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Luongo: Is The Bitcoin ETF "A Trap"?

Luongo: Is The Bitcoin ETF "A Trap"? Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, So Tuesday October 19th, 2021 was supposed to be the day that changed everything for bitcoin. And it may, just not in ways anyone bullish on crypto should be comfortable with. Finally the SEC approved a Bitcoin ETF, the ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF (BITO) began trading this week to great fanfare in the cryptocurrency community. There was much rejoicing as Bitcoin hit a new all-time high which it has since given back. On the heels of that announcement Valkyrie changed the proposed ticker symbol for its Bitcoin Strategies ETF, another futures-based product, to BTFD. Gotta love the cheek, there. And while that’s all well and good, I have to tell you that I have sincere reservations about popping the virtual champagne here. Because I’ve seen this story before… in gold and silver. I remember those heady days when all the gold bugs thought an ETF would be just the thing to solve the ‘liquidity’ problem gold had. At the time they didn’t want to hear that this lack of liquidity was one of those good problems gold and silver had. Once people dug into the prospectus of the proposed SPDR Gold ETF, which has since then changed its name to SPDR Gold Shares ETF, they found that GLD didn’t have to hold physical gold of any particular quality. They could hold the dreaded ‘paper gold.’ That was the key to these funds being just another layer of the Matrix. They opened up those markets to another sink to drain demand into a black hole of infinite ‘liquidity’ which in the end did nothing to help the price of gold. In fact, just the opposite occurred. It took pressure off the physical spot market and the forex trading of gold and dumped billions of unsuspecting retail investors into the Midgewater Marshes of Wall St.’s hyper-financialization engine. Or does no one remember the definition of ‘Getting Corzined?” So, will that happen with bitcoin since these ETFs are even less tied to the underlying commodity than GLD and SLV? Before I answer that, let’s back up and set up some boundary conditions. This ETF will trade and settle only in front-month Bitcoin futures contracts traded on the CME.  These are cash-settled contracts that bear no relation to actual commodities futures contracts where the buyer is pledging to take delivery of a defined-amount of say, soybeans, and the the seller is pledging to deliver that amount of soybeans by a certain date. In these contracts there is no delivery of bitcoin, the underlying commodity, here.  The only thing delivered is cash. This is just like there is very little gold actually delivered based on the outstanding volume of gold futures open interest on the COMEX during the delivery period during the first week of every other month. Most gold futures are settled in cash, because that’s what many want, a way to hedge dollar or euro exposure with gold without the hassle of actually owning the stuff. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that. But it shouldn’t be the entire market and nor should the ETFs be marketed as having exposure to actual gold. Even when people stand to take delivery in gold there have been multiple instances where cash-settlement was forced on the buyer, presumably because the gold wasn’t there. FYI, it’s in the contract. The COMEX reserves the right to NOT DELIVER gold. Force majeure is a thing, even in the United States. Futures of this type create nothing more than synthetic supply for speculators to make side-bets on the price of an asset without ever having to trade the asset itself. This sucks away demand for that asset and bearing the risk associated with holding it. It creates absolutely zero actual physical demand for the commodity. So, these ETFs will generate absolutely zero demand on the Bitcoin blockchain, only send a secondary signal to actual bitcoin traders that there is something happening they should be aware of. The question everyone should be asking which market is the more important? The actual bitcoin market or the bitcoin futures market? What it does create is a very different set of parameters and games theory optimization strategies for those that play it. They aren’t playing bitcoin, they are playing with “speculating on bitcoin.” And this type of speculation has been going on since December 2017, when the CME’s original bitcoin futures contract began trading. No shock, then, to anyone with any sense of market history that bitcoin peaked in January 2018 and entered a two-plus year bear market. Moreover, they aren’t risking their holdings of bitcoin as the seller of the contract or taking on the volatility risk of the future delivery of bitcoin as the buyer of the contract. These aren’t futures contracts, they are more appropriately called ‘contracts for difference,’ or CFDs, that shady Greece-based Forex companies offer. In effect, I bet the price goes up, you bet it’ll drop and after a certain amount of time we settle our bet. Futures are supposed to help producers of commodities and consumers thereof coordinate production and consumption through time.  They are a vital part of how a free market optimizes capital flow and risk assessment. They help send signals to all players in the supply chain up and downstream of those base commodities what the supply and demand structure of those markets looks like. These are vital and essential pricing signals that when screwed with upset the flow of capital around the world.  So, this should clue you in as to why all these ‘supply chain’ issues and rising ‘inflation’ concerns are suddenly popping up all over the world. There’s been a whole lotta shenanigans going on in various commodities futures markets now since the beginning of the COVID-9/11 psy-op pandemic. From last year’s catastrophic contango in crude oil and the insane pump and dump of lumber futures to this fall’s rise in energy and industrial metals prices, commodities futures markets have become the plaything of speculators who are all downstream of the central banks money printing machines. And since I subscribe heavily to the theory that there are no coincidences in geopolitics, I have to ask the basic question I always ask in times like these… cui bono? Who benefits from this volatility? For years the rent-seekers close to the central banks have turned futures from an essential market function into a tool of market manipulation by giving some actors access to free money to speculate on the asset and utilize the leverage they gain to push and pull the price for trading desk profits. But, honestly, that analysis is as generous as I can be about this situation. By corrupting the gold market nearly to its terminal state over the past fifteen years they have extended the life of the central banks’ power for close to two decades now. The game, in my opinion, is far more sinister than just profit motive, if only it were that banal. No, this manipulation of global commodity prices has massive political and societal effects, corrupting everything these markets touch. Remember, a corrupt money begets a corrupt society. So with corrupted futures markets we have corrupted the very essence of the structure of production and consumption, the very essence of voluntary exchange as the basis for civilization. I wonder who benefits from that…. could it be Communists who hate Capitalism? Askin’ for a friend. Back to gold and silver. GLD and SLV provide massive amounts of liquidity to retail investors which bleeds off physical demand.  I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to convince people to STOP BUYING GLD AS A PROXY FOR GOLD over the past fifteen years. If you want gold buy gold. Hold it in your hand, stop pussyfooting around and remember that not every decision you make with your money should be immediately reversible. That’s not investing, that speculating. The only people who worship at the altar of the Gods of Liquidity are the market-makers skimming both sides of the trade. GLD and SLV both act as a psychological crutch to never commit to taking the other side against the central banks and the powers that continually siphon off your best energy into rabbit holes of irrelevant distractions, like what some dumb chick said on Twitter the other day. You think you’re buying portfolio protection or are hedging against the dollar but all you’re doing is creating the very synthetic short against your portfolio that dulls its returns over time. By buying either of these funds you are just feeding the beast who is working against your well being. Because while they may track the gold price they don’t give you any actual say in the price of it, because all you’re doing is signaling SPDR to print more shares to buy more contracts on the COMEX which were printed out of thin air by some investment bank borrowing money from the Fed at 0%! The same will go for any bitcoin ETFs that don’t hold physical BTC. This is why SEC Chair and Davos troll par excellence Gary Gensler fast-tracked this ETF now after 5 years of the SEC farting around saying no to real Bitcoin ETFs. Everyone serious about crypto wants a physical bitcoin-settled ETF, which the SEC doesn’t want to grant because that would be something that would 1) increase the actual demand for Bitcoin and 2) would expose those involved in the trade to actual time-risk. The biggest clue that these ETFs are not for our benefit but theirs is the following. Settling bitcoin accounts for the ETF daily would be the easiest ETF of this type to implement ever. At the end of trading on any given day the fund simply sends one measly transaction to the blockchain to buy or sell the net of all the trades of the bitcoin ETF’s shares for the day. Hell, they could settle it up every hour if need be during times of volatility. With Lightning Network live, that settlement could even happen there and bleed the blockchain traffic off over time if there’s congestion and the fees too high. It would lead to less bitcoin volatility in the long run, rather than more. And before you begin criticizing me, it’s irrelevant whether I have the settlement mechanisms right here or not, the finer details could be worked out easily if anyone at the SEC cared to want to do that job. What’s important is that the blockchain creates a far more stable environment for issuing a commodity ETF than any other physical commodity actually does. It’s not like we need warehouses to store digital commodities, after all. Moreover, I can even see some upside for the government here. With a daily on-chain settled ETF government stooges like Gensler would then bleed investor demand away from non-KYC/AML compliant crypto exchanges (of which there are dozens) and put them under the purview of Wall St. brokerages, SEC compliance rules etc. where more crypto investors would pay their capital gains taxes, which I thought is what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wants to crack down on so badly? So, again, why didn’t they do this and why are we instead going to get a critical mass of these corrupt futures-based ones? I think you know my answer to that. They need to get as many hooks into bitcoin that they can now to control the price and siphon off retail investor demand while also collecting massive trading fees and trading against their clients’ books. The same way they do in gold. Because they have all but admitted at multiple layers of the technocracy that bitcoin has already beaten them. I’m with Raoul Pal in saying if Gensler was pro-Bitcoin he wouldn’t approve a futures ETF, he’d approve a real one.  As I said already, if there is one commodity on the planet that can handle a day-to-day settled ETF with physical accounting of the float it would be Bitcoin. And yet they won’t do it.  It is expressly against their goals to encourage investors into Bitcoin in ways that would improve it as a market. Instead they want to add bitcoin to their schemes of suppressing the price and sucking up the supply over time, the same way they have destroyed the oil markets, the gold market and every other damn market these vultures have ever touched. So, my advice is stay in actual on-chain bitcoin.  You want bitcoin. Buy some frickin’ bitcoin. Buy the Grayscale closed-end fund, GBTC, if you need to. Or, do what millions have already done, just learn to take full control over your investments and your portfolio hedges and tell the Genslers of the world to go stuff his shit back up his ass where it belongs. They are going to tempt you with lower trading fees on their exchanges as opposed to the much higher ones on Coinbase.  It’s being designed this way on purpose.  Here, you can trade bitcoin for free on RobinHood, why pay Coinbase their fee? Or do yourself a real favor and stop trying to trade bitcoin and listen to the laser-eyes set on Twitter. Just buy the stuff, pull it off the exchanges onto a hardware wallet and ignore all their fancy, financial schemes to separate you from real value. These things are ultimately just marketing. Bitcoin didn’t need an ETF to scare the living daylights out of Wall St., Davos, the CCP and every other would be Bond Villain out there. Thanks to Zerohedge for the above chart. This is what you are staring at over time if you buy this over buying bitcoin directly. No different than what happened to a lot of gold holders who tried to outperform the market through the price manipulation on the COMEX over the 2005-11 bull market. Davos wants private cryptocurrencies banned but failing that they want it as much of it under their control as possible. It’s why the World Economic Forum has ‘approved of’ and is ‘working with’ a list of preferred cryptocurrencies while Gensler and Yellen muck up the market and insert dangerous language into unpassable legislation, e.g. the Build Back Better plan. The problem for them is that Wall St. wants private crypto because it is one of the ways for them to survive the collapse of the current monetary system, since the traditional banking model is as dead as MySpace. The CFTC settlement with Tether last weekend tells you all you need to know about who’s actually in charge on Capitol Hill… and it ain’t Davos.   That was a JPMorgan-style slap on the wrist similar to the SDNY’s settlement with Tether in December.  Tether may be a scam or a Ponzi scheme but it’s now another Wall St. approved scam and Ponzi scheme. But it’s still not approved by Davos. Gensler is fighting an uphill battle against an avalanche of capital that wants yield in a yield-free world. It’s a global market and everyday with Lightning online, the third world is getting access to first world payment technology. That’s the real battle they are losing. Jay Powell came out today and reiterated his commitment to ending QE (hint: not a policy mistake) and allowing all that money printed and he’s sterilized over the past six months within the RRP facility to allow the economy to run without any further support. He has finer control over dollar in/outflow than a Fed chairman ever has and right now, all the right people hate him. Meanwhile everyone on Capitol Hill has COVID-9/11 and January 6th fatigue except the ones holding desperately to the reins of power. The arguments for sending the country on another spending spree seems dumb when there are help wanted signs everywhere and even that too dumb to be considered a dimbuld, Jen Psaki, is trying to play off their manufactured supply chain crisis with the excuse that people are buying so much stuff. And we need $4.5 trillion in spending for what again exactly? How’s that awesome power of the Speaker’s Gavel feel when jammed down your throat, Nance? Mmm… rosewood. This will put upward pressure on UST yields for a time but worse it will begin a stampede out of European debt as the situation there as I’ve discussed ad nauseum ad infinitum is far worse than anything happening on Capitol Hill. All that has to happen now is for O’Biden to admit defeat and GFTO (which is another good candidate for a Bitcoin ETF ticker symbol, in my opinion) of the way. We know they won’t, so brace yourselves for the mother of all battles for our monetary future. And even if Gensler succeeds in taming bitcoin and major private cryptos all he’ll do is drive the economy underground. As Martin Armstrong has been warning us for decades, this is the main way empires collapse, by driving capital underground, deflating asset prices through collapsing money velocity and forcing monetary inflation to offset it. Sound familiar? Got Bitcoin? Got Gold? Got Depends? *  *  * Join my Patreon if you’ve, “Got this…” BTC: 3GSkAe8PhENyMWQb7orjtnJK9VX8mMf7ZfBCH: qq9pvwq26d8fjfk0f6k5mmnn09vzkmeh3sffxd6rytDCR: DsV2x4kJ4gWCPSpHmS4czbLz2fJNqms78oELTC: MWWdCHbMmn1yuyMSZX55ENJnQo8DXCFg5kDASH: XjWQKXJuxYzaNV6WMC4zhuQ43uBw8mN4VaWAVES: 3PF58yzAghxPJad5rM44ZpH5fUZJug4kBSaETH: 0x1dd2e6cddb02e3839700b33e9dd45859344c9edcDGB: SXygreEdaAWESbgW6mG15dgfH6qVUE5FSE Tyler Durden Sun, 10/24/2021 - 09:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 24th, 2021

Someone Just Sent $802M In Bitcoin To An Anonymous Wallet

What happened: $802,588,853 worth of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) was just moved between 2 anonymous cryptocurrency wallets in a single transaction. This mysterious person's bitcoin wallet address has been identified as: bc1qxz25z5z3rw7a8thk8exaarce74qyx77cjw6h8s read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzinga2 hr. 16 min. ago

China"s birth rate has hit a record low. That could shake the world economy.

The most populous country in the world could actually run out of workers soon. That means a lot more than just an end to rapid growth in China. China's birth rate has fallen to a record low.China News Service/Getty Images A demographic crisis is rumbling in the world's second-biggest economy, with China's birth rate at a record low. It stands to destabilize a key engine of the world economy, and could shake China's closest economic partners. It could also push up global inflation as the well of cheap goods and low-wage workers dries up. It's been a rocky year for the Chinese economy, what with the Evergrande crisis and COVID cases shutting down ports.Yet any short-term issues pale in comparison to the demographic crisis grumbling away in the world's second-biggest economy.It could have dire consequences for China in the coming decades and could even reshape the world, as the problem stands to destabilize a key engine of global growth. It could even push up worldwide inflation.In a nutshell: China, the country with the most people in the world, could actually soon run out of workers.China's birth rate hit a record low last year, according to data released by the country's Bureau of Economic Statistics towards the end of November, with just 8.5 births per 1,000 people. That was the lowest since the data set started in 1978, and is likely the lowest since the 1940s.At the root of the problem is China's decades-old one-child policy, abandoned in 2016. Bringing up kids in China is becoming much more expensive and there's been a major cultural shift, with women increasingly focused on their careers.China's population aged between 15 and 64 has been falling ever since 2010, according to data from the World Bank.Big productivity increases could compensate for the declining worker population, but that has also been slowing quite sharply in recent years.Craig Botham, chief China economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, gives it five to 10 years before demographics and slowing productivity growth become major headwinds for China. "The growth rates we've had historically aren't coming back," he told Insider. "It is downhill from here."But to paraphrase a famous 19th-century remark, when China sneezes, the world's economy catches a cold.After expanding on average almost 10% a year since reforming its economy in 1978, China made up more than 17% of global gross domestic product in 2020, according to World Bank data. Its share of global trade was 15%.From sub-Saharan Africa to the Caribbean, many countries are now closely intertwined with China, and they need its economy to stay strong.Through the Belt and Road initiative, China has invested more than $480 billion in construction projects around the world since 2005, according to the OECD. A China slowdown means that money spigot could start slowing down, or even get turned off.In developed economies, the impact may be less direct but no less worrying."Slower growth in China will have a negative impact on the economic development in Europe and the US," said Hao Zhou, senior economist at Commerzbank, in a recent note. But that's not all."The consequences for inflation might be even much more important," Zhou wrote.China is the modern factory of the world, and its cheap goods and low wages have helped keep global inflation low and stable over the last two decades.Of course, fewer workers means higher wages. That would be good for employees in China and elsewhere. Yet Zhou said it would "probably bring back stronger inflationary pressures globally." That's the last thing western politicians and central bankers want.Add it all up and Botham says it's "far from a foregone conclusion" that the Chinese economy will overtake that of the US, as many have long predicted.Instead, China could well be on the same trajectory of Japan, where an ageing population has caused growth to slow to a crawl. China may yet innovate its way out of the population trap, but the easy growth is over.The big question is whether the world catches an economic cold in the meantime.Read more: Billionaire investor Ray Dalio says the US is coming to the brink of an empire-ending catastrophe. Here's why he's worried and how he says you should invest your money.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 32 min. ago

Meet a single mom and adjunct professor with $430,000 in student debt: "I"m in a hole that I"m never going to get out of"

Maria "absolutely" regrets taking out loans to further her education, especially after a layoff and medical bills for her daughter's cancer treatment. Shutterstock.com Maria, 48, has $430,000 in student debt from advanced degrees she regrets pursuing. She had a goal to become a full-time university professor and believed a PhD would get her there. But a layoff and medical bills for her daughter's cancer treatment caused her debt load to surge. Maria had a goal to teach at a university full-time. Today, she "absolutely" regrets pursuing that goal.While Maria's undergraduate education, which she completed in 2001, was funded through scholarships and Pell grants, she knew more advanced degrees would give her a leg up in university teaching — especially as a woman in the industry. So she pursued a master's degree and a PhD, the latter of which took seven years to complete.It was not a decision she took lightly, and at the time she believed the commitment would be worth it. Maria, who requested her last name be withheld for privacy reasons, extensively researched the program, and its statistics for employment post-graduation looked promising. However, she was unable to land a full-time university job after graduation in 2014 and found herself unable to afford her student-loan payments.Now, at 48 years old, Maria's student-loan balance is $430,000 — all from her advanced degrees, per documents reviewed by Insider."I'll probably be paying it off for the rest of my life," she told Insider. "I hate to say it this way, and it's morbid, but I'll probably die still owing student loans."It's been no easy road for Maria since she attained her degrees. At the end of 2015, Maria lost her first job in human resources and could not make payments on her student debt. In 2018, her daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia, and a large portion of her income went to that medical treatment, causing her to defer her loans while interest on them continued to grow.As a full-time human resources representative and part-time adjunct professor in Michigan, Maria now makes a five-figure salary while supporting her 15-year-old daughter on her own, with very minimal child support from the father. She doesn't see a future that doesn't include student debt."It's like I'm in a hole," Maria said. "I feel like I'm in a hole that I'm never going to get out of."'My daughter's medical bills are much more important to me'If Maria could have a do-over, she would never have gotten her PhD. Although she said she prepared herself as best as she could for the financial toll it would take, there was no way she could have anticipated a layoff or the medical bills for her daughter. Of her total student-debt load, more than $70,000 is interest that accumulated while her student-loan payments were on hold, during which she cashed out her 401k and lived on unemployment benefits. "Obviously, paying my daughter's medical bills are much more important to me," Maria said, but she wishes her student-loan company had given her more assistance to control her growing debt load.Maria even filed for bankruptcy in 2018, but despite the extreme financial hardship she was under, she was not successful in discharging her loans. Since she is an adjunct professor, Maria does not work enough hours to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which forgives student debt for public servants, like teachers, after ten years of qualifying payments. She has worked in HR for a nonprofit — which qualifies for the program — for nearly a decade, but her $0 payments in 2015 while she was unemployed did not count toward her PSLF progress even though Federal Student Aid wrote on its website that they should qualify. A student aid representative told Maria they just have to update her payment progress to include the time she was making $0 payments, but they have yet to do so and she is looking at seven more years of repayment that she's not sure she can afford to get full loan forgiveness. 'I'm hoping that they completely revamp the student-loan program'The Education Department recently announced reforms to PSLF, which included going back over denied applications and payments to the program. So there's a chance that Maria may earn a quicker route to loan forgiveness. But with her current financial outlook, she's not confident she can complete the program and wants President Joe Biden to do more to help millions of borrowers with debt burdens."I'm hoping that they completely revamp the student-loan program," Maria said.As Insider has previously reported, that overhaul may have already started. Along with the PSLF reforms, Biden has cancelled student debt for targeted groups of borrowers — including those defrauded by for-profit schools and people with disabilities, acting on his campaign promise of fixing broken loan forgiveness programs. But pressure continues to build on the president to cancel student debt for every American. Maria would be grateful, not only for her own benefit, but to ensure that other young people don't fall into the same debt trap that she did."Most people that get these student loans are still young and don't understand the true impact of it," Maria said. "So I just feel like there's a lot of overselling in the upfront that puts people in debt like this."Do you have a story to share about student debt? Reach out to Ayelet Sheffey at asheffey@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 32 min. ago

Here are 5 missed opportunities from Jack Dorsey"s tenure as CEO of Twitter

Experts say the Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey's legacy as an executive is filled with cultural and financial missteps. Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4 in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty Images On Monday, Jack Dorsey said he was stepping down as CEO of Twitter to focus on Square. Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006, was CEO until 2008, and returned to the top position in 2015. Twitter went mainstream during Dorsey's tenure but also became a major source of misinformation. Jack Dorsey's legacy as Twitter's CEO is deeply mixed and one that doesn't give his successor, Parag Agrawal, a smooth path forward.Since its founding in 2006, the company has grown to 211 million active daily users, 37 million of them in the US as of September 30. It plays an important role in global politics, brand building, and daily discussions on an array of topics but also is a growing source of hate speech, conspiracy theories, and worsening mental health. Experts told Insider the company needs to address Dorsey's missed opportunities regarding monetization, product development, and content controls.During his leadership stints (2006-11 and 2015-21) Dorsey has been questioned for his "hands-off" leadership approach. He's been public about his two hours of daily meditation, his 5-mile walk-commutes to work, plans to spend three to six months in Africa, and how often he delegates major decisions to people like Agrawal at both Twitter and the fintech payments company Square. Here are the five most important missed opportunities, according to experts.1. Banning Trump too slowlyOn January 8, two days after the insurrection on the US Capital, the Twitter account for then-President Donald Trump was suspended indefinitely. But the move came after the account @realDonaldTrump sent out two tweets widely seen as increasing risk of "further incitement of violence," the company said in a blog post. For years, Trump was known for being controversial, insulting, and racist on Twitter, including making inflammatory comments about specific House Democrats. The account had 88.7 million followers at the time of its closure, but that number wasn't necessarily an accurate representation of its popularity. One report in 2018 found 61% of the followers were bots, spam, inactive, or propaganda. Jane Lytvynenko, a senior research fellow at Harvard, wonders what would have happened if Dorsey had acted earlier.  "Would we have ended up with the shitstorm that was 2020 and disinformation had Jack Dorsey and Twitter decided to ban Trump in 2018, after the North Korean missile scare?" Lytvynenko asked. A 2018 Gallup poll found 76% of Americans were aware of Trump's Twitter usage, but only 4% of Americans overall have a Twitter account themselves, followed Trump's account and read all or most of his tweets. The company also said it continued to gain users in January after Trump's account was banned. "We are a platform that is obviously much larger than any one topic or account," Dorsey said during an earnings call that referenced Trump's suspension from the platform.2. His handling of misinformationResearch published in 2014 showed how the platform helped spread misinformation during the Boston Marathon bombing and the Ebola outbreak. During Dorsey's second tenure, new research continued to show how Twitter enables the spread of false news much more quickly than true reports, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. "There's much more that Dorsey could have done to address the problem domestically and internationally," Lytvynenko said. "The problems that he was grappling with as a CEO persist. I don't know if he succeeded in resolving them. I would say that he sort of left the job unfinished."3. His handling of harassment, death threats, and hateful contentHarassment and hate speech have been consistent issues at Twitter. Dorsey has been taken to task about this several times, as recently as last year during a Senate committee hearing. The platform has been criticized for its delayed or lack of response to white supremacist, Nazi, anti-Semitic, or anti-Muslim content, especially the disproportionate abuse and death threats directed toward people of color, specifically Black women. In 2016, the actress Leslie Jones was targeted with racist and sexist memes. Dorsey reached out to Jones and later said the abuse and harassment were not part of "civil discourse" and promised more improvements. In 2018, he acknowledged how Twitter had become known for negative kinds of content. "We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers," Dorsey wrote in a tweet. "We aren't proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough."In 2019, Dorsey said the company had not done enough to combat abuse online. Later that year, he was grilled about the issue by the head of TED, Chris Anderson, and Whitney Pennington Rodgers, TED's current affairs curator. Dorsey said Twitter was trying to be more proactive through machine learning and the use of algorithms to identify abusive tweets, "so we can take the burden off the victim completely."4. Failure to better monetize advertising and marketingTwitter has become an essential part of mainstream media and the political economy worldwide. Politicians who build large followings on the platform can see real benefits, like raising more money and increasing their chances of being elected. Brands can go viral. But a lot of Twitter's viral engagement has been organic, rather than through paid promotion or marketing, said Pinar Yildirim, associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania. "He missed a lot of opportunities to increase the company's advertising share compared to other social-media platforms." The company also banned political advertising in 2019. Yildirim said Dorsey's ideals were focused on making Twitter a place for open discussion instead of trying to target them with lots of advertising and monetization like Facebook. "They remained very limited in these functionalities, which eventually made Wall Street not so happy."5. Slow product updatesOne of the biggest changes during Dorsey's time as Twitter's CEO was the shift from 140 characters to 280 in 2017. But Yildirim said Dorsey's vision kept the platform "in many ways, frustratingly, too simple." Yildirim said in her research and interviews with Twitter employees, the company has been working on ideas for monetization and to enhance the customer user experience, but they haven't materialized. "They have tried many different things, many different beta products," she said. "And somehow it hasn't really been embedded into products. They have a long way to go."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 32 min. ago

The jailed founder of The Silk Road dark web marketplace is minting NFTs for charity — and a DAO has been formed to buy them and protest his imprisonment

Bidding for the Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection of NFTs reached about $1.8 million as of late Friday. In May 2015, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in US federal prison.Screenshot Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence for running the Silk Road black-market website, is auctioning NFTs for charity.  Ether-based bidding for the Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection has already reached about $1.8 million, BlockWorks reported.  A group of crypto investors committed to Ulbricht's freedom plans to bid on the collection.  Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence for running the black-market website Silk Road, is auctioning NFTs for charity, and a group seeking his freedom plans to bid on his creations, according to a BlockWorks report this week. Bidding on 10 non-fungible tokens created by Ulbricht will run on the SuperRare platform through Wednesday. The auction's high bid as of late Friday was 420.69 ether, or around $1.8 million based on ether's price of roughly $4,233. The Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection includes NFTs of graphite pencil drawings and poetry, spanning works he produced in his early childhood as well as his time in prison.Ulbricht, who was arrested in 2013 and sentenced in 2015, recalled in a blog post this week that he learned about NFTs after being told he should sell his art through the digital format."I was able to connect to those of you in the free world through my art. The isolation I felt was tempered by it," he wrote. Proceeds from the NFT auction will be donated to charity and specifically for "helping the incarcerated," Ulbricht's mother, Lyn Ulbricht, said on Twitter recently, according to BlockWorks. Silk Road was shut down in 2013 after gaining notoriety as an online drug marketplace that settled transactions in bitcoin. Meanwhile, a group of crypto investors has created the FreeRossDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization aimed at gathering funds to buy the Genesis Collection and protest what it sees as injustices of the American prison system.Freeing Ulbricht from his prison sentence is at the top of DOA's efforts, and the treasury's balance as of late Friday was 962.192 ether, or more than $4 million.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 32 min. ago

Bitcoin plunges 22% with global market nerves on edge

Global equities and benchmark US bond yields tumbled on Friday after data showed US job growth slowed in November and the Omicron variant of the coronavirus kept investors on edge. Crypto expert CALV!N from Purebase Studios says buying and holding will give newbies higher yields than tradingXavier Lorenzo/Getty Images Bitcoin prices dropped as much as 22% on Saturday. The broader cryptocurrency market droped roughly 15%. The plunge follows a volatile week for financial markets. Bitcoin shed a fifth of its value on Saturday as a combination of profit-taking and macro-economic concerns triggered nearly a billion dollars worth of selling across cryptocurrencies.The cryptocurrency tumbled as much as 21% to $42,296.38. The broad selloff in cryptocurrencies also saw ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, plunge more than 10%.Based on cryptocurrency data platform Coingecko, the market capitalization of the 11,392 coins it tracks dropped nearly 15% to $2.34 trillion. That value had briefly crossed $3 trillion last month, when bitcoin hit a record $69,000.The plunge follows a volatile week for financial markets. Global equities and benchmark US bond yields tumbled on Friday after data showed US job growth slowed in November and the Omicron variant of the coronavirus kept investors on edge.Justin d'Anethan, Hong Kong-based head of exchange sales at cryptocurrency exchange EQONEX, said he had been watching the increase in leverage ratios across the cryptocurrency markets as well how large holders had been moving their coins from wallets to exchanges. The latter is usually a sign of intent to sell."Whales in the crypto space seem to have transferred coins to trading venue, taken advantage of a bullish bias and leverage from retail traders, to then push prices down," he said.The selloff also comes ahead of testimony by executives from eight major cryptocurrency firms, including Coinbase Global CFO Alesia Haas and FTX Trading CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Dec. 8.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 32 min. ago

Inflation Vs. Deflation – Which Is The Bigger Threat In 2022?

Inflation Vs. Deflation – Which Is The Bigger Threat In 2022? Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, Inflation vs. deflation – while headlines get filled with “inflation” concerns, historical data shows “deflation” remains a threat. The Financial Times recently had a great piece on Central Bankers and their stance that inflationary pressures remain transient. However, asFT concluded: “For the first time in many decades, there is the possibility that a significant turning point has arrived, that price rises will be more than a flash in the pan and something more difficult to control.” It is interesting to hear statements such as the above because inflation has been rising steadily since 1974. The chart below shows the long-term history of inflation going back to 1774. What the chart shows is that in 1954 the trajectory of inflation changed. However, the annual rate of change indicates the long-term deflationary trend. Notably, before 1920 the economy was primarily agriculturally based with a dramatically smaller population. Such gave rise to more variability in economic growth. However, the shift to manufacturing and industrialization minimized the big deflationary swings before WWII. Unfortunately, beginning in 1980, the economy made a shift to financialization and services. While service jobs have a low multiplier effect economically, economic financialization led to a debt explosion. As a result, the combination of debt and lower economic output remains a consistent deflationary pressure. The Inflation vs. Deflation Conundrum Currently, the mainstream consensus has latched on the sharp increase in the money supply because a permanent shift to higher inflation is coming. Such was a point we discussed in “Is Hyperinflation A Threat?” “The measure of money in the system, known as M2, is skyrocketing, which certainly supports that concern. Now, with the Biden administration adding another $1.9 trillion into the economy, those concerns have risen.” Furthermore, in a previous Bloomberg interview, Larry Summers stated: “There is a chance that macroeconomic stimulus on a scale closer to World War II levels will set off inflationary pressures of a kind not seen in a generation. I worry that containing an inflationary outbreak without triggering a recession could be even more difficult now than in the past.” The chart below suggests those points are correct. Given it takes about 9-months for increases in money supply to hit the economy, we see the inflationary spike. The sharp decline in money supply suggests deflationary impulses in the economy will become visible around the middle of 2022. Which is roughly when the Federal Reserve plans to hike interest rates. This is significant in the debate of inflation vs. deflation. However, there are still significant headwinds to inflation over the next decade outside of money supply changes. The 3-D’s Here are the 3-D’s of inflation vs. deflation. Over the coming decades, three primary factors are supporting deflationary pressures. Debt Demographics  Deflation These issues are not new. But have been plaguing economic growth for the last 40-years. Given the baby-boomer generation has reached retirement age, they will leave the workforce at an increasing rate, drawing on their accumulated financial assets. As a result, the debts and deficits rose to levels that detracted from economic growth rather than contributed to it. As shown, the surge in debt and deficits coincides with a peak in the 10-year average economic growth rate. The decline in economic prosperity keeps a deflationary pressure on the economy as the government expands its deficit spending to sustain the demands on the welfare system. The negative impact on the economy is clear. There is a significant negative correlation between the size of the government and economic growth. Rather, debt is the problem, not the solution. “Excessive indebtedness acts as a tax on future growth and it is also consistent with Hyman Minsky’s concept of “Ponzi finance,” which is that the size and type of debt being added cannot generate a cash flow to repay principal and interest. While the debt has not resulted in the sustained instability in financial markets envisioned by Minsky, the slow reduction in economic growth and the standard of living is more insidious.” – Dr. Lacy Hunt The most direct evidence of the decline of economic prosperity is the rise in social welfare as a percentage of disposable incomes. Recycling tax dollars is a zero-sum game and increases the deflationary pressures on the economy from debt required to fund it. Debt-Driven Deflation Will Cap Inflation Furthermore, a recent report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University studied the effective “multiplier” of government spending. “The evidence suggests government purchases reduces the size of the private sector and increases the size of the government sector. On net, incomes grow, but privately produced incomes shrink. There are no realistic scenarios where the short-term benefit of stimulus is so large that government spending pays for itself. In fact, even when government spending crowds in some private-sector activity, the positive impact is small. It is likely much smaller than economic textbooks suggest.”  With households dependent on governmental assistance, the deflationary “psychology” is difficult to break. “In addition to the psychological drivers, there are structural underpinnings of deflation as well. A financial system’s ability to sustain increasing levels of credit rests upon a vibrant economy. A high-debt situation becomes unsustainable when the rate of economic growth falls beneath the prevailing rate of interest owed. As such the slowing economy reduces borrowers’ ability to pay what they owe. In turn, creditors may refuse to underwrite interest payments on the existing debt by extending even more credit. When the burden becomes too great for the economy to support, defaults rise. Moreover, fear of defaults prompts creditors to reduce lending even further.” Consider the role of wages in the inflation vs. deflation question. When wages fail to keep up with inflation, consumption will contract, contributing to the deflationary bias. For the last four decades, when the Fed took action to achieve their goal of “full employment and stable prices,” it led to an economic slowdown, or worse. The relevance of debt versus economic growth is all too evident, requiring an ever-increasing amount of debt to generate $1 of economic growth. In other words, without debt, there is little to no, organic economic growth. Don’t Forget The Demographics The most considerable deflationary pressure will come from the changing demographics. As baby boomers retire and leave the productive workforce, they will cut back on spending and withdraw assets from the financial markets. Most Central Banks are increasingly convinced high inflation rates might not be so transient after all. Such is why the tightening cycle has now begun. Secular demographics will reach maximum deflationary pressures in the decade ahead. Such is in stark contrast to the 1970s when demographic trends underpinned the then inflationary surge. But amid the current inflation panic, Eric Basmajian of @EPBResearch reminds us that the demographic headwinds facing the major economies are intensifying (especially with people dropping out of the workforce). In the long-term, demographics will be a big shock to Central Banks hopes of higher inflation rates.” – Albert Edwards “Demography is destiny.” – Auguste Comte The Fed’s Liquidity Trap Is Deflationary “When injections of cash into the private banking system by a central bank fail to lower interest rates or stimulate economic growth. A liquidity trap occurs when people hoard cash because they expect an adverse event such as deflation, insufficient aggregate demand, or war. Signature characteristics of a liquidity trap are short-term interest rates remain near zero. Furthermore, fluctuations in the monetary base fail to translate into fluctuations in general price levels.” Pay particular attention to the last sentence. Every aspect of a liquidity-trap is in place: Lower interest rates fail to stimulate economic growth People hoard cash because they expect an adverse event. Short-term interest rates near zero. Fluctuations in the monetary base fail to translate into general price levels. Notably, the issue of monetary velocity and saving rates is critical to defining a “liquidity trap.” While many today continue to compare the economic environment to the 1970’s inflationary spike, the impact of demographics and debt are vastly different. The issue of inflation vs. deflation is likely to continue next year. Will the economy experience a short-term inflationary spike as the stimulus runs through the system? Of course. However, once the“Sugar Rush” wears off, the deflationary pressures will quickly reassert themselves. The problem for the Fed is they may well make another policy mistake as they hike interest rates at precisely the wrong time. The 3-D’s continue to suggest that inflation will give way to deflation, economic strength will weaken, and over-zealous investors will once again get left holding the bag. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 10:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt5 hr. 16 min. ago

SCOTT GALLOWAY: Jack Dorsey has finally stepped down — and a new era of "superapps" is dawning

