Eyes On Stimulus Developments Again Investors are still largely focused on new twists and turns with stimulus efforts in the U.S. Last night, President Donald Trump said talks had resumed on an aid package for the struggling U.S. economy, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to talk once again. Global stock markets have started the day off with a dose of optimism. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.7% following a strong read on services activity in China and the SZSE Component Index was up 3.0%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell back 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.1%. European stocks are largely higher despite sluggish PMI data, with the Stoxx 600 Index gaining 0.2%. France's CAC 40 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 are both in positive territory in mid-day action. Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures are setting up for a positive open, with S&P 500 futures up 0.4% and Dow Jones futures 0.3% higher. Crude oil stays on track for big week Oil (CL1:COM) is poised for its biggest weekly gain since May, even though prices have tracked back just a bit. Operators in the Gulf of Mexico have closed off about 92% of production ahead of Hurricane Delta as the storm barrels toward Louisiana. Yesterday, OPEC forecast global oil demand will keep rising until around 2040, when it will plateau at about 109.3M bbl/day, or about 10% above the level of production in 2019. Later today, traders will get their hand on the latest Baker Hughes U.S. oil rig count report. In early action, WTI crude oil futures -0.8% to $40.86/bbl and Brent crude -0.3% to $43.20/bbl. AMD seeking to buy Xilinx in latest big semiconductor tie-up Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is in advanced talks to buy rival chip maker Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) in a deal that could be valued at more than $30B, WSJ reports. Earlier talks are said to have stalled before recently restarting, and the latest deal under discussion could come together as soon as next week, according to the report. A deal for Xilinx would raise AMD to a more even competitive footing with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and give it a bigger position in the growing telecom and defense markets. Golden Week traffic in Macau disappoints Traffic in Macau fell 85.7% during Golden Week to come in well short of most expectations within the industry. Of the 139,280 visitors to enter during the holiday week, 97,126 came via the Gongbei Border Gate, 4,190 by ferry and 7,149 by plane. JPMorgan reset expectations on a Macau recovery after the Golden Week disappointment. "Choppy demand and dwindling hope of 'return to normalcy in 2021' make us acknowledge the sector's risk-reward isn't as attractive as we had envisioned, despite seemingly undemanding valuation (on 2022, not 2021)," updated the firm. Earlier this week, the Macau sector received some good news when Bernstein Research predicted that all six casino operators will retain their licenses, although the government is likely to impose additional economic conditions. The firm doesn't think the current tensions between Washington and Beijing will prevent U.S. operators from staying in Macau. Nikola talks up hydrogen potential Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) showed off its prototypes to the hydrogen industry yesterday at an event that also covered the company's patents and strategy to be a technology integrator. The presentation coincided with National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day 2020. Nikola noted it has developed core IP related to, among other things, vehicle integration and hydrogen storage and fueling, and continues to work with its world-class partners to develop next-generation standard fueling hardware and advance hydrogen fuel cell-based transportation. "Nikola is creating an ecosystem that integrates next-generation truck technology, hydrogen fueling infrastructure and maintenance. By removing commercial trucks from the carbon equation, Nikola is fulfilling our mission of leaving the world a better place," said CEO Mark Russell. Shares of Nikola are up 2% premarket Takeda in group trial for COVID-19 hyperimmune convalescent plasma treatment Japan's Takeda (NYSE:TAK) is part of a group of companies testing an experimental COVID-19 convalescent plasma treatment, derived from those having recovered from the disease. The "hyperimmune" drug combines antibodies from multiple recovered patients, vs. typical convalescent treatments derived from single patients. Takeda, Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS), CSL Behring (OTCPK:CSLLY) and Grifols (NASDAQ:GRFS) are gathering antibodies in the government trial, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; it could be completed by year-end. DOJ eyes cryptocurrency threats The Department of Justice said in a new report that law enforcement is hampered by the global nature of digital coins and the lack of consistent regulation across regions. Cryptocurrencies in general are called detrimental to the safety and stability of the international financial system due to the opportunities for rogue nations, criminals and terrorists to skirt reporting requirements. "Current terrorist use of cryptocurrency may represent the first raindrops of an oncoming storm of expanded use,” stated Attorney General William Barr's Cyber-Digital Task Force. The task force warned that cryptocurrencies provide bad actors with the means to earn illegal profits and become a threat to national security. The DOJ's larger goal with the report is to lay out a framework for cryptocurrency enforcement. China Services PMI runs hot China September Caixin Services PMI came in at 54.8 to top both the consensus mark of 54.3 and the 54.0 reading for August. Services PMI has now increased for five straight months, and the latest rate of expansion was among the highest recorded over the past decade. Growth was supported by a marked rise in total new business, though new export work continued to decline. A sustained rise in overall client demand led firms to expand their payrolls for the second month in a row amid increased capacity pressures. Companies also retained a positive outlook regarding activity over the year ahead, with business confidence improving since August. Chinese funds targeting Ant IPO draw $9B from millions of retail investors Five Chinese funds targeting the upcoming mega-IPO of Ant Group (NYSE:BABA) sold out in days, having cumulatively raised about 60B yuan - or about $8.93B - from more than 10M retail investors. The funds launched Sept. 25 to raise 12B yuan each and invest up to 10% of assets to buy shares in the Ant IPO, aiming to raise about $35B in a Hong Kong/Shanghai dual listing and value the company at more than $250B. Two of the funds hit their target even before a week-long holiday that started Oct. 1; Ant's Alipay says today the other three sold out as well. What else is happening... LSE (OTCPK:LDNXF, OTCPK:LNSTY) to sell Borsa Italiana to Euronext (OTCPK:EUXTF) for €4.3B. NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) shoots to 52-week high after strong preliminary Q3 numbers. GameStop (NYSE:GME) soars after Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) development. Disney (NYSE:DIS) moves 'Soul' to streaming, in theaters' latest loss. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China +1.7%. India +0.8%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt -0.05%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude -0.8% to $40.86. Gold +1.2% to $1918.70. Bitcoin +2.9% to $10890. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.765% Today's Economic Calendar 9:00 Fed's Barkin: “Community Conversation: Resiliency of the Economy” 10:00 Wholesale Inventories (Preliminary) 1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
Wall Street Breakfast: Volatile Week Ends In Quad Witching Session
U.S. equity futures held up overnight following another selloff on Wall Street that was led by major tech names. Contracts tied to the Dow and S&P 500 are hugging the flatline, while Nasdaq futures pared recent losses by climbing 0.6%. Mixed messaging around a potential coronavirus vaccine, as well as the passage of further fiscal stimulus, weighed on the market, while investors are gearing up for consumer sentiment data set for release at 10 a.m. ET. Don't forget that it's also quad witching day, which refers to the simultaneous expiration of market index futures, stock futures, market index options and stock options. "These days tend to get a lot of press for all of the volume they create, but historically they are nearly always a non-event," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial. Spending deal to avoid government shutdown While there may be disagreement over another round of coronavirus relief, lawmakers are aiming to unveil a bipartisan spending bill today to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1. The "clean" legislation, largely devoid of any controversial measures, should keep the government funded into mid-December. "I don't think anybody wants to be responsible for shutting down the government on the eve of an election in the middle of a pandemic, so it's a rare outbreak of common sense on both sides," said Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. New round of farm aid "Starting next week my administration is committing an additional $13B in relief to help farmers recover from the China virus," President Trump announced a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin. The new aid is the second tranche of money issued as part of the Trump administration's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. In April, the administration unveiled $19B in relief for the agriculture sector under the CARES Act, including $16B in direct payments to farmers and ranchers and $3B in mass purchases of dairy, meat and produce. Fed mulls extension of bank dividend curbs Due to heightened economic uncertainty, the Federal Reserve is considering extending its caps on banks' dividends and stock repurchases for the rest of the year. The U.S. central bank made the announcement along with its release of hypothetical scenarios for the second round of stress tests that it's requiring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike an earlier round of stress tests this year, the Fed will release the results of the tests for each of the 33 lenders, rather than providing aggregate results for the group. Sub-zero rates The Bank of England held its benchmark policy rate at 0.1% on Thursday, but indicated it could cut interest rates below zero for the first time in its 326-year history. While recent domestic economic data has been a bit stronger than expected, it's "unclear how the economy will perform further out," according to the Monetary Policy Committee. Another major risk facing the U.K. economy relates to the post-Brexit trade discussions between the U.K. and the EU, which have recently soured. Terms of a TikTok deal The Trump administration spent Thursday reviewing proposals on the TikTok-Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) partnership, which currently has many moving parts. TikTok owner ByteDance (BDNCE) agreed to list the video-sharing app on a U.S. stock exchange, which could happen within a year, though there are still concerns over whether the Chinese parent would be allowed to retain a majority stake in the new company. Meanwhile, shares in China's Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) tumbled into the U.S. closing bell following reports that its investments are drawing new national security attention. Exchange dealmaking Seeing off competing bids from Deutsche Borse (OTCPK:DBORY) and Switzerland's SIX, the London Stock Exchange (OTCPK:LNSTY) is in exclusive talks to sell Borsa Italiana to France's Euronext (OTCPK:EUXTF). Offloading the Milan stock exchange would help LSE achieve regulatory remedies for its $27B purchase of data provider Refinitiv, which is owned by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI). The deal is politically sensitive in Rome because of concerns about who could take control of Borsa Italiana's bond platform, which handles trading of Italy's government debt. New COVID-19 restrictions across Europe Targeted lockdowns and local restrictions are returning to Europe as the region tries to avoid broad economic damage amid a surge in coronavirus cases. "Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March," the WHO's regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told an online news conference. "Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region." Pubs and restaurants must shut early and household mixing has been limited in northeast England, while social gatherings of more than six people have been banned across the country. French authorities are meanwhile preparing tighter restrictions in several cities, while Spain's Madrid has moved to "reduce mobility and contacts" in areas with high infection rates. Go Deeper: Israel becomes first developed country to enforce a second nationwide shutdown. Pandemic closures see restaurants hit the hardest About 60% of businesses that have closed their doors during the coronavirus pandemic will never reopen, and restaurants have suffered the most, according to new data from Yelp. The National Restaurant Association also said this week that 100,000 restaurants have closed either permanently or long term, adding that the sector is on track to lose $240B in sales this year. A number of factors have made it especially difficult for eateries, which tend to operate on thin margins even in the best of times. What else is happening... Unity (NYSE:U) to raise $1.3B in IPO, prices 25M shares above range. New York files civil charges against J&J (NYSE:JNJ) over opioids. Walmart (NYSE:WMT) hikes pay for about 165,000 hourly employees. Dave & Buster's (NASDAQ:PLAY) stumbles on bankruptcy speculation. Proposed Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX safety upgrades endorsed by NTSB. Nat gas tumbles by most in two years after stockpile gain. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +0.2%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China +2.1%. India -0.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt +0.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude +0.9% to $41.34. Gold +0.6% to $1961.40. Bitcoin +1.6% to $11005. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.68%
Is anyone else spooked by the stock market recovery? Worried I'm spending too much time in the sidelines thinking it's a bubble...
I'm 25 I learnt a painful lesson in 2018 after investing in crypto at all time highs - not just bitcoin, but altcoins heavily which dropped 99%. Never looked at stocks until covid-induced crash. I managed to buy some stocks at incredible low prices (Boeing, Carnival, housing stocks, oil companies, Uber etc). I invested 3.5k initially but sold some early and got spooked in mid April and sold everything. I'm only up like £350 quid, but honestly if I held maybe I would be up like 70-100%. This concerns me as the stock market has all but virtually betted on a V-shaped recovery Last thing I want to do is buy things near all time high and fomo in - never mind buying them in the middle of a global pandemic. I'd rather buy in after the Dow hits 40k and corrects at 35k rather than buy at these prices in uncharted territory. As someone on average wage £30k, single and living in London (although WFH with parents up north atm) I'm going to find it hard to FIRE without investing. I'm not trying to time the market, I'm trying to invest in a 'normal/stable' time, what's happened in th last few months is unprecedented - although understandable after a crash. EDIT: I am looking at ETFs and index funds for a more diversified portfolio rather than picking individual stocks like I was in March. I know this is much safer.
https://preview.redd.it/81cx1yfe1pm51.jpg?width=474&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2ceddeda7d5dc0be5c7d4b4dfa7a715baac65b3a In the later part of websites are the testimonials screaming out loud regarding their success.BitQT review can be quiet judgemental at this point as a result of neither these testimonials prove the legitimacy of the web site nor the live profit reviews account such You extremely want to understand that if you opt to speculate you’ll surely not visiting recover. TheBitQT just prove this by themselves stating it not being on affiliate terms with others. Something that’s claiming that you simply’ll earn 110zero greenbacks every day is doing a true-time scam job Perhaps, theBitQT states advertising itself on Times, CNN and Forbes however neither of them found supportive during this regard. You'll check it all by yourself. This is often the sound proof of its scamming regime throughout the globe It doesn’t have that laser-accurate performance as in trading bitcoin you can never guarantee the minimum amount of profit you be earning the other day. Its what happens when trading with Forex Many of the websites agree onto the proficiency ofBitQT negating the crucial and impactful proves I shared with you higher than. They are saying it’s flawless. Will something be this flawless letting you earn regarding one thousand bucks each day without charging a penny? The automated transactions are known to be deposited directly into the user’s account that is nowhere to find affiliation with. Undoubtedly, most of the revealing sites have the only supportive argument beginning with, ‘As the review suggests’. Do raise yourselves, is that this the legitimate way to prove legitimacy ofBitQT They too argue regarding the legitimate verification method. That’s the explanation why there’s a number of complaints with reference to the current. If these products would have really worked, why not each single person select to remain off from their offices integrating with it somehow: Merely head to the SIGN-UP section on theBitQT site, fill in your personal info, and present your registration. When acknowledged, you'll be able to be able to access our restrictive Bitcoin exchanging To induce your exchange account in progress, you’ll have to include some assets. WithBitQT, you can create a initial investment of as low as $250, although you'll be able to contribute as a lot of as you wantoy Since your enlistment has been acknowledged and you’ve invested some funds, you’re fully done. Simply click on ‘trade’ to receive the rewards ofBitQT’s highly rated algorithm. In case you need a hands-on approach, you can shift to manual operation by changing the settings There’s no harm in trading in terms of cryptocurrency. We have a tendency to’re not against it. But we tend to really aim to reveal the very fact thatBitQT isn't a legitimate website to believe during this case. To actually invest in bitcoin you initially want to shop for a bitcoin wallet so as to store all bitcoins. a series of blockchain integrations which permits you to top-up and earn. But, as stated earlier you’ve no actual guarantee concerning the number you wish to earn. Secondly, you wish to integrate your bitcoin wallet to your account and then you’ll be ready to head towards the foremost step. Here, you’ll jin a bitcoin exchange system for trading bitcoin for any different traditional currencies of the market. It works well solely if you for legitimate sites for functioning and planning. Perhaps, it too needs a nice amount of ability and we never promise you to begin earning when you join Bitcoin Exchanger somehow. This was all aboutBitQT Review as a full fulling the aim of alerting the scam going around. Money Forex Cluster scamThe Cash Forex Group is run by a company named CFxG which allegedly was founded by a team of experts in all kinds of areas, mainly education in the monetary trading field and network promoting. https://preview.redd.it/0gc7ga9f1pm51.jpg?width=474&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5c031ac047e635c47d3ee592ab9235878613c890 These experts and their automated trading system will supposedly facilitate your to form heaps of cash. In trading solely you'll allegedly make fifteenp.c weekly on your investments. Then there are referral programs and multi-level structures that can boost your income even more. Is that t Money FX Group scamLet’s begin this Money Forex Group review by stating the obvious, this scheme may be a total scam, you just have to look at the numbers.BitQT When they promise you fifteen%+ weekly, it means that 60percent+ monthly, which is totally ridiculous in the important world. It means a lot of than 560zeropercent per year, therefore you'd need solely $18,00zero greenbacks to become a millionaire within year. And this is often plain impossible. No legitimate business can create you a gradual fifteenpercent weekly, no financial markets are that predictable and that easy to trade. It may appear straightforward to you, but it really is this straightforward, a program promising fifteenp.c weekly should be a scam, there is no alternative method, the Money FX Group is a scam. However there is additional to go through in this review. Massive lies Money FX Cluster testimonialThe Money Forex Cluster claims to be regulated by the subsequent institutions: FAC – Financial Conduct Authority of London, DFSA – Monetary Services Authority in Dubai, FSCA – Monetary Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa and FSA – the Monetary Services Authority of Seychelles. But guess what, the FAC will not even exist, while the others (DFSA, FSCA and FSA) haven't issued any license whatsoever to Cash Forex Cluster. Therefore not only Money FX Group is not regulated at all, it conjointly is lying huge time regarding its regulatory status. The fact is that it's no license whatsoever, so it cannot supply investment services legally in most countries. This is often conjointly why they want you to deposit cryptocurrencies, they wish to remain as anonymous as potential, so that they will run away along with your cash. Regulatory warning Not long when we have a tendency to printed our analysis, the Financial Conduct Authority (financial regulator in Nice Britain) came up with its own warning. The regulator said that CashFX is providing investment services without the mandatory authorization and advised the public to remain off from it. This is often a very serious argumentBiTQT. It'd be terribly unwise to deposit money with an unregulated and basically anonymous entity, as a result of it would not be protected in any means. No matter where the cash finally ends up, this program is promising you impossible returns on investments, which in itself confirms that something is wrong. How it works Let’s end this Cash Forex Group review by explaining the essential principle of this investment program. It's a Ponzi theme that does no real economic activity. It just collects money from individuals and may pay out some profits, but the most recent clients’ deposits can be used for that. This will have an inevitable outcome, the system can sooner or later crumble. It's simply a matter of your time when there can be not enough deposits to hide withdrawals and also the inevitable end can Nobody has not been paid, that is NOBODY ….. after all you can't compound or upgrade your CFX account unless you withdraw (get paid) …. CFX are not regulated…. as a result of they use a Regulated broker (everfx) to trade…so that information is also incorrect…and judging by the actual members comments….I’d say, members are happy….. long might that continue. BUT, you must never place in more than you are prepared to lose (In SOMETHING). However do correct analysis, ask members, don’t rely on people that play safe and stay poor. Do your own due diligence. (ps MOST sites that decision each business out as a scam…have their own links…..promoting guess what ? ….tip. SCAMS ! Beware. https://www.cryptoerapro.com/bitqt/ http://www.cryptoerapro.com/ https://twitter.com/cryptoerapro https://www.instagram.com/cryptoerapro/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/cryptoerapro/ https://www.facebook.com/cryptoerapro
