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Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Poised for $9,000s Amid Weak Lows

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

Bitcoin Price Analysis

A short-lived rally gave eager bulls false hope as the the market attempted to break back into the trading range (TR) outlined in last week’s BTC Market Analysis. As noted in our last discussion, a break back into the TR would be considered a period of evaluation and an inability to maintain support within the TR would likely lead to a continuation of the downtrend:

fig1Figure 1: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Downtrend Continuation

After establishing the Major Sign of Weakness (SOW), the market made a feeble rally and ultimately formed a Last Point of Supply (LPSY) at the bottom of the TR. The LPSY is the point where supply begins to overwhelm the market and long positions begin to close as the demand dries up. Shortly after the rejection of the TR, the market established a new low. However, this low was pushed on fairly low volume. The price action and volume are shaping out a reversal pattern called a Falling Wedge (FW):

fig 2Figure 2: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Falling Wedge

If the price manages to break out of this FW it will have a modest $1,000 move upward. The measured move would have us retesting the lower $9,000s once again. However, if we fail to gain enough momentum upward, we would likely test the macro 61% Fibonacci retracement values:

fig 3Figure 3: BTC-USD, 3-Day Candles, Macro Fib Retracements

fig 4Figure 4: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Macro 61% Closer View

If we manage to test the 61%, this will again be a zone of evaluation as we wait to see how the market reacts to such strong, macro support.

Summary:

  1. After a short-lived rally, bitcoin established a LPSY in the $8,800s before continuing to make new lows.
  2. Currently, the market is pushing new lows but on diminishing volume.
  3. The current price action is forming a Falling Wedge which, if it breaks upwards, would have a price target in the low $9,000s.

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


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

I went to the exclusive after-party where cryptocurrency investors blew off steam with drugs and naked dancers

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

The Box

  • I went to an after-hours cryptocurrency party at a burlesque club attended by those visiting New York for a massive blockchain conference called Consensus.
  • It was wild. 

At 2 a.m. on Thursday, a crowd of people, mostly men, are lined up outside an exclusive burlesque nightclub, The Box, in downtown Manhattan. 

"Who are all these people?" A dancer in spiky gold stilettos asks a security guard. 

"There's some sort of cryptocurrency conference in town," he tells her.

"What the hell is cryptocurrency?"

"Like bitcoin and stuff," he says.

The group in question have just disembarked from a cruise ship, the Cornucopia Majesty, where a pair of Aston Martins were awarded to two guests through a process of random selection. Glowing bracelets were distributed at the start of the cruise, and the two people lucky enough to receive the bracelets that glowed the longest were gifted the sports cars.

The crowd is visiting the city to attend Consensus, the sprawling blockchain conference that has attracted nearly 8,500 people.

Inside the club, where photos aren't allowed, women in corseted lingerie deliver bottles of vodka and champagne to tables of reclining men in suits, amid a fanfare of sparklers. Onstage, two naked women simulate fellatio as the crowd roars in approval. At one point, one of the women eats something seemingly designed to look like feces from the other's rear. A half-naked man wearing an enormous bear head gyrates against a woman whose breasts are ensconced in two clear plastic Madonna-style triangles. Bags of cocaine are passed underhand. 

"If I offer you coke, do you promise not to write about it?" A woman asks.

The creator of an influential cryptocurrency who goes by the nickname “Fluffy Pony” explains the power of decentralized technology as a woman in a G-string undulates on the bar-top beside us. 

The mood is celebratory. Many of the people in attendance have gotten rich in the last decade through a technology often derided by the public. For many of them, the media's newfound captivation with cryptocurrencies is a form of a validation: It is satisfying to be right.  

As one man in attendance puts it, "Getting rich on crypto is something that most of us never expected. We weren't in it for the money. It's like, what do you do when you suddenly have a bunch of money that you never even thought you would have?"

For some, the answer to this question lies in an MDMA-fueled night of bottle service and entertainment at an exclusive adult club. 

But for others, the money is a windfall to be spent on technologies that they believe will transform not only the internet, but the underpinnings of society itself. 

Around 3am, a nerdcore rapper who goes by the name YTCracker takes to the stage to perform two cryptocurrency themed rap songs: Bitcoin Baron and Crypto Illuminati. He flew in to New York expressly to perform at this event.

He raps:

"Told you to snap up a modest position
of currency minted from factoring digits
which of you listened?
which of you listened?"

In the red velvet booths below, his listeners raise glasses of champagne.

"Blockchain is going to change the world, man," a man tells me, exuberant. "This is only the beginning."

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What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

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

Wall Street was abuzz this week with Goldman Sachs bankers and rival financiers questioning what was behind the firm's Monday announcement that securities division coheads Pablo Salame and Isabelle Ealet would be leaving the bank in June.

We spoke with more than half a dozen Goldman Sachs partners past and present, as well as close confidants to current partners, to understand what happened and what it means for the firm going forward.

Here's our story: Inside the shakeup at the top of Goldman Sachs' trading division — and what it means about the future of the firm

In deal news, PayPal is buying the Swedish card-reading startup iZettle for $2.2 billion, and Square should be worriedAd industry execs are buzzing about a potential sale of LiveRamp, one of the most trusted marketing-data platforms.

And in activist news, hedge fund manager David Tepper now has the go-ahead to go full activist on Allergan if he wants to.

In crypto news, forget bitcoin and ethereum, there's a new cryptocurrency in town: zcash. We break it down for you. 

In markets news:

Lastly, Business Insider's London-based finance reporter Oscar Williams-Grut was on Thursday named a finalist for a prestigious Gerald Loeb Award. You can read his nominated story right here:

'Market manipulation 101': 'Wolf of Wall Street'-style 'pump and dump' scams plague cryptocurrency markets

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NOW WATCH: There’s a major shift occurring that could signal the end of the historic bull market

Call of Duty's new feature isn't a Fortnite killer, analyst says (ATVI)

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

call of duty

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the Activision Blizzard video game scheduled for release in October, will include a new battle royale mode.
  • Oppenheimer doesn't see that taking away from Fortnite, which appeals to a younger, broader audience.
  • Instead, the new Call of Duty feature is better positioned to attract hardcore fans of first-person shooters.
  • Watch Activision Blizzard trade in real-time here.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the much-anticipated Activision Blizzard video game scheduled for release on October 12, is likely to be a big hit given the franchise's large following and improvements on weaponry. The game will also have a battle royale mode, a game type recently popularized by Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, but it is unlikely to have the same broad appeal as Fortnite.

"We believe the game is not positioned to appeal to wider, younger players like Fortnite is," the Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz wrote in a note to clients. "Instead, we believe this game is built to be the best-in-class hardcore FPS," or first-person shooter.

Epic Games' Fortnite shot up in popularity in recent months, capturing audiences with its battle royale mode and its "freemium" business model that allows the game to run 100% free on consoles. In March alone, Fortnite raked in $223 million in revenue across all platforms, according to the research firm Superdata.

Rather than competing head-to-head with Fortnite for young players, Uerkwitz believes, the new Call of Duty feature is better suited to gain market share from games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Siege, PlayerUnknown's Battleground, and Battlefield, which are more popular with experienced players. Black Ops 4, in his view, will be more attractive to hardcore fans of first-person shooters with its "deeper/flexible load-outs and tactical game play."

Activision Blizzard also said the PC version of Black Ops 4 would run on Battle.net, an online gaming, social media, and digital-distribution platform. Battle.net supports games such as Overwatch, Starcraft: Remastered, and Destiny 2. The push should better expand the Call of Duty player base on the PC as that version is positioned to make use of Battle.net's social features and tools, Uerkwitz said.

Activision Blizzard is up 11% this year.

ATVI

SEE ALSO: A crypto miner trolls Warren Buffett with bitcoin billboards outside his office (BRKB)

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NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reveals what it's like to build an empire and become the richest man in the world — and why he's willing to spend $1 billion a year to fund the most important mission of his life

Call of Duty's new feature isn't a Fortnite killer, analyst says (ATVI)

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

call of duty

  • Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 scheduled to release in October includes a new battle royale mode. 
  • Oppenheimer doesn't see that taking away from Fortnite, which appeals to a younger, broader audience. 
  • Instead, the new Call of Duty feature is better positioned to attract hardcore first-person shooter fans. 
  • Watch Activision Blizzard trade in real-time here.

Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is scheduled for release on October 12, and will likely be a big hit given the franchise's large following and improvements on weaponry. The much-anticipated game will also have a battle royale mode, recently popularized by Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battleground, but it is unlikely to have the same broad appeal as Fortnite. 

"We believe the game is not positioned to appeal to wider, younger players like Fortnite is," Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz wrote in a note to clients. "Instead, we believe this game is built to be the best-in-class hardcore [first person shooter]." 

Epic Games' Fortnite shot up in popularity within recent months, capturing audiences with its battle royale mode and its "freemium" business model that allows the game to run 100% free on consoles. In March alone, Fortnite raked in $223 million in revenue across all platforms, according to research firm Superdata. 

Rather than competing head-to-head with Fortnite for young players, Uerkwitz believes the new feature is better suited to gain market share from games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Siege, PlayerUnknown's Battleground, and Battlefield which are more popular with experienced players. Black Ops 4 will be more attractive to hardcore first-person shooter fans with its "deeper/flexible load-outs and tactical game play." 

Activision Blizzard also said the PC version of Black Ops 4 will run on Battle.net, an online gaming, social media, and digital distribution platform. Battle.net currently supports games such as Overwatch, Starcraft: Remastered and Destiny 2. The push should better expand the Call of Duty player base on the PC as that version is positioned to make use of Battle.net's social features and tools, Uerkwitz said. 