"An executive who spends 90% of his time running another company ... looked like a recipe for poor shareholder returns. Spoiler alert: It was." Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Scott Galloway is a bestselling author and professor of marketing at NYU Stern. The following is a recent blog post, republished with permission, that originally ran on his blog, "No Mercy / No Malice." In it, Galloway describes superapps and why they matter both short-term and long-term. Finally.Two years ago I wrote a letter to the chairman of Twitter calling for Jack Dorsey to be replaced as CEO. Or, more to the point, for the board to appoint a full-time CEO. An executive who spends 90% of his time running another company and plans to spend half the year on a different continent looked like a recipe for poor shareholder returns. Spoiler alert: It was.This past February, as there were now directors on the board acting as fiduciaries, I predicted Dorsey would be replaced by the end of the year.Scott GallowayBetween the day @jack reclaimed the CEO position and the day he resigned (six years), Twitter's stock increased 33%. The S&P 500, Facebook, and Google rose by 121%, 283%, and 447%, respectively.My next prediction? Twitter will be acquired by the end of 2022, most likely by SalesForce or a fintech company like PayPal or Stripe with inflated currency. Jack could also reunite his sister-wives — in a man-bites-dog scenario, the company formerly known as Square could acquire Twitter. Why? For the same reason it's now called Block. superapps.A superapp offers a suite of internet services on one platform. Block already boasts an armament of superapp services: peer-to-peer payments (CashApp), crypto and stock trading (also CashApp), lending (AfterPay), food delivery (Caviar), music streaming (Tidal), and its core merchant-payment platform (Square). Building social into the platform is the logical next step to becoming America's first superapp.I wrote about superapps last week in New York magazine, and excerpts from that article appear below. It was timely: superapp stories have been in the news ever since.Square changed its name to Block — this was announced 48 hours after Dorsey exited Twitter. "Square" will be reserved for the merchant-payment business; the three-dimensional moniker encapsulates all its various products. Twitter would give Block even more dimension.ByteDance (TikTok's parent company) invested in iMile, a last-mile courier service that connects mostly Chinese e-commerce companies to consumers in the Middle East. Dance videos are just the bait — commerce is the hook, and ByteDance is building services for more than limber-limbed teens.Grab, the "everyday everything app" from Singapore, made its public debut yesterday after a $40 billion SPAC deal. It's the biggest SPAC to date, though the stock fell more than 20% by the closing bell.Indian superapp Paytm IPO'd with a $20 billion valuation — the largest public listing in the nation's history. However, however … it, too, shed more than a fifth of its value on the first day of trading. Then slid further before maybe finding solid ground at $14 billion.In sum, it's getting crowded in the superapp lobby. The competition in India now includes: Amazon Pay, Google Pay, WeChat, and PhonePe (owned by Flipkart/Walmart). Southeast Asia also hosts many players: Gojek, Line, Sea Limited, Tokopedia, Zalo, and more.And for good reason. The superapp market is the digital Iron Throne. superapps live on mobile, and mobile is the internet in emerging markets. India, for example, has three times as many cellular subscribers as the U.S., and Indians spend 17% more time per day on their phones.Scott GallowayLong term, however, it's the world's largest economy that is the biggest prize. A platform that services every aspect of the consumer experience in any market will be one of the most valuable companies in that market. The firm that establishes superapp leadership in America will be the most valuable company in history. Some thoughts below, with excerpts from our piece originally published in New York magazine on November 24, 2021.The metaverse is best described as a consensual hallucination between Mark Zuckerberg and the media — a fantasy that we'll trade pleasurable activities in the physical world, like cooking and dating, for nausea-inducing hours in a virtual realm full of legless avatars. To most ordinary people, the Facebook CEO's aspiration to be the god of a universe we can enter only by affixing a prophylactic to our heads seems megalomaniacal. They're correct. However, every time you hear Zuckerberg say metaverse, swap in superapp and the plan sounds less stupid.A superapp is a single mobile app that offers basic services including chat and payments, along with a suite of "mini-apps" from third parties, ranging from stores and restaurants to government agencies. Westerners aren't familiar with them, but across much of Asia, superapps are the internet. The largest is China's WeChat, possibly the most used piece of software on the planet. On WeChat, you can find a date, hail a cab, pay utilities, even get divorced. An app reaches super status when it knits together a critical mass of services, makes them so easy to toggle across that, even if they aren't as good as sole-purpose apps, the app becomes your OS for your digital life. The more services, the less reason to ever leave.Scott GallowayA superapp can start small: WeChat began in chat; Indonesia's Gojek started in ride hailing; and in India, Paytm was originally for buying prepaid mobile minutes. All eventually expanded from their niche and snowballed to dominance. The economics of superapps are powerful — and possibly inexorable. I'm convinced that constructing a U.S. superapp is the strategic-imperative of the next decade and could result in the first $5 trillion company.Already, there are a host of companies looking to replicate the Asian model — but to do so, they'll have to get past Apple and Google, the nearly hegemonic mobile-OS providers, which are investing billions to prevent a superapp from inserting itself between consumers and the OS. The radical transformation of Apple under Tim Cook has been a decade-long project to extend the company's ecosystem to nullify the potential for a superapp to sit on top of iOS. It explains why Apple now offers both credit and debit payment systems, why you can use your Apple ID to sign in to a huge range of third-party services, and why Cook is giving Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston hundreds of millions of dollars to produce an inferior version of Murphy Brown.​​Who are the strongest challengers to Apple and Google? Most apparent, the other Big Tech behemoths, Amazon and Facebook/Meta, who aim to leapfrog by building alternative interaction paradigms, a pretentious way to say "voice" (Amazon) and "VR" (Meta). And while they are both trying to skate to where the puck is headed, Meta is on thin ice with a portal that makes you nauseous. Voice is underhyped, and VR overhyped.The likely epicenter for aspiring superapps is fintech. Payments in particular: PayPal, which owns Venmo, and Block né Square. And new fintech unicorns are being birthed weekly, including crypto-based businesses that are also in a position to leapfrog with long legs of capital, vaulting over the entire existing financial system. Fintech companies that reach scale have valuable infrastructure, acquisition currency in the form of overheated stock, and trust. Traditional Big Tech leaders, social media companies especially, have burned through acres of PR heat shields over the past years, relentlessly assaulted by bad press as they ask people to come for teen depression and stay for insurrection. Fintech has been (relatively) unscathed. Plus, these companies begin their assault from higher ground: payments.Payment processing is the foundation of a superapp. It's the glue that integrates core features with those provided by third parties on the platform, and it gives users the convenience of not needing to enter credit-card information across apps and sites. A shift in the arbitrage of attention, from ads to the more potent payments business, promises to fuel a historic merger-and-acquisition binge that will reshape the array of industries that tech derisively labels "content." The likely biggest acquirers will be in finance — not just start-ups but Wall Street's Old Guard, whose imminent panic will manifest in M&A banker fees.Financial-services firms are already expanding into new markets. Not long ago, American Express acquired the reservation service Resy. There was a brand logic to that deal, as AmEx has long offered concierge services. In addition, JPMorgan recently purchased the Infatuation, the restaurant-review site and owner of Zagat, which is considerably more curious. In March, Square paid nearly $300 million for the music streamer Tidal, prompting a wave of WTF? coverage. You'll know the superapp conquest has hit another level when Jack Dorsey combines Square with the other company he used to stop by on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, Twitter, and offers useful services.I've lived through half a dozen of these techno-social transitions, from the PC era to "dot-coms" (ask your parents), through mobile and social, and now this. Every shift has created more wealth than the one before — but also levied more harm. One thing they all had in common is that we never really saw them coming. In hindsight, these things look obvious, but none of these transitions have manifested as we expected. For the most part, they're worse. The difference now is that we can see superapps coming. In Asia, they're already here. As consumers, investors, and political leaders, we have a chance to do better. To set the stage for competition and empowerment, not co-option and enragement. Whether our future is mediated by Siri, Alexa or by Meta, it doesn't need to be a world of addiction and exploitation. The virtual world isn't "it is what it is," but what we make of it.Life is so rich,Scott GallowayP.S. Making predictions can be dangerous. It might put you in the Twitter crosshairs of Elon Musk. Yet I persist. Join my free Predictions livestream on December 7. You probably won't regret it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Leapfrogging Legacy Banking To A Bitcoin Standard

