Bitcoin should be banned, but what about FANG stocks, Joe?
In a statement that will be widely approved and vilified by opposing camps, Joseph Stiglitz said on Bloomberg TV that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin should be banned. His commentary is based on analysis saying that the market for Bitcoin is driven mostly by its potential to circumvent government agencies.
His rant continued, stating that the Bitcoin market will ‘go up, and then come down,’ leaving many investors injured, and therefore it should be banned, adding that it doesn’t serve any ‘socially useful function.’
Ban it all, Joe, ban it all
Apparently, Dr. Stiglitz may also desire to ban the famous FANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google), which, on the same day as the recent price decline for Bitcoin, faced far greater losses.
In fact, while Bitcoin lost around $3 bln in market cap, the FANG stocks lost $60 bln – twenty times as much. If consumer protection is the main goal, the FANG stocks are a far greater risk, and worthy of the ban.
In the final analysis, however, regardless of the opinions of economists, the very nature of Bitcoin may make it impossible to ban. Instead, governments must simply deal with the cryptocurrency, and regulate its trade in reasonable and rational ways. According to Kain Warwick, Founder of Havven:
"Thankfully it’s somewhat irrelevant whether anyone in particular thinks Bitcoin should be banned, because one of its strongest points is that it is, in practice, not able to be banned."
Source: Coin Telegraph
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Ronnie Moas, quite happily, keeps changing his mind on where Bitcoin will be in the new year.
November has been a busy week for famed stock picker Ronnie Moas who, on Nov. 4, predicted that by the beginning of 2018 Bitcoin would hit $11,000. That was recently blown out the water, but before the target was hit, he adjusted to $14,000.
Now, Bitcoin is on its way to smashing that new target causing Moas to readjust for the third time in a month as the digital currency revels in a new era of adoption and acceptance.
Moas looks at Bitcoin as a whole, incorporating all the chain splits in his split-adjusted price is and considering the price of the forked Bitcoin chains alongside the original was $12,740 when Moas made his new prediction, $14,000 looked undervalued again.
$20,000 is a month away
Moas now puts the line in the sand at $20,000 for the split-adjusted price when the new year hits. Looking at how things have gone so far for Moas, a month is a long time, and perhaps $20,000 will be broken before that time.
Many pickers, investors and money movers have thrown their hats into the ring trying to hit the sweet spot of this volatile asset when it comes to prediction.
Tom Lee, rather conservatively, set a Bitcoin growth of 40 percent to happen by the middle of 2018. His prediction put him at $11,500. That prediction was made a week ago, and in that time Bitcoin topped at around $11,300.
Moas, as one of the most well-regarded stock pickers, is clearly in the Bitcoin game for its investment potential rather than the technology side which has seen different factions at war with each other. Some people are vehemently Bitcoin Cash supporters, and others true fans of the original chain.
Moas, however, with his investor’s hat on, sees that by buying Bitcoin he not only received free Bitcoin Cash, but also free Bitcoin Gold, and thus counts them together in his portfolio, urging others to d the same as a diversification strategy.
Bitcoin Diamond and the real gold
“I am raising my 2018 fork- and split-adjusted price target on Bitcoin from $14,000 to $20,000,” Moas explained. “The current price is $10,720 and the split-adjusted price is now $12,740 when factoring in Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Diamond.”
“Bitcoin is now up split-adjusted by 394 percent since my July 3 recommendation,” Moas went on. “There is no way to justify Gold $7 tln at 40X Bitcoin ($180 bln). An argument can be made that Bitcoin will be equal to Gold within 10-15 years. I do not know how much Gold there is in the ground … I do not know how much Bitcoin there is.”
Source: Coin Telegraph
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There was once a time when a bitcoin was worth about as much as the spare change down the back of your sofa. Now, one bitcoin is worth your sofa, your armchair, and every other item of furniture in your living room. Gone are the days when maintaining military grade opsec was the preserve of bitcoin whales and the ultra-paranoid. As digital currencies soar, safeguarding your cryptocurrency is imperative, no matter how humble your holdings. Here’s how.
This post is the first in a Bitcoin for Beginners series we’ll be publishing. Even if you’ve been in the game for years though, it pays to refresh your memory and re-evaluate your security practices. The sad reality of the ultra-connected digital world we live in is that everyone’s a target: whale or minnow; celebrity or nobody. Nevertheless, there are two primary measures you can take to minimize your exposure:
Lock it down: Keep your crypto assets in a secure wallet which you possess the private keys for. That way you and you alone are responsible for what happens to your coins.