Alright guys, Ive been working on this for a while and a post on here by a guy describing his portfolio here was the final kick in the ass for me to put this together. I started writing this to summarize what Im doing for my friends who are beginners, and also for me to make some sense of it for myself Hopefully parts of it are useful to you, and also ideally you guys can point out errors or have a suggestion or two. I'm posting this here as opposed to investing or canadianinvestor (blech) because they're just gonna tell me to buy an index fund. This first section is a preamble describing the Canadian tax situation and why Im doing things the way that I am. Feel free to skip it if you dont care about that. Also, there might be mistake regarding what the laws are here so dont take my word for it and verify it for yourself please. So here in Canada we have two types of registered accounts (theres actually more but whatver). There is the TFSA "Tax Free Savings Account", and RRSP "Registered Retirement Savings Account" For the sake of simplicity, from the time you turn 18 you are allowed to deposit 5k (it changes year to year based on inflation etc)in each of them. That "room" accumulates retroactively, so if you haventdone anything and are starting today and you are 30 you have around 60k you can put in each of them. The prevailing wisdom is that you should max out the TFSA first and you'll see why in a minute. TFSA is post tax deposits, with no capital gains or other taxes applied to selling your securities, dividends or anything else. You can withdraw your gains at any time, and the amount that you withdraw is added to the "room" you have for the next year. So lets say I maxed out my TFSA contributions and I take out 20k today, on January of next year I can put back in 20k plus the 5 or whatever they allow for that year. You can see how powerful this is. Theres a few limitations on what is eligable to be held in the TFSA such as bitcoin/bitcoin ETFs, overseas stocks that arent listed on NYSE, TSX, london and a few others. You can Buy to Open and Sell to Close call and put options as well as write Covered Calls. The RRSP is pre-tax deposits and is a tax deferred scheme. You deposit to lower your income tax burden (and hopefully drop below a bracket) but once you retire you will be taxed on anything you pull out. Withdrawing early has huge penalties and isnt recommended. You are however allowed to borrow against it for a down payment as a first time home buyer. The strategy with these is that a youngperson entering the workforce is likely to be in a fairly low tax bracket and (hopefully) earns more money as they get older and more skilled so the RRSP has more value the greater your pre-taxincome is. You can also do this Self Directed. Its not relevant to this strategy but I included it for the sake of context. Non registered accounts ( or any other situation, such as selling commercial real estate etc) is subject to a capital gains tax. In so far as I understand it, you add all your gains and losses up at the end of the year. If its a positive number, you cut that number IN HALF and add it to your regular pre-tax income. So if I made 60k from the dayjob and 20k on my margin account that adds up to 70k that I get taxed on. if its a loss, you carry that forward into the next year. Theres no distinction between long term and short term. Also physical PMs are treated differently and I'll fill that part in later once I have the details down. The reason why all that babble is important is that my broker Questrade, which isnt as good as IB (the only real other option up here as far as Im aware) has one amazing feature that no other broker has: "Margin Power" If you have a TFSA and a Margin account with them, you can link them together and have your securities in the TFSA collateralise your Margin account. Essentially, when it comes to the Maintenance Excess of the Margin Account QT doesnt care if its in the TFSA *or* the Margin! You can see how powerful this is. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So as you can tell by the title, a lot of this is heavily inspired by Chris Cole's paper "The Allegory of the Hawk and the Serpent". You can read it here: https://www.artemiscm.com/welcome#research Between it, his interviews and my mediocre options skills at the time my mind was blown. Unfortunately I didnt know how to do the Long Volatility part until after the crash in March but I've since then had nothing but time to scour the internet and learn as much as I could. The way I interpret this isnt necessarily "what you should have right now", but what abstracted model they were able to backtest that gave them the best performance over the 90 years. Also, a lot of my portfolio I already had before I started trying to build this. As such my allocations dont match the proportions he gave. Not saying my allocations are better, just showing where they are at this time. I'm going to describe how I do Long Volatility at the end rather than the beginning since the way *I* do it wont make sense until you see the rest of the portflio. Physical PMs 22% I'm not sure wether he intended this to be straight up physical gold or include miners and royalty streaming companies so I will just keep this as physical. I consider Silver to be a non-expiring call option on gold, so that can live here too. I am actually *very* overweight silver and my strategy is to convert a large portion of it to gold (mostly my bars) to gold as the ratio tightens up. If youre into crypto, you can arguably say that has a place in this section. If an ETF makes sense for part of your portfolio, I suggest the Sprott ones such as PHYS. Sprott is an honest business and they actually have the metal they say they have. If you have enough, you can redeem your shares from the Royal Canadian Mint. The only downside is that they dont have an options chain, so you cant sell covered calls etc. Simple enough I suppose. One thing to bear in mind, there is a double edged sword with this class of assets. They're out of the system, theyre nobody's business but your own and theres no counter party. That unfortunately means that you cant lever against it for margin or sell covered calls etc. You can still buy puts though (more on that later) Commodity Trend (CTA) 10% https://youtu.be/tac8sWPZW0w Patrick Ceresna gave a good presentation on what this strategy is. Until I watched this video I just thought it meant "buy commodities". A real CTA does this with futures also so aside from the way he showed, there are two other ETFs that are worth looking at. COM - This is an explicit trend following ETF that follows a LONG/FLAT strategy instead of LONG/SHORT on a pile of commodity futures. So if they get a "sell" signal for oil or soybeans they sell what they have and go to cash. COMT- Holds an assortment of different month futures in different commodities, as well as a *lot* of various related shares in producers. Its almost a one stop shop commodities portfolio. Pays a respectable dividend in December If you want to break the "rules" of CTA, and include equities theres a few others that are also worth looking at KOL- This is a coal ETF. The problems with it are that a lot of the holdings dont have much to do with coal. One of them is a tractor company. A lot of the companies are Chinese so theres a bit of a red flag. Obviously Thermal Coal, the kind used for heating and powerplants isnt in vogue and wont be moving forward...but coking coal is used for steel manufacturing and that ain't going anywhere. The dividend is huge, pays out in December. A very very small position might be worth the risk. Uranium- I'm in URA because thats the only way for me to get exposure to Kazatoprom (#1 producer), which is 20% of the holdings. The other 20% is Cameco (#2 producer)and then its random stuff. Other than that I have shares in Denison which seems like its a good business with some interesting projects underway. I'm still studying the uranium space so I dont really have much to say about it of any value. RSX- Russia large caps. If you dont want to pick between the myriad of undervalued, high dividend paying commodity companies that Russia has then just grab this. It only pays in December but it has a liquid options chain so you can do Covered Calls in the meantime if you want. NTR- Nutrien, canadian company that was formed when two others merged. They are now the worlds largest potash producer. Pretty good dividend. They have some financial difficulties and the stocks been in a downtrend forever. I feel its a good candidate to watch or sell some puts on. I'm trying to come up with a way to play agriculture since this new phase we're going to be entering is likely to cause huge food shortages. EURN and NAT- I got in fairly early on the Tanker hype before it was even hype as a way to short oil but I got greedy and lost a lot of my gains. I pared down my position and I'm staying for the dividend. If you get an oil sell signal, this might be a way to play that still. Fixed Income/Bonds 10% Now, I am not a bond expert but unless youre doing some wacky spreads with futures or whatever... I dont see much reason to buy government debt any more. If you are, youre basically betting that they take rates negative. Raoul Pal of Real Vision is pretty firm in his conviction that this will happen. I know better than to argue with him but I dont see risk/reward as being of much value. HOWEVER, I found two interesting ETFs that seem to bring something to this portfolio IVOL- This is run by Nancy Davis, and is comprised of TIPS bonds which are nominally inflation protected (doubt its real inflation but whatever) overlayed with some OTC options that are designed to pay off big if the Fed loses control of the long end of the yield curve, which is what might happen during a real inflation situation. Pays out a decent yield monthly TAIL- This is a simpler portfolio of 10yr treasuries with ladder of puts on the SPX. Pays quarterly. Equities 58% (shared with options/volatility below) This is where it gets interesting, obviously most of this is in mining shares but before I get to those I found some interesting stuff that I'm intending to build up as I pare down my miners when the time comes to start doing that. VIRT- I cant remember where I saw this, but people were talking about this as a volatility play. Its not perfect, but look at the chart compared to SPY. Its a HFT/market making operation, the wackier things get the more pennies they can scalp. A 4% dividend isnt shabby either. FUND- This is an interesting closed end fund run by Whitney George, one of the principals at Sprott. He took it with him when he joined the company. Ive read his reports and interviews and I really like his approach to value and investing. He's kind of like if Warren Buffett was a gold bug. Theres 120 holdings in there, mostly