Cryptocurrencies took a nasty plunge yesterday after Chinese authorities cracked down on their use. That institutional response, shortly after Elon Musk revealed that Tesla would no longer be using bitcoin in transactions, was a double whammy that took the wind out of cryptocurrencies across the board. Since the drop, crypto prices have recovered some of what they lost, but nowhere near all. The Wall Street Journal reports: The recent price fall has accelerated after three Chinese entities published a statement that financial institutions shouldn’t accept virtual currencies for payment or … [Read more...]
Your Survival Guy: Cryptos, Stocks, Bonds & YOU
Other than what someone's willing to pay you, where does a cryptocurrency's value come from? Because when it comes to sources of value, with dividends from stocks and interest from bonds, you know where you stand. With cryptos, you hope someone doesn’t jump the line. When a company pays you a dividend (or a bond pays you interest), it worries about meeting its obligations to you. It sees you, unlike the anonymity of cryptos, banging your tin cup on the boardroom table saying: “Show me the money.” When a company issues stock, it’s giving up ownership, and with a bond, it’s taking on debt. … [Read more...]
Your Survival Guy’s Survival Stock/Blockchain & Bitcoin
Your Survival Guy's survival stock for you today is a company using blockchain technology to help bring you a better product. You may have heard of it: McDonald’s. Want to know how those two sizzling Big Mac patties get to you? Well, one supplier, Golden State Foods, uses blockchain through IBM’s Food Trust (see below). But before we dig into this feast, what you and I need to know is: does it pay a dividend? And the answer is a big YES—since 1976. Like hot french fries dipped in ketchup—one, after another, after another. And one year before that dividend began, some clever operator in … [Read more...]
Fidelity Escaped: Now Young Professionals Are Following
Opportunistic, fresh out of college, young Americans moved to big cities for decades until the COVID-19 pandemic and the BLM/Antifa riots and looting hit in 2020. For a new generation whose college educations couldn't be put to use in their suburban or rural home towns, city living was the best path to success. Now, with the rise of remote working, governors gone wild, and America's big blue cities in chaos, young people are finding their way back home in what one professor calls a rethinking of the "balance of our lives." Here's the story of one couple who came back to Rhode Island, … [Read more...]
PANOPTICON: Is Your Phone Spying on You?
You probably have dozens of apps on your smartphone. Chances are they are collecting your personal information en masse, and either selling it to third parties or keeping it for themselves. Most likely both. You have read here about the widening surveillance state I'm calling the virtual panopticon. The efforts by the government to surveil Americans are expanding quickly as technologies make it easy to watch every part of your life. But how much surveillance are you inviting right into your home? Apps on your phone are collecting massive amounts of information about you every day. Some … [Read more...]
Bitcoin: When a Store of Value Is Manipulated
What happens when a store of value is manipulated? It no longer becomes a store of value. You know how this story will end. From Andy Kessler in The Wall Street Journal: Meanwhile, lo and behold, around the same time as that letter, Tether temporarily stopped creating any more currency. That might explain bitcoin’s quick mid-January price drop from $42,000 to under $30,000. If fraud is uncovered, look out below. Normally I wouldn’t care. Bitcoin is nothing, it’s vapor, a concept of an idea. Transactions using bitcoin are few and far between. It’s not a store of value—anything that drops … [Read more...]
Cryptocosm and Life After Google
Update 3.25/2020: In February 2020, George Gilder gave a a speech to the CoinGeek conference in London. CoinGeek wrote "In his keynote presentation, George Gilder tackled two of the problems that the world economy faces: the collapse of internet security and the scandal of money." Originally posted July 18, 2018. My appreciation for Andy Kessler’s way of thinking began with Wall Street Meat and Running Money. A few years ago I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a Cato 200 gathering in Laguna Beach, CA. I continue to keep up with him through his commentary at the WSJ where, in … [Read more...]
Is Google Hostage to its Radical Employees?
Aside from labor negotiations, no one expects employees at big firms like General Motors or Coca-Cola to make much of a fuss. But at tech firms like Facebook and Google, it seems employees are embracing new political causes every other day, and dragging their companies into their activism whether executives approve or not. In the wake of President Trump's ban on travelers from some countries, Googlers, including leadership, became actively involved in the fight against the president's actions. Natisha Tiku details at WIRED the moment when Sundar Pichai and Sergey Brin spoke to Googlers … [Read more...]
What Facebook’s Libra Means to You
Facebook’s entry into crypto-currencies with Libra is a shot across the bow for banks. Over time you will be the winner with lower transactions fees or friction, but will it gain traction? At the heart of Libra is trust. Do you trust Facebook? Do you trust Facebook to take care of your personal financial information? What’s different about Libra compared to Bitcoin for example is that you still need to have trust. Facebook will use blockchain technology to track your exchange of dollars, euros, or yen, for example, into Libra. But the ledger will be private. It will be controlled by … [Read more...]
Cryptocosm and Life After Google: Is Tether No Longer Credible?
What happens when the core promises of a crypto-currency no longer hold true? Frances Coppola, a Senior Contributor at Forbes explains that Tether, a so-called "stablecoin," that is supposedly pegged to the U.S. dollar may not be as linked to the fiat currency as has been advertised. She writes: USDT is the foremost stablecoin in the crypto world. Pegged one for one to the U.S. dollar, it is widely used as a vehicle for getting dollars in and out of crypto exchanges. Crypto enthusiasts will tell you that holding USDT (“Tethers”) is the same as holding dollars. But now, Tether, the issuer of … [Read more...]