Hold it down: By all means preach the gospel of Satoshi and decentralization from the rooftops, but as we recently reiterated, keep your bitcoin holdings to yourself. Five years ago, no one would bat an eyelid at hearing you owned 100 BTC. Do that today and you risk attracting the sort of ne’er-do-wells that are lured to wealth in all its forms.
Before we delve into a few security do’s and don’ts, one thing to stress is that owning and using bitcoin should be pleasurable, not panic-inducing. Take the following advice to heart, implement it, and then sleep easy.
Choose Your Wallet
There are two primary means of storing your bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies: in a wallet which you hold the private keys to, or in an exchange which holds the keys on your behalf. Hardware wallets such as Trezor and Ledger as well as mobile apps such as Bread all fall into the former category. Provided you write down your private key and seed (a 12-word recovery phrase), your coins will be safe, even if you accidentally delete the app or break the hardware wallet.
Keeping your coins in a cryptocurrency exchange or a site such as Localbitcoins, on the other hand, offers convenience, especially for day traders buying and selling cryptocurrencies. This convenience comes at the price of safety however. If the exchange was to collapse or be hacked, there is a possibility you could lose your holdings. It’s happened in the past and will happen again.
Use Strong and Unique Passwords
Passwords are used in 63% of all successful cyber attacks. Deploying passwords that are guessable, or worse still recycling the same password, will significantly increase your odds of getting owned. Don’t get lazy or take shortcuts when it comes to passwords – it’s simply not worth it. If you don’t trust your ability to recall passwords, use a password manager such as LastPass.
Many cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bitfinex now force their customers to activate two-factor authentication, and for good reason. Your cryptocurrency wallet, your exchange account, your email account and anything else tied to your use of cryptocurrencies should be protected with 2FA. A word of warning though: this second form of authentication should not comprise cellphone SMS verification. Determined attackers can trick gullible customer service staff into porting a phone number over to a new handset and use it to bypass 2FA. Instead, use a method such as Google Authenticator or a 2FA hardware key to secure your accounts.
Don’t Click That Link
Phishing attacks are one of the most common ways in which accounts are compromised. Don’t click on links in emails or on social media purporting to be from wallet providers and exchanges and certainly don’t download attachments. Instead, bookmark the domain of the site to avoid the risk of clicking fake links from scammers seeking to drain your wallet and disappear into the blockchain with its contents. Studies have shown that despite being aware of the risks of clicking on suspicious email links, people routinely still do. Don’t be like most people. You’re smarter than that.
Don’t log into your bitcoin wallet using public wifi. In fact, try not to log into anything using public wifi if you can possibly help it. In doing so, you’re exposing yourself to man in the middle attacks which could expose your passwords and other personal details. In addition, when interacting in the cryptocurrency space, consider adopting a username and email address that don’t correlate with your real-world identity, and be extremely cautious about the personal information you give out to strangers on the internet.
With one millibit – or 1/1000th of a bitcoin – now worth more than $10, every wallet, no matter how slender its BTC, is a target. Keep the extent of your bitcoin holdings to yourself, separate your real world identity from your online one, and if you’re unsure don’t click that link. The bitcoin world is filled with amazing people, but like any high value commodity, it also attracts thieves, scoundrels, and scavengers. Protect your assets, up your opsec, and then kick back and enjoy the ride.
What security tips would you give to bitcoin newcomers? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Trezor.
Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check ourtools section.
Wall Street Journal reports the globe’s second largest stock exchange, National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (Nasdaq) will offer bitcoin futures by the middle of next year. Also, Cantor Fitzgerald LP will provide bitcoin derivatives on its exchange by mid 2018. The news comes as Chicago Merc (CME) and Cboe are also reportedly set to offer a bitcoin futures market by year’s end. The combination could mean the official mainstreaming of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
Nasdaq’s 7 Trillion Dollar Muscle Flexes Toward the Future
Widely circulated reports on 29 November reveal Nasdaq will set a bitcoin futures market by the middle of next year. Cantor Fitzgerald LP is to offer a bitcoin derivatives platform on its exchange around the same time.
Second only to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq is a really big deal within securities exchanges. It is known as a haven for technology-related equities. Cantor Fitzgerald LP is a trusted financial services player, one of only 22 to trade US government securities at the Fed (since 2006).