Activision Blizzard is up 11% this year. 

ATVI

SEE ALSO: A crypto miner trolls Warren Buffett with bitcoin billboards outside his office (BRKB)

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NOW WATCH: Ian Bremmer: Why the American dream doesn't exist anymore

Bitcoin Bull John McAfee Accused Of Shilling Sham ICO After Charging $500,000 A Tweet

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

Bitcoin bull John McAfee is accused of promoting a sham initial coin offering by a group called Pink Taxi, which allegedly stole intellectual property from a blockchain-based taxi platform called A2B Taxi Token. The controversy erupted on May 17, after McAfee promoted an ICO for Pink Tax Group Ltd. U.K. on Twitter. “I am advising and

The post Bitcoin Bull John McAfee Accused Of Shilling Sham ICO After Charging $500,000 A Tweet appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Is Making a Major Pivot to AI

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

Bitmain is the world’s undisputed leader in cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturing. Now, it wants to fill a similar role in the artificial intelligence (AI) field as well. Speaking in a rare interview, enigmatic Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu told Bloomberg that the company is channeling its expertise in developing application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips toward a

The post Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Is Making a Major Pivot to AI appeared first on CCN

CRYPTO INSIDER: Google is behind on blockchain

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

Google I/O 2018 sundar pichai

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.

SEE ALSO: Housing prices are soaring in America — here's where they've climbed the most since the housing crisis

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NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos on breaking up and regulating Amazon

CRYPTO INSIDER: Google is behind on blockchain

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

Google I/O 2018 sundar pichai

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.

SEE ALSO: Housing prices are soaring in America — here's where they've climbed the most since the housing crisis

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos on breaking up and regulating Amazon

Bitcoin’s Massive Power Usage Explained in New Analysis

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


At current levels, de Vries estimates Bitcoin mining uses at least 2.6GW of power per year, and that number could grow to as much as 7.7GW by the end of the year.

The post Bitcoin’s Massive Power Usage Explained in New Analysis appeared first on ExtremeTech.

Op Ed: Facebook Is Moving Into Blockchain: How Might This Play Out?

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

Op Ed: Facebook Is Moving Into Blockchain: How Might This Play Out?

Historically, Facebook has done a great job of staying on the cusp of technological advancement through investing heavily in new technologies and smart acquisitions. From WhatsApp to Oculus, the company has used its bulging bank balances to stay one step ahead of consumer trends by snapping up tech and talent. And, after last week’s internal announcement that Facebook would be investing heavily in a new blockchain technology research wing, headed by David Marcus, one of the company's top execs, leader of its Messenger platform and a former CEO of PayPal, it is quite obvious which new emerging technology the company has its sights set on now.

Blockchain technology — and its incorruptible, decentralized digital ledger — could offer the accountability and transparency needed to pull Facebook out of its recent data security quagmire, which saw CEO Mark Zuckerberg dragged in front of the United States Congress following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. On the flipside, the decentralized nature of blockchains would make it difficult for Facebook to continue with its most valuable business model: harvesting user data and targeting users with advertising based on their online behavior.

So, with this conundrum in mind, how might Facebook be planning on using the blockchain, and how will this affect the overall development of blockchain technology?

What Is the Plan?

I would argue that there are three potential incentives for Facebook in building out its blockchain capabilities:

The first, and most obvious, is that Facebook is aiming to publicly align itself with a technology which is most famous for providing transparency and offering users control of their own data in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The scandal has left many users questioning Facebook’s management of user data and the platform’s transparency and privacy terms, which blockchain applications could potentially alleviate.

The second is that Facebook wants to continue drawing developers to create apps on its developer platform by capitalizing on the popular trend of coders moving en masse into the crypto space. If Facebook can develop a platform where app developers can raise and earn from their apps via tokens on the blockchain, the speed to reward incentive is much higher. Tokens offer developers immediate value at the point of launch, rather than having to wait years for their apps to mature to hit the jackpot.

The third, in light of recent scandals, is that Facebook likely to be monitoring the progress of a number of emerging blockchain-based social media platforms, such as Steemit and YOYOW. However, to date, these competitors are well off being a real threat, with less than 100,000 daily users. As such, the chances are that Facebook is instead looking to the future, to launching a next generation social platform enabled by the blockchain which offers users more control over the use of their data, and the opportunity to be rewarded for sharing their data.

How Is Facebook Most Likely to Use Blockchain Technology?

Security and Data Management

Blockchain technology enables immutable and transparent record keeping which could assist Facebook in re-establishing trust and confidence in the way users’ data is stored and used. Through the blockchain, users could see who had been given access to their data, which, in turn, would mean Facebook would have to do a better job of allowing users to set their own data access restrictions and limitations. For example, users would be able to see exactly what personal data they have stored on Facebook and subsequently decide what data can be made available to the public or for sale to marketers. This would also open the door to users being able to monetize the sale of their own data, via the Facebook platform.