small caps and very diverse...chicken factories, ball bearings all kinds of boring ass shit that nobody knows exists. Whats crucial is that most of it "needs to exist". Between him, his family and other people at Sprott they control 40% or so of the shares, so they definitely have skin in the game. Generous dividend. ZIG- This is a "deep value" strategy fund, run by Tobias Carlisle. He has a fairly simple valuation formula called the Acquirer's Multiple that when he backtested it, is supposed to perform very well. He did an interview with Chris Cole on real Vision where he discusses how Value and Deep Value havent done well recently, but over the last 100 years have proven to be very viable strategies. If we feel that theres a new cycle brewing, then this strategy may work again moving forward. I want to pause and point out something here, Chris Cole, Nassim Taleb and the guys at Mutiny Fund spend a lot of effort explaining that building a portfolio is a lot like putting together a good basketall team. They need to work together, and pick up each others slack A lot of the ETFs I'm listing here are in many ways portfolios in and of themselves and are *actively managed*. I specifically chose them because they follow a methodology that I respect but I can't do myself because I dont have the skill, temperament or access to. The next one is a hidden gem and ties into this. I'm not sure how much more upside there is in this one but man was I surprised. SII- Sprott Inc. I *never* see people listing this stock in their PMs portfolios. A newsletter I'm subscribed to described this stock as the safest way to play junior miners. Their industry presence, intellectual capital and connections means that they get *the best* private placement deals in the best opportunities. I cant compete with a staff like theirs and I'm not going to try. I bought this at 2.50, and I liked the dividend. Since then they did a reverse split to get on the NYSE and like the day after the stock soared. When it comes to mining ETFS I like GOAU and SILJ the best. None of their major holdings are dead weight companies that are only there because of market cap. I dont want Barrick in my portfolio etc. SGDJ is a neat version of GDXJ. Aside from that my individual miners/royalty companies are (no particular order) MMX SAND PAAS PGM AUM AG MUX RIO- Rio2 on the tsx, not rio tinto KTN KL Options/Volatility: varies So this is where we get to the part about options, Volatility and how I do it. I started out in the options space with The Wheel strategy and the Tastytrade approach of selling premium. The spreads and puts I sell, are on shares listed above, in fact some of those I dont hold anymore. Theres tons of stuff on this in thetagang and options so I wont go into a whole bunch (and you shouldnt be learning the mechanics from me anyway) but theres one thing I want to go over before it gets wild. If I sell a Cash Secured Put, from a risk management perspective its identical to just buying 100 shares of the underlying security. You are equally "Short Vol" as well, it just that with options its a little more explicit with the Greeks and everything. But if I use my margin that I was talking about earlier, then I can still collect the premium and the interest doesnt kick in unless Im actually assigned the shares. But if I sell too many puts on KL or AG, and something happens where the miners get cut down (and lets be real, they all move together) my margin goes down and then I get assigned and kaboom...my account gets blown up So what I need to do, is balance out the huge Short Vol situation in my portfolio, be net Long Vol and directly hedge my positions. Since the overwhelming majority of my equities are all tied to bullion this is actually a very easy thing to do. Backspreads https://youtu.be/pvX5_rkm5x0 https://youtu.be/-jTvWOGVsK8 https://youtu.be/muYjjm934iY So I set this up so the vast majority of my margin is tied up in these 1-2 or even 1-3 ratio put spreads that *I actually put on for a small credit*, and roll them every once in a while. I run them on SLV, and GDX. I keep enough room on my margin so I can withstand a 10% drawdown before it sets off the long end of the spreads and then I can ride it out until it turns around and we keep the PM bull market going. Theres another cool spread I've been using, which is a modified Jade Lizard; if already hold shares, I'll sell a put, sell a covered call, and use some of the premium to buy a longer dated call. Ive been running this on AG mostly. I have a few more spreads I can show you but Im tired now so it'll have to wait for later. As I said multiple times, I do intend to trim these miners later but now isnt the time for that IMO. I'm also monitoring this almost full time since I have an injury and have nothing better to do until I heal :p
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
Game Show Winner Loses $39K in Bitcoin Facebook Scam
Image: Kon Karampelas - Unsplash A former winner of the game show Deal or No Deal has been scammed out of his retirement savings after investing in bitcoin through an ad on Facebook. According to a Daily Record report on Tuesday, Scottish retiree Graeme Garioch was defrauded of £30,000 (US$39,400) by a phony investment company. The former railway worker, who appeared on Deal or No Deal in 2007, clicked on a Facebook ad from a company called OMC Markets. Interested in investing ahead of his retirement, Garioch agreed to invest after speaking to a company representative who claimed they were in London but were actually based in Bulgaria, according to the report. Garioch deposited a total of £29,000 (US$38,090) into a bitcoin wallet and signed a waiver denying him access to his funds for six months. The scammers also convinced Garioch to give them access to his bank account, supposedly so they could make bitcoin trades on his behalf. After doubling his money, Garioch tried to pull out his funds in March 2019 but was told he needed to pay a further £6000 (US$7,880) in fees, to which Garioch complied. Shortly after Garioch's funds were completely drained and OMC Markets ignored Garioch's email requests demanding an explanation. "Facebook needs to do more," Garioch said who was planning on buying a house with his investment earnings, "you cry inside." Originally posed by Sebastian Sinclair | August 18, 2020 Coindesk
The Norwegian crypto investment company Arcane Crypto plans its IPO through a so-called "reverse takeover" of the Swedish company Vertical Ventures, as the company announced in a press release. Vertical Ventures wants to take over Arcane for a company value of almost 300 million Swedish kronor, which corresponds to about 28.5 million euros. Vertical Ventures is already trading on the alternative NASDAQ First North, where Arcane is also planning to go public. Despite the takeover by Vertical Ventures, Arcane is to become a majority owner with a 92.5 percent stake and will also officially act under his name. The big difference in the company's shares is due to the inconsistent values of both companies. Vertical Ventures recorded an asset of around 2.18 million crowns in its 2019 balance sheet, which corresponds to around 200,000 euros.
Share issue as a source of finance
The reverse acquisition allows Arcane to bypass the complex process of an IPO. Vertical Ventures intends to fund more than 6.6 billion new shares, each of which can be purchased for less than half a cent. In November 2019, Arcane appointed Eric Wall, who previously headed the cryptocurrencies and blockchain division at Swedish financial services provider Cinnober, now part of NASDAQ, as the new CIO. Arcanes CEO Torbjorn Bull Jenssen explained the takeover by saying that if the company goes public successfully, the company will be able to address a broader investor base and expand its growth and range. You might also be interested in: NOW NEW - Trade Bitcoin & Co. via the finanzen.net app - or for professionals via the Stuttgart Digital Exchange
Final approval is still pending
Before the takeover is dry, the shareholders must first confirm it, as reported by CoinDesk. NASDAQ North must also approve the new corporate structure before the company can be listed again. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020, Arcane said. Arcane develops and invests in projects that mediate between cryptocurrencies and digital assets. The company is currently headquartered in Stockholm, London, and Oslo and deals with payment technology for cryptocurrencies, liquidity provision for crypto electronic and digital assets, and private and institutional crypto-fiat exchange. The company also operates a research department, the news portal cryptographers, and a hedge fund.
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Yes, that is right, you are backed by a full, no questions requested guarantee. So, if you for some reason would now not be happy with your membership and carrier you get you will get your full investment again with no questions asked. That is how confident Chris is that you will recognize the service. This is, of course, a big plus (at least in my book) and some thing that I respect a lot, as many comparable services do now not offer this kind of guarantees. It really says a lot about the great if you ask me, as the owner (Chris) is very confident, and stands at the back of his own product to a hundred percent. Is Capitalist Exploits a Scam? So, is Capitalist Exploits a Scam? No, of direction not, it is not a scam. It has a actual physical proprietor that doesn´t hide, but as an alternative stands behind his product to a one hundred percent and that is almost constantly what separates a scam provider from a real and legit one. Capitalist Exploits is not only a legit service, however it also looks like a very good one. This leads us to what their customers have to say about them: Reviews, ratings, and complaints on Capitalist Exploits It is always sensible (and recommended) to look at what the most ordinary and trusted evaluate and rating websites have to say about something you are involved in, to get a better ordinary picture of the excellent of the particular service. Sign up for the free newsletter: CLICK HERE.
