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Elon Musk just posted a sensual Instagram picture with his tunnel-boring machine

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

Elon Musk

  • On Friday Elon Musk posted a photo of himself on Instagram with one of the boring machines used by his tunneling business, the Boring Company.
  • The post's caption read, "Deep in the hole with my boring machine. Sometimes when we touch, the honesty’s too much ...," a reference to Dan Hill's 1994 song "When We Touch."
  • Musk has used humorous and unconventional methods to raise money for the company, including selling branded hats and flamethrowers.


Elon Musk is known for his smart, personable approach to social media. Whether he's responding to complaints from Tesla customers, making jokes, or attacking his critics, Musk comes across as a real person on Twitter and Instagram, which is a rarity among Fortune 500 executives.

On Friday, Musk posted a photo of himself on Instagram with one of the boring machines used by his tunneling business, the Boring Company. Musk referenced Dan Hill's 1994 song "When We Touch," in the post's caption: "Deep in the hole with my boring machine. Sometimes when we touch, the honesty’s too much ...," Musk wrote.

Musk founded the Boring Company out of frustration with Los Angeles' notoriously congested traffic. He hopes to use the company to create underground tunnel networks that could house new transportation systems like Hyperloop, which would carry passengers in pods at speeds of over 500 mph.

So far, the company has received approval to build test tunnels in Los Angeles and Baltimore, as well as a permit to begin initial digging and preparatory work in Washington, D.C. But the company will have to get approval from a large number of city and state governments if it hopes to make its tunnel network a reality.

Deep in the hole with my boring machine. Sometimes when we touch, the honesty’s too much ...

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Mar 2, 2018 at 1:24pm PST on

Musk has used humorous and unconventional methods to raise money for the Boring Company. In October, Musk started selling a limited number of $20 hats bearing the company's name, and in January, Musk made branded flamethrowers available for $500 each.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk went on a Twitter rant about America's failing infrastructure — and it made his Hyperloop idea sound less crazy

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NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

$50 Million Gone? South African Police Probe Suspected Bitcoin Ponzi

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

As much as $50 million may have been lost by an international group of investors after putting their money into a bitcoin investment group.

The storied Chicago Stock Exchange could be a takeover target for a crypto company

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

A wall of miners, seen at the cryptocurrency farming operation, Bitfarms, in Farnham, Quebec, Canada, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

  • The Chicago Stock Exchange hit a brick wall when the SEC denied its request to merge with a Chinese-based company. 
  • A pivot to crypto might help revitalize the exchange, which commands a paltry 0.5% of the market, writes Richard Johnson, a vice president at Greenwich Associates. 
  • If a Chicago crypto exchange does come about, it would probably occur through an acquisition, Johnson writes in this op-ed. tZERO is one potential acquirer.

On February 15, the SEC blocked the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX) to a China-based consortium, due to concerns over the proposed ownership structure. This is the latest blow to the storied exchange, which was founded in 1882 but has struggled to stay relevant in a space dominated by ICE, Nasdaq and Cboe Global Markets. Back in October, the SEC also put a halt on their plans to implement a speed bump that the CHX hoped would attract new business and boost their market share from a paltry 0.5%.

With both initiatives scuppered, many are wondering what’s next for the exchange and whether it can continue to survive. At first glance, the prospects look bleak: There is no clear strategy to grow market share, and the incumbent domestic exchange operators are unlikely acquirers, as they already have multiple U.S. equity exchange licenses.

Transforming the CHX?

But another angle or alternate type of listing could revitalize the exchange and leapfrog it ahead of the competition—the CHX should pivot toward being a cryptocurrency exchange.

By this I don’t (just) mean bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies, but rather the nascent market for “securities tokens” or “crypto-securities.” These are assets issued on a blockchain that are fully compliant with U.S. securities regulations. These differ from the vast majority of ICOs, which purport to be “utility tokens,” whereby the holder of the utility token can use it on the blockchain network—for example, to purchase file storage on a decentralized cloud network.

In a recent op-ed, SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo expressed concern that many companies launching initial coin offerings (ICOs) were actually selling securities and bypassing federal regulations designed to protect investors. Commissioner Clayton has gone on to say that every ICO he has seen is, in fact, a security and that “platforms that effect or facilitate transactions in these products…may be operating unregistered exchanges or broker-dealers that are in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.”

More Regulations for Cryptocurrency Markets

This toughening regulatory stance suggests we are entering a new stage in the evolution of crypto markets. Future token issuances will need to be compliant with securities regulations, some existing tokens may be restructured for regulatory compliance, and marketplaces for these tokens may need to become compliant under the Exchange Act of ’34. Thus the exchange license that the CHX owns is now a potentially valuable asset for a crypto exchange.

There is already an example of a company that is building a crypto-security trading system compliant with the federal securities regulations. tZero (t0), a subsidiary of Overstock.com, owns and operates an ATS (which is governed by Reg ATS of the Exchange Act of ’34), and is currently conducting their own ICO in which the tokens will be “Reg D” securities issued only to accredited investors. These tokens will likely be the first to trade on its platform.

If a Chicago crypto exchange does come about, it would probably occur through an acquisition. tZERO is one potential acquirer. Although they already operate an ATS, an exchange license is an additional level of regulatory compliance and can offer added benefits as a listing venue. tZERO is raising $250 million in their ICO, so they could certainly afford the reported $20 million that was the price agreed to in the failed Chinese transaction.

Other Suitors for CHX

Other potential acquirers could include Circle, which this week agreed to buy Poloniex, a crypto-exchange, for $400 million. Circle/Poloniex buying the CHX would make a lot of sense: Circle is well capitalized and has embraced regulation, first by gaining a rare New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) BitLicense, and by further seeking a federal banking charter. Poloniex has focused more on the digital-token space, which can be thought of as pre-cursors to crypto securities.

