December 12, 2017

Wall Street may be backpedaling on impending launch of bitcoin futures

Another day, another record: Bitcoin juggernaut smashes $16,000

The Futures Industry Association (FIA) has sent a cautionary draft letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which approved the start of bitcoin futures trading last week. The lobby group, which includes all the large Wall Street banks, warned the regulator over a swift launch of bitcoin futures that “did not allow for proper public transparency and input,” the Financial Times quotes the letter as saying.

The price of bitcoin has surged to another record of over $15,000 on Thursday, with the market value of the digital currency now exceeding $250 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The FIA reportedly stressed that ill-prepared financial system wouldn’t cope with the increased volatility of the cryptocurrency’s price.

Last week, NASDAQ announced plans to launch bitcoin futures in 2018. Earlier, the Chicago-based exchanges CME and Cboe said they would start bitcoin futures trading on December 17, as the CFTC had approved the step.

The draft letter, obtained by the media, allegedly claims the exchanges should not be allowed to operate bitcoin futures under a self-certified regime as regulators will have minimal time to formally review them.

“A self-certification scheme for these novel products does not align with the potential risks that underlie their trading and should be reviewed,” the letter says.

“We remain apprehensive with the lack of transparency and regulation of the underlying reference products on which these futures contracts are based and whether exchanges have the proper oversight to ensure the reference products are not susceptible to manipulation, fraud, and operational risk,” the FIA said in the draft.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412306-bitcoin-futures-launch-raise-worries/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

‘Gold price will explode & dollar get wiped out’ – warns investor Peter Schiff

“I predicted a lot more than just the stock market going down back then. I predicted the financial crisis, but more importantly, I predicted what the government would do as a result of the financial crisis and what the consequences of that would be because that’s where we’re headed. The real crash I wrote about in my most recent book is still coming,” Schiff said in an article posted by Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com and quoted by ZeroHedge.

Russia China could set international gold price based on physical gold trading

According to Schiff, the US Fed has inflated a gigantic bubble, which is impossible to pop, but when it bursts, the consequences would be very painful for the economy and much bigger than the 2008 meltdown.

“I think this bubble is too big to pop. I think it’s the mother of all bubbles, and when it bursts, there is not a bigger one that the Fed is going to be able to inflate to mask these problems, meaning we can’t kick the can down the road anymore. This time, the crisis is going to hit everyone in the wallet,” he said.

He compared the $20 trillion US debt to a camel loaded with straws.

“How many straws can you put on a camel’s back? You don’t know until you put that final straw that’s one too many and you break his back. So, can we go to $25 trillion in debt? Maybe. At some point, we are going to break the back of the camel with all this debt. Then we are going to find out how much debt we can pile on, and it’s not going to be pretty,” Schiff said.

“Everybody is going to lose. Everybody is going to get wiped out who has been partying in the stock market, the bond market and the real estate market. The dollar is going to tank, and purchasing power is going to get wiped out.”

Iran China seek to eliminate US dollar from bilateral trade

Schiff says the current financial system would also fail to artificially curb the prices of precious metals.

“They can’t keep doing it, and it will end. It’s just like how much debt can we take on. It’s not an unlimited amount. We will know when we get there. How long can they keep the price of gold suppressed? We will know when we get there. At some point, the price is going to explode because there is real physical buying, and all that paper selling can’t camouflage that,” said the money manager.

According to Schiff, gold is the real alternative to fiat money, and people are starting to doubt they can really trust central banks.

“People don’t trust fiat currencies…More and more people are looking for alternatives, and the real alternative is gold. When they embrace it, it’s going to overwhelm the central banks’ ability to suppress the price. In the meantime, enjoy the gift that they are giving,” he said.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412297-gold-dollar-crisis-peter-schiff/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Another day, another record: Bitcoin juggernaut smashes $16,000

Bitcoin peaked at $16,923 by 16:24 GMT, with the market value of the digital currency exceeding $270 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Last week, the virtual currency pushed past both the $10,000 and $11,000 milestones for the first time, soaring over $11,700 on Sunday.

The latest buying spree was reportedly triggered by growing interest among South Korean speculators, as well as rumors about bitcoin derivatives that will be on sale in the US by next week.