Continue the discussion below, any post from the list grabbed your attention this week, made an impression within the context of FIRE, maybe presented additional questions or an opportunity for further discussion here.
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LeanFIRE and Goal Oriented Investing: 10 Mistakes you should avoid
Dear All - After my earlier post regarding COVID-19 and 10 rules to deploy savings that generated lots of questions and interest I would like to share my thoughts about Goal Oriented Investing. While it's a 101 it may nevertheless be helpful to highlight especially in this market environment. I wasn't able to put graphs and videos here so you may find the full version here. Looking forward to hearing your feedback.
1. Not clearly defining your goals. Define your objectives and think in terms of sub-portfolios
Define your short and long term goals. Allocate to asset classes based on your time horizon (e.g. short term goals need to be carefully managed with a defensive portfolio since the short term volatility of high risk assets like stocks can hurt you). Be sure to have a reserve fund of liquid short-term investments and cash so you can cover emergencies and upcoming large expenses without having to sell your investments during down markets.
2. Not being patient and overreacting. Good things come to those who wait
Returns tend to smooth out over the long term. There is a myth about a Fidelity study that analysed all its performing accounts and realised that best performance came out of portfolios of people who either forgot about their accounts or were dead. You can understand why people believe these findings although the study never took place (look at the chart here - 1 to 20 year rolling performance again!). Logging into your brokepension plan account every day may not be helpful. You may tend to react – do not rush investment decisions.
3. Oveunderestimating your risk tolerance
Take a risk tolerance assessment if necessary to understand your risk profile. Your risk tolerance is important to tweak the asset allocation of your goal sub-portfolio. It is determined by: the degree of flexibility you have with regard to your financial goal, and your personal comfort level with volatility in your portfolio.
4. Aiming at influencing things outside of your control. Focus of what’s in your control
This is the Stoic part of the 10 recommendations (if you also happen to adhere to this philosophy get the Stoic newsletter I never stopped reading for the past 5 years). One of the eye-openers that you learn while studying for the gruelling (Chartered Financial Analyst ‘CFA’) Charter is that research estimates that asset allocation (not stock selection!) drives up to c. 90% of overall portfolio performance. You control asset allocation and rebalancing. You do control your spending and savings that will grow over time – don’t waste most of your time on researching individual stocks (read: Are you more qualified than a professional analyst).
5. Not acquiring enough education and taking excessive idiosyncratic risks
Some of the most trending Google searches during this COVID-19 pandemic include ‘best stocks to buy now’, ‘how to invest in oil stocks’, ‘best stock for 2020’ or ‘best investments for 2020’ etc. In fact the phrase ‘how to buy a stock’ surged to record highs. This also relates to FOMO which I have described here and chasing upward trends in a bear market. Acquiring Investment Knowledge is key as it is ultimately your decisions that will determine whether your hard-earned savings generate long term returns. Do your homework. Understand investment risks. Research fundamentals. Take a bit more time if needed – the market is efficient and is pricing in information relatively quickly – you have no edge in acting quickly.
6. Being overly conservative over the long run
Think of your goals as liabilities that you need to match with your investments. The power of compounding means that you need a much lower amount today to meet a higher amount expenditure in the future. Einstein said compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it. If you have high needs with long time horizon you need to take calculated risks. Invest too defensively (e.g. low allocation to Equities) and it may not match your long term objective. Buffett’s exceptional investment returns are also due to his time horizon.
7. Holding excessive cash. Not taking risks involves high opportunity costs
Believe it or not but a lot of bankers working for the top names tend to hold cash and under-invest. By holding cash you are not only missing out on compounding interest but also paying more taxes! Inflation is an indirect tax that works by destroying savings in exchange for gov’t financing. It gets worse – as central banks print an unprecedented amount of money – most standard measurements of inflation, such as the consumer price index (CPI), do not account for the disproportional effects of quantitative easing which is rising asset prices (monetary inflation). Even when you hear about deflation it’s often very misleading. This bear market may be a good opportunity to gradually deploy cash for long term returns if you haven’t already. As an example – the ‘headline’ inflation in the UK (2.9%) that over 10 years increased prices by 29.29% vs. London Property Prices that increased over twice as much. The same applies to other real assets, like company valuations (stocks) or gold.
8. Not considering diversification
Yes, bonds are not as sexy as stocks since your returns may not be as spectacular in the short term but these are excellent diversifiers that may be sometimes better suited depending on your investment objective and time horizon. Other currencies or hard metals/BTC may be good as well. As an example YTD performance (as of March 9th when I did the analysis) was -14.2% for stocks, +6.1% for bonds and +10.7% for Gold.
9. Letting your emotions rule
This is difficult to implement since we tend to have emotional biases. If you do decide to have a small part of your goal-oriented strategic asset allocation dedicated to tactical asset allocation, sector or stock selection emotions could drive investment decisions based on loss aversion or overconfidence (e.g. confusing brains with a bull market). If it’s e.g. the latter try to stay humble/rational and ask yourself if you really have an edge before making a decision.
Listen on the go! A daily podcast of Wall Street Breakfast will be available by 8:00 a.m. on Seeking Alpha, iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify. More Wall Street Breakfast Podcasts » Shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) - worth nearly $5T in combined market capitalization - added to gains yesterday even as their chief executives defended themselves in Congress against antitrust allegations. The real test will come today, when the Big Tech companies report Q2 results after the market close. On watch will be figures and trends in e-commerce, streaming, advertising, search, app services, social media and cloud computing. Will investors start rethinking the prices that they're paying for the stocks or will their market position during the coronavirus pandemic justify their valuations? Antitrust hearing roundup Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, kicked off the hearing by declaring: "Our founders would not bow before a king. Nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy." That set the tone of five hours of grilling the Big Tech CEOs over their business practices. On the competition front, the biggest questions centered around Amazon's leveraging of seller data to introduce competing products, as well as the revelation of Mark Zuckerberg's emails about the concept of buying startups in order to "neutralize a competitor." Traders get busy Futures are kicking off a packed session in the red, with contracts tied to the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq down about 1%, as Mark Meadows said the White House and Democrats were "nowhere close" on a stimulus deal. Q2 GDP figures today will likely show an annualized contraction of 34.1% last quarter, while the latest weekly unemployment claims are also expected to show an increase to 1.45M, before enhanced federal benefits expire on Saturday. After the close, four of the market's biggest stocks will report earnings within a single hour, in a move that could cause significant volatility in after-hours trading and again on Friday. On the coronavirus front, the U.S. death toll topped 150K, marking the highest official figure in the world. FOMC meeting Solid gains for indexes were seen Wednesday as the Fed left interest rates near zero and pledged to maintain stimulative measures. "The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain, and will depend in large part on our success in keeping the virus in check," Jerome Powell declared. "We're not even thinking about thinking about raising rates and it will take continued support for both monetary and fiscal policy." He also said the Fed "has no intention to buy equities" after recently purchasing corporate and municipal bonds. Both sides of the Atlantic Today is not only the busiest day for earnings in the U.S. European firms worth more than $2T, as well as 60 companies in the Stoxx 600 Index, reported Q2 results overnight. Highlights: AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) shares rose 3% premarket on strong drug sales, while Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) shares inched down after narrowly escaping a loss despite a $17B writedown and one of the oil industry's most brutal quarters. Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) simplified its investment bank structure, AB InBev (NYSE:BUD) booked a $2.5B writedown and Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) is keeping production rates down until 2022. Over in Asia, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) announced its Q2 operating profit jumped 23% and forecast demand for mobile devices to recover gradually in next half of the year. World's biggest smartphone vendor Huawei has overtaken Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) to become the No. 1 smartphone player in the world, an ambition it has had for several years, after taking second place from Apple (AAPL) back in 2018. The Chinese vendor shipped 55.8M devices in the second quarter, down 5% Y/Y, according to research firm Canalys, while Samsung shipped 53.7M smartphones, a 30% plunge versus the prior year. However, analysts are questioning whether Huawei's position is sustainable given the fact that over 70% of Huawei's sales in the second quarter came from China while its overseas markets took a hit. Go deeper: Qualcomm strikes patent deal with Huawei. Trade deal targets By the end of the first half of this year, China had bought about 23% of the total purchase target of more than $170B for goods in 2020, according to Bloomberg, which based its calculations on Chinese Customs Administration data. While trade has increased over the past eight weeks, with Chinese companies booking more than $2.5B in U.S. soy purchases, imports really have to speed up in the second half of 2020 to hit trade deal goals. China may still not violate the deal if it misses the target due to the coronavirus (the trade pact grants flexibility in the event of "a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event"). What else is happening... 'Nowhere close to a deal' on virus relief - Meadows. Amazon (AMZN) scraps live Reinvent conference in blow to Las Vegas. Kodak (NYSE:KODK) ahead of itself on generic drug-stoked rally - Barron's. Dollar drop plays right into these emerging market ETFs' wheelhouse. Wednesday's Key Earnings Boeing (NYSE:BA) -2.8% posting wider loss, cutting production rates. General Electric (NYSE:GE) -4.4% hit by decline in jet engine business. General Motors (NYSE:GM) -1.7% reporting mixed results. PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) +4.1% AH following consensus-beating guidance. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) +13.6% AH on FQ3 beats, Huawei settlement. Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) +7% sailing past estimates. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong -0.7%. China -0.2%. India -0.9%. In Europe, at midday, London -2%. Paris -1.8%. Frankfurt -3%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -1%. Nasdaq -1.1%. Crude -1.6% to $40.63. Gold +0.8% to $1969.20. Bitcoin -2.9% to $10934. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.56% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 GDP Q2 8:30 Initial Jobless Claims 10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory 4:30 PM Money Supply 4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
I'm 99% sure someone is trying to scam me. Opinions please?
