning Transaction on a Bitcoin ATM appeared first on CCN

An Austria-based cryptocurrency startup has completed what it believes to be the first Bitcoin ATM transaction made using the Lightning Network (LN). Austrian Startup Coinfinity Completes First Lightning Transaction on a Bitcoin ATM Coinfinity, which operates out of Graz, already held the distinctions of deploying the first Bitcoin ATM and web-based cryptocurrency trading platform in

The post Austrian Startup Completes First Lightning Transaction on a Bitcoin ATM appeared first on CCN

CRYPTO INSIDER: Bitcoin falls below $9,000

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

building demolish collapse crumble implode

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.

Bitcoin fell below $9,000 Thursday morning, its lowest level in more than two months. Ethereum, which was the best performing digital currency in January, is also falling. 

Here are the current standings: 

What else is 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: Bitcoin falls below $9,000

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

building demolish collapse crumble implode

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.

Bitcoin fell below $9,000 Thursday morning, its lowest level in more than two months. Ethereum, which was the best performing digital currency in January, is also falling. 

Here are the current standings: 

What else is 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: Bitcoin falls below $9,000

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

building demolish collapse crumble implode

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.

Bitcoin fell below $9,000 Thursday morning, its lowest level in more than two months. Ethereum, which was the best performing digital currency in January, is also falling. 

Here are the current standings: 

What else is 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: Bitcoin falls below $9,000

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

building demolish collapse crumble implode

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.

Bitcoin briefly fell below $9,000 Thursday morning, its lowest level in more than two months. Ethereum, which was the best performing digital currency in January, is also falling. 

Here are the current standings: 

What else is 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: Bitcoin falls below $9,000

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

building demolish collapse crumble implode

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.

Bitcoin briefly fell below $9,000 Thursday morning, its lowest level in more than two months. Ethereum, which was the best performing digital currency in January, is also falling. 

Here are the current standings: 

What else is 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: Bitcoin falls below $9,000

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

building demolish collapse crumble implode

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.

Bitcoin briefly fell below $9,000 Thursday morning, its lowest level in more than two months. Ethereum, which was the best performing digital currency in January, is also falling. 

Here are the current standings: 

What else is 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'

A trading veteran has joined startup exchange IEX as it goes after the marquee business of NYSE and Nasdaq

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

Brad Katsuyama, chief executive of IEX Group

  • A former sales and trading director at Instinet has joined the listings team at upstart stock exchange IEX. 
  • Jon Simblist, who started in January, joins the firm at a critical point as it seeks to lure listings from its larger rivals NYSE and Nasdaq. 


A veteran of the sales and trading world has joined upstart IEX at a critical junction in the young stock exchange's life. 

Jon Simblist, a former derivatives sales and trading director at Instinet, is now on the listings team at IEX, the former dark pool made famous in Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys," according to his LinkedIn profile.

Simblist, who's career in sales and trading spans more than a decade, was most recently a senior sales consultant at Eze Castle Integration, a tech provider to hedge funds. 

He also held positions at Bank of America, Convergex, and Macro Risk Advisors. IEX declined to comment on the matter.

Simblist joins IEX at critical time for its listings business, which the company got the green-light to launch in October. The exchange is currently trying to snag listings from its larger rivals, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

A person familiar with the company's operations told Business Insider a couple of companies, including a large asset manager, are lined up for a possible switch. 

The scandal surrounding casino tycoon Steve Wynn, who came under fire for allegations of sexual misconduct, could prove to be a speed bump for the exchange. Some market watchers expected Wynn's company - Wynn Resorts - to be IEX's first switch. But that's less certain now.

"He might be ousted and the upper management could be switched out," an industry insider told Business Insider. "That would hit the pause button on any switch."

There's a lot riding on IEX getting a listing. A boost in the number of companies listed on its exchange will likely translate into a boost in the amount of trading that takes place on the exchange, as stocks are more likely to trade on the exchange they are listed on, particularly when the market opens and closes. This could help boost IEX's 2% market share. In addition, having a well-known company switch would represent an endorsement of IEX's market model, and help further boost its visibility.  

SEE ALSO: Saudi Arabia's stock exchange is 'more aggressively' vying for the sole listing of oil behemoth Aramco

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

Zcash Price Could Hit $60,000 by 2025, Predicts Grayscale Analyst

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

The post Zcash Price Could Hit $60,000 by 2025, Predicts Grayscale Analyst appeared first on CCN

An analyst at the investment firm behind the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC) predicted that the Zcash price could reach $60,000 by 2025 if investors begin to use it in place of traditional offshore banking services. Last week, Grayscale Investments published the investment thesis for the Zcash Trust, the latest fund in its lineup of

The post Zcash Price Could Hit $60,000 by 2025, Predicts Grayscale Analyst appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin has lost more than $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018

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

Bitcoin price

  • Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency, but its influence is waning.
  • The digital currency has slumped to its lowest levels in two months, and has lost more than $72 billion in market cap this year. 


2018 has been a swift departure from the previous year for cryptocurrencies, whose prices previously seemed to only move upward.

Bitcoin, the flagship digital coin that represents 33% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.com, was trading at $9,314 Thursday morning, less than half its all-time high of $19,843 set in December.

Thursday’s decline was spurred by comments from India’s finance minister, who said the country’s "government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system."

Facebook's announcement that it would ban all ads for cryptocurrencies and ICO's, as well as reports that two major exchanges, Bitfinex and Tether, had been subpoenaed by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), also helped to spook cryptocurrency markets this week

Ethereum was the only major coin to finish January in the green. The second-largest cryptocurrency saw gains of 45% during 2018’s first month, compared to a loss of 25% for bitcoin, and respective declines of 45% and 35% for Ripple’s XRP and bitcoin cash.

"The state of cryptocurrency is incredibly strong," Andy Bromberg, CEO of CoinList, an ICO hosting platform, told Business Insider in an email this week. "Looking far beyond the prices, we're seeing an increasing number of high-quality projects in the space, with experienced teams, impressive early technological breakthroughs, and rigorous legal structuring.

"We expect to see this continue into 2018 as the industry matures and professionalizes -- a necessary step for it at this time."

You can track the price of bitcoin in real-time on Markets Insider here>>

SEE ALSO: Sign up for Crypto Insider 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'

Bitcoin has lost more than $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018

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

Bitcoin price

  • Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency, but its influence is waning.
  • The digital currency has slumped to its lowest levels in two months, and has lost more than $72 billion in market cap this year. 


2018 has been a swift departure from the previous year for cryptocurrencies, whose prices previously seemed to only move upward.

Bitcoin, the flagship digital coin that represents 33% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.com, was trading at $9,314 Thursday morning, less than half its all-time high of $19,843 set in December.

Thursday’s decline was spurred by comments from India’s finance minister, who said the country’s "government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system."

Facebook's announcement that it would ban all ads for cryptocurrencies and ICO's, as well as reports that two major exchanges, Bitfinex and Tether, had been subpoenaed by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), also helped to spook cryptocurrency markets this week

Ethereum was the only major coin to finish January in the green. The second-largest cryptocurrency saw gains of 45% during 2018’s first month, compared to a loss of 25% for bitcoin, and respective declines of 45% and 35% for Ripple’s XRP and bitcoin cash.

"The state of cryptocurrency is incredibly strong," Andy Bromberg, CEO of CoinList, an ICO hosting platform, told Business Insider in an email this week. "Looking far beyond the prices, we're seeing an increasing number of high-quality projects in the space, with experienced teams, impressive early technological breakthroughs, and rigorous legal structuring.

"We expect to see this continue into 2018 as the industry matures and professionalizes -- a necessary step for it at this time."

You can track the price of bitcoin in real-time on Markets Insider here>>

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin has lost more than $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018

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

Bitcoin price

  • Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency, but its influence is waning.
  • The digital currency has slumped to its lowest levels in two months, and has lost more than $72 billion in market cap this year. 


2018 has been a swift departure from the previous year for cryptocurrencies, whose prices previously seemed to only move upward.

Bitcoin, the flagship digital coin that represents 33% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.com, was trading at $9,314 Thursday morning, less than half its all-time high of $19,843 set in December.

Thursday’s decline was spurred by comments from India’s finance minister, who said the country’s "government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system."

Facebook's announcement that it would ban all ads for cryptocurrencies and ICO's, as well as reports that two major exchanges, Bitfinex and Tether, had been subpoenaed by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), also helped to spook cryptocurrency markets this week

Ethereum was the only major coin to finish January in the green. The second-largest cryptocurrency saw gains of 45% during 2018’s first month, compared to a loss of 25% for bitcoin, and respective declines of 45% and 35% for Ripple’s XRP and bitcoin cash.

"The state of cryptocurrency is incredibly strong," Andy Bromberg, CEO of CoinList, an ICO hosting platform, told Business Insider in an email this week. "Looking far beyond the prices, we're seeing an increasing number of high-quality projects in the space, with experienced teams, impressive early technological breakthroughs, and rigorous legal structuring.

"We expect to see this continue into 2018 as the industry matures and professionalizes -- a necessary step for it at this time."

You can track the price of bitcoin in real-time on Markets Insider here>>

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin has lost more than $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018

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

Bitcoin price

  • Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency, but its influence is waning.
  • The digital currency has slumped to its lowest levels in two months, and has lost more than $72 billion in market cap this year. 


2018 has been a swift departure from the previous year for cryptocurrencies, whose prices previously seemed to only move upward.

Bitcoin, the flagship digital coin that represents 33% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.com, was trading at $9,314 Thursday morning, less than half its all-time high of $19,843 set in December.

Thursday’s decline was spurred by comments from India’s finance minister, who said the country’s "government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system."

Facebook's announcement that it would ban all ads for cryptocurrencies and ICO's, as well as reports that two major exchanges, Bitfinex and Tether, had been subpoenaed by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), also helped to spook cryptocurrency markets this week

Ethereum was the only major coin to finish January in the green. The second-largest cryptocurrency saw gains of 45% during 2018’s first month, compared to a loss of 25% for bitcoin, and respective declines of 45% and 35% for Ripple’s XRP and bitcoin cash.

"The state of cryptocurrency is incredibly strong," Andy Bromberg, CEO of CoinList, an ICO hosting platform, told Business Insider in an email this week. "Looking far beyond the prices, we're seeing an increasing number of high-quality projects in the space, with experienced teams, impressive early technological breakthroughs, and rigorous legal structuring.

"We expect to see this continue into 2018 as the industry matures and professionalizes -- a necessary step for it at this time."

You can track the price of bitcoin in real-time on Markets Insider here>>

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Back at $1: Ripple's XRP Retreats Amid Market Sell-off

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

Down to a two-week low, Ripple's XRP token is taking a beating amid a broad losses across the cryptocurrency markets.

Armed raiders who held 2 bitcoin traders at gunpoint in rural England didn't actually manage to steal anything

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

moulsford bitcoin raid location

  • Armed criminals attacked a home in Oxfordshire, Britain, last month.
  • It was the registered address of a cryptocurrency company.
  • Four men broke in and tried to force inhabitants to make a transfer.
  • But it failed and the raiders left with nothing, police said.
  • Officers are still looking for the men and issued descriptions.


Armed burglars who broke into the home of two British bitcoin traders and held them at gunpoint didn't actually manage to steal any cryptocurrency, police have said.

Four men, who are now on the run from Thames Valley Police, tried to force two traders to transfer a large quantity of bitcoin after kicking down the door of a home in rural Moulsford, Oxfordshire, on January 22.

The raid was carried out on the home of Danny Aston and his girlfriend Amy Jay, who had used it as the registered address of their business, Aston Digital Currencies.

But, according to an update on the case more than a week later, the transfer didn't actually work. They did not take any material possessions either, meaning they left empty-handed.

A statement released on Tuesday by Thames Valley Police described the incident:

"The offenders threatened the two men and a woman who were inside the property, with what appeared to be a firearm and demanded one of the occupants to transfer bitcoins electronically to another account.

"The victim was struck to his head but was not seriously injured during the incident. He attended the John Radcliffe Hospital and was later discharged. Nothing was stolen during the incident."

The Oxford Mail local newspaper confirmed with the police force that the transfer did not work, and were told by a spokesman: "It's correct to say that the attempted transaction of bitcoins failed."

"Targeted incident"

Police also released slightly more detail on the suspects, describing their race (three were black, one was white) and what they were wearing ("tracksuits/sports clothing").

Officers are still looking for the men. They asked anybody with dashcam video footage or other evidence from the morning of the raid to contact them.

Police have not issued further information on who the men might have been, but suggested that the raid "may be a targeted incident," implying a level of sophistication beyond that of small-time criminals.

Cryptocurrency and crime are overlapping more and more since the dramatic spike in the value of leading currencies like bitcoin.

Officers from London's Metropolitan Police told Business Insider towards the end of last year that bitcoin is so widely used in the city that even regular drug dealers are using it to launder their takings.

