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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Crypto News: What Jamie Dimon Got Wrong About Bitcoin and Tulips

What Jamie Dimon Got Wrong About Bitcoin and Tulips

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon made news last week by criticizing bitcoin. Asking a bank CEO what he thinks of bitcoin is like asking the head of the post office what he thinks of e-mail. In a perfect world, Dimon would note the reasons why people use the cryptocurrency along with the dangers, and explain how JPMorgan is working to provide its customers with the advantages that come with bitcoin in safer forms. Instead, he denounces innovation as fraud and threatens to fire any employee who trades in bitcoin. 1

Dimon compared bitcoin to tulips, which is accurate, though not in the way he intended. Popular notions of the 17th century Dutch Tulipmania are derived from an 1841 book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” by a fact- and logic-challenged journalist named Charles Mackay. 2  Mackay confused two distinct eras. He reports stories3  from around 1610 about high prices paid for individual bulbs. What he failed to realize is that people were not paying for single flowers, but for the entire breeding stock -- or a significant portion of it -- of popular new tulip varieties. People have continued to pay higher inflation-adjusted prices for new tulip and lily bulbs to this day. 4

A quarter century later, a futures market grew up around fractional interests in low-priced, ordinary tulip bulbs. In premodern Europe investment returns were very high, 20 percent or 30 percent per year on low risk investments, but laws and customs prevented anyone not in the merchant class from taking advantage. 5

Holland accidentally created a loophole by allowing contracts for fractional interests in tulip bulbs for the convenience of the industry. These were needed because the price of popular new bulbs was higher than even rich individuals could afford. In the early 1630s ordinary people discovered that these contracts could serve as money to support business and investment. These contracts then became “monetized,” as happens to all assets used as bases for monetary activity. That means their value decoupled from the use value of the underlying asset and became determined by demand for money services.


Full story at https://bloom.bg/2w5X75N


Source: Bloomberg


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Crypto News: What Last Week Tells Us About Bitcoin

What Last Week Tells Us About Bitcoin

Last week was relatively eventful for bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has been attracting growing attention from investors, speculators and regulators. Considerable price volatility was accentuated by reactions to commentary (some constructive and some less so) about a "disruptive technology" that responds to specific client needs, is here to stay, and will likely gain greater systemic influence, but is still early in its maturation process and subject to localized shocks and sudden government interference.

Perhaps one of the most useful ways to think of bitcoin (and the increasing number of its cryptocurrency peers) is as an innovation that reduces the barrier to entry to a payment system outside the direct purview and auspices of central banks and most other official entities. Its admirers and advocates look for the phenomenon to increasingly assume the key characteristics of trusted and effective "money" -- and to go beyond what is offered by precious metals to include the full trifecta of a peer-to-peer medium of exchange, a store of wealth, and a vehicle for hedging and legitimate speculation.


Full story at https://bloom.bg/2w5X8qn


Source: Bloomberg


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Wildlife Conservation: WildlifeDIRECT has a Message for Poachers: Hands Off Our Elephants!

WildlifeDIRECT has a Message for Poachers: Hands Off Our Elephants!

There are humans on this earth who still feel entitled to the option to purchase ivory. Their relentless desire for counterfeit antiques and dust-collecting figurines has caused a resurgence of poaching, and just over 30,000 elephants are killed each year. This pointless demand for ivory far outweighs the number of living elephants, and is the reasons the elephants are nearing extinction.

To learn more about what is being done to curb the ivory industry, I reached out to Dr. Paula Kahumbu, a Kenyan Conservationist with a PhD from Princeton. Dr. Kahumbu is the CEO of WildlifeDIRECT, an organization known for leading the ,Hands Off Our Elephantscampaign alongside the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyattato. Their efforts restored Kenya as a leader in the field of elephant conservation through a shift in behaviour at all levels of society. Dr. Kahumbu grew up in Nairobi, surrounded by a rich and diverse wild animal population and Richard Leakