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SEC Puts Off Decision on 5 Bitcoin ETFs Till September 2018

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

SEC on 5 ETFs September

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed the review of Bitcoin ETFs proposed by investment firm Direxion Asset Management, as it needs more time to study the proposal before reaching a final decision. In the July 24, 2018, edition of the Federal Register, the SEC said it was postponing its decision on the five ETFs till September 21, 2018.

The five ETFs, which were filed in January, include Direxion Daily Bitcoin Bear 1X Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.25X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.5X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bull Shares, and Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bear Shares.

The statement reads, “The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change. Accordingly, the Commission … designates September 21, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.”

According to the provisions of the SEC's enabling Act, the commission is expected to give its decision within “180 days after the date of publication of notice of filing of the proposed rule change.” The publication date was on January 24, 2018, and the decision was due on July 23, 2018. The Act, however, makes room for an extension period of "not more than 60 days" for additional study before reaching a final decision on the proposal.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) submitted the ETF proposal in question to the SEC on January 4, 2018. The filing indicates an opportunity for investors to "obtain daily short, leveraged long or leveraged short exposure to the lead month bitcoin futures contract" traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) or the Cboe Global Markets (CBOE), or any U.S. exchange “that subsequently trades bitcoin futures contracts.”

The ETF proposal from Direxion is just one of the many awaiting approval by the SEC. Last month, the CBOE submitted a joint ETF proposal by VanEck and SolidX, who are planning to list a physically-backed bitcoin fund.

In a recent letter issued by VanEck to the SEC, the company made a case for the fund’s approval, which has been shoring up support since comments were opened to the public. The letter went on to allay some concerns the SEC had about manipulation by stating that the bitcoin ETF would be regulated the same way bitcoin futures are, "under the well-established" Commodity Futures Trading Commission supervised framework.

While the SEC is taking its time to consider the VanEck proposal, there are rumors in the crypto community that suggest the ETF's potential approval as a contributed to bitcoin's recent bull run.

Bitcoin has surged above $8,000 for the first time since May, trading at $8,125.86 at press time.




This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Goldman Sachs has named a new chief to lead diversity efforts (GS)

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

David Solomon

  • Goldman Sachs has named Erika Irish Brown its new chief diversity officer.
  • Brown comes to Goldman from Bloomberg.
  • She replaces Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, who joined private equity firm TPG in June. 

Goldman Sachs has hired Erika Irish Brown as its new chief diversity officer, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider on Wednesday. 

Brown joins the bank from Bloomberg, where she served as their first-ever diversity and inclusion officer. She also led diversity hiring efforts at Bank of America and Lehman Brothers. 

She replaces Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri who in June joined private equity firm TPG. 

Brown, who will start at Goldman on July 30, joins the bank as incoming CEO David Solomon has pushed for more diversity among the senior ranks. 

Goldman on Monday said it had added more women to its powerful management committee. 

And last week, Goldman said it had created a new diversity committee, chaired by Goldman's head of conflicts Gwen Libstag and its global head of electronic trading Liz Martin, to promote more diverse business leaders across the firm.

READ MORE: Goldman Sachs just named its next CEO — here are the execs who will be in and out, according to a dozen insiders.

SEE ALSO: Goldman Sachs just named its next CEO — here are the execs who will be in and out, according to a dozen insiders

SEE ALSO: Goldman Sachs' results just confirmed the biggest challenge facing its new CEO

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

Wall Street Traded $572 Million in Bitcoin Futures During Tuesday’s Bull Run

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

The bitcoin price is rallying, and this time, it looks like Wall Street has shown up to the party. On Tuesday, bitcoin brief briefly broached the $8,500 threshold on Bitfinex for the first time since mid-May, and while it has since pulled back several hundred dollars from that two-month high, it has nevertheless risen 10

The post Wall Street Traded $572 Million in Bitcoin Futures During Tuesday’s Bull Run appeared first on CCN

An eccentric tech investor and self-help guru has a wild, controversial idea to solve one of America's biggest problems that he thinks could turn you into a billionaire

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

high school graduates crying sad

  • Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, and the problem isn't going away as tuition rates climb and the demand for college degrees remains high.
  • James Altucher, a tech investor and self-help guru, says young people should consider letting wealthy individuals or organizations invest in their future for a percentage of their future earnings. This way they could pay off their loans.
  • The idea has ignited criticism over the years from people who say "human capital contracts" are a modern form of identured servitude, or slavery.
  • We asked Altucher why he thinks this idea could fix the student debt problem.

 

In Startupland, where college dropouts have a reputation for becoming Silicon Valley royalty, one wealthy tech investor has a bit of unsurprising advice for young people.

Skip college, says James Altucher. It's a rip off.

But if you decide a higher education is a critical part of your future success, Altucher says he has a wild idea that can save young people from crushing tuition debt.

In a blog post that originally appeared on Quora, Altucher, a hedge fund manager, author, and self-help guru, posited that young people would be much better off if they let high net-worth individuals or organizations invest in their future for a stake in their success.

"What if I graduate college and then say, 'I will sell off 10% of all of my future earnings,'" Altucher said in the post.

"This creates an exchange where I can invest in kids that look like they have bright futures (or some organizations can do it for charitable reasons) and then I get a piece of all the earnings of the kids I invest in," he said, adding that investing in young people could be a "great source of income for older people in a low-interest rate environment."

Altucher explained in his post, "It can also help kids monetize their future income (the way a company does every single day) to help pay down their student loan debt."

Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, surpassing auto loan debt ($1.1 trillion) and credit card debt ($977 billion) in the US. According to Altucher, the problem isn't going away as tuition rates climb and the demand for college degrees remains high.

James Altucher

His controversial solution has been floated before.

In 2013, a new crop of startups let people forge "human capital contracts," in which an individual raises money from investors in exchange for equity in themselves. Borrowers, who were often referred to as "talent" or "upstarts," could potentially earn $20,000 for every one percent of future income they were willing to pledge. They might use the money to pay off their college loans or cover living expenses while they start a business.

Human capital contracts never took off they way their adherents hoped. Critics said they weren't loans, but "a form of tech-enabled 'indentured servitude,'" Vice wrote in 2013.

Altucher, who is perhaps best known as the face of the "bitcoin genius" ads that are all over the internet, proposed putting a cap on the number of years that the borrower has to give away part of their earnings, so they aren't on the hook for the rest of their lives.

"What's not consensual is student loan debt," Altucher said in respose to the criticism.

"In a weird way, students feel like they have to go to college, because they'll either disappoint their friends or their peers or their future employers or their parents," he said. "So they feel forced to go to college, and they are forced to take student loans, and then the government will take those wages from you — without your consent — for the rest of your life, because it's the only debt you can't get rid of in bankruptcy."

Currently, it is nearly impossible to have your student loan debt forgiven by declaring bankruptcy. To be successful, the borrower must hire a lawyer, which can be expensive, and prove that being forced to repay their student loans poses an "undue hardship."

college student loan debt problem

Other critics are not convinced that investors can tell a person is going to be successful based on what they're like as a college student. They also run the risk that their investment has low returns — or worse, becomes worthless — in the event the person suffers a career-killing move, such as a sexual harrassment scandal, or serious illness.

In 2013, one of those companies specializing in human capital contracts, called Fantex, gave investors the ability to buy and sell interests in professional athletes. It shut down last year after lackluster interest from investors and little trading activity proved fatal.

A college professor of sports management warned of the company's potential pitfalls for investors in a 2013 interview with The New York Times: "You are potentially one hit away from losing your money. On any given Sunday, anything can happen to any player."