Leapfrogging Legacy Banking To A Bitcoin Standard Authored by Mitch Klee via BitcoinMagazine.com, How looking at the history of technological adoption can give us insights into where Bitcoin could be embraced the fastest... INTRO Throughout time, technology has proven to change our lives by leveraging efficiencies in energy. New ways in how we hunt have saved time and energy for innovation and to live more intentionally. Currently, Bitcoin presents an immense opportunity to change the lives of those who are burdened by old forms of manipulated money and preserve their time and energy. It is the first self-sovereign, programmable money that is proving to destroy expectations of every “expert” imaginable. At the intersection of money and technology, Bitcoin's network effect is spreading like a mind virus to all corners of the globe. This is not a coincidence but the manifestation of a zero to one moment; a radical new technology that will change nearly everything it touches. This article explores the idea that some regions and nations have a higher susceptibility to adoption in new monetary networks. Specifically, I will outline how the unbanked populations of emerging countries can leapfrog legacy systems, straight into a new monetary standard. But first, let's lay the groundwork for understanding how this can happen with some concepts. DEMOCRATIZATION OF TECHNOLOGY To understand leapfrogging, let’s first look into something that naturally happens when humans produce technology: the democratization of technology. As we make technology, the cost reduces, while the ease of production increases. Our tools get better, people’s skills improve, securing the material for production gets easier, logistics improve, and everything is less costly as humans continue increasing the output/yield over time. Simply put, cost goes down, while production goes up. Figure 1. A great example is the printing press. Before this innovation, each book had to be typed out or written one by one and distributed almost by osmosis. This means books were more expensive and were only in the hands of the few. After the printing press, people were able to automate a portion of the process by creating blueprints of the books. This cut down labor costs, and there was a huge explosion in printed material. This may have put people out of work; but it also introduced better dissemination of information to a wider group of people and new opportunities to produce more books for less cost and effort. Another example is photography. Historically, taking photos on film took hours to produce in a dark room. The film had to be brought to a local expert and it would take several days to get back the finished product. Smartphones and photoshop technology made this essentially free. It was then possible to download an app or use the built-in app on smartphones, take pictures, and immediately process them. Democratization of technology has been happening across every single aspect of human society since the beginning of time. Humans create tools to make it easier and cheaper to survive. Each tool becomes better, we then expand and evolve with less energy improving the quality of life. Fast-forward to the internet age. Emerging countries are just now tapping into the power of the internet. Although there are many factors underlying the reasons for expansion, one thing that is known is that technology builds on itself, making each successive technology easier to produce. Not only is there growth, but there is exponential growth. Certain times throughout history, technology has made such a large leap forward that it allows extremely poor countries to skip the legacy technology and quickly adopt the new one. This is called leapfrogging. LEAPFROGGING EXPLAINED Leapfrogging is when the cost to produce one technology is too great for a population, so when a new, drastically cheaper technology is created it’s quickly adopted and the old tech is skipped. This is the coexistence and benefit of separate populations within society. Let's look at the mobile phone revolution as a way to explain leapfrogging. Some societies did not have the wealth or infrastructure to adopt landlines and phone communication when it was brand new, but when the mobile phone was introduced, this gave mostly everyone around the world the ability to opt-in. Figure 2. Landlines in the U.S., 1900–2019. Figure 2 shows the number of landlines in the U.S. population from the 1900s to 2019. Throughout the entirety of the 20th century, the landline was being adopted in the U.S. Consequently it only took a decade to dethrone this old technology. The decline started when the benefit of cell phones outweighed the cost compared to landlines. This is where democratization hit the tipping point and we saw a huge jump from one technology to the next. Now it’s extremely cheap to use technology that is 100 times or even 1,000 times more advanced than the previous. Mobile phones usurped landlines because they were more affordable, easier to use and more mobile. Figure 2 shows how quickly a society can adopt a technology that has significantly more benefits than the previous, even in an advanced society. A similar thing is happening with television and the internet. Netflix came out and disrupted how people consume media on the television. As more platforms emerged, and people realized they could pay a fraction of the cost for a Netflix subscription rather than $100 for cable and a bunch of commercials, the switch was easy. Legacy systems were bogged down by all of the brick-and-mortar stores and overhead costs. They could not compete and pivot quickly enough, so they lost their seat at the table. Figure 3. Number of telephone subscriptions in the U.S. versus worldwide. When comparing fixed telephone subscriptions to other countries, the U.S. was way ahead of most. Many factors were contributing to this. Wealth played a huge part, but much of it was the production and first movers’ advantage. The U.S. was the first country to set up telephone lines from Boston to Somerville Massachusetts and expanded from there. Other countries did not have this opportunity, so they were laggards in the technology simply by default. It also made it easy to have a grid to run on top of, being a technologically advanced country with a power grid. Because it was so resource-heavy to set up this grid, this took over 30 years to build up the infrastructure. Figure 4. Landline subscriptions compared to GDP per capita, 2019. One of the main reasons why it was so hard to increase telephone subscriptions in other countries is because of the initial cost. You can’t just tap into a telephone line, there needs to be a large grid, infrastructure and companies/governments willing to build out this grid. Figure 4 shows that there is a rough line at a GDP per capita of $5,000 to get off zero and start communicating via landline. As the GDP per capita grows in a country, it is more likely they adopt fixed landlines. This is a huge barrier to entry as they try and compete to be a part of the 21st century. With telephones, it brings an easier flow of information across long distances quickly. These are important technologies that helped first-world countries advance quicker than their counterparts. This technology could mean the difference between surviving and thriving in the modern era. Figure 5. Mobile phone subscriptions versus GDP per capita, 2019. Things get much different when you start looking at mobile phones in Figure 5. To have a mobile phone is drastically cheaper than having a landline, all costs considered. Before, you needed the infrastructure and everything that came with installing a landline phone. But with mobile phones, even at a GDP per capita of less than $1,000, you get ~50% penetration of adoption within the population. All of the countries that were left out of communication with landlines, now have leapfrogged the old technology, right into a new standard of mobile phones. People benefit, businesses benefit and countries benefit immensely from these technologies. With mobile communication, people have higher leverage over their energy output. Businesses and life in general are more efficient, in turn creating a higher GDP for the country. It is a feedback loop that is good for all of humanity. When one group of people creates new technology, everyone benefits at one point or another. FROM LANDLINES TO MOBILE PHONES TO INTERNET-CONNECTED SMARTPHONES Not only are poorer countries leapfrogging into mobile phone communication, but they are, in turn, jumping right into the internet age. On top of that, (Android) smartphone costs are dropping significantly every year, with the average cost down by 50% from 2008 to 2016. With the growing ability to connect with the rest of the world comes more opportunities to learn and grow with the rest of the world. An incredible amount of information is available on the internet, and the benefit of being on the network is immeasurable. Figure 6. Mobile versus landline subscriptions, worldwide, 1960–2019. When comparing the numbers of mobile phone users to the numbers of landlines, you get a huge disparity in the pace at which they were adopted. Fixed landlines were around for almost 50 years before they started to see some real competition. Thinking back to our Figure 5, this makes sense, because the cost to build infrastructure is drastically higher than that of mobile phones. The opportunity a landline brought to civilization was immense, but the cost-effective mobility of cell phones transcends previous communication technology by a longshot. As of September 2021, the world’s population was ~7.89 billion people. Of that, there are 10.5 billion cell phones with network connections. That is 2.52 billion more activated phones than there are people. This becomes thought-provoking when adoption data starts to reveal where mobile phones are headed next. As people adopt mobile phones, smartphones are becoming cheaper and more abundant. The cost of production for smartphones is less and less each year, and soon there will be little reason to have a cell phone without internet connection because the cost difference will be so minuscule. Smartphone abundance is allowing people around the world to tap into the internet and it is estimated that “by 2025, 72% of all internet users will solely use smartphones to access the web.” Figure 7. Share of the population using the internet, 1990–2019. Currently, the world is in a transitionary period of communication. Not all of the world has access to the internet, only 65%, with an increasingly rapid pace of adoption. Because it is so inexpensive to get a mobile phone, and the benefits are immense, the world is being onboarded at an incredible rate. To answer the question “What is Leapfrogging?” we can look directly at mobile phones. But it’s not just one leapfrog, it’s more of a continuous onboarding to the digital revolution for the entire human population. Things are getting cheaper, and technology is moving exponentially forward, toward a more connected future. Soon, everyone will have access to the internet and will bring about new and exciting opportunities for the world to grow. With the high rate of adoption in communication technology, mobile phones swept across low-GDP countries allowing information to spread. Smartphones are a small hop away from mobile phones. With smartphones comes all sorts of opportunities not to mention the connection to the world's internet. In developing countries, the internet is starting to hit its hockey stick moment. Adoption continues to grow and as smartphones get cheaper, more people in the world have access to the internet, connecting them to their local and global economies and new innovations will come about in unforeseen ways. This begs the question, what monetary network will they use to transact in the digital age? It's taken years to get the legacy banking system up to speed. We’ve bootstrapped and “Frankensteined” many different ways to connect the internet to a centuries-old banking infrastructure, but these newly onboarded countries have the opportunity to skip that altogether. With no legacy banking infrastructure rooted within the nation, this leaves the door wide open for a new legacy. LEAPFROGGING ONTO A BITCOIN STANDARD It seems the stage is set for a paradigm shift. A perfect storm is brewing in populations that lack bank accounts and access to store their wealth. Coupling this with connection to the internet, and 21st-century e-commerce and monetary system, it is impossible for countries not to adopt it. Because bitcoin is a global asset with no intermediaries, its infrastructure is inherently global. Any improvements to the network, the entire world will benefit automatically without having to update the old tech. Unlike landlines, there is no infrastructure to build, and the barrier to entry is almost zero. You just opt in with a bit of hardware and an internet connection. As of 2017, according to the World Bank, there are 1.7 billion adults in the world without a basic transacting account. Most of these countries with higher rates of unbanked are poor, have high rates of inflation and lower currency stability, not to mention a disconnected state government ripe with problems. This is extremely common when looking at currencies in other low-GDP countries. So, what are some of the biggest factors in which people would want or need to adopt Bitcoin? If we can answer this question, then maybe we can quantify and pinpoint which countries have the biggest opportunity and most to gain from adopting a Bitcoin standard. Figure 8. World’s most unbanked countries (Source). Figure 8 shows the top-10 most unbanked countries as of February 2021. The Oxford dictionary defines “unbanked” as “not having access to the services of a bank or similar financial organization.” Much like building the infrastructure for landlines, it’s expensive to build banks and serve the local economy. Not to mention, many of the people living in these countries don't have the amount of money that would warrant the cost of owning a bank account. Some even share bank accounts with members of their families to save on costs. There is a huge opportunity to solve the problem of banking in low-GDP countries, but many of the digital banking companies around the world are constrained by regulation and geographical jurisdiction. It may be hard to grasp the importance of a bank account having never lived without one, but without a bank, citizens cannot secure funds safely. Without secure funds, the future is uncertain. This is where Bitcoin can solve some of the problems in these less developed and emerging countries. There are three specific ways in which these problems could be solved. 1. Bank the Unbanked Bitcoin gives everyone the ability to be their own bank with something as little as a cell phone. All that's needed is to be connected to the network and accept funds. The smartphone does all of this. It allows people to download a bitcoin wallet, connect to the internet and start transacting. There are many ways in which one can use this wallet. Coincidentally, the countries above who have low banking numbers within their population, also have mobile phones and high internet penetration. This is an open door from a technological standpoint, allowing people to opt into Bitcoin and secure their funds digitally. In addition to using the Bitcoin network to transact on your phone, you can also use it as a cold storage solution. Cold storage is similar to a savings account. This savings account or cold storage is disconnected from the internet, making it harder for people to steal your funds. With the old technology of banks, you would have to pay for this solution, but with Bitcoin, it's free, just download the software and/or buy a hardware wallet. There are some cold storage solutions where you can pay for a hardware device, but creating a phone wallet and securing your keys, gives the people an entry point and on-ramp to storing their wealth in a digital bank. 2. Securely Store Value Over Time The second opportunity is the store of value function. Many of the countries that have unbanked populations and poverty issues are a result of a currency problem. In my previous article, “Bitcoin As A Pressure Release Valve,” I wrote that certain countries have hyperinflated currencies with no option but to turn to the black market. Most of the time, these countries use the U.S. dollar to transact since it holds its value better relative to their currency. Strictly from a monetary standpoint, bitcoin is scarce. It is the most scarce form of money there is. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin in existence and when the value rises, the production does not increase. This is called elasticity or the lack of elasticity in bitcoin’s case. Unlike fiat money, no government, central bank or agency can print more. And unlike gold, silver or any other commodity, when the demand rises, the amount that is mined stays the same. The first completely inelastic asset in existence is a result of preprogrammed architecture, with consensus in the network that’s default is to not change the protocol. People that live in countries where the money is known to be manipulated, understand Bitcoin almost immediately. When the idea of something that can't be manipulated is presented, the concept of scarcity and 21 million is understood. With the reality of incorruptible money, the current regime in power can't stuff their pockets without alienating the population through force. These people understand this idea because they have experienced it firsthand. When food prices rise faster than people can spend a weekly budget on groceries, it is immediately apparent the importance of a completely scarce, un-manipulatable asset. In developed countries with low levels of unbanked, people have ways of storing their wealth. They have a 401k and IRA, and most people own property. This is a way of storing value over time. It may not be completely efficient, but it is sufficient enough to escape some level of inflation. The alternative would be to keep your dollars in a savings account, and the real yield of that is negative and not a smart way to store money. These countries put money in financial devices, because it is the smart thing to do and it preserves time and energy. Unbanked countries have no way of storing long-term value. It is degraded and evaporated through manipulation and high levels of money printing. Emerging countries cannot store time and value into financial instruments. There is no Apple stock or S&P 500 to put money into. They are stuck with low levels of wealth that are stolen away on an ever-moving treadmill. There is no way of truly saving value or energy spent over time. For the first time, Bitcoin gives the world, particularly those in emerging countries, the ability to hold their value in a closed system that cannot be inflated. Much like the opportunity the mobile phone brought to change communication, bitcoin is the first “store of value'' that is available for low-GDP countries to buy and hold. It allows them to securely transfer their wealth over time, without fear of inflation or confiscation. Add on top of that, if they need to transfer wealth out of the country and flee an oppressive regime, bitcoin is the first asset that gives the ability to do so. Large amounts of gold cannot be taken on a plane or property and homes cannot be transferred to another country. Bitcoin gives people the freedom to do what they want with their earned value, without fear of a centralized power removing it. Bitcoin preserves the fundamental human right of property. 3. Connection to the Digital Economy The third problem Bitcoin solves is connecting and transacting digitally. Being a digitally native asset, bitcoin smooths the rails of commerce allowing low-GDP countries to join the 21st century of commerce. This is huge, and what cell phones did for communication, digital commerce will do the same. It immensely increases our ability to transact and exchange value. Bitcoin allows anyone, anywhere, to join a digital transacting network and exchange value natively over the internet, whether in person or without knowing them at all. Digital economies move at the speed of light, while old-school economies move at the speed of osmosis. This brings more time and efficiency for people on both ends of the transaction. Businesses spend less time on transactions, widen their addressable market, and start putting more time and effort into other things that can improve their work. It is the difference between transacting daily in cash and using a preprogrammed point of sales system. It is simply better. Not only does Bitcoin make things easier and frees up more time, but it is programmable money. Like the internet, Bitcoin can be built in layers. Each layer brings a new way to use it that widens the possibilities and use cases. What the internet did for communication, Bitcoin will do for money. Combining all three of these factors, you get a massive magnetic pull toward adoption of the new technology. It is hard to slow the movement of technological adoption and impossible to stop. Like throwing a match on a tinder-filled hillside, years of opportunity build up in countries that lack technology where innovation and adoption prepare to explode at the right moment. QUANTIFYING BITCOIN ADOPTION IN LOW-GDP COUNTRIES Figure 9. LocalBitcoins and Paxful Vietnamese dong (VND) combined volume in Vietnam (Source). Looking at every one of the top-10 countries from Figure 8, they all have meaningful adoption in Bitcoin and it is growing every week. Not only is Vietnam number two on the unbanked list, but it is also number one on the “Chainalysis 2021 Global Adoption Ranking.” In fact, looking at Figure 10 of adoption through LocalBitcoins and Paxful, USD volume shows that every one of the countries in the top-10 list of unbanked have meaningful adoption. Figure 10. LocalBitcoins and Paxful Vietnamese dong (VND) combined volume. What does this tell us about Bitcoin adoption in unbanked countries? It tells us that it's working. Continuing to see these trends improve will be good for Bitcoin adoption and not to mention the countries in which they are adopting it. All the ingredients are there. Most are unbanked with high internet access and an unreliable currency that isn't natively digital. All you need is time for the adoption to take hold. There are also some concerns that come up when thinking about Bitcoin adoption. Like, “How can they adopt bitcoin when it is so volatile?” Well, there are a few solutions to this problem. The first is that when a population has no choice, something as volatile as bitcoin could mean the difference between losing 30% or losing 90% over the span of one year. Keep in mind that bitcoin is already solving three of the major problems listed above, we are just remedying the problem of volatility. First, look at just bitcoin and its use cases today. For some countries, their currency is just as volatile if not more volatile than bitcoin. Not only that, but it is volatile to the downside, continuing to lose value as the government steals and prints away spent time and energy. If bitcoin were to be used, sure it might be volatile, but this volatility is either short lived, or it’s to the upside. Now look at bitcoin while using it for everyday transactions through Strike, as a more technical solution. This solution is currently available now in El Salvador as a test case and is starting to roll out to more and more countries. People use the Bitcoin and Lightning rails every single day but transact in USD, choosing to either save in bitcoin or not. This solution gives the best of both worlds. One, a population has the ability to transact short term in a currency that isn't volatile, like other emerging countries. Two, this gives access to the payment rails of Bitcoin and the ability to save in the most scarce asset in existence. Looking back historically, bitcoin has grown at a 200% compound annual growth rate and this has the opportunity to conserve and grow wealth immensely. For someone in a developing world, this is life changing. As this trend of adoption in underbanked countries continues, new and exciting ways where Bitcoin is used will emerge. For the first time in history, countries have the ability to store wealth in something that cannot be stolen. It gives the opportunity to transact freely without the permission of the state or government, and it allows people to break free from imposed serfdom. Bitcoin is here and it is only getting bigger. There is a change in the tides of time, and Bitcoin is a once-in-a-millennia technology that is pulling the shores. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 18:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

Nasdaq falls nearly 2% as US stocks battered by Omicron volatility

The disappointing November jobs report added to the uncertainty as investors try to chart the path of Fed policy. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images US stocks tumbled Friday, dragged by mega-cap tech shares that were battered by the Omicron volatility. The disappointing November jobs report added an additional layer of uncertainty.  The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 1.355% from Thursday's 1.447% rate. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell US stocks tumbled Friday, dragged by mega-cap technology shares that were battered by the volatility brought about by the new coronavirus strain this week. The disappointing November jobs report added an additional layer of uncertainty as investors try to chart the path of Federal Reserve policy going into 2022. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended lower by nearly 2% and slid to a weekly loss. Cathie Wood's flagship ARK Innovation ETF — which holds names like Tesla, Coinbase, and Zoom — was hammered by the sell-off.Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Friday: S&P 500: 4,538.42, down 0.85% Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,580.08, down 0.17% (59.71 points)Nasdaq Composite: 15,085.47, down 1.92% US nonfarm payrolls grew by 210,000 last month — way below the median forecast of 550,000 jobs from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.The reading showed hiring slowed dramatically from October's revised gain of 546,000. November was expected to extend the fall's healthy job growth after the Delta coronavirus variant hammered hiring through the summer.Yet new headwinds stood in the way of blockbuster gains — among them, the new Omicron coronavirus variant and the ongoing supply-chain crisis. "While there's seemingly a huge miss on the payrolls front, there are significant bright spots—the unemployment rate is flirting with pre-pandemic levels and the participation rate ticked up," Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial, said in a statement. "There's likely not enough to go on for the Fed to change its course on tapering."The unemployment rate tumbled to 4.2% from 4.6%, according to the report. Economists anticipated a reading of 4.5%. The number of unemployed Americans fell by 542,000 in November.Equities whipsawed this week as investors try to assess the threat posed by Omicron. So far, almost a dozen cases have been detected in the US, and the next couple of weeks will remain volatile, according to Edward Moya, senior equity analyst at Oanda."The focus falls on the latest inflation report, the December 15th FOMC meeting, and further clarity on the impact with the Omicron variant," he said in a note.The 10-year Treasury note yield slipped to 1.355% from Thursday's 1.447% rate. Bond yields move inversely to prices.DocuSign fell nearly 40% after the company reported earnings the previous day that beat expectation but issued downbeat fourth-quarter guidance.In digital assets, metaverse-related cryptocurrencies have surged an eye-popping 37,000% this year — far exceeding the gains of bitcoin, data from Macro Hive shows. The five coins it tracked are Axie Infinity, Decentraland, Sandbox, Enjin Coin, and GALA, which rallied 20% over the past seven days alone.Adidas became the latest brand name to enter the metaverse through a partnership with prominent groups in the space including the Bored Ape Yacht Club.Crude prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 0.54% to $66.54 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, rose 0.11% to $69.75 per barrel.Gold rose as much as 0.94% to $1,785.79 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Metaverse-related cryptocurrencies like Axie Infinity and Decentraland are up 37,000% this year, crushing bitcoin and other altcoins

