Bitcoin, Ethereum Gain Despite Crypto Market Slump

The Current Crypto Market

It’s been a mixed second week for the crypto market ever since news broke that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is conducting a probe into the activities of several cryptocurrency exchanges. The action, which was necessitated by the launch of Bitcoin (BTC) futures by CME Group in late 2017, aims to look into the activities of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and itBit after it emerged that manipulative trading could have distorted the value of Bitcoin futures.
The move is seen as a way for the regulators to tighten control over trading schemes that can be used to manipulate the price of Bitcoin futures, which is under government’s control. Days after the announcement was made, all of the top 100 digital currencies by market capitalization fell, with the total cryptocurrency market capitalization falling by as much as $20 billion on June 10, per

Coinmarketcap.

Bitcoin lost around 5 percent of its value on the day after it traded at $7,244. On its part, Ethereum lost about 6 percent of its value, trading at around $568. Other losers included EOS and IOTA (MIOTA). The downward trajectory continued as Bitcoin traded below the $6,500 mark as the value of Ethereum dipped below $500 over the course of one week. However, it now appears that some cryptocurrencies are back in green, leaving the rest swimming in a sea of red.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Lead Recovery

Despite the losses suffered, it appears that a recovery could be coming after four out of the top ten digital currencies saw slight gains on June 17. Also, the market capitalization of all coins has since increased to $280 billion from a midweek low of around $264 billion.
Bitcoin gained slightly after it traded at an average of $6,505. Similarly, Ethereum recorded an increase of about 0.35% as it traded at around the $500 price mark. If you are willing to look past the top ten coins though, you will be impressed the most by the performances of the Binance Coin (BNB) and VeChain (VEN), which recorded 8.4 percent (now trading at $17.15) and 6 percent (currently trading at $3.11) gains respectively.

Cryptocurrency Market Keeps Sliding for the Rest

While the continued rally of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum signal that a recovery may not be far off, crypto enthusiasts still have a cause to worry as other major coins show no signs of improvement. Deep down the bottom is IOTA (MIOTA), which lost around 2.16 percent of its value and now trades at $1.18.
EOS supporters who are hoping for a revival also have some waiting to do, as the currency lost around 1.3 percent of its value over the past 24 hours, trading at about $10.58.

 

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FIRST FOODS GROUP SUBSIDIARY ‘HOLY CACAO’ TO SWEETEN THE CANNABIS MARKET

 

 

 

        Read About the amazing Developments in Edible Cannabis Chocolates

 

       World-famous chocolatier, Oded Brenner, visionary behind Holy Cacao 

 

The Chocolate Vision for Cannabis Edibles

A young public company wants to grab share in the ever-growing cannabis market. First Foods Group, Inc. (“OTCQB: “FIFG), has taken an unconventional, but creatively successful route toward penetrating the exploding legal cannabis market expected to reach over $50 billion by 2025.

The Company’s recently incorporated subsidiary, Holy Cacao, is gearing up to market premium chocolate edibles that have been created and packaged by Oded Brenner, founder of “Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man.”  Brenner’s design, marketing and culinary artistry were behind the global success of the Max Brenner brand.

‘Merchant Advances’ Advancing Company’s Cannabis Strategy

So how is First Foods able to pile on cash so fast for its cannabis coup, while still maintaining just 16 million shares outstanding and zero debt? The answer is the Company has developed a powerful, fast growing revenue stream that already has produced impressive returns for its shareholders (www.FirstFoodsGroup.com)

In October, FIFG began investing in a variety of merchant services, whereby it makes short-term cash advances to businesses in return for an agreed-upon amount of future sales, paid by the businesses in small, regular daily payments. In just one month the Company has received a whopping 24.5% return on its investments according to CEO Harold Kestenbaum in a November 22nd Press Release.

 

Start-up Capital Now in Place

CFO Mark Keeley, who heads the new First Foods Funding Division, said he has already obtained all the start-up capital needed that will enable the company to speed its plans to target the burgeoning legal marijuana industry with its unique Holy Cacao product line.

The company said acclaimed cannabis expert Rob Hunt is leading Holy Cacao’s efforts to gain traction in the legalized states. Hunt is considered one of the most knowledgeable, connected and sought-after experts in the cannabis industry. He has already introduced the brand to some of the largest players in the edibles sector, all of whom are showing interest in signing on with Holy Cacao’s aggressive growth agenda. Hunt is now negotiating manufacturing and distribution deals, anticipating product launch in first quarter, 2018.