Marketplace and Cryptocurrencies

The creation of Facebook’s own tokens, based on Ethereum or other existing cryptocurrencies, would allow for the exchange of tokens on the Facebook app store and also in newer Facebook initiatives like the Facebook Marketplace.

The blockchain is best used in shared economies, where multiple parties cooperate and create a mutual environment of trust. Introducing tokens could allow Facebook apps and marketplaces to become more sophisticated but also more trustworthy. The added transparency of the blockchain, with increased user control of their own data, plus access to more than 2 billion active users, would be enough to bring most developers or brands onboard.

What Are the Roadblocks to Adoption?

The decentralization of a platform which has based its whole business model on the total control of user data would require a truly radical redesign of the site’s architecture.

However, while the move would be a huge task, it shouldn’t, in theory, pose too many performance-based issues. Technically speaking, there is no reason why decentralized databases could not be applied to social media networks. Existing blockchain technology, with some modifications, would be able to support the size of the platform and its traffic.

The bigger impact would be the overall redefinition of Facebook’s platform and architecture, creating a system where data access was controlled directly by the blockchain and its decentralized network of users. In short, Facebook would have to give up the reins of its user data and allow it to be controlled by the community as a whole. This change would blow its current advertising and targeting model out of the water.

As such, I think we are unlikely to see Facebook adopt this type of system in the immediate future. It is much more likely that there will be limited applications over the coming years, possibly in regards to the app store and payments, whereas a decentralized Facebook 3.0 platform will be released separately when the time is right.

What Will the Long-Term Effects Be?

If Facebook integrates blockchain technology in a meaningful manner, we will undoubtedly see other big players in the social media space follow suit. The way in which Facebook uses the technology will be important. If Facebook goes down the route of creating its own cryptocurrencies or adopting existing ones, it will go a long way toward legitimizing and promoting the technology to the greater masses, and moving the blockchain and crypto closer to the mainstream worldwide.

Time will tell as to whether Facebook will follow its previous path of acquiring startups like Steemit or whether the core values and structures of the companies will be so different that this will be impossible. But, while Facebook has had the resources to buy out competitors in the past, even the largest of businesses cannot purchase a cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum, which no one person owns. That said, we are likely to see Facebook try its hand at some form of decentralized social networking or data management platform in the coming years.

However, while Facebook has the advantage of billions of users and bulging bank balances on its side, it will still face the same blockchain and cryptocurrency related legal issues as any other American business. It is important to note that, for such a large company, setting up a team of less than 10 people is a small step rather than a huge leap into the world of the blockchain. But it might be enough to show social media users around the world that Zuckerberg and his company have learned from their recent time in the naughty corner and are willing to clean up their act in the future.

This is a guest post by Jaroslav Kacina, the CEO of Equidato Technologies and the enterprise blockchain platform SophiaX. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine.




This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Hits One-Month Low As $10K Sell-Off Resumes

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

Bitcoin's drop to one-month lows has bolstered the already bearish technical setup.

A crypto miner trolls Warren Buffett with bitcoin billboards outside his office (BRKB)

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

warren buffett


A cryptocurrency-mining company claims to be trolling billionaire investor Warren Buffett with billboards near his Omaha office.

Marco Krohn, co-founder of Genesis Mining, tweeted photos of the signs that allude to Buffett’s admission that he was wrong about investing in mega-cap tech giants Amazon and Google in their early days. "Maybe you’re wrong about Bitcoin?" the signs taunt.

Buffett billboard bitcoin crypto

At the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting earlier this month, Buffett said bitcoin was "probably rat poison squared" and urged his fellow investors to avoid the "nonproductive" asset.

He also admitted he made a mistake by not investing in tech giants in their early day. "I made the wrong decisions on Google and Amazon," he said.

The price of bitcoin and most other major cryptocurrencies have fallen dramatically in 2018, a steep departure from last year when their prices seemed to only move upward at a jaw-dropping pace. Bitcoin has declined by 40% since the start of the year.

Genesis Mining, which claims to have installed the billboards that have not been verified by Business Insider, runs a massive crypto-mining operation in Iceland. You can see photos of their gargantuan data center here. 

SEE ALSO: WARREN BUFFETT: Bitcoin is 'probably rat poison squared'

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A crypto miner trolls Warren Buffett with bitcoin billboards outside his office (BRKB)

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

warren buffett


A cryptocurrency-mining company claims to be trolling billionaire investor Warren Buffett with billboards near his Omaha office.

Marco Krohn, co-founder of Genesis Mining, tweeted photos of the signs that allude to Buffett’s admission that he was wrong about investing in mega-cap tech giants Amazon and Google in their early days. "Maybe you’re wrong about Bitcoin?" the signs taunt.

Buffett billboard bitcoin crypto

At the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting earlier this month, Buffett said bitcoin was "probably rat poison squared" and urged his fellow investors to avoid the "nonproductive" asset.