Stephanie Yang and Alexander Osipovich write: “The emergence of bitcoin futures would be a big step toward maturity for the cryptocurrency, which is less than a decade old. By letting traders bet on whether bitcoin rises or falls, a futures market would make it easier for both big banks and retail investors to trade bitcoin.”
Nasdaq has flirted with bitcoin on a European exchange, but this marks a wholesale entry into a completely different market. Bitcoin has long been thought in professional circles to be too volatile in price swings to be taken seriously. Its popular association in media accounts with crime and terrorism scares hasn’t helped either.
However, keen money managers often look beyond the hype and pearl-clutching, discovering in bitcoin not only a currency, payment system, and store of value, but also a great new way to enforce contracts and other functions.
That bitcoin has been closing in on a five-figure price floor has probably assisted in hastening their respective decisions.
Cantor Fitzgerald to go Crypto
“Nasdaq’s bitcoin contract would debut on Nasdaq Futures, or NFX,” Ms. Yang and Mr. Osipovich detail. NFX is “a marketplace that the New York-based exchange group launched in 2015 that until now has mainly focused on energy trading, according to the people familiar with the situation.”
Nasdaq and CME have long chased one another for markets. It’s no surprise they’re going to soon compete for crypto dominance. “Nasdaq has briefed market participants on its plans,” the Journal noted.
For its part, Cantor will offer bitcoin derivatives.
Cantor’s brokerage chief, Shawn Matthews, explained during an interview, “The asset class is not going away. If you look at the next level, it will be the institutions coming in and being the larger participants in the marketplace, especially as liquidity gets better.”
Though not known for its futures acumen, Cantor has a coveted advantage in that it already holds a license from the industry regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
“The firm aims to launch a bitcoin swap—a type of derivative—on Cantor Futures Exchange LP. Cantor’s swap would allow traders to bet on bitcoin prices up to three months out, with built-in protections to limit their losses if bitcoin prices swung above $15,000 or below $5,000,” the Journal explained.
What do you think of Nasdaq and Cantor moving into the ecosystem? Tell us in the comments below!
Images courtesy of: Pixabay, YouTube, iconimages. Staff writer Avi Mizrahicontributed substantially to this article.
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As the cryptocurrency economy’s market capitalization surpasses $320Bn, lots of digital asset proponents are trying to figure out ways to write off capital gains and stay tax compliant. This week the cryptocurrency and blockchain accounting firm, Libra, has launched a new compliance application for market makers and exchanges. Additionally, the company raised $7.8Mn in a Series A funding round to promote expansion.
Libra Reveals New Tax Software for Market Makers and Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The cryptocurrency-centric tax compliance and accounting agency, Libra, has launched an auditing application dedicated to enterprise companies and exchanges who deal with a lot of digital assets. Libra says the program called ‘Crypto Office’ performs “middle office processes and reporting, while improving operational and financial analysis and control.” Libra started its operations back in 2014 by providing tax applications for average bitcoin enthusiasts and crypto-focused day traders. The company has established blockchain connectivity to multiple public networks, exchanges, and wallet software. This gives individuals and organizations the ability to process real-time accounting, reports, tax calculations, and regulatory compliance.
“Further, we found without the right systems and processes, institutional investors were unwilling to allocate significant investment into the industry,” explains Libra’s CEO Jake Benson.
With the introduction of Libra Crypto Office, we hope to continue industry efforts to upgrade information accuracy, transparency, and compliance practices.
Libra Raises $7.8 Million This Week
According to Libra, the company is already working with two firms that focus on large transactions and vast amounts of cryptocurrency trades which include Shapeshift, and XBTO. Libra also raised $7.8Mn on November 27, adding to their previously raised $2Mn Seed round from firms like Fenbushi Capital. Investors who participated in Libra’s funding round this week include Liberty City Ventures, Boost VC, and early Facebook investor Lee Linden. Libra’s founder Jake Benson explains that the funding will be used to scale Libra’s tax applications and data services.
“We provide our customers three core components of value. First, a single on-ramp that connects to the many data sources within the ecosystem,” says Benson.
Second, the real-time data processing engines and services required to continuously and automatically standardize and deliver accurate financial information. And third, blockchain-native software that’s purpose-built for this industry.
Libra also has various competitors within the cryptocurrency industry offering tax compliant and crypto-auditing software. This includes firms like Node40, Cointracking, Bitcoin Transaction Coordinator, and the startup, Bitcoin Taxes.
What do you think about Libra’s application that focuses on exchanges and cryptocurrency market makers? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Libra.
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