The rush to buy bitcoin has defied warnings from some analysts about it potentially being a bubble that’s ready to pop. Governments across the world still remain skeptical about investing in digital currencies. Chinese authorities banned bitcoin trading and initial coin offerings earlier this year, while Indonesia approved a bill prohibiting bitcoin transactions from next year.

In Europe, bitcoin doesn’t enjoy a great deal of support among banking experts. The CEO of Nordea Bank called bitcoin a “joke” and an “absurd” construction earlier this week, while the head of Denmark’s largest pension fund said the currency is “something we basically don’t feel comfortable with.”

Britain and other EU governments have announced plans to control cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, due to concerns over their potential use for money laundering and financing terrorism. At the same time, the US Senate reportedly plans to outlaw the concealment of ownership of crypto accounts by American citizens domestically and abroad.

However, the hard line taken by state regulators on digital currencies hasn’t stopped people from betting on bitcoin, boosting its price every day. Some institutional investors, who had previously criticized bitcoin, have recently stepped into the game. The largest US bank, JPMorgan, is currently considering assisting its clients to tap into the potential bitcoin futures market being prepared by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412252-bitcoin-moves-fifteen-everyday-record/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Another day, another record: Bitcoin juggernaut smashes $18,000

Bitcoin peaked at $18,353 by 1:54 GMT, with the market value of the digital currency at the time exceeding $300 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The price has since retreated to below $17,000.

Last week, the virtual currency pushed past both the $10,000 and $11,000 milestones for the first time, soaring over $11,700 on Sunday.

The latest buying spree was reportedly triggered by growing interest among South Korean speculators, as well as rumors about bitcoin derivatives that will be on sale in the US by next week.

The rush to buy bitcoin has defied warnings from some analysts about it potentially being a bubble that’s ready to pop. Governments across the world still remain skeptical about investing in digital currencies. Chinese authorities banned bitcoin trading and initial coin offerings earlier this year, while Indonesia approved a bill prohibiting bitcoin transactions from next year.

In Europe, bitcoin doesn’t enjoy a great deal of support among banking experts. The CEO of Nordea Bank called bitcoin a “joke” and an “absurd” construction earlier this week, while the head of Denmark’s largest pension fund said the currency is “something we basically don’t feel comfortable with.”

Britain and other EU governments have announced plans to control cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, due to concerns over their potential use for money laundering and financing terrorism. At the same time, the US Senate reportedly plans to outlaw the concealment of ownership of crypto accounts by American citizens domestically and abroad.

However, the hard line taken by state regulators on digital currencies hasn’t stopped people from betting on bitcoin, boosting its price every day. Some institutional investors, who had previously criticized bitcoin, have recently stepped into the game. The largest US bank, JPMorgan, is currently considering assisting its clients to tap into the potential bitcoin futures market being prepared by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412252-bitcoin-moves-fifteen-everyday-record/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Canada dumps Boeing fighter jet deal over trade dispute with US

‘Quebec has been attacked. Quebec will resist,’ warns premier as US slaps tariff on Bombardier

According to the sources, next week Ottawa will announce it intends to acquire a used fleet of older Australian F-18 jets. It’s the same type of plane the Royal Canadian Air Force currently operates.

The move comes in response to a 220 percent tariff placed the US on Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier after Boeing accused the company of dumping airliners on the American market. The Premier of Canada’s Quebec Province Philippe Couillard has blasted Boeing, accusing the company of unfairly trying to destroy Bombardier. Ottawa has slammed the company for not acting as a trusted partner.

The trade dispute comes at a time when the United States and Canada are deadlocked in negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which, according to US President Donald Trump has not done enough to protect US jobs.

The future of Boeing’s military sales in Canada is also on hold. According to the US firm, its commercial and defense operations in Canada support more than 17,000 Canadian jobs.

Ottawa says Bombardier is the latest victim of Donald Trump administration’s trade policies, seeking to impose stiffer import penalties on a number of Canadian industries that Washington accuses of receiving government subsidies.

Canadian officials participating in the NAFTA talks criticized the Commerce Department’s tariff decision, with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland saying Canada “strongly disagrees” with the US probes into its aerospace industry.

Australia’s Defence Department told Reuters that Canada lodged a formal expression of interest for “a number” of Australia’s F/A-18 Classic Hornets on September 29.

