It isn’t a secret that the Lightning Network, a second-layer solution aimed at easing the qualms Bitcoin faces with scalability, has seen monumental levels of adoption as of late. The ecosystem has seen its maximum capacity swell over the 700 BTC milestone, cementing its viability as a system that provides cost-efficient, rapid, secure, and more private transactions.But this growth hasn’t come unwarranted. Arguably, Lightning’s sudden surge in adoption has much to do with grassroots efforts, like Lightning Pizza and the ever-popular Trust Chain community initiative, launched by HODLnaut just weeks ago.Related Reading: Buy Pizza With Bitcoin! Crypto Twitter Enamored With Lightning Network AppFidelity Takes Up The Bitcoin TorchIt appears that lightning has struck once again. This time, Fidelity Investments’ crypto-centric arm, Digital Asset Services, publicly accepted a Lightning Network transaction. On Friday, the cryptocurrency branch of the Wall Street giant, which has approximately $2 trillion in assets under management, joined in on the multi-week Trust Chain fun, accepting a transaction for 3.64 million satoshis.Fidelity, who has shown a liking to cryptocurrencies and related technologies, is expected to launch its Bitcoin custody offering by March.We’d be honored if you would pass the #LNTorch to our research arm, Fidelity Center for Applied Tech. We are ready with an invoice for 3.64M sats #LNTrustChain #LightningTorch ⚡— Fidelity Digital Assets (@DigitalAssets) February 22, 2019For those who missed the memo, Hodlona recently took to his Twitter page to start an interesting community-run initiative. Through the medium of a tweet, Hodl divulged that he wanted Bitcoin users to start a chain through Lightning, whereas participants would send marginally more BTC with each so-called “hop.”Just hours after Fidelity Digital Assets accepted the torch, it passed it onto the students at Harvard University blockchain club. This is quite fitting, especially considering the hearsay that Harvard’s colossal endowment has allocations in crypto- and blockchain-centric funds.Harvard’s blockchain club and the aforementioned Wall Street institution join a number of other bigwigs in the cryptosphere that have participated in the Trust Chain, which includes Anthony Pompliano, Klaus Lovgreen, John Carvalho, Marty Bent, leading Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos and Elizabeth Stark of Lightning Labs.Twitter CEO Enamored With Lightning TechFidelity’s foray into the storm comes after Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter and Square, effectively embarked on a crusade for this scaling solution.For the seemingly umpteenth time in weeks, Dorsey has surprised the cryptocurrency space. This time, the Bitcoin fanatic tweeted out the announcement of Tippin, a “game-changer application” that allows social media users on Twitter to get BTC tips for their quips. Alongside the posted link was a simple, yet strong message: “This is excellent.” According to the link that Dorsey broadcasted to his following of millions, Tippin is a Chrome and Firefox browser extension that allows for simple and effective Twitter tipping, giving content creators and personalities the ability to monetize their content further.Just weeks earlier, he too accepted the torch, hoisting it in the Twitter air after he took to Joe Rogan’s podcast to claim that the native currency of the Internet is likely going to be Bitcoin.Featured Image from Shutterstock
Within less than two hours, the Bitcoin price surged from $3,920 to $4,137 by more than 5 percent against the U.S. dollar.
Ethereum spiked from $147 to $157 immediately after the initial price movement of Bitcoin by around 6.8 percent.
Confidence is Returning to Bitcoin and the Crypto Market
Speaking to CCN, Three Arrows Capital CEO Su Zhu stated that the recent price movement of cryptocurrencies demonstrates the growing confidence of investors in the market.
“Confidence [is] returning back to the market,” Zhu said, adding that more fiat holders could invest in crypto assets in the near-term. “I expect large caps to outperform. I also expect stale fiat-holders to chase as we grind higher.”
Last week, Zhu explained that nearly $6 billion is sitting on the sidelines within the crypto market waiting to be allocated to cryptocurrencies once the sentiment in the sector improves.
While the 5 percent surge in the price of Bitcoin did not lead to a break out of key resistance levels above the $4,200 mark, it sparked more optimism in the cryptocurrency market.