About a month ago I met this girl on tinder. We started talking and we got onto the topic of investing. We are both interested in it so we started talking about it a lot. Specifically Bitcoin and trading etc. We have become quite good friends but I haven't met her and I've had so many red flags making me think she is trying to scam me. Amazing because she is playing a really long game. Heres some of the red flags I noticed:
Soon after we started talking she took a solo vacation to Italy, which she sent me pics of. (Italy has been in quarantine so I dont know how that was possible)
One of the photos looked strange. Her arm looked almost pixelated so i decided to run her pictures through imageedited.com and every single one came back as "probably edited". She has sent me over 30 pictures and each one comes back the same, even when i tell her not to use any filters.
She has been scalping bitcoin on metatrader and wanted to take me through the method. I am not stupid when it comes to trading etc so i decided to follow using a demo account and see what its all about. She gave me "her old practice account" to use.
This is where it gets really interesting, the broker she uses allows 200x leverage on btc trades and she uses this frequently. I've traded with her a few times and shes won every time. I mean thousands of dollars in a couple of minutes. I decided to google the broker she is using and it didnt come up at all which was a major red flag for me. I eventually plugged in a demo account for a trusted broker onto my metatrader to follow the trades and see if I would still win, which I did. This leads us to today. I told her I cant find the broker that she is using online so she sent me the website. I looked through it and its raising more red flags. The address is in london, but the site was registered in hong kong (incidentally the country she comes from, and has since returned to because of this covid crisis), I did a street view check of the address and it looks like the company doesn't exist at that address. I did a whois search for the domain and it was registered on the same day that me and her started chatting a month ago (coincidence?). She told me she has been trading btc for over 6 months already. I haven't called her out yet on these red flags because she hasnt pressured me into sending money anywhere and hasnt asked me any personal information. I'm also learning a lot by following her trades using a demo account so im actually gaining some value for now. What do you guys think? What should I do? Is there any agency or something that will help confirm my suspicions? Thanks for the read guys. Edit: After looking at replies and votes it seems that you guys strongly in favor of me ceasing contact with this person so I am going to block their number immediately.
Amazon invested in startups and gained proprietary information before launching competitors, often crushing the smaller companies in the process, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal spoke with startups who said Amazon made similar hardware and software products after purchasing stakes in the companies.
Former Wirecard COO and fugitive Jan Marsalek appears to have deep ties to Russian intelligence, sources told Insider. "There's a million reasons [for the Russians] to get involved with Wirecard," a Dutch official told Insider. "Russian officials always need to move money to the West, and Wirecard was raising lots of money but not as much as they told investors.
Intel's shares tanked 10% late Thursday after the chip giant announced that production problems have delayed the rollout of its next generation chips. Intel CEO Bob Swan said the company found "a defect mode" in its manufacturing process which will push back its production schedule.
Facebook has undergone considerable internal strife, as its employees reckon with the firm's stance on refusing to remove posts from politicians containing lies or threats of violence, according to BuzzFeed. One engineer who left on July 1 posted in an internal goodbye note that he thought "Facebook is hurting people at scale."
Trump ads on Facebook claiming 'TikTok is spying on you' reached up to 5 million Americans and targeted younger voters. In the five days between July 17 and July 21, accounts tied to Donald Trump's campaign posted 450 separate adverts on Facebook and Instagram lambasting TikTok for spying on users and siphoning data to China.
Tesla stock rose on Thursday after the company made a profit for the fourth quarter in a row. Elon Musk's electric-car company reported $104 million in net income, a big improvement from its $408 million loss in the second quarter of 2019.
Twitter shares spiked as much as 5.8% on Thursday after the social network reported record growth in daily active users in the second quarter. The company added 20 million users in the period, fueling a 34% year-on-year increase in its userbase to 186 million.
The UK is hoping its next $50 billion tech success story after fintech will be law. London is home to 44% of Europe's law startups and the city has been flagged by The Law Society as one of 10 emerging "lawtech" ecosystems.
Analytics startup Quantexa has $65 million in a Series C funding round led by Evolution Equity Partners – and backed by HSBC and Accenture. With hundreds of clients in more than 70 countries, including HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, Quantexa uses the advancements in big data and AI to uncover hidden risk and opportunities across financial crime, credit risk, and fraud.
Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has filed a complaint against YouTube over an ongoing bitcoin scam using his image and likeness as well as those of other tech executives. The lawsuit comes after several high-profile executives, celebrities, and politicians had their accounts taken over as part of a bitcoin scam on Twitter.
I've heard that founder of MakerDAO is not strictly against KYC. I have a message to whole community and specifically to a founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen. I will explain using concrete examples why having KYC in MakerDAO is a grave mistake and it will lead to MakerDAO fork. Many people in the first world never actually understand why financial privacy and financial inclusion is important. Even people (in the first world) who seemingly supportive of such ideas are not able to provide any concrete examples of why it's actually important. Unfortunately, I was born in a "wrong" country (Uzbekistan) and I experienced first hand what financial exclusion actually means. I know first hand that annoying feeling when you read polite, boilerplate rejection letter from financial institution based in first world. So I had to become practical libertarian. I'm going to give you concrete examples of financial discrimination against me. Then I'm going to explain fundamental reasons why it happens. And finally, I'm going to explain my vision for DAI. Back in 2005, I lived in Uzbekistan. I had an idea to invest in US stocks. I was very naive and I didn't know anything about investing, compliance, bank transfers, KYC etc. All I knew is nice long term charts of US stocks and what P/E means. I didn't contact any US brokerage but I checked information about account opening and how to transfer money there. I approached local bank in Uzbekistan and asked how to transfer money to Bank of New York. Banker's face was like - WOW, WTF?!?! They asked me to go to private room to talk with senior manager. Senior manager of local bank in Uzbekistan asked me why I wanted to transfer money to US. They told me that it's absolutely impossible to transfer money to US/EU and pretty much anywhere. I approached nearly every local bank in the town and they told me the same. In 2012, I already lived in Moscow and acquired Russian citizenship. I got back to my old idea - investing in US stocks. I called to many US brokerages and all of them politely rejected me. Usually when I called I asked them if I can open an account with them. They told me to hold on line. After long pause, I was able to speak with "senior" support who politely explain me that Russia in their list of restricted countries and they can't open an account for me. Finally, I was able to open an account with OptionsXpress. Next challenge was to convince local Russian bank to transfer money to US. Back then in 2012, I was able to get permission to do so. So you might say - is this happy end? Fast forwarding US brokerage story to 2017, OptionsXpress was acquired by Charles Schwab. I was notified that my OptionsXpress account will be migrated to Charles Schwab platform. In 2017, I already lived in the Netherlands (but still having Russian citizenship). I wasn't happy with my stupid job in the Netherlands. I called Charles Schwab and asked if I quit my job in the Netherlands and have to return to Russia, what will happen with my account. Schwab told me that they will restrict my account, so I can't do anything except closing my account. So even if I was long term customer of OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab is not fully okay with me. Going back to 2013, I still lived in Russia. I had another idea. What if I quit my job and build some SAAS platform (or whatever) and sell my stuff to US customers. So I need some website which accept US credit cards. I contacted my Russian bank (who previously allowed me to transfer money to OptionsXpress) about steps to make in order to accept US credit cards in Russia. I've been told explicitly in email that they won't allow me to accept US credit cards under any circumstances. Back then I still believed in "the free west". So I thought - no problem, I will just open bank account abroad and do all operations from my foreign account. I planned vacation in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong is freest economy in the world. Looks like it's right place to open bank account. I contacted HSBC Hong Kong via email. Their general support assured me that I can open bank account with them if I'm foreigner. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation and visited HSBC branch. Of course, they rejected me. But they recommended me to visit last floor in their HQ building, they told me that another HSBC branch specializes on opening bank accounts for foreigners. I went there and they said minimum amount to open bank account is 10 mil HKD (1.27 mil USD). Later I learned that it's called private banking. When I relocated to the Netherlands, I asked ABN Amro staff - what's happen with my bank account if I quit/lose my job in the Netherlands and have to return back to Russia. I've been told that I can't have my dutch bank account if I go back to Russia even if I already used their bank for 2+ years. I still had idea that I would like to quit my job and do something for myself. The problem is that I'm Russian citizen and I don't have any residency which is independent from my employment. So if I quit my job in the Netherlands, I have to return back to Russia. I wanted to see how I would get payments from US/EU customers. I found Stripe Atlas, it's so exciting, they help you to incorporate in US, and even help with banking, all process of receiving credit card payments is very smooth. But as usual in my case, there is a catch - Russia in their list of restricted countries. Speaking of centralized compliance-friendly (e.g. KYC) crypto exchanges. This year I live and work in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, I thought it would be nice to have an account at local crypto exchange in Hong Kong so I can quickly transfer money from my bank account in Hong Kong to crypto exchange using FPS (local payment system for fast bank transfers). What could go wrong? After all Hong Kong is freest economy in the world, right? I submitted KYC documents to crypto exchange called Weever including copy of my Hong Kong ID as they requested. They very quickly responded that they need copy of my passport as well. I submitted copy of my Russian passport. This time they got silent. After a few days, they sent me email saying that Russia is on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, so they just require me to fill a form about source of the funds. I told them that the source of my funds is salary, my Hong Kong bank can confirm that along with my employment contract. They got very silent after I sent them a filled form. After a week of silence I asked them - when my account get approved? They said that their compliance office will review my application soon. And they got very silent again. I waited for two or three weeks. Then I asked them again. And I immediately got email with title - Rejection for Weever Account Opening. And text of email was:
We are sorry to inform you that Weever may not be able to accept your account opening application at this stage.
