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Tesla says Model 3 production is on track, but it's still a complete mess (TSLA)

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

Tesla Model 3

  • Tesla delivered just 1,542 Model 3 vehicles during the final quarter of 2017.
  • The company admits to a slower than expected production ramp up for the Model 3.
  • But it still expects to produce 2,500 Model 3 vehicles per week by the first quarter of 2018.

Tesla is still having trouble filling its more than 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 electric sedan.

On Wednesday, Tesla announced that it delivered a grand total 1,542 Model 3s to customers during the final three months of 2017. As the Silicon Valley EV maker ramps up production of its first mass-market offering, it's abundantly aware of the production difficulties awaiting the company.

According to Tesla, it's aiming for an ambitious goal of producing 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of Q1 2018. That's down from the goal of 5,000 cars per week for same period it announced last November. 

And even then Tesla is trying to temper expectations with the following sentences in its latest letter to investors:

"It is important to note that while these are the levels we are focused on hitting and we have plans in place to achieve them, our prior experience on the Model 3 ramp has demonstrated the difficulty of accurately forecasting specific production rates at specific points in time. What we can say with confidence is that we are taking many actions to systematically address bottlenecks and add capacity in places like the battery module line where we have experienced constraints, and these actions should result in our production rate significantly increasing during the rest of Q1 and through Q2."

This is nothing new for Tesla. The production and delivery of cars have always been the weakest link in Elon Musk's automotive empire. Missing delivery and production goals were also commonplace during the early days of the Model S and the Model X. 

But over a period of several years, Tesla has gotten a grip on the difficulties of producing the pricer S and X. In 2017, Tesla delivered 101,417 of its two flagship models, beating company projections by more than 1,000 cars. 

So there's hope that Tesla will be able to one day hit its lofty Model 3 production goals. But don't hold your breath, it could take a while. 

SEE ALSO: Porsche is making a $7.4 billion bet on electric cars — and Tesla should be nervous

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Join the conversation about this story »

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

Tesla just calmed one of investors' biggest fears about the Model 3 (TSLA)

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

Tesla Model 3

  • Investors and analysts feared Tesla's Model 3 would cannibalize sales of the Model S and Model X.
  • But Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings report said the company delivered a record combined 28,425 Model S and Model X vehicles during the fourth quarter.
  • The report also indicated that Tesla stores that had the Model 3 on display increased foot traffic and, ultimately, sales for the Model S and Model X.


One of Tesla investors' biggest fears about the Model 3, the company's first mass-market electric car, was that it would cannibalize sales of the Model S and Model X. But Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings report indicated that fear did not become a reality.

The report said Tesla delivered a combined 28,425 Model S and Model X vehicles during the fourth quarter of 2017, 10% more than the company's previous record, which was set in the third quarter of 2017. The company also said that combined orders for the two vehicles almost reached the record they set during the third quarter.

Some analysts and investors believed the Model 3 would drive Tesla customers away from the pricier Model S and Model X, but Tesla believes the Model 3 may have actually increased sales for the higher-end vehicles. 

"In stores where Model 3 is on display, customer foot traffic has increased considerably and orders for Model S and Model X have in fact increased," the report said.

A Model 3 starts at $35,000, which is less than half of the $74,500 starting price for a Model S and the $79,500 starting price for a Model X.

While responses to the Model 3 have been generally positive so far, Tesla has experienced significant production delays with the vehicle and has over 400,000 pre-orders to fulfill. The company said it is on track to deliver 2,500 vehicles by the end of the first quarter, and 5,000 by the end of Q2.

The company reported $3.29 billion in revenue but had a net loss of $3.04 adjusted per share.

 

SEE ALSO: Tesla reports smaller loss than expected, slows cash burn

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Warning Signs? A Timeline of Tether and Bitfinex Events

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

tether-bitfinex.jpg

Concerns are growing as to whether tether (USDT), the stable token pegged to the dollar, is backed by actual U.S. dollars. And recent scrutiny by U.S. regulators is doing nothing to allay those fears.

As of this writing, the number of USDT in circulation is 2.2 billion. That means Tether should have a matching number of dollars in one or several bank accounts. But, so far, no external audit has been conducted to show the money actually exists.  

Tether is owned and operated by the same individuals who run the largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in the world. An unregulated exchange, with no official oversight, Bitfinex handles a daily trading volume of around $2 billion.

In 2015, Tether began issuing USDT at a slow pace. But after Bitfinex was cut off from all  formal banking in April 2017, that issuance took on rapid, and later, almost frenzied, pace, with higher and higher volumes being printed each month. During the same  period, the price of bitcoin rose from $1,000 to a peak of $20,000 in mid-December.

If regulators were to crack down on Bitfinex/Tether, it is hard to guess what impact that might have on cryptocurrency markets at large. To get a broader picture on the history of Bitfinex and Tether, the following is a timeline of events.  

Timeline

2012 — iFinex, the company that becomes the parent company for Bitfinex and Tether, is founded in Hong Kong.

2013 — Bitfinex incorporates in Hong Kong. Phil Potter runs the company alongside CEO Jan Ludovicus van der Velde and CFO Giancarlo Devasini.  

July 2014 Bitcoin Foundation director and former child actor Brock Pierce announces Realcoin, a cryptocurrency backed by U.S. dollar value. Realcoin is built on Mastercoin (now called Omni), a protocol that runs on top of Bitcoin. Pierce founds the company along with software engineer Craig Sellars and entrepreneur Reeve Collins.

September 2014 Bitfinex operators Potter and Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but tell the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate.  

November 20, 2014 Realcoin rebrands to “Tether,” stating it wants to avoid association with “altcoins.” At the same time, the company announces several partners, including Bitfinex. Some question if Bitfinex actually purchased Realcoin and simply wanted to hide the fact that an exchange was issuing dollarized tokens.

February 25, 2015 Tether begins trading, but the amount of USDT in circulation remains relatively flat throughout 2015 and 2016.

May 22, 2015 Bitfinex loses 1,500 bitcoin, worth $400,000 at the time, when its hot wallets, connected directly to the internet, are hacked. The amount represents 0.06 percent of the company’s total holdings. Bitfinex indicates it will absorb the losses.

June 2, 2016 The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fines Bitfinex $75,000 for offering illegal off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and for failing to register as a Futures Commission Merchant as required by the Commodity Exchange Act. In response, Bitfinex moves its money from an omnibus account into multisig wallets protected by BitGo.

August 2, 2016 — In the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history at the time, Bitfinex is hacked when a thief gets away with nearly 120,000 bitcoin, worth around $75 million at the time. Bitfinex never reveals full details of the hack, but BitGo, the security company that had to sign off on the transactions, claims its servers were not breached.  

August 6, 2016 Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each. The tokens can be traded or used to buy shares in iFinex, the  parent company of Bitfinex. Since no third-party audit is conducted, it is not clear if Bitfinex is solvent at this time or simply trying to stay afloat.

August 17, 2016 Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, a blockchain forensic firm, to investigate the theft and perform a complete financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets; only the public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.   

October 13, 2016 — Bitfinex allows customers to convert BFX tokens, at a value of $1, to equity shares in iFinex. To many, who had seen the value of their BFX tokens drop far below $1 (one Redditor reported the price dropping to $0.30), the deal seems too good to pass up. Roughly a third of all BFX tokens are converted 1:1 to RRT tokens.

March 31, 2017 Wells Fargo, the last bank willing to process Bitfinex transactions, cuts off all services to Bitfinex and Tether, according to court documents in a lawsuit Bitfinex files against Wells Fargo later. Bitfinex is not a direct customer of Wells Fargo but a customer of four Taiwan-based banks that use Wells Fargo as a correspondent bank.

April 3, 2017 — Bitfinex announces it has paid off all the debt incurred from the August hack, by redeeming all of the dollarized BFX tokens it issued during the haircut. BFX trading is halted and any remaining BFX tokens are destroyed.

April 5, 2017 — Two days after announcing it had paid off its debt, Bitfinex files a lawsuit against Wells Fargo for interrupting its wire transfers. Tether is listed as a plaintiff. In addition to an injunction order, Bitfinex seeks more than $75,000 in damages.

April 6, 2017 A pseudonymous character known as “Bitfinex’ed” debuts online. He begins tweeting, accusing Bitfinex of creating tether out of thin air to pay off debts. (In January 2017, only 1 million tether were in circulation; now there are 55 million.)  

April 11, 2017 Bitfinex and Tether voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit against Wells Fargo. Potter, the director of Bitfinex, admits later that they were only hoping to buy time.

April 17, 2017 Following an announcement about wire delays, Bitfinex announces it has been shut off by its main banks in Taiwan. At this point, Bitfinex has lost all ties with formal banking and is left to move between a series of banks in other countries.

May 5, 2017 After declaring that it never actually engaged Ledger Labs for an audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit. “A third-party audit is important to all Bitfinex stakeholders, and we’re thrilled that Friedman will be helping us achieve this goal,” the company says.

August 5, 2017 Bitfinex’ed starts blogging. His first blog post introduces a character he calls “Spoofy.” A video shows a trader (Spoofy) putting up a large order of bitcoin on Bitfinex only to cancel the order as soon as the price of bitcoin begins to go up. Mt. Gox, an exchange that handled 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide before going bankrupt in 2014, was also accused of manipulating markets.

November 7, 2017 Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals. Up until now, Tether and Bitfinex insisted the two operations were separate.

November 19, 2017 Tether is hacked and 31 million USDT (worth an equivalent amount in U.S. dollars) are moved from the Tether treasury wallet and sent to an unauthorized Bitcoin address. Tether initiates a hard fork to prevent those funds from being spent.  

December 1, 2017 Bitfinex hires New York–based 5W as their new PR firm.

December 2, 2017 In a quarterly report Bitfinex announces it will no longer serve U.S. customers because it costs too much too serve them. But, the move, which began in August, follows a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) crackdown on tokens generated by initial coin offerings (ICOs) that may be securities.

December 4, 2017 Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics. Bitfinex does not specify who exactly it might sue, but the individual in question appears to be Bitfinex’ed, the blogger who continues to accuse Bitfinex of manipulating markets and printing more tether than it can redeem.

December 6, 2017 The CFTC sends subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether, Bloomberg reports. The actual documents are not made public.   

December 21, 2017 Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.

January 12, 2018 After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 in fiat or cryptocurrency before they can begin trading.

January 27, 2018 — After five months of stating an audit was forthcoming, Tether parts ways with auditor Friedman LLP. “Given the excruciatingly detailed procedures Friedman was undertaking for the relatively simple balance sheet of Tether, it became clear that an audit would be unattainable in a reasonable time frame,” Tether tells CoinDesk.

January 31, 2018 In the first month of the year, Tether issues 850 million new tether, more than any month prior.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Warning Signs? A Timeline of Tether and Bitfinex Events

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

tether-bitfinex.jpg

Concerns are growing as to whether tether (USDT), the stable token pegged to the dollar, is backed by actual U.S. dollars. And recent scrutiny by U.S. regulators is doing nothing to allay those fears.

As of this writing, the number of USDT in circulation is 2.2 billion. That means Tether should have a matching number of dollars in one or several bank accounts. But, so far, no external audit has been conducted to show the money actually exists.  

Tether is owned and operated by the same individuals who run the largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in the world. An unregulated exchange, with no official oversight, Bitfinex handles a daily trading volume of around $2 billion.

In 2015, Tether began issuing USDT at a slow pace. But after Bitfinex was cut off from all  formal banking in April 2017, that issuance took on rapid, and later, almost frenzied, pace, with higher and higher volumes being printed each month. During the same  period, the price of bitcoin rose from $1,000 to a peak of $20,000 in mid-December.

If regulators were to crack down on Bitfinex/Tether, it is hard to guess what impact that might have on cryptocurrency markets at large. To get a broader picture on the history of Bitfinex and Tether, the following is a timeline of events.  

Timeline

2012 — iFinex, the company that becomes the parent company for Bitfinex and Tether, is founded in Hong Kong.

2013 — Bitfinex incorporates in Hong Kong. Phil Potter runs the company alongside CEO Jan Ludovicus van der Velde and CFO Giancarlo Devasini.  

July 2014 Bitcoin Foundation director and former child actor Brock Pierce announces Realcoin, a cryptocurrency backed by U.S. dollar value. Realcoin is built on Mastercoin (now called Omni), a protocol that runs on top of Bitcoin. Pierce founds the company along with software engineer Craig Sellars and entrepreneur Reeve Collins.

September 2014 Bitfinex operators Potter and Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but tell the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate.  

November 20, 2014 Realcoin rebrands to “Tether,” stating it wants to avoid association with “altcoins.” At the same time, the company announces several partners, including Bitfinex. Some question if Bitfinex actually purchased Realcoin and simply wanted to hide the fact that an exchange was issuing dollarized tokens.

February 25, 2015 Tether begins trading, but the amount of USDT in circulation remains relatively flat throughout 2015 and 2016.

May 22, 2015 Bitfinex loses 1,500 bitcoin, worth $400,000 at the time, when its hot wallets, connected directly to the internet, are hacked. The amount represents 0.06 percent of the company’s total holdings. Bitfinex indicates it will absorb the losses.

June 2, 2016 The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fines Bitfinex $75,000 for offering illegal off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and for failing to register as a Futures Commission Merchant as required by the Commodity Exchange Act. In response, Bitfinex moves its money from an omnibus account into multisig wallets protected by BitGo.

August 2, 2016 — In the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history at the time, Bitfinex is hacked when a thief gets away with nearly 120,000 bitcoin, worth around $75 million at the time. Bitfinex never reveals full details of the hack, but BitGo, the security company that had to sign off on the transactions, claims its servers were not breached.  

August 6, 2016 Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each. The tokens can be traded or used to buy shares in iFinex, the  parent company of Bitfinex. Since no third-party audit is conducted, it is not clear if Bitfinex is solvent at this time or simply trying to stay afloat.

August 17, 2016 Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, a blockchain forensic firm, to investigate the theft and perform a complete financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets; only the public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.   

October 13, 2016 — Bitfinex allows customers to convert BFX tokens, at a value of $1, to equity shares in iFinex. To many, who had seen the value of their BFX tokens drop far below $1 (one Redditor reported the price dropping to $0.30), the deal seems too good to pass up. Roughly a third of all BFX tokens are converted 1:1 to RRT tokens.

March 31, 2017 Wells Fargo, the last bank willing to process Bitfinex transactions, cuts off all services to Bitfinex and Tether, according to court documents in a lawsuit Bitfinex files against Wells Fargo later. Bitfinex is not a direct customer of Wells Fargo but a customer of four Taiwan-based banks that use Wells Fargo as a correspondent bank.

April 3, 2017 — Bitfinex announces it has paid off all the debt incurred from the August hack, by redeeming all of the dollarized BFX tokens it issued during the haircut. BFX trading is halted and any remaining BFX tokens are destroyed.

April 5, 2017 — Two days after announcing it had paid off its debt, Bitfinex files a lawsuit against Wells Fargo for interrupting its wire transfers. Tether is listed as a plaintiff. In addition to an injunction order, Bitfinex seeks more than $75,000 in damages.

April 6, 2017 A pseudonymous character known as “Bitfinex’ed” debuts online. He begins tweeting, accusing Bitfinex of creating tether out of thin air to pay off debts. (In January 2017, only 1 million tether were in circulation; now there are 55 million.)  

April 11, 2017 Bitfinex and Tether voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit against Wells Fargo. Potter, the director of Bitfinex, admits later that they were only hoping to buy time.

April 17, 2017 Following an announcement about wire delays, Bitfinex announces it has been shut off by its main banks in Taiwan. At this point, Bitfinex has lost all ties with formal banking and is left to move between a series of banks in other countries.

May 5, 2017 After declaring that it never actually engaged Ledger Labs for an audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit. “A third-party audit is important to all Bitfinex stakeholders, and we’re thrilled that Friedman will be helping us achieve this goal,” the company says.

August 5, 2017 Bitfinex’ed starts blogging. His first blog post introduces a character he calls “Spoofy.” A video shows a trader (Spoofy) putting up a large order of bitcoin on Bitfinex only to cancel the order as soon as the price of bitcoin begins to go up. Mt. Gox, an exchange that handled 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide before going bankrupt in 2014, was also accused of manipulating markets.

November 7, 2017 Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals. Up until now, Tether and Bitfinex insisted the two operations were separate.

November 19, 2017 Tether is hacked and 31 million USDT (worth an equivalent amount in U.S. dollars) are moved from the Tether treasury wallet and sent to an unauthorized Bitcoin address. Tether initiates a hard fork to prevent those funds from being spent.  

December 1, 2017 Bitfinex hires New York–based 5W as their new PR firm.

December 2, 2017 In a quarterly report Bitfinex announces it will no longer serve U.S. customers because it costs too much too serve them. But, the move, which began in August, follows a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) crackdown on tokens generated by initial coin offerings (ICOs) that may be securities.

December 4, 2017 Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics. Bitfinex does not specify who exactly it might sue, but the individual in question appears to be Bitfinex’ed, the blogger who continues to accuse Bitfinex of manipulating markets and printing more tether than it can redeem.

December 6, 2017 The CFTC sends subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether, Bloomberg reports. The actual documents are not made public.   

December 21, 2017 Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.

January 12, 2018 After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 in fiat or cryptocurrency before they can begin trading.

January 27, 2018 — After five months of stating an audit was forthcoming, Tether parts ways with auditor Friedman LLP. “Given the excruciatingly detailed procedures Friedman was undertaking for the relatively simple balance sheet of Tether, it became clear that an audit would be unattainable in a reasonable time frame,” Tether tells CoinDesk.

January 31, 2018 In the first month of the year, Tether issues 850 million new tether, more than any month prior.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Warning Signs? A Timeline of Tether and Bitfinex Events

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

tether-bitfinex.jpg

Concerns are growing as to whether tether (USDT), the stable token pegged to the dollar, is backed by actual U.S. dollars. And recent scrutiny by U.S. regulators is doing nothing to allay those fears.

As of this writing, the number of USDT in circulation is 2.2 billion. That means Tether should have a matching number of dollars in one or several bank accounts. But, so far, no external audit has been conducted to show the money actually exists.  

Tether is owned and operated by the same individuals who run the largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in the world. An unregulated exchange, with no official oversight, Bitfinex handles a daily trading volume of around $2 billion.

In 2015, Tether began issuing USDT at a slow pace. But after Bitfinex was cut off from all  formal banking in April 2017, that issuance took on rapid, and later, almost frenzied, pace, with higher and higher volumes being printed each month. During the same  period, the price of bitcoin rose from $1,000 to a peak of $20,000 in mid-December.

If regulators were to crack down on Bitfinex/Tether, it is hard to guess what impact that might have on cryptocurrency markets at large. To get a broader picture on the history of Bitfinex and Tether, the following is a timeline of events.  

Timeline

2012 — iFinex, the company that becomes the parent company for Bitfinex and Tether, is founded in Hong Kong.

2013 — Bitfinex incorporates in Hong Kong. Phil Potter runs the company alongside CEO Jan Ludovicus van der Velde and CFO Giancarlo Devasini.  

July 2014 Bitcoin Foundation director and former child actor Brock Pierce announces Realcoin, a cryptocurrency backed by U.S. dollar value. Realcoin is built on Mastercoin (now called Omni), a protocol that runs on top of Bitcoin. Pierce founds the company along with software engineer Craig Sellars and entrepreneur Reeve Collins.

September 2014 Bitfinex operators Potter and Devasini set up Tether Limited in the British Virgin Islands, but tell the public that Bitfinex and Tether are completely separate.  

November 20, 2014 Realcoin rebrands to “Tether,” stating it wants to avoid association with “altcoins.” At the same time, the company announces several partners, including Bitfinex. Some question if Bitfinex actually purchased Realcoin and simply wanted to hide the fact that an exchange was issuing dollarized tokens.

February 25, 2015 Tether begins trading, but the amount of USDT in circulation remains relatively flat throughout 2015 and 2016.

May 22, 2015 Bitfinex loses 1,500 bitcoin, worth $400,000 at the time, when its hot wallets, connected directly to the internet, are hacked. The amount represents 0.06 percent of the company’s total holdings. Bitfinex indicates it will absorb the losses.

June 2, 2016 The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fines Bitfinex $75,000 for offering illegal off-exchange financed retail commodity transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and for failing to register as a Futures Commission Merchant as required by the Commodity Exchange Act. In response, Bitfinex moves its money from an omnibus account into multisig wallets protected by BitGo.

August 2, 2016 — In the second-largest digital currency exchange heist in history at the time, Bitfinex is hacked when a thief gets away with nearly 120,000 bitcoin, worth around $75 million at the time. Bitfinex never reveals full details of the hack, but BitGo, the security company that had to sign off on the transactions, claims its servers were not breached.  

August 6, 2016 Bitfinex “socializes” its losses from the theft by announcing a 36 percent haircut for almost all of its customers. In return, customers receive BFX tokens, initially valued at $1 each. The tokens can be traded or used to buy shares in iFinex, the  parent company of Bitfinex. Since no third-party audit is conducted, it is not clear if Bitfinex is solvent at this time or simply trying to stay afloat.

August 17, 2016 Bitfinex announces it has hired Ledger Labs, a blockchain forensic firm, to investigate the theft and perform a complete financial audit of its cryptocurrency and fiat assets; only the public nevers sees the results of the investigation, and months later, Bitfinex admits it never actually hired Ledger Labs to perform an audit to begin with.   

October 13, 2016 — Bitfinex allows customers to convert BFX tokens, at a value of $1, to equity shares in iFinex. To many, who had seen the value of their BFX tokens drop far below $1 (one Redditor reported the price dropping to $0.30), the deal seems too good to pass up. Roughly a third of all BFX tokens are converted 1:1 to RRT tokens.

March 31, 2017 Wells Fargo, the last bank willing to process Bitfinex transactions, cuts off all services to Bitfinex and Tether, according to court documents in a lawsuit Bitfinex files against Wells Fargo later. Bitfinex is not a direct customer of Wells Fargo but a customer of four Taiwan-based banks that use Wells Fargo as a correspondent bank.

April 3, 2017 — Bitfinex announces it has paid off all the debt incurred from the August hack, by redeeming all of the dollarized BFX tokens it issued during the haircut. BFX trading is halted and any remaining BFX tokens are destroyed.

April 5, 2017 — Two days after announcing it had paid off its debt, Bitfinex files a lawsuit against Wells Fargo for interrupting its wire transfers. Tether is listed as a plaintiff. In addition to an injunction order, Bitfinex seeks more than $75,000 in damages.

April 6, 2017 A pseudonymous character known as “Bitfinex’ed” debuts online. He begins tweeting, accusing Bitfinex of creating tether out of thin air to pay off debts. (In January 2017, only 1 million tether were in circulation; now there are 55 million.)  

April 11, 2017 Bitfinex and Tether voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit against Wells Fargo. Potter, the director of Bitfinex, admits later that they were only hoping to buy time.

April 17, 2017 Following an announcement about wire delays, Bitfinex announces it has been shut off by its main banks in Taiwan. At this point, Bitfinex has lost all ties with formal banking and is left to move between a series of banks in other countries.

May 5, 2017 After declaring that it never actually engaged Ledger Labs for an audit, Bitfinex hires Friedman LLP to complete a comprehensive balance sheet audit. “A third-party audit is important to all Bitfinex stakeholders, and we’re thrilled that Friedman will be helping us achieve this goal,” the company says.

August 5, 2017 Bitfinex’ed starts blogging. His first blog post introduces a character he calls “Spoofy.” A video shows a trader (Spoofy) putting up a large order of bitcoin on Bitfinex only to cancel the order as soon as the price of bitcoin begins to go up. Mt. Gox, an exchange that handled 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide before going bankrupt in 2014, was also accused of manipulating markets.

November 7, 2017 Leaked documents dubbed “Paradise Papers” reveal Bitfinex and Tether are run by the same individuals. Up until now, Tether and Bitfinex insisted the two operations were separate.

November 19, 2017 Tether is hacked and 31 million USDT (worth an equivalent amount in U.S. dollars) are moved from the Tether treasury wallet and sent to an unauthorized Bitcoin address. Tether initiates a hard fork to prevent those funds from being spent.  

December 1, 2017 Bitfinex hires New York–based 5W as their new PR firm.

December 2, 2017 In a quarterly report Bitfinex announces it will no longer serve U.S. customers because it costs too much too serve them. But, the move, which began in August, follows a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) crackdown on tokens generated by initial coin offerings (ICOs) that may be securities.

December 4, 2017 Bitfinex hires law firm Steptoe & Johnson and threatens legal action against critics. Bitfinex does not specify who exactly it might sue, but the individual in question appears to be Bitfinex’ed, the blogger who continues to accuse Bitfinex of manipulating markets and printing more tether than it can redeem.

December 6, 2017 The CFTC sends subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether, Bloomberg reports. The actual documents are not made public.   

December 21, 2017 Without making any formal announcement, Bitfinex appears to suddenly close all new account registrations. Those trying to register for a new account are asked for a mysterious referral code, but no referral code seems to exist.

January 12, 2018 After a month of being closed to new registrations, Bitfinex announces it is reopening its doors, but now requires new customers to deposit $10,000 in fiat or cryptocurrency before they can begin trading.

January 27, 2018 — After five months of stating an audit was forthcoming, Tether parts ways with auditor Friedman LLP. “Given the excruciatingly detailed procedures Friedman was undertaking for the relatively simple balance sheet of Tether, it became clear that an audit would be unattainable in a reasonable time frame,” Tether tells CoinDesk.

January 31, 2018 In the first month of the year, Tether issues 850 million new tether, more than any month prior.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Scammers Are Stealing Bitcoin on Twitter With a Classic Scheme

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

A new twist on the classic Nigerian Prince scheme has jumped from gaming communities to Twitter. And now it's spreading.

CFTC’s Quintenz: ‘Bitcoin and Blockchain Are Transformative’

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

The post CFTC’s Quintenz: ‘Bitcoin and Blockchain Are Transformative’ appeared first on CCN

The CFTC doesn’t want to interfere with bitcoin or the blockchain. In fact, Brian Quintenz, Commissioner of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), envisions a future not only with bitcoin and blockchain in it but also with them having a transformative effect, saying the regulator has no intentions of standing in the way of innovation. Piggybacking on

The post CFTC’s Quintenz: ‘Bitcoin and Blockchain Are Transformative’ appeared first on CCN

Twitter Account of Prolific Bitfinex and Tether Critic Suspended

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

Twitter-bitfinexed.jpg

The Twitter account of “Bitfinex’ed,” the pseudonymous online critic of the world’s largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, was suspended today. The blogger says his tweets were being reported and his account was being spammed with hundreds of thousands of fake followers, and he thinks Bitfinex is behind it. (Bitfinex nor its public relations firm, 5W, immediately responded to a request for comment.)

An unregulated exchange, Bitfinex handles around $2 billion in bitcoin and cryptocurrency trades per day. The company is closely tied with Tether, a sister company that produces tether (USDT), a stable token that is pegged to the U.S. dollar.

“Bitfinex trolls are claiming my tweets contain private information,” Bitfinex’ed told Bitcoin Magazine in an email. According to Twitter’s privacy policy, users may not publish or post other people’s private information without their permission.

But according to Bitfinex’ed, all of the information he shares is publicly accessible to anyone. “All recordings are public interviews or otherwise were available for anyone to record at the knowledge of the individuals in the conversation,” he said.

The Legal Defense Fund

Following the account suspension, WhalePool, a Twitter account representing Bitfinex traders as well as shareholders, tweeted, “It is criminal that @bitfinexed made up a fake lawsuit to steal $50,000 from the public. Very shameful. Glad to see Twitter taking action against the true scammers.”

The tweet appears to reference a legal defense fund taken up by Bitfinex’ed in December 2017 and is misleading, Bitfinex’ed says.

In early December 2017, Bitfinex announced it had hired heavy-hitting law firm Steptoe & Johnson to end what its public relations firm called “a campaign of mistruth” against the exchange. Although Bitfinex did not spell out exactly whom it was threatening to take legal action against, the announcement came at a time when Bitfinex’ed had been persistently accusing the exchange of manipulating the market to drive up the price of bitcoin and issuing more USDT than it could redeem.

In response to the perceived threat, Bitfinex’ed began taking donations to prepare for possible legal action against him. He ultimately raised 2.5 bitcoin, which he claims to have liquidated immediately for around $24,000. He says he’s put all of the money into a trust overseen by a well-recognized lawyer in the space with instructions to donate the funds to ij.org, “a libertarian leaning charity,” in the event those funds are not needed.

Bitfinex’ed has since stopped accepting any more donations and, as of yet, has heard nothing from Steptoe.

When It Started

According to Bitfinex’ed, the harassment began when Bitfinex initially hired 5W, a public relations firm headed by Ronn Torossian, long known for his brash and aggressive tactics.

Bitfinex’ed claims that his Twitter account became inundated with fake followers, immediately after he exposed that 5W misrepresented a memo by Friedman LLP, the firm that Bitfinex hired to conduct an external audit of its banking information.

On November 30, 2017, Torossian sent an email to reporters claiming the memo, put out by Friedman on September 28, 2017, clearly showed that Tether had actual dollars backing the USTD it issued at that time.

In fact, Bitfinex has never conducted an external audit of its accounts. Tether parted ways with Friedman in January 2018.

“Given the excruciatingly detailed procedures Friedman was undertaking for the relatively simple balance sheet of Tether, it became clear that an audit would be unattainable in a reasonable time frame,” Tether told CoinDesk in January.  

Bitfinex’ed posted his first tweet in April 2016 and, soon after, began blogging. He claims he has no holding in bitcoin or other cryptocurrency. He liquidated all his assets when he began to suspect markets were being manipulated.

“I liquidated my position when I realized the consequences of the fraud that Bitfinex is engaging in. Once I fully understood it around April 20th, I figured they can pump it as much and as high as they wanted. I even said, ‘2,000 will be cheap.’”  

Bitfinex’ed is still hoping his Twitter account will be restored, but for now, whether or not that will happen is an unknown. “Truth is, I can always make another account and people will follow it. I’d rather not though,” he said.

Bitfinex’ed has not provided any direct evidence of Bitfinex’s involvement in getting his Twitter account suspended, nor has Bitcoin Magazine been able to confirm that the exchange has anything to do with the account suspension.  

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

MORGAN STANLEY: Here are 3 of the biggest arguments against bitcoin

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

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

  • Bitcoin has had a rough start to the year, but a note from Morgan Stanley shows there are issues surrounding the coin aside from slumping prices. 
  • The bank argued institutional money pouring into bitcoin could reduce its usefulness as an asset.
  • Further, the cryptocurrency's energy consumption presents a problem. 
  • The number of people using credit cards to buy bitcoin is another issue. 


Bitcoin has had a terrible start to the year, but its declining price is not the only thing bitcoin bears are pointing out about the cryptocurrency. 

Morgan Stanley looked at three of the main arguments being made against the coin in a note out to clients Wednesday titled "Bitcoin Critics Grab the Mic."

The red-hot digital currency, which soared close to $20,000 in December, has been trading under $10,000 for much of February. And while bulls point to institutional money diving into the digital coin as a major tailwind, Morgan Stanley thinks it might actually hurt the coin, because it'll put the coin's moves more in line with the broader markets, reducing its appeal as a non-correlated asset. Here's the bank:

"The idea is that as institutional investors seek out increasingly higher levels of risk/return, that Bitcoin may represent the most risky/potentially highest return available, and hence could be evolving quickly into a primary barometer/leading indicator for broader financial markets and risk appetite."

That raised a big question among the bank's investor clients: "If Bitcoin correlation with the broader market fully materializes, does that limit its ultimate potential?"