Throughout the past month, the commitment of two U.S. public pensions in Morgan Creek’s crypto fund and the $200 million+ investment by institutions in Grayscale’s digital asset fund led investors to become increasingly positive on the mid-term trend of the market.
This morning our team at Morgan Creek Digital announced a new $40 million crypto venture fund anchored by two public pensions.
The institutions aren’t coming.
They’re already here. 🚀
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) February 12, 2019
As sentiment among investors recovers, the $6 billion worth of fiat in the cryptocurrency market could gradually come back into major assets like Bitcoin, fueling a recovery.
“There’s an estimated $2B in cash sitting at crypto funds/holdcos. There’s another $2B+ sitting in stablecoins, and another $2B sitting at exchanges/silver gate/signature.”
“This is $6B fiat already onboarded to crypto to buy your bags. Imagine thinking we need new money to hit $10k.”
As always, there is a possibility that the entire setup from $3,122 to $4,100 is a bull trap. In the upcoming days, it is crucial for Bitcoin to maintain its momentum and volume.
— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) February 23, 2019
Since early January, the daily volume of Bitcoin has increased from around $4 billion to $8 billion, by nearly two-fold.
If the volume, momentum, and price of BTC can hold up in the near-term, analysts foresee BTC testing the $4,200 resistance level and eventually, the $5,000 to $6,000 range.
Previously, Mark Dow, a former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist, said that for BTC to escape a vulnerable range, it will need to rebound to $5,000 to $6,000.
“Still a beautiful chart. If bitcoin can’t bounce to at least $5k – $6k soon, it’s a really bad sign for the cyberbulls. And if it breaks down thru the yellow line at any point, even the HODLers need to GTFO,” he said.
Hence, until BTC breaks out of $6,000, it is still vulnerable to a drop below key support levels.
In a sideways market or when Bitcoin demonstrates a decent increase in price, small market cap tokens often tend to record large gains against both BTC and the U.S. dollar.
Tokens representing blockchain projects that have seen significant progress in terms of development, adoption, and scaling have seen strong price movements in the past week.
Ontology, Qtum, ICON, Maker, and NEO have recorded gains in the range of 7 to 20 percent against the USD on the day, within hours.
In the near-term, analysts foresee tokens and small market cap crypto assets continuing to demonstrate strong momentum as the volume of both the digital asset exchange and futures market improves significantly from current levels.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.
Just one weekend after it passed $3,600, $3,700, and $3,800 in rapid succession, Bitcoin (BTC) surged again. For the first time in a number of weeks, BTC surpassed $4,000 on Saturday, in a move that seemingly came straight out of left field. Much like the rally that was seen a week prior, this move to the upside saw non-Bitcoin digital assets post notable gains — gains that even outshined the flagship cryptocurrency. EOS, for instance, has found itself up by 6%, pushing the $4.10 price point.EOS Surges Alongside Bitcoin BoomOther cryptocurrencies have also posted notable gains, but EOS has had the strongest daily performance out of the top five assets, per Live Coin Watch data. While this move has been welcomed by holders of the popular digital asset, what are the speculated catalysts behind this move?Firstly, much like other cryptocurrencies, EOS ran partially due to Bitcoin’s surge, as this space has been playing ‘follow the leader’ as of late.In terms of EOS specifically, there have been a few developments pinned to the recent action. The first is Effect.AI’s sudden migration from NEO to EOS. The upstart, centered around the creation of a decentralized and democratic artificial intelligence network, explained that EOS suits its needs much better than NEO can, specifically in regards to its scalability, coding language, technological developments, security, and broader ecosystem/community.Related Reading: What Caused EOS to Surge 30%, Flip Litecoin and Lead Today’s Crypto Rally?The second could be a comment from Brendan Blumer, the chief executive of EOS’s parent company, Block.one. Issuing a comment on Telegram, Blumer purportedly did his best to reassure investors in the project, remarking that he doesn’t intend sacrifice his brainchild’s credibility and security to push out a product faster, adding that “great things take time.”EOS Isn’t All Fine And DandyWhile EOS is evidently performing well, posting