The returns for metaverse coins were "turbocharged" by Facebook's rebrand to "Meta," according to Macro Hive, which compiled the data. Image of NFT game Axie Infinity.Axie Infinity Media Kit A bucket of metaverse-related cryptocurrencies is up 37,000% this year, Macro Hive data show. The bucket includes Axie Infinity, a play-to-earn platform, and Decentraland, where players can buy digital land. Coins related to smart contracts rallied 2,355% this year, and DeFi coins jumped 548%. Bitcoin rose just 97%.  Metaverse-related cryptocurrencies have surged an eye-popping 37,000% this year — far exceeding the gains of bitcoin, data from Macro Hive shows. The data was based on the gains of five coins: Axie Infinity, Decentraland, Sandbox, Enjin Coin, and GALA, which rallied 20% over the past seven days alone, the data showed.The coins are part of the metaverse, a term for the next phase of the internet where people can live, work, and play in the digital world. Small versions of the metaverse have already begun popping up. Axie Infinity, for example, allows users to play games to earn crypto. And in Decentraland, players can own digital land and other assets.The metaverse rally was likely "turbocharged" by Facebook's decision to rebrand to Meta Platforms as a sign of its push into the future internet, according to Macro Hive, a UK-based research firm. The data was first reported on by Bloomberg.Macro Hive put cryptocurrencies in four emerging categories: bitcoin, smart contract platforms, metaverse, and decentralized finance (DeFi). While metaverse coins were the "clear outperformer," those related to smart contracts, which include applications based on ethereum, solana, cardano, avalanche, and polkadot, came in second with a whopping 2,355% rally in 2021. In third was DeFi, which counts services like Uniswap and PancakeSwap built on top of blockchain networks. The group rallied 584% this year, Macro Hive said. Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency equivalent of gold, is up 97%, a meager gain when compared with the rest of the bucket, Macro Hive said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Top Ten: Weekend reads: Santa Claus may come early for stock investors

Also, DocuSign's bad sign, a Tesla controversy and a bitcoin bank......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 3rd, 2021

SEC Chair Gensler: Bitcoin Competes With The US Banking System

SEC Chair Gensler: Bitcoin Competes With The US Banking System Authored by 'NAMCIOS' via BitcoinMagazine.com, Bitcoin is an “off-the-grid” alternative to the traditional financial system, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said. Gensler joined former SEC chairman Jay Clayton on Wednesday to talk about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and ETFs. Issuers should “come within the investor protection remit” to launch a spot BTC ETF in the U.S., Gensler said. Bitcoin is a competitor to the U.S. banking system and its worldwide consensus, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler said on Wednesday. “We layered over our digital money system about 40 years ago with money laundering and various sanctions and regimes around the globe; we layered that over a digital currency system called our banking system,” Gensler said. “In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto wrote this paper in part as a reaction, an off-the-grid type of approach. It’s not surprising that there’s some competition that you and I don’t support but that’s trying to undermine that worldwide consensus.” Gensler’s remarks came during the DACOM Summit 2021, a compliance and market integrity event live-streamed on Wednesday. The SEC chairman joined Jay Clayton, who was in Gensler’s shoes as the commission’s head a few years past, for a conversation around Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, digital assets, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and decentralized finance. BITCOIN, THE DOLLAR, AND DIGITAL ASSETS Throughout the conversation, the SEC chairman kept drawing a dividing line between Bitcoin and digital assets. While Gensler did not vouch for one or the other, he acknowledged their differences, highlighting the securities-like nature of many projects. “These have largely been about raising money for entrepreneurs, and as such, meet the time-tested definition of an investment contract and thus falls under the securities laws,” Gensler said, referring to the many tokens being created and traded worldwide outside of his regulatory scope. Gensler has said time and again how he views the cryptocurrency sector as a “Wild West.” He urged the “gatekeepers” of the many cryptocurrency projects in existence to “find a path to register and get within the investor protection remit.” Such projects, “whether it’s a trading platform or token,” he added, are “not going to evolve well outside of the tenets of public policy.” When talking about digital assets, Gensler commented how, in his opinion, such developments already exist and don’t demand decentralization to function. The SEC chairman also drew a parallel between the U.S. dollar and the concept of digital currency, downplaying their differences. “The U.S. dollar, the euro and the yen, and most of the public companies, are digital,” he asserted. “You buy and sell stocks that are digital, you buy and sell treasuries that are digital; there is no physical treasury debt any longer. I tend to call these digital assets.” However, Gensler didn’t outright remove the right of other digital assets to exist. Ultimately, he said, investors should decide what’s worthy of investing their money in. Still, he demands clear and straightforward information on each project’s objectives with their offerings. “At the core of our bargain in the securities markets is: investors get to decide what risks they want to take. But the people raising the money, the issuers, should share full and fair disclosure,” he said, adding that while the value proposition is “for the market to decide,” it must be “within public policy frameworks.” Gensler highlighted the importance of “full and fair disclosure” in the perspective of “investor protection and fraud prevention.” If these digital assets fail to come under the regulatory umbrella of the SEC, he added, there could be financial instabilities in the future. “We’re gonna have a ‘spill in Aisle 3’ and...it might be a financial instability event, or come from stablecoins, or by the investing public getting hurt by fraudsters or good-faith actors promoting and raising money,” the commission’s chairman said. “And the investing public didn’t, in hindsight, get enough information.” “The innovations around DeFi could be real, but they won’t persist if they stay outside of the public policy frameworks,” he added. On stablecoins, Gensler equated them to “poker chips at the casinos,” highlighting how the majority of the movement in that sector has been done inside trading platforms. “They were initially brought forward to make the trading platforms more efficient, but it also allowed people around the globe to avert money laundering and tax compliance in jurisdictions,” he said. The SEC chairman also shared that his commission is collaborating with sibling agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in figuring out how different tokens should be treated by U.S. markets and its regulatory body. “We’re working together to sort through that,” Gensler said. “But right now the public is not protected as it could be and as I believe it ought to be in this space. Technologies don’t long persist outside of public policy norms; people get hurt, trust is diminished. It’s far better to bring it inside the policy frameworks, and that’s what we’re going to try to do at the SEC.” WHEN WILL THE SEC APPROVE A SPOT BITCOIN ETF? When asked about bitcoin ETFs and the double standards being applied by the SEC to such products, Gensler declined to comment, saying he couldn’t discuss matters the commission is currently evaluating. But he did shed some light on what issuers need to do to have a spot bitcoin ETF approved in the U.S., although he said they already know what the SEC’s demands are. “These platforms need to come in, get registered, come within the investor protection remit, ensure for the appropriate anti-manipulation and transparency, and deal with the custody issues,” Gensler said. On November 29, asset manager Grayscale Investments sent a letter to the SEC outlining discrepancies in the agency’s rejection of spot ETFs and acceptance of derivatives-based offerings. “The Commission has no basis for the position that investing in the derivatives market for an asset is acceptable for investors while investing in the asset itself is not,” the letter said. The SEC had denied VanEck’s spot bitcoin ETF proposal earlier that month, and a few more deadlines are coming up on its schedule. The commission has nearly ten filings lined up on its desk, awaiting approval. Spot bitcoin ETF applications on the SEC’s desk. Source: Arcane Research. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

Bitcoin-Backed Bonds Are Coming To Wall Street As Goldman Embraces Crypto-Collateral

Bitcoin-Backed Bonds Are Coming To Wall Street As Goldman Embraces Crypto-Collateral Earlier in the week we described El Salvador's historic bitcoin bond deal - a $1 billion deal collateralized with $500 million of bitcoin that the crypto-embracing nation would use to fund the construction of  a “Bitcoin city.” As we said at the time: Other countries are likely to look into how they too can get money without having to deal with the rapacious bankers at the IMF. A Bitcoin bond is a great way to secure funding outside the bounds of the traditional financial system. Well, according to a report from CoinDesk, Goldman Sachs, and a handful of othe tier-one US banks, are figuring out how to use bitcoin as collateral for cash loans to institutions, according to three people familiar with the plans. Emulating tri-party repo type arrangements (a way of borrowing funds by selling securities with an agreement to repurchase them, involving a third-party agent), banks are exploring ways to follow the same path of not touching bitcoin, like other synthetic products. “Goldman was working on getting approved for lending against collateral and tri-party repo,” said one of the people. “And if they had a liquidation agent, then they were just doing secured lending without ever having bitcoin touch their balance sheet.” Goldman is not alone; a handful of big banks are following the trail blazed by crypto-friendly banks Silvergate and Signature, both of which announced bitcoin-backed cash loans earlier this year. “We’ve probably spoken to half a dozen big banks about [bitcoin-backed loans],” said a second person from a large institutional trading firm. “Some of them are in the next three to six months category and some are further out. What’s interesting is some of these banks will use their own balance sheet to make the loan. Others will syndicate this out.” The regulatory stance on activity like this in the US remains complicated. Depending on the bank and what exactly is being proposed, regulation could come from a mix of the OCC, the SEC, or the CFTC; all of which will likely be chomping at the bit to restrict this under pressure from the likes Of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Treasury Secretary Yellen. “Non-bulge-bracket banks are also building in this tri-party lending area,” a third person said. All of this is pretty bullish for the crypto community, and it shows how Bitcoin can work as the backbone for a new financial system. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 14:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

A new fund will track NFTs and blockchain companies as metaverse ETF takes off

The NFTZ fund is focused on investing in companies with exposure to NFTs, blockchain technology, and crypto. NFT. NurPhotoNurPhoto A new exchange-traded fund from Defiance is investing in companies exposed to NFTs and crypto. The NFTZ fund is invested in companies including crypto miners, crypto exchanges, and fintech. The listing comes as a metaverse-related ETF has seen inflows surge.   A exchange-traded fund that will give investors exposure to the booming world of non-fungible tokens hit the market Thursday. It's called NFTZ.Created by Defiance ETFs, the novel fund is investing in companies with exposure to the NFT market and blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystems, the company said in a press release.NFTs, digital collectibles tied to the blockchain, have soared in popularity this year. Total trading volume reached $15 billion as of October, Defiance said. "The NFT revolution will fundamentally change the economic model for artists, athletes, creators, and many more industries that we can't even conceive of today." Defiance Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer Sylvia Jablonski said in a statement to Insider. "NFTs could be bigger than the internet."The fund goes beyond NFTs, though. Its companies are "key players" to building the metaverse, Bloomberg wrote, citing Jablonski. The metaverse, a digital world where people can interact, has been dubbed the next phase of the internet. And some have said NFTs and blockchain technology are the key to unlocking it. Some of the fund's biggest investments include fintech banking company Silvergate, crypto miners Marathon Digital Holdings and Bitfarms, and crypto-exchange Coinbase, among others. After launching Thursday, NFTZ fell 2.5% to $23.50 at 12:01 p.m. in New York.A number of crypto and Web3 ETFs have debuted this year. The Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF has seen its inflows surge more than six-fold, since the company formerly known as Facebook rebranded to Meta in the hopes of moving into the virtual world. The fund started with just a few million dollars in June and now has $823.2 million in assets, Insider reported. In October, the first-ever bitcoin-related ETF in the US began trading and enjoyed a huge debut. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

Even Jack Dorsey"s rebranded crypto company is getting in on the craze for tungsten cubes, the super-heavy metal blocks that cost up to $3,500

For a few weeks in October, a small manufacturer near Chicago saw tungsten sales surge as crypto enthusiasts flocked to buy the strangely heavy metal. Midwest Tungsten Service Square's rebranding announcement as Block contained a strange reference to tungsten cubes. The mention was a signal to crypto enthusiasts, who were recently in a frenzy to buy the novelty objects. A small tungstent manufacturing company shared what it has been like to ride the surge of attention. In its rebranding announcement as Block, the digital financial company Square contained an odd reference."Not to get all meta on you… but we're going to!" the company tweeted. "Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes."—Square (@Square) December 1, 2021Last October, tungsten cubes were thrust into the national spotlight after a few viral tweets inspired a quasi-obsessive fixation among crypto enthusiasts with the unique tactile experience of the objects — and their extraordinary weight-to-size ratio.—Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) October 12, 2021Most of the cubes were sold by a small industrial manufacturer outside Chicago, Midwest Tungsten Service.MTS had seen sales spikes before and would occasionally experience a flutter of activity after a science blog or YouTube video featured one of its metallic novelty cubes, spheres, or fidget spinners.But the surge in the second half of October was like nothing they had dealt with before, MTS ecommerce director Sean Murray told Insider."By the third day, it was like, 'Oh, wow, this is completely different,'" he said.Tungsten is a high-density metal — comparable to gold — that is used in a wide array of industrial applications. Even small volumes of the element are strangely heavy, with 1.5-inch cubes weighing 2.2 pounds ($199), or 3-inch cubes at 17.6 pounds ($1,599)."We actually had what we thought at the time was multiple years worth of inventory of some of those different sizes," Murray said.On October 13, cube sales spiked 300% and Coindesk jumped on the story, followed by Bloomberg, Vice, and The Wall Street Journal.Nic Carter, a VC and an early cube collector, told the Journal that the cube's density offered a pleasing sensory contrast to the intangibility of digital currency."We're just deprived of physical totems of our affection, and so tungsten fills that hole in our hearts," Carter said.One thing that differentiated the crypto crowd from previous buyers was the greater share of interest in the larger cube sizes."We thought nobody would buy our 17.6 lb, 3-inch tungsten cube. We were so, so wrong," the company says on its Amazon listing for a new 4-inch, 41.6-pound cube ($3,499).Murray said the company was surprised by the sudden interest, but well prepared to make the most of it, since they tend to carry more inventory than other "just-in-time" manufacturers and had a well-established, rapid-order-fulfillment process."We had people who normally come in at 6:30 a.m. coming in at 1:30 a.m.," he said."We had spouses and children of people come in to help out at various times."In addition to traditional ecommerce responses like pulling staff from other areas of the company to help process orders or dealing with Amazon's fulfillment network, Murray said he also underwent a crash-course in crypto."I'm just someone who, if there's a new thing, I like to check it out," he said.MTS began accepting bitcoin payments on its website, and on October 22 announced it was auctioning an NFT for the largest Tungsten cube ever, measuring 14.5 inches and weighing in at a whopping 2,000 pounds.Due to the sheer logistical difficulty of shipping an item with those specs, the cube will remain at MTS' facilities where its owners can schedule one visit per year to touch and photograph it. The winner was a crypto group known as TungstenDAO that paid nearly 57 ETH (worth about $247,000 at the time).Murray said the crypto-fueled peak has passed, but that holiday sales are starting to pick up as customers shop for stocking stuffers. He also said that bulk orders are starting to pick up from companies that want engraved cubes to give to employees."In this case, cryptocurrency-related firms are a large part of it," Murray said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