Coinbase, whose investors include ICE’s NYSE, is another potential acquirer. They have shown little interest in the token space, however, preferring to focus on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin. Kraken and Bittrex are other U.S.-based exchanges that trade digital tokens and could potentially benefit from a tie-up with the federally regulated CHX.

Nevertheless, there are significant obstacles to a crypto-CHX merger. Crypto exchanges may not want to make a move before there is more certainty around the future regulatory structure, and the tokens that they currently trade may have to be delisted if they deemed securities and not utility tokens. But the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies and tokens is evolving rapidly, and increased regulation in the space is only a matter of when not if. Even if a Chicago crypto exchange doesn’t happen now, an Exchange-Act-regulated crypto exchange will soon have a place in U.S. markets. 

Richard Johnson is an equities and financial technology expert in Greenwich Associates' Market Structure and Technology practice. He has 20 years of industry experience in financial markets.

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NOW WATCH: What 'Dilly Dilly' means — and how Bud Light came up with its viral campaign

The storied Chicago Stock Exchange could be a takeover target for a crypto company

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

A wall of miners, seen at the cryptocurrency farming operation, Bitfarms, in Farnham, Quebec, Canada, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

  • The Chicago Stock Exchange hit a brick wall when the SEC denied its request to merge with a Chinese-based company. 
  • A pivot to crypto might help revitalize the exchange, which commands a paltry 0.5% of the market, writes Richard Johnson, a vice president at Greenwich Associates. 
  • If a Chicago crypto exchange does come about, it would probably occur through an acquisition, Johnson writes in this op-ed. tZERO is one potential acquirer.

On February 15, the SEC blocked the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX) to a China-based consortium, due to concerns over the proposed ownership structure. This is the latest blow to the storied exchange, which was founded in 1882 but has struggled to stay relevant in a space dominated by ICE, Nasdaq and Cboe Global Markets. Back in October, the SEC also put a halt on their plans to implement a speed bump that the CHX hoped would attract new business and boost their market share from a paltry 0.5%.

With both initiatives scuppered, many are wondering what’s next for the exchange and whether it can continue to survive. At first glance, the prospects look bleak: There is no clear strategy to grow market share, and the incumbent domestic exchange operators are unlikely acquirers, as they already have multiple U.S. equity exchange licenses.

Transforming the CHX?

But another angle or alternate type of listing could revitalize the exchange and leapfrog it ahead of the competition—the CHX should pivot toward being a cryptocurrency exchange.

By this I don’t (just) mean bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies, but rather the nascent market for “securities tokens” or “crypto-securities.” These are assets issued on a blockchain that are fully compliant with U.S. securities regulations. These differ from the vast majority of ICOs, which purport to be “utility tokens,” whereby the holder of the utility token can use it on the blockchain network—for example, to purchase file storage on a decentralized cloud network.

In a recent op-ed, SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo expressed concern that many companies launching initial coin offerings (ICOs) were actually selling securities and bypassing federal regulations designed to protect investors. Commissioner Clayton has gone on to say that every ICO he has seen is, in fact, a security and that “platforms that effect or facilitate transactions in these products…may be operating unregistered exchanges or broker-dealers that are in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.”

More Regulations for Cryptocurrency Markets

This toughening regulatory stance suggests we are entering a new stage in the evolution of crypto markets. Future token issuances will need to be compliant with securities regulations, some existing tokens may be restructured for regulatory compliance, and marketplaces for these tokens may need to become compliant under the Exchange Act of ’34. Thus the exchange license that the CHX owns is now a potentially valuable asset for a crypto exchange.

There is already an example of a company that is building a crypto-security trading system compliant with the federal securities regulations. tZero (t0), a subsidiary of Overstock.com, owns and operates an ATS (which is governed by Reg ATS of the Exchange Act of ’34), and is currently conducting their own ICO in which the tokens will be “Reg D” securities issued only to accredited investors. These tokens will likely be the first to trade on its platform.

If a Chicago crypto exchange does come about, it would probably occur through an acquisition. tZERO is one potential acquirer. Although they already operate an ATS, an exchange license is an additional level of regulatory compliance and can offer added benefits as a listing venue. tZERO is raising $250 million in their ICO, so they could certainly afford the reported $20 million that was the price agreed to in the failed Chinese transaction.

Other Suitors for CHX

Other potential acquirers could include Circle, which this week agreed to buy Poloniex, a crypto-exchange, for $400 million. Circle/Poloniex buying the CHX would make a lot of sense: Circle is well capitalized and has embraced regulation, first by gaining a rare New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) BitLicense, and by further seeking a federal banking charter. Poloniex has focused more on the digital-token space, which can be thought of as pre-cursors to crypto securities.

Coinbase, whose investors include ICE’s NYSE, is another potential acquirer. They have shown little interest in the token space, however, preferring to focus on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin. Kraken and Bittrex are other U.S.-based exchanges that trade digital tokens and could potentially benefit from a tie-up with the federally regulated CHX.

Nevertheless, there are significant obstacles to a crypto-CHX merger. Crypto exchanges may not want to make a move before there is more certainty around the future regulatory structure, and the tokens that they currently trade may have to be delisted if they deemed securities and not utility tokens. But the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies and tokens is evolving rapidly, and increased regulation in the space is only a matter of when not if. Even if a Chicago crypto exchange doesn’t happen now, an Exchange-Act-regulated crypto exchange will soon have a place in U.S. markets. 

Richard Johnson is an equities and financial technology expert in Greenwich Associates' Market Structure and Technology practice. He has 20 years of industry experience in financial markets.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What 'Dilly Dilly' means — and how Bud Light came up with its viral campaign

Stocks just staged a massive comeback

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

dow jones today

  • Stocks staged an impressive comeback Friday, finishing mixed after a massive morning selloff was fueled by President Trump's tweets about tariffs.
  • The turmoil comes after Thursday’s market selloff spread to Europe and Asia Friday morning.
  • New tariffs on imported metals, expected to be enacted next week, lead to fears of a trade war.