Remarkably Self-funded

To date, First Foods Group has been entirely self-funded by the Company’s Board of Directors, a rarity for a young public entity. This has kept the number of outstanding shares at the same 16 million that was in place at the time of capitalization, with virtually no short term, long term, or convertible debt anywhere to be seen. This is a formula that experienced investors rarely overlook, as it shows that the Board has its shareholders’ long term well-being as its primary focus.

TransMedia Group Retained to Roll Out PR Campaign

First Foods Group has retained the award-winning international public relations firm TransMedia Group (www.transmediagroup.com) to publicize its progress in readying “Holy Cacao” for entry into the growing cannabis market globally.  The PR firm has a long and distinguished track record in serving clients worldwide since 1981.  TransMedia Group has helped to make many public companies and their products successful from AT&T to Rexall Sundown, whose founder Carl DeSantis credits TransMedia for the awesome success of his company, which he sold for $1.6 billion.

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Financial Planning Tips For Young Investors

 

 

 

Being a young adult can be exciting – enjoying the early stages of a career, having your own place, making new friends – but it can also be confusing and stressful. One of the reasons is money, and learning how to manage it.

In a financial literacy survey of more than 5,500 young adults, the National Endowment for Financial Education and George Washington University found that only 8 percent of those ages 23 to 35 showed a high level of financial knowledge.

“For those just starting their careers or beginning to save for their retirement, the financial planning world can be quite daunting,” says Richard Paul, president of Richard Paul & Associates, LLC  (www.rwpaul.com), a financial advisory firm in Michigan, and author of The Baby Boomers’ Retirement Survival Guide.

“One flaw of our education system is the lack of preparedness it provides for younger investors just starting off. When it comes to stocks, bonds, 401(k)s, and debt, the task of planning is overwhelming to most.”

Paul offers young adults five tips for fundamental financial planning:

  • Automate your contributions. The easiest way to invest is to automatically direct a portion of each paycheck into your investment accounts. “You’ll quickly get used to having less money to spend each month, and your savings will grow automatically,” Paul says. “And if your employer offers a match into your retirement account, be sure to take advantage of that. That’s free money.”
  • Take control of your health. You might think your health doesn’t fit into a discussion of financial planning, but being proactive when it comes to health – whether it’s getting your annual physical or daily exercise – will pay dividends in the future. “A retiree today is expected to spend $275,000 over their retirement on health care,” Paul says. “By investing in your health when you’re young, you can reduce your potential for future health care costs.”
  • Get out of debt. “Paying down your debt reduces the amount of interest expense you pay each year,” Paul says. “And often, people are paying more in interest than they are likely to earn by investing.” Studies show the average American under the age of 35 has between $23,000 and $30,000 of debt in the form of credit cards, student loans, auto loans and other forms of personal debt. According to a NerdWallet 2017 study, the average U.S. household that’s carrying credit card debt has a balance of $15,654.
  • Build and protect your credit. Your credit score is an indicator of your financial health. “The list of people who have an interest in your credit score seems to keep growing every year,” Paul says. “Damaged credit can be costly over time. Pay all bills on time by setting up payment reminders or enrolling in auto pay. Pay down balances on credit cards; high balances relative to total available credit affect your credit score.”
  • Buy into panic, not excitement. If the stock market sells off by 5 to 10 percent over any given month or week, Paul recommends you take your excess cash and buy the dip. “Only use excess cash, not any cash that is needed to pay bills,” he says. On the flip side, when the market is going up significantly Paul advises: “Wait for a correction if you’re sitting on the sidelines.”

“Young people need to know how to plan financially,” Paul says. “There’s a tendency to put it off, but that’s risky. There’s too much to lose. You’re not young forever and without a plan, you’re unprotected for your future.”

 

About Richard W. Paul

Richard W. Paul is the president of Richard Paul & Associates, LLC (www.rwpaul.com) and the author of The Baby Boomers’ Retirement Survival Guide: How to Navigate Through the Turbulent Times Ahead. He is a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional, Registered Financial Consultant, Investment Adviser Representative and an insurance professional holding life and health insurance licenses in Michigan and Florida.

If you would like to run the article above, please feel free to do so. If you’re interested in interviewing Richard Paul or having him provide comments, let me know and I’ll gladly work out the details.