Altucher admitted that not all bets would give great returns, though he's optimistic.

"Sure, some of these 'investments' will not work out, but some will, creating a source of income for older generations and removing the debt of younger generations, allowing them to be the entrepreneurs and innovators they were meant to be," Altucher said.

"Will this happen? I don't know. Why don't you make this business? Be a billionaire."

You can read Altucher's post in full on Business Insider.

SEE ALSO: People in San Francisco are leasing their Teslas and supercars to strangers in order to afford owning a car in one of the most expensive cities in America

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NOW WATCH: Is college a waste of time and money?

‘Dark Horse’ U.S. Presidential Candidate Accepts Bitcoin Donations

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

Andrew Yang, a “dark horse” U.S. presidential candidate running as a Democrat, tweeted that he is accepting donations in bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies for his 2020 presidential bid. Yang is a successful entrepreneur who founded an organization called Venture for America, an entrepreneurial fellowship. He authored a book called “The War on Normal People” … Continued

The post ‘Dark Horse’ U.S. Presidential Candidate Accepts Bitcoin Donations appeared first on CCN

Rogue Employee Mined 500K Bitcoins in 2011, Qiwi CEO Says

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

An employee at Qiwi reportedly mined roughly 500,000 bitcoins in 2011 by hijacking the company's payment terminals, CEO Sergey Solonin said Wednesday.

Here come AMD earnings… (AMD)

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

AMD


AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) is set to report its second-quarter results after Wednesday's closing bell, with Wall Street analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expecting adjusted earnings of $0.13 a share on revenue of $1.72 billion.

Semiconductor makers, including both AMD and its competitor Nvidia, got an unexpected bump from the cryptocurrency craze of early 2017. However, as prices and interest have waned — bitcoin is down 39% since January 1 — so too has the interest in graphics cards from would-be crypto miners.

Luckily, sales of AMD's newest Ryzen processor should fill any gap, Credit Suisse told clients ahead of the earnings report.

"While crypto at roughly 15% of revenue continues to be a headwind to 2H estimates, incremental growth from Ryzen channel fill and share gains in GPU at AAPL and INTC should protect 2H estimates from downward revision," John Pitzer, the bank's head of technology research, said in a note to clients this week.

"While there are several moving pieces and still a large degree of uncertainty – the current level of GPU-mining demand is most likely unsustainable, and could present a material headwind to C2H18 as AMD sees a meaningful reduction to our estimated ~$460 million of calendar year 2018 crypto-related revenue."

Pitzer has a $13.50 price target for the stock.

AMD was gaining popularity among younger investors on the stock trading app Robinhood ahead of the earnings report. 128,604 investors held the stock, according to numbers on the brokerage's website, up from 125,648 a week ago — an increase of roughly 3,000, making it one of the most popular stocks on the platform. 

AMD shares are up 57% this year.

Check back here after markets close for the full earnings report.

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Coinbase’s Internal Investigation Finds No Irregularities With Bitcoin Cash Listing

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

Coinbase’s Internal Investigation Finds No Irregularities With Bitcoin Cash Listing

In December 2017, Bitcoin Cash made an unexpected price run-up, increasing nearly 25 percent in a matter of days. The increase set the stage for Coinbase’s unprompted listing of Bitcoin Cash on December 19. Within hours of the announcement, rumors spread among community members that the two events were too closely correlated for comfort, and many argued that the out-of-the-blue run-up anticipated the listing by way of insider trading.

To make the drama worse, Coinbase suspended trading soon after the listing hit GDAX (now CoinbasePro), Coinbase’s exchange arm, blaming liquidity issues and a deluge of orders that flooded its system. Trading was reopened the following day.

Seven months later, and Coinbase has provided its answers to the skepticism. Originally reported by Fortune, two prominent U.S. law firms, the identities of which are undisclosed, just concluded a multi-month internal investigation of Coinbase. They’ve concluded that there’s no evidence of insider trading by the company’s employees.

“We would not hesitate to terminate an employee or contractor and/or take appropriate legal action if evidence showed our policies were violated,” a company spokesperson told Fortune. “We can report that the voluntary, independent internal investigation has come to a close, and we have determined to take no disciplinary action.”

Back in December, as community skepticism reached a fever pitch, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong quickly responded with a blog post in which he denounced insider training and elucidated that such practices are explicitly against the company’s policies. He also made it a point to announce the company’s swift and stern response to the allegations with the recently concluded investigation.

“[Company] policy prohibits employees and contractors from trading on ‘material non-public information,’ such as when a new asset will be added to our platform … Our launch of Bitcoin Cash today is no exception to this. All Coinbase employees and contractors were explicitly prohibited from trading Bitcoin Cash and from disclosing our launch plans over a month ago … Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter. If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies  —  directly or indirectly  —  I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action,” the post reads.

A Question of Motives, Transparency

Coinbase originally conveyed that it had no plans to support bitcoin cash when it launched last August, much to the chagrin of those who kept BTC in their Coinbase wallet during the fork’s timestamp since they couldn’t retrieve their corresponding BCH.

But shortly after Bitcoin Cash launched on August 1, 2017, Coinbase published a blog post reassuring users that their forked coins were in the company’s hands. The post went on to state that the platform would add withdrawal support by January 1, 2018, though it mentioned nothing about adding trading support before this deadline.

“We are planning to have support for bitcoin cash by January 1, 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time. Once supported, customers will be able to withdraw bitcoin cash. We’ll make a determination at a later date about adding trading support. In the meantime, customer bitcoin cash will remain safely stored on Coinbase,” the post read.

The determination to list trading support for bitcoin cash was never publicly announced, though, and its unheralded listing came off as slipshod and unscrupulously spontaneous. Responding to criticism that mounted in the months following, Coinbase updated its new listings policy and shared its process via another blog post.

The results of the investigation are likely to rebuild trust for some in a company that has arguably effected transparency measures only after-the-fact. But others may still find the air less cleared than it could be, as the investigation was internal and the law firms that conducted it are still anonymous.

It also doesn’t clear Coinbase of an investor-led class-action suit that is suing the company for reparations. The suit, filed by Jeffrey Berk on behalf of bitcoin cash investors, claims that Coinbase’s employees unfairly profited from bitcoin cash’s surprise listing. It cites the company’s ambivalent early support for bitcoin cash, the unannounced listing and subsequent trading suspension as sufficient grounds for court proceedings.

“Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of all Coinbase customers who were harmed by the Company’s changing statements in connection with its launch of BCH, and who were damaged by Defendants’ negligence in the handling of the launch,” the suit reads.

Lynda Grant, one of the lawyers representing Berk in the case, told Fortune that it’s still in the early procedural stages. She also hinted that the CFTC may be investigating the allegations of insider trading, though Grant could not substantiate this claim with more concrete information and the CFTC did not respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Tesla pushes back the delivery windows for two of the three versions of the Model 3 that are currently available (TSLA)

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

Tesla Model 3

  • Tesla has pushed back delivery timelines for new orders of the performance and long-range, rear-wheel-drive versions of the Model 3 sedan, Electrek first reported. 
  • An archived version of Tesla's website from Monday said new orders for the performance and long-range, rear-wheel-drive Model 3 would take one-to-three months.
  • As of Wednesday afternoon, the website said delivery for each would take two-to-four months.


Tesla has pushed back delivery timelines for new orders of the performance and long-range, rear-wheel-drive versions of the Model 3 sedan, Electrek first reported. 