After plunging Friday morning, stocks staged a dramatic comeback to end the day mixed.

Here’s the final scoreboard:

Stocks initially took a beating after President Trump tweeted support of his forthcoming tariff on imported steel and aluminum.

"When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don't trade anymore-we win big. It's easy!," he said in a string of early morning tweets.

Industrials were among the hardest hit in the two-day selloff. Caterpillar was down 2.42% and Boeing was down 1.38%. McDonald’s, another Dow component, was down a full 5% after a brutal downgrade by RBC Capital Markets

Despite the two-day selloff, the Cboe Volatility Index, commonly used as an investor ‘fear gauge’ went down for the first time in four days. It is currently at 20.58.

10-year Treasury yields increased slightly, rising to 2.85%. Crude oil rose slightly to $61.18 per barrel.

The afternoon recovery could be evidence that the initial selloffs from Thursday into Friday that rippled around the world were an overreaction. Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat, said that fears of a trade war were overblown.

"Equity markets are over-reacting—hence, we are aggressive buyers of this dip," Lee said in a note on Friday. In fact, companies with low foreign sales as a share of their total and those that with low sourcing of parts internationally have low exposure to a trade war. They include precious metals and minerals and coal, Lee said.

SEE ALSO: 14 states that still haven't fully recovered from the housing crash

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NOW WATCH: No one wants to host the Olympics anymore — will they go away?

Wall Street trading giant Virtu is preparing to take legal action against a fake copycat cryptocurrency

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

Virtu trader

  • Virtu Financial says a fake cryptocurrency called Virt Coin has no connection to the trading giant.
  • The fake project put out a press release Thursday falsely outlining Virtu's plan to launch a digital token. 

Virtu Financial, the Wall Street trading giant, is preparing to take legal action against a fake cryptocurrency that's using its likeness and claiming a connection to the firm. 

Virt Coin, a fake cryptocurrency project, put out a press release Thursday outlining Virtu Financial's supposed plan to launch its own digital token.

"Douglas Cifu, Virtu Financial's chief executive, told Wall Street recently that the company is going to issue the upcoming token VIRT for the trading desk," the release said. 

The claims in the release are completely false, according to Virtu. Virt Coin is not listed on the widely used cryptocurrency data site CoinMarketCap

"VirtCoin has no relationship, connection, or affiliation to Virtu Financial," the company said in a tweet. "Virtu has notified the appropriate authorities and intends to commence all necessary legal actions to defend itself from any attempt to infringe on its trademarks and intellectual property."

screenshot virtcoin.co 2018.03.02 13 22 10Virt Coin's website sports Virtu's logo in the left hand corner and a white paper uses a font that resembles the shade of green used by Virtu in its marketing materials. 

Virtu, a market-making firm, is known to have traded in crypto assets, but is a bit more shy about its presence in the market relative to other trading firms such as DRW, B2C2, Akuna Capital, and DV Trading — just to name a few. 

The cryptocurrency world has its fair share of fraud. Copycat tactics — in which fake entities claim to be associated with established brands or people — are especially common. For example, crypto trolls looking to solicit money from gullible passersby have made fake accounts in the likeness of figures such as Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and Commodities Futures and Trading Commission Chairman J Christopher Giancarlo. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

US Government Wants to Seize 500 BTC from Alleged ID Forgers

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

The post US Government Wants to Seize 500 BTC from Alleged ID Forgers appeared first on CCN

The US government is seeking to confiscate 500 bitcoins from individuals charged with creating and distributing forged identification documents. On Thursday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio announced that four individuals had been indicted for allegedly manufacturing and transferring falsified documents such as drivers’ licenses and personal identification cards issued by

The post US Government Wants to Seize 500 BTC from Alleged ID Forgers appeared first on CCN

Did You Buy or Sell Bitcoin in the Last Year? You May Owe Taxes to the IRS

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

You should probably consult with an expert.

BOE’s Carney: Time to Hold Cryptocurrencies to Wider Financial System Standards

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

The post BOE’s Carney: Time to Hold Cryptocurrencies to Wider Financial System Standards appeared first on CCN

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney does not support a ban on cryptocurrencies, favoring instead what sounds a lot like patchwork regulation. Carney made his largely sanguine remarks on crypto virtually, seemingly on cue, March 2 before students at the inaugural Scottish Economics Conference, an audience who he pointed out may very well own bitcoin, … Continued

The post BOE’s Carney: Time to Hold Cryptocurrencies to Wider Financial System Standards appeared first on CCN

Delta fires back at angry lawmakers amid NRA backlash: 'Our values are not for sale'

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

Delta CEO Ed Bastian

  • In a memo to employees on Friday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian defended his company's decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association.
  • Delta has since faced backlash from some customers and Georgia lawmakers, who on Thursday passed a tax bill that did not include a provision to exempt Delta from paying sales tax on jet fuel.
  • Bastian said the company's decision to end its relationship with the NRA was not made for "economic gain" and that its "values are not for sale."
  • Bastian also said the airline was committed to its headquarters in Atlanta.

In a memo to employees on Friday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian defended his company's decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association and signaled it could end more politically divisive partnerships.

Since ending its relationship with the NRA last weekend, the airline has faced backlash from some customers and lawmakers.

On Thursday, the Georgia legislature passed a tax bill that excluded a provision to exempt airlines from paying sales tax on jet fuel. The state's Republican governor, Nathan Deal, has said he will sign it into law.

Delta, one of Georgia's largest employers, could lose out on up to $40 million in tax breaks as a result. But Bastian said in the memo that the company stood by its decision and was committed to Atlanta as the location of its headquarters.

"While Delta's intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course," Bastian said.

"Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature."

Read Bastian's full statement:

This week, you have likely seen Delta in coverage of the national debate over gun control and security in U.S. schools. I want to take the opportunity to update you on how we got here and where we stand.

On Saturday, Delta rescinded a one-time group travel discount for the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, and asked the organization to remove our name and logo from their website. This decision followed the NRA's controversial statements after the recent school shootings in Florida. Our discounted travel benefit for NRA members could be seen as Delta implicitly endorsing the NRA. That is not the case.

I have heard from many of you over the last few days. Our people and our customers have a wide range of views on how to increase safety in our schools and public places, and we are not taking sides. Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate.

While Delta's intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course. Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature.

None of this changes the fact that our home is Atlanta and we are proud and honored to locate our headquarters here. And we are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States.

I have tremendous respect and admiration for Governor Nathan Deal, and thank him for the work he has done on the jet fuel tax exemption. He is a great friend to Delta. I know this action by the state legislature troubled him as it does all of us.

I know it is not comfortable to be caught in a highly emotional debate, and many of you have received questions from customers. We are at our best when we bring our customers and our world closer together. Hopefully, our decisions this week will serve this ultimate cause.

I want to thank every one of you for your professionalism and continued focus on taking care of our customers every day.

SEE ALSO: Kroger, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Walmart are jumping on the bandwagon with a new gun policy backed by Trump and hated by the NRA

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NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

Delta could face a $40 million blow over the NRA after Georgia lawmakers yank a key tax exemption — but the airline still won't move its headquarters (DAL)

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

RTX1VIUI

  • The Georgia legislature passed a tax reform bill on Thursday which excluded a provision that allowed airlines to re-fuel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport without paying the state's sales tax.
  • The exclusion was motivated by Delta Air Lines' announcement that it would join a number of businesses in ending its discount program for National Rifle Association members.
  • The bill will cost the airline, which uses Hartsfield-Jackson as its main hub and whose headquarters are located in Atlanta, $40 million.
  • But Delta is unlikely to move its headquarters, as the costs would likely outweigh the benefits.


The Georgia legislature passed a tax reform bill on Thursday which excluded a provision that allowed airlines to re-fuel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport without paying the state's sales tax. The bill now awaits approval from the state's governor, Nathan Deal, who he said he would sign it during a press conference on Wednesday.

The decision to remove the exemption was motivated by Delta Air Lines' announcement that it would join a number of businesses in ending its discount program for National Rifle Association members in the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida in February.

If approved, the removal of the fuel tax exemption would hit Delta hardest. The airline, which uses Hartsfield-Jackson as its main hub and whose headquarters are located in Atlanta, would have received $40 million of the $50 million airlines were set to save with the exemption. Delta's 33,000 Georgia employees also make it the state's largest private employer.

Delta won't move its headquarters from Atlanta

Delta CEO Ed Bastian addressed the Georgia legislature's decision in an email to company employees on Friday.

"Our people and our customers have a wide range of views on how to increase safety in our schools and public places, and we are not taking sides. Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate," he wrote. "Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale."

Bastian also said that the company was committed to staying in Atlanta. 

"None of this changes the fact that our home is Atlanta and we are proud and honored to locate our headquarters here. And we are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States," he said. 

Moving would likely cost more than the loss of the fuel tax exemption and create operational inefficiencies by moving further from the airline's main hub. Given that Hartsfield-Jackson is three times larger than Delta's second and third busiest hubs, Minneapolis and Detroit, it's also unlikely the airline would want to look for a new hub.

Atlanta's chances of getting Amazon's HQ2 may be affected

The Georgia legislature's retaliation against Delta could hurt Atlanta's standing as a contender for Amazon's second headquarters, HQ2. Atlanta is one of 20 cities that Amazon is considering for HQ2, and some analysts have pegged the city as one of the favorites to be chosen as the site for Amazon's second headquarters.

Deal echoed those concerns in a press conference on Wednesday. Though he said he would sign the bill, he expressed reservations over the motivations behind the removal of the fuel tax exemption and said he would find "a pathway forward for the elimination of sales tax on jet fuel, which is non-negotiable."

"I will sign it into law, because it is what is right for our citizens," Deal said of the bill, before stating his concerns over the way its composition and passage were handled.

"If we want to remain a truly competitive hub for global commerce and not be overshadowed by neighboring states, then we need to address the concerns of all in a dignified manner and with a maturity that our people deserve ... We were not elected to give the late night talk show hosts fodder for their monologues or to act with the type of immaturity that has caused so many in our society to have a cynical view of politics."

 

SEE ALSO: The fight between Georgia Republicans and Delta Air Lines over the NRA could be a disaster for Atlanta's bid for Amazon's HQ2

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NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

We Shouldn’t Ban Bitcoin, Says Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair

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

The post We Shouldn’t Ban Bitcoin, Says Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair appeared first on CCN

The former director of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Sheila Bair has doubled down on her stance in stating cryptocurrencies like bitcoin shouldn’t be outlawed. The former chairperson of the FDIC, a US federal government agency that provides insurance to bank deposits, has suggested regulation of activities surrounding cryptocurrencies instead of a blanket

The post We Shouldn’t Ban Bitcoin, Says Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair appeared first on CCN

A Major Dutch Bank Is Considering a Cryptocurrency Wallet for Its Customers

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

A Major Dutch Bank Is Considering a Cryptocurrency Wallet for Its Customers

Rabobank, a major Dutch multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is considering the possibility of integrating a cryptocurrency wallet within its online banking system.

Considered to be a global leader in food and agriculture financing and sustainability-oriented banking, Rabobank is among the 25 largest financial institutions in the world in terms of Tier 1 capital. The bank serves more than 7 million Dutch individual and corporate clients, offering a full range of financial services. Globally, the Rabobank group operates in 44 countries.

Rabobit, a Rabobank project currently in its conceptual development and market research phase, would allow the bank’s customers to store cryptocurrencies in a wallet hosted by Rabobank, within the bank’s secure online banking environment. Users would be able to store fiat and cryptocurrencies in one place and access all their funds through one bank account, which can send and receive both fiat and cryptocurrencies. The Rabobit wallet would be integrated with the Rabobank apps.

A Rabobank news release (in Dutch) reveals that Rabobit is part of Rabobank's internal Moonshot acceleration program. In this program, employees of the bank propose innovative ideas, and the best ideas are tested for interest among customers. A shortlist of Moonshot ideas will be compiled in early March 2018. In mid-June, some Moonshot ideas will be selected to be developed into products or services.

Rabobit is one of 22 ideas considered for further development. The idea is currently in a preliminary customer survey phase: Rabobank employees are evaluating public interest in Rabobit with client interviews, both in person (street research) and online, and investigating the risks associated with the use of cryptocurrencies. The Rabobank news release emphasizes that there is not yet an official decision to implement Rabobit.

Regardless of the eventual outcome of Rabobank’s selection project, the very fact that the bank is considering issuing a cryptocurrency wallet is significant. It’s also worth noting that Rabobank has previously expressed a negative position on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “Ownership and value transfer are completely anonymous and evade supervision by third parties, such as a government,” said a Rabobank representative just last month. “Which means that cryptocurrency does not meet the highest standards of compliance set by Rabobank."

An official Rabobank page titled “Cryptocurrency, or the future of payments” is more open to cryptocurrencies. “We are seeing only the beginning of a new phenomenon that, according to the experts and investors, can be compared to the mid-1990s when the internet took off,” noted Roel Steenbergen, who works in Rabobank IT's innovation arm. “We see this as more of an opportunity than a threat.” Steenbergen added that the old and the new world will have to find each other, and cryptocurrency will exist alongside the other forms of money we are familiar with.

It isn’t surprising that different opinions co-exist in large institutions like Rabobank, where emerging technologies always have both champions and detractors. However, should Rabobank eventually give an official green light to the Rabobit project and implement the cryptocurrency wallet, and should Rabobit become popular among the bank’s customers, it’s possible that other major banks could consider implementing similar cryptocurrency options of their own.

Rabobank image by Donald Trung - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

CRYPTO INSIDER: Digital currencies fall — but not as much as stocks

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

sad NYSE trader

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

Cryptocurrencies are down slightly on Friday, but largely faring better than stocks as markets continue to slide following Trump's tariff announcement and tweet that 'trade wars are good.'

Here are the current crypto prices:

Crypto prices today

Join Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss cryptocurrencies and blockchain with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff. 

SEE ALSO: The iced tea company that pivoted to blockchain finally hired a board member with crypto expertise as it fights fraud accusations

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NOW WATCH: What would happen if humans tried to land on Jupiter

50 haunting photos of abandoned shopping malls across America

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

Cloverleaf mall

  • American malls are closing all over the US.
  • A report done by Credit Suisse estimates that 20% to 25% of malls would shutter over the next five years, largely because of store closures.
  • In 2017, 6,400 stores closed – a further 3,600 are expected to close in 2018. 
  • These photos show how malls were forced to shutter as key anchors such as Sears and Macy's left. 


American malls are dying out.

Retail complexes all over the US are being clobbered by store closures sweeping the country.

In 2017, more than 6,400 stores closed and another 3,600 are expected to shutter in 2018. According to a report done by Credit Suisse, this will result in 20% to 25% of malls closing in the next five years.

A national retail apocalypse has crippled US malls as anchor stores such as Macy's and Sears, which take up large retail spaces and drive foot traffic, have shuttered stores and left malls with enormous gaps to fill. 

For many malls, this is an impossible task. 

Take a look at some of these haunting photos below that show how badly America's malls have been hit:

SEE ALSO: These photos of empty stores show why Mattress Firm could be on the verge of closing hundreds of locations

This is the Carousel Mall in San Bernardino, California, which closed in 2017. The mall had been hanging by a thread after it lost its two main anchors, Montgomery Ward and JC Penney, several years before.

Source: Business Insider



Euclid Square Mall in Ohio had a similar fate and shuttered in 2016.



It was temporarily used by religious congregations who held services in old stores. In September 2017, Amazon announced plans to build a 1.7 million square foot fulfillment center in its place.

Source: Crain's



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

World’s Most Popular Bitcoin Fabricator Launches Cold Storage Coins

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

The post World’s Most Popular Bitcoin Fabricator Launches Cold Storage Coins appeared first on CCN

This is a sponsored story. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the content below. Today, most people know Bitcoin by its iconic physical, minted counterpart. The image of this Bitcoin coin plays an important role in communicating Bitcoin’s unique position as a decentralized,

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The US Government Wants to Keep $5.5 Million in Seized Bitcoin

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

The U.S. Attorney's Office could soon confiscate another 500 bitcoins that have been seized from alleged ID forgers in Ohio.

Theresa May rules out financial passporting after Brexit but wants 'a broader agreement than ever before'

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

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech about her vision for Brexit, at Mansion House in London, Britain, March 2, 2018.

  • Theresa May rules out continuing passporting after Brexit.
  • Passporting allows UK companies to sell their services across the EU but means the UK would have to adhere to EU rules in the future.
  • May said she wants to "break new ground with a broader agreement than ever before" on services.


LONDON — UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday ruled out keeping financial passporting with the European Union after Brexit.

May said as part of a major speech on Britain's Brexit priorities: "We're not looking for passporting because we understand that it is intrinsic to the single market, which we would no longer be a member of. It would also require us to be subject to a single rulebook over which we would have no say."

Passporting rules allow EU finance companies to sell their services across the 28-member bloc with a local license, rather than getting a license to operate in each member country where it does business.