larger gains than Bitcoin’s 3%, from a fundamental point of view, many are still skeptical of the project’s long-term viability and staying power. More specifically, news recently arose that the project’s blockchain surpassed 4TB in size, which is on an order of magnitude larger than Bitcoin’s.In response to this controversy, crypto researcher Hasu noted that this debacle accentuates that networks need transaction fees, specifically to avoid blockchain bloat-induced centralization.The absurd growth rate of the EOS blockchain shows again why networks need TX fees. When transaction costs are socialized on full nodes, demand to transact is infinite (e.g. for spam or fake activity.) The resulting blockchain bloat soon becomes a hugely centralizing force. https://t.co/sxtV5yvsmK— Hasu (@hasufl) February 22, 2019Armin Van Bitcoin also had some choice words for the project. Staying true to his love for BTC, Armin remarked that the project raised $4 billion to “create a centralized network where ordinary users can’t even run their own node,” evidently referring to the lack of pruning and the blockchain’s pure size.Jameson Lopp, the chief technology officer of CasaNode, also had something to say about this imbroglio. Lopp, a long-standing industry insider, joked that EOS has “achieved the big blocker vision,” touching on the dichotomy between the BTC community and that of forks that promote higher transactional throughput.So nodes have to buy a new $300 8TB hard drive every 16 months? Why is this a problem? Usenet was growing 1TB/day more than a decade ago…— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) February 22, 2019Funny enough, however, Tim Sweeney of Fortnite creator Epic Games wasn’t too wary of EOS’s 4TB block size. In response to a critique of this facet of the blockchain, Sweeney asked: “what’s wrong with 4tb for a global transaction ledger?” The gaming guru, who has commented on Monero and blockchain technologies previously, explained that nodes need to spend a relatively small “$300 8TB hard drive every 16 months,” which isn’t much a problem in his eyes.Featured Image from Shutterstock
It seems that each month a fresh story surrounding crypto-related scams and fraud surfaces, but the victims of these stories are typically isolated, and the scope of their victimhood is usually limited to financial losses. Despite this, one Bitcoin trader was recently attacked by a group of armed robbers who tortured him using gruesome tactics in front of his young daughter in an effort to extort him out of his BTC holdings.This robbery took place earlier this month in the Netherlands and is putting a spotlight on the importance of public figures in the cryptocurrency industry keeping their identities and whereabout private.Grotesque Antics Used in the Hopes of Stealing Trader’s Bitcoin and Crypto HoldingsThe robbery occurred on Sunday, February 10th, in the evening at the trader’s home in Zuideind, and is the latest in a string of multiple violent robberies in the area that are being investigated by local authorities.According to a report first seen in De Telegraaf – the largest Dutch daily morning newspaper – the victim, named Tjeerd H. (38), and his daughter, were shocked to hear a large bang at their front door at approximately 10:00 p.m. on Sunday evening, and found three armed robbers with balaclavas, bulletproof vests, and police jackets.Unfortunately, the man’s four-year-old daughter was forced to watch as one of the men ran a drill through his body while demanding that he transfer them his Bitcoin and crypto holdings. The victim was sent to the hospital in order to be treated for significant injuries.It remains unclear as to whether or not H. transferred his holdings to the robbers.According to the report, fifteen police investigators are currently investigating the robbery, and currently have limited information about the robbers, who reportedly had Moroccan accents and left the scene in an Audi A6.Notable Crypto Traders Warned to Express Increased CautionDue to the nature of cryptocurrencies as easily transferable and somewhat anonymous, traders and investors who hold a sizeable amount are easy targets for robbers looking to make a quick buck.WhalePanda – a popular cryptocurrency investor and a self-proclaimed “Bitcoin Maximalist” – spoke about the event in a recent tweet, warning traders and outspoken crypto-personalities to “stay safe.”“‘Bitcoin trader tortured with drill’ in the Netherlands… The robbers were dressed as police with bulletproof vests and masks and they made his 4 year old daughter watch as they were torturing him. He survived but was heavily wounded…Stay safe.”“Bitcoin trader tortured with drill” in the Netherlands.
The robbers were dressed as police with bulletproof vests and masks and they made his 4 year old daughter watch as they were torturing him. He survived but was heavily wounded.
Stay safe.https://t.co/3b58gbgKZK— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) February 23, 2019As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity, it is likely that these types of crimes will continue to increase in popularity as well, which makes at all the more important for public figures to shroud themselves in anonymity, and for non-public traders to exercise caution in who they tell about their holdings.Featured image from Shutterstock.
The bitcoin price broke higher on Saturday, ripping past the psychological resistance at $4,000 and briefly stretching above $4,100.
The flagship cryptocurrency had been hovering in the low $3,900s for most of the week after touching $4,000 on Feb. 18. Trading volume had begun to decline, leading some analysts to question whether the market was going to consolidate before making another push higher.
However, overall cryptocurrency market trading volume spiked back toward $27 billion on Saturday, enabling the bitcoin price to launch as high as $4,137 on Bitstamp before settling back down to a present value of $4,090. Other top assets saw comparable gains, enabling the cryptocurrency market cap to climb above $139 billion.
Assuming bitcoin can hold above $4,000, the next important push would be toward $5,000, where the coin would face both psychological and technical resistance. According to eToro’s Mati Greenspan, a strong jump above $5,000 could signal that the 14-month crypto bear market has come to a close.
Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.
Bitcoin’s bulls awoke earlier today when the crypto markets surged, sending BTC to well over $4,100. This price surge came about after an extended period of sideways trading that signaled to traders that $4,000 was previously a strong level of resistance for the cryptocurrency. Today’s jump may have been fueled in part by a record BTC futures volume earlier this week.Many prominent analysts are now hinting that Bitcoin’s latest price surge may be more than a dead cat bounce and could signal shifting tides that may mark the end of the persisting bear market.Bitcoin (BTC) Futures Volume Surges to New Records, But Could This be a Dead Cat Bounce?At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up over 3% at its current price of $4,120, up from its daily lows of $3,980.The CME Group noted in a recent tweet that BTC’s futures volume has surged to record highs in recent times, which is partially due to Bitcoin’s recent price ascent that led it to its current prices from monthly lows of $3,400.“Surge in bitcoin price leads to record $BTC futures volume on February 19 with over 18K contracts traded.”Surge in bitcoin price leads to record $BTC futures volume on February 19 with over 18K contracts traded. https://t.co/X3zW4D861Y pic.twitter.com/Qldb1jaVgw— CMEGroup (@CMEGroup) February 21, 2019Peter Brandt, an incredibly popular analyst, spoke about Bitcoin’s current price action in a tweet to his 256k followers, pointing out that there are similarities in BTC’s current price action and that seen in 2015, which was proceeded by a large bull run.“If Dec 2017 to Feb 2019 is an analog to Dec 2013 to Jan 15, do you have a tactica plan to become fully invested in $BTC? I do.”If Dec 2017 to Feb 2019 is an analog to Dec 2013 to Jan 15, do you have a tactica plan to become fully invested in $BTC? I do. pic.twitter.com/QkUpvkDHyp— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) February 23, 2019Analyst: Bitcoin Likely to Range Sideways Until $6,000Although the multiple price surges seen this month have certainly been positive for cryptocurrency traders and investors, one popular cryptocurrency analyst noted that all price moves below $6,000 are likely noise, and any price surges below that price level will not mark the end of the persisting bear market.“I see the notion thrown around quite regularly that if BTC can go to $4400+ that’d be the start of a bull market. A higher low in combination with a higher high does not mean the bear market is over. I’ll trade expecting sideways till 6k is breached. Sell resistance buy support,” explained DonAlt, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter.I see the notion thrown around quite regularly that if BTC can go to $4400+ that’d be the start of a bull market.
A higher low in combination with a higher high does not mean the bear market is over.I’ll trade expecting sideways till 6k is breached.
Sell resistance buy support. pic.twitter.com/snnnjmu1wK— DonAlt (@CryptoDonAlt) February 23, 2019As the markets continue to unfold as the weekend continues on, traders will likely gain greater insight into whether or not the price gains seen throughout February are fleeting, or if bulls will continue to push BTC higher.Featured image from Shutterstock.
America’s $22 trillion national debt is transforming the land of the free into a dystopian wasteland of citizens who are enslaved to bondholders. (Bond, as in debt instrument, is rooted in the word “bondage,” meaning slavery.)
US National Debt Crosses Another Disastrous Milestone
On February 14, Valentine’s Day, the national debt reached $22.02 trillion, or $67,000 for every man, woman, and child. The accumulated debt reflects politicians’ love for deficit spending: In 2018, the federal government spent nearly $1.2 trillion more than it collected in taxes. (Annual spending totaled $4.4 trillion.)
$22,039,763,197,239.24 (-) #NationalDebt
— National Debt Tweets (@NationalDebt) February 21, 2019
There’s actually an online petition to sell Montana to Canada for $1 trillion. Things aren’t that desperate yet, but the day of reckoning is approaching. However, politicians don’t care. And that’d shock great men like George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and others if they were alive to witness Washington D.C.’s dysfunction, irrationality, and perhaps high treason.
What’s worse is that the $22 trillion national debt does not include off-balance-sheet liabilities, such as unfunded entitlement programs. For decades the U.S. Congress has deviously applied fuzzy math and accounting gimmicks that obfuscate from the public eye an upcoming fiscal Armageddon. Analysts estimate an extra $70 trillion in obligations that taxpayers will eventually need to pay for. That’s $215,000 (in off-balance-sheet debt) for every man, woman, and child — in addition to national debt.
The next time you vote, just remember there’s no free lunch.
You’d have to be delusional to believe candidates who stump for “free healthcare” or “free childcare” or “free tuition.” Everything has a cost. If current taxpayers don’t pay for it now, future generations will have to. Passing crushing debt to unborn Americans is wrong and immoral.
Congress and President Trump should ratify a constitutional amendment that bans politicians from (falsely) promising free stuff. Such an amendment should criminalize candidates and officials who mislead voters.
Kicking the Can Down the Road
Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for the mounting debt.
After politicians are voted into power, they kick the can down the road and pass the national debt to future generations. Unethical politicians get away with it because unborn Americans can’t vote and don’t have a political lobby.
Indeed, cowards and charlatans (in Washington D.C.) are in charge of the United States: a country that is supposed to be home of the brave. Immoral and arrogant officials would be the first people whom the Founding Fathers would face-slap if they were alive today.
Second, the national debt actually needs to be paid for. It’s not academic theory.
Most of the $22 trillion in national debt represents U.S. Treasury bonds held by investors who demand to be paid. The debt also threatens the federal government’s credit rating. (States like Illinois already have junk rating.) This is important because a ratings downgrade would lead to larger interest payments, as investors demand higher interest rates for riskier investments.
Paying Uncle Sam
Let’s be clear: We’re all on the hook for this gigantic $22 trillion liability (and counting), as well as $70 trillion in entitlement obligations (and counting). We’ll soon reach into our wallets come April to pay the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.), lest we get penalized or even jailed. Thus, politicians’ irresponsibility leads to coercive punishment upon American taxpayers.
The more Washington D.C. spends the more powerful it grows, which perpetuates a dysfunctional cycle. D.C. also gets more tyrannical. George Washington warned future generations not to place too much trust in central authority:
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
Annual interest payment on the national debt reached $371 billion in 2018, according to Congressional Budget Office — $371 billion is payment on the interest alone, and it won’t lower the principal balance.
The Founders Would Give Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Some Well-Deserved Reproach
If the Founding Fathers were alive today, whom might they eject from the federal legislature first (and perhaps even charge with treason)?
How about Bernie Sanders? (Who would have drastically increased government spending.)
Or how about democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) whose proposed “Green New Deal” has been rejected by Republicans and Democrats: It would cost taxpayers between $46 trillion and $81 trillion in addition to current national debt.
Ocasio-Cortez seems to appeal to extremely-low IQ voters — folks you can accurately call complete idiots. Her socialist stance also got Amazon to cancel its plans to move to New York, wiping out 25,000 jobs that would have paid $150,000 each.