Canada is due to officially announce the requirements for its new fighter fleet in early 2019.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412120-canada-wont-buy-boeing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Traders at top bitcoin exchange claim they have no access to their money

The clients of Bittrex, which processes about $1 billion of cryptocurrency payments per day, are angry about the delays, Business Insider reports.

They claim to have verification problems but get close to no feedback from Bittrex about the situation.

Fat finger error locks up $280 million worth of Ethereum cryptocurrency

The company admitted to “significant delays” in handling the issues, but said they affected only “a small percentage of our overall user base.”

New identification procedures are being implemented to comply with the US anti-fraud banking regulations.

One of Bittrex users, who asked the media to call him only by his middle name, commented on the problem.

“Bittrex has two levels of verification. Basic Verification, which I completed, but it said it could not find any public record to match what I entered. Then [it] gives you the option to submit what they call Enhanced Verification where you have to submit Gov ID, Passport, Selfie, etc. I, in turn, did this, but that one also failed, saying ‘Name Mismatch Error.’ To top it off, they do not provide any settings page to correctly make the name change if [there] truly is a name mismatch,” he said.

“The next step is for you to submit a support ticket, which I then completed. My support ticket was opened on November 6 with not a single response from anyone at Bitrrex. This is going on for almost 30 days now. I updated the ticket many times to no avail,” he added.

Another user complained that when he made the deposit, no verification was required.

“Support doesn’t work at all, I don’t sleep at night because of that, when I put money there nobody asked about verification! And now my money is blocked,” he said.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412109-bitcoin-exchange-money-stuck/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Bitcoin sets new record breaking through $13,000 barrier

Bitcoin has set several records in recent days. Last week, the digital currency hit both the $10,000 and $11,000 levels for the first time, crossing over $12,000 on Tuesday.

The dramatic surge has pushed the market cap of bitcoin to nearly $219 billion, according to industry website CoinMarketCap. The combined value of all the bitcoins in circulation has already exceeded the annual output of entire economies such as Portugal and Qatar.

Bitcoin’s unstoppable rise comes as UK money transfer application Revolut, announced plans to let its customers buy and sell cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. The firm is currently applying for a European banking license that will make it the first bank in Europe to allow cryptocurrency purchases.

Meanwhile, top exchanges in the US like the CME and CBOE have announced plans to introduce futures contracts. The measure, which is expected to bring bitcoin to the world of ‘grown-up’ finance, has triggered the recent bull run.

The rapidly surging virtual currency made its debut in 2008, traveling the path from no value to a fraction of a penny by March 2010. Bitcoin’s rise in value in 2017 is unprecedented with the token worth just $1,000 on January 1 to more than $13,000 today. By 11:04 GMT on Wednesday the cryptocurrency was valued at $13,200.

While analysts in the traditional finance sector are debating over the bubble nature of bitcoin fever, governments across the world are attempting to take control of cryptocurrencies. The US Senate is considering a bill to outlaw the concealment of ownership of digital currency accounts by American citizens domestically and abroad.

At the same time, the UK authorities are cracking down on criminals using bitcoin to launder money and dodge tax. The step came as part of a broader update to EU rules on the virtual currency that would see bitcoin traders having to reveal their identities and report any suspicious activity.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government banned bitcoin trading along with initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country, which was once the world’s largest bitcoin trading market. At the time, the measure washed nearly 25 percent off the price of bitcoin. However, the cryptocurrency soon recovered.

Despite efforts taken by governments to control cryptocurrencies, more and more people across the world are taking their chances on the bitcoin lottery, with institutional investors getting ready for crypto trading.

Wall Street banking giant JPMorgan is reportedly mulling the idea of helping clients tap into the potential bitcoin futures market being prepared by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Top institutional investors are going to offer bitcoin or similar products as an investment option within six months, according to Mike Novogratz, the former macro hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412078-bitcoin-another-record-every-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

European Union blacklists 17 countries as tax havens

France says tax havens should lose financial support from IMF World Bank

The countries listed are American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

The President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela said the country was “not in any way a tax haven.”

EU tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the blacklist represented “substantial progress,” adding, “Its very existence is an important step forward. But because it is the first EU list, it remains an insufficient response to the scale of tax evasion worldwide.”

