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Survey: Millennials Don’t Mind Retirement Plans Facilitated with Crypto

Survey: Millennials Don’t Mind Retirement Plans Facilitated with Crypto

Marketing consultancy Edelman has published a new report that reveals millennials have sizeable investments in the cryptocurrency industry. The report also noted that 74% of millennials into crypto say tech innovations like blockchain make the global financial system more secure.

This has been corroborated by a recent study carried out by eToro revealing that almost half of the millennial generation trust in the cryptocurrency market exchanges more than the traditional stock market exchanges, and US respondents would also consider a 401k retirement plan in crypto.

eToro’s study sampled 1,000 online traders and reportedly found 43% of the millennial respondents losing trust in the traditional capital market. Meanwhile, 77% of the older generation sampled are dogged customers of the established capital market.

Accordingly, Managing Director of eToro Guy Hirsch commented on a “generational shift in trust”, which is what blockchain stands for ideally. He went on to suggest that the shift may have been due to the economic crisis and the resulting financial impediments meanwhile the institutions which were supposed to provide confidence were blossoming at the peril of the customers.

Forward-thinking generation

Sometime last year, Swiss Fintech company Creologix concluded that most millennials were not saving for retirement but were, however, stocking up on cryptocurrencies in an attempt to leverage the financial security these new asset classes may provide. eToro’s report also indicated half of the respondents from the survey showed interest in a 401k plan facilitated by crypto.

In the United States, perhaps one of the reasons driving these millennials more into crypto is because of the insurmountable pressure of college debts as well as the quest for financial stability, especially with the speculation of another global economic crisis on the horizon.

Compared to other traditional investment vehicles, cryptocurrencies also have been reported to have more appeal to millennials whereby a survey had inferred that: “For Millennials the soaring performance of Bitcoin – followed by an almost equally profound correction – holds more intrigue than the prospect of steady growth in house prices.”

Paradigm blend

The cryptocurrency industry has taken up a likeness to the traditional capital market as it mimics mechanisms such as the traditional funding in the form of initial public offerings and translating it to initial coin offerings, which in its own way has contributed to mass adoption of blockchain and its underlying asset classes.

In order to remain consistent with the technological shifts, as seen with social network evolution, user experience-centered markets tailored by millennials, most legacy institutions are now in conformity with trends in the blockchain industry. And as the report further stated:

“Despite millennials trust in crypto over traditional stock, they are still enthusiastic about the prospect of traditional financial institutions offering crypto assets.”

More so, most of the millennials acknowledge interest in crypto-related products if offered by TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or Charles Schwab.

Moreover, the crypto industry continues to prove itself as the revolutionary financial technology innovation it’s touted to be, as it attracts institutional investors to the emerging crypto derivative classes; security tokens as well are finding their way into the industry.

 

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Crypto Will Surge in 2019 as People Better Understand Underlying Tech

Crypto Will Surge in 2019 as People Better Understand Underlying Tech

Cryptocurrencies will surge moving forward according to Etoro managing director and cryptocurrency expert Iqbal Gandham. He is convinced that a greater understanding of cryptocurrency’s underlying technology will create a rally in Bitcoin and other digital currencies this year.

Speaking on Sky News, Gandham still feels that “Bitcoin is the so-called ‘daddy’ of the crypto-asset market”, adding, “It is just as other companies are dragged down by stocks performing in the FTSE 100, whether they are positive or negative, people look at Bitcoin as a bit of an index“.

Gandham suggested that the 2018 80% decline in the value of Bitcoin from USD 20,000 to USD 4,000 is insignificant movement and belies the fact that development in the industry is surging. He said:

“If you have a look at the amount of developers and the development happening in the underlying blockchain technology and also Bitcoin, it is increasing. It hasn’t declined… if people understand the technology rather than just view the price point – they will understand that this is not something that is just going to go away.”

Misha Libman, co-founder of blockchain art laboratory Snark.art, said any attempts to predict the value of Bitcoin was futile and basically a waste of time commenting:

“Every morning I wake up reading about the rise and decline of crypto and I am fascinated by the incredibly technical and visually sophisticated graphs predicting its future that borderline an art project.”

Libman’s view is that blockchain and cryptocurrency are the future, but there will be forces beyond Bitcoin that create its fluctuation price volatility; factors that have no real connection with cryptocurrencies place in the future of financial markets. He argues:

“Ultimately we are dealing with a new technology and new asset that is highly speculative, illiquid, and elusive, and drivers for its rise and fall is anyone’s guess and can be attributed by the media… the rollercoaster volatility that we are seeing today is something we are going to have to live with for a while until we will start using crypto to buy chewing gum.”

 

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Apple Loses Near Equivalent of Bitcoin’s Entire Market Cap in One Day

Apple Loses Near Equivalent of Bitcoin's Entire Market Cap in One Day

Apple’s recent hit in valuation due to the recent slowdown in China’s juggernaut economy illustrated to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency followers just how far the industry needs to develop to become a household name itself.

Falling revenues at the company are unprecedented in recent times with shares trading at their lowest since July 2017, and the hit it took last week was one of the worst since January 2013.

Given that Apple is just one company, albeit, one with total global recognition, it was nonetheless able to wipe $65 billion of its evaluation last week, roughly Bitcoin’s total market cap, and continue in business. At the time of writing Bitcoin’s market cap stands at $66,903,300,377 with its value at USD3,830.48 according to CoinMarketCap.

The cryptocurrency environment is still attempting to recover from its hammering of December 2017, with 2018 showing a $700 billion loss from its market cap and cryptocurrencies shedding 85% of their worth. However, tech giants appear to be having their own unique problems too as the world’s 5 household names in tech, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, may have lost over $1 trillion from their all-time high.

Market Analyst, eToro guru Mati Greenspan comments that this slump could well be in Bitcoin’s favor suggesting that “A correlation of <0.1 is considered weak. If the stocks keep sliding and bitcoin rising, that grey line could plummet. Then Bitcoin might be seen as a safe haven.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook suggested that China, Hong Kong and Taiwan account for almost 20 percent of the company’s revenue, so that any slump in those regions is sure to impact company profits as a whole, adding, “While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China.”

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UK’s FCA Continues Clampdown on Unauthorized Exchanges

FCA, UK, exchanges

The UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is continuing its probe into the activities of unauthorized cryptocurrency firms.

According to information received to a freedom of information request by The Sunday Telegraph, the FCA had opened inquiries into as many as 67 cryptocurrency related inquiries since the middle of November. 49 of these inquiries are now closed, with 39 consumer alerts being issued to companies operating without authorization. The other 10 have received warnings.

Currently, 18 cryptocurrency related lines of inquiry are still under review following the FCA’s statement cautioning the public earlier this year that cryptocurrency CFDs such as the popular options offered by eToro, were “extremely high-risk, speculative products”. Companies dealing in cryptocurrency related investments in the UK still require rubber-stamping by the FCA before a license to operate is issued.

The FCA has declined to comment on the investigation into the remaining 18 cases. The UK regulator has already revealed its intention to be tough on the cryptocurrency market since digital money is a part of the financial market and subject to the same level of scrutiny. There is already a discussion on banning specific crypto financial instruments, such as Bitcoin futures.

FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard cited “integrity issues” as a reason for also considering placing a ban on cryptocurrency derivatives in an event in London on the 20th of November.

The focus, according to Woolard, would be on what the FCA has called “cryptocurrency contracts-for-difference (CFDs)” which would likely cover “options, futures and transferable securities,” with concerns that “retail consumers are being sold complex, volatile and often leveraged derivatives products based on exchange tokens with underlying market integrity issues”.

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Canada Urges Cannabis Retailers to Protect Customers’ Data

Canadian authorities are encouraging Canadian citizens to conduct cannabis purchases in cash in order to protect their personal information.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has published a document advising Canadian citizens that “adequate physical, technological, and organizational security measures are in place to safeguard personal information,” suggesting that that security protocols “must recognize and respond to the sensitivity of this information.”

The commissioner emphasizes that cannabis purchasers should minimize the amount of personal information given to retailers. Also, credit card purchases can be risky due to the online visibility of the credit card number and the cardholder’s name. Customers are also advised to ascertain before purchasing if their personal information is then stored online.

The reaction to this advice by eToro market analyst Mati Greenspan is that the liberalization of Canada’s cannabis sector will be a huge boon for local privacy coin adoption suggesting, “this will almost certainly increase the usage of privacy coins…in Canada,”

Under Canada’s new liberal cannabis legislation introduced in October, plants grown at home will be limited and only 30 grams will be allowed for personal possession in public. Also, strict driving legislation will allow police to track and penalize drug-impaired drivers through roadside saliva testing for over the limit THC content.

Supply chain management is sure to become a major factor under Canada’s new legislation. DMG Blockchain Solutions is currently negotiating with cannabis licensed producers, quality assurance labs, retail distributors, and government regulators, to develop a cannabis supply chain solution. DMG describes itself as a diversified blockchain and cryptocurrency company that works on end-to-end solutions to monetize blockchain’s ecosystem.

Statistics Canada says sales at cannabis stores in the two weeks following the landmark legalization totaled $43 million with different retail structures in each province and territory affecting the availability of cannabis across the country.

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Survey: Education Barrier to Crypto Trading, But Eagerness to Learn

Survey: Education Barrier to Crypto Trading, But Eagerness to Learn

Crypto-asset education is in demand according to a survey conducted by investment platform eToro and Provoke Insights, an independent market research and strategy firm.

Knowledge is power

According to a press release, 1,000 online investors were surveyed, revealing that many were lacking in education when it came to crypto-assets and that they were keen to learn more.

The survey carried out by eToro’s US division found that 69% of all respondents which included those who own cryptocurrencies were interested in learning more. For those who are not in possession of cryptos, approximately 75% said that they lacked knowledge about them, with 20% of crypto-holders also indicating the same.

Resources

Seemingly, education is a hurdle preventing a larger-scale of crypto investment with 44% of respondents citing education as the primary reason for not trading cryptocurrencies. Surprisingly, this was also evident among millennials who, while being far more informed on the technology, also said that education was holding them back, this according to 40% of millennials who don’t invest in cryptocurrencies.

US managing director of eToro Guy Hirsch commented: “Online investors are still keeping their eye on cryptocurrencies, but this survey revealed that there is a serious lack of educational resources available to those who would like to invest in or learn more about crypto.”

Some 67% of cryptocurrency investors rely on their trading platform while 42% utilize social media; YouTube and cryptocurrency forums appear to make up the bulk of these educational resources. “Formal training and structured resources” could be on the way as 97% of millennials and Gen-X cryptocurrency traders are eager to get the knowledge they need.

Generational trends

Interestingly, financial advisors have found themselves as an option for investors across all generations with millennials being more likely than Gen X or Boomers to seek their services.

Responding to these results, Hirsch was pleased to see that the younger generation was keen to seek the help of financial advisors. To him it “makes sense” as this is down to the nature of time; he explains that “the top” of the millennials are now making their way to the age of 40, and have managed to accumulate enough wealth to begin looking at long-term investments seriously.

He adds: “Financial advisors have a lot of opportunity to tap into crypto as an asset class. There is clearly a demand – especially among millennials – to include cryptoassets as part of a long-term investment strategy.”

For those not planning to invest in cryptocurrencies, 73% of Millennials are “significantly more likely to invest in crypto if advised by a financial adviser”, with Gen X (58%) and Boomers (49%) sitting in the same camp.

 

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Bitpay: Bitcoin the “Under Pound Gorilla” Will Eclipse Many Other Currencies

Global Bitcoin payment service provider Bitpay is making some upbeat predictions for 2019 which certainly paint a different picture to the digital currency’s rocky ride as 2018 comes to a close.

The Atlanta-based company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Sonny Singh predicts that 2019 promises to be an “exciting” year which will push Bitcoin’s value up to between USD 15,000 and USD 20,000 by next December.

He believes that with the entry of Fidelity and Intercontinental Exchange into the market and ETFs getting the green light, 2019 will take on a whole new look when it comes down to investment opportunities. He commented it would be Bitcoin that would eclipse many other digital currencies whose fortunes were less easy to foresee, suggesting, “I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.”

He said, “There’s a night and day difference between Bitcoin and everything else. Bitcoin is the under pound gorilla, it’s the one that has the mass network effect… [the one] the traditional financial incumbents are building products around.”

In terms the durability of his gorilla, Sing argues that “Bitcoin survives first”, even in a poor market, despite its fluctuating fortunes. Blockstream CEO Bobby Lee, brother of Litecoin founder Charlie, agrees, suggesting that despite flashes of green in the last 24 hrs, Bitcoin could still threaten USD 3,000 but long-term, he feels it will overtake gold.

In this bear market for #Bitcoin, it’s worth reminding everyone that $BTC is still only one-hundredth of the value of #Gold: $80 billion vs $8 trillion.
Gold is worth 100 times more than Bitcoin today!
What will the ratio be in 10-20 years?
Will it flip, with Bitcoin worth more? pic.twitter.com/VIpzIDKfo0

— Bobby Lee (@bobbyclee) November 20, 2018

Currently, there is a consensus among certain cryptocurrency experts that with Bitcoin’s growing convenience as a payment method, illustrated by the march of ATMs worldwide, along with the digital currency becoming an internationally recognized household name, past hype could surrender to real value. A deflation of Bitcoin could “clean out weak hands”, according to the views of many investors. Serious players in the market would then be left to establish Bitcoin’s real value. EToro analyst Mati Greenspan says the ship isn’t sinking, but simply readjusting to its load:

“What we’re seeing now are the after-effects of the unprecedented rise of Bitcoin and other crypto assets in 2017. This year is simply a retracement of that… These cycles can sometimes be accentuated in the crypto market due to the riskier nature of this nascent industry. In the same way, previous cycles have not signaled the end for broader markets, these price movements don’t signal the end for crypto assets.”

For now, Singh’s gorilla is still in the mist, waiting for its moment to escape.

 

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Reddit Founder Claims Crypto Market Needs a Crash Before Take Off

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian has remarked in an interview with CNBC that he believes that a crash in the cryptocurrency market as seen over the past few days is needed in order for the market to stabilize and mature over time.

The Reddit entrepreneur feels that focus on software development and infrastructure within the cryptocurrency industry are important factors in building a stable future. He also suggested that the falls in cryptocurrency prices would have the effect of sifting out the undesirables in the industry from the genuine contributors, and those in for making quick money.

The Reddit founder feels that innovations being created now will have longevity and although blockchain pitches he has received may be fewer in number, Ohanian claims that they have more potential than those he was receiving in 2017.

Over the last few days, Bitcoin has suffered its biggest losses in over eight months. Although, after falling to USD 5,202 on 15 November, after a little price correction, trading picked up today at $5552.17 (time of writing). The newly hard forked BCH has fallen by 15% and is trading at $387.41. Brian Kelly, the founder, and chief executive officer of BKCM, has blamed the hard fork for the crypto market crash. Mati Greenspan from eToro says he saw it coming:

“The movement we saw today seemed to be the run-of-the-mill volatility surrounding Bitcoin and a breakout that’s been weeks coming….It’s difficult to say where it ends. No one can really predict.”

Forbes contributor Clem Chambers noted a correlation to the spike in the bond market:

“The obvious culprit causing this dump is Bitcoin Cash, the ‘wannabe’ Bitcoin usurper, which forked from Bitcoin last year. It is forking again and there are competing forks and all sorts of conniptions are expected. It sounds plausible this is causing the move but the fact the bond market spiked at the same time suggests something else is going on to me.”

Stephen Innes who heads up trading at Asia Pacific of Oanda Corporation suggested that the crash was an even worse scenario than he had anticipated and that pre-BCH online chat had the effect of creating doubt and uncertainty among investors.