The threat of losing passporting rights is the biggest concern for the finance industry. Many companies have been setting up regulated subsidiaries in new cities such as Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam to hedge against the risk of disruption to their business.

Despite ruling out passporting, May signalled that the government wants to strike a new deal that would still allow UK companies to still sell services across the EU.

The Prime Minister said she wants to "break new ground with a broader agreement than ever before" on services. 

"We want to limit the number of barriers that could prevent UK firms setting up in the EU and vice versa," May said.

She did not provide details on what a future arrangement on financial services could look like but said: "The chancellor will be setting out next week how financial services can and should be part of a deep and comprehensive partnership."

Catherine McGuinness, the City of London's policy chief, said: “The speech given today is in line with proposals for financial services put together by the International Regulatory Strategy Group, which outline a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement, introducing a joint dispute resolution body and mechanisms for mutual market access."

“We look forward to securing a transition deal with the EU as soon as possible and then discussing these trade proposals further," she said.

May said it would be "unrealistic" for the UK to automatically introduce new EU financial services rules after it had left the union. She said it is in both negotiating parties interests to strike an open deal on financial services, given the EU's reliance on London-based financial markets.

"Only looking at precedent would hurt both the UK and EU," she said.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

Citigroup's head of global stock trading is out

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

Citibank

  • Armando Diaz, Citigroup's head of global cash trading, is leaving the firm.
  • This was his second stint at Citigroup, whose cash equities business has been making headway in the past year. 

Citigroup's head of global cash stock trading is leaving the firm.

Armando Diaz, who was hired in 2016 to revive Citi's moribund global cash trading business, is leaving the company, according to people familiar with the matter. 

This was Diaz's second stint at Citi. He ran US institutional cash trading at the firm up until 2011, when he left to join hedge fund Millennium Management. He also spent two decades at Goldman Sachs.

The reason behind Diaz' departure isn't clear. But Citigroup's equities business took market share in the period where Diaz was at the helm of the stock trading business. Over a period where the equities business has suffered on Wall Street, Citi made strides and clawed back market share from competitors, moving past Deutsche Bank in the league tables and closing the gap with Credit Suisse. 

The equities departments at other banks fell 4% to 5% on average last year, with cash equities declining 3% to $9.2 billion across Wall Street. Industry sources say Citi's cash equities business, while smaller than competitors at the top of the league tables, actually grew by more than 7% in 2017.

"They did well. I'm surprised at that news to be very honest," one industry consultant told Business Insider. "Citi gained market share when others were down."

Citigroup declined to comment.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Bitcoin Price Flirts with $11,000 as Other Top Coins Retreat

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

The post Bitcoin Price Flirts with $11,000 as Other Top Coins Retreat appeared first on CCN

The Bitcoin price continued to flirt with the $11,000 threshold on Friday, even as other top cryptocurrencies experienced minor declines. Meanwhile, another former top 10-cryptocurrency is eyeing a return to this exclusive list. Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap rose by approximately $11 billion on Friday — a single-day increase of two percent — and is

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South Korean ‘Big Five’ Bank Completes Ripple Remittance Trial

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

The post South Korean ‘Big Five’ Bank Completes Ripple Remittance Trial appeared first on CCN

Woori Bank, one of South Korea’s biggest banks, has reportedly completed a successful overseas remittance trial enabled by the blockchain technology developed by Ripple. South Korean ‘big five’ bank Woori has completed the second phase of an overseas remittance trial using San Francisco-based enterprise blockchain startup Ripple, a move that sees the commercialization of blockchain … Continued

The post South Korean ‘Big Five’ Bank Completes Ripple Remittance Trial appeared first on CCN

Carney calls for crypto-currency regulation

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

Countries need to decide whether to isolate, regulate, or integrate crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Mark Carney says.

The Texas millionaire who saved a lower league English football club from collapse says he's 'likely to lose' all his money but did it to 'enjoy life'

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

  • Leyton Orient Mascot  Mandatory Credit:
  • Kent Teague helped finance the takeover of financially distressed Leyton Orient last year.
  • Teague told the FT the deal "doesn’t make sense" financially but is more about "karma."


LONDON — A Texas businessman who helped save lower league English football club Leyton Orient from collapse last year says the deal doesn't make sense financially.

Multi-millionaire Kent Teague helped financed the takeover of the East London club last year. Leyton Orient, who currently play in the fifth tier of English football, was facing financial collapse at the time.

Teague told the Financial Times in an interview on Friday: "I’m likely to lose all my money, every bit that I put in. It doesn’t make sense. Financially, it doesn’t. But you see, if you make all your decisions on financial sense, it’s really hard to enjoy your life sometimes."

The 137-year-old club, nicknamed the Os, has a rich history — David Beckham had a trial at the club as a boy — but has fallen on hard times on and off the field in recent years.

Teague made his money working for Microsoft and then setting up his own private equity firm and told the FT he has "enough" money. The investment is "kind of a Karma thing," he said.

You can read the full FT interview here.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney: Bitcoin is heading for a 'pretty brutal reckoning'

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

Mark Carney

  • Bank of England Governor Carney tears into bitcoin in a stinging speech and interview on Friday.
  • Carney said cryptocurrencies are "failing" and actually currencies.
  • Bitcoin has "hallmarks" of a bubble and could be heading for "a pretty brutal reckoning," he said.
  • Carney called for regulation of the space, something he says the Bank of England is looking at closely.


LONDON — Bank of England Governor Mark Carney tore into bitcoin in a stinging speech and interview on Friday, warning the digital currency could be heading for a "pretty brutal reckoning."

Speaking to Sky News, the Governor said cryptocurrencies have "all the hallmarks of a bubble. And normally they end with a pretty brutal reckoning."