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

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Tether and Bitfinex subpoenaed by the CFTC

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

price of bitcoin

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

The US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued subpoenas on December 6 to Bitfinex, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, and to Tether, a company that issues USDT (a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar), which has close ties to the exchange. Bloomberg broke the news on Tuesday, citing an anonymous source close to the matter.

The CFTC is investigating the nature of the relationship between the two companies, and whether Tether truly has the dollars in reserve to back its tokens. Without sufficient funds, Tether wouldn't be able to give investors the returns they expect. Neither company is based in the US, but both operate in the country. Following the news, several cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin crashed to their lowest price in months.

News of the subpoenas follows mounting evidence that puts Tether especially in a bad light:

  • Tether cut ties with its only auditor, Friedman LLP, on Saturday. The audit began after Tether was accused by multiple sources of creating its tokens “out of thin air” to buy Bitcoin and inflate the cryptocurrency's price on Bitfinex, and following questions as to whether it had the USD reserves to back the tokens it issues. A preliminary Friedman report in September said the firm’s USD reserves seemed to match its outstanding USDT issuance, but emphasized that it hadn't investigated the integrity of Tether's records. Tether previously claimed an audit would vindicate the company, but these questions are still left unanswered.
  • It has previously refused to disclose which banks hold its dollar reserves. As Bloomberg pointed out, Tether has consistently refused to reveal the banks that hold its purported $400 million worth of USD reserves. Bloomberg says it was previously offered the names under a nondisclosure agreement, which it declined. Moreover, although Freidman's preliminary report on the company's USD reserves is posted on Tether's website, the names of its banks are redacted. Wells Fargo stopped also servicing Tether last year, after which Tether and Bitfinex sued the bank, but subsequently withdrew their complaint.
  • Bloomberg revealed that Tether and Bitfinex share a CEO. Neither company discloses its headquarters or management on its websites or in public documents, but Bloomberg said a December 3 email from a spokesperson for the companies stated that an individual named Jan Ludovicus van der Velde is the CEO of both firms. This will do nothing to reassure those who have raised concerns as to whether the companies have been colluding to drive up Bitcoin prices on the Bitfinex exchange. If this kind of market manipulation were indeed happening, it would have been greatly facilitated by the firms having the same leader.

Although none of this is conclusive evidence of misconduct on Tether's part, the company should take action to refute it. Tether has said the subpoena is nothing out of the ordinary, and that it frequently cooperates with regulators when concerns or questions arise. Nevertheless, the fact remains that there is little information that has been made publicly available by the company that would exonerate it in the public eye.

As such, Tether would do well to begin by addressing people's concerns head-on, for example, by releasing documents that show where it holds its dollar reserves, hiring a new auditor to verify these records, and cooperating fully with the CFTC. If the company fails to make these moves soon, it could result not only in severe reputational damage for Tether, but also prolonged uncertainty in broader cryptocurrency markets.

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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Biggest earnings day of the season: Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., January 23, 2018.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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

Here's Lutz:

"Good morning, and hello to the Biggest day of Earnings this Quarter, with AAPL, AMZN and GOOGL on tap, among others.  Russell Minis are rebounding from yesterday’s weakness, climbing 30bp, while Tech is lagging as it digests numbers from FB and MSFT (15% QQQs combined).   It’s a sea of Green over in Europe, where the DAX is up 20bp - Banks leading to upside on DNB and BBVA numbers, while Telecom loves Nokia’s 7% rip.   Consumer names are taking a breather – In London, the FTSE is unch as Sterling gathers upward steam – Miners basically flat, while a bid in Banks is being offset by healthcare weakness.  In Asia, Nikkei ripped 1.7% higher, led by the big Banks - Hang Seng lost 75bp and Shanghai lost 1% as Tech and Telecom were dumped as “profit-taking ahead of Lunar new Year Holidays” prevailed - KOSPI basically unch, while Aussie up 90bp as Banks and Miners jumped 

"The DXY is basically unch, but the US 10YY keeps touching 2.75% as Sovs globally get hit - JGB’s close pinned to the BOJ’s target overnight, while Indian Bonds getting drilled on the Budget, and German 10YY is up 3bp as UBS calls for 1% touch by years end.   Euro bid on Strong EU PMIs, while Sterling shrugging off UK Manufacturing posting light.  Metals are all weaker with Ore off 70bp in China, weighing slightly on Copper – while Gold is weaker despite the $ and Bitcoin rolling towards $9k.  oil Complex well bid, shrugging off surging output, while Natty is getting drilled for 2.5% into Inventories later this AM."

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Biggest earnings day of the season: Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., January 23, 2018.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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

Here's Lutz:

"Good morning, and hello to the Biggest day of Earnings this Quarter, with AAPL, AMZN and GOOGL on tap, among others.  Russell Minis are rebounding from yesterday’s weakness, climbing 30bp, while Tech is lagging as it digests numbers from FB and MSFT (15% QQQs combined).   It’s a sea of Green over in Europe, where the DAX is up 20bp - Banks leading to upside on DNB and BBVA numbers, while Telecom loves Nokia’s 7% rip.   Consumer names are taking a breather – In London, the FTSE is unch as Sterling gathers upward steam – Miners basically flat, while a bid in Banks is being offset by healthcare weakness.  In Asia, Nikkei ripped 1.7% higher, led by the big Banks - Hang Seng lost 75bp and Shanghai lost 1% as Tech and Telecom were dumped as “profit-taking ahead of Lunar new Year Holidays” prevailed - KOSPI basically unch, while Aussie up 90bp as Banks and Miners jumped 

"The DXY is basically unch, but the US 10YY keeps touching 2.75% as Sovs globally get hit - JGB’s close pinned to the BOJ’s target overnight, while Indian Bonds getting drilled on the Budget, and German 10YY is up 3bp as UBS calls for 1% touch by years end.   Euro bid on Strong EU PMIs, while Sterling shrugging off UK Manufacturing posting light.  Metals are all weaker with Ore off 70bp in China, weighing slightly on Copper – while Gold is weaker despite the $ and Bitcoin rolling towards $9k.  oil Complex well bid, shrugging off surging output, while Natty is getting drilled for 2.5% into Inventories later this AM."

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple's XRP tumbles below $1 for the 2nd time this year

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

Ripple XRP price

  • Most major cryptocurrencies, except Ethereum, are having a rough start to 2018. 
  • Ripple's XRP token is trading at less than one-third it's high set just after the new year. 


Cryptocurrencies are having a rough start to 2018, and XRP is no exception.

The digital currency created by Ripple for international payments and money transfers fell below $1 for the second time this year early Thursday, bottoming out at $0.984. That’s a drop of more than 30% from its high of $3.3153 on January 4, according to data from Markets Insider. 

Most coins were under pressure Thursday after India's finance minister said the government does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender and "will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system."

2018 so far has been marked by extreme volatility for all cryptocurrencies, with many tokens seeing swings as large as 10% in either direction, a swift departure from the previous year in which prices seemed to only go up.

XRP has maintained it’s slot as the third-largest digital currency, but it’s quickly losing even more ground to Ethereum, which was the only major cryptocurrency to finish January in the green. XRP now represents a total market cap of just $39.75 billion, compared to Ethereum’s $110.78 billion.

Asheesh Birla, the vice president of product for Ripple, told Business Insider earlier this year that the firm was speeding up plans for xRapid, an XRP-powered product that seeks to enhance cross-border payments for emerging markets. It has signed at least two payments companies on to use the product.

Despite January’s steep losses, XRP is still trading more than 3,000% above its $0.15 levels from a majority of 2017.

You can track the price of XRP in real-time on Markets Insider here>>

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

Ripple's XRP tumbles below $1 for the 2nd time this year

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

Ripple XRP price

  • Most major cryptocurrencies, except Ethereum, are having a rough start to 2018. 
  • Ripple's XRP token is trading at less than one-third it's high set just after the new year. 


Cryptocurrencies are having a rough start to 2018, and XRP is no exception.

The digital currency created by Ripple for international payments and money transfers fell below $1 for the second time this year early Thursday, bottoming out at $0.984. That’s a drop of more than 30% from its high of $3.3153 on January 4, according to data from Markets Insider. 

Most coins were under pressure Thursday after India's finance minister said the government does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender and "will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system."

2018 so far has been marked by extreme volatility for all cryptocurrencies, with many tokens seeing swings as large as 10% in either direction, a swift departure from the previous year in which prices seemed to only go up.

XRP has maintained it’s slot as the third-largest digital currency, but it’s quickly losing even more ground to Ethereum, which was the only major cryptocurrency to finish January in the green. XRP now represents a total market cap of just $39.75 billion, compared to Ethereum’s $110.78 billion.

Asheesh Birla, the vice president of product for Ripple, told Business Insider earlier this year that the firm was speeding up plans for xRapid, an XRP-powered product that seeks to enhance cross-border payments for emerging markets. It has signed at least two payments companies on to use the product.

Despite January’s steep losses, XRP is still trading more than 3,000% above its $0.15 levels from a majority of 2017.

You can track the price of XRP in real-time on Markets Insider here>>

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin Price Dives Below $9,700 as India Hints at Hard Line on Crypto Usage

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

The post Bitcoin Price Dives Below $9,700 as India Hints at Hard Line on Crypto Usage appeared first on CCN

The Bitcoin price dove below $9,700 on Thursday following reports that India may take a hard line against cryptocurrency usage to combat its use in “illegitimate” enterprises. As CCN reported, Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, criticized cryptocurrencies during a speech before the country’s parliament. Jaitley, who was ostensibly presenting the Union Budget, took time to state

The post Bitcoin Price Dives Below $9,700 as India Hints at Hard Line on Crypto Usage appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Sinks Below $10k After $133 Billion January Loss

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

Bitcoin has seen huge loses since early January, and may drop below $9,000 if the bulls don't take charge.

A respected analyst says BuzzFeed's brutal jobs cull shows it is caught in a 'perfect storm' of 4 problems

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

BuzzFeed

  • Respected media analyst Douglas McCabe, of Enders Analysis, said BuzzFeed's job cull shows it is caught in a "perfect storm."
  • He listed four reasons why the company should be worried, including its plateauing traffic, restless investors, and a content identity crisis.
  • BuzzFeed says it is still growing and is "very well-positioned for 2018."


BuzzFeed's jobs cull shows how it is caught in a "perfect storm" of problems, according to a respected media analyst.

The media company has laid off 100 staff in recent weeks, 39 of whom worked in the UK. The redundancies have been quick and clean, with trade union the National Union of Journalists describing them as "brutal."

Douglas McCabe, CEO of UK media analyst Enders Analysis, said the cuts show that "a number of issues have come to engulf BuzzFeed all at once." A BuzzFeed spokeswoman said the company is still growing and is "very well-positioned for 2018."

McCabe broke BuzzFeed's "perfect storm" down into four areas:

1. BuzzFeed's audience is "plateauing"

ComScore figures show US readership fell nearly 17% from 80 million unique users in December 2015 to 66.5 million in December 2017. It's a similar story in the UK.

BuzzFeed prefers Nielsen figures, which include Facebook and YouTube video views, and provide what it believes is a more accurate picture of its social-first strategy. BuzzFeed shared with Business Insider data for August to December 2017 — and it's a steady upward curve.

BuzzFeed's US audience stood at 145.7 million in August, rose to 163.1 million in October, and fell to 158.3 million in December, according to Nielsen. It represents growth of nearly 9% over the five-month period.

BuzzFeed also pointed to data from Tubular Labs, which analyses social and video audience. It showed it that BuzzFeed was the number one "cross-platform media and entertainment property" for 11 months last year.

2. BuzzFeed has lost "market share" in digital advertising

It is well-known that BuzzFeed missed its revenue targets last year, coming in 15-20% short of its $350 million (£245 million) goal.

CEO Jonah Peretti has been realistic about the company's performance, telling the Columbia Journalism Review last week: "I would say we had a good year but not a great year."

Jonah Peretti

Specifically, he admitted that some of the products it offered advertisers did not deliver enough return because they were labour intensive and more closely resembled TV adverts than BuzzFeed's social roots.

"There was demand from the market but it wasn’t an area where we felt we had enough of a competitive advantage, and it was something that was really underperforming relative to other products we had," Peretti said.

It has sought to address this by launching programmatic and display advertising for the first time last year. "We figured that there are also ways we can generate additional revenue from all the content we’re creating that don’t take a lot of extra effort," Peretti said.

McCabe said the advertising issues are far from unique to BuzzFeed. "The businesses that will be able to continue growing digital advertising are those with enormous scale, or those with almost entirely logged-in usage. In other words, you need to know who your users are — it makes an enormous difference to advertisers," he explained.

3. The company could be "losing investor sentiment"

BuzzFeed's backers include NBCUniversal and Hearst, but McCabe thinks they could be getting restless about the company's prospects.

He said there may be a creeping realisation among investors that what started as a tech venture in 2006 has grown up into more of a traditional media company, with all the higher costs that entails.

"BuzzFeed has perhaps assumed they can grow top-line revenue at the same rate as in the glory days and investors have maybe just started to change their view of what is possible. Not just in terms of top-line growth, but also the cost base," he explained.

4. BuzzFeed has an identity crisis

McCabe said that because it offers such an "extreme" mixture of high-quality investigative news and viral content, BuzzFeed can leave readers "confused" about its mission.

"BuzzFeed tried to sit in the middle — it is not one thing or the other. That’s an uncomfortable place to be," he said. "It has got to try and find a balance between what it’s trying to achieve commercially and what it’s trying to achieve editorially. The balance they have got at the moment demonstrates that it’s not really working."

BuzzFeed employees

McCabe did, however, praise BuzzFeed's editorial ambition. It has led the agenda on a number of issues in the UK this month, including securing a leaked copy of the British government's economic forecasts on the impact of Brexit.

A BuzzFeed spokeswoman said the company is in good shape for the year ahead after completing its redundancy programme. She said:

"BuzzFeed grew revenue, content views, unique visitors, and time spent in 2017; we’ve expanded our ad offering with new products and programmatic, and rapidly diversified revenue through commerce, licensing, and development for TV and film.

"With a strong, growing portfolio of brands in BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed News, Tasty, Nifty and more, we have greater audience reach and a more diversified business than ever, and are very well-positioned for 2018."

And as Peretti pointed out to the Columbia Journalism Review, BuzzFeed is still a growth story. "We had another year of growth in 2017, but we’re always trying to grow more and faster," he said.

SEE ALSO: Inside BuzzFeed UK's 'brutal' jobs cull, where almost a third of staff were laid off after the site overreached

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

Cuba tourist

Here is what you need to know.

The Fed holds at Yellen's last meeting, says it sees a pickup in inflationThe Federal Open Market Committee held its key interest rate in a range between 1.25% and 1.50% and said it expects inflation to reach the central bank's 2% target "over the medium term."

The 10-year is at its highest level in almost 4 yearsThe US 10-year yield hit 2.75% following Wednesday's Fed meeting, making for the highest print since April 2014.

The bond market is creating huge problems for stocks — and investors don't realize how bad it's gottenAn indicator designed to track the speed of credit deterioration flashed a sell signal late last week, according to Leuthold Group.

Bitcoin drops below $10,000The cryptocurrency trades down about 7% near $9,485 a coin, and is flirting with its lowest close since around Thanksgiving. 

Facebook says its users are spending a lot less time on the platformThe social media company earned an adjusted $2.21 a share on revenue of $12.78 billion, and said the amount of time users are spending on the site declined by a whopping 50 million hours a day.

Microsoft beatsThe tech giant earned an adjusted $0.96 a share on revenue of $28.92 billion, but said a one-time charge of $13.8 billion related to the tax bill caused a GAAP loss of $0.82 a share.

David Einhorn has gotten off to a rough start in 2018The hedge fund billionaire's Greenlight Capital (Gold) fund fell 6% in January, while the S&P 500 rose 4.75%, according to a client update seen by Business Insider.

Stock markets around the world are mostly higherJapan's Nikkei (+1.68%) led the way in Asia and France's CAC (+0.42%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,826.

Earnings reports keep comingAlibaba, CME Group, Ferrari, Mastercard, and UPS are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell while Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and GoPro release their quarterly results after markets close. 

US economic data is heavyNonfarm productivity and initial claims will both be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Markit US Manufacturing PMI crosses the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET. Additionally, ISM Manufacturing and construction spending are due out at 10 a.m. ET and US auto sales will drop throughout the day. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

Cuba tourist

Here is what you need to know.

The Fed holds at Janet Yellen's last meeting, says it sees a pickup in inflation. The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee held its key interest rate in a range of 1.25% to 1.50% and said it expected inflation to reach the central bank's 2% target "over the medium term."

The 10-year is at its highest level in almost 4 years. The US 10-year yield hit 2.75% following Wednesday's Fed meeting, making for its highest print since April 2014.

The bond market is creating huge problems for stocks — and investors don't realize how bad it's gotten. An indicator designed to track the speed of credit deterioration flashed a sell signal late last week, according to The Leuthold Group.

Bitcoin drops below $10,000. The cryptocurrency trades down about 7%, near $9,485 a coin, and is flirting with its lowest close since around Thanksgiving.

Facebook says its users are spending a lot less time on the platform. The social-media company earned an adjusted $2.21 a share on revenue of $12.78 billion and said the amount of time users were spending on the site declined by a whopping 50 million hours a day.

Microsoft beats. The tech giant earned an adjusted $0.96 a share on revenue of $28.92 billion but said a one-time charge of $13.8 billion related to the tax law caused a GAAP loss of $0.82 a share.

David Einhorn has gotten off to a rough start in 2018. The hedge fund billionaire's Greenlight Capital (Gold) fund fell 6% in January, while the S&P 500 rose 4.75%, according to a client update seen by Business Insider.

Stock markets around the world are mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei (+1.68%) led the way in Asia, and France's CAC (+0.42%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,826.

Earnings reports keep coming. Alibaba, CME Group, Ferrari, Mastercard, and UPS are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell, while Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and GoPro release their quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data is heavy. Nonfarm productivity and initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Markit US Manufacturing PMI crosses the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET. Additionally, ISM Manufacturing and construction spending are due out at 10 a.m. ET, and US auto sales will drop throughout the day.

Join the conversation about this story »

The Morning After: More Mario and sold-out Boring flamethrowers

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

Hey, good morning! Welcome to February, which we're starting off with lost-in-space satellites, a piano that plays in response to interpretive dance and Samsung getting into bitcoin. Oh, and Nintendo snuck out a bunch of announcements. Let's hit tho...

Opinion: All Crypto Must Go; Bitcoin on Sale!

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

The post Opinion: All Crypto Must Go; Bitcoin on Sale! appeared first on CCN

In Januray, I spoke about bitcoin’s first bottleneck, the price and the second bottleneck, exchanges. I feel the series needs a brief interruption so that we can discuss, yet again, the price; before we move onto different subjects, more technology related. Some are calling this correction a complete bloodbath. I’ve read in many places how this

The post Opinion: All Crypto Must Go; Bitcoin on Sale! appeared first on CCN

A top Wall Street executive told us there are 2 risks that could torpedo the booming global economy this year

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

sinking ship

  • 2018 is shaping up to be an exceptional year for global financial markets, with the economies of nearly every developed country growing in synchrony for the first time since the financial crisis.
  • A top Wall Street executive who regularly speaks with corporate CEOs says two primary risks could scuttle global growth.
  • The largest risk is that growth accelerates too quickly and inflation soars. 
  • The second risk is of a geopolitical flare-up.


Corporate execs are teeming with optimism as 2018 is shaping up to be an exceptional year for global financial markets, with the economies of nearly every developed country growing in synchrony for the first time since the financial crisis.

Citi's Financial Strategy and Solutions Group estimates 75% of major economies are expected to generate more than 2% GDP growth, and aggregate corporate earnings are expected to climb by 10.1% in 2018 — both substantial increases from recent years

So, what could possibly go wrong to spoil all the fun? That's what was on the mind of every corporate bigwig at Davos. 

Business Insider recently spoke with a top Wall Street executives, who said that question popped up over and over again during his gauntlet of 20 plus meetings with CEOs at the World Economic Forum's annual summit in the Swiss Alps. 

The executive, who declined to speak on the record, told us there were two primary risks that could scuttle the global economic surge. 

The most significant risk, he said, is that economic growth accelerates too quickly and stokes inflation. 

That sentiment was echoed Wednesday by Michael Arone, the chief investment strategist at the $2.8 trillion investor State Street Global Advisors.

"What will move us from expansion to contraction is inflation," Arone said. "It often causes the Fed to aggressively raise interest rates and ultimately they end up curtailing the expansion prematurely. That is one of the things that the market is fearful of right now. I think those fears are overstated, but that's one of the anxieties reflected in the last couple of days' action."

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday but said it expects inflation to pick up

The second risk that could that stop the music in an instant is a geopolitical flare-up.

The world has generally relied on the US for stability, but with a mercurial leader like Donald Trump in the White House, the US position on the global stage is a lot more unpredictable. That has other countries "antsy," the executive said. 

A trade war with China or an actual war with North Korea would roil markets, as would as blow-up with a neighboring trade partner like Mexico. These tail risks are still minimal, the Wall Street executive stressed, but they're increased from years past.

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

£3 billion central London property giant Shaftesbury has taken its bust-up with a billionaire Hong Kong investor public

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

The Newport Street sign displays in Chinatown on October 20, 2015 in London, England. The President of the People's Republic of China and his wife are currently paying a State visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen.

  • Shaftesbury, the property firm which owns large chunks of central London, has taken a disagreement with its top investor Samuel Tak Lee public.
  • Company directors reportedly believe Lee is gearing up for a takeover bid.
  • Lee will vote against resolutions that allow directors to issue new shares without offering him a right to purchase them first.


LONDON — Shaftesbury, the property firm which owns large chunks of central London, has taken its feud with its top investor Samuel Tak Lee public, amid speculation the Hong Kong billionaire is eyeing a takeover bid.

Shaftesbury owns a £3 billion property portfolio in Chinatown, Soho, and Carnaby Street. It said in a statement on Thursday that it received a letter from Lee, who has built up a 25.02% stake in the company, of his intention to vote against renewing Resolutions 16, 17, and 18 at its 2018 AGM.

The Times newspaper reported last year that company directors believe Lee has been quietly amassing a 25% stake as a prelude to a full takeover bid, and blocking the resolutions could strengthen his ability to do so.

If renewed, Resolution 16 would give company directors — who say Lee has refused ever to meet with them — the ability to issue new shares in exchange for cash, a common means of raising equity.

Resolutions 17 and 18 would allow company directors to issue share capital without being obliged to first offer those shares to existing shareholders — something known as "non-preemptive share issuing." It means Lee would not be automatically entitled to a 25% stake of any new shares, as he would under a pre-emptive arrangement.

Issuing shares non-preemptively can prevent shareholders increasing their stake in a company every time it raises capital.

'Great concern'

Lee said in the letter that the company's decision to issue shares in December 2017 without offering shareholders the first option to buy had "caused me great concern," and said the arrangement was "prejudicial" to existing shareholders.

Shaftesbury chairman Jonathan Nicholls said in the statement that it "continues to consider that all of the resolutions to be proposed ... are in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole and they unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of them."

He said the board "does not agree with the statements made and sentiments expressed by Mr Lee in the attached letter to shareholders, but respects his right and stated intention to vote against certain resolutions being proposed."

Lee, 78, owns vast swathes of commercial property in London's West End through the company Langham Estate. 

Resolution 16 requires only 50% of the votes cast on the resolution, so cannot be blocked by Lee acting alone. 

Resolutions 17 and 18 require 75% shareholder approval, which means they will not pass without his approval.

The AGM is being held on February 9.

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

Bitcoin drops below $10,000 — again

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

  • Bitcoin price drops below $10,000 per coin for the third time in two weeks.
  • As of 10.10 a.m. GMT (5.10 a.m. ET) the largest cryptocurrency is down around 6%.
  • Recent falls are largely down to market fears after reports that cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Tether being subpoenaed by US regulators in December.

LONDON — Bitcoin dropped below the psychologically significant $10,000 per coin level on Thursday morning, the third time in just two weeks that it has done so.

The cryptocurrency has hovered around the mark for most of the week, yoyoing between sub- and plus-$10,000 line frequently.

Most recently, on Wednesday it fell below $10,000 after reports that cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Tether being subpoenaed by US regulators in December dragged down prices. 

It seems as though those concerns are still impacting the market, and on Thursday morning in Europe, the price of bitcoin has fallen around 6% to push it back below $10,000.

By 10.10 a.m. GMT (5.10 a.m. ET), it is trading at $9,540, as the chart below illustrates:

Screen Shot 2018 02 01 at 10.11.05

Concerns have been swirling in the cryptocurrency market for months about the status of Tether, a cryptocurrency issued by Tether Limited. It plays a central role in the operation of many leading cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex, but there is speculation that the company behind it may not hold the dollar reserves it claims.

Elsewhere in the crypto markets, ethereum is down around 1.7% to trade at $1,090, while Ripple's XRP is almost 10% lower.

You can read more about Tether, via Business Insider's Oscar Williams-Grut, here.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CEO of a $445 billion fund manager speaks on the future of US tech stocks, inflation, and the next economic downturn

Bitcoin drops below $10,000 — again

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

  • Bitcoin price drops below $10,000 per coin for the third time in two weeks.
  • As of 10.10 a.m. GMT (5.10 a.m. ET) the largest cryptocurrency is down around 6%.
  • Recent falls are largely down to market fears after reports that cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Tether being subpoenaed by US regulators in December.

LONDON — Bitcoin dropped below the psychologically significant $10,000 per coin level on Thursday morning, the third time in just two weeks that it has done so.

The cryptocurrency has hovered around the mark for most of the week, yoyoing between sub- and plus-$10,000 line frequently.

Most recently, on Wednesday it fell below $10,000 after reports that cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Tether being subpoenaed by US regulators in December dragged down prices. 

It seems as though those concerns are still impacting the market, and on Thursday morning in Europe, the price of bitcoin has fallen around 6% to push it back below $10,000.

By 10.10 a.m. GMT (5.10 a.m. ET), it is trading at $9,540, as the chart below illustrates:

Screen Shot 2018 02 01 at 10.11.05

Concerns have been swirling in the cryptocurrency market for months about the status of Tether, a cryptocurrency issued by Tether Limited. It plays a central role in the operation of many leading cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex, but there is speculation that the company behind it may not hold the dollar reserves it claims.

Elsewhere in the crypto markets, ethereum is down around 1.7% to trade at $1,090, while Ripple's XRP is almost 10% lower.

You can read more about Tether, via Business Insider's Oscar Williams-Grut, here.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CEO of a $445 billion fund manager speaks on the future of US tech stocks, inflation, and the next economic downturn

China's Cheetah Mobile Launches Cryptocurrency Wallet

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

Chinese mobile app company Cheetah Mobile has released an Android-based digital wallet for ethereum and bitcoin.

Britain's manufacturers start 2018 on the back foot as the sector's Brexit-driven surge falters

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

Union Jack Rain Umbrella

  • UK manufacturing sector slows even further in January, starting 2018 on the back foot.
  • IHS Markit's PMI survey for the sector came in at 55.3, below the forecast 56.5 reading.
  • January's reading follows a similar disappointment in December.
  • Manufacturing has been a rare economic success story in the UK since the vote to leave the EU in June 2016, thanks to the weakness of the pound.

LONDON — Britain's manufacturing sector endured a tough start to 2018, with growth in the sector slowing according to the latest PMI survey released by IHS Markit on Thursday.

January's reading for the sector came in at 55.3. The previous month's reading was 56.3, while growth in the month had been forecast by economists polled prior to the release to be 56.5.

The purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from IHS Markit are given as a number between 0 and 100. Anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means a contraction in activity. So the higher the number is, the better things look for the UK.

"The UK manufacturing sector reported an unwelcome combination of slower growth and rising prices at the start of 2018," Rob Dobson, a director at IHS Markit said in a statement released alongside the data.

"Though the PMI showed continued growth, it was the weakest since June as shortages in commodities and raw materials resulted in a scrabble to complete goods, suppliers disappointed with longer delivery times and costs were on the rise again," Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at CIPS, which compiles the survey with IHS said.

Manufacturing has been a rare economic success story in the UK since the vote to leave the EU in June 2016, thanks to the weakness of the pound since the vote.

The slump in the pound since the vote has made most British goods cheaper for overseas buyers, boosting manufacturing businesses as a result. However, as the pound recovers, particularly against the dollar, that boost is likely to wane somewhat.

Here's the chart showing the longer term trend:

Screen Shot 2018 02 01 at 09.34.16

January's figures, while disheartening after a strong 2017, were not all bad, with Dobson pointing out that: "Encouragingly, despite the slowdown, the latest survey is consistent with production rising at a solid quarterly rate of around 0.6% in January, with jobs also being added at a faster pace." 

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

India Signals Crackdown on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Usage

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

The post India Signals Crackdown on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Usage appeared first on CCN

In presenting the country’s budget plan for 2018 today, Indian finance Minister doubled down on refusing to recognize cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as legal tender amid talk of a wider crackdown on their usage. Speaking at the Indian Parliament while presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 today, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley said: The Government does not

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DEUTSCHE BANK: Britain's looming political crisis could force companies out of the UK

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

Brexit referendum spike passports

  • Deutsche Bank: Continuing uncertainty on Brexit and a growing political crisis could lead companies to trigger their worst case Brexit plans.
  • Worst case Brexit plans for major companies are generally believed to involve large-scale movements of staff out of the country.
  • If companies do begin to move, it could hit UK growth.


LONDON — The rising risk of a political crisis in the UK could lead major companies to trigger their worst-case scenario Brexit plans, according to a note from Deutsche Bank.

Writing on Wednesday, DB's macro strategist Oliver Harvey told clients that "the newsflow in recent days" suggests "rising risks of a political crisis before agreement is reached on transition in March."

Prime Minister Theresa May is facing increasing pressure from both sides of her party. Pro-Brexit MPs are accusing her of failing to pursue a hard enough Brexit and pro-remain MPs argue the exact opposite.

"Prime Minister May is struggling to shape a political vision without committing to a decision on the future relationship with the EU27," Harvey writes, and she is unwilling to commit given the pressure from both sides of the party.

The EU's "uncompromising" stance on the form of any transition deal makes it less likely that an agreement will be reached by the March EU Council Summit, Harvey believes, pushing back the timeline of Brexit and therefore making it more likely that major firms will trigger those contingencies.

Many Brexit contingency plans are believed to involve large-scale movements of staff out of the country.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Harvey points to discussions of the post-transition relationship between the UK and EU is another potential sticking point.

Here's Harvey (emphasis ours):

"On the future relationship, the UK's position continues to remain ambiguous. Prime Minister May has repeated her desire for a bespoke free trade agreement, while the EU has remained consistent that enhanced market access will require the UK to meet Single Market obligations, such as President Macron's comments that a deal for financial services would require EU budget contributions.

"The EU is due to release draft guidelines on the future relationship at the March 22-23rd EU Council. It is of some concern that the UK has yet to formulate a clear policy at this stage."

Away from direct Brexit talks, but very much linked to them, Harvey believes that uncertainty over the future of Prime Minister May could have an impact on firms' Brexit plans.

There are now reports that Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative Party's influential 1922 Committee, has received numerous letters from backbenchers calling for May's resignation.

"On the domestic front, Prime Minister May is under increasing pressure from Conservative MPs over both the lack of clarity on the future relationship and flagging poll ratings," Harvey writes.

"If [a leadership challenge] occurred before March," Harvey writes, "it could carry significant negative economic costs, with surveys suggesting firms would trigger contingency plans by then."

Banks and financial institutions in particular need to make final decisions about moving staff by the end of the first quarter at the latest. Banks need at least a year, if not longer, to set up fully functioning branches and subsidiaries in Europe to maintain uninterrupted EU activities.

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UK house prices are rising but analysts warn 'the momentum cannot last'

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

Houses in Camden

  • Nationwide said the average UK house price rose 0.6% to £211,756 over January.
  • Annual price growth was up to 3.2% from 2.6% in December 2017.
  • Nationwide's chief economist said the acceleration in prices was "a little surprising"
  • Economist Samuel Tombs said the data "is hard to reconcile with virtually all other timely indicators."


LONDON — UK house prices ticked up in January according to mortgage lender Nationwide, but analysts warned the apparent momentum cannot last.

Nationwide said the average house price unexpectedly rose 0.6% to £211,756 over January, bringing annual price growth up to 3.2% from 2.6% in December 2017.

Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner said the acceleration in prices was "a little surprising" given signs of softening in the sector in recent months, and given that the housing market appeared to be softening over 2017 as Brexit-related inflation began to bite.

"Retail sales were relatively soft over the Christmas period, as were key measures of consumer confidence, as the squeeze on household incomes continued to take its toll," he said.

unnamed

Monthly house price data is often volatile, and it may well be that January's surprise uptick represents an anomaly rather than a trend.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said Nationwide's measure "is hard to reconcile with virtually all other timely indicators."

Online portal Rightmove said asking prices rose a mere 1.1% in January. In addition, a net balance of -6 surveyors in December expected house prices to rise over the next three months, according to RICS. Mortgage approvals also fell to their lowest level since January 2015.

"With real wages on course to increase only modestly this year and mortgage rates set to remain on a rising path, we doubt that house prices can continue to climb this year," said Tombs in an emailed note.

Mainstream forecasters expect house prices in the UK to rise between 1% and 4% in 2018.

"Squeezed incomes and Brexit-related uncertainty"

Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of property lender Octane Capital, said prices continue to grow due to a lack of homes for sale and low interest rates.

"The rebound in annual price growth is less about demand strength than supply weakness," he said.

"Against a backdrop of squeezed incomes and Brexit-related uncertainty, demand is understandably subdued, but prices are being supported by the sheer lack of homes for sale and the low cost of borrowing.

"2018 looks set to deliver a year of low single-digit growth. Many households are likely to sit tight for another year, or at least until there is more clarity on the outcome of Brexit negotiations."

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

World’s Oldest Bitcoin Exchange BTCC Acquired by Hong Kong Investment Fund

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

The post World’s Oldest Bitcoin Exchange BTCC Acquired by Hong Kong Investment Fund appeared first on CCN

Former ‘big three’ Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCC has been acquired by a Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund. In an announcement this week, BTCC confirmed its acquisition by a blockchain investment fund based out of Hong Kong. While details remain scarce and the terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed, the acquisition breathes new

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Billionaire investor David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital has gotten off to a terrible start to 2018

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

David Einhorn

  • The Greenlight Capital (Gold) fund fell 6% in January, while the S&P 500 rose 4.75%. 
  • It extends a tough streak for David Einhorn's hedge fund.


David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital is having a rough start to the year.

The Greenlight Capital (Gold), L.P. - Dollar fund fell 6% in January, according to a January 31 client update seen by Business Insider. By comparison, the S&P 500 rose 4.75% in January. 

The fund has "an investment strategy that is substantially the same" as the firm's flagship strategy, according to a regulatory filing.

In the client update, Greenlight said most of the losses occurred in the last week of January:

"Given our poor January result, we wanted to provide some context. Our long portfolio only achieved about half the S&P 500 return, while our short portfolio went up more than twice the index. The underperformance was broad-based with many shorts rising 15% or more and no significant longs performing at that level. Most of the losses occurred in the last week of the month. We are managing the portfolio prudently, including single stock and long and short exposures. We believe the valuation spread between our longs and shorts is as wide as we can remember."

The fund was about 123% long and 73% short, according to the update. 

A spokesman for Greenlight declined to comment.

Greenlight has been struggling recently. 

The firm's flagship fund returned 1.6% last year after fees, compared to a 21.8% gain in the S&P 500, Business Insider previously reported.

Greenlight lost 1.6% in the fourth quarter last year, compared to a 6.6% gain in the S&P 500 over the same period.

In a January 16 client letter, Greenlight said it was frustrated by the underperformance.

"As we were in the batter's box so to speak, it felt like we were swinging well and hitting the ball hard," Greenlight said. "We just didn't deliver a satisfactory result on the scoreboard."

SEE ALSO: 'Frustrating and humbling': Founder of hedge fund Folger Hill tells clients his firm has fallen short of 'our collective abilities and expectations'

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NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

A crypto company touted by rapper The Game just got hit with a lawsuit from investors who want their money back

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

dgxi1nlxyaufj r

  • A cryptocurrency project looking to transform the pot industry with blockchain is facing a lawsuit, according to a Bloomberg Law report. The suit claims that the offering was not registered with authorities and that investors want their money back.
  • Paragon first drew attention to its initial coin offering when it got the celebrity endorsement of rapper the Game. 

 

A cryptocurrency company looking to use blockchain technology to transform the pot industry has been hit with a lawsuit, according to a Bloomberg Law report. 

Paragon, the blockchain company founded by former Miss Iowa Jessica Versteeg, did not register its initial coin offering with the regulators, according to a suit filed with a district court in California. 

The startup raised more than $70 million in its ICO, a cryptocurrency fundraising method, "which investors now want back, according to the complaint," Bloomberg law reported.

"This suit is one of several brought by unhappy investors against ICOs in the last few months, although no federal court has yet held that ICOs are subject to securities laws," the report adds.

A representative who represented Versteeg in August did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

When Business Insider first reported on Paragon in August prior to its ICO, Versteeg said the firm would address "real problems in the cannabis industry."

"This isn't another Potcoin," she said referring to another weed-focused cryptocurrency. "People will be pleasantly surprised with what we are doing."

Celebrities such as rapper The Game drew attention to the ICO when they endorsed it over social media. 

Regulators have been paying closer attention to the ICO market, which is known for its fair share or big dreams and fraud. 

"The world's social media platforms and financial markets are abuzz about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings," SEC chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement late last year. "There are tales of fortunes made and dreamed to be made."

The regulator's main concern is that ICOs provide a way for companies to solicit money from small-time investors without properly disclosing risk.

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

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