The point is that America already owes $22 trillion. Certain politicians are making the problem worse by advocating for even larger deficit spending (which would further increase the debt), as well as by creating a toxic environment for companies (which would reduce jobs and lower tax collections).
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and politicians like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) don’t understand that attacking people and organizations doesn’t create value. But what do they know? They’ve never run a business in their lives. They get elected by dividing people on race and social class, and by tearing others down.
As John Adams wrote,
When legislature is corrupted, the people are undone.
Americans and their leaders have a moral obligation to educate themselves on the U.S. Constitution, as well as how capitalism works. Failure to do so leads to problems that Americans now face.
According to John Adams,
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
That means low-IQ voters and politicians who mislead them are a threat to Americans’ financial security.
Obama’s Change (For The Worse)
How about a Founding Fathers face-slap for Barack Obama? He added $8.3 trillion to the national debt — more than all previous presidents combined. Obama removed hope from taxpayers. But don’t dare attack his fiscal policies: You’d be racist.
Thomas Jefferson wrote:
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.
Depending on how much money you make, all your wages from January to April (or even May) might be enough to pay for federal, state and sales taxes, Social Security (a Ponzi scheme), and other government fees. It can be argued that, from January to May, you’re actually a slave. That’s because 100% of your income goes to government agencies and its bondholders. Which means you only make money from June to December. Let that sink in.
How much money do trillions in public debt represent? One-dollar bills stuffed into five (5) six-story buildings would equal $1 trillion. And one-dollar bills stacked 15-feet high, covering the runways of a major airport, would equal $20 trillion.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.
Featured Image from AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais
What a crazy week it has been for the crypto space. Elon Musk lauded Bitcoin for its “brilliant” structure, subsequently claiming that crypto assets are evidently a better medium of exchange than banknotes. CME’s Bitcoin futures posted a new record, even amid the “nuclear winter.” And Samsung delved into blockchain with its “KeyStore” offering, slated to launch on its Galaxy S10 flagship device.Crypto TidbitsCME Bitcoin Futures Set Record Volumes: Per exclusive data gathered by The Block, the Bitcoin futures market backed by the Chicago-based CME has garnered monumental levels of attention as of late. Citing an internal email, February 19th, not 24 hours after the aggregate value of all digital assets spiked by 10%, saw CME’s biggest Bitcoin trading session ever in a seeming bear market rally. The firm’s futures vehicle, launched when Bitcoin was trading at $20,000 a piece, saw 18,338 contracts, valued at 91,690 BTC ($360 million), traded on that day alone. Compared to the product’s 4,630 contracts in average daily volumes over recent quarters, the 19th’s session was undoubtedly staggering.Samsung Unveils Galaxy S10, Which Has Blockchain & Crypto Offering: After months of rumors, Samsung unveiled its new flagship — the Galaxy S10 — at its Unpacked event. While the announcement was the same old, same old, with a flashy keynote, extremely extensive media coverage, and marginal (yet visible) improvements over last year’s phone, something caught the eye of crypto industry participants across the board. According to a press release issued as Unpacked trended on Twitter, the entire S10 lineup will have a blockchain- and crypto-centric feature. The release read that the S10 is built with “defense-grade Samsung Knox,” along with hardware that “houses private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.” Although the words “crypto” and “wallet” weren’t explicitly divulged, many believe this facet of the press release indicates that Samsung likely has a wallet or cryptocurrency private key solution product ready to ship for S10 buyers.U.S. SEC Pushes Two Crypto ETFs To The Federal Register: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently pushed two crypto-backed exchange-traded fund applications to the Federal Register. This means that the governmental entity has 45 days from now to either approve, deny, or delay the proposals from making it through the regulatory hoops. Proposals from Bitwise Asset Management & NYSE Arca and CBOE, VanEck, and SolidX Partners are up on the chopping block.Elon Musk Lauds Bitcoin For Its Brilliance: Elon Musk recently took to ARK Invest’s “FYI” podcast to touch on Tesla’s plans, autonomy, other innovations, such as crypto. Near the end of the interview, Musk