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 10.31.48 AM

That correlation has increased, according to the bank, but there are some caveats. Here's Morgan Stanley:

"But the current level of correlation still stands below previous periods in the past 14 months. And looking at the overall trend during that period, it is clear that correlation with the broader equity market has not been fully established in the data."

As a second problem, the energy cost of mining has long been touted as one of the most negative consequences of bitcoin. Miners, the folks are rewarded new bitcoin for processing payments on the coin's network and running computationally intensive algorithms to maintain the cryptocurrency's security, have consumed more and more power as bitcoin's popularity has soared. In mid-December, Newsweek estimated the cryptocurrency was on track to consume as much energy as every country on earth by 2020.

Bitcoin's price rout has not pumped the brakes on its eye-popping energy consumption. 

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 1.01.15 PM"And as predicted, even as Bitcoin has fallen in price since Dec 17, we estimate electricity consumption has increased by over 50% to ~4,000MW (~35 terawatt hour/year run rate)," Morgan Stanley said. 

If bitcoin's price were to recover to previous highs, the bank estimates bitcoin would consume as much energy as 18 million US homes.

Bitcoin proponents say that having a decentralized financial system is worth the cost. 

“Labeling Bitcoin mining as a ‘waste’ is a failure to look at the big picture,” Marc Bevand, a bitcoin miner, wrote in a blog

Bevand argues that bitcoin's positive impact on the global economy will make up for its energy costs:

"Even in the future, economic modeling predicts that if Bitcoin's market capitalization reaches $1 trillion, then miners will still not account for more than 0.74% of the energy consumed by the world. If Bitcoin becomes this successful, it would have probably directly or indirectly increased the world's GDP by at least 0.74%, therefore it will be worthwhile to spend 0.74% of the energy on it."

Finally, Morgan Stanley also notes that bitcoin is more leveraged than previously thought — people are taking on debt to buy the cryptocurrency. The bank pointed out "new prohibitions on using credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, implying that perhaps a substantial amount of Bitcoin buying in 2H17 had been funded with credit cards."

A CoinDesk study found that nearly 20% of cryptocurrency owners went into debt to invest in the market, according to Bloomberg reporting.  

In the US, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have announced they would ban customers from using credit cards to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

SEE ALSO: A startup raised $59 million in a token sale to usher in the next generation of crypto

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin Bull Novogratz Raises $250 Million for Cryptocurrency Merchant Bank

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

The post Bitcoin Bull Novogratz Raises $250 Million for Cryptocurrency Merchant Bank appeared first on CCN

Billionaire trader and former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz has successfully raised $250 million to finance the launch of Galaxy Digital, a cryptocurrency merchant bank that will be publicly-listed in Canada. Novogratz-Led Galaxy Digital Raises $250 Million for Cryptocurrency Merchant Bank Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Novogratz and Galaxy Digital

The post Bitcoin Bull Novogratz Raises $250 Million for Cryptocurrency Merchant Bank appeared first on CCN

A major California city is turning to cryptocurrency as a possible hedge against Trump cutting off its funding

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

uc berkeley protest

  • Elected officials in Berkeley, California, are exploring the launch of an initial coin offering to raise funding for affordable housing.
  • Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett said the idea came from a desire to create some financial independence from the federal government.
  • President Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funding from sanctuary cities, and has specifically targeted Berkeley in tweets.

 

The City of Berkeley, one of the epicenters of liberal California, is considering a turn to cryptocurrency to reduce its reliance on federal funding in the Trump administration.

Berkeley would become the first city in the US to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) — a type of crowdfunding campaign that's become popular in the past year. The city would raise funds by selling digital assets called "tokens" that are backed by municipal bonds, a type of security issued by the local government. Buyers might spend these tokens at shops and restaurants or even pay rent at apartment rentals that participate in Berkeley's cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The goal is to raise funding for vital city projects like affordable housing and support services for the city's growing homeless population. Someday, homeless people might receive tokens to buy goods and services from local businesses that accept the currency, according to city leaders.

It's all talk for now, but according to Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett, the creation of the city's own financing mechanism is a key part of building resiliency in the Trump era.

"Berkeley is the center of the resistance, and for the resistance to work, it must have a coin," Bartlett told Business Insider.

Bartlett has formed a committee with Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, financial technology startup Neighborly, and the UC Berkeley Blockchain Lab to hatch a strategy for the ICO. Neighborly's cofounder and COO Kiran Jain said the city could launch its ICO, which it's calling an "initial community offering," by mid-May if the necessary approvals come through.

City leaders say Trump's tax reform will be punishing for Berkeley

The idea for an ICO came about after President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax bill into law at the end of December, according to Bartlett.

The new legislation makes sweeping changes to the tax code for businesses, some of which undermine incentives that encourage private contractors to build affordable housing. An analysis by consultant and public accounting firm Novogradac & Company suggests the tax bill could reduce the future supply of affordable rental housing by nearly 235,000 homes over the next 10 years.

Berkeley is facing a shortage of affordable places to live, leading to gentrification, rising rents, and homelessness. The city counted nearly 1,000 homeless people last year. This represents a 17% increase from 2015 and a 43% increase from 2009, according to city data.

"We have a jobs explosion and a super tight housing crunch," Bartlett said, adding, "You're looking at a disaster. We thought we'd pull together the experts and find a way to finance [affordable housing] ourselves."

Bartlett said he expects the city's affordable housing budget to shrink under the Trump administration. An ICO offers a way for the local government to adapt, he said.

Berkeley wants to put bonds on the blockchain

Jain said the "initial community offering" will differ from traditional initial coin offerings.

In the same way the dollar was once backed by gold, a token from Berkeley will be backed by a security called a municipal bond.

When governments need money to finance projects that serve the public good, they raise funding by issuing municipal bonds. Cities, states, and counties use the money to build schools, highways, and affordable housing, and they pay back bondholders with interest over time.

The city of Berkeley is effectively leveraging the blockchain — the technology at the heart of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — to sell municipal bonds. Bonds don't offer enticing returns compared to stocks and other investments, but the city hopes a tokenized version might appeal to residents who care about building affordable housing and helping the homeless.

"Unlike most of the ICOs which deliver coins for a future value or service, these coins will represent a real security issued for a specific purpose," Jain said.

The exploratory committe behind the ICO will announce the full deal terms this spring.

Berkeley has a giant target on its back

Berkeley has another reason to develop a financial system outside of the federal government: It's the original sanctuary city, which makes it a safe haven under the law for refugees and undocumented immigrants. And that status doesn't go over well in Trump's administration.

Hundreds of people opposed to President Trump protest in Berkeley, CA

As Trump continues to crack down on illegal immigration, elected officials in Berkeley have been strengthening their policy of refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officers. Tensions between Trump and the city reached a boiling point in February 2017, when the president vowed to pull federal funding from UC Berkeley after the campus experienced violent protests over the cancellation of a speech by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

The City of Berkeley could lead the way for other sanctuary cities to create financial independence from the federal government, Bartlett said.

"It's actually enabling us to fulfill our duty as a government. Our duty is to provide for our people. It's a violation of that duty to allow people to sleep in the streets," Bartlett said.

SEE ALSO: A San Francisco real-estate developer wants to house the homeless in towers of stackable 'micro-units'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 'NO FEDERAL FUNDS?': Trump threatens UC Berkeley after campus erupts in protests over Milo Yiannopoulos speech

Proof of Stake Is Coming, and Will Be a Game Changer

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

The post Proof of Stake Is Coming, and Will Be a Game Changer appeared first on CCN

Proof of Work mining (the protocol underpinning Bitcoin and many others) uses as much energy as the nation Denmark. It’s a costly and lengthy process, and with the user base growing traditional blockchains are struggling. This is because every single transaction needs to be ‘mined’ by powerful computers solving complex mathematical problems. It’s a process

The post Proof of Stake Is Coming, and Will Be a Game Changer appeared first on CCN

CRYPTO INSIDER: Coins beating stocks after a blockbuster regulatory hearing

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

Usain Bolt 100m race sprint fast motion blur olympics

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.

The heads of two major US regulators testified in front of a congressional committee about cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and the regulation of them. Here's what went down. 

So far on Wednesday, cryptocurrencies are outpacing stocks. Here's the full scoreboard: 

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: Coins beating stocks after a blockbuster regulatory hearing

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

Usain Bolt 100m race sprint fast motion blur olympics

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.

The heads of two major US regulators testified in front of a congressional committee about cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and the regulation of them. Here's what went down. 

So far on Wednesday, cryptocurrencies are outpacing stocks. Here's the full scoreboard: 

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: Coins beating stocks after a blockbuster regulatory hearing

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

Usain Bolt 100m race sprint fast motion blur olympics

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.

The heads of two major US regulators testified in front of a congressional committee about cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and the regulation of them. Here's what went down. 

So far on Wednesday, cryptocurrencies are outpacing stocks. Here's the full scoreboard: 

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'

Decentralized Marketplace OpenBazaar Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash

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

Decentralized marketplace OpenBazaar announced today that it has added support for bitcoin cash.

Bulls Are Back in Town: Cryptocurrency Market Cap Achieves $89 Billion Recovery

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

The post Bulls Are Back in Town: Cryptocurrency Market Cap Achieves $89 Billion Recovery appeared first on CCN

The bulls are back in town — or at least, that’s the impression one gets from the charts this morning. Remarkably, the 100 largest cryptocurrencies all rose against the US dollar on Wednesday, and — even more astonishingly — each one achieved a double-digit percentage advance, excluding the USD-pegged Tether. For the Bitcoin price, the

The post Bulls Are Back in Town: Cryptocurrency Market Cap Achieves $89 Billion Recovery appeared first on CCN

Bank of America is investigating the deal with a South African retailer that blew a $1 billion hole through Wall Street bank earnings (BAC)

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

Brian Moynihan

  • A handful of banks made a loan to the ex-chairman of South African retailer Steinhoff International
  • The loan went belly-up after Steinhoff became embroiled in an accounting scandal.
  • That cost Wall Street banks over $1 billion on their fourth-quarter earnings.
  • Bank of America has hired an outside law firm to figure out whether the losses could've been prevented, according to The Wall Street Journal. 


A bad loan to the ex-chairman of embattled South African retailer Steinhoff International cost Wall Street banks over $1 billion on their fourth-quarter earnings — and Bank of America would like to know how it was able to happen.

The bank, which booked a $292 million charge related to Steinhoff in the fourth quarter, hired outside law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell late last year to probe the €1.6 billion ($2 billion) loan to Steinhoff's former chairman Christo Weiss that a handful of global banks — including Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs — took part in, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

After Steinhoff became embroiled in an accounting scandal, the share-backed loan went belly-up, and the banks as a group were on the hook for over $1 billion in losses.

Davis Polk & Wardwell is interviewing Bank of America employees and investigating whether there's any way the losses could've been avoided, keeping the company's board apprised of the inquiry's progress, according to the WSJ.

“One of the reasons we have record-low credit losses is because we take the time to analyze what happened when things don’t go as planned and learn from it. It’s the responsible thing for a financial institution to do,” a bank spokesman told the WSJ.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Is Bitcoin the Biggest Bubble in Human History?

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

Cryptocurrency's value is based entirely on one thing: its scarcity. But how can something that doesn't exist be scarce or plentiful

Ripple Ropes in Partner for Cross-Border Payments to China

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

The post Ripple Ropes in Partner for Cross-Border Payments to China appeared first on CCN

Blockchain startup Ripple has inked a partnership with money transfer service LianLian International to process real-time cross-border payments into China. Ripple Inks Deal with LianLian International for Cross-Border Payments to China Under the terms of the deal, the Hong Kong-based LianLian will adopt xCurrent, Ripple’s enterprise blockchain product, which the San Francisco-based firm advertises as … Continued

The post Ripple Ropes in Partner for Cross-Border Payments to China appeared first on CCN

CoinDesk Releases 2018 Bitcoin and Blockchain Industry Report

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

Credit card-driven crypto buying is rare, and ICOs pale compared to airdrops and chain forks. Find these and other insights in our quarterly report.

Cryptocurrencies are surging as stocks slump yet again

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

Bitcoin price

  • Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, but cryptocurrencies aren't seeing the same slump.
  • Bitcoin was up as much as 8%, with most of  its cryptocurrency peers also in the green.


Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, continuing a week that has been marked by drastic selloffs, but cryptocurrencies are getting a boost thanks to congressional testimony from two major US regulators on Tuesday.

The total market value of global cryptocurrencies was up 25% since Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap.com, to $488.82 billion. Bitcoin, which makes up about 35% of that total, was up 6% — or nearly $2,000— to $8,183, according to Markets Insider data. 

Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP, the second- and third-largest cryptocurrencies, were both up 3% at the time of writing.

Bitcoin bottomed out below $6,000 this week, and prices of all cryptocurrencies plunged, fueled by fears of a cryptocurrency crackdown in India after the country’s finance minister said the government would not recognize crypto as a legitimate form of currency.

That anxiety has mostly cooled thanks to an announcement from the country’s secretary of economic affairs saying the country will set up a panel to examine trading of crypto assets, and will report its findings next month.

XRP’s gains come at the same time as its creating company and largest holder, Ripple, announced it had signed a large Chinese firm onto its xCurrent settlement product for international payments.

So far, 2018 has been marked by wild price swings for all cryptocurrencies, often more than 10% in either direction in a matter of hours. In January alone, bitcoin traded as high as $19,843, and as low as $5,946.

And when bitcoin moves, so too do all of the other cryptocurrencies. This is a scary sign, Goldman Sach’s head of research said on Monday.

"The high correlation between the different crypto currencies worries me," Steve Strongin said. "Contrary to what one would expect in a rational market, new currencies don't seem to reduce the value of old currencies; they all seem to move as a single asset class."

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Cryptocurrencies are surging as stocks slump yet again

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

Bitcoin price

  • Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, but cryptocurrencies aren't seeing the same slump.
  • Bitcoin was up as much as 8%, with most of  its cryptocurrency peers also in the green.


Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, continuing a week that has been marked by drastic selloffs, but cryptocurrencies are getting a boost thanks to congressional testimony from two major US regulators on Tuesday.

The total market value of global cryptocurrencies was up 25% since Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap.com, to $488.82 billion. Bitcoin, which makes up about 35% of that total, was up 6% — or nearly $2,000— to $8,183, according to Markets Insider data. 

Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP, the second- and third-largest cryptocurrencies, were both up 3% at the time of writing.

Bitcoin bottomed out below $6,000 this week, and prices of all cryptocurrencies plunged, fueled by fears of a cryptocurrency crackdown in India after the country’s finance minister said the government would not recognize crypto as a legitimate form of currency.

That anxiety has mostly cooled thanks to an announcement from the country’s secretary of economic affairs saying the country will set up a panel to examine trading of crypto assets, and will report its findings next month.

XRP’s gains come at the same time as its creating company and largest holder, Ripple, announced it had signed a large Chinese firm onto its xCurrent settlement product for international payments.

So far, 2018 has been marked by wild price swings for all cryptocurrencies, often more than 10% in either direction in a matter of hours. In January alone, bitcoin traded as high as $19,843, and as low as $5,946.

And when bitcoin moves, so too do all of the other cryptocurrencies. This is a scary sign, Goldman Sach’s head of research said on Monday.

"The high correlation between the different crypto currencies worries me," Steve Strongin said. "Contrary to what one would expect in a rational market, new currencies don't seem to reduce the value of old currencies; they all seem to move as a single asset class."

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Cryptocurrencies are surging as stocks slump yet again

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

Bitcoin price

  • Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, but cryptocurrencies aren't seeing the same slump.
  • Bitcoin was up as much as 8%, with most of  its cryptocurrency peers also in the green.


Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, continuing a week that has been marked by drastic selloffs, but cryptocurrencies are getting a boost thanks to congressional testimony from two major US regulators on Tuesday.

The total market value of global cryptocurrencies was up 25% since Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap.com, to $488.82 billion. Bitcoin, which makes up about 35% of that total, was up 6% — or nearly $2,000— to $8,183, according to Markets Insider data. 

Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP, the second- and third-largest cryptocurrencies, were both up 3% at the time of writing.

Bitcoin bottomed out below $6,000 this week, and prices of all cryptocurrencies plunged, fueled by fears of a cryptocurrency crackdown in India after the country’s finance minister said the government would not recognize crypto as a legitimate form of currency.

That anxiety has mostly cooled thanks to an announcement from the country’s secretary of economic affairs saying the country will set up a panel to examine trading of crypto assets, and will report its findings next month.

XRP’s gains come at the same time as its creating company and largest holder, Ripple, announced it had signed a large Chinese firm onto its xCurrent settlement product for international payments.

So far, 2018 has been marked by wild price swings for all cryptocurrencies, often more than 10% in either direction in a matter of hours. In January alone, bitcoin traded as high as $19,843, and as low as $5,946.

And when bitcoin moves, so too do all of the other cryptocurrencies. This is a scary sign, Goldman Sach’s head of research said on Monday.

"The high correlation between the different crypto currencies worries me," Steve Strongin said. "Contrary to what one would expect in a rational market, new currencies don't seem to reduce the value of old currencies; they all seem to move as a single asset class."

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Cryptocurrencies are surging as stocks slump yet again

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

Bitcoin price

  • Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, but cryptocurrencies aren't seeing the same slump.
  • Bitcoin was up as much as 8%, with most of  its cryptocurrency peers also in the green.


Stocks opened lower again on Wednesday, continuing a week that has been marked by drastic selloffs, but cryptocurrencies are getting a boost thanks to congressional testimony from two major US regulators on Tuesday.

The total market value of global cryptocurrencies was up 25% since Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap.com, to $488.82 billion. Bitcoin, which makes up about 35% of that total, was up 6% — or nearly $2,000— to $8,183, according to Markets Insider data. 

Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP, the second- and third-largest cryptocurrencies, were both up 3% at the time of writing.

Bitcoin bottomed out below $6,000 this week, and prices of all cryptocurrencies plunged, fueled by fears of a cryptocurrency crackdown in India after the country’s finance minister said the government would not recognize crypto as a legitimate form of currency.

That anxiety has mostly cooled thanks to an announcement from the country’s secretary of economic affairs saying the country will set up a panel to examine trading of crypto assets, and will report its findings next month.

XRP’s gains come at the same time as its creating company and largest holder, Ripple, announced it had signed a large Chinese firm onto its xCurrent settlement product for international payments.

So far, 2018 has been marked by wild price swings for all cryptocurrencies, often more than 10% in either direction in a matter of hours. In January alone, bitcoin traded as high as $19,843, and as low as $5,946.

And when bitcoin moves, so too do all of the other cryptocurrencies. This is a scary sign, Goldman Sach’s head of research said on Monday.

"The high correlation between the different crypto currencies worries me," Steve Strongin said. "Contrary to what one would expect in a rational market, new currencies don't seem to reduce the value of old currencies; they all seem to move as a single asset class."

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Cryptocurrency Markets Could Hit $1 Trillion and Bitcoin Price at $50,000 This Year, Experts Predict

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

The post Cryptocurrency Markets Could Hit $1 Trillion and Bitcoin Price at $50,000 This Year, Experts Predict appeared first on CCN

The cryptocurrency market cap recently dipped below the $400 billion mark, as bitcoin itself fell to little over $6,000, before its price started bouncing back. At press time, the cryptocurrency market made a bullish pivot, as US regulators signaled they’ll take a cautious approach to cryptocurrency regulations during a high-profile Senate hearing. At press time,

The post Cryptocurrency Markets Could Hit $1 Trillion and Bitcoin Price at $50,000 This Year, Experts Predict appeared first on CCN

Ripple Blockchain Network Adds China Payments Provider

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

China-based payment service LianLian has said it will use Ripple's xCurrent blockchain solution for cross-border transactions.

Watch Yahoo Finance’s crypto summit live

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

The Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto will examine the growing market and investor interest in crypto and the technology behind it. Specifically, where are these digital assets heading, and how can everyday investors buy in safely? From bitcoin and blockchain to ethereum and ICOs, we’ll discuss crypto investing with CEOs, engineers, policy makers and legal experts. Watch the… Read More

Researchers Unmask Anonymous Tor Users By Tracking Bitcoin Transactions

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

The post Researchers Unmask Anonymous Tor Users By Tracking Bitcoin Transactions appeared first on CCN

Did you purchase something illegal on the Silk Road years ago, when this darknet market was still up and running? Did you pay with Bitcoin? If the answers to both questions are positive, you might have a cause for concern. It’s not only because the amount you spent for some naughty trifle back then can

The post Researchers Unmask Anonymous Tor Users By Tracking Bitcoin Transactions appeared first on CCN

Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Bounce Beats $8,000

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

The post Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Bounce Beats $8,000 appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin price and the wider cryptocurrency market are firmly on the rise after a particularly dogged week of downward slides as the price of bitcoin scale above $8,000 on Wednesday’s trading. Bitcoin’s gains on Tuesday has kept its momentum into Wednesday’s early trading with a 25% gain in value over the last 24 hours, at

The post Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Bounce Beats $8,000 appeared first on CCN

European stocks recover as the global market sell-off pauses

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

Screen Shot 2018 02 07 at 12.10.57

  • European stocks trade in positive territory on Wednesday after big falls on Tuesday.
  • The European market has been boosted by a recovery in the USA, where all major indexes closed higher on Tuesday evening.
  • Global stock market sell-off appears to have paused.

LONDON — European stock markets have bounced back on Wednesday, as the global sell-off in equity markets takes a breather following heavy losses.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the USA, gained more than 2%, having previously seen its biggest single day points sell-off in history on Monday.

After opening down 568 points, the Dow surged more than 1,000 points intraday. The index of 30 large stocks including Apple and Goldman Sachs finished up 567 points, or 2.3%.  

That recovery spread to some parts of Asia, with Japan's Nikkei and Australia's ASX gaining ground on the day. Other Asian bourses, including the Shanghai Composite in mainland China and the Hang Sen in Hong Kong, nursed losses, down 1.82% and 1.09% respectively.

Markets appear to have stabilised in Europe, however, with all of the continent's leading bourses in the green during the first half of the trading on Wednesday.

By 12.10 p.m. GMT (7.10 a.m. ET), Britain's FTSE 100 is 0.98% higher, Germany's DAX is up 0.81%, and the broad Euro Stoxx 50 has risen 0.83%. Here's the Europe-wide scoreboard:

Wednesday's European recovery comes, according to Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, amid "lingering indecision about whether what we’ve seen this week is a long overdue technical correction, or the opening sequence for a greater unwind."

"An unwind from a protracted period of historically low volatility, yields, borrowing costs and investor concern, which contributed to high levels of market valuation, passive investing, financial engineering and complacency," he wrote in an email.

The market's huge sell-off may have paused, but it remains unclear as to whether Tuesday and Wednesday's recovery marks the end of the sell-off, or if things are set to resume later in the week. Investors should get a clearer picture of what is likely to happen later on Wednesday, when US markets reopen at 2pm UK time.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Aperio raises a $4.5M seed round to protect power plants from hackers

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

 Protecting critical infrastructure like power plants and other industrial plants is just as important as it’s challenging. It’s one thing to take over a remote machine to mine some Bitcoin, but you’ve got a totally different problem when those hackers try to manipulate the physical infrastructure of your power plant with the goal of causing an explosion. With their thousands… Read More

Crypto prices mount a comeback following huge losses

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

 What goes up, must go down… what does down, must go up…? After a big and bloody plunge this week — which saw the price of bitcoin touch a two-month low of sub-$6,000 — the crypto market has mounted a comeback with double-digit gains across the board. Coinmarketcap.com — the current go-to for crypto pricing — shows that bitcoin is up 26 percent in the last… Read More

Floor Found? Strong Volumes Push Bitcoin Above $8K

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

Following positive regulatory news from the U.S., bitcoin seems to have made a break from last week's price woes.

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, WYNN, SNAP, CMG, DIS)

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

41-Gun Royal Salute

Here is what you need to know. 

Stocks are set to drop at the openThe Dow Jones industrial average is set to open lower by about 250 points, or 1%. The weakness comes following a mixed overseas session that saw China's Shanghai Composite (-1.82%) lag in Asia and Britain's FTSE (+0.69%) lead in Europe. 

Goldman Sachs says there are 3 areas of the stock market to buy following the meltdown. The bank says cyclicals, companies with low labor costs, and companies with strong balance sheets should be scooped up because of their dislocation from the drivers of this week's madness.

Bitcoin is storming backThe digital coin is back above $8,000, up nearly 40% from its low, boosted by two major US regulators addressing members of the Senate Tuesday on crypto.

Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns from Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct scandal. Wynn has resigned as CEO and chairman of Wynn Resort, saying in his resignation statement there had been a "rush to judgment," which he said took precedence over everything "including facts" with regard to the misconduct allegations.

Tronc is expected to sell the Los Angeles TimesPatrick Soon-Shiong, a Los Angeles-area physician and a major shareholder in Tronc, will buy both the Times and sister paper the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Snap surges past its IPO price after beating the StreetShares of the social media company soared more than 20% in after-hours trading, to above their IPO price of $17, following better than expected fourth-quarter results which included a 72% year-over-year spike in revenue.

Disney misses on revenueThe entertainment giant reported revenue rose 3.8% YoY in the first quarter to $15.35 billion, missing the $15.44 billion that was expected. 

Chipotle beats on earningsThe fast-casual burrito chain earned an adjusted $1.34 a share, outpacing the $1.32 that Wall Street was anticipating. Revenue was in line at $1.11 billion. 

Earnings reports keep coming21st Century Fox, Tesla, and Yum Brands all report after markets close.

US economic data trickles outConsumer credit will be released at 3 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 4 basis points at 2.76%. 

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Andreessen Horowitz is backing a crypto-powered 'internet computer' that could be the future of cloud computing

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

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz Co-Founder and General Partner Marc Andreessen speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 28, 2014.

  • DFINITY project raises $61 million from Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
  • VCs are backing a not-for-profit foundation developing the DFINITY protocol and will be rewarded in crypto tokens that power the network once it launches.
  • DFINITY is "building a system that will enable the internet to act as a giant computer."
  • People can then build applications or companies on this decentralized "cloud 3.0."


LONDON — Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz are investing $61 million into the DFINITY foundation, a Swiss-based not-for-profit developing a new blockchain-powered, decentralised "internet computer."

The investment is the largest ever from Polychain Capital, a San Francisco hedge fund set up in 2016 to invest in blockchain startups. Polychain itself is backed by blue chip venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital, which was an early backer of Apple and Google, and Union Square Ventures, the New York fund set up by renowned VC Fred Wilson which has invested in the likes of Twitter and Etsy.

The DFINITY deal represents the first time Andreessen Horowitz, a well-known Silicon Valley VC firm, has invested in a protocol — in other words, backed the development of a digital process — rather than a company.

"We're building a system that will enable the internet to act as a giant computer," said Dom Williams, DFINITY's president and chief scientist. "It will be an open protocol, it won't be supported by a company, it will be supported by whoever connects their computers to that protocol."

Williams told Business Insider that both Polychain and Andreessen Horowitz will receive a certain amount of DFINITY crypto tokens once the network fully launches. These tokens will power the decentralized "internet computer" and will also be given as rewards to computers that hook up to the network and provide "mining" power.

"Andreessen is making a bet that the internet computer will be a popular thing and the demand for these tokens will drive their value up," Williams said.

DFINITY explained

The DFINITY project traces its roots back to a 2014 project to make a fast cryptocurrency and uses many of the same cryptographic and blockchain principles that underpin leading digital currencies.

DFINITY's next-generation technology will allow applications and companies to be built on a decentralized "cloud 3.0," Williams said, which is made up of a network of computers connected over the internet.

Dom Williams"This internet computer is interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, it can act as a cloud that can host traditional business systems and it will provide an alternative to hosting your business on Amazon or Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure.

"It will provide a different kind of technology stack. The total cost of ownership of these business systems will be dramatically lower.

"The internet computer isn't free, but you won't have a dependency on a company, you'll be on an open network. But most importantly it will cost you less to create your business system on the internet computer and it will cost you less to develop and maintain it."

Because data and processes won't be centralized, applications built on DFINITY's network should be less vulnerable to threats such as Edward Snowden-style leaks or the Equifax hack, Williams said.

"The systems you develop will be more reliable, more secure, and actually be able to safeguard the privacy of your data."

As well as businesses, Williams envisions decentralised applications built on the DFINITY network — a decentralised Dropbox or Uber, for example, not controlled by any one company or entity.

Ryan Zurer, Venture Partner at Polychain, said: "The Dfinity team is truly exceptional. What Dfinity is building represents one of the most important technological innovations that we have ever seen since the very creation of the blockchain."

'NASA for decentralisation'

The $61 million raised from Polychain and Andreessen Horowitz takes the total funding raised by the DFINITY foundation to over $100 million.

That latest funding will be used to help set up the DFINITY Ecosystem Fund, which will "support technical teams building applications, tools, and protocols for deployment on DFINITY."

Williams, who splits his time between Silicon Valley and Switzerland, told BI that some of the money will also go towards building a "NASA for decentralisation."

"We believe ultimately that if you're going to have millions of businesses hosted on the internet computer, you're going to need a team of thousands of people who are constantly analysing the performance of the computer and looking for security threats," he said.

DFINITY hopes to have a beta version of its network up and running later this year, Williams said.

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

IPO bankers are unfazed by the mayhem in the markets

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

running of the bulls

  • Bankers who help run initial public offerings aren't sweating the recent market turmoil.
  • Though the stock market cratered in recent days and volatility has spiked, senior bankers don't expect equity capital markets to be materially impacted.
  • “We expect the IPO markets to remain open to quality issuers around the world,” Tyler Dickson, Global Head of Capital Markets Origination at Citi, told Business Insider.


Bankers responsible for running initial public offerings aren't concerned about all the market turmoil and the recent spike in volatility, though they're keeping an eye on the situation.

Despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffering its worst sell-off in years — and the largest point-drop for the index on record — and market volatility measures surging to new highs, bankers don't expect much impact on IPOs.

“We expect the IPO markets to remain open to quality issuers around the world,” Tyler Dickson, global head of capital markets origination at Citi, told Business Insider. “Naturally, given the recent volatility and sell-off, we are recommending that IPO issuers monitor market developments closely.”

After falling nearly 1,800 points on Friday and Monday, the Dow opened Tuesday down 568 points before surging to a gain of more than 500 points by the end of the day. The Cboe Volatility Index— or VIX — spiked 84% on Monday, its biggest single-day increase of all time, according to data going back to 1990.

Most companies planning to list their shares on public exchanges in the near future aren't expected to be materially affected by all the turbulence, though you might see some adjustments on timing, structure, or price for companies that have imminent listings, according to a senior equity capital markets banker who spoke on the condition of anonymity. 

"I don't think fundamentally what's happening right now will change these companies," the banker said. 

The banker added that business fundamentals remain solid and that people aren't shelving IPO plans for the first or second quarter, but that we might see one or two postponed. 

"My view is that this is a healthy technical correction," the banker said. "We're a long way from panic mode."

Neither of the two companies planning the largest IPOs for this week have announced any changes to their plans, nor have they filed any updates with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cactus Inc., a provider of oil services equipment, is expected to raise as much as $468 million in its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday. 

Ipsco Tubulars, a manufacturer of oil and gas pipelines and the subsidiary of a company owned by Russian oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky, is expected to raise as much as $615 million on the NYSE this Friday. 

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

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Workers at BMW, Mercedes and Porsche can now work a 28-hour week

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

German union

  • German metalworkers and engineers union secures deal for 28 hour work week.
  • Staff will be able to work the equivalent of five hours and 40 minutes per day for up to two years.
  • The deal is intended to allow people to care for children, the elderly or sick relatives. 

LONDON – A German industrial union has won its workers the right to work just 28 hours per week in a deal that could eventually impact almost 4 million people in the country.

IG Metall, the biggest trade union in Germany for metal and engineering workers, struck the deal which will allow staff to go down from 35 hours to just 28 hours per week for as long as two years, in instances where they need to care for children, the elderly or sick relatives. 

A 28-hour working week is equivalent to around five hours and 40 minutes of work for five days, down from seven hours per day. In the UK, a standard work week is 40 hours long.

"The agreement is a milestone on the way to a modern, self-determined world of work," Jörg Hofmann, the leader of the union said.

"It was worth the effort. We have laid the foundation for a flexible working time system," said Rainer Dugler, the head of the employers' association for the industry.

Currently, the new deal is only for metal and electric industries in Baden-Wuerttemberg, a state in Germany's south west, and impacts around 900,000 workers. However, it will soon be rolled out to the rest of the country's metal and electric workers, roughly 3.9 million people.

Companies with workers represented by IG Metall include BMW, Mercedes, Airbus, and Porsche.

IG Metall's workers will also receive a 4.3% pay rise as part of the new employment package, while some workers — if they are willing — will have their hours increased from 35 to 40.

Workers had held a one-day strike last week to try and secure the deal.

The deal represents a major breakthrough for flexible working in Europe, and comes partly in response to the rise of the so-called gig economy, where workers are able to control their own hours with much greater ease than those on full time contracts.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin Up Over 20% as Crypto Markets Regain Poise

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

Cryptocurrencies are trading in the green today after a tumultuous week, with bitcoin having leapt 20 percent in 24 hours.

The Downside of Tracking Bitcoin on the Blockchain

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

Tracking funds on the blockchain may help catch crooks, but such snooping undermines one of the most important characteristics of money: Fungibility.

Billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns from Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct scandal

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

steve wynn

  • Steve Wynn has resigned as CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts.
  • The billionaire mogul recently faced allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • Wynn had admitted no wrongdoing and said in his resignation statement that there had been a "rush to judgment," which he said took precedence over everything "including facts" with regard to the misconduct allegations.
  • Matt Madox is the new Wynn Resorts CEO.


The CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, has resigned.

The company, which owns and operates Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, and Wynn Palace, Cotai, made the announcement "reluctantly" on Tuesday night. The news came fewer than two weeks after allegations of decades of sexual misconduct were made against Wynn.

"It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn," the board's non-executive director, Boone Wayson, said in a statement.

"He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today."

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Wynn had engaged in sexual misconduct for decades, regularly intimidating employees of his Las Vegas casinos into performing sex acts. Wynn responded by blaming the allegations on his ex-wife.

In announcing his resignation, Wynn did not admit to any of the alleged incidents, and instead said there had been a "rush to judgment" despite facts.

"In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity. As I have reflected upon the environment this has created — one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts," Wynn said in a statement released Tuesday night.

"I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles. Therefore, effective immediately, I have decided to step down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts, a company I founded and that I love," he said.

Last month, Wynn also resigned as the Republican National Committee's finance chairman.

Earlier in his career, Wynn worked on some of Las Vegas' most iconic resorts including the Mirage, Treasure Island, and the Bellagio.

The board has appointed Matt Maddox, currently president of the company, as its new CEO.

SEE ALSO: Billionaire casino mogul and RNC finance chair Steve Wynn accused of sexual assault

Join the conversation about this story »

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

SEC and CFTC Give Testimonies at Senate Hearing on Virtual Currencies

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

SenateHearing.jpg

Today, February 6, 2018, the prospects for coherent U.S. regulation on cryptocurrencies became a little more clear, as were the impasses that were frustrating progress on the issue. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (the “Committee”) heard joint testimony from the heads of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). While both the SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo provided written testimonies on February 5, 2018, the statements from the chairmen as well as the answers later garnered from Senate questioning gave some clarity as to the direction U.S. regulation of “virtual currencies” is headed. Below is a general overview.

Jay Clayton Loves Blockchains, Lukewarm on Cryptos, Not a Fan of ICOs

In his opening testimony, the SEC chairman called the topic of regulating cryptocurrencies, ICOs and related trading activities important, stating that “these markets are local, national and international.” From a market regulatory perspective, he stated, “For ease of analysis, I break this space into three categories. First, a promising new technology referred to as ‘distributed ledger technology’ or ‘blockchain’ … The second and third categories are cryptocurrencies and ICOs.”

While the chairman lauded and even asked for blockchain technology startups to alleviate inefficiencies in market regulatory frameworks, he was less enthusiastic about both cryptocurrencies and ICOs, stating that they are “subsets of the products seeking to take advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by blockchain.” Cryptocurrencies, according to Clayton, are “promoted to be a replacement for dollars,” while ICOs in his view are “like a stock offering.”

Clayton went on to state that while “those who promote these so-called virtual currencies assert that they will make it easier and cheaper to buy and sell goods, particularly across borders” and “that transaction fees and costs will be eliminated or reduced ... to date these assertions have proved elusive in many areas.”

While some could argue that the chairman’s opening commentary on cryptocurrencies was less than favorable, that impression was far overshadowed by his stance on ICOs. Per Clayton, “From what I have seen, initial coin offerings are securities offerings. They are interesting companies, much like stocks and bonds, under a new label.” He didn’t stop there, however, stating, “You can call it a coin, but if it functions as a security, it is a security.” Another cause of concern for Clayton on the ICO front:

An ICO may have nothing to do with distributed ledger technology beyond the coin itself.

The two problems “worth particular attention,” however, were the lack of regulatory oversight on the markets and that “many” ICOs are being conducted illegally by not following securities laws. Clayton wrapped up his opening volley at ICOs by warning the ICO market that “those who engage in semantic gymnastics or elaborate structuring exercises in an effort to avoid having a coin be a security are squarely within the crosshairs of our enforcement division.”

So much for ease of analysis.

Chairman Giancarlo’s Opening Remarks Add More Hopeful Balance

The CFTC chairman began his opening remarks by revealing a story about how his own children’s interest in investing bloomed only last year with the rise of Bitcoin. Giancarlo remarked, “It strikes me that we owe it to this generation to respect their enthusiasm about virtual currencies with a thoughtful and balanced response, not a dismissive one.” He did urge, however, that regulators “must crack down hard on those who try to abuse [the younger generations’] enthusiasm with fraud and manipulation.”

Chairman Giancarlo’s remarks went on to elucidate the CFTC’s wish for regulators to thoroughly educate themselves and the public in order to create good policy choices and sound regulatory frameworks to protect consumers.

Giancarlo followed up his prudent remarks by saying, “I suggest the right regulatory response to virtual currencies has at least several elements.” Specifying further, he stated that we must first “learn everything we can.” He then suggested that perspective with regard to the market cap of virtual currencies is key, stating that the “total value of all virtual currency in the world is around $313 billion. In comparison, global money supply is around $7.6 trillion, while the value of all the gold in the world is around $8 trillion.”

The next task, according to Giancarlo, is to educate consumers. According to him:

We’ve never conducted this much outreach for any other financial product.

Another element, according to the chair, is regulatory coordination because “no one agency has direct authority over virtual currencies.” He was careful to point out the need for finding a balance between exercising legal authority over virtual currency derivatives while clarifying the CFTC’s statutory limitations. Those limitations, as Giancarlo made abundantly clear, include the CFTC’s lack of authority over regulating the spot markets for cryptocurrencies. He did, however, say that the CFTC has enforcement authority in the spot markets through their authority over the cryptocurrency derivatives markets.

Patchwork Regulation Isn’t Enough

Senator Mike Crapo, the head of the Senate Committee, asked both regulators, “Both of you said you don’t have complete jurisdiction, but do you have sufficient jurisdiction? Should Congress address by law the issue [of regulating virtual currencies]?”

SEC Chairman Clayton posited that all federal banking regulators should come together and have a coordinated plan for dealing with a virtual currency trading market, though he noted that they may at some point in the future find they need additional legislative authority. CFTC Chair Giancarlo concurred but directed the Committee to look at “gaps in the legislation” that could be presented. According to Giancarlo, there is patchwork coverage, but it is not enough to handle a regulatory framework that could be covered by a coordinated effort.

ICOs That Have Raised Funds from U.S. Investors Violated U.S. Securities Laws

The issue of ICOs and their legality was an oft-revisited point during the Q&A portion of the hearing. The minority leader on the Committee, Senator Sherrod Brown, asked Clayton how much of the $4 billion in capital raised last year through ICOs was raised in the United States. The SEC chair couldn’t give any clarity but suggested the number was probably enough that regulators should be talking about the issue. Senator Elizabeth Warren also had her say on the issue, stating, “Some ICOs raise money for legitimate companies, but others, we know, are just Ponzi schemes.”

Senator Warren then referenced Facebook’s recent ban of cryptocurrency and ICO ads and asked SEC Chairman Clayton a series of questions “around” how to make ICOs safer. The senator asked, “In 2017, companies raised more than $4 billion in ICOs. How many of those companies registered with the SEC?” Clayton told Senator Warren that “not one” had registered. Pressing further, the senator asked the chairman how many companies with upcoming ICOs had registered with the SEC, to which Clayton gave the same answer. Unfazed, Senator Warren asked Clayton for a comment on why no one registered an ICO with the SEC. The chairman’s response was a vague admonishment of the “gatekeepers [the SEC] rely on” to assist them in ensuring securities laws are followed, saying they “have not done their jobs.”

Elaborating further, he stated, “What ICOs do is take the disclosure-like benefits of a private placement and then add to it general solicitation and promise to the investor of a secondary market without registering to us.” Senator Warren finished off her line of questioning, saying to Clayton, “I am understanding you to say [that] it [what ICOs do by not registering] is a violation of the law?” The SEC chairman simply answered, “Correct.” But he did moderate his views on the illegality of ICOs by stating, “I’m perfectly happy for these people to do private placements, but do them right.”

Senatorial Enlightenment: Hacks, HODLs and “Kimchi Premiums”

While not all of the questions were focused directly on clarifying future U.S. regulatory frameworks on “virtual currencies,” the cryptocurrency industry was made aware of the effort regulators and lawmakers alike took to learn about the new asset class.

Throughout the hearing, several senators demonstrated an awareness of problems currently plaguing the industry. References to the Coincheck hack in Japan, Mt. Gox and exchange vulnerabilities, and North Korean and Russian state agents’ potential for abusing prices in the cryptocurrency market all came up.

Senator Robert Menendez cited Venezuela’s attempt to circumvent sanctions using Petrocoin, while Senator Jack Reed stressed the need for technologists and computer expert personnel among the regulators to help them understand the burgeoning asset class. Senator David Perdue began a line of questioning about combating pump-and-dump schemes, regulatory arbitrage and financial arbitrage that prompted the CFTC chair to explain what “kimchi premiums” were. Most surprisingly, however, was Chairman Giancarlo’s attempt to define “hodling” to the Committee in the middle of an answer to Senator Mike Rounds about the commodity-like aspects of cryptocurrencies.

Some senators did conflate which countries took recent regulatory actions on virtual currencies, but it is a confusing enough subject that it is the cover story for Bitcoin Magazine this month. While not directly indicative of which regulatory measures the U.S. will take, industry participants can take some benefit from knowing legislators and top regulators are making an attempt to educate themselves and to thoughtfully institute measured regulatory frameworks in an effort to protect investors while not ruining the industry.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Early Uber investor Shervin Pishevar has been ranting for 21 hours in one tweet storm but it's unclear what the point is

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

Shervin Pishevar

  • Early Uber investor Shervin Pishevar went on n elaborate Twitter rant this week predicting the decline of the US economy. 
  • It's the first major public statement from Pishevar, who founded Sherpa Capital, since mid-December when he left the company following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. 
  • Among his predictions: Bitcoin will drop to $2,000-$5,000 but slowly rise again.  


Shervin Pishevar has long been a man of many words, so it's no surprise that the venture capitalist and Uber investor went on an 50-message Tweet storm this week. 

But something was a little different on Tuesday when the founder of Sherpa Capital, who stepped down in December following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct (including rape), continued his two-day extravaganza, which touched on every topic from bonds and bitcoin, to immigration and SpaceX.  

Pishevar's latest diatribe is difficult to parse. He started off with a promise to explain the "financial storm" he sees coming, which includes a 6,000 point drop in the stock market over the next few months. He took a break for dinner, and then moved onto the death of Silicon Valley. 

But, beyond its 21-hour lifespan, the storm is significant because Pishevar has been more or less out of the limelight since Dec. 14, when he posted a resignation letter on Twitter explaining that sexual harassment allegations were getting in the way of the Sherpa Capital's success.

"My truculent opponents are out to settle scores that have nothing to do with Sherpa, and I refuse to allow my enemies to drag my Sherpa family into their fight with me," Pishevar wrote. 

It's unclear why Pishevar decided to come back, or whether this return has any connection to yesterday's news that he had dropped a lawsuit accusing a company called Definers Public Affairs of running a smear campaign against him. 

Motivations aside Pishevar paints a dim picture for the future of the US economy. Here are a few of his key predictions:

The markets will drop 6,000 points

Volatility in bonds will ripple through the rest of the markets

The bitcoin crash isn't over

California's stronghold on tech innovation and culture is over

The US will lose to countries like China, especially when it comes to infrastructure...

...unless you're Elon Musk 

With few US-based startups, the biggest companies will continue to hold too much power

 

SEE ALSO: Here are annotations to decode everything in Shervin Pishevar's epic Uber diatribe

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The coolest gadgets we saw at CES 2018

Early Uber investor Shervin Pishevar has been ranting for 21 hours in one tweet storm but it's unclear what the point is

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

Shervin Pishevar

  • Early Uber investor Shervin Pishevar went on n elaborate Twitter rant this week predicting the decline of the US economy. 
  • It's the first major public statement from Pishevar, who founded Sherpa Capital, since mid-December when he left the company following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. 
  • Among his predictions: Bitcoin will drop to $2,000-$5,000 but slowly rise again.  


Shervin Pishevar has long been a man of many words, so it's no surprise that the venture capitalist and Uber investor went on an 50-message Tweet storm this week. 

But something was a little different on Tuesday when the founder of Sherpa Capital, who stepped down in December following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct (including rape), continued his two-day extravaganza, which touched on every topic from bonds and bitcoin, to immigration and SpaceX.  

Pishevar's latest diatribe is difficult to parse. He started off with a promise to explain the "financial storm" he sees coming, which includes a 6,000 point drop in the stock market over the next few months. He took a break for dinner, and then moved onto the death of Silicon Valley. 

But, beyond its 21-hour lifespan, the storm is significant because Pishevar has been more or less out of the limelight since Dec. 14, when he posted a resignation letter on Twitter explaining that sexual harassment allegations were getting in the way of the Sherpa Capital's success.

"My truculent opponents are out to settle scores that have nothing to do with Sherpa, and I refuse to allow my enemies to drag my Sherpa family into their fight with me," Pishevar wrote. 

It's unclear why Pishevar decided to come back, or whether this return has any connection to yesterday's news that he had dropped a lawsuit accusing a company called Definers Public Affairs of running a smear campaign against him. 

Motivations aside Pishevar paints a dim picture for the future of the US economy. Here are a few of his key predictions:

The markets will drop 6,000 points

Volatility in bonds will ripple through the rest of the markets

The bitcoin crash isn't over

California's stronghold on tech innovation and culture is over

The US will lose to countries like China, especially when it comes to infrastructure...

...unless you're Elon Musk 

With few US-based startups, the biggest companies will continue to hold too much power

 

SEE ALSO: Here are annotations to decode everything in Shervin Pishevar's epic Uber diatribe

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The coolest gadgets we saw at CES 2018

A startup raised $59 million in a token sale to usher in the next generation of crypto

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

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

  • Polymath, a blockchain company looking to revolutionize the crypto world, just raised $58 million in what it says might be the first SEC-compliant token sale. 
  • The money was used to build a platform that would help companies create their own securitized tokens. 


Polymath, a startup that wants to usher in a crypto revolution, has raised $58.7 million in a token sale, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission

The token sale, which was open to accredited investors, was filed with the regulator as a private placement, a way for companies to raise capital from a select amount of investors, after the company raised the funds.  

The money is going towards building Polymath's platform, which aims to allow financial-services companies to make and issue tokenized securities, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Currently, most tokens in the digital coin market are so-called utility tokens which provide holders access to certain services. The point of the Polymath platform is to make it easier for companies to issue digital securities to raise money in a compliant way. 

"The technology serves as a launch pad or on-ramp for companies who want to create and issue tokenized securities, with the complex technical and legal functions of a token sale, Know Your Customer program, and development built in," a statement from the company said. 

The fact that Polymath filed with the SEC as a private placement for its token sale is striking considering remarks Tuesday from SEC head Jay Clayton. 

During a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Clayton said initial coin offerings should be filing under private placement rules. Here's Clayton:

"I'm unhappy about people conducting ICOs when they should be following private placement rules under our existing securities regulations. Distributed ledger technology has so much promise, as do pure cryptocurrencies, but I'm concerned about ICOs."

The funding mechanism, which is a darling of young tech companies, has helped some raise hundreds of millions of dollars, although not without controversy. Already, the SEC has halted a number of ICOs through its Cyber Unit for issuing securities to investors.

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

Billionaire hedge fund legend Paul Tudor Jones used a quote from Shakespeare to sound the alarm on a financial bubble

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

Paul Tudor Jones

  • Paul Tudor Jones, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Tudor Investment Corporation, said he feels like he's in his 20s again.
  • In a letter to investors, he identified a number of concerns about the market. These include a mistaken central bank obsession with an inflation target of 2%, a growing deficit, and a stock market that's at a record size relative to the economy.
  • "'Cry ‘Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war' seems an apt description for this moment," he said.
  • Jones' hedge fund has struggled in recent years. His flagship fund fell by 2.2% last year.


The market chaos of late is enough to turn a veteran investor young again.

In a February 2 letter to investors, Paul Tudor Jones, the billionaire founder of  $7 billion Tudor Investment Corp., said he feels like he's in his 20s again. That's after a difficult three years, where macro volatility has been almost non-existent, and his fund has struggled.

"Being first a commodities and then macro trader in the late 70s and early 80s was simply an incredible time to ply the craft," he said. "The opportunity set was so large as the marker was coming due for the previous misjudgments of errant central banking."

According to Jones, those days may be on the horizon again.

"2018 brings with it, in this writer’s opinion, a new fact set and a field of dreams for macro," he said. 

In his letter, he identified a central bank obsession with an inflation target of 2%, a target he said is misguided. Jones said that the long-term average of inflation in peacetime since 1790 is 1.3%, making the 2% target too high. 

Jones said in the letter:

"This digression on inflation measurement is relevant because if targeting inflation becomes a central bank’s sole focus, then by definition, when inflation is measured to be low, central banks must resort to unorthodox policies to create inflation by lowering real rates enough to stimulate the economy, as they have been doing globally for almost a decade now."

The comment on inflation is especially relevant, following a dive in global stock markets, kickstarted by a plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday. That was in part triggered by higher than expected wage growth, fueling fears of higher inflation and faster rate hikes with it. 

In an interview with Business Insider's Pedro da Costa on Tuesday, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said he wasn't reading too much into the wage growth numbers. Kaskari dissented against all three of the Fed's interest-rate hikes in 2017, in part because he wanted to see greater progress toward the 2% inflation target. He said: 

"Was it a one-time repricing because of minimum-wage increases and some of these bonuses? Or is it something more sustained? And are inflation expectations in fact moving toward our target? Because the risk is that inflation expectations are anchored at something less than 2%, and that would be a challenge for us."

Jones also took issue with the deficit in the US, and its growth in light of President Trump's recent tax legislation. The federal government is planning to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year, almost double the amount of fiscal 2017, in part because of the tax cuts passed by the Trump administration, per The Washington Post.

"This is all simply breathtaking," Jones said in his letter. "It is incredible that at full employment we have passed a tax cut that will push our deficit to 5% of GDP. Can you imagine what will happen to the deficit and debt in the inevitable downturn? This is what the dollar is sensing."

He added:

"If I had a choice between holding a US Treasury bond or a hot burning coal in my hand, I would choose the coal. At least that way I would only lose my hand."

Treasury yields surged on Friday last week, hitting a four year high of 2.85%, before buying kicked in on Monday as stocks plummeted, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping the most ever on a point basis. On Tuesday, the Treasury 10-year was at 2.71%, according to data from Markets Insider. Bond yields move inversely to price. 

Jones closed his letter with a quote from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where Mark Anthony said “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.” At this point in the text, Anthony is predicting war in the aftermath of Caesar's murder. 

"Whether it be the stock market’s record size relative to our economy, the record level of US corporate leverage,
or soon-to-be-seen rapidly increasing inflation, this experiment of keeping real policy rates below zero with an economy that is expanding above potential—a more than three sigma event relative to history—will have consequences," Jones said.

"We are replaying an age-old storyline of financial bubbles that has been played many times before."

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. Last year, the flagship fund fell by 2.2%. 

SEE ALSO: 'The machines took over': Inside the biggest Dow Jones drop of all time

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

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

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