Exactly the same situation I had with one crypto exchange in Europe back in 2017. Luckily I have accounts at other crypto exchanges including Gemini, one of most compliance obsessed exchange in the world. Although I don't keep my money there because I can't trust them, who knows what might come into head of their compliance officer one sunny day. By the way, I'm living and working outside of Russia for quite a few years. The situation with crypto exchanges is much worse for those who still living in Russia. I give you a few other examples of financial discrimination is not related to troubles with my Russian citizenship. Back in 2018, I still lived in the Netherlands. I logged in into my brokerage account just to buy US ETFs as I always do - SPY and QQQ. I placed my order and it failed to fill. I thought it's just a technical problem with my brokerage account. After a few failed attempts to send buy orders for SPY and QQQ, I contacted their support. What they told me was shocking and completely unexpected. They said I'm not permitted to buy US ETFs anymore as EU resident because EU passed a law to protect retail investors. So as a EU resident I'm allowed to be exposed to more risk by buying individual US stocks but I'm not allowed to reduce my risk by buying SPY because ... EU wants to protect me. I felt final result of new law. By the way, on paper their law looks fine. And the final example. It's a known fact that US public market become less attractive in recent decades. Due to heavy regulatory burden companies prefer to go public very late. So if successful unicorn startup grows from its inception/genesis to late adoption, company's valuation would be 3-5 orders of orders of magnitude. For example, if valuation of successful company at inception is 1 Mil USD, then at its very latest stage it's valuation would be 10 Bil USD. So we have 10'000 times of growth. In the best case scenario, company would go public at 1 Bil USD 5-10 years before reaching its peak 10 Bil USD. So investors in private equity could enjoy 1000 fold growth and just leave for public only last 10 fold growth stretched in time. In the worst case scenario, company would go public at 10 Bil USD, i.e. at its historical peak. But there are well known platforms to buy shares of private companies, one of such platforms is Forge Global. You can buy shares of almost all blue chip startups. You can even invest in SpaceX! But as always, there is a catch - US government wants to protect not just US citizens but all people in the world (sounds ridiculous, right?). US law requires you to have 1 Mil USD net worth or 200'000 USD annual income if you want to buy shares of non-public company. So if you are high-net worth individual you can be called "accredited investor". Funny thing is that the law intends to protect US citizens but even if you are not US citizen and never even lived in US, this law is still applies to you in practice. So if you are "poor loser", platforms like Forge Global will reject you. So high-net worth individuals have access and opportunity to Bitcoin-style multi-magnitude growth every 5-10 years. Contrary to private equity markets, US public markets is low risk/low return type of market. If you have small amount of capital, it's just glorified way to protect yourself from inflation plus some little return on top. It's not bad, US public market is a still great way to store your wealth. But I'm deeply convinced that for small capital you must seek fundamentally different type of market - high risk/high return. It's just historical luck that Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc were available for general public from day one. But in reality, viral/exponential growth is happening quite often. It's just you don't have access to such type of markets due to regulatory reasons. I intentionally described these examples of financial discrimination in full details as I experienced them because I do feel that vast majority of people in the first world honestly think that current financial system works just fine and only criminals and terrorists are banned. In reality that's not true at all. 99.999% of innocent people are completely cut off from modern financial system in the name of fighting against money laundering. Here is a big picture why it's happening. There are rich countries (so called western world) and poor countries (so called third world). Financial wall is carefully built by two sides. Authoritarian leaders of poor countries almost always want full control over their population, they don't like market economy, and since market forces don't value their crappy legal system (because it works only for close friends of authoritarian leader) they must implement strict capital control. Otherwise, all capital will run away from their country because nobody really respects their crappy legal system. It only has value under heavy gun of government. Only friends of authoritarian leader can move their money out of country but not you. Leaders of rich countries want to protect their economy from "dirty money" coming from third world. Since citizens of poor countries never vote for leaders of rich countries nobody really cares if rich country just ban everyone from poor country. It's the most lazy way to fight against money laundering - simply ban everyone from certain country. Actually if you look deeper you will see that rich countries very rarely directly ban ordinary people from third world. Usually, there is no such law which doesn't allow me to open bank account somewhere in Europe as non-EU resident. What's really happens is that US/EU government implement very harsh penalties for financial institutions if anything ever goes wrong. So what's actually happens is that financial institutions (banks, brokerages etc) do de-risking. This is the most important word you must know about traditional financial system! So if you have wrong passport, financial institution (for example) bank from rich country just doesn't want to take any risks dealing with you even if you are willing to provide full documentation about your finances. It's well known fact that banks in Hong Kong, Europe, US like to unexpectedly shutdown accounts of thousands innocent businesses due to de-risking. So it's actually de-risking is the real reason why I was rejected so many times by financial institutions in the first world!!! It's de-risking actually responsible for banning 99.999% of innocent people. So governments of rich democratic countries formally have clean hands because they are not banning ordinary people from third world directly. All dirty job is done by financial institutions but governments are well aware of that, it's just more convenient way to discriminate. And nobody actually cares! Ordinary citizens in rich countries are never exposed to such problems and they really don't care about people in third world, after all they are not citizens of US/EU/UK/CH/CA/HK/SG/JP/AU/NZ. And now are you ready for the most hilarious part? If you are big corrupt bureaucrat from Russia you are actually welcome by the first world financial institutions! All Russian's junta keep their stolen money all across Europe and even in US. You might wonder how this is possible if the western financial system is so aggressive in de-risking. Here is a simple equation which financial institution should solve when they decide whether to open an account for you or not: Y - R = net profit Where: Y - how much profit they can make with you; R - how much regulatory risk they take while working with you; That's it! It's very simple equation. So if you are really big junta member from Russia you are actually welcome according to this equation. Banks have special name for serving (ultra) high-net worth individuals, it's called private banking. It's has nothing to do with the fact that bank is private. It's just fancy name for banking for rich. So what's usually happen in real world. Some Estonian or Danish bank got caught with large scale money laundering from Russia. European leaders are ashamed in front of their voters. They implement new super harsh law against money laundering to keep their voters happy. Voters are ordinary people, they don't care about details of new regulations. So banks get scared and abruptly shutdown ALL accounts of Russian customers. And European voters are happy. Modern money laundering laws are like shooting mouse in your house using bazooka! It's very efficient to kill mouse, right? Now imagine world without financial borders. It's hard to do so because we are all get so used to current status quo of traditional financial system. But with additional effort you can start asking questions - if Internet economy is so global and it doesn't really matter where HQ of startup is located, why they are all concentrated in just a few tiny places like Silicon Valley and ... well, that's mostly it if you count the biggest unicorns! Another question would be - why so many talented russian, indian, chinese programmers just go to the same places like San Francisco, London and make super rich companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple to get even richer? If all you need is laptop and access to internet, why you don't see any trade happening between first and third world? Well actually there is a trade between first and third world but it's not exactly what I want to see. Usually third world countries sell their natural resources through giant corporations to the first world. So it's possible to get access to the first world market from third world but this access usually granted only to big and established companies (and usually it means not innovative). Unicorns are created through massive parallel experiment. Every week bunch of new startups are created in Silicon Valley. Thousands and thousands startups are created in Silicon Valley with almost instant access to global market. Just by law of large numbers you have a very few of them who later become unicorns and dominate the world. But if you have wrong passport and you are located in "wrong" country where every attempt to access global market is very costly, then you most likely not to start innovative startup in the first place. In the best case scenario, you just create either local business or just local copy-paste startup (copied from the west) oriented on (relatively small) domestic market. Obviously in such setup it's predictable that places like Silicon Valley will have giant advantage and as a result all unicorns get concentrated in just a few tiny places. In the world without financial barriers there will be much smaller gap between rich and poor countries. With low barrier of entry, it won't be a game when winner takes all. Whole architecture of decentralized cryptocurrencies is intended to remove middle man and make transactions permissionless. Governments are inherently opposite to that, they are centralized and permissioned. Therefore, decentralized cryptocurrencies are fundamentally incompatible with traditional financial system which is full of middle mans and regulations (i.e. permissions). Real value of crypto are coming from third world, not the first world. People are buying crypto in rich countries just want to invest. Their financial system and their fiat money are more or less already working for them. So there is no immediate urgency to get rid of fiat money in the first world. So the first world citizens buying crypto on centralized KYCd exchanges are essentially making side bet on the success of crypto in third world. Real and natural environment of cryptocurrencies is actually dark OTC market in places like Venezuela and China. But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have a big limitation to wide adoption in third world - high volatility. So the real target audience is oppressed (both by their own government and by first world governments) ordinary citizens of third world countries yet they are least who can afford to take burden of high volatility. Right now, Tether is a big thing for dark markets across the world (by the way, dark market doesn't automatically imply bad!). But Tether soon or later be smashed by US/EU regulators. The only real and working permissionless stable cryptocurrency (avoiding hyped word - stablecoin) is DAI. DAI is the currency for post-Tether world to lead dark OTC market around the world and subvert fiat currencies of oppressive third world governments. Once DAI become de-facto widespread currency in shadow economy in all of third world, then it will be accepted (after many huge push backs from governments) as a new reality. I'm talking about 10-20+ years time horizon. But if MakerDAO chooses the route of being compliance friendly then DAI will lose its real target audience (i.e. third world). I can not imagine US/EU calmly tolerate someone buying US stocks and using as a collateral to issue another security (i.e. DAI) which is going to be traded somewhere in Venezuela! You can not be compliance friendly and serve people in Venezuela. Facebook's Libra was stupidest thing I've seen. It's extremely stupid to ask permission from the first world regulators to serve third world and create borderless economy. Another stupid thing is to please third world governments as well. For example, Libra (if ever run) will not serve Indian, Chinese, Venezuelan people. Who is then going to use stupid Libra? Hipsters in Silicon Valley? Why? US dollars are good enough already.
On July 14, 2020, join Binance as we kick off our third anniversary with one of the biggest blockchain events of the year. Get the latest news and updates on all things blockchain and crypto, and take an exclusive look at what’s coming next at our “Off the Charts!” Virtual Conference, a blockbuster 10-hour live event with multi-regional programming that brings together 80+ influential speakers, including leading blockchain and crypto innovators, business and technology leaders, influential academics, and key policymakers. Expect to hear the latest insights on the blockchain ecosystem from some of the industry’s most prominent leaders and visionaries. Join our can’t-miss event with powerful talks, breakthrough panels, opportunities to win prizes, and much more. The “Off the Charts!” Virtual Conference will feature five segments with spotlights on regions making a significant impact in the space: Europe & the UK, Asia-Pacific, Russia & CIS, Africa & Middle East, and North America & LATAM. Discover an array of keynotes, panels, and fireside chats, on these following themes and more:
Powering Crypto Growth: Local blockchain trends and evolving technologies that are transforming crypto awareness and adoption.
Crypto Meets Traditional Finance: Exploring opportunities for integrated and parallel development.
Blockchain and Global Health: Crypto’s appeal in today’s volatile environment.
Policy and Regulation: Spearheading community initiatives through cooperation and investment.
Trading Strategies and Technical Analysis: Training and insights to improve your trading.
Hear from these speakers and more:
Akon - Chairman & Co-Founder, Akoin
Cliff Liang - Director of Solutions Architecture, Amazon
David Ferrer Canosa - Secretary for Digital Policies, Government of Catalonia
Don Tapscott - Executive Chairman, The Blockchain Research Institute
Oleksandr Bornyakov - Deputy Minister, Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine
Perianne Boring - Founder and President, Chamber of Digital Commerce
Changpeng Zhao (CZ) - Founder & CEO, Binance
He Yi - Co-Founder & CMO, Binance
Aarón Olmos - Economist, Olmos Group Venezuela
Alex Saunders - CEO & Founder, Nugget's News
Anna Baydakova - Reporter, CoinDesk
Anton Mozgovoy - Head of Product, Jthereum
Apolline Blandin - Research Lead, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance
Beniamin Mincu - CEO, Elrond
Bobby Ong - Co-founder, CoinGecko
Brendan Eich - CEO & Co-founder, Brave Software
Bruno Diniz - Managing Partner, Spiralem Innovation Consulting
Calvin Liu - Strategy Lead, Compound Labs
Camila Russo - Founder, The Defiant
Carlos Rischioto - Client Technical Leader & Blockchain SME, IBM
Carylyne Chan - Interim CEO, CoinMarketCap
Catherine Coley - CEO, Binance.US
Charles Hayter - CEO, CryptoCompare
Charles Hoskinson - Founder, Cardano
Charlie Shrem - Host, UntoldStories.Com
Chimezie Chuta - Founder, Blockchain Nigeria User Group
Darius Sit - Partner, QCP Capital
David Ferrer Canosa - Secretary for Digital Policies, Government of Catalonia
Denis Efremov - Investment Director, Da Vinci Capital
Don Tapscott - Executive Chairman, The Blockchain Research Institute
Eric Turner - VP, Market Intelligence, Messari
Erick Pinos - Americas Ecosystem Lead, Ontology
Ernesto Contreras Escalona - Head of Business Development, Dash Core Group
Eugene Mutai - CTO, Raise
Genping Liu - Partner, Vertex Ventures
Hany Rashwan - CEO, 21Shares AG
Harry Halpin - CEO, Nym Technologies
Hongfei Da - Founder, Neo
Igor Runets - CEO, BitRiver
İsmail Hakkı Polat - Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Lecturer, Istanbul Kadir Has University
Jamie Burke - CEO, Outlier Ventures
Jiho Kang - CEO, Binance.KR
John Izaguirre - Europe Ecosystem Lead, Ontology
John Khenneth Parungao - COO, SwipeWallet, Inc.
Jon Karas - President & Co-Founder, Akoin
Jorge Farias - CEO, Cryptobuyer
Joseph Hung - Director of Market Strategy, Klaytn
Joseph Lubin - CEO, ConsenSys
Juan Otero - CEO, Travala.com
Justin Sun - Founder, TRON & CEO, BitTorrent
Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr - Managing Editor & Head of Features, Cointelegraph
Ken Nakamura - CEO, GMO-Z.com Trust Company
Konstantin Goldstein - Principal Technical Evangelist, Microsoft
Kyle Samani - Managing Director, Multicoin Capital
Thamim Ahmed - Researcher, University College London
Tom Lee - Head of Research, Fundstrat Global Advisors
Tyler Spalding - CEO, Flexa
Veronica Wong - CEO, SafePal
Viktor Radchenko - Founder, Trust Wallet
Winpro Yan - Chief Editor, Mars Finance
Yele Bademosi - CEO, Bundle Africa
Zhuling Chen - COO, Aelf Blockchain
Stay tuned as speakers and more themes are announced in the coming weeks! For more details, read our blog posthereand visit our event websitehere. During the livestream, we will be holding special #BinanceTurns3activities for viewers and giving away limited-edition prizes, swag, and collectible NFTs at various points throughout the livestream. Availability is limited! Register today! Binance Awards 2020 Join Binance as we celebrate the standout innovators and businesses that have made sizable contributions, both to our community and to our blockchain ecosystem. Winners will be announced during our live event, and results will be published on our blog afterwards. Register on Eventbrite today and tune in to the “Off the Charts” Virtual Conference on July 14, 2020, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (UTC). -------- Thank you to our partners for helping make this event possible!
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