claimed that the “Bitcoin structure was (is) quite brilliant,” adding that Ethereum and “maybe some of the others” have merit too. Musk did admit, however, that he isn’t too enamored with Bitcoin’s mining consensus mechanism, noting that it is rather energy inefficient. Yet, he explained that from a fundamental point of view, cryptocurrencies are great as they bypass currency controls, especially in nations that are in the midst of financial and political turmoil, namely Venezuela. He added that cryptocurrencies are also a “far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper,” subsequently quipping that he’s sure of this “without a doubt.”Pantera Secures $125 Million In Funding For Crypto Investment: CoinDesk reports that Pantera Capital has secured $125 million for an upcoming venture, slated to close its funding round in March. Citing a partner from Pantera, the outlet claims that the nine-digit sum has been derived from high net-worth individuals, family offices, and others that “could move money quickly.”University Of Michigan To Invest In A16Z Blockchain Fund: According to an exclusive report from Bloomberg, the University of Michigan’s $12 billion endowment intends to siphon more of its funds into crypto-centric funds in the near future, in spite of the dramatic slump in the Bitcoin price. Per a Board of Regents agenda, the institution has its eyes on a “cryptonetwork technology” (they likely mean blockchain technology) fund managed by the world-renowned Andreessen Horowitz. More specifically “CNK Fund I,” as the vehicle in question has been dubbed by the Menlo Park, California-based venture group that backs it, is currently in the University of Michigan’s scopes. According to Kevin Hegarty, the chief financial officer at the state-run educational institution, CNK invests in “cryptonetwork technology companies across the spectrum of seed, venture and growth stage opportunities.” It wasn’t made clear whether CNK makes allocations to physical crypto assets, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, or not.Facebook’s Zuckerberg Hints At Blockchain Offering: According to The Verge report, which cited an interview that Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg had with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, Facebook is looking into the latter. More specifically, in the recent interview, Zuck claimed that account authentication is a blockchain use case he is “potentially interested in.” He claimed that if this project comes to fruition, it would replace Facebook Connect, allowing individuals to determine what apps and partners can access their personal data in a decentralized manner.Featured Image from Shutterstock
Auto Dealers Throw Hissy Fit over Tesla’s Direct Sales Model
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said on CNBC’s SquawkBox:
“I think he is overpromising on autonomous vehicles in an almost unethical way.”
Cox Automotive executive publisher Karl Brauer said Wednesday that he thinks Elon Musk has set an almost impossible expectation to fulfill with recent comments saying he expects Tesla Motors will have all the features necessary for fully autonomous Tesla self-driving cars by the end of the year.
According to CNBC:
“Jackson has long been a Tesla critic and has accused Musk of using ‘bait-and-switch’ tactics on consumers, making commitments he cannot keep, and has said the electric car maker’s business will not be sustainable over the long term.”
Elon Musk ‘Overpromising’ on Tesla Self-Driving Cars?
It’s interesting that the verbiage car guys Jackson and Brauer are using against Elon Musk is the exact same way unhappy customers describe their negative experiences with the used car business: “overpromising,” “almost unethical,” “bait and switch tactics.”
But what makes Mike Jackson or Karl Brauer think for a minute that it would be nearly impossible to deliver on a Tesla self-driving car within the next couple years?
Is it possible that these executive level car salesmen aren’t aware of how far along self-driving car technology is in 2019? Or how massive the incentives are to implement the technology at scale for businesses and consumers?
Maybe they just don’t like how Elon Musk was the first auto manufacturer in American history to cut their lucrative retail business out of the equation in favor of direct to consumer sales.
Because self-driving car technology isn’t a distant possibility as they suggest.
It’s already here.
Self-Driving Car Technology Has Arrived
Self-driving car technology is not the future. It’s here already.
Autonomous vehicle tech is so far along that even the U.S. Congress and 30 state legislatures – notorious laggards when it comes to keeping statutes up to date with technology – have enacted legislation to legalize and regulate, or begin the process of legalizing driverless cars on public roads.
Alphabet’s Waymo vs. Tesla Motors 2019: A Race to Autonomy for Self-Driving Cars
The skepticism toward self-driving cars from the used car guys makes no sense.