 

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Where to Invest Your Money in 2018

You finally have some money to spare and you’re looking for a way to invest it. Perhaps you got a pay rise at the start of the year that’s burning a hole in your pocket. Or maybe you still can’t decide where to stash that Christmas bonus. If you’re new to investing, you may be at a loss for where to start; after all, there are myriad ways you could invest your money, but not all of them are profitable.  If you want to make the most of your extra cash, you need to invest it right away. If you don’t, you risk those extra dollars getting consumed by bills or other everyday expenses. With this in mind, here are five of the smartest ways you could invest your money in 2018.

Real Estate

Attracted by the idea of investing in real estate but don’t want to be a landlord? Owning property comes with a lot of stress, and sometimes the bang just isn’t worth the buck. If you don’t have the time or inclination to deal with physical property, another option is to invest in real estate notes – this means you invest in another landlord’s property or properties, then you’re paid a dividend or interest from the owner’s profits.

Agriculture

Due to many environmental factors, there is a global reduction of farmland, resulting in a need to produce more food on less land more sustainably. Agriculture is emerging as a new investment opportunity that offers low-risk opportunities for stable returns and inflation protection. If you want to make an impact (both financially and environmentally), you can invest your money in sustainable farmland like Crawford Park Farming AG for farmland investment.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Once upon a time, they had a bad rep, but peer-to-peer lending platforms have become increasingly popular among investors. With these companies, you’re able to lend money to individuals in increments as small as $25, with a return of 6% or more. These companies make it easy for you to sign up and get started, and you can typically open a new account with as little as $1,000.

The Stock Market

Want to invest but don’t trust the unstable financial markets? You’re not alone. Many people consider the stock market so overvalued right now that they’d be crazy to pour their hard-earned money into it, but you don’t have to invest a large amount to make a return. Instead, you can invest small amounts of money over time using a method called “dollar cost averaging.” Dollar cost averaging allows investors to trickle their money into stocks over any length of time, which is considered far less risky than investing large amounts at once.

Bitcoin

The value of Bitcoin appears to be on the rise again, so now is the perfect time to start purchasing cryptocurrency if you have money to invest. It’s worth bearing in mind that it can be easy to lose bitcoin and even tougher to get it back. It’s also easy to get duped by malicious websites posing as Bitcoin wallet services, so always proceed with caution. Use a trusted provider like Coinbase, Blockchain.info or Xapo, and only invest small amounts at a time.

April 1, 2018 at 11:08pm
Where to Invest Your Money in 2018 Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Print Friendly Healthcare Market Trends to Follow in 2017 With an ever growing focus on providing affordable healthcare, an increasing number of products and providers are looking at… https://t.co/30ADCkUzSB


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Steps For Boosting Your Investment’s Success

There are usually two ways to make a profit on your investments. One is through value investing, which involved investing when the stock that you want to buy is on sale. The other is momentum investing, where you invest when the stock is at its highest due to the idea that when something is in motion, it tends to stay in motion.  Of course, how you choose to trade when it comes to investments is up to you. What’s important is that regardless of how you choose to invest, that you understand what it takes to ensure that your investments are a success. If you need to make sure that your returns on your investment are positive, then it’s important to be mindful of the steps that you take. For everything that you need to know to give your investment the best chance of success, read on.

 Be mindful of what you invest in

When it comes to business success for investments, it’s vital that you are mindful of what you invest in. You see, not all investments are born equal, which means that if you are serious about succeeding when it comes to investment, it’s important to be mindful of what you are investing in. You need to understand what the risks are and what your chances of success are – you don’t want to invest without being mindful of what you’re investing in and what potential your investments have.

Have adequate support in place

If you are going to make a success of your investments, it’s vital that you have a strong support system in place. You can’t know everything that there is to know about your investments, which is why having some support in place, such as assistance from a financial investment specialist service such as Betterment, could be highly beneficial. When it comes to managing your investments and other finances, it’s vital that you understand how best to go about it to help increase your chances of your investment giving you the results you want.