Fidelity"s spot bitcoin ETF is set to start trading in Canada, while its US fund is still waiting for the SEC"s green light

Fidelity Investments is bringing a spot bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) to Canada, where it's expected to start trading imminently. Blue bitcoinYuichiro Chino Fidelity has launched a spot bitcoin ETF in Canada that will start trading on Thursday. Fidelity is "the biggest asset manager to date with a bitcoin ETF", Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg said.  Spot bitcoin ETFs trade in Europe and Canada, but only futures-based ETFs have been approved in the US. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Fidelity Investments is about to launch an exchange traded fund (ETF) backed by bitcoin, rather than bitcoin futures, but it's listing the fund in Canada, as US regulators have still not given these particular crypto products the go-ahead. An affiliate of the Boston-based asset manager, Fidelity Investments Canada told Insider it would launch the Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF and ETF Fund "on or around  December 2" under the ticker FBTC, according to its website. The ETF's bitcoin sub-custodian, Fidelity Clearing Canada. will acquire and hold bitcoin and investors will be able to buy and sell it on the Toronto Stock Exchange.ETFs backed by physically settled bitcoin are available in Europe, as well as Canada, where regulators approved those funds in February this year. In August, French regulators let asset manager Melanion Capital list a spot bitcoin ETF of its own. "We believe that cryptocurrency is a valid asset class that we would like to provide as an investment option for retail investors in Canada by including this in our product offering," a spokesperson from Fidelity Investments Canada told Insider. US investors only have access to bitcoin-futures ETFs for now. Fidelity filed to list a spot bitcoin ETF in the US back in March, but has not got approval to do so at this point.  So far, US regulators have approved bitcoin futures ETFs run by ProShares, Valkyrie and VanEck. Fidelity opted to offer a bitcoin spot ETF over a futures one because bitcoin futures are generally in "contango" which means the futures price is higher than the spot price of the underlying asset, which means investors can lose money when they roll their positions. The company also said bitcoin futures ETFs may suffer from capacity constraints due to limits on the number of futures contracts an ETF is permitted to hold at any given time.Fidelity's history with digital assets traces back to 2014, when it began research and development efforts into blockchain technology through the Fidelity Centre of Applied Technology.Some analysts believed Fidelity listing a bitcoin ETF in Canada was a blow to regulators in America. "This should be embarrassing for the SEC that one of America's biggest, most storied names in investing is forced to go up North to serve its clients," Bloomberg Senior ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas said on Twitter.Crypto giant Grayscale, which filed for a spot bitcoin ETF in October, sent a letter to the SEC on Monday saying it had no basis to approve bitcoin futures ETFs and not spot ones and by doing so violated the Administrative Protections Act (APA). Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

US stocks edge higher as investors struggle against Omicron volatility

Adding to Thursday's volatility was a report that Apple may be experiencing a drop in demand for its iPhones this holiday season. Trader Leon Montana works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange stocks NYSE worryAP Photo/Richard DrewUS stocks edged slightly higher on Thursday as investors continue to grapple with the Omicron variant.Adding to market concerns is Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggestion of tapering its bond purchases at a faster pace. A report on a drop in demand for Apple's iPhones this holiday season added to the volatility.US stocks traded slightly higher on Thursday as concerns surrounding the Omicron virus and hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell weighed on investors.On Wednesday, the CDC said it identified the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the US, which it found in California. With little known about how transmissible and deadly the new variant is, and whether current vaccines protect against it, investors are selling first and asking questions later.Adding to the volatility on Thursday was a report from Bloomberg that Apple is experiencing a decline in demand for its iPhones this holiday season. Shares of Apple traded down more than 3% in early Thursday trades.Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:S&P 500: 4,517.70, up 0.1%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,156.60 up 0.41% (144.69 points)Nasdaq Composite: 15,239.00, down 0.1%The metaverse investment theme is growing in popularity, with Ark Invest's Cathie Wood calling it a multi-trillion dollar opportunity that will infiltrate every sector.Sales of virtual land in the metaverse hit $106 million last week, with The Sandbox platform taking a big lead from other NFT platforms. Insider sales have soared to a record high this year, with Elon Musk selling more than $10 billion of Tesla last month. Jeff Bezos is also selling Amazon stock, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently sold half of his stake in the software giant.Fidelity is launching its own spot bitcoin ETF in Canada this week, even as the SEC continues to only favor futures-based bitcoin ETFs.West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell as much as 1.95% to $64.29 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, dropped as much as 1.89% to $67.57 per barrel.Gold fell as much as 0.29% to $1,779.10 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

Germany Falls Completely To Davos

Germany Falls Completely To Davos Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, If anyone was under any illusions that Germany wasn’t completely under the control of the Davos Crowd then I think this article from Politico should burn that perception into your retinas. The article details what’s in the new German government’s agreement between the parties. It lays out the goals of the coalition as well as the roadmap for its policy priorities. In short, this is literally a laundry list of everything Davos has been demanding and it ensures the complete neutering or submission of the FDP’s Christian Lindner to the Davos agenda. I’m not going to go through them all point by point, the Politico article does that well enough. What’s important here is that in light of the media release of OmicronVID-9/11 that the new German government is keen on serving its Davos masters agenda fully. Even though OmicronVID-9/11 looks to be the mildest and least interesting strain of COVID-9/11 that isn’t deterring European governments from announcing enforced vaccination programs, including from Germany’s new, fragile coalition. NEW - Designated Minister of Justice, Buschmann (FDP), wants to have the parliament vote on compulsory vaccination for the population in Germany. — Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 29, 2021 This tweet confirms that Lindner fully caved here. New Chancellor Olaf Scholz and a majority of state Presidents are pushing this legislation into the Bundestag as I write. Sadly, no one should really be surprised by this. While I hoped Lindner would be the thorn in Davos’ side in Germany, it doesn’t look that way at all. This cave was presaged by the ‘retirement’ of uber monetary hawk, Jens Wiedmann, as President of the Bundesbank ‘to spend time with his family.’ Yeah, pull the other one Jens, it plays “Jingle Bells.” The best Lindner can do under the circumstances is slow the roll out of this but he won’t do it now unless this compulsory vaccination program pushes through the Bundestag and is deeply unpopular with German voters. But, back to the coalition agreement. This is a document that reads like a German takeover of the entire continent. And I guess that was the bribe offered the FDP to go along with this. On the surface it cements the idea that Germany is in charge of the EU’s evolution from a collection of independent states into a full political and fiscal union which supersedes all national government considerations. But, at the same time it will further erode any sovereignty left in Germany, as well as any other EU member state. Davos is clear about what the plan here is, full evolution of the EU into a transnational bureaucratic superstate with zero direct accountability of its leadership to the people. Expecting this coalition to back down, for example, on “Rule-of-Law” issues with Poland and Hungary is a fantasy.  If anything, now Berlin is giving Brussels a blank check to go after these two countries harder than ever. And the clincher to that argument is in these two provisions highlighted below: More broadly, the three parties set the highly ambitious goal of changing the EU’s treaties. The deal says the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe — a discussion forum for possible EU reforms — “should lead to a constitutional convention and the further development of a federal European state.” That stance won’t go down well in some other EU capitals like Warsaw or Budapest, which would likely veto any such moves. On foreign policy and defense, the treaty demands a reform of the EU’s foreign policy division, the European External Action Service. And it pushes the EU to move away from requiring unanimity for all foreign policy moves — a barrier the bloc has struggled to overcome on basic matters like issuing statements on China’s crackdown in Hong Kong. Moreover, to sell this transformation into a depraved technocracy, the Germans will push for more direct democratic ‘elections’ across the entire bloc to decide on leadership within the European Commission. Look everyone! Democracy! This is simply a stalking horse for getting further political integration as the national governments still control who represents them on the Commission. Since, as we’ve seen time and again, Davos and the EU are in full control of the party apparatuses in each major country and the people’s loyalty so split up across five to seven parties in each of these countries, elections themselves are a complete joke since the coalitions that end up ruling look nothing like what the majority of the people actually voted for, c.f. Italy, Chechia, Austria. Davos controls the governing coalitions in every country other than Hungary and Poland. This is an illusion of more democracy and furthering ‘European values’ while cementing total control within the Brussels bureaucracy. The most insidious thing in the document to me is Germany’s call for ending unanimity within the European Council on foreign policy matters.  This is where both Hungary and Poland have been able to fight off the worst advances by Brussels for years and retain some semblance of independence. By holding EU foreign policy hostage multiple times in recent years, both countries have been able to slow down and/or force course corrections onto Brussels while retaining some semblance of their autonomy. These have been attrition moves by Prime Ministers Orban and Morawiecki hoping to outlast the EU while popular uprisings against Brussels matured. But Poland has repeatedly betrayed its Visigrad neighbors with its virulent Russophobia which the Eurocrats and the British have used time and again to their advantage. The Poles continue to play footsie trying to play the EU off Russia to get what they want, but all that ends up happening is they bind themselves tighter in the EU’s geopolitical Chinese finger trap while alienating the Russians even further. If the Germans are able to push this through, by the complete rewriting of the European Treaties as advocated by this coalition agreement, then during their time in office they will have completed the transformation of the EU into the EUSSR for all intents and purposes. This agreement is worse than any version I could have expected given the FDP’s involvement in this.  The pressure on Lindner must be immense and he likely went along with this, like many, hoping he can at least slow this down by withholding the purse strings. With AfD not rallying into the September elections, there simply wasn’t the political will to oppose what is happening at this point. That may change in 2022 as things progress from here so German polling will bear very close scrutiny. That said, I suspect this agreement will go down very well with German voters as it looks like one in which Germany’s power within the EU, which they are still overwhelmingly in favor of, expands greatly. Notice, however, how quickly Olaf Scholz, the new Chancellor, after rejecting Merkel’s call for new lockdowns over COVID-19 last week and looking surprisingly independent, changed course with the release of OmicronVID-9/11 this week. In the end, this is close to the government Davos wanted.  The FDP can still be a wildcard here depending on how the polls in Germany shift over the next six months. But it looks pretty obvious at this point there is no will to move against the Davos agenda of crashing the European economy and destroying capital formation absent a full takeover of EU institutions first. The dangerous buildup of tensions in Ukraine with Russia over the breakaway republics of the Donbass is inextricably linked to this shift in Germany’s governance. As are the wranglings over the Nordstream 2 pipeline, which the Scholz government is in favor of. As always, the EU and Davos want Russia as their energy supplier but as a vassal not as a partner. If anyone is using Nordstream 2 as a political tool over the rest of Europe it is Germany, not Russia, as they will control the distribution of gas internally after Nordstream 2 is live, not Russia. They will use that as a cudgel to get through many of these policy prescriptions. I am still convinced that Nordstream 2 will be live, delivering gas soon. It may take further negotiations to get it done but it will happen. Don’t discount Germany leaking the letter to the U.S. Congress lobbying them not to further sanction the pipeline because it will do irreparable damage to U.S./German relations. Whether morons like Ted Cruz (R-TX) finally get this or not is still unknown. With the power vacuum at the top of the U.S. political system, where the Neocon Flying Monkeys are being allowed to bring us to the brink of a NATO war with Russia over Ukraine, all bets are off as to what happens next. I still feel a real sovereign debt crisis is on the horizon and with FOMC Chair Jerome Powell putting the final nail in the coffin of the “transitory inflation” narrative, it’s clear that the U.S. political faction hostile to selling the country out to Obama and Davos are winning.   And because of this the new German coalition staking their flag in the ground saying, “if EU integration is going to happen, it’s going to happen somewhat on terms we control,” may actually be too little, too late. Lindner may not be privy to everything going on here either. If he isn’t aware of the nuances at play it may explain why he went along with this insanity. Once he, like Powell and a few others here in the U.S., get a sense of what’s really going on, what the real plan is, he may pull out of this coalition during the height of the debt crisis in2022. In fact, a collapse of this government could be the catalyst for the very debt crisis we’ve been preparing for.  But for now, I’d consider Germany Davos Occupied Territory completely and Germany as an economic powerhouse of any import a thing of the recent past. *  *  * Join My Patreon if you don’t want to fall. BTC: 3GSkAe8PhENyMWQb7orjtnJK9VX8mMf7ZfBCH: qq9pvwq26d8fjfk0f6k5mmnn09vzkmeh3sffxd6rytDCR: DsV2x4kJ4gWCPSpHmS4czbLz2fJNqms78oELTC: MWWdCHbMmn1yuyMSZX55ENJnQo8DXCFg5kDASH: XjWQKXJuxYzaNV6WMC4zhuQ43uBw8mN4VaWAVES: 3PF58yzAghxPJad5rM44ZpH5fUZJug4kBSaETH: 0x1dd2e6cddb02e3839700b33e9dd45859344c9edcDGB: SXygreEdaAWESbgW6mG15dgfH6qVUE5FSE Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 03:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