Self-driving cars have already logged millions of miles of driving on public roads in jurisdictions where they’ve been legal for many years now.
Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project that has grown into a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., completed its 8 millionth mile of automated driving on public roads last summer.
The amazing thing about that figure is just a year before reaching that milestone, Waymo had only logged half as many miles – 4 million – so this autonomous car project is hitting a point of accelerating development.
And that’s on top of the incredibly powerful computer simulations Waymo has been running to teach its cars how to drive. Tesla Motors is locked in a high stakes race with Waymo to deliver self-driving car technology to the market and reap a trillion dollar bounty.
Self-Driving Cars: A Trillion Dollar Bounty
Intel estimates that autonomous vehicles could generate $800 billion in annual revenues by 2030 and $7 trillion yearly by 2050.
To win that race and bring a fully autonomous Tesla self-driving car to market in time to meet Elon Musk’s ambitious goals, Tesla is mining the massive amounts of real-world road data from its customers’ use of their vehicles’ semi-autonomous driving “autopilot” mode.
In June 2017, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a note to investors that this data might be more valuable to Tesla than revenue from Model 3 sales, adding:
“There’s only one market big enough to propel the stock’s value to the levels of Elon Musk’s aspirations: that of miles, data and content.”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.
Elon Musk image from REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson
The Dow Jones and the rest of the U.S. stock market are expected to initiate strong rallies in the upcoming weeks as the confidence of investors in the prospect of a comprehensive deal between the U.S. and China grows.
On Friday, several sources including The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration is set to extend the suspension on tariffs from March 1 to May 1, by 60 days.
The intent of the U.S. government to postpone the deadline of the trade deal demonstrates the willingness of both countries to achieve a full agreement in the upcoming months.
Reports on the prolongation of the trade talks follow a statement released by Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week when he claimed that the U.S. and China are “inseparable.”
Dow Jones Confidence Rising Rapidly
Since January 28, within less than a month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from 24,528 points to 26,031 points, smashing through the 26,000 level for the first time since November.
Several fundamental catalysts including the strong jobs growth in the U.S., record high household balance sheets, and the patience of the Federal Reserve are said to have fueled the rally of the Dow Jones.
Most importantly, however, geopolitical risks have noticeably reduced in recent weeks due to the significant progress the U.S. and China have made on the ongoing trade discussions.
The majority of issues highlighted during the meetings carried out by the U.S. and Chinese negotiators have reportedly been addressed through MOUs.
But, the root of the trade war, which is the U.S. government’s concern towards the industrial policies of China that determine the structure of the country’s economy, remains unsolved.
Michael Wessel, an advisor for the Trump trade team and a commissioner of a congressional panel on China, told WSJ that the Chinese government convinced the Trump administration to step back and work towards an achievable deal.
The advisor suggested that the Trump administration would also like to close a deal with China prior to the 2020 election.
It seems the Chinese have gotten the president to back down a bit. They are probably going to address the most egregious public issues that might come up prior to the 2020 election and manage the relationship until then. The Chinese don’t want to be an election issue either.
The positive sentiment in the prospect of a trade deal has been enough to reverse the trend of the Dow Jones and allow the U.S. market to initiate a stunning recovery.
If a comprehensive deal is achieved in the near-term, analysts foresee it leading the U.S. market into a strong bull market with solid momentum.
Major Hurdles Left to Overcome
As BlackRock global chief investment strategist Richard Turnill stated, the tension between the U.S. and China on the current industrial policies of China that pressure U.S. companies to share technologies with local companies could still intensify.
“The change in perception around the Fed is now largely priced in, and the recovery is also driven by a perceived improvement in U.S.-China trade tensions. But there are still significant risks of an escalation in tensions over technology,” Turnill said.
In the next several weeks, the U.S. and China are expected to focus the discussions on the protection of intellectual property and the nature of the partnerships between U.S. and Chinese companies pertaining to technological development and innovation.
But, analysts generally consider the potential extension of the March 1 deadline as a confident decision of the Trump administration expecting the trade war to come to an end in the short-term.