Put enough time in

Think of your investments as a business; if you want things to go well, you need to put plenty of time and effort into it. The investment sector is adapting and changing all the time, so if you want to remain relevant, you need to do so too. That’s why it’s vital that you put plenty of time into your investment, to ensure that you are able to achieve what you want to with it. If you’re unsure about anything, take the time to research it. You can’t achieve investment success if you don’t know what you’re doing.An investment can be a great way to make a profit and increase your savings, but what it’s important to understand is that it’s not always an easy area to navigate. The investment process is one that is not simple or straightforward, there’s a lot that has to go into it, which is why it’s so important to take the time to focus on each aspect of an investment carefully.

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Stock Trading vs CFD Trading: The Pros and Cons of Having Options

Traders and Investors

Traders and investors have a wide range of options available to them when dabbling in the financial markets today. Conventional investments at bricks and mortar institutions typically require the purchase of underlying financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, indices, commodities, mutual funds, and ETFs. These traditional investment paradigms are understood by traders around the world. Multiple licensed and regulated institutional brokers currently exist, offering access to the global financial markets i.e. bourses.

A wide range of investment options is currently available in this format, such as technology stocks, industrial stocks, blue-chip stocks, and the like. Popular bourses include the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), NASDAQ, S&P 500, FTSE 100, FTSE 250, Nikkei 225, CAC 40, DAX 30, ASX and multiple other indices. These bourses are the de facto exchanges where public companies are listed. When day traders, swing traders, or casual traders are looking to invest their hard-earned funds in markets, they can always go the conventional route by investing in actual stocks.

Your profit potential in stocks is dependent upon asset price appreciation. This means that you will purchase the underlying asset (take ownership of that asset), and wait for it to appreciate over time. This is a slow growth strategy, and a medium to high-risk investment option, depending on market volatility and related concerns. Investors with an eye to owning stocks are typically in it for the long haul. Traders can also benefit from buying physical stocks and then selling them through day trading or swing trading actions. A day trade is opened and closed within the same business day, while swing trading references a trader’s ability to swing into the markets once he/she spots a trend. Swing trades can last as long as 2 weeks.

Stock trading is especially popular now that US markets have been injected with newfound momentum. For example, a trifecta of factors is fuelling explosive growth in the NASDAQ, S&P 500, and Dow Jones. These factors include tax reform going into effect on December 31, 2018, deregulation of the financial sector, and increased monetary tightening with higher interest rates. This is like the perfect storm for explosive stock price appreciation and traders at leading platform such as eToro can now access physical stocks and take advantage of market realities. Investment opportunities are available to traders and investors across multiple markets.

How Do Traditional Stocks Compare to CFD Stocks Trading?

The traditional investments – owning physical stocks – is still preferred by many people, but there are alternatives in the form of CFD trading. A CFD is a contract for difference. It is a derivatives trading instrument where a trader/investor does not buy the actual stock. Rather, the trader/investor buys the option to sell a contract that tracks the price movement of the underlying financial instrument. It is a fundamental difference, and there are many inherent benefits of CFD trading.  However, the benefits of CFD trading should certainly be weighed up against the merits of owning actual stocks which are an actual asset, not a derivatives product.

Here are some factors to consider when trading CFDs

  • CFD trading and tax is an important consideration. In the US, CFDs are considered swap contracts with ordinary capital gains/capital losses being used for the tax realization. In the UK, losses can be offset against profits for tax purposes. Further, there is no stamp duty, and CFDs offer 24-hour dealing.
  • CFD trading includes leverage and margin, meaning that you don’t need to have the full value of the trade amount in your account. A 50% margin only requires 50% of the trade in your account. A 2% margin only requires 2% of the trade value. In other words, the cash requirements for CFD trading are significantly less than they with stock trading.
  • It is important to remember that CFD trading and the leverage/margin elements can result in significant profits, or significant losses, depending on which way trades go.
  • CFDs are considered a hedge against traditional stock trading and investments. In other words, if stock markets are crashing, you can hedge with put options on CFDs to protect your investments.
  • CFD trading is permissible on a wide range of underlying assets such as stocks, bonds, commodities, indices, currency pairs etc.
  • CFD trading can be executed with a professional brokerage with no fees involved. Plus, there are no restrictions vis-à-vis day trading requirements.

Traders and investors have a wide range of financial instruments to choose from vis-à-vis CFDs and traditional stocks trading. CFDs are considered an outlier investment option, and are traditionally used as a hedge against downturns in stocks. Ownership of actual stocks remains the most heavily invested market when it comes to equities. Stocks trading has historically generated significant profits over time, while CFD traders are typically on the losing end of the spectrum. The FCA estimates that some 82% of traders lose money on CFD trading, owing to their lack of understanding of the financial markets, and high leverage. Picking blue-chip stocks is a safer option, albeit with an element of risk. Both of these investment options should be considered, and the merits and pitfalls weighed up against one another.

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10 Unmistakable Signs That You’re Ready to Trade Stocks Online

Many people believe that investing in the stock market is risky and that putting your money in a safe savings account at the bank or in a money market account is the wisest financial decision. However, this isa misconception because the money in these accounts is not safe from the effects of inflation and taxation.

For this reason, a number of people see the sense in learning how to invest in the stock market. The following are signs that you too are ready to take the leap.

  1. You’re interested in earning additional income

This should be the most obvious. A lot of successful investors in the stock market got into it with the intention of making some extra money on the side. Many of them have ended up doing it on a fulltime basis. Stocks are an effective way of creating additional monthly income through regular monthly dividends or through the appreciation of stock prices. You can benefit from both by DEVELOPING A WELL RESEARCHED INVESTMENT STRATEGY

  1. You’re interested in getting more value for the time you invest

You’re interested in earning as much as you can for every unit of time invested. In other words, you want to earn more dollars per hour for the spare time you invest. Stock market trading is perfect for this because with time, you can increase the profit you make in a given period by improving your investment strategy.

In stock trading, information is highly critical. The more knowledgeable you become in selecting the right stocks, the more money you will make. Investors who invest a lot of time in educating themselves on the factors that affect stock prices benefit from having investment portfolios that outperform those of their peers.

  1. You’re excited by the prospect of participating in the game

If you’re a big fan of hazard games such as online poker or slots, then you will most likely enjoy the activity of live online trading, leave alone winning. For you, it’s as much about playing the game as it is about winning. You’re not afraid of a challenge and you’re certainly comfortable with a bit of risk.

Note that this is not to say that you should approach live trading in the stock market the same way you would online gambling. These are two different domains, each with its own set of rules. The comparison drawn here is with respect to your level of risk tolerance, which is required to a certain measure for success in the stock market.

  1. You have only a modest amount of capital to invest

The money you have available to invest is not substantial. Fortunately, that is not a big problem when it comes to learning how to invest in the stock market. You can start out by using a demo account to trade. This will help you learn the ropes so that once you save up a sizable amount of capital, you can start investing real money at a lower risk of loss because of the knowledge you gain.

  1. You recognize the importance of planning and have learned how to plan well

Are you the kind of person that has to have a good plan before starting anything worthwhile? Do you meticulously create your plans and stay committed to them? High profile investors such as Tim Sykes  TIM SYKES are a testament to the value of sticking to a strong strategy. If so, you’ll have a great advantage over a majority of investors in the stock market. Most of them go from trade to trade without following any given strategy.

  1. You’re clear about what you want

A number of options exist for earning extra monthly income, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is essential that you identify which among all available financial instruments best suit your investment goals and risk appetite. If, after comparing all the options for investment, you find that stock trading appeals to you the most, that’s a sign you should take the plunge.

  1. You have a healthy attitude toward stock trading

To live trade successfully, you need to consistently  MAINTAIN THE RIGHT FRAME OF MINDWhile a few investors may have this attitude from the start, most have to learn it along the way, usually after making a few mistakes. Qualities that are present in a good live trader include the objectivity needed to make a data-driven decision, discipline to commit to an investment strategy and the patience needed to give the strategy time before desired results can be achieved.

  1. You don’t easily crumble under highpressure

If you have the nerves needed to go through the inevitable tumultuous periods, then you’re well-equipped to live trade on the stock market. There will certainly be many times when you expect the price of certain stocks to go in one direction only for them to go in the opposite direction. Are you prepared to handle the immense pressure that comes with such occurrences?

During these moments, you’ll need to resist the temptation to abandon your investment strategy and make some ad hoc reactionary decisions  AD HOC REACTIONARY DECISIONS as that is never a good idea. You need to trust your strategy and avoid pulling the plug.

  1. You question everything and trust nobody

The unfortunate truth is that far too many people interested in online stock trading have been victims of scams. It is therefore imperative that you stay vigilant at all times. If whenever someone suggests something that goes against your instinct, you carry out research to ascertain the facts, then you will do well as a stock market trader. In the end, your trust should lie only in the data and in your instinct.

  1. You realize that live trading is not a path to easy riches

As with other legitimate investment options, returns from stock trading come after a period of learning and committing to a well-documented, testable and replicable investment strategy. If you’re willing to invest the time and effort it takes to become a successful investor, then you have a strong indicator that you are ready to trade stocks online.

 

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Trading Basics- Factors that Influence Share Prices

The marketplace determines share prices. While seller supply and buyer demand meet in the market, there is no perfect equation that lets investors know exactly how share prices will behave. However, there a number of factors that can move stocks up and down.

Demand and Supply

Demand and supply in the market affect the prices of shares. When demand for shares exceeds supply, which means the buyers are more than sellers, the prices increase. When demand is less than supply, meaning that buyers are less than sellers, the prices decrease.

Interest Rates

In case of lower interest rates, demand for funds is higher and the subsequent demand for shares rises. On the other hand, high interest lowers the demand for funds and the demand for shares is lower.

Investors

Market players have an impact on share prices. With more bulls than bears, the prices increase. With more bears than bulls, share prices decline.

Dividends

Dividends indicate the movement of share prices. When companies make dividend announcements, the share prices of such companies are likely to increase. It is important to note that if the dividend rate announced is lower than the investors’ expectations, share prices decline while if they are up to more than expected, share prices increase.

Management

Management profile has a significant effect on company success and stock prices. If management consists of experienced professionals with a proven track record, share prices are likely to be higher. If the management that takes over a company lacks integrity, share prices tend to fall.

Economy

Fluctuations in the economy feature what are commonly referred to as booms and depressions. Under favorable conditions share prices are at their peak and their lowest point is experienced during depressions. Share prices gradually rise during recovery and fall during recessions. Click here for live Lloyds share price.

Political Climate

Political factors that range from relations with other nations to government policies can affect share prices.

Short-Term and Long-Term Investors

Different investors rely on different factors. A short-term trader or investor is likely to prioritize and incorporate technical factors such as inflation, trends and demographics. Long-term investors focus on fundamentals like earning power and acknowledge the crucial role that technical factors play. Investors who prioritize fundamentals can integrate technical factors.

It is widely believed that market sentiment and technical factors are overwhelming on a short-term basis but fundamentals ultimately set share prices in the long run. Since conventional theories are not sufficient for explaining all the things that go on in the market, behavioral finance or market sentiment will always be a keen area of interest.

Considerations

  • Stock prices change for various reasons. While some people believe that it is impossible to predict the changes, others think that observing past price movements and charts can determine when you should buy and sell.
  • Stocks are volatile, which means that prices can rapidly change.
  • Fundamentally, demand and supply in the market influence share price.
  • Comparing the share prices of two different companies is not conclusive when determining the value of a company.
  • Earnings affect how investors value companies but other indicators are used for the purpose of predicting stock prices. Stock prices are affected by investors’ expectations, attitudes and sentiments.

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Arizona Law to Delineate ICOs and Securities

 

The world might be deliberating prohibitions and regulations on crypto activity, but in Arizona, they have embraced it so wholeheartedly that public records show that there has been a hike in the number of blockchain bills in the state’s legislature.

The state’s Senate has already passed a bill that approves its inhabitants to be able to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. This new bill didn’t just pass all the stages in Senate as smoothly as one would believe. Arizona’s Senate minority leader Steve Farley was of the opinion that the volatility of the bitcoin might be a problem when it relates to tax payments. His fears were somewhat allayed when Arizona’s Department of Revenue confirmed that they would have only 24 hours to change the bitcoin payments into dollars.

The bill has already gone on to the state’s House of Representatives. If it is successfully passed, the state could soon start collecting bitcoin as an accepted form of tax payment.

Jeff Weninger, a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives (who was also very instrumental in the passing of the first bill) introduced two new different means focused on blockchain – one of which would start the process for an administrative structure for initial coin offering (ICOs) implemented in the state.

It should be noted that two new bills brought up by the representative comprise of words like “blockchain”, “virtual coin”, “virtual coin offering” and they are potential terms that might be added to the Arizona government’s catalog of definitions.

The virtual coin is defined in the first bill as a medium of exchange that can be traded digitally. A virtual coin has virtual value and can be used to store value.

The second bill tweaks the provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes that pertain data created and stored by blockchain. The bill is in relation to the one that legitimized blockchain signatures and smart contracts implemented last year. This bill makes digital signatures have the same enforceability as written signatures. Arizona’s law now directs that smart contracts are to be also recognized and enforced.

The Arizona Electronic Transactions Act (AETA) provides that virtual signatures areas enforceable as written signatures. HB 2417 stipulates that signatures, e-records, as well as smart contracts — made through blockchain and entrenched by UCC Articles 2, 2A, and 7 — are recognized as legal e-signatures under the appropriate Arizona Act.

Using the “killing two birds with one stone” analogy, the legislature arm of the Arizona government has given a very comprehensive definition of cryptocurrencies and has ensured a solid foundation for contracts which are implemented using them. This means it’s now easier for people to meddle in the cryptocurrency world while ensuring they can do business with it.

It is worth to mention that the Arizona government perpetually sets up processes that strengthen the harnessing of the blockchain technology’s features.

Weninger is of the belief that cryptocurrency payments posses a multitude of merits which include the ease at which it can be used and the convenience it has.

 

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What Is Going on in Equities Markets Around the World

 

Global stock markets are agonizing through some of the worst selloffs in recent history. The performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ Composite Index, and the S&P 500 has been nothing short of disastrous heading into the month of love. Equities traders, speculators, economists, and media talking heads have used every conceivable adjective in the book to describe the torrid time that markets are enduring. Equities traders have used terms like writhing convulsions to meteoric drops, bearish markets, corrections, and worst multi-year performance.

This begs the question:  Where are markets headed?

It’s important to take a step back from the current grim reality before simply weighing in on the otherwise lackluster performance of global markets. If we look at the following major indices, we can appreciate how well they have performed, and how significant the current market movements are:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently down 6.58% over 1 month
  • The S&P 500 Index is currently down 6.05% over 1 month
  • The NASDAQ composite index is currently down 5.75% over 1 month

When we extrapolate further, we can see that the Dow Jones has a 52-week trading range of 20,061.73 on the low end and 26,616.71 on the high-end. Clearly, the current level of 23,715.44 (Friday, February 9, 2018) is firmly in the middle. The S&P 500 index has a 52-week trading range of 2,296.61 on the low end and 2,872.87 on the high-end. The current level is 2,583.74 – again right in the middle. The tech heavy NASDAQ composite index has a 52-week trading range of 5,685.15 on the low end and 7,505.77 on the high-end. It is currently trading at 6,744.55, 1,000 points above its 52-week low.

Why Are Markets Convulsing Right Now?

Major investors, and everyday folks are scared that runaway inflation and rising interest rates could hurt stock market investments. It must be remembered that the fundamentals of the US economy are sound – there is no questioning that. According to Olsson Capital trading guru, Edward Bronstein:

 

‘We have to appreciate the bigger picture here. The Fed has been pushing to raise interest rates ever since the US economy turned the corner. By December 2015, we started to see incremental increases to the federal funds rate in 25-basis point intervals. Come Wednesday, March 21, 2018, we are likely to see yet another rate hike if stock markets stabilize and employment numbers continue to shine and inflation keeps rising.

 

According to the CME Group FedWatch tool – a great barometer of sentiment for interest rate movements, there is a 71.9% likelihood of a rate hike of 25-basis points in the region of 1.50% – 1.75% in March. Unfortunately, stock markets don’t like rate hikes, especially when they are part of a series of ongoing rate hikes. When the monetary authorities decide to raise interest rates, the value of stocks declines. The thinking is that consumers have less personal disposable income, companies are paying more in interest, and naturally this is going to lead to lower demand for company products and services, and ultimately to lower prices.

 

So, to be safe, investors take their money out of stocks and put it into safe-haven assets like gold, gold ETFs, treasuries, and interest-bearing accounts. They are also going short on derivatives trading options like CFDs and spread betting. Is the stock market going to continue its massive selloff? Probably not. But for now the safe money is on a market correction before the value-investors jump back into the markets to pick up bargain deals on top stocks.

 

While the year to date gains have been erased from major bourses around the world, we should take pause and see what US inflation figures will be before determining whether Fed action is warranted. Meanwhile, German, US and UK bonds have reacted with high volatility to current economic conditions. Oil is down, gold is down, copper is down, and the USD is down. The current trajectory of financial markets is attributed to bearish sentiment.

 

 

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