He also admitted he made a mistake by not investing in tech giants in their early day. "I made the wrong decisions on Google and Amazon," he said.

The price of bitcoin and most other major cryptocurrencies have fallen dramatically in 2018, a steep departure from last year when their prices seemed to only move upward at a jaw-dropping pace. Bitcoin has declined by 40% since the start of the year.

Genesis Mining, which claims to have installed the billboards that have not been verified by Business Insider, runs a massive crypto-mining operation in Iceland. You can see photos of their gargantuan data center here. 

SEE ALSO: WARREN BUFFETT: Bitcoin is 'probably rat poison squared'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How a tiny camera startup is taking on Amazon and Google

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Joins the Bitcoin Bashing Brigade but Backs Blockchain

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

Jack Ma has joined the bitcoin bashing brigade, although he remains keen on blockchain. Ma, chairman of Alibaba and considered China’s richest man, said during the second World Smart Conference in Tianjin that bitcoin is a bubble, according to a local industry report. In the past, he has said he does not understand bitcoin but

The post Alibaba’s Jack Ma Joins the Bitcoin Bashing Brigade but Backs Blockchain appeared first on CCN

Cryptocurrency Market Loses $42 Billion in 3 Days as Tokens Struggle

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

The cryptocurrency market has dropped by more than $42 billion in the last three days, from $412 billion to $370 billion. The daily trading volume of the market also declined by around $3 billion, from $22 billion to $19 billion. Poor Conditions Earlier today, on May 18, the bitcoin price dipped below the $8,000 mark,

The post Cryptocurrency Market Loses $42 Billion in 3 Days as Tokens Struggle appeared first on CCN

Bitcasino.io Integrates Ground-Breaking Fiat-To-Bitcoin Currency Converter

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

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned

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The Queen's bank is investigating an employee for wearing an obscene hat on a work trip

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

RTR41ZS6A man walks past the name of Coutts displayed on a branch of the bank in central London August 11, 2014.

  • A Coutts employee was pictured wearing a rude hat during a company-sponsored charity trip.
  • The pictures were posted on Twitter and have since been the subject of an internal investigation.
  • The probe come just months after a senior staff member at the bank resigned following allegations of verbal and physical harassment.


Coutts, the bank used by the British Royal Family, is at the centre of a second sexism scandal of the year after images emerged of a staff member wearing a lewd hat during a work sponsored trip.

The pictures, which were posted on Twitter in October 2017, show an unknown Coutts employee sitting at a dinner table wearing a hat adorned with what appears to be a novelty penis. It is believed that the incident, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, took place during a charity cricket trip to Rwanda sponsored by the bank.

You can see the images, which were posted by Jessica McKinney, a physical therapist who was dining in the same restaurant as the Coutts employees.Coutts banker obscene hatThe trip was undertaken to celebrate the opening of a new national cricket stadium in Rwanda, which the bank had raised money for. It was widely promoted on social media and in the financial press.

"We are aware that a wholly inappropriate and insensitive item was worn by a member of staff on a recent charity visit. This poor judgment does not reflect the values of the bank," a Coutts spokeswoman said.

The Journal reports that the bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, launched an internal investigation into the behaviour of those on the trip soon after the incident. Two people were given warnings as a result. That investigation is coming to a close, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Journal reports that Coutts' chief investment officer Alan Higgins asked the people who sent the tweets to delete them after the picture surfaced, saying that the behaviour of the staff members was "unacceptable," but that they should see "a better side of the team." The tweets were not deleted and remain on Twitter as of May 18.

The accusations come just months after a senior staff member at the bank named Harry Keogh resigned following another Wall Street Journal report, this time focused on "a 2015 internal investigation into allegations of unwanted physical and verbal harassment against women by him and other male colleagues."

You can read the Wall Street Journal's full story here.

SEE ALSO: The Queen's bank, Coutts, has no plans to invest in bitcoin because it is backed by 'nothing but sentiment'

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NOW WATCH: Here’s what is keeping stocks from completely crashing with the 10-year above 3%

The crypto-future is female: bitcoin innovators push for inclusion

The Guardian, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

At the world’s largest blockchain conference, female leaders in the industry sought to shake off bitcoin’s boyish image

“Satoshi is female” was one of the more pervasive slogans at Consensus 2018, the world’s largest blockchain conference that saw thousands of crypto-believers descend on midtown New York for a packed, three-day meet-and-greet last week.

Satoshi refers to Satoshi Nakamoto, the still mysterious creator of Bitcoin who has never been identified but who, nonetheless, is credited as the founding father of cryptocurrency, or a digital form of money, and blockchain, a public and uneditable system for recording transactions. Both developments are hailed by their evangelists as potentially revolutionary technological tools.

Continue reading...

Fintech could be bigger than ATMs, PayPal, and Bitcoin combined

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

Fintech Ecosystem 2018This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Fintech broke onto the scene as a disruptive force following the 2008 crisis, but the industry's influence on the broader financial services system is changing. 

The fintech industry no longer stands clearly apart from financial services proper, and is increasingly growing embedded in mainstream finance. We’re now seeing the initial stages of this transformation.

For instance, funding is growing more internationally distributed, and startups are making necessary adjustments to prove sustainability and secure a seat at the table. Most fintech segments in the ascendant a year ago have continued to rise and grow more valuable to the broader financial system. Meanwhile, several fintech categories have had to make adjustments to stay on top. New subsegments are also appearing on the scene — such as digital identity verification fintechs — as new opportunities for innovation are discovered. 

Significantly, incumbents are responding more proactively to the rising influence of fintech by making updates to their consumer-facing channels, back-end systems, and overall business operations. Most are realizing that the best way to adapt is to work alongside the fintechs that are transforming the financial services environment, either by partnering with them or acquiring the startups entirely. As fintech's power grows, incumbents will have no choice but to change in order to stay relevant and competitive. All around, fintech is becoming embedded in mainstream finance.

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has written the definitive Fintech Ecosystem report that looks at the shifts in the broader environment that fintechs operate in, including funding patterns and regulatory trends; examines the adaptations that some of fintech's biggest subsegments have had to make to secure a foothold in the financial services system; and discusses how the continued rise of the fintech industry is pressuring incumbents to make fundamental changes to their business models and roles. It ends by assessing what a global economy increasingly influenced by innovative fintechs will look like.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The fintech industry is far more than a group of digitally native, consumer-centric startups, although they are, in many ways, becoming the new face of financial services. It's increasingly clear that fintech no longer stands apart from financial services proper, and is morphing into an integral part of the financial system. 
  • To secure their position in the mainstream economy, some of the main fintech subsegments have had to adjust their business models. These include neobanks, robo-advisors, and alt lenders. Other fintech categories, meanwhile, have instead found that current conditions are well suited to their original models, and are seeing largely smooth sailing, like regtechs, insurtechs, and payments fintechs. Innovation and dynamism is still alive in fintech too, with new categories still emerging.
  • The rising influence of fintechs is having a dramatic effect on incumbents, from banks to insurers to wealth managers, pushing them to respond proactively to stay relevant. Incumbents are reacting to changes wrought by fintechs on three key fronts: the front end, the back end, and in their core business operations. As such, incumbents and fintechs are converging on a digital middle ground.
  • As this happens, the fintech industry is on the cusp of becoming an integral component of the broader financial services ecosystem. But it will likely first have to go through a complete credit cycle, and survive an economic downturn like the one that set the stage for its arrival in 2008, for this to happen.

In full, the report:

  • Looks at how the environment in which the fintech industry operates is changing, and what that means for the digitization of financial services.
  • Gives an overview of the main subsegments within the global fintech industry, and discusses which categories have had to adapt to survive, which have reaped benefits from their original game plans, and which new segments have come to the fore in the past twelve months.
  • Outlines the adaptations that incumbent financial institutions have begun making to adjust to an economy that's inevitably shifting to digital, and in which tech-savvy fintechs are increasingly setting the standards.
  • Discusses what the future of financial services will look like as fintech embeds itself into the financial mainstream.

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Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Drops Below $8,000 as Bears Twist the Knife

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

The bitcoin price sank below $8,000 on Thursday for the for the first time since mid-April, further erasing the progress that the flagship cryptocurrency had made over the previous month. Bitcoin had traded near $8,300 for the majority of the day, but this support level began to falter heading into the early evening. At approximately

The post Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Drops Below $8,000 as Bears Twist the Knife appeared first on CCN

Why Warren Buffett Is Wrong on Bitcoin, According to Legendary VC Fred Wilson

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

Legendary venture capitalist Fred Wilson has issued an open response to Warren Buffet’s recent claim that bitcoin is equivalent to “rat poison squared” is fundamentally flawed. The American investing tycoon, Wilson said, has not done his research. Why Bitcoin Has Value Speaking at the Consensus 2018 conference in New York City, Wilson said that the

The post Why Warren Buffett Is Wrong on Bitcoin, According to Legendary VC Fred Wilson appeared first on CCN

New Decentral Project Brings Gamification, Rewards to Jaxx User Experience

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

New Decentral Project Brings Gamification, Rewards to Jaxx User Experience

Canadian blockchain venture Decentral Inc. and its multi-currency digital wallet Jaxx announced the upcoming release of the new “Decentral Project,” along with some of its primary initiatives. At a lavish “United by Decentral” event held on the Cornucopia Majesty yacht, the company closed out Consensus 2018 in New York City with a series of presentations outlining their new initiatives.

In an animated video narrated by Decentral founder and CEO Anthony Di Iorio, the 2.0 version of its wallet — dubbed “Jaxx Liberty” — offers a gamified interface to assist newcomers in experiencing the blockchain arena. The redesigned Jaxx wallet will backend infrastructure to dozens of blockchains, while the module-based interface includes a portfolio, block explorers, markets, charts and graphs, and popular news sources.

Part of the interface will include a sort of “Wikipedia of decentralized tech,” which Jaxx has dubbed “Decentral Academy.” It will offer “a simplified means of explaining technologies, the projects, different coins and tokens in an objective, meaningful way.” According to the video, “projects will be explained in a non-biased fashion, terms will be defined and the masses will have a source for information in one place.”

“What Jaxx is creating is like the browser for the internet — a single place to discover and enable the blockchain journey,” Coinberry president Andrei Poliakov said to Bitcoin Magazine. “Coinberry [is] so excited to be an early exchange partner to help enable instant account setup and easy withdrawals for Canadian bitcoin and ether holders.”

Another consumer-engagement feature of Jaxx Liberty will include the Decentral Collector Cards: physical, unique, verifiable cards based on different communities in the blockchain space. They will be tied in with the platform’s gamification elements and sold in packs online to start.

Decentral Unity

The second announcement introduced Decentral Unity, the new loyalty system and coin for Jaxx Liberty and the entire Jaxx line of products. Among other uses, the Unity coin will reward users for engaging with the company’s numerous partners within the platform.

Jaxx’s incentive-based model is designed to instill confidence in its partners and encourage them to build on Jaxx Liberty. Decentral expects the project to garner as many as 10 million users per month.

“The old paradigm of unifying the world through centralization has failed,” said Justin Fisher, co-founder and CEO of VeriBlock, one of the Jaxx Liberty’s partner companies. “I believe that what Decentral is doing will ignite a revolution of empowerment and unity because they turn the old model inside out. This is a profound vision and we are excited to be a part of it.”

Here’s how the system will work. Users who engage with Decentral’s partners through the Jaxx Liberty interface will be rewarded with Unity tokens. The more they engage, the more chances they’ll have to level up and garner discounts on partner services. Users can also check their cryptocurrency balances through one streamlined portfolio and modify their interface pages with applications like avatars, charts, wallets and asset news.

Di Iorio told Bitcoin Magazine that Unity tokens are given to users as rewards for engagement with the Jaxx Liberty platform. There is no presale or token sale. They are intended to be used and have value within the platform itself.

According to a company statement, “The core objective of Decentral Project is to empower the ecosystem with unparalleled tools, enabling the masses to take control of their digital lives. We believe Jaxx Liberty is a crucial step in this journey, and we hope the platform — designed as an interactive game — will transform the way that everyday consumers interact with and secure their digital wealth. Jaxx Liberty will create wins for everyone. Our partners will have a broader network of engaged individuals, and the more users engage with our partners, the more Unity they can earn.”

The Jaxx Cube and Ice Cube

Finally, Decentral also announced its plan to release two new hardware pieces in the coming months: the Jaxx Cube and the Jaxx Ice Cube. According to Jaxx, the Cube is “your digital life in a box.” The console is designed as a complement to a home entertainment system.

“This design piece comes pre-loaded with nodes, empowering you to interact directly with a number of blockchains. With the Jaxx Cube, you’ll be able to push your own transactions and be part of the networks without having to rely on Jaxx for this.”

The Ice Cube is an offline cold storage wallet that looks like a miniature version of the Cube and will be made to work with the Cube or any other device that supports Jaxx. It is designed to be connection- and cable-free, and small enough to fit in a safe or safety deposit box.

“We’re building the decentralized world,” said Di Iorio, “all the while, doing it based on the unique guiding principles of not asking people for money, never holding or having access to customer funds and not requiring users to provide information about themselves.”

Founded in 2014, Decentral is headquartered in downtown Toronto. The company has hosted several blockchain community events over the last four years and has built several partner projects including Jaxx, which attracts over 750,000 monthly users from around the world.  

Jaxx Liberty will officially launch on July 1, 2018, while the Jaxx Unity coin will be released over the following weeks.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Malta Government to Enhance Public Transportation Using Blockchain Technology

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

Malta.jpg

Malta has entered a partnership with Omnitude — a multi-enterprise blockchain middleware platform — to use the blockchain to enhance its public transportation service by developing a transport and logistics platform using the company’s middleware technology.

Ian Borg, Malta’s Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, commented in a press release, “We believe in Omnitude’s blockchain technology and its broad use-cases for the government. We can see its potential in a range of government departments and it will form a cornerstone technology platform as part of our commitment to drive forward innovation. It will improve the quality of life and enhance access to information for Maltese citizens. Blockchain technology is a key part of our national technology strategy that will see us transform different sectors.”

Omnitude first emerged as a new concept in blockchain ecosystems from an existing ecommerce agency. The company seeks to build further blockchain solutions that integrate both enterprise programs and supply chains.

Malta’s government had also approved a blockchain strategy earlier this year, making it one of the first countries in the world to incorporate a national strategy based on its technology.

Aside from working on improvements to the nation’s transportation system, Omnitude is also partnering with Formula One to bring blockchain benefits to advanced racing and engineering projects.

Chris Painter, CEO and founder of Omnitude, explained, “Governments around the world are beginning to see the potential for blockchain to reduce costs and streamline services. Malta has an extremely progressive government and we’re excited about the potential this partnership brings. As a middleware technology, Omnitude’s potential use-cases are vast and we look forward to working with the Maltese government to explore the capabilities of Omnitude’s broad-based blockchain ecosystem.”

Since early March 2018, Malta has worked hard to establish itself as a Bitcoin hub. The country recently welcomed Hong Kong–based Binance to the region, where it is now establishing newfound residency following regulatory scrutiny in Asia. At only a year old, Binance is one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Weeks later, it was announced that Japanese trading exchange OKEx and blockchain-based equity fundraising platform Neufund were opening offices within the island’s borders.

Malta further cemented its reputation as a blockchain fan by proposing three new cryptocurrency bills, including the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill to focus further on governance arrangements and oversee the legality of distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms; the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, which requires technology service providers to undergo a registration process; and the Virtual Financial Assets Bill, which seeks to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs).

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Only Used for Money Laundering and Speculation: ‘Big Short’ Investor

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

Wall Street veteran Steve Eisman rose to fame by shorting the sub-prime mortgage market ahead of last decade’s financial crisis. Now, he’s similarly-bearish on a new asset class: cryptocurrency. Eisman, whose career is chronicled in The Big Short, told CNBC that he has yet to meet anyone who can persuasively argue that cryptocurrencies have social

The post Bitcoin Only Used for Money Laundering and Speculation: ‘Big Short’ Investor appeared first on CCN

Here’s why a former Google manager thinks the company has made a costly mistake going all in on AI and missing the boat on cryptocurrency (GOOG, GOOGL)

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

Sundar Pichai

  • A former employee says Google is among 'old tech companies stuck in the past.' 
  • While Facebook and Amazon have at least made some moves into the cryptoworld, Google has shown nothing.
  • Google "should be a frictionless paywall... You’re going to see them all eventually come after this.”


We’re a week past
Google’s I/O developer conference, where some impressive technology involving artificial intelligence generated big headlines and stirred some controversy, but calls to former Googlers revealed not everyone has bought into the AI craze.

I/O is a big deal and Google really pulled out the stops with the demo of Duplex, the software that can carry on conversations in a very convincing human-like voice. Yet, a former employee of the search giant only wanted to talk about recent news that some of the big tech companies are finally dipping a toe into the blockchain waters. The former Google manager, who asked for anonymity, said Google, Facebook and Amazon should have seized the opportunity to gather expertise and invest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies long ago.

“These big, old tech companies are stuck in the the past,” the former Googler said. “All they talk about is machine learning. The only thing I care about, the only thing that anyone should care about right now, is crypto assets.”

This is the kind of passionate belief common to many supporters of crypto assets — bitcoin being the best known. Cryptocurrencies are the controversial digital money secured by cryptography. Instead of working through a central electronic hub and big banks like traditional currencies, cryptocurrency makes use of blockchains, the decentralized digital and public transaction ledgers.

Cryptocurrency continues to attract a growing number of supporters and investors despite their wildly fluctuating value and security concerns. For example, accounts without strong password protection can be hacked. Also, since the currency does not pass through traditional banks, it is unregulated.  

While these alternative payment methods have sparked white-hot speculation for years, the bigger tech firms have largely shied away.  

But the past two weeks has seen some big news in the crypto sector. Last week, Cheddar reported that Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, is “exploring the creation of its own cryptocurrency, a virtual token that would allow its billions of users around the world to make electronic payments.” David Marcus, the leader of Facebook Messenger, has even moved into a new role heading up Facebook's blockchain efforts.

This week, Amazon’s cloud-computing unit, announced a partnership with Kaleido, a startup from blockchain pioneer Consensys. According to a statement from the companies, Kaleido will help provide customers of Amazon Web Services a means to use “private blockchain networks.” In addition to cryptocurrency, Blockchains also streamline the processing of other types of data, such as land and copyright registrations, over the Web.

Whether Amazon will ever offer cryptocurrency remains to be seen. Nonetheless, supporters of blockchain and cryptocurrencies believe these are the kinds of deals and companies that can spark widespread adoption.

As for Google, the company has worked on blockchain technology since at least this past spring, according to Bloomberg. But Google hasn’t gone far or fast enough for the company’s former manager who spoke to Business Insider.

“This is what’s going to change money and the financial industry as we know it,” he said. “Google could use it for Adsense, for everything they do. The company should be a frictionless paywall... You’re going to see them all eventually come after this.”

SEE ALSO: Facebook is getting into blockchain — here's what crypto insiders say it might be building

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NOW WATCH: How to stop robocallers

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