The 5 best roach killers in 2021

Cockroaches are a fact of life in some places. We interviewed experts to find the best roach killers and traps for fighting the pests on your own. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Target; Amazon; Home Depot; Alyssa Powell/Insider Cockroaches can be a relentless problem, but we interviewed experts to find the best solutions. The best overall option is Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer, which is effective for several months. Read more about how we research and test home products and services at Insider Reviews. No matter how hard you try, you'll never rid the world of cockroaches. But if you're trying to keep your home or business roach-free, then we can help.We queried experts at the National Pest Management Association to learn what chemicals and traps to use and when it's time to call in the professionals. (Read more about our methodology here.) The best solution for your infestation will probably be a combination of two or three of the products we recommend below, considering the resilience of your foes. Even though they outlived the dinosaurs, we've got the chemicals and the technology.Below are our picks for the most effective and expert-approved weapons in cockroach warfare. Some of these roach killers and traps get the job done on contact, while others allow a roach to transport poison back to the nest and spread it to the lot.Here are the best roach killer and traps you can buy in 2021Best roach killer overall: Ortho Home Defense Insect KillerBest contact spray roach killer: Raid's Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide SprayBest gel roach killer: Advion Cockroach Gel BaitBest roach trap: Black Flag Roach Motel Insect TrapBest roach bait: Combat Max 12-Month Roach-Killing BaitBest roach killer overallAmazonUse Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer around the periphery of your house every few months, and roaches stand little chance of breaching its interior.Sizes: 26 ounces or 1 gallonEffective against: Ants, aphids, armyworms, beetles, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, caterpillars, carpenter ants, chinch bugs, crickets, earwigs, fleas, harvester ants, hobo spiders, millipedes, mole crickets, mosquitoes, roaches, whitefliesChemicals: Bifenthrin (.05%) and Zeta-Cypermethrin (.01%)Pet-safe: Yes (but avoid contact)Best use: Long-term, preventativePros: Long-term preventative solution, suited for outdoor and indoor use, also works for spot-killingCons: Labor-intensive, spray nozzle can be finicky, poses a threat to aquatic habitatsA preventative spray, Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer is effective for about three months at keeping roaches and plenty of other six-legged creatures at bay.Whether you're neck-deep in cockroaches or you're just preparing for or anticipating the worst, a perimeter spray is a great measure to take both inside and out. It also keeps far more than roaches out of your house and creates a buffer against an impressively diverse list of potentially more harmful critters.Wearing a mask, use the electric spray gun (included with the gallon-size jug), slightly dampen a four-inch perimeter around your house and make sure to keep children and animals away from it until it's dry (same goes for indoor application, though you'll want to apply less liberally).The main thing you want to keep in mind is thoroughness. You're essentially building a fence, so lay the stuff on thick. Coat window and door frames, crawlspaces, garage doors, and all crevices. Fortunately, you'll only have to do this once a season. One final note: because this product contains Bifenthrin, which is toxic to certain aquatic creatures, including fish, consider avoiding using it if your property borders a body of water.$6.82 FROM HOME DEPOT$14.49 FROM AMAZONOriginally $17.98 | Save 19%Best roach-killing sprayTargetWhen you're coming face to face with roaches, Raid Ant & Roach Killer is an on-the-spot spray that will make short work of your adversaries — at least the ones you can see.Size: 20 ouncesNumber: Two cansEffective against: Cockroaches, waterbugs, palmetto bugs, ants, silverfish, carpet beetles, crickets, earwigs, household spiders, multicolored Asian lady beetles, stinkbugs, scorpions, black widow spidersChemicals: Cypermethrin and ImiprothrinPet-safe: Yes (but avoid contact)Best use: Spot-killingPros: Instantly effective, effective against most insectsCons: Only effective upon sight, not a long-term solution, relatively toxicKill-on-contact spray is important to have for visible infestations. Keep in mind that it contains a cocktail of Cypermethrin and Imiprothrin, among others, all of which are somewhat toxic to humans. Raid's Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide Spray is also handy when you have a clear idea of where the roaches are traveling. It remains temporarily lethal enough that if you spray their trail before shutting out the lights and heading off to bed, it will still harm them.Complete eradication requires a combination of approaches, and sprays like this won't kill the roaches you can't see and trace. A perimeter spray and bait stations will pick up most of your slack, though. Raid Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide Spray is great to have on hand for pretty much any bug infestation.$9.99 FROM TARGETBest roach-killing gelAmazonAdvion Cockroach Gel Bait applies invisibly wherever you need it and then makes its way back to the nest to wreak havoc.Size: 30 gramsNumber: 4 tubesEffective against: Ants, roaches, mole crickets, and most insects found in householdsChemicals: IndoxacarbPet-safe: Some contact is okay, but oral ingestion can be mildly dangerousBest use: Mid-termPros: Long-lasting, placement is highly customizable, also attracts and takes care of crickets (field and house), silverfish, and antsCons: Labor-intensive to apply, not pet-safeWhen you have a serious infestation and can't pinpoint the source or the nest, a spreadable gel is a great option. You can smear it into any suspect cracks, corners, and crevices. As hermetically sealed as your domicile may be, there are almost always cracks, and that is indeed how the roaches get in.Advion's Cockroach Gel Bait, with Indoxacarb as its active ingredient, mercilessly attacks the pests' nervous systems and spreads throughout the nest. Before long, the whole colony is wiped out.While application is more involved than opening a box and dispersing a few traps throughout the house, Advion's Cockroach Gel Bait comes with applicator tips so that it's not a horribly messy chore.Squeeze it into cracks and create a bead or dots around baseboards, near trash cans, and anywhere else the vermin may be finding their way into your living space. However, it's not good for pets.This formula is also approved for boats, planes, and other vehicles, including your car.$30.08 FROM AMAZONBest roach trapAmazonThe Black Flag Roach Motel Insect Trap kills cockroaches and keeps the dead ones contained and out of sight.Size: Each trap is 1.67" x 5.87" x 5.12"Number: 2 traps per boxEffective against: Cockroaches, crickets, palmetto bugs, scorpions, spiders, and moreChemicals:  Pesticide-free (just a sticky gel)Pet-safe: Mostly (if your pets don't get their paws stuck inside)Best use: Short- mid-termPros: You won't wake up to dead bugs on your floor, odor-free, pesticide-freeCons: Traps become tattered over time, might also trap smaller rodents (e.g., mice) that could render the trap uselessA self-contained trap like Black Flag's Roach Motel is often the most practical and comfortable approach. Cleanup is much less involved: Just pick it up and toss it once it's full or too tattered to perform its job any longer. It also entices and contains spiders, scorpions, crickets, and other insects.This is a great option for households with pets and small children. The active ingredient in these traps isn't a pesticide but merely sticky tape. Even if their fingers or paws do find their way in, it's nontoxic.Roach Motels come two to a pack. The way they work is simple: Black Flag's sweet proprietary concoction lures in the roaches (and other pests). Once inside the trap, they find themselves attached to a sticky tape.While this is arguably cruel, keep in mind that roaches probably aren't capable of experiencing pain like we are. However, smaller rodents might also find their way in, at which point they will be trapped and left to suffer (as they do in traps like these).$2.97 FROM HOME DEPOT$6.77 FROM AMAZONBest roach baitAmazonCommon, small roaches don't require anything too pernicious, and Combat Max 12-Month Bait Stations are plenty effective and discreet.Size: Each trap is 1.8" x 1.8" x 0.5"Number: 18 per packEffective against: Small roach speciesChemicals: FipronilPet-safe: Yes, but store the stations out of reach to prevent consumptionBest use: Long-term, amidst infestationPros: Long-term efficacy, discreetCons: Doesn't work on larger species (stations for larger species are prohibited in some places)The heavy sprays and gels aren't necessary for the common, small roach. An insecticide with Fipronil, like Combat's Max 12-Month Roach Killing Bait Stations, is more than adequate.The beauty of these contraptions is threefold: They're affordable; they last for a whole year as the packaging suggests; and the domino effect they have on the nest, and potentially the entire local population, is underway the second one individual roach takes the bait.We also particularly like how nondescript these bait stations are. Toss them under the fridge or in the back of the kitchen cabinet, and guests will never see them. Far and away, this is the easiest and cheapest solution to start with, but generally, you'll also have to take other measures.$10.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $18.00 | Save 39%Our methodologyWe spoke with waste management professionals at Organic Pest Control NYC and Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA, to learn the most effective chemicals and approaches to cockroach management. We also found out the necessary concentrations of active ingredients to get the job done.One rule to ridding a space of roaches supersedes all measures: Proper food storage and waste disposal are your first (and most effective) line of defense. Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), told Insider that the best way to control a cockroach problem is, essentially, not to let them in in the first place. That means removing anything that the insects find attractive — food, water, and clutter, which offers warmth and a place to hide."Cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the world, making getting rid of them a difficult task for consumers to do themselves," Mannes said. "People can take steps, however, to mitigate cockroach problems through barrier exclusion and cleanliness."Other specific considerations were:Ease of use: Is it something as simple as opening a cartridge and slipping it under the sink, or do you have to crawl around on your hands and knees with protective gear on? We offer recommendations across the spectrum, so choose what is most practical (and realistic) for you and your household.Toxicity: We considered whether active ingredients were toxic to humans and pets. Essentially, everything is at the very least mildly toxic, but some options, like the Fipronil found in Raid's Bait Stations, were considerably less problematic for pets.Effectiveness: Effectiveness is without a doubt the most important feature of a roach killer or trap. We considered the active chemicals, our experts' recommendations, and user reviews.FAQsWhat are the most effective chemicals to look for in a roach killer?Chemicals that affect the central nervous system of insects work best, especially because they're so effective with roaches but don't tend to affect mammals (specifically pets and humans) to the same degree. Cypermethrin, Imiprothrin, Fipronil, and Indoxacarb are the more common EPA-approved ones and the active ingredients found in the products we recommend above.Does bleach kill roaches?Yes, but it's not as safe or as effective as specifically designed insecticides.Does boric acid kill roaches?Yes, boric acid can work very well, entering either through digestion or basic contact, but being a powder, it's messy. It also tends to lose potency quickly.Does dichotomous earth kill roaches?Yes. Diatomaceous earth is a potent but pet- and human-safe implement for killing cockroaches. It breaks down their exoskeletons, and roaches also bring it back to the nest, so the domino effect can work extremely well within a few weeks.You'll just need to continuously spread a dusting of it in the problematic area, which, as with boric acid, can become messy.What type of roach killer or trap is right for me?Depending on the degree of your infestation and the amount of effort you are willing to do on your own (before you call an expert extermination service), any of our recommendations are applicable. But here's the basic run-down of application and effectiveness of each type of trap and poison:Bait stations: Bait stations lure roaches in for poisonous bait, which they'll then take back to the nest. Dead roaches will be scattered about, but application is as easy as dropping the little plastic discs here and there and replacing them every 12 months. This is about as easy as it gets, but there will be cleanup.Gel baits: Gel baits are second only to preventative sprays because while they're thoroughly effective, they leave behind a trail of dead bugs. Still, this is a great way to stop roaches from developing regular trails through kitchen cabinets, cracks in the wall, and other tight crevices.Preventative sprays: Preventative sprays are somewhat labor-intensive. You have to thoroughly and carefully spray them around your house's inner and outer perimeters and let it dry (for about four hours) before going near the sprayed areas. In our experience and based on our experts' recommendations, this is the most effective option.Spot-killing sprays: If you're coming face to face with roaches in your home, a spray will get the job done on the spot. You'll have to clean up afterward, though. Plus, depending on how much you spray, you can really foul the air in your house for a while.Sticky traps: Sticky traps can be effective. While they're pesticide-free, they're a little cruel because whatever gets stuck in there will die of exhaustion or starvation. These traps also tend to be on the larger side, so they're harder to hide.How do I prevent roaches from returning?No matter what type of poison you use, effectiveness is going to be relative to cleanliness. If your house is a sty, you'll just keep inviting in roaches (and other pests). Keep counters and floors clean; keep your sink free of dishes; store food in airtight containers; vacuum weekly; ventilate crawl spaces; and prevent moisture from building up, especially due to leaky pipes and faucets.Toxicity in roach killersRoach killers are toxic by nature, but plenty of chemicals will exterminate without being toxic to pets and humans. Here's more about the toxicity in the active ingredients found within the products we recommend: Cypermethrin: A fast-acting neurotoxin in insects, Cypermethrin is generally only a mild irritant to humans and mammals, as it's 1,000 times more potent to insects. Still, it's best to avoid skin contact when handling it. (Note, Ortho's Home Defense Insect Killer includes Cypermethrin but also features a small concentration of Bifenthrin, which is harmful to aquatic insects and finfish, and it's best to avoid letting it leak into bodies of water.)Fipronil: Also used for killing fleas and ticks on dogs, Fipronil affects the central nervous system of insects. While studies show that it's heavily toxic to rodents, it will only cause mild skin irritation in humans. If consumed, health effects become much more serious, though not necessarily life-threatening.Imiprothrin: Categorized by the EPA as having a "low order of toxicity" in humans (and mammals), Imiprothrin exposure manifests as a mild skin and eye irritant and is considered suitable for indoor applications.Indoxacarb: Classified by the United States EPA as a "not likely" human carcinogen, Indoxacarb is a pyrethroid also used to prevent the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms from insects to humans and other animals. Still, it has caused neurotoxicity in several studies of both mice and rats, and you'll want to seek medical attention if ingested. Read more about pesticide toxicity assessment at the EPA.Check out more cleaning and pest-control guidesAmazonTop-rated products to clean every room in your houseThe best floor cleanersThe best disinfecting cleanersThe best ant traps, killers, and repellentsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021