Forty-seven other nations were included in a public “gray” list of countries which are currently not compliant with EU standards but have committed to change their tax rules. The lists followed the recent leaking of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers.

To determine whether a country is a “non-cooperative jurisdiction” the EU index measures the transparency of its tax regime and tax rates. It also checks whether the tax system encourages multinationals to unfairly shift profits to low tax regimes, avoiding higher duties in other states.

According to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, the blacklisted countries could lose access to EU funds. Other possible countermeasures will be decided in the coming weeks, he said.

Last month, Le Maire said tax havens should be blocked from any right to seek help from global financial institutions like the International Monetary Bank or the World Bank.

Some countries such as Luxembourg and Malta have opposed stricter sanctions while EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “stronger countermeasures would have been preferable.”

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412074-tax-havens-eu-blacklist/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Russia’s service sector revving up as business activity accelerates

Russia solves inflation headache plaguing the economy – central bank

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the sector grew to 57.4 in November against October’s 53.9. Meanwhile, experts had expected the index to decline to 55.0. “The latest index reading indicated steep growth in business activity across the sector that was the second-quickest since May 2011,” the report says.

PMI, an indicator of the economic health of a sector, is based on data compiled after monthly surveys are sent to purchasing executives at nearly 300 companies. The index draws on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. A reading above 50 means expansion in the sector on a monthly basis, anything below indicates contraction.

At the same time, Russia’s Markit PMI – a composite index covering both manufacturing and services – in November grew to 56.3 against 53.2 in October, signaling the fastest composite growth since March.

“November PMI data signaled steep growth in business activity across the Russian service sector, with the expansion accelerating to reach a ten-month high. The upturn in new business also quickened to a sharp rate that was the fastest for the best part of a decade,” said Sian Jones, economist at IHS Markit, commenting on the Russia Services PMI survey data.

“Overall, the IHS Markit Russia Composite Output Index indicated a stronger increase across both manufacturing and service sector firms, with growth in the latest survey period at an eight-month peak,” the analyst added.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/412002-russia-pmi-service-industry-rise/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

All bitcoins combined worth more than Greece & New Zealand

Bitcoin breaks all-time high, smashing $12,000

Views on bitcoin are broadly divided with some investors worried over the bubble nature of the phenomena, while others see it as a good investment.

Regardless of the debate, bitcoin keeps marching on toward new record highs.

The world’s leading virtual currency has set another record, hitting $11,900 at 8:00 GMT on Tuesday. Starting the year below $1,000, the bitcoin token has surged nearly 1,200 percent.

Crypto market tracker Coinmarketcap.com puts the total value of all bitcoins in circulation at more than $199 billion. The figure exceeds New Zealand’s projected GDP for 2017 at about $198 billion.

Its market capitalization is also bigger than the economies of Greece, Iraq, Qatar, and Kuwait, according to International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook, released in April. If bitcoin were a country, it would be the 50th wealthiest nation in the world, ahead of 144 countries.

Bitcoin’s value has also dwarfed some of the world’s banking giants. The market cap of American multinational Goldman Sachs Group is just over $95 billion, while Zurich-based UBS is worth $65.5 billion. The value of the two banks combined still falls short of bitcoin.

The world’s number one digital currency has managed to exceed the market value of US aircraft manufacturer Boeing at $165.5 billion. The century-old firm with 140,000 employees in more than 65 countries, has fallen far behind bitcoin that didn’t even exist 10 years ago.

One analyst even predicted the cryptocurrency’s value may top the world’s most valuable company in less than in five years.

“People need to start taking this seriously because today bitcoin caught up with Goldman Sachs,” Ronnie Moas, founder, and director of Standpoint Research, as quoted by CNBC. He added, “Within five years, it’s going to catch Apple which has (a more than) $800 billion market cap.”

Google search trends have revealed the query “how to invest in bitcoin” exceeds those for “how to invest in stocks” over the past year.

The recent surge helped bitcoin even sit atop Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index as the fortunes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett added together still wouldn’t be enough to purchase all the bitcoins in circulation.

Article source: https://www.rt.com/business/411973-bitcoin-boost-tops-states-gdp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS