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Betterment and Wealthfront crash during market bloodbath

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

Robots

  • Two of the largest roboadvisers crashed on Monday during a marketwide bloodbath.
  • Roboadvisers came into existence just after the financial crisis, and haven't seen a major market correction.


Two of the largest roboadvisers Monday crashed as US stock markets witnessed their largest decline in over six years.

Users of Betterment, which manages more than $10 billion, couldn't log in Monday afternoon when the market started dropping sharply. Wealthfront users faced similar issues, according to a Bloomberg News report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 1,000 points and the VIX, a gauge of market anxiety, more than doubled in a matter of hours. 

A spokesman for Betterment told Business Insider the crash was a result of "particularly high volume." Customers of the New York-based firm couldn't log into their accounts for 30 minutes.

"Accounts were secure throughout and portfolio management activities like rebalancing and tax loss harvesting continued," the spokesman said.

Wealthfront site was also down for a short period of time, according to Bloomberg.

Roboadvisers entered the markets soon after the financial crisis and have yet to witness a major market correction. Some market watchers have questioned whether robos, which rely more on automation than human financial advisers, could survive a correction. The skeptics argue that if investors don't have someone to hold their hand when the going gets tough, then they'll pull out.

Betterment's CEO and founder, Jon Stein, once told Business Insider he doesn't think pure robos have to worry about a correction.

"If you talk to customers and ask them, 'What do you want from your financial adviser?' they don't say, 'We really want someone who is going to be there for me during a downturn," Stein said.

In Stein's view, customers want peace of mind about their money.

"Peace of mind is related to the idea that you can talk to someone, but it is not actually, 'I want someone to hold my hand in a downturn,'" he said."Rather, it is more like, 'I want to know that my financial adviser is on my side.'"

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

High-speed trading firms have been hoping for market chaos just like this

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

traders yell excited animated

  • The Dow Jones closed down almost 1,200 points on Monday, driven in part by the prospect of a tight labor market and the higher interest rates that tend to accompany firmer economic growth.
  • The Cboe Volatility Index— or VIX — spiked 84% on the day, its biggest single-day increase of all time, according to data going back to 1990.
  • That's good news for the world's fastest traders, which benefit when there's market chaos.
  • Virtu, the high-speed trading firm, was one of the few firms to finish Monday in the green. 


The world's fastest traders must be loving this. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average witnessed its largest point decline in over six years on Monday, while the VIX - an index that gauges market anxiety - soared to its highest level since 2015, doubling in the span of a few hours.

Capture.PNG

This development gives high-speed traders a reason to cheer.

High-frequency traders have seen revenues decline for years, and historically low volatility of the past year has led to a breaking point.

As liquidity providers, HFTs are scanning the markets for opportunities in which buyers and sellers aren't matched up. But when volatility is too low, like it was for much of 2017 and early 2018, those opportunities are hard to come by because there are fewer price swings.

"Greater volatility means a greater demand for liquidity and higher liquidity premiums (spreads) and that is what market makers sell," Larry Tabb, the founder of TABB Group, told Business Insider in an email. "When the demand and price of liquidity increases, market makers usually make money."

As such, Monday's volatility surge is good news for HFTs and market making firms, according to Dave Weisberger, the head of equities at ViableMkts, a market structure technology company.

"Today's intraday volatility is good for market makers and proprietary trading firms including those that have invested in HF infrastructures," Weisberger said.

Critically for these firms, there's a good chance that this bout of volatility is the first of many, according to strategists.

John Normand, head of cross-asset fundamental strategy at JPMorgan, said in a note that his base case was that inflation surprises become more frequent over the next six months, and that "these surprises generate recurring spikes in market volatility due to extreme valuations and investor positions in almost every asset class (only commodities are not expensive, and only the yen is under-owned."

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Virtu Financial, one of the largest high-frequency trading firms, appears to be benefiting from the market chaos. Despite the Dow's near 1,200 point decline, Virtu's stock was in the green at $19.43 a share, according to Markets Insider data.

"Well if you look at Virtu, they are one of the few stocks up on the day," Richard Johnson of Wall Street consultancy Greewich Associates told Business Insider. "That's a sign that this is good for them."

The company's chief executive officer Douglas Cifu has referred to the period of low volatility as a "terrible environment" for the firm. During a fourth quarter earnings call, Cifu said he's "really excited about when - not if but when - volatility comes back."

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

Money was pouring into crypto during the stock market's selloff

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

Bitcoin price



Cryptocurrencies got whacked alongside equities last week, but Monday’s continuation of the stock market selloff appeared to send some investors to digital currencies in search of a safe haven.

After heavy losses Monday morning, the tide began to turn for cryptocurrencies. Around 3 p.m. ET, when the Dow Jones industrial Average was seeing the worst of its 1,500 point selloff, the total market value of cryptocurrencies started to creep higher. The entire crypto market cap jumped 7% from its low of $310 billion, to $335 billion by 4 p.m. ET.

Bitcoin, the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, was still down 14%, but had climbed 6% off its intraday low of less than $6,600.

Ethereum was up 12% off its low of $627 to $711, and Ripple’s XRP was up 11% from its low of $0.64.

Last year, during cryptocurrencies’ seemingly endless run up, Wall Street began to cautiously embrace bitcoin as a way to find outperformance in a market that was rather boring. Two firms launched futures contracts tied to bitcoin in December, and Goldman Sachs was reported to be working on a cryptocurrency trading desk.

2018, in contrast, hasn’t been the same fairy tale for cryptocurrencies. Since January 1, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Money was pouring into crypto during the stock market's selloff

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

Bitcoin price



Cryptocurrencies got whacked alongside equities last week, but Monday’s continuation of the stock market selloff appeared to send some investors to digital currencies in search of a safe haven.

After heavy losses Monday morning, the tide began to turn for cryptocurrencies. Around 3 p.m. ET, when the Dow Jones industrial Average was seeing the worst of its 1,500 point selloff, the total market value of cryptocurrencies started to creep higher. The entire crypto market cap jumped 7% from its low of $310 billion, to $335 billion by 4 p.m. ET.

Bitcoin, the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, was still down 14%, but had climbed 6% off its intraday low of less than $6,600.

Ethereum was up 12% off its low of $627 to $711, and Ripple’s XRP was up 11% from its low of $0.64.

Last year, during cryptocurrencies’ seemingly endless run up, Wall Street began to cautiously embrace bitcoin as a way to find outperformance in a market that was rather boring. Two firms launched futures contracts tied to bitcoin in December, and Goldman Sachs was reported to be working on a cryptocurrency trading desk.

2018, in contrast, hasn’t been the same fairy tale for cryptocurrencies. Since January 1, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Money was pouring into crypto during the stock market's selloff

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

Bitcoin price



Cryptocurrencies got whacked alongside equities last week, but Monday’s continuation of the stock market selloff appeared to send some investors to digital currencies in search of a safe haven.

After heavy losses Monday morning, the tide began to turn for cryptocurrencies. Around 3 p.m. ET, when the Dow Jones industrial Average was seeing the worst of its 1,500 point selloff, the total market value of cryptocurrencies started to creep higher. The entire crypto market cap jumped 7% from its low of $310 billion, to $335 billion by 4 p.m. ET.

Bitcoin, the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, was still down 14%, but had climbed 6% off its intraday low of less than $6,600.

Ethereum was up 12% off its low of $627 to $711, and Ripple’s XRP was up 11% from its low of $0.64.

Last year, during cryptocurrencies’ seemingly endless run up, Wall Street began to cautiously embrace bitcoin as a way to find outperformance in a market that was rather boring. Two firms launched futures contracts tied to bitcoin in December, and Goldman Sachs was reported to be working on a cryptocurrency trading desk.

2018, in contrast, hasn’t been the same fairy tale for cryptocurrencies. Since January 1, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Money was pouring into crypto during the stock market's selloff

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

Bitcoin price



Cryptocurrencies got whacked alongside equities last week, but Monday’s continuation of the stock market selloff appeared to send some investors to digital currencies in search of a safe haven.

After heavy losses Monday morning, the tide began to turn for cryptocurrencies. Around 3 p.m. ET, when the Dow Jones industrial Average was seeing the worst of its 1,500 point selloff, the total market value of cryptocurrencies started to creep higher. The entire crypto market cap jumped 7% from its low of $310 billion, to $335 billion by 4 p.m. ET.

Bitcoin, the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, was still down 14%, but had climbed 6% off its intraday low of less than $6,600.

Ethereum was up 12% off its low of $627 to $711, and Ripple’s XRP was up 11% from its low of $0.64.

Last year, during cryptocurrencies’ seemingly endless run up, Wall Street began to cautiously embrace bitcoin as a way to find outperformance in a market that was rather boring. Two firms launched futures contracts tied to bitcoin in December, and Goldman Sachs was reported to be working on a cryptocurrency trading desk.

2018, in contrast, hasn’t been the same fairy tale for cryptocurrencies. Since January 1, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

Join the conversation about this story »

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

A History Of Bitcoin Price Collapses Over the Years

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

The post A History Of Bitcoin Price Collapses Over the Years appeared first on CCN

The price of Bitcoin has fallen a stomach-wrenching 64.5% since December 17, 2017. The combined market capitalization of the industry now stands at just $338 billion. A picture tells a thousand words: That’s a big drop for any market. However, a price crash in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is nothing new. Bitcoin dies and comes … Continued

The post A History Of Bitcoin Price Collapses Over the Years appeared first on CCN

VISA and Mastercard make it harder to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

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

 Sometime in the last week Bitcoin investors started noticing additional fees on their bank statements. It turns out that VISA and Mastercard both decided (how convenient!) to reclassify the way Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency purchases are processed on their networks. Incidents like this pose several challenges for the cryptocurrency industry short-term, but also show just how scared the… Read More

A Crown Prince Looks at Cryptocurrency to Restore Family’s Wealth

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

The post A Crown Prince Looks at Cryptocurrency to Restore Family’s Wealth appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin is still king, at least in Liechtenstein. Crown Prince Alois of German-speaking Central European landlocked microstate Liechtenstein told CNBC that the family, of which his father the Prince Hans Adam II technically remains in power but with whom for all intents and purposes power resides, is exploring other asset classes, including bitcoin, to fix their wealth woes. It’s

The post A Crown Prince Looks at Cryptocurrency to Restore Family’s Wealth appeared first on CCN

Ripple’s XRP is down 80% from its January peak

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

Ripple XRP price



Ripple’s XRP, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, is down 80% from its all-time high of $3.32, trading at just $0.66 per token Monday afternoon, according to Markets Insider data. The virtual currency, which was designed for international payments and transfers, has lost 18% in the past day.

XRP now has a market capitalization of  just $27.3 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. That’s $120 billion less than its peak market value of $147 billion in early January, when it briefly overtook Ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency.

All major cryptocurrencies have been smoked since the start of the new year. In 2018 so far, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin is down 45% this year — but that's not what's worrying exchanges

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple’s XRP is down 80% from its January peak

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

Ripple XRP price



Ripple’s XRP, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, is down 80% from its all-time high of $3.32, trading at just $0.66 per token Monday afternoon, according to Markets Insider data. The virtual currency, which was designed for international payments and transfers, has lost 18% in the past day.

XRP now has a market capitalization of  just $27.3 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. That’s $120 billion less than its peak market value of $147 billion in early January, when it briefly overtook Ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency.

All major cryptocurrencies have been smoked since the start of the new year. In 2018 so far, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin is down 45% this year — but that's not what's worrying exchanges

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple’s XRP is down 80% from its January peak

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

Ripple XRP price



Ripple’s XRP, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, is down 80% from its all-time high of $3.32, trading at just $0.66 per token Monday afternoon, according to Markets Insider data. The virtual currency, which was designed for international payments and transfers, has lost 18% in the past day.

XRP now has a market capitalization of  just $27.3 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. That’s $120 billion less than its peak market value of $147 billion in early January, when it briefly overtook Ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency.

All major cryptocurrencies have been smoked since the start of the new year. In 2018 so far, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin is down 45% this year — but that's not what's worrying exchanges

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Ripple’s XRP is down 80% from its January peak

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

Ripple XRP price



Ripple’s XRP, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, is down 80% from its all-time high of $3.32, trading at just $0.66 per token Monday afternoon, according to Markets Insider data. The virtual currency, which was designed for international payments and transfers, has lost 18% in the past day.

XRP now has a market capitalization of  just $27.3 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. That’s $120 billion less than its peak market value of $147 billion in early January, when it briefly overtook Ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency.

All major cryptocurrencies have been smoked since the start of the new year. In 2018 so far, the total market cap for virtual currencies has fallen by $245.7 billion, or roughly 43%, thanks to fears of new regulations in Asian markets like China.

Facebook helped to further the selloff on Friday, when the social network announced it would ban all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin is down 45% this year — but that's not what's worrying exchanges

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones told Wall Street investors to bet on a spike in volatility right before markets went haywire

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

paul tudor jones

  • The billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones told Wall Street investors last week that he expected market volatility to go up. It has been a long-term view for Jones, according to a person familiar with his fund.
  • His fund, which has struggled in recent years, is up 4.8% this year through January.


The hedge fund legend Paul Tudor Jones spoke at a private investor conference last week, and he told a group of Wall Street investors he was betting on a spike in volatility.

One person who attended summarized Jones' comments. "It's the one thing I could guarantee," this person recalled Jones saying. "I'd be buying volatility all day."

Jones made the comments last Monday, January 29, in South Florida at Morgan Stanley's Breakers conference, which is closed to the press. Business Insider confirmed Jones' comments with Tudor Investment Corporation, Jones' hedge fund.

To be sure, Jones has made similar comments before, according to a separate person who attended the conference, as have other hedge fund titans — including Baupost Group's Seth Klarman and Elliott Management's Paul Singer. Last year, Jones told a private conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs that investors should be terrified of market valuations, Bloomberg reported.

Still, the comments came before a sharp sell-off in stocks, triggered in part by better-than-expected wage growth. That has sent the Cboe Volatility Index — or VIX — soaring. The index was trading above 37 on Monday, up from around 14.5 when Jones made the comments.

Tudor's flagship fund, which runs a macro strategy, gained 4.8% in January, according to a person close to the firm. More recent figures were not available. Bloomberg reported the figures earlier Monday.

Other macro funds that have largely struggled, such as Brevan Howard, are also seeing an uptick this year.

The recent performance provides a rare bright spot for Tudor, which for years has suffered from underperformance.

Last year, the flagship fund fell by 2.2%, according to the person close to the firm.

Vix

SEE ALSO: Hedge fund Brevan Howard has had a solid start to 2018 after losing almost $4 billion in assets in 9 months

DON'T MISS: Greg Coffey, a star trader who retired at 41, is prepping one of the largest hedge fund launches of 2018

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Stocks are getting rocked for a 2nd straight day

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

dow

  • The Dow opened lower by about 250 points on Monday following last week's slide.
  • After a round of buying the dip at the open, markets are now trading lower again.
  • Watch the Dow trade in real time here.


The US stock market is rolling over on earlier gains.

After a 666-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average on Friday, its biggest single-day point drop since October 2008, the index opened down another 250 points on Monday. That selling extended the drop from the previous Friday's record-high close to more than 5%.

Investors bought the dip from the open and sent the index to be almost flat for the day, before selling continued. It's now trading 2.20%, or 558 points, lower. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 is down 1.58%, and the Nasdaq 100 is down 0.97%.

Many of the mega-cap tech names that reported earnings last week are rebounding on Monday. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google all started Monday down 1.5% to 2% but are now trading higher.

Also Monday, Broadcom extended another offer for its rival chipmaker Qualcomm. The previous $103 billion bid was upped to $120 billion, even though Qualcomm has previously said it is not interested in selling.

Wells Fargo is among the biggest losing stocks Monday morning. Shares of the bank are down 6.82% to $59.70 after the Federal Reserve barred the bank from growing any larger until it improves its compliance and governance policies.

The Business Insider team has been hard at work analyzing the recent downturn in the markets. Here are some of the best stories explaining why the markets are in decline ...

Read more about what's happening today in the markets.

SEE ALSO: Stocks rocked in their worst day since October 2008

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin's Price Dips Below $7K As Crypto Selloff Continues

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

Bitcoin prices dropped below $7,00 for the first time since mid-November on Monday.

Bitcoin dives below $7,000 for the first time since November 15

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

Capture.PNG

  • The price of bitcoin, the largest digital currency by market capitalization, dipped below $7,000 for the first time since November 15.
  • The cryptocurrency is down nearly 64% since hitting an all-time high above $19,000 in December.


The bitcoin bear market has extended into new territory.

The cryptocurrency, which gripped the attention of the markets when it soared to almost $20,000 a coin, was trading below $7,000 on Monday for the first time since November 15, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin has had a rough start to 2018, hit by fears of a regulatory crackdown and slipping Asian volumes.

At last check, the digital currency was trading down 14.7% against the dollar at $6,986 a coin, according to data from Markets Insider. That's nearly a 64% decline from its all-time high set in late December.

Across the cryptocurrency market, digital currencies were trading in the red. The total market capitalization of the crypto market declined by more than $70 billion over the last 24-hours.

The bloodbath appears to be connected to a slew of announcements by numerous major banks that they will ban the use of their credit cards to buy bitcoin and other digital currencies. In the US, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have announced bans, while Lloyds Bank is expected to do the same in the UK.

Aaron Lasher, the chief marketing officer of Breadwallet, a cryptocurrency wallet company which said it would allow customers to use credit cards to buy crypto on its platform on Monday, said such bans would be bad for crypto.

"In the short-term it would be very bad for the industry," Lasher said. "It'll make it very difficult for new comers to get into digital currencies."

On top of the announced bans, confidence has also been dented by reports China is planning a ban on websites related to intial coin offerings and other forms of cryptocurrency trading.

"To prevent financial risks, China will step up measures to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual currency trading or ICOs," an article in Financial News said, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

More concerns emerged about the sector last week as Facebook banned cryptocurrency advertisements and US regulators began investigating Tether, a cryptocurrency that some fear has been used to inflate the value of bitcoin.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin dives below $7,000 for the first time since November 15

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

Capture.PNG

  • Bears are storming the bitcoin market Monday as the price dipped below $7,000 for the first time since November 15.
  • The cryptocurrency was trading at $6,986 a coin at 1:17 p.m. ET, according to Markets Insider data.


The bitcoin bear market has extended into new territory.

The cryptocurrency, which gripped the attention of the markets when it soared close to $20,000 a coin, was trading below $7,000 on Monday for the first time since November 15.

Bitcoin has had a rough start to 2018, hit by fears of a regulatory crackdown and slipping Asian volumes.

At last check, the digital currency was trading down 14.7% against the dollar at $6,986 a coin, according to data from Markets Insider. The drop Monday

Monday's drop comes amid announcements from numerous major banks prohibiting the use of their credit cards to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In the US, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have announced bans, while Lloyds Banking Group is expected to do the same in the UK on Monday.

Confidence has also been dented after reports that China is planning a ban on websites related to ICOs and other forms of cryptocurrency trading.

"To prevent financial risks, China will step up measures to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual currency trading or ICOs," an article in Financial News, a publication affiliated to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

More concerns emerged about the sector last week as Facebook banned cryptocurrency advertisements and US regulators began investigating tether, a cryptocurrency that some fear has been used to inflate the value of bitcoin.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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.

Friday's turmoil in the US markets continued on Monday, translating into a global stock sell-off.

Amid fears over rising inflation across the world, the majority of European indices fell more than 1% from their closing price on Friday on Monday morning and remained substantially lower as the day progressed.

US indices similarly got whacked to start trading Monday, with the Dow opening lower by about 250 points. Stocks mounted a modest rally before rolling over again.

Stocks have long been rallying on hopes of a stronger economy, firmer inflation, and better wage growth. Part of that optimism was driven by the prospect of new tax cut legislation as well.

But now that the data are finally turning in a positive direction, and that the Republican tax proposal has become law, traders are suddenly freaking out at the prospect of a tight labor market and higher interest rates that tend to accompany firmer growth. It's a reminder to Wall Street to be careful what you wish for, writes Pedro da Costa.

For much of the stock market's blistering bull market run, investors have stayed remarkably calm, with measures of fear locked near historical lows. But traders have been snapped out of complacency, and the escalating situation appears to have their attention to a degree not seen in 14 months.

Here's the rest of your Monday markets coverage:

Wells Fargo shares plunged after being hit with a rare growth ban by the FedThe stock slump has cost Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway $2.4 billionQualcomm shares slid after Broadcom sweetened its offer to buy the chipmaker for $121 billion.

A business that many on Wall Street left for dead is starting to jolt back to life.

Bristol-Myers Squibb just claimed 'a breakthrough in cancer research' — but there's a catchGoogle and Uber are at war over self-driving cars — and a big trial that could reshape Silicon Valley starts today.

Lastly, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII — here's the roundup of all the plays and big moments that people are talking about, and here's your complete guide to all the ads that aired.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what Apple's battery-slowing controversy means for iPhone sales

CRYPTO INSIDER: Everything is getting smoked — again

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

Rolanda Bell of Panama falling head first into the water obstacle during the women's 3000 metres steeplechase heats at the 15th IAAF World Championship

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.

Cryptocurrencies appeared to get a slight lift on Friday, paring some of their heavy losses from earlier in the week, but still ended largely in the red. Flash forward to Monday morning and the major digital coins are getting smoked yet again

Here are the current standings: 

What else is happening:

SEE ALSO: South Korea’s defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

Join the conversation about this story »

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

CRYPTO INSIDER: Everything is getting smoked — again

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

Rolanda Bell of Panama falling head first into the water obstacle during the women's 3000 metres steeplechase heats at the 15th IAAF World Championship

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.

Cryptocurrencies appeared to get a slight lift on Friday, paring some of their heavy losses from earlier in the week, but still ended largely in the red. Flash forward to Monday morning and the major digital coins are getting smoked yet again

Here are the current standings: 

What else is happening:

SEE ALSO: South Korea’s defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

Join the conversation about this story »

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

CRYPTO INSIDER: Everything is getting smoked — again

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

Rolanda Bell of Panama falling head first into the water obstacle during the women's 3000 metres steeplechase heats at the 15th IAAF World Championship

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.

Cryptocurrencies appeared to get a slight lift on Friday, paring some of their heavy losses from earlier in the week, but still ended largely in the red. Flash forward to Monday morning and the major digital coins are getting smoked yet again

Here are the current standings: 

What else is happening:

SEE ALSO: South Korea’s defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

Join the conversation about this story »

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

CRYPTO INSIDER: Super Bowl selloffs

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

quiksilver surfer falling waves

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.

Cryptocurrencies appeared to get a slight lift on Friday, paring some of their heavy losses from earlier in the week, but still ended largely in the red. Flash forward to Monday morning and the major digital coins are getting smoked yet again

Here are the current standings: 

What else is happening:

SEE ALSO: South Korea’s defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

Join the conversation about this story »

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

CRYPTO INSIDER: Super Bowl selloffs

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

quiksilver surfer falling waves

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.

Cryptocurrencies appeared to get a slight lift on Friday, paring some of their heavy losses from earlier in the week, but still ended largely in the red. Flash forward to Monday morning and the major digital coins are getting smoked yet again

Here are the current standings: 

What else is happening:

SEE ALSO: South Korea’s defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

Join the conversation about this story »

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

CRYPTO INSIDER: Super Bowl selloffs

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

quiksilver surfer falling waves

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.

Cryptocurrencies appeared to get a slight lift on Friday, paring some of their heavy losses from earlier in the week, but still ended largely in the red. Flash forward to Monday morning and the major digital coins are getting smoked yet again

Here are the current standings: 

What else is happening:

SEE ALSO: South Korea’s defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

Join the conversation about this story »

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

The biggest problem facing bitcoin exchanges has nothing to do with price

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

Bitcoin, Members of Japan's idol group

  • Bitcoin is experiencing a rough start to 2018, but that's not the biggest concern for a developer at the world's longest-standing crypto exchange.
  • Miha Grcar, head of business development at Bitstamp, told Business Insider a talent shortage is hanging over the industry.


The cryptocurrency markets are awash in a sea of red, but that's not a concern for the longest existing cryptocurrency exchange.

Bitcoin has had a terrible start to the year. The digital currency, which gripped the world's attention when it soared close to $20,000 a coin in December, is down 45% since the beginning of 2018. As for trading action, volumes across the market for digital currency have decreased since crypto-mania peaked at the end of last year.

But this is a much needed break for cryptocurrency exchanges, which needed to shepherd a niche market into the mainstream.

"We are finally catching our breath," Miha Grcar, head of business development at Bitstamp, a Luxembourg-based exchange founded in 2011, told Business Insider during a phone interview.

Twenty-four hour trading volumes, according to cryptocurrency data site CoinMarketCap, have been in the $20 to $30 billion range since the beginning of February — down from an all-time high above $70 billion set January 4. The record-breaking volumes of December and early January put intense pressure on the weak infrastructure of cryptocurrency exchanges, leading to hours- and days-long outages. Many even had to close the door to new customers, as Business Insider first reported.

Capture.PNG

"We saw an influx of customers," Grcar said. "The challenges we faced were also faced by our competitors."

Kraken, a US-based exchange, was adding 50,000 new users a day at the end of December, a person familiar with the company's operations told Business Insider. In January, the company witnessed a two-day outage.

In order to handle the demand in the market, cryptocurrency exchanges extensively built out their infrastructures.

Such upgrades require talent that is in short supply, according to Grcar. He told Business Insider that a talent shortage — not a bitcoin bear market — is the big concern hanging over the head of cryptocurrency companies. 

"Globally the pool of talent, people with experience in blockchain and distributed ledger technology, is somewhat limited," Grcar said. "This is a big challenge."

It's not just cryptocurrency exchanges going after such talent. Companies like Bitstamp and Kraken have to go head-to-head with some of the largest financial firms in the world, including the likes of JPMorgan and Citigroup. Both financial juggernauts have posted jobs advertisements seeking experience with blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

As noted by Bloomberg, the number of blockchain or cryptocurrency job postings increased fourfold in 2017.

"JPMorgan has a team, but it is not defined how companies can utilize and monetize it yet," a headhunter, who asked not to be identified, told Business Insider.

Still, he noted there are fewer folks with expertise in the space so they are harder to find. "Everyone is facing this these days," Grcar said.

As for the bitcoin bear market, Grcar said that the market is experiencing a brief pause. "We see more exciting times on the horizon."

SEE ALSO: ROUBINI: 'The Mother Of All Bubbles And Biggest Bubble in Human History Comes Down Crashing'

Join the conversation about this story »

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

TECH ANALYST: Snap's stock price could get cut in half (SNAP)

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

Snapchat logo

  • Evercore ISI analyst, Anthony DiClemente, says Snap is worth $7 per share. The stock is currently trading at just under $14 Monday.
  • He's bearish on the company, citing Facebook's spending ability, Snap's failure to take advantage of its user growth, and its lack of direct response advertising.


Snap's stock price has taken a hit recently. Yet one Wall Street analyst still thinks the company is worth about half of where it is currently trading. 

Evercore ISI analyst Anthony DiClemente, one of Snap's biggest bears, has a $7 price target on the photo-sharing company. It is trading at just under $14 Monday.

"Snapchat is competing in a very competitive marketplace, where Facebook, but also Instagram, have got a massive amount of capex investment," DiClemente said. "You're going against people that have deeper pockets." 

And although Snap's daily active user growth was 17% year-over-year in the third-quarter, well in line with Facebook's fourth-quarter year-over-year DAU growth of 14%, Snap is still having trouble monetizing.

"I definitely think the ads are skippable," he says. "For marketers to put significant dollars to work, they need to provide measurement to the ad buyer, better tools to show whether or not those ads are effective," he said. 

The separation between where users go on the app and where the ads are is another reason advertisers cannot see how effective the ads are. "A lot of the time people spend on Snap is in messaging, where the ad format ROI is less clear," DiClemente notes.

Users also cannot shop for products by touching ads on the platform, because most of the ads are "branded," rather than "direct response." Snaps branded ads are "really like a television ad," DiClemente says, but "if it's direct response," the user can touch the ad, go to the advertisers' website, and buy products. "That's not the case" for Snapchat. 

Snap is reportedly working to develop a self-serve auction platform where advertisers can bid on ad prices, but its ability to execute that goal "remains to be seen," said DiClemente. 

Snap's app redesign, which separates a users friends from publishing brands on the app, is also a risk. "Any time you have a replatforming, there's a risk that there's overall disruption in the business," DiClemente said, adding that people may not like the change, and will flee from the platform. 

While he notes that Snap could be profitable at some point, he warns that Facebook's Instagram has an "inherent advantage," because it is a larger platform, and the company has a greater ability to spend. 

A $7 per share price target implies a valuation of roughly $8.37 billion, versus its current valuation of $16.17 billion. 

Also read: A 100-year old department store has filed for bankruptcy after closing dozens of stores

Screen Shot Snap stock.2018 02 05 at 9.39.00 AM

 

SEE ALSO: 10 best-selling online courses to help you understand Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — all under $15

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Cryptocurrency Market Cap Retreats Below $400 Billion

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

The post Cryptocurrency Market Cap Retreats Below $400 Billion appeared first on CCN

It’s another day in the red for the cryptocurrency markets, as 97 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies have posted 24-hour declines against the US dollar. The Bitcoin price headlined the retreat by declining to an 80-day low, and other top coins fared equally as poorly. Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap declined by $52 billion to … Continued

The post Cryptocurrency Market Cap Retreats Below $400 Billion appeared first on CCN

Porsche is making a $7.4 billion bet on electric cars — and Tesla should be nervous (TSLA)

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

porsche mission e

  • Porsche is going to spend €6 billion ($7.4 billion) on electric mobility by 2022.
  • The investment doubles the company's previously announced €3 billion ($3.7 billion) investment.
  • The money will go towards the development of the Porsche Mission E, electrification of existing models, charging infrastructure, and facilities updates.

Porsche is going all in on electric cars.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based sports car giant announced on Monday its plan to spend €6 billion ($7.4 billion) by 2022 to develop a lineup of electrified cars.

Monday's announcement doubles the €3 billion ($3.7 billion) electric mobility investment plan Porsche announced last year.

"We are doubling our expenditure on electromobility from around three billion euro to more than six billion euro," Porsche AG chairman Oliver Blume said in a statement. "Alongside the development of our models with combustion engines, we are setting an important course for the future with this decision."

Porsche's announcement comes after Mercedes-Benz announced a $1 billion investment to upgrade its Tuscaloosa, Alabama factory in preparation for EV production.

These are major investments from well-funded and highly experienced automakers. Investments that should challenge Tesla's place atop of the EV foodchain.

Thus far, only Tesla has been able to successfully tap into the luxury EV market. Its Model S sedan and Model X SUV stand alone in their respective segments.

Tesla Model S P100D at SuperchargerPorsche's investment is just the latest play by a traditional luxury and performance brand to come up with a true rival for the automotive wing of Elon Musk's business empire.

Porsche's additional $3.7 billion investment will be allocated to multiple development programs already underway.

This includes $620 million for the development of the Mission E high-performance electric sedan and its derivative model. Another $1.2 billion will go towards the hybridization and the electrification of Porsche's existing internal combustion models. And $868 million will be used to expand facilities while another $868 million will go towards the development of charging infrastructure.

The Porsche Mission E is expected to arrive in 2019 with a starting price expected to be as low as $75,000, on par with the Tesla Model S's starting price of $74,500. Porsche expects the Mission E to deliver 400 to 600 miles of range on a single charge with a top speed of 155 mph.

SEE ALSO: Ferrari World is like Disneyland for car lovers — here's what it was like

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

Bitcoin cash falls below $1,000 for first time since November

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

Bitcoin cash price



Bitcoin cash, the cryptocurrency that split from the flagship bitcoin in August 2017, slipped below $1,000 Monday morning for the first time since November 2017.

Fears of a regulatory crackdown and slipping Asian volumes wiped away hundreds of billions of dollars in market value from global cryptocurrency markets in just a matter of days last week, dragging every major digital currency.

Monday's 14% drop for Bitcoin Cash comes amid announcements from numerous major banks prohibiting the use of their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies. In the US, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have announced bans, while Lloyds Banking Group is expected to do the same in the UK on Monday.

Last week, Facebook said it would ban cryptocurrency advertisements. At the same time, it was reported that US regulators had subpoenaed crypto exchange Bitfinex and cryptocurrency company Tether, further driving down prices.

To make things worse for an already volatile market, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, also said that 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."

Bitcoin cash was trading at $973 at the time of writing Monday morning, down more than 15% in the last 24 hours. 

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

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Good Morning!  US Futures are showing no recovery from Friday’s smash, as Outgoing Fed Head Yellen Says Prices ‘High’ for Stocks – The Spoos are off 70bp, nearing that 5% drawdown needed, as traders say this is “A healthy and much needed pullback”.  It’s a bit ugly overseas tho, with the Euro Stoxx 600 back in the red YTD – DAX nearing off 2% for 2018 as Germany gets hit for 1% today.  Financial, technology and resource stocks leading the selling in heavy volume – Most exchanges trading 30-40% above trends.   FTSE a bit worse off, down 1.2% as Consumer and Healthcare hit for nearly 2%.   Asia was pretty ugly - Nikkei got smoked for 2.5% as it breaks downside 23,000 - Hang Seng lost 1%, but Shanghai climbed 75bp as the Chinese Banks were on Fire, with the biggies gaining 3-4%+.  KOSPI lost 1.3% as eyes remains on Bitcoin, Aussie hit for 1.5%, the worst session in 7 months – while Sensex loses another 90bp as it reels from the plan to tax stock gains.

All talking head focus remains on yields, but you can’t blame them for today’s equity weakness.  Germany’s 10YY is coming in 3bp, and the US 10YY just dipped red.   Euro under $1.25 as retail sales post light into Draghi’s annual report to the European Parliament at 11amET - Sterling breaking downside $1.41 as PMIs post weak, but the $ remains off Friday’s highs as the Yen catches a bid.   Gold is up very small, but that Bitcoin is getting smashed for another 11% as China and Indian headers weigh.   Ore rebounds 2.5% overnight, helping Copper pop 35bp.   Energy Complex is all red tho, with Natty off small, but WTI getting hit for 1%+ early.

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'

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

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Good Morning!  US Futures are showing no recovery from Friday’s smash, as Outgoing Fed Head Yellen Says Prices ‘High’ for Stocks – The Spoos are off 70bp, nearing that 5% drawdown needed, as traders say this is “A healthy and much needed pullback”.  It’s a bit ugly overseas tho, with the Euro Stoxx 600 back in the red YTD – DAX nearing off 2% for 2018 as Germany gets hit for 1% today.  Financial, technology and resource stocks leading the selling in heavy volume – Most exchanges trading 30-40% above trends.   FTSE a bit worse off, down 1.2% as Consumer and Healthcare hit for nearly 2%.   Asia was pretty ugly - Nikkei got smoked for 2.5% as it breaks downside 23,000 - Hang Seng lost 1%, but Shanghai climbed 75bp as the Chinese Banks were on Fire, with the biggies gaining 3-4%+.  KOSPI lost 1.3% as eyes remains on Bitcoin, Aussie hit for 1.5%, the worst session in 7 months – while Sensex loses another 90bp as it reels from the plan to tax stock gains.

All talking head focus remains on yields, but you can’t blame them for today’s equity weakness.  Germany’s 10YY is coming in 3bp, and the US 10YY just dipped red.   Euro under $1.25 as retail sales post light into Draghi’s annual report to the European Parliament at 11amET - Sterling breaking downside $1.41 as PMIs post weak, but the $ remains off Friday’s highs as the Yen catches a bid.   Gold is up very small, but that Bitcoin is getting smashed for another 11% as China and Indian headers weigh.   Ore rebounds 2.5% overnight, helping Copper pop 35bp.   Energy Complex is all red tho, with Natty off small, but WTI getting hit for 1%+ early.

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'

UK’s Lloyds Bank Stops Bitcoin Purchases Using Credit Cards

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

The post UK’s Lloyds Bank Stops Bitcoin Purchases Using Credit Cards appeared first on CCN

Major British retail banking giant Lloyds is blocking its credit card users from buying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Customers with debit cards will, of course, remain unaffected. First reported by the Telegraph, Llyods Banking Group will, starting today, bar its 9 million credit card customers from buying bitcoin and other crypotocurrencies amid fears of future unpaid … Continued

The post UK’s Lloyds Bank Stops Bitcoin Purchases Using Credit Cards appeared first on CCN

This is the dark web advert a drug dealer used to sell fentanyl for bitcoin

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

Kyle Enos dark web bitcoin fentanyl

  • Kyle Enos, 25, was sentenced to eight years in prison for selling drugs.
  • He traded fentanyl, a powerful opiate, for bitcoin to anonymous buyers.
  • Enos posted doses in envelopes at his local Post Office in South Wales.
  • Police released the text of his dark web sales pitch after his sentencing.


"My priority is your satisfaction… I sell seriously strong, potent drugs. Seriously strong, but seriously great."

This is how drug dealer Kyle Enos attracted customers to his online opiate store, trading drugs for cryptocurrency on the dark web.

He traded in fentanyl, the powerful painkiller that can be 50 times as strong as heroin and which contributed to Prince's death, by offering customers supermarket-style "buy one get one free" deals in exchange for bitcoin.

The 25-year-old was given an eight-year prison sentence at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday, after he pleaded guilty to importing, supplying, and exporting Class-A drugs.

On Monday, to coincide with his imprisonment, the UK's National Crime Agency released evidence gathered in their investigation.

It includes the full text of one of his dark web adverts, which Business Insider has reproduced below:

dark web ad

Police also released footage from Enos's custody interviews, in which he describes how the drug operation works.

Enos told officers he did not make fentanyl himself, but ordered the substance in bulk every few weeks and sold smaller doses to individual customers. He used his local Post Office in Newport, South Wales, to ship the drug in envelopes.

They communicated anonymously over the dark web, he said, in exchange for bitcoin. The footage does not give any sense of how much money he was making.

Officers also released photographs taken by investigators showing white powder, drugs paraphernalia, and padded envelopes:

Kyle Enos drugs 3Kyle Enos drugs 2Kyle Enos drugs 1

The text from Enos's storefront is in some ways very prosaic — he has a summary of delivery times, offers refunds and guarantees and emphasises the quality of his customer service.

However, the illicit nature of the exchange is also obvious from Enos's pre-emptive warnings about keeping receipts: Customers needed to be reassured that their information would not be preserved in case Enos were ever caught, which, of course, is exactly what happened.

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

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NOW WATCH: Elon Musk's The Boring Company sold out of these $500 flamethrowers

Bitcoin Price Falls to 80-Day Low; Robinood to Lead the Rescue?

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

The post Bitcoin Price Falls to 80-Day Low; Robinood to Lead the Rescue? appeared first on CCN

The Bitcoin price declined to an 80-day low on Monday but may be poised for a rebound once stock brokerage app’s Robinhood’s much-anticipated cryptocurrency trading platform goes live later this month. Bitcoin Price Declines to 80-Day Low Despite the hopes of investors, February has not brought respite to the battered cryptocurrency markets, which continue to

The post Bitcoin Price Falls to 80-Day Low; Robinood to Lead the Rescue? appeared first on CCN

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, QCOM, AVGO, GOOGL)

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

Super Bowl celebration

Here is what you need to know. 

The stock market sell-off isn't over yetThe Dow Jones industrial average is set to open lower by 220 points, or 0.84%. The selling comes after Japan's Nikkei (-2.56%) was hit hard in Asia and as Britain's FTSE (-1.28%) leads the losses in Europe.

Markets are stretched across the board — and one wrong step could set off a vicious chain reactionAsset classes around the world are trading in close lockstep right now, which poses a big risk because one minor dislocation could cause a painful chain reaction, Deutsche Bank says.

The Eagles' Super Bowl win could be good news for stocksThe S&P 500 has gained an average of 5.1% for the calendar year when the Patriots lose the Super Bowl versus a 1.5% gain when they win, according to LPL Financial data.

Yellen is disappointed she didn't get a 2nd term. Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen told CBS' "Sunday Morning" that she was saddened to not receive a second term, and that new chairman Jerome Powell is "a very thoughtful policymaker."

Bitcoin is back below $8,000The cryptocurrency is down 6.45% at $7,670 a coin as of 6:24 a.m. ET, and is trading at its lowest level since the middle of November.

The US marijuana industry is growing insanely fastThe total number of job postings for the marijuana industry increased 445% in 2017, according to job-search website ZipRecruiter, and there are now more people working in the industry than there are dental hygienists in the US.

Broadcom is getting ready to raise its bid for QualcommBroadcom is expected to raise its bid for Qualcomm from $103 billion to about $120 billion, Reuters says, citing people familiar with the matter. 

Uber and Waymo are headed to courtOn Monday, Uber and Waymo, a self-driving car unit owned by Google's parent company, will go to court over allegations Uber stole "trade secrets" relating to self-driving-car technology.

Earnings reports keep comingBristol-Myers Squib and Sysco report ahead of the opening bell while Skyworks releases its quarterly results after markets close.

US economic is lightMarkit services PMI and ISM non-manufacturing will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET respectively. The US 10-year yield is little changed near 2.85%, its highest since January 2014.

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, QCOM, AVGO, GOOGL)

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

Super Bowl celebration

Here is what you need to know.

The stock market sell-off isn't over yet. The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open lower by 220 points, or 0.84%. The selling comes after Japan's Nikkei (-2.56%) was hit hard in Asia and as Britain's FTSE (-1.28%) leads the losses in Europe.

Markets are stretched across the board; and one wrong step could set off a vicious chain reaction. Asset classes around the world are trading in close lockstep, which poses a big risk because one minor dislocation could cause a painful chain reaction, Deutsche Bank says.

The Eagles' Super Bowl win could be good news for stocks. The S&P 500 has gained an average of 5.1% for the calendar year when the Patriots lose the Super Bowl versus a 1.5% gain when they win, according to LPL Financial data.

Yellen is disappointed she didn't get a 2nd term. Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told CBS' "Sunday Morning" that she was saddened to not receive a second term but that the new Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, was "a very thoughtful policymaker."

Bitcoin is back below $8,000. The cryptocurrency was down 6.45% at $7,670 a coin as of 6:24 a.m. ET, trading at its lowest level since the middle of November.

The US marijuana industry is growing insanely fast. The total number of job postings for the marijuana industry increased 445% in 2017, according to the job-search website ZipRecruiter, and there are now more people working in the industry than there are dental hygienists in the US.

Broadcom is getting ready to raise its bid for Qualcomm. Broadcom is expected to raise its bid for Qualcomm to about $120 billion from $103 billion, Reuters says, citing people familiar with the matter.

Uber and Waymo are headed to court. Uber will go to court Monday against Waymo, a self-driving car unit owned by Google's parent company, over allegations Uber stole "trade secrets" relating to self-driving-car technology.

Earnings reports keep coming. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sysco report ahead of the opening bell, while Skyworks releases its quarterly results after markets close.

US economic data is light. Markit services PMI and ISM nonmanufacturing will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET respectively. The US 10-year yield is little changed near 2.85%, its highest since January 2014.

Join the conversation about this story »

Lloyds Banking Group Blocks Bitcoin Purchases Using Credit Cards

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

The Lloyds ban applies to the group's 89 million credit card holders, including across subsidiaries such as Halifax, MBNA and Bank of Scotland.

A business that many on Wall Street left for dead is starting to jolt back to life (GS, JPM)

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

trader surprised shocked

  • Fixed-income trading has suffered across Wall Street in the past few years.
  • That's thanks in large part to market volatility evaporating.
  • It's early, but there are signs that volatility is ramping up and the fixed income, currency, and commodities business is jolting back to life.


Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently commented that his firm wasn't sitting around singing "Kumbaya" while waiting for fixed-income trading to return. 

The fixed income, currency, and commodities (FICC) business suffered across Wall Street in 2017, but it especially plagued Goldman. In the fourth quarter the unit's revenues were just $1 billion, a 50% decline from a year ago and a 31% drop from the previous quarter.

FICC, formerly a profit center for many investment banks, has been on a multi-year slide, with many firms scaling back their operations — chief Goldman rival Morgan Stanley, for instance, trimmed their FICC headcount by 25%. Goldman, meanwhile, has held firm in belief that the business would rebound.

Whether Goldman executives sat around a campfire singing gospel and hoping for divine intervention in the markets, we may never know. But this much is certain: In the early days of 2018, the moribund FICC business is showing signs of jolting back to life.

Morgan Stanley itself hinted as much while discussing the FICC business during its fourth-quarter earnings call in January, noting that it had seen both rate and foreign-exchange volatility spike in the preceding two weeks.

"Very early days, but there is signs that from a sales and trading perspective we are seeing heavy levels of engagement and a little bit more [volatility] and a little bit more activity," Jonathan Pruzan, the company's CFO, said on the call. 

A couple days later, we asked an industry consultant who regularly works with top management at the largest investment banks on Wall Street what he had heard on FICC performance thus far, and he reported that trading "seemed to be in a good place," in part because European regulatory market reform known as MiFID II failed to have the sizable impact that many were expecting. 

"Surprisingly a good start to the year, all the banks were expecting clients to sit on the fences till MiFID II was sorted and then see some activity but it's not been a barrier at all," he told Business Insider.

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam echoed the sentiment.

"Volatility has been low but since the beginning of the year we have had the very rare combination of equity markets going up and volatility going up," he told Bloomberg TV in an interview from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

And last week, Daniel Pinto, the head of corporate and investment banking at JPMorgan Chase, told analysts at UBS that he expects global FICC revenues to increase this year.

What changed in the markets?

The FICC business suffered so badly in 2017 in large part because volatility evaporated. Cross-asset measures of volatility have been at historically low levels for months.

As Pinto told UBS, this compressed credit spreads and crippled revenue. Trading volumes were actually higher in 2017 than 2016, but JPMorgan's FICC revenue fell 16% thanks to tight spreads, Pinto said.

But that has started to turn around in 2018, and he now expects a "relatively positive year for markets revenue."

Pinto says volatility has spiked in 2018 thus far thanks to tightened monetary policy in Europe, the weakened US dollar, and higher long-end rates, the UBS analysts wrote in a research note. 

The Cboe Volatility Index — known as the VIX — had been locked near record lows for much of the past year, but has already spiked 20% year-to-date. 

Foreign exchange traders are seeing market tumult as well, thanks in part to some mixed messaging out of the White House regarding their preferences toward the strength of US dollar, which has experienced extended declines compared with other G10 currencies.

And there's rumbling in commodities, too.

Jeffrey Currie, Goldman Sachs' head of global commodity research, said in a research note on Thursday that he expects "commodity price volatility will rise from the current historically low levels" thanks to declining inventories in key commodity markets.

That's good news for Goldman Sachs, since one-third of the decline in their FICC business was attributable to commodities, CFO Marty Chaves said on the earnings call. 

As most Wall Street experts have noted, it's still early. But if volatility does come roaring back for good, Blankfein and company will have plenty to sing about in 2018. 

SEE ALSO: Dealmaking is off to a scorching start — and one Wall Street CEO says it could just be the beginning

DON'T MISS: A top Wall Street executive told us of 2 risks that could torpedo the booming global economy this year

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UK banks ban Bitcoin purchases with credit cards

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

It's happened in the US and now it's happening in the UK. Lloyds Banking Group, which runs Halifax, Bank of Scotland, MBNA and, of course, Lloyds, has banned its customers from buying bitcoin with their credit cards. "We do not accept credit card tra...

‘3 Clicks and 40 Secs’: Santander to Launch Ripple Retail Payments App in 4 Countries

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

The post ‘3 Clicks and 40 Secs’: Santander to Launch Ripple Retail Payments App in 4 Countries appeared first on CCN

Spanish banking giant Banco Santander is set to roll-out a personal payments app for retail customers powered by Ripple’s blockchain technology in Q1 2018. In what could become the earliest major retail use cases of blockchain technology in the banking system, Santander is set to launch a personal payments app for international payments powered by Ripple’s

The post ‘3 Clicks and 40 Secs’: Santander to Launch Ripple Retail Payments App in 4 Countries appeared first on CCN

Every part of the UK economy has started 2018 in a worryingly bad state

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

Union Jack

  • IHS Markit's PMI for the UK services sector — which accounts for more than 75% of the country's GDP — shows a sharp slowdown to start 2018.
  • The PMI survey produced a reading of 53 in January, against a reading of 54.2 in December.
  • Monday's data completes a hat-trick of worse than forecast PMI surveys for the three major sectors of the British economy.
  • Construction and manufacturing PMIs both came in below expectations last week.

LONDON — Britain's services sector, which accounts for more than 75% of the country's GDP, slowed down in the month of January, falling to a low not seen since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum in 2016, according to the latest PMI survey from IHS Markit.

The services sector — which includes everything from banking to waiting tables — drew a reading of 53 in the month,  down from the previous 54.2 in December. That marks the worst read since September 2016, just three months after Britain voted to leave the EU. The survey had been expected to show a figure of 54.3 in January.

"Service sector expansion slid to a 16-month low, reflecting a marked waning in growth of demand for business and consumer-facing services such as hotels and restaurants. Demand for transport and communication services was down for the second straight month," Chris Williamson, IHS Markit's chief business economist said in a statement.

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.

Here's the chart:

Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 09.33.06

"The pace of UK economic growth slowed sharply at the start of the year as January saw a triplewhammy of weaker PMI surveys," Williamson added.

As Williamson notes, the sector's slowdown completes a trilogy of dreadful PMI data over the last week, which suggests that the health of the British economy is not particularly rosy at the start of 2018.

First, last Thursday, IHS Markit's manufacturing PMI was below expectations, with Rob Dobson, a director at the data firm saying that "the UK manufacturing sector reported an unwelcome combination of slower growth and rising prices at the start of 2018."

Then, on Friday, a PMI survey showed the construction sector "teetering on the edge of contraction," and possibly heading towards recession in 2018.

Europe still streaking ahead

Britain's early 2018 PMI slowdown is in direct contrast with the continuing good fortunes of the eurozone economy, which on Monday saw another series of strong PMI figures.

The composite PMI in the Eurozone — which combines all the major sector's PMI surveys —rose to 58.8 in January from 58.1. in December, above the consensus and initial estimate, 58.6.

"The composite PMI continues to signal a bullish outlook for GDP growth in the Eurozone," Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said in an email.

"Another set of strong PMI numbers. The headline was boosted by better than expected services PMI in Germany, offsetting a marginal miss in the French services relative to the initial estimate," he wrote.

"In both cases, the PMIs signal robust momentum in services with values of 57.3 and 59.2, respectively. The data also were solid in Spain and Italy."

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Ryanair: 'Time is running out' on Brexit

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

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary reacts on the fourth day

  • Ryanair says UK government "continues to underestimate the likelihood of flight disruptions to/from the UK."
  • Budget airline says it needs clarity on a transition deal by summer or flights could be grounded and tickets invalid.
  • Airline reports strong third-quarter results but is cautious on outlook.
  • €750 million share buyback announced.


Ryanair has reiterated its warning of "serious disruption" to flights between the UK and EU unless a transition deal is agreed imminently, warning that "time is running out for the UK to develop and agree these solutions."

Irish budget airline Ryanair said in a trading update on Monday: "We remain concerned at the continuing uncertainty surrounding the terms of the UK's proposed departure from the EU in March 2019.

"There remains a worrying risk of serious disruption to UK-EU flights from April 2019 unless a UK-EU bilateral (or transitional arrangement) is agreed in advance of September 2018."

UK airlines are currently members of a pan-European flight zone but there are concerns that, unless a new deal is agreed before the UK officially leaves the EU next March, UK flights will be technically ineligible to land in the EU.

Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs earlier this month that flights between the UK and the EU could be grounded post-Brexit in the "most extreme scenario." Ryanair is also reportedly going to warn passengers booking in advance that their tickets may become invalid.

Ryanair said on Monday that airlines need to know by mid-2018 what arrangements will be as that's when they publish their summer 2019 schedules.

"We believe the UK government continues to underestimate the likelihood of flight disruptions to/from the UK," Ryanair said.

Ryanair's warning echoes almost word-for-word similar messages from the airline last year calling for clarity on Brexit transition arrangements.

The latest Brexit warning came as Ryanair published strong third-quarter results. The airline was hit by a pilot rostering crisis in September that forced it to cancel thousands of bookings and ground planes.

Despite this, profits rose by 12% to €106 million in the three months to the end of December and passenger numbers rose by 6% to 30.4 million.

CEO Michael O'Leary said in a statement: "We are pleased to report this 12% increase in profits during a very challenging Q3.

"Following our pilot rostering failure in September, the painful decision to ground 25 aircraft ensured that punctuality of our operations quickly returned to our normal 90% average. Our "Always Getting Better" customer service programme, coupled with 4% lower fares, stimulated 6% traffic growth to 30.4 million at an industry leading 96% load factor."

Ryanair recently agreed to begin recognising pilot unions for the first time and O'Leary said this "will not alter our cost leadership in European aviation, or change our plan to grow to 200 million traffic p.a. by March 2024."

But Neil Wilson, an analyst with ETX Capital, says in an email on Monday morning: "Full-year profit guidance is maintained in a range of €1.40 billion to €1.45 billion, however, this depends entirely on unions playing nicely. There is a decent chance they won’t, as management itself suggests, so investors may be justified to be sceptical that management can achieve this level. Or it may just be under-promising now so it can over-deliver later.

"For 2019, they are even more cautious. There is no visibility on fares and management is not as optimistic for summer fare rises."

Ryanair also announced a €750 million share buyback plan. Ryanair shares have opened down 3% in London.

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'Ugly, ugly scenes': European stock markets dive as global sell-off continues

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

dive cricket

  • European stocks sold off this morning, with major markets losing more than 1% during early trade.
  • Falls follow a major drop in the USA on Friday after the best wage growth numbers since 2009 sparked fears of higher than expected inflation.
  • The sell-off also impacted Asia, with Japan's Nikkei down 2.5% on Monday.

LONDON — European stocks are selling off in early Monday trading as fears over rising inflation spread across the world.

Soon after the open in Europe, the majority of major indices fell more than 1% from their closing price on Friday, with the UK's blue-chip index, the FTSE 100, 1.03% lower to trade at 7,366 points.

The fall's follow a major sell-off in the US stock market on Friday, which subsequently spread into Asian trading overnight on Monday.

As Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, notes, Monday's sell-off "derives from Friday’s sharply lower close on Wall St flowing into Asia last night (Japan -2.5%, Australia -1.5%) after the strongest US wage growth in over eight and a half years heightened fears of hotter inflation that may push the US Federal Reserve to hike rates more/faster than expected."

"This added fuel to a bond market sell-off, pushing US 10yr Treasury bond yields closer to the magic 3% level (unseen since 2013) which will only increase borrowing costs for corporates following years of cheap financing, thus ushering equities further from recent highs."

"There were ugly, ugly scenes after the bell, as the market-wide sell-off gathered pace on fears that global interest rates are, sooner rather than later, going to be heading higher," Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex said in an email.

The map below shows the extent of the sell-off around the world as of 8.20 a.m. GMT (note that North and South American prices are from Friday's close):

Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 08.19.02

Monday's European sell-off is broad based, with no individual sector taking the full brunt of losses. In Britain's FTSE 100, the biggest losers early on include pharmaceutical firm Hikma (down 4.1%), airline EasyJet (down 2.5%), and electricals retailer Dixons Carphone (down 1.3%).

Market fears reflect the view of Karen Ward, the chief European strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, who told Business Insider in an interview in January that the biggest challenge to the markets right now is inflation rising quicker than expected.

"Thoughts will turn towards a much less risk-favourable environment quite quickly," should inflation rise faster than expected, Ward told BI.

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Bitcoin drops below $8,000 for the 2nd time in 3 days

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




LONDON — The price of bitcoin dropped back below $8,000 per coin on Monday morning as high volatility in the cryptocurrency markets persists.

Bitcoin initially dropped below $8,000 during a wild day of trading on Friday, which saw the cryptocurrency drop as much as 15% to a low of $7,700, before jumping and eventually ending the day in positive territory, close to $9,000.

After a reasonably stable weekend of trading, bitcoin's slump resumed on Monday, falling to a low of $7,876 per coin overnight. As of 7.50 a.m. GMT (2.50 a.m. ET) bitcoin is hovering around the $8,000 mark, but remains a little below it, as the chart below shows:

Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 07.46.43

The crypto market has been on the back foot since the start of the year, hit by fears of a regulatory crackdown and slipping Asian volumes. Bitcoin is now at less than half its December peak of over $19,000.

Monday's drop comes amid announcements from numerous major banks banning the use of their credit cards to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In the USA, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have announced bans, while Lloyds Banking Group is expected to do the same in the UK on Monday.

More concerns emerged about the sector last week as Facebook banned cryptocurrency advertisements and US regulators began investigating tether, a cryptocurrency that some fear has been used to inflate the value of bitcoin.

Last week India's finance minister Arun Jaitley also said that the Indian 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."

Elsewhere in the crypto markets on Monday, Ethereum is lower by just 0.3% to trade at $821, while Ripple's XRP is 2% lower at $0.794.

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Bitcoin drops below $8,000 for the 2nd time in 3 days

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




LONDON — The price of bitcoin dropped back below $8,000 per coin on Monday morning as high volatility in the cryptocurrency markets persists.

Bitcoin initially dropped below $8,000 during a wild day of trading on Friday, which saw the cryptocurrency drop as much as 15% to a low of $7,700, before jumping and eventually ending the day in positive territory, close to $9,000.

After a reasonably stable weekend of trading, bitcoin's slump resumed on Monday, falling to a low of $7,876 per coin overnight. As of 7.50 a.m. GMT (2.50 a.m. ET) bitcoin is hovering around the $8,000 mark, but remains a little below it, as the chart below shows:

Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 07.46.43

The crypto market has been on the back foot since the start of the year, hit by fears of a regulatory crackdown and slipping Asian volumes. Bitcoin is now at less than half its December peak of over $19,000.

Monday's drop comes amid announcements from numerous major banks banning the use of their credit cards to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In the USA, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have announced bans, while Lloyds Banking Group is expected to do the same in the UK on Monday.

More concerns emerged about the sector last week as Facebook banned cryptocurrency advertisements and US regulators began investigating tether, a cryptocurrency that some fear has been used to inflate the value of bitcoin.

Last week India's finance minister Arun Jaitley also said that the Indian 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."

Elsewhere in the crypto markets on Monday, Ethereum is lower by just 0.3% to trade at $821, while Ripple's XRP is 2% lower at $0.794.

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Bitcoin Drops Below $8K as Crypto Market Recovery Falters

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

As cryptocurrencies across the board once again take a hit, bitcoin is exploring the downside below $8,000.

REPORT: Lloyds Bank bans 9 million credit card customers from buying bitcoin

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

A man uses an ATM outside a branch of Lloyds Bank in London, Britain in this October 28, 2014 file photo.

  • Lloyds Banking Group becomes the first major lender in the UK to ban the buying of cryptocurrencies using its credit cards.
  • The move follows similar bans from US banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup.
  • The price of bitcoin is hugely volatile and banks are worried about customers taking big losses and being unable to repay their debts.


LONDON — Lloyds Banking Group has become the first British lender to ban its customers from using their credit cards to purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

The Telegraph reports that Lloyds will tell its 9 million credit card holders that attempts to buy digital currencies will be blocked. Debit card transactions will not be blocked, according to the report.

The move will impact customers of Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and credit card firm MBNA, all of whom come under the Lloyds umbrella. Lloyds Banking Group accounts for around a quarter of all credit cards in the UK

A spokesman for Lloyds said the decision was made to "protect customers" from making unaffordable losses on Bitcoin, the Telegraph said.

The ban will be implemented using a blacklist of major cryptocurrency sellers, which will see attempted transactions with those sellers blocked.

Lloyds' ban on credit card cryptocurrency spending is the first such move from a British-based bank, but follows the announcement of similar bans by three major US lenders.

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have already announced similar bans.

Lloyds' ban on using its credit cards to buy digital currencies comes amid a period of enormous volatility in the market. Bitcoin's price has plummeted in the last couple of months, falling from around $20,000 per coin to as low as $7,700 on Friday, with wild swings in both directions remaining a frequent feature.

On Friday, bitcoin lost as much as 15% of its value during morning trading, before managing to end the trading day in positive territory.

Banks are concerned that such wild swings will expose their customers to heavy losses, making them unable to repay their credit card debts.

The price of bitcoin is back below the $8,000 level on Monday, roughly 2.5% lower in early morning European trading, as the chart below illustrates:

Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 07.20.59

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10 things you need to know in markets today

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

Superbowl 2018

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

 Theresa May has 'categorically' ruled out staying in any form of customs union after Brexit, in an attempt to shut down a growing Cabinet split over Britain's exit from the EU. A senior government source said on Sunday evening: "To put this to rest, we are categorically leaving the customs union. It is not our policy to stay in the customs union. It is not our policy to stay in a customs union." 

Asian shares fell the most in over a year on Monday as fears of resurgent inflation battered bonds, toppled Wall Street from record highs and sparked speculation that central banks globally might be forced to tighten policy more aggressively. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed as much as 2% in the largest daily drop since late 2016. It was last down 1.4%.

Overseas investors continued to pour money into London's pricey offices last year, driven by Asian investors who snapped up landmark buildings including the "Walkie Talkie" skyscraper. Real estate firm CBRE said investors spent £16.4 billion on office buildings in the capital in 2017, 26% more than the previous year. About 81% of those deals were completed by overseas purchasers, and £6.9 billion, or 54%, of investment was from Asia.

US President Donald Trump said the Nunes memo "totally vindicates" him from the Russia investigationThe memo, which Trump authorized to be released, claims officials acted improperly when signing off on surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser. Democrats have called its release "reckless."

JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Citi are banning bitcoin purchases using their cards. Credit card providers which allow transactions with cryptocurrency exchanges could be left exposed to higher risk than usual because of the massive volatility of the assets.

South Korea said on Monday that North Korea last year stole cryptocurrency from the South worth billions of won and that it was still trying to hack into its exchanges. "North Korea sent emails that could hack into cryptocurrency exchanges and their customers' private information and stole (cryptocurrency) worth billions of won," said Kim Byung-kee, a member of South Korea's parliamentary intelligence committee.

Uber and Google-owned Waymo go to court on MondayGoogle is seeking damages from Uber for stealing "trade secrets" relating to self-driving technology, as well as a permanent injunction blocking Uber from using the technology.

Nissan plans to invest 60 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) in China over the next five years with its joint-venture partner as it seeks to become a top three automaker in the world's biggest market. Long stuck as a second-tier player in China, Nissan and Dongfeng Group said on Monday they plan to boost their volume to 2.6 million vehicles a year by 2022, up from 1.5 million vehicles last year.

Broadcom plans to unveil a new offer of approximately $120 billion for Qualcomm Inc on Monday, aiming to ratchet up pressure on its U.S. semiconductor peer to engage in negotiations, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. The move comes ahead of a Qualcomm shareholder meeting scheduled for March 6, when Broadcom is seeking to replace Qualcomm's board of directors by nominating its own slate for election.

Eurosceptic Conservative MPs reportedly want a "dream team" of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Jacob Rees-Mogg to overthrow the prime minister if she fails to back a hard Brexit. The Sunday Times said Theresa May is facing the coup amid reports that the government plans to keep Britain in the Customs Union, or a version of this trading arrangement, after Brexit.

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Next Level for Cryptocurrencies: When Will Amazon Accept Bitcoin Payments?

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

The post Next Level for Cryptocurrencies: When Will Amazon Accept Bitcoin Payments? appeared first on CCN

Experts agree that the future of cryptocurrencies will critically depend on whether they are accepted as a regular payment from leading online retailers. The signs for that are not bad. For all the euphoria that cryptocurrencies have triggered in recent months, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Co. have not yet arrived in the so-called real economy.

The post Next Level for Cryptocurrencies: When Will Amazon Accept Bitcoin Payments? appeared first on CCN

Next Level for Cryptocurrencies: When Will Amazon Accept Bitcoin Payments?

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

The post Next Level for Cryptocurrencies: When Will Amazon Accept Bitcoin Payments? appeared first on CCN

Experts agree that the future of cryptocurrencies will critically depend on whether they are accepted as a regular payment from leading online retailers. The signs for that are not bad. For all the euphoria that cryptocurrencies have triggered in recent months, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Co. have not yet arrived in the so-called real economy.

The post Next Level for Cryptocurrencies: When Will Amazon Accept Bitcoin Payments? appeared first on CCN

Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases on its credit cards

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

The bank stops its credit card customers buying the digital currency amid fears its value will keep falling.

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