Ohanian sticks with his view that the crash is necessary, arguing that during hard times people start to focus on the essentials.

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UK Crypto to Flourish Despite Brexit Fears, Say Experts

Experts in the UK have indicated that Brexit augurs well for cryptocurrency regardless of concerns about the direction of Britain’s economy after March 2019.

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond’s August forecast that the UK could see an 87.7 percent hit to GDP and a £80 billion black hole in public finances in a no-deal scenario holds no concern for many cryptocurrency experts.

Mike Romanov, chief executive of Digital Securities Exchange (DSX) sees Brexit as a further way of the UK establishing its own rules for cryptocurrency trading which will push the sector forward, arguing that, “Britain is already looking at how it can maintain its dominance in financial services post Brexit, even as some major players abandon ship ahead of March next year.”

This is not only a positive outcome for conventional financial markets according to Romanov, but the UK taking back rulemaking could have a significant impact on the trading of digital currency. He suggests:

“As such, crypto could present a big opportunity. While the EU looks to apply regulation at an EU level, taking it out of the control of member states, Britain could be free to apply its own rules and shape itself to become a well-regulated and crypto friendly market that looks to nurture the future of this financial movement rather than eye it with an air of suspicion and cynicism.”

Cryptology’s chief commercial officer Herbert Sim also feels that bureaucracy will take a dent when Britain pulls out and that this has to be a good thing for crypto movement in the financial environment. He suggests that “…leaving the EU will give the UK decision-making capabilities on areas that the EU’s bureaucratic processes can be desperately slow to decide on.” The opening of foreign crypto markets outside of Europe will positively impact the status quo, Sim suggests. Another CEO, Iqbal Gandham from eToro, claims that any volatility from Brexit will be short-lived:

“We are already seeing crypto assets used as an alternative in less stable economies, and Brexit could spark a new wave of investment from people looking to diversify their portfolios and hedge against geopolitical risk.”

However, all these positivity comes with a warning according to Romanov who comments that Britain needs to maintain its competitive edge, “What can’t happen is for Britain to become scared of its own financial shadow and water down the investment it’s made into new technologies, all in a bid to placate the traditional financial services world.”

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Next Step in English Premier League: Player Transfers For Bitcoin

The massive transfer fees associated with signings in the English Premier League, the top flight of world soccer, could be paid using Bitcoin in the not too distant future, say commentators on the game.

Clubs worldwide endorsing blockchain related technology is becoming a far more common sight, with at least three teams in the Premier League endorsing blockchain products this season. Also, individual players such as Messi, Ronaldhino and Michael Owen have put their names behind crypto related enterprises in recent months with endorsements now becoming a regular feature of the game as cryptocurrency grows in popularity.

The first actual player signing using cryptocurrency was in January of this year when Turkish amateur club Harunustaspor signed its first Bitcoin player, paying a modest 0.0524 BTC for the transfer. However, pundits think that crypto transfers are on their way to the multibillion-pound Premier League in the near future, some reports indicating that it could be in as little as a few months.

Major global investment platform eToro which uses blockchain and enables users to invest in crypto sees Bitcoin transfers in England’s top flight as inevitable. The company has already launched a number of Premier League partnerships this season including, Brighton, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Newcastle, Southampton, and Tottenham. Each club has been paid an unrevealed amount in Bitcoin for helping to promote the eToro platform.

Iqbal V. Gandham, UK managing director at eToro, says that he is really optimistic at the level of interest that top clubs have taken in blockchain technology commenting, “I do feel that within about six to twelve months we will see a player transfer in the Premier League completed using bitcoin.”

Gandham cites numerous advantages of blockchain based management and payment schemes particularly in the area of transfers, which are usually significant sums in the Premier League, suggesting that deadlines can be far more easily met with instantaneous payments, cutting out last minute delays, and transfers can be made far more transparent due to the nature of blockchain which can reveal every aspect of each transaction. International transfers would also be simplified by the use of one common currency, Gandham maintains.

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