Bitcoin rose almost 1,500% against the dollar last year and its rapid rise attracted large numbers of retail investors to space. But the digital asset has halved in value since the start of the year and many commentators suggest the entire space is unsustainable. ECB board member Yves Mersch said last month that the market is held up by investors who "believe they will find a greater fool to sell to before the inevitable crash."

Carney said that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are "failing" in their key objectives and called for regulation of the space.

'The short answer is they are failing'

Addressing whether cryptocurrencies are actually money, Carney said in his speech on Friday: "The long, charitable answer is that cryptocurrencies act as money, at best, only for some people and to a limited extent, and even then only in parallel with the traditional currencies of the users.

"The short answer is they are failing."

Carney said bitcoin fails to pass several key tests of what a currency should be able to do. Citing the work of Scottish economist Adam Smith, Carney noted that currencies should be a store of value, a medium of exchange, and a unit of account. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fail at least two of these tests, he said.

"Cryptocurrencies are proving poor short-term stores of value. Over the past five years, the daily standard deviation of Bitcoin was ten times that of sterling.

"Consider that if you had taken out a £1,000 student loan in Bitcoin in last December to pay your sterling living costs for next year, you’d be short about £500 right now. If you’d done the same last September, you’d be ahead by £2,000. That’s quite a lottery. And Bitcoin is one of the more stable cryptocurrencies."

Cryptocurrencies also fail as a medium of exchange, Carney said.

"The most fundamental reason to be sceptical about the longer term value of cryptocurrencies is that it is not clear the extent to which they will ever become effective media of exchange," he said.

"Currently, no major high street or online retailer accepts Bitcoin as payment in the UK, and only a handful of the top 500 US online retailers do. For those who can find someone willing to accept payment for goods and services in cryptocurrencies, the speed and cost of the transaction varies but it is generally slower and more expensive than payments in sterling."

Carney made a similar assertion that bitcoin is "failing" in another speech last month. S&P Global Ratings argued in a recent note that cryptocurrencies are "a speculative instrument" rather than a cryptocurrency.

'They will be regulated'

Carney called for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies in an interview with Sky News at the venue of Friday's speech.

"There are issues for authorities who deal with money laundering, terrorist financing, and price fixing. There have been a number of incidents of theft — not just big crimes but also steady thefts from people's wallets."

"The operational standards of these currencies are nowhere near where they need to be," he said. "They will be regulated in my view."

Earlier this week it emerged that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has sent out a flurry of subpoenas to cryptocurrency companies asking for information. The move has been seen by most as a precursor to regulating the sector.

Initially slated to appear at the inaugural Scottish Economics Conference in Edinburgh, Carney was forced to deliver his speech remotely thanks to the severe weather which has hit the UK in recent days.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

First Bitcoin Cash Ransomware Makes It Impossible to Decrypt Files

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

The post First Bitcoin Cash Ransomware Makes It Impossible to Decrypt Files appeared first on CCN

Ransomware extortionists have seemingly started using Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for ransom payments as well, according to a report published by Bleeping Computer. The first ransomware strain to use the cryptocurrency, dubbed Thanatos, makes it impossible for users to decrypt their files, even after paying. Per Bleeping Computer, the ransomware was first discovered by cybersecurity researcher … Continued

The post First Bitcoin Cash Ransomware Makes It Impossible to Decrypt Files appeared first on CCN

McDonald's forced a 14-year-old to eat outside in London's 'Beast from the East' cold snap because she had her school uniform on (MCD)

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

red bus london snow

  • The UK  is in the grip of a dramatic cold snap this week.
  • Despite this, McDonald's told a 14-year-old girl she had to eat her food outside.
  • They were enforcing a policy which bans children in school uniform from eating inside their restaurants.
  • McDonald's has said that the weather doesn't make a difference.


A 14-year-old student in London was forced to leave a McDonald's and eat in the freezing cold because she was wearing her school uniform.

Lucy Haffenden and an unnamed friend were asked by staff at a McDonald's branch in Erith, south London, to eat their cheeseburgers outside around 5 p.m. on Monday, The Sun reported.

Temperatures in London hovered between 0 and -4 degrees Celsius (32 to 25 Fahrenheit) that day.

McDonald's acknowledged the incident, and said it was enforcing a blanket ban on children in uniform eating in the restaurant, regardless of the weather.

According to Haffenden's father, Mark, the two students were given a takeaway bag and asked to leave despite saying that they wanted to eat in-store.

He told The Sun: "They sat down and then someone comes over and tells them to leave – it's embarrassing, and really no way to treat customers."

Britain and many parts of Europe are experiencing heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures as it grapples with the "Beast from the East," a cold blast caused by unseasonably warm weather in the Arctic.

mcdonalds erith

McDonald's appeared to acknowledge the incident, and said their staff had been following guidelines.

According to the company's policy, all people wearing school uniforms at its Erith branch are not allowed to eat inside because it could encourage anti-social behaviour.

The company told The Sun: "Whilst there is no indication that the girls mentioned were committing acts of anti-social behaviour the safety of our crew and customers is of the utmost importance to us and the policy is therefore enforced at all times."

Mark Haffenden, the student's father, said the company should have made an exception and that he would be asking for a refund on his daughter's meal.

He said: "We all know what the weather has been like, I can't believe they're allowed to make them get out.

"Even if there is a policy, surely they could have just said for today they can eat in — then I would have been thanking them, rather than having to get a refund."

Business Insider has contacted McDonald's for further comment, but is yet to receive a reply.

Parts of southern England and Wales will continue to be hit by heavy snow and strong winds as Storm Emma pushes up from southern Europe, the UK Met Office has warned.

At least three people in the UK have died as a result of icy conditions, the BBC reported.

SEE ALSO: An insane photo shows the 'Beast from the East' cold weather system engulfing London

READ MORE: This is the scientific reason Europe is incredibly cold and snowy this week

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Hedge fund billionaire Dan Loeb is losing money on consumer and tech stocks

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

FILE PHOTO: Daniel S. Loeb, founder of Third Point LLC, participates in a panel discussion during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • Dan Loeb's Offshore fund is up 0.7% year-to-date, and lost 3% in February.
  • That's lower than the S&P 500 benchmark, which has gained 1.8% so far in 2018.


LONDON – Third Point's Offshore Fund has had a rocky start to 2018.

The hedge fund set up by US billionaire investor Daniel Loeb has gained just 0.7% so far in 2018, according to a filing in the UK on Friday. That's less than the 1.8% overall rise in the S&P 500 stock market benchmark since the start of the year.

The fund lost 3% in February, beating the 3.7% downturn in the S&P 500.

"February performance was primarily driven by negative performance in core long equity positions across several sectors including Consumer, Healthcare, and TMT," the fund said in a statement. "Short equity positions generated positive returns. Asset-backed securities contributed the majority of gains in Credit."

The firm's long positions lost 3.9%, while the short positions – which are bets that the price of stocks will fall – gained 0.8% in February.

Despite the dip, the Offshore fund is beating the S&P by a wide margin when historical performance since 1996 is taken into account. The fund has returned an average of 15.7% a year, compared with the S&P's 8.2% returns.

Loeb's fund has large stakes in Nestle, Facebook, and Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant. Last year Third Point bought 4.5 million shares of Alibaba, worth about $634.1 million.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Carney calls for crackdown on cryptocurrency 'mania'

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

Bitcoin and other digital currencies must be regulated, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warns.

Bitcoin Struggles to Stay Above $11,000 Amid Low Volumes

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

Bitcoin passed above the $11,000 mark this morning, but low volumes could be capping gains.

Forking a Fork: 'Bitcoin Private' Copies Zcash But What's it Worth?

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

A fork of a fork of a fork? A new cryptocurrency just launched that's nearly identical to zcash, but commentators are questioning its value add.

South Korean Bank Trials Ripple for Overseas Remittances

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

South Korea's Wooribank has reportedly completed an overseas remittance test using Ripple's DLT solution.

The founders of trading firm Plus500 made £80 million selling shares

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

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Atletico Madrid vs Leganes - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - February 28, 2018 Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring their third goal to complete his hat-trick  TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

  • Plus500 is an online contract for difference platform, letting people wager money on the movement of assets without actually owning them.
  • The company's five founders sold 7.2 million shares in the business overnight, netting them a combined £80 million.
  • Plus500 recently announced its best-ever quarter, helped by crypto trading.

LONDON — The five Israeli founders of London-listed online trading Plus500 shared a £80 million payday on Friday after successfully selling shares in the business.

Alon Gonen, Gal Haber, Elad Ben-Izhak, Omer Elazari, and  Shlomi Weizmann sold a combined 7.27 million shares in Plus500 for £11 each, the company said on Friday morning. The placing price represents a slight discount to Thursday's closing price of £11.69 per share.

Gonen netted the biggest haul, earning £37.4 million selling 3.4 million shares.

Plus500 was founded in Israel in 2008 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2013. The company's shareholders made $50 million at the time of the listing.

The company, which ran into difficulties with UK regulators in 2015, recently announced its best-ever quarter, helped by a surge in popularity for its cryptocurrency products.

Plus500, which sponsors Spanish football team Atletico Madrid, lets retail clients trade contracts for difference (CFD), which are financial instruments that allow people to bet on the price movement of assets without actually owning them.

Traders can gain exposure to stocks or metals, without incurring the higher fees associated with actually buying them. Providers typically offer leverage — borrowed money to invest with — of up to 50:1. 

The products are high risk and the entire industry has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny across Europe over the past year. The UK's Financial Conduct Authority warned in November that cryptocurrency CFDs "are extremely high-risk, speculative products" that "place you at risk of suffering significant losses." The FCA found that 82% of people who use the products lose money, suggesting CFDs are more akin to gambling than investing.

Plus500's five founders still own just under 16% of the business. Stockbroker Liberum, which facilitated the sale, said the Founders have agreed not to sell any more shares for 180 days.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

Report: Louisiana Officials Probe Staffers for Mining Bitcoin At Work

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

Louisiana's attorney general is reportedly investigating a group of former staffers for using official resources to mine cryptocurrencies.

Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman earned a mammoth $785 million in 2017 (BX)

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

Steve Schwarzman

  • Blackstone founder and CEO Steve Schwarzman earned $787 million in 2017.
  • Most of that is dividends from the shares he owns in the firm.


Blackstone founder and CEO Steve Schwarzman had a monster year in 2017. 

Schwarzman drew a salary of $350,000 in 2017, which is a healthy chunk of change to most people (the median household income is about $60,000).

But that's merely a rounding error for Blackstone's top boss — less than 0.1% of the total amount he earned last year, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission

Once you account for carried interest and dividends for the shares of Blackstone he owns, Schwarzman earned a mammoth $787 million in 2017. 

According Blackstone's 10-K filed with the SEC, he pulled in $125.5 million in executive compensation — that includes the salary, but is primarily made up of carried interest, a cut of the profits from the Blackstone investments he's involved in.

Since he founded and owns a large chunk of the company, he also earned a hefty sum from the profits distributed to shareholders. Schwarzman owns 231.9 million Blackstone "Partnership Units," which are basically the same as normal shares except they're typically held by senior management and pay out a slightly higher dividend. 

In 2017, common shareholders earned a total annual dividend of $2.70 per share. Holders of partnership units earned $2.85 per share. 

So, Schwarzman's 231.9 million units work out to $661 million in dividends.

In total, Schwarzman brought home $787 million from Blackstone in 2017. Not a bad year. 

SEE ALSO: Wall Street billionaire Steve Schwarzman gave a record-setting gift to his public high school — and it highlights the dire situation American schools face

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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