An archived version of Tesla's website from Monday said new orders for the performance and long-range, rear-wheel-drive Model 3 would take one-to-three months. As of Wednesday afternoon, the website said delivery for each would take two-to-four months. The delivery timeline for the long-range, dual-motor version has remained at two-to-four months. 

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, Tesla started allowing all customers to configure and order the performance and long-range versions of the Model 3. Previously, only those who had made a reservation were able to order the vehicle. Tesla began taking reservations for the Model 3 in March 2016.

The Model 3 is Tesla's first mass-market vehicle, designed to broaden the company's customer base beyond the luxury segment and increase the rate of electric vehicle adoption. But Tesla struggled to ramp up production after it was launched in July 2017 because of excessive automation at its factories, and the company has not yet started making the vehicle's $35,000 base model. (Tesla's website says delivery for the base model will take six to nine months.)

The company twice missed its self-imposed deadline to produce 5,000 Model 3s in a week, but hit that rate at the end of June. On July 2, the company said it had made 5,031 Model 3s during the final week of June and 28,578 during the second quarter, more than it had made in the prior three quarters combined.

As Tesla has increased its rate of vehicle production, Twitter users have described delivery problems resulting from contract issues.

tesla model 3 timeline

On Monday, CEO Elon Musk said in the past year the company has increased vehicle deliveries in the US from around 1,000 per week to around 6,000 per week, which he suggested has been difficult.

"It's like hitting a square wave," he said.

tesla model 3 order page

The vehicle has put a strain on Tesla's finances, as the company has posted significant losses in the quarters since it was launched. But Musk has said the company will become profitable in the second half of this year. During Tesla's first-quarter earnings call in May, Musk said the Model 3 would earn around a 20% profit margin by the end of this year and a 25% margin in 2019.

SEE ALSO: 9 electric cars that will challenge Tesla's Model 3

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

Bitmain Publishes Hashrate Stats, Claims Just 4% of Total Bitcoin Mining Power

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

Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain said that it will begin publishing regular reports on the size of its in-house mining operation as part of a wider transparency push it has been making prior to going public later this year. Bitmain Publishes In-House Bitcoin Mining Stats Those statistics, which are current as of July 22, are sure

The post Bitmain Publishes Hashrate Stats, Claims Just 4% of Total Bitcoin Mining Power appeared first on CCN

Coinbase lets you convert your tokens into gift cards

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

It’s still quite hard to buy physical goods using bitcoins or ethers. Coinbase plans to (partially) solve that issue with a new partnership with WeGift. Coinbase customers in Europe and Australia can now convert their tokens on their Coinbase account into digital gift cards for popular stores. For instance, you’ll be able to buy gift […]

Mining Giant Bitmain Offers New Policy to Boost Its Transparency

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

Mining Giant Bitmain Offers New Policy to Boost Its Transparency

Chinese mining company Bitmain has announced it is exploring new policies that will boost the company’s transparency and communication with the cryptocurrency community.

In a company statement, Bitmain said, “We believe that communities served by Bitmain and its products should be supported and served as transparently as possible. Recent measures have included restricting order quantities, ensuring a first-paid-first-ship order of fulfillment, blocking IPs that we suspect to be hoarding, and publishing detailed shipping updates openly.”

Bitcoin Magazine asked Bitmain to explain the extent to which the data supplied by the company will be verifiable. A company representative responded:

“The company has no financial incentive to disclose this information, but believes it is the right thing to do for the cryptocurrency community at large. We also recognize that especially as we expand (and in particular to North America), audiences demand and deserve — more transparency from industry leaders.”

Self-Mining and Secret Mining

Self-mining is one of the specific areas that Bitmain seeks to tackle. Reports will be released monthly to members of the crypto space that will discuss which blockchains the company is mining for itself, along with the hash rates of all Bitmain-owned hardware on each blockchain.

Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, a Bitmain representative stated: “Most critically, we will be disclosing the degree to which Bitmain mines for its own accounts. Typically, people have looked at the amount of mining that takes place through our mining pools or hash nest cloud mining service. We are also publicly affirming our internal policies, such as the one regarding ‘secret mining.’”

Specifically, Bitmain says it will not tolerate “secret mining,” a practice which Bitmain has been accused of in the past, in which ASIC manufacturers mine crypto using equipment that has not yet been released to consumers, since “it puts individuals at a severe disadvantage.”  

Bitmain also says it will never mine “empty blocks,” which spring up due to issues in block propagation at the protocol level. The company statement says that, should an excessive rate of empty block mining ever occur on a mining pool owned by Bitmain, they will seek out the cause and disclose it immediately to industry heads.

This “empty block” policy is a departure from views expressed previously by Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu on Twitter:

Of course, as the company representative pointed out, “That was a tweet from two years ago and, like many people, opinions, and technologies in this space, changes happen over time.”

New Miner Data

Lastly, Bitmain plans to publish the shipping and volume data for the first models of any new miners it releases. This information will be posted on social media via the official Antminer Twitter account and will cover all rounds of shipments within the first batches of these models, which have the most impact on the network difficulty of blockchains. They’ll also be the first miners utilizing the company’s latest ASIC designs.

Regarding Bitmain’s new attitude of transparency, the Bitmain representative stated, “This announcement is a milestone on a journey that started with revealing shipment details of Z9 Minis and subsequent discussions with cryptocurrency community leaders like Zooko Wilcox. The measures described here are the results of extensive dialogues with our stakeholders and our critics.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Price Awaits Possible Spoiler Ahead of July Futures Close

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

Bitcoin has historically performed poorly leading up to CME futures expiry, a correlation traders might not want to ignore.

Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTCUSD Likely to Retest $8,500

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

A $300 drop sounds problematic in a traditional market, but the sentiment is not the same when it comes to Bitcoin. The digital currency, in the past week, rose over 39% against the U.S. Dollar to eventually establish 8511-fiat as its new weekly high. The upside is credited to serious sellers exiting the market, leaving

The post Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTCUSD Likely to Retest $8,500 appeared first on CCN

What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

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

Millennials are making what could be one of the costliest investing mistakes in history

Cash is king for millennials who are setting money aside for the future, according to a new Bankrate.com report.

The problem is this is one of the worst ways to earn any returns. And it doesn't jibe with millennials' expected longer lifespans, rising medical costs, and uncertainty about Social Security.

"Millennials are going to have the biggest retirement-savings burden in history," Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, told Business Insider.

"The nest egg that they're going to have to accumulate on their own is going to be bigger than any other generation."

Action on crypto exchanges is heating up

Action on some of the largest trading venues in crypto is heating up as the price of bitcoin, the largest digital currency, approaches $8,500 a coin.

Bitcoin, which spent much of 2018 in the doldrums, has seen its price soar by nearly $1,000 over the last week, reaching a two-month high on Tuesday. At last check, the cryptocurrency was trading at $8,217 a coin.

At the same time, crypto volumes — digital currencies changing hands — on exchanges have seen a spike in activity. And bitcoin bull Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat , says it's a meaningful signal that the bitcoin bottom is behind us.

Deutsche Bank profits dive — but signs emerge that its turnaround program is working

 Deutsche Bank on Wednesday posted a 14% drop in net profit in the second quarter from a year earlier, as Germany's largest bank restructures under new leadership.

Deutsche last week already flagged that net profit would be more than double analysts' forecasts in a rare piece of good news for the bank, which is cutting costs to revive profitability.

Net profit in the second quarter was 401 million euros ($468.33 million), down from 466 million euros last year.

The bank halted a steep decline in revenue, which was 6.6 billion euros. That is flat compared with the same quarter in 2017, when revenue fell 10% from a year earlier.

The best CEOs on Wall Street — as ranked by their employees

In the lavishly-compensated world of banking, job satisfaction can often take a backseat to how much money one earns. Having a good CEO, however, will always be a major draw for banks and other financial institutions looking to recruit new staff.

But which major bank CEOs have the highest levels of approval among their staff? Using data from jobs-ranking website Glassdoor, the Evidence Lab at Swiss bank UBS compiled satisfaction data for the CEOs of most recognizable brands in global finance. The bank has collected more than 56,000 reviews from Glassdoor.

The data, featured in a note about the fortunes of struggling German lender Deutsche Bank, shows that bosses at big US banks are much more likely to have the approval of their employees than those at European lenders.

At the bottom of the pile were Tidjane Thiam of Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank's new boss Christian Sewing . Meanwhile the three most-approved CEOs were Morgan Stanley's James Gorman, JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, and Goldman Sachs' outgoing leader, Lloyd Blankfein.

In markets news

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NOW WATCH: Most affluent investors would rather go to the dentist than invest in a company that hurts the environment

Barclays has poached a senior banker from JPMorgan as its new global head of chemicals

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

World Cup 2018 Photos

  • Barclays announced Wednesday it had poached a senior banker from JPMorgan Chase to run its chemicals banking practice.
  • Rob Jeffries is joining Barclays as vice chairman and global head of chemicals banking.
  • He was co-head of the chemicals group at JPMorgan, where he'd worked since 2009.

Barclays has hired a senior banker from JPMorgan Chase to run its chemicals coverage globally.

Rob Jeffries is joining the British lender as vice chairman and global head of chemicals banking, Barclays announced Wednesday. He was previously the cohead of the chemicals group at JPMorgan, where he'd worked since 2009. 

Jeffries has nearly 30 years of banking experience and has advised on numerous multibillion-dollar transactions, including Valspar's $11.4 billion acquisition of Sherwin-Williams in 2017 and Olin's $5 billion buyout of Dow’s vinyls business in 2015.

“We are delighted to welcome Rob to Barclays. The Chemicals space represents an important opportunity-set for our investment banking business, and the team is achieving outstanding results and momentum in the sector," John Miller, Barclays global head of banking coverage, said in a statement. "Rob’s appointment will ensure that we continue to drive mind and market share with our clients.”

Jeffries' hire bolsters Barclays investment banking practice, which ranked 7th globally in 2017, according to Dealogic. The firm ranked third in chemicals banking through the first half of 2018. 

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NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

AMD is sinking ahead of earnings (AMD)

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

amd ceo lisa su


Shares of AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) sank more than 2% in trading Wednesday as the chipmaker geared up to report its second quarter earnings after the closing bell.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the company to report adjusted earnings of $0.128 per share on revenues of $1.724 billion.

Investors will be closely watching AMD's Ryzen processor sales results. The company launched a 12 nm version of the product line — one of the smallest sizes on the market — in April. That revenue may be able to offset any slump resulting from softening demand for its other chips in the fact of declining cryptocurrency prices, according to Credit Suisse.

"While crypto at roughly 15% of revenue continues to be a headwind to 2H estimates, incremental growth from Ryzen channel fill and share gains in GPU at AAPL and INTC should protect 2H estimates from downward revision," John Pitzer, the bank's head of technology research, said in a note to clients this week.

Interest in cryptocurrency mining has declined alongside the prices of major coins, with the flagship bitcoin down 39% since the beginning of the year. Bitmain, a Chinese company that makes computers specifically for mining, released an ASIC machine (short for application specific integrated chip) that could also eat into AMD's revenue.

"While there are several moving pieces and still a large degree of uncertainty – the current level of GPU-mining demand is most likely unsustainable, and could present a material headwind to C2H18 as AMD sees a meaningful reduction to our estimated ~$460m of CY18 Crypto-related Revenue," said Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse has a $13.50 price target for shares of AMD — roughly 14% below where shares were trading Wednesday.

AMD is up 43% since the beginning of 2018.

AMD stock price earnings

SEE ALSO: 'It is a full blown war going on': The CEO of MoviePass' parent company wants to use its subscribers as an army against traditional theaters

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AMD is sinking ahead of earnings (AMD)

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

amd ceo lisa su


Shares of AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) sank more than 2% in trading Wednesday as the chipmaker geared up to report its second quarter earnings after the closing bell.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the company to report adjusted earnings of $0.128 per share on revenues of $1.724 billion.

Investors will be closely watching AMD's Ryzen processor sales results. The company launched a 12 nm version of the product line — one of the smallest sizes on the market — in April. That revenue may be able to offset any slump resulting from softening demand for its other chips in the fact of declining cryptocurrency prices, according to Credit Suisse.

"While crypto at roughly 15% of revenue continues to be a headwind to 2H estimates, incremental growth from Ryzen channel fill and share gains in GPU at AAPL and INTC should protect 2H estimates from downward revision," John Pitzer, the bank's head of technology research, said in a note to clients this week.

Interest in cryptocurrency mining has declined alongside the prices of major coins, with the flagship bitcoin down 39% since the beginning of the year. Bitmain, a Chinese company that makes computers specifically for mining, released an ASIC machine (short for application specific integrated chip) that could also eat into AMD's revenue.

"While there are several moving pieces and still a large degree of uncertainty – the current level of GPU-mining demand is most likely unsustainable, and could present a material headwind to C2H18 as AMD sees a meaningful reduction to our estimated ~$460m of CY18 Crypto-related Revenue," said Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse has a $13.50 price target for shares of AMD — roughly 14% below where shares were trading Wednesday.

AMD is up 43% since the beginning of 2018.

AMD stock price earnings

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Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Doubles Down on $20,000 Bitcoin Price Bet

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

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has doubled down on his prediction that the bitcoin price will reach $20,000 before the end of the year, arguing that the flagship cryptocurrency is “battle-tested” and capable of weathering market uncertainty. Ohanian, who now runs venture capital firm Initialized Capital, defended his bitcoin price call in a recent interview with

The post Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Doubles Down on $20,000 Bitcoin Price Bet appeared first on CCN

Millennials are making what could be one of the costliest investing mistakes in history

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

texting einstein smart millennials

  • Millennials, more than any other age group, prefer to use cash investments to set aside money they don't plan to touch for 10 or more years, according to a Bankrate.com report. 
  • But the stock market is a better long-term option to grow money. 
  • Millennials are set to have the greatest retirement-savings burden in history, said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst.

Cash is king for millennials who are setting money aside for the future, according to a new Bankrate.com report.

The problem is this is one of the worst ways to earn any returns. And it doesn't rhyme with millennials' expected longer lifespans, rising medical costs, and uncertainty about social security.

"Millennials are going to have the biggest retirement-savings burden in history," Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst, told Business Insider. 

"The nest egg that they're going to have to accumulate on their own is going to be bigger than any other generation."

The survey found that 30% of 18-to-37-year olds thought cash investments were the best place to park money they didn't plan to access for 10 or more years, compared to 21% of those 38 and older.

However, the majority of people in all age groups (32%) thought the stock market was best, versus 23% of millennials. Just 2% of people would've opted for bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

"For investment horizons of longer than 10 years, the stock market is an entirely appropriate investment," McBride said. "Cash is not, and especially if you're not seeking out the most competitive returns."

When asked, most Americans weren't aware of the interest rates they were earning on their savings accounts. The survey found 27% — the majority — didn't know or refused to say. A quarter of respondents said they earned less than 1%, even as the top savings and money-market accounts nationally yield more than 2% in interest. 

Many millennials came of age around the 2008 financial crisis, and some were old enough to be scarred by the 2000 dotcom bust. This partly explains why they're now wary of the stock market — but it could end up being a costly reason many years from now.

"Millennials are saving for retirement at an earlier age than their predecessors and putting a higher priority on emergency savings," McBride said. "It’s just that how that money is invested over longer horizons is out of whack." 

Millennials aren't the only ones who've parked too much cash for the long-term. 

"Our clients — and investors in general — are sitting on very high levels of cash," said Ida Liu, the global market manager, metro New York, at Citi Private Bank, which caters to ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Right after the recession, roughly a quarter of clients' portfolios was in cash, Liu said. It's now at 22%, which is still "really high," she added.  

A recent study by NerdWallet also found that the average American is holding more than $32,000 in cash.

"Put your cash to work because cash is an underperforming asset," Liu said. 

SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: Big-money investors are dominating the market with the help of 10 stocks — here's the list and how they can continue crushing it

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KitKat makers Nestlé just lost a wild, 16-year legal battle to dominate the chocolate market in Europe after losing an argument about its shape (NESN)

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

kitkat

  • Nestlé, the manufacturers of KitKat, lost a 16-year legal fight to dominate the chocolate bar market.
  • Nestlé applied to trademark the distinctive trapezoid shape of KitKats in 2002, and initially succeeded.
  • But KitKat's competitors — who make very similar snacks — objected.
  • This started a string of court cases and appeals for some ten years.
  • In 2016, an EU court annulled the trademark, saying that Nestlé had failed to prove that KitKat has a "distinctive character" across all EU states.
  • Nestlé appealed the decision.
  • Europe's top court threw out Nestlé's appeal on Wednesday, removing any hope of them sewing up the market for themselves.


KitKat's makers have suffered a major setback in its 16-year quest to dominate the market for four-fingered chocolate bars.

Nestlé has been fighting to trademark the distinctive trapezoid shape in Europe, where other snack companies have been manufacturing similar treats.

One of its largest competitors is Kvikk Lunsj — pronounced "quick lunch" — a Norwegian snack first manufactured in 1937, two years after KitKats first appeared.

KitKat's shape is already protected in Australia, Canada, and South Africa, according to Sky News, but the battle in Europe has been particularly difficult.

In 2002, Nestlé applied to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to trademark the shape. The office granted the mark four years later.

But Mondelez, the manufacturers of Kvikk Lunsj, appealed the following year, starting a slew of court cases in Europe.

kvikk lunsj chocolate bar

After nine years of court battles, in 2016 a lower EU court annulled the EUIPO's decision, saying that the office "could not validly conclude" that KitKat had acquired the "distinctive character" in all EU member states.

Nestlé had to be able to prove that KitKat had "acquired distinctive character in the part of the EU in which it did not previously have such character," according to a European Court of Justice summary. In other words, the chocolate bar had to be recognizable enough to be trademarked.

Nestlé had been able to prove that in ten EU countries — Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden, and the UK — but had insufficient evidence to do so in Belgium, Ireland, Greece, and Portugal.

The global company continued to appeal against the decision. But on Wednesday, the European Court of Justice — Europe's top court — dismissed Nestlé's appeal, saying instead that the lower court had been right to annul the trademark.

The court said in a statement on Wednesday: "Although such proof may be produced globally for all the Member States or groups of Member States, it is not, however, sufficient that the party with the burden of providing such evidence produces only evidence that fails to cover part of the EU, even a part consisting of only one Member State."

Other European snack companies have been told they weren't allowed to trademark their products in the past. Lindt, the Swiss chocolate company, lost a case to trademark gold-wrapped chocolate bunnies in 2013.

Last year, Toblerone was also forced to prove that its triangular shape was distinctive enough to trademark when British retailer Poundland made an off-brand version. That case ended in an out-of-court settlement.

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Bitcoin Price Gains: Tokens and Small Coins Start to Rebound as Crypto Volume Explodes

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

The daily trading volume of the crypto market has increased from around $9 billion to $19 billion within a period of two weeks, by more than two-fold. Tokens Perform Well Bitcoin has remained relatively stable in the $8,200 region after reaching a monthly peak at $8,500, recording a slight drop from its high point. The

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[promoted] Fueling Decentralized Crypto Investments With Aenigma

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

Aenigma Thumb

For many, the complex nature of crypto investing is an unsolvable enigma. Despite the potential for great returns, many are hesitant to jump in and navigate the complexities and uncertainties inherent in this space.

One company that’s pioneering a process for solving the crypto investing puzzle is Aenigma Capital, a crypto hedge fund that combines pre-initial coin offering (ICO) investments with active investment in later stage publicly traded tokens.. Aenigma believes in getting involved early in projects that have distinct competitive advantages, mentoring them and utilizing research to bring broader institutional support and greater market adoption.

Aenigma’s heritage is in delivering proprietary, industry-leading valuation models that assess and analyze crypto markets. Target markets include institutions, researchers and mass-market audiences seeking high-quality research and collateral ideas around token dynamics and valuation fundamentals of the crypto space. This same rigorous thinking drives Aenigma’s investment process.

Aenigma’s founding portfolio is fueled by a diversified set of high-quality investments and tokens. Matrix AI Network, Orchid, Edenchain and OceanEx are among the company’s many partners.

Aenigma believes crypto investments succeed and flourish when their decentralized models provide a distinct competitive advantage to traditional centralized alternatives. Distributed autonomous corporations (DACs) are growing in popularity. If properly structured and applied to appropriate business areas, DACs have competitive advantages that can make them grow exponentially.

First,  DACs are censorship resistant, making them less prone to onerous regulation. Second, DACs are naturally resistant to seizures that often involve corporate financial assets and intellectual property. Third, DACs provide enhanced fiduciary oversight, as smart contracts and transparent accounting transactions on a blockchain help mitigate the risk of management not paying its shareholders with integrity. Finally, middlemen are productivity and efficiency removed in DACs, leading to borderless workforces that are highly vested and incentivized.

The Promising Future of Decentralized Models

While the popular press focuses on currency uses of crypto, Aenigma believes DACs are one of the most powerful and disruptive applications of crypto technology. As opposed to traditional, centralized models that rely on the fiduciary responsibility of management in terms of acting in the best interest of investors, the DAC open-source, decentralized model places the responsibility of project success back into the hands of investor stakeholders.

One example of a DAC providing competitive advantage is IDEX, the rapidly growing decentralized exchange built by Aurora DAO (AURA). IDEX has attracted many users because it embodies the ethos of crypto in providing a decentralized alternative to traditional exchanges. IDEX attracts investors both because the decentralized nature is more secure and because it is censorship resistant. Here, the fundamental value of the AURA token resembles that of a traditional stock. Token stakers are entitled to receive 50 percent (and eventually 100 percent) of the fees paid to the platform, all of which are distributed via smart contracts to workers.

Arguably, what’s most appealing about the AURA token is that the platform is already seeing heavy demand and activity. At times, in fact, the exchange has recorded daily volumes in excess of its own market capitalization. And according to DappRadar, it’s currently ranked as the number-one DApp exchange by volume and usage on the Ethereum network.

A Team-Based Approach

The Aenigma team combines experience in crypto investing, token economics, engineering, startup founding, venture capital (VC) and investment banking to address the particular nature of the crypto market.

Managing partner Juan Bruce was previously an engineer, startup founder and traditional venture investor. Educated at Stanford University, Bruce spent time in Silicon Valley building products for the renowned design firm IDEO, founded the media tech startup Epoxy and ran Robert Downey Jr.’s venture fund. Bruce realized the unique combination of skills needed in crypto investing.

“Crypto is like highly technical liquid venture investing,” Bruce said. “Compared to VC, we utilize similar diligence to evaluate projects and competitive advantage. Post-ICO we support our investments like VCs, but our technical and liquid trading team works with tokens more like a hedge fund or public market investors. Being startup founders, we also built technical tools for each stage of the process.”

Bruce added that decentralization is the next logical progression for many technology sectors.

“In the last decade, cloud computing eclipsed traditional solutions,” he said. “Decentralized technology has the same potential in the next decade and IDEX is an example of a decentralized solution growing rapidly in the exchange space.”

Partner David Grider, known as a pioneer in token economic models, believes that there’s a great misconception about crypto and decentralized projects: even some of the most sophisticated investors believe that these assets can’t be valued. He noted that crypto assets remain misunderstood by the vast majority of the financial public. Even informed investors, he said, have a narrow view of what an ICO is, what a token represents and what the resultant values that these networks create can be.

“Our investing philosophy is that tokens are no different than any other financial asset,” said Grider. “By understanding and measuring the way in which these value drivers translate into token price, we may assess the intrinsic value of crypto assets to make stronger, more informed investment decisions.”  

He added that the valuation of AURA, for example, is quite simple. IDEX has already generated nearly $1 billion in volume in the six months since it has launch. Based on an approximate 0.3 percent average trade fee (0.1 percent maker/0.2 percent taker) and the anticipated fee split, that would have meant over $2.6 million in distributions would have been paid out to staking holders had the planned transition already taken effect. Doing a back of the envelope analysis, annualizing that trend and putting a growth price/earning multiple in the 20-times range would result in market cap of about $106 million — nearly 6 times the current value, according to the Aenigma team.  

“The crypto market is constantly evolving, and so are we,” Grider concluded. “From a hedge fund perspective, we are particularly interested in tokens like AURA that are finding real-world usage and adoption early in their life cycles.”

Note: Trading and investing in digital assets is speculative and can be high risk. Based on the shifting business and regulatory environment of such a new industry, this content should not be considered investment or legal advice.

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Qtum Platform Now Available Through Amazon Web Services

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

Qtum AWS

Singapore-based Qtum has launched its decentralized application (DApp) development platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS). With this launch, AWS users and developers will be able to develop and launch smart contracts using an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), made up of Qtum Core, Solidity and Qmix web IDE.

Qtum is a hybrid platform, developed by the Qtum Foundation, which uses the Account Attraction Layer, an interface layer, to merge the strength of Bitcoin’s blockchain with the Ethereum Virtual Machine to build decentralized applications. Designed as a toolkit, the platform uses the proof-of-stake model to reduce the network’s computational difficulty while mitigating and solving scalability.

Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Qtum Foundation CIO Miguel Palencia said, “Qtum’s launch in the AWS marketplace provides an easy-to-use and powerful cloud-based solution for end users and the Enterprise. Anyone who wants to develop/build DApps on the Qtum platform or use it as a staking node will benefit from this.”

Usage

One of the benefits of using the new Qtum AMI on AWS is the ease of getting started on the blockchain without the “hassle of handling dependencies.” The platform makes it possible for anyone to run a Qtum node or use Qtum pre-installed to launch a server on its mainnet or testnet.

According to Palencia, this is what makes the Qtum technology attractive to both small and large businesses. Companies can launch the servers without “having to spend a large amount of resources on infrastructure.” The Qtum AMI is also free for AWS customers to deploy a Qtum instance (server). Users can deploy a test network on the instance to simulate a public blockchain without paying a fee.

Features

Among some of the features of the Qtum AMI is a Qmix development IDE — the development libraries and tools created for the desktop QT wallet — which launches by default. Users will also get the Qtum and Solidity compiler needed for building and executing smart contracts.

Amazon Web Services has been quite active in the blockchain space since it opened its arms to blockchain startups in 2016. Earlier this year, ConsenSys partnered with AWS to launch Kaleido, a service similar to Qtum’s, which simplifies the adoption and implementation of blockchain technology.

The difference between Qtum’s offering and Kaleido, according to Palencia, is that Qtum is not strictly for enterprise, “but for end users, as well as anyone wanting to create and build something on the Qtum blockchain.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Action on crypto exchanges is heating up and bitcoin bull Tom Lee says it's more evidence the bottom is in

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

CME trader

 

  • Action on some of the most notable crypto trading venues is spiking. 
  • Bitcoin bull Tom Lee says that's a sign the market bottom for bitcoin is behind us. 
  • Watch bitcoin trade in real-time, here.

Action on some of the largest trading venues in crypto is heating up as the price of bitcoin, the largest digital currency, approaches $8,500 a coin. 

Bitcoin, which spent much of 2018 in the doldrums, has seen its price soar by nearly $1,000 over the last week, reaching a two-month high on Tuesday. At last check, the cryptocurrency was trading at $8,217 a coin. 

At the same time, crypto volumes — digital currencies changing hands — on exchanges have seen a spike in activity. And bitcoin bull Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, says its a meaningful signal that the bitcoin bottom is behind us. 

"It’s more evidence supporting a bottom," Lee said in an e-mail to Business Insider. 

According to Bloomberg data, bitcoin bottomed out at $5,791 on June 29. As for how high bitcoin can go in 2018, Tom Lee has stood by his $25,000 price target

"A few weeks ago when bitcoin started to rally, skeptics dismissed the move saying there was no volume," he added. "Now we have massive jumps in volume."

Across exchanges, volumes have increased from to over $20 billion on Tuesday, according to data from CoinMarketCap. 

Meanwhile, BitMEX, the peer-to-peer mercantile trading venue, saw records volumes, turning over $8 billion bitcoin in traded volume over the past 24 hours, a spokesman told Business Insider. 

CME Group, the exchange behind one of the markets for bitcoin futures in the US, saw turnover for its contracts increase from 1,600 on July 3 to more than 12,800 contracts traded on July 24, according to the firm's data

Screen Shot 2018 07 25 at 8.53.06 AM

Bitcoin's breakout over $8,000 married with strong volumes is a sign that current price levels are sustainable, said eToro analyst Mati Greenspan. 

"As with traditional markets when a breakout happens on strong volume, it's considered a more powerful move and is more likely to be sustained," Greenspan said in an e-mail. 

Rohit Kulkarni, a managing director at Private Investment Research, said fundamentals and technicals are pointing towards a continuation of the current rally. 

"Technical analysis supports a bullish pattern as Bitcoin tends to rebound after it trades below its 200-day moving average," Kulkarni said. "Plus, we have seen constructive commentary supporting Crypto ETF products, which could help unlock interest among institutional investors."

On Tuesday, the market for digital currencies saw the bitcoin ETF race gain another contestant with Bitwise Asset Management filing an application for a fund tied to 10 cryptos. Still, it's not clear when the Securities and Exchange Commission would approve such a fund.

The SEC postponed deciding on five crypto-linked funds by Direxion Investments on Tuesday. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin king Mike Novogratz leads $52 million investment in crypto-lending startup

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Why pharma giant GSK just made a $300 million bet on 23andMe's approach to finding new medicines (GSK)

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

Anne Wojcicki

  • Consumer genetics company 23andMe is teaming up with UK drug giant GlaxoSmithKline to develop new drugs. 
  • As part of the four-year collaboration, GSK is committing $300 million to 23andMe, and, using 23andMe's data, working on an experimental drug to treat Parkinson's disease. 
  • The move comes shortly after ex-Genentech and former Calico executive Hal Barron joined GSK as its chief scientific officer and as the drug giant unveils its new R&D strategy. 

Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline just made a $300 million bet in a consumer genetics company's ability to find new treatments for patients. 

On Wednesday, GSK entered a four-year-long drug development collaboration with 23andMe. Using 23andMe's data, GSK is also working on an experimental drug to treat Parkinson's disease in patients with a particular mutation.

The announcement came as part of GSK's second-quarter earnings and its attempts to refresh its research and development strategy. In 2017, GSK brought on former Genentech and Calico executive Hal Barron as its chief scientific officer and president of R&D. GSK said Wednesday that it plans to focus its research efforts on developing new treatments that act on the body's immune system. 

Going into drug development may not seem like a key strategy for a company like 23andMe, which is best known for its genetics tests that tell you everything from how much Neanderthal DNA you have to potential health risks. But already, 23andMe has partnered with major pharmaceutical companies like Lundbeck and Pfizer, which hope to use the company's data to develop their own drugs. And in 2015, 23andMe started getting into drug development on its own, hiring former Genentech executive Richard Scheller to lead the team. Scheller and GSK's Barron were colleagues at Genentech. 

The idea is to use the genetic information 23andMe's gathered from users who consent to share their information and use that to build therapies. The people who opt into sharing their data — that's about 80% of users — are asked to answer survey questions about their health and habits. Those answers then feed research into links between genetics and certain conditions. If certain genes stand out, they could become targets that 23andMe goes after with a drug. Ideally, that drug could then be studied in clinical trials, possibly on people who participated in the initial research who have that condition.

"We're a tiny biotech, but our goal is, rather than discover drugs based off of animal models, we're going to discover drugs based off of data from human beings," Emily Drabant-Conley, vice president of business development at 23andMe told Business Insider in 2017. "And hopefully that will help us to be more successful in creating more therapies."

Scheller said on a call with reporters Wednesday that while 23andMe has made some progress identifying new drugs since then, it still has a way to go. 

"We thought it was now the right time to team up with a large global organization that has a number of feasibilities way beyond what our still nascent group at 23andme is able to do," Scheller said. 

For example, GSK already has a drug target identified to use in the collaboration, an experimental treatment for Parkinson's disease that acts on a particular mutation. Barron said Wednesday that 23andMe has already identified 250 people with Parkinson's who have this mutation in their database, which could make the process of enrolling a clinical trial much faster than if GSK were to go it alone.

 Scheller said that 23andMe has been looking at a number of disease areas including autoimmune conditions, liver disease, and osteoarthritis. 

GSK isn't the only drugmaker tapping into other sources of data. In June, Swiss drug giant Roche acquired the rest of Foundation Medicine, a company that collects genetic data from samples of cancer tissue or blood, for $2.4 billion a few months after it acquired Flatiron Health, another cancer data company, for $1.9 billion. 

SEE ALSO: Meet the 30 healthcare leaders under 40 who are using technology to shape the future of medicine

DON'T MISS: 23andMe is getting serious about drug development — and it could signal a fresh approach to finding new medicines

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NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

Bitcoin Seeks Bargain Buyers As Price Retreats Back Toward $8K

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

Bitcoin price pullback could find bargain hunters at key support levels.

Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Eyes $1 Billion Pre-IPO Financing: Report

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

Already the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency company, Chinese bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain is reportedly enticing investors toward a new $1 billion financing round ahead of its anticipated public listing in Hong Kong. According to regional news resource Toutiao, Bitmain is looking at a new round of financing – its biggest yet – near the

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A company that's taking a new approach to tackling Alzheimer's is moving into human trials after raising $133 million

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

brain

  • Biotech startup Alector is getting ready to put its first batch of neurodegenerative drugs into humans after raising an additional $133 million. 
  • Alector is developing treatments that harness the body's immune system to tackle conditions like Alzheimer's, and other forms of dementia.
  • The plan is to get two drugs into clinical trials in the next few months, with a third starting in early 2019. 

Alector, a startup that's trying to harness the body's immune system to treat neurologic diseases like Alzheimer's just raised another $133 million to get its first batch of drugs into human trials. 

The approach of using the body's immune system to treat a particular disease has so far proven successful in the field of cancer, where it's known as immuno-oncology. It's led to remarkable remissions in some patients, along with some first-of-its kind approvals. San Francisco-based Alector is hoping to have similar success in building out the field of "immuno-neurology."

Alector is looking for treatments that target the body's innate immune system, using the genetic markers associated with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease. 

It's because of that genetic information that scientists have come to better understand the link between the immune system and Alzheimer's. The hope is that by more broadly going for immune system, the treatments might have a better shot at working than more targeted approaches that have had some setbacks in the past few years.

Its three lead drugs, Alector said Wednesday, will include two for Alzheimer's, one of which will work to apply the brakes to the immune system while the other will look to speed it up. The third, a treatment for frontotemporal dementia, will act on a genetic defect associated with the condition to reactivate the immune system. 

Alector's chief business officer Sabah Oney told Business Insider that the funding will be used to "push those drugs into the clinic" as well as grow the company's pipeline. Two will enter the clinic in the next few months, while a third will get started in early 2019.

More than 18 organizations contributed to the fundraising round, including Bill Maris' Section 32, Foresite Capital, Polaris Partners, GV, and the Dementia Discovery Fund. 

In October, Alector had received a $225 million endorsement from drugmaker AbbVie that gave it the option to globally develop and commercialize two of Alector's drug targets.

SEE ALSO: A new treatment for a condition that can feel like tiny people skating on razor blades in your stomach and affects an estimated 200 million women just got approved

DON'T MISS: The billion-dollar healthcare unicorns you should be watching in 2018

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Bitcoin Gains: BitMEX Trades Record 1 Million XBT In 24 Hours

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

BitMEX, a P2P trading platform offering leveraged contracts bought and sold in bitcoin, traded close to 1 million in XBT in the last 24 hours, worth more than $8 billion, an industry record, the company noted in a tweet. The platform, which offers a variety of contracts, including perpetual contracts and contracts with fixed date

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SEC Delays Ruling on Five Bitcoin ETF Applications

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

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced in a statement that it will delay its ruling on whether or not to give approval to a rule change relating to five bitcoin ETF applications filed by fund provider Direxion. The ETFs in question are Direxion Daily Bitcoin Bear 1X Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.25X Bull Shares, Direxion

The post SEC Delays Ruling on Five Bitcoin ETF Applications appeared first on CCN

Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Pierces $8,500, Extending Bull Run Further

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

Fundstrat founder Tom Lee’s prediction that the bitcoin price would see “new highs in July” appears unlikely to materialize, but there’s no denying that the market has been showing signs of emerging from the seven-month bear market that drove cryptocurrency valuations down approximately 70 percent from their mid-December peaks. Tuesday evening, that rally took another

The post Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Pierces $8,500, Extending Bull Run Further appeared first on CCN

US airlines have caved to China's 'Orwellian' demands on Taiwan

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

American Airlines

  • American Airlines is the first major US carrier to change its description of Taiwan as a deadline imposed by China looms.
  • US airlines had until July 25, Beijing time, to stop describing Taiwan as a country.
  • Despite the White House calling China's demands "Orwellian," dozens of airlines around the world have complied and it looks like US carriers are following suit.


American Airlines has become the first US carrier to modify its description of Taiwan after China demanded changes earlier this year.

American describes all destinations in its booking form in the format of "Airport Name, City, Country" but in Beijing on Wednesday morning local time, the carrier had deleted any city or country name from airports in Taiwan.

On April 25, China began demanding that airlines stop listing self-ruled Taiwan as a country, and instead describe it as a province of China, which frequently tries to assert its claim to the island on the global stage. The incident involved letters sent to at least 36 foreign airlinesGovernments got involved, and the White House even released a statement slamming the demand as “Orwellian nonsense.”

Despite the political pushback, dozens of airlines have altered their websites. China threatened the airlines with marks against company social-credit scores if they did not comply, and this could have affected carriers' access to what will soon be the largest air-travel market on the planet.

US airlines were given until July 25 to make the change. A White House spokesperson said on Tuesday that they are "aware" of the situation.

A spokesperson from the US State Department told Business Insider that it has consistently conveyed to the Chinese government that it strongly objects to demands that private firms use specific political language and that US airlines shouldn't be forced to comply. The spokesperson also said the State Department has raised the issue with other governments and has been in close contact with US airlines, but did not tell them how to respond.

United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have yet to make a change, but are expected to follow a similar solution.

Earlier this year, Delta was censured by China’s Civil Aviation Administration for listing both Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website. The agency demanded an "immediate and public apology" and the airline responded by saying it had made a “grave mistake.”

SEE ALSO: China wants to dictate how foreign airlines refer to Taiwan and the US is having none of it — this is how every major airline is responding

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NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto

Why Bitcoin’s Summer Rally Is Here to Stay: Brian Kelly

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

Bitcoin’s summer rally is here to stay, according to Brian Kelly, a regular contributor on CNBC’s Fast Money. The bitcoin price is now trading over $8,000, a figure unseen since late May, and CNBC correspondent Bob Pisani began the segment noting that some of the gains could be attributed to CBOE’s reapplication of a bitcoin

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Cryptocurrency Market Cap will Hit $800 Billion in 12 Months: Novogratz

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

Mike Novogratz, bitcoin advocate and founder of Galaxy Digital, believes that the cryptocurrency market capitalization won’t reach $800 billion by the end of this year, as he previously predicted. However, the billionaire investor maintains that it will do so within the next 12 months. Cryptocurrency Market Headed to $800 Billion in Calendar Year In an

The post Cryptocurrency Market Cap will Hit $800 Billion in 12 Months: Novogratz appeared first on CCN

Bitwise Files With SEC for Cryptocurrency ETF

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

Bitwise Files With SEC for Cryptocurrency ETF

Bitwise Asset Management is the latest venture to apply for a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF). Called the Bitwise HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index Fund, the ETF will track the returns of the company’s HOLD 10 Index, a “market-cap-weighted index of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies” that captures roughly 80 percent of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization.

A registration statement has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) but has not yet become effective. Until the SEC decides on whether to approve the ETF, related shares may not be sold, and offers to purchase the shares cannot be accepted by any of the company’s executives.

Bitwise is not the first company to try and register a cryptocurrency ETF application. Earlier this month, waves were made when an application for a Bitcoin ETF from the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust was not rejected as it had been in 2017, and was instead consulted upon with industry professionals. Following this period, the SEC posted the application for public comment to see if general consumers and traders showed interest.

The application received positive feedback, and the SEC later announced that it was working on an outline for newer, less-restrictive legislation regarding open-ended ETFs to increase innovation in the financial space.

John Hyland, the global head of exchange-traded products at Bitwise, stated, “We are aware that other investment firms have filed for cryptocurrency ETFs under the Securities Act of 1933, and that there continues to be interest in filing under the Investment Company Act of 1940. As best we know, all of these funds plan to offer exposure to a single coin such as bitcoin or ether. That is fine, but our proposed offering is obviously different.”

Matt Hougan, global head of research, explained that while Bitwise will offer single-currency opportunities to investors like other funds do, multiple-coin baskets behave very differently and thus warrant just as much study and exposure. He says the company plans to offer both to its clients.

Hyland went on to say, “We know that the current crypto ETF filings have generated a great deal of discussion and analysis within the SEC about this emerging asset class, and the SEC and its staff, to their credit, have asked for public comment on a wide range of issues relating to these products. We expect the staff of the SEC has had ongoing discussions with the investment firms making the crypto filings to date, and we look forward to having our own discussions with the SEC about the nature of our proposed offering.”

Bitwise Asset Management was founded in San Francisco in 2017. It launched the first cryptocurrency index fund in November of that year as a means of providing accredited investors with weekly liquidity through an open-ended private placement system. Thus far, the business has garnered institutional backing from companies like General Catalyst, Blockchain Capital and Khosla Ventures.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Audi unveils its stylish new weapon against BMW and Mercedes

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

Audi Q3

  • The Audi Q3 made its world debut on Tuesday.
  • The subcompact crossover will go on sale this November in Germany.
  • It will be powered by a selection of turbocharged, four-cylinder engines ranging from 150 to 230 horsepower. 
  • Audi has not announced pricing for the new Q3. 

Audi finally unveiled its long-awaited second-generation Q3 subcompact crossover on Tuesday. The Q3 will be the entry-level crossover for the Ingolstadt, Germany-based luxury automaker's US lineup and will slot in below the award-winning Q5, Q7, and recently unveiled Q8. 

It is also slated to take on BMW's new X2 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

In terms of size, the new Q3 will be 3.8 inches longer and 0.7 inches wider than the first generation model it replaces. 

At launch, Audi Q3 will be available with a quartet of turbocharged, four-cylinder engines. Entry-level Q3s get a 1.5 liter, 150 horsepower unit. Buyers can step up to a 2.0-liter powerplant that produces 190 hp. There is also an up-rated version of the 2.0-liter engine that produces 230 hp. Some markets will also get a 2.0 liter, 150 horsepower diesel option.

After the Q3's market launch, a fifth engine option in the form of a 190 horsepower version of the 2.0 TDI diesel engine will join the lineup.

Audi Q3The base gasoline Q3s will be equipped with a seven-speed S-tronic twin-clutch transmission sending power to the front wheels. While a six-speed manual option will be available later this fall. 

The 2.0-liter gas-powered cars will get the S-tronic transmission with full-time quattro all-wheel-drive. Diesel Q3s will initially be available with quattro all-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual while the S-tronic and front-wheel-drive version will follow after launch. 

Audi has not announced which engine options will be available in the US, although I wouldn't hold your breath for the diesel. 

Audi Q3The Q3 will also be available with the latest from Audi's arsenal of tech goodies including 360-degree cameras, adaptive cruise control, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, a 10.25-inch virtual cockpit instrument cluster, and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. 

The original Audi Q3 debuted back in 2011 and is based on the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan, which itself is a descendant of the Mark V VW Golf. In other words, it's old. VW pulled the gen one Tiguan from frontline duties last year and replaced it with a new version built on VW Group's MQB platform.  

Audi Q3The Győr, Hungary-built Q3 is expected to commence delivery in Germany and other European markets in November. This means the Q3's US launch will likely be closer to 2019.

Audi has not yet revealed official pricing for the new Q3. For context, the current Q3 starts at $32,900. 

SEE ALSO: We drove a $95,000 Porsche Cayman to see if it's more than a Boxster with a roof — here's the verdict

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NOW WATCH: An early investor in Airbnb and Uber explains why he started buying bitcoin in 2009

BlockFi just gathered up $50 million to lend to bitcoin and ethereum holders who don’t want to cash out (yet)

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

Because cryptocurrency prices are almost comically volatile owing to challenges involved in valuing them, it’s hard to know when or why to sell. Enter crypto-asset backed loans, around which a small but growing number of startups are beginning to spring up. The idea is to lend money to cryptocurrency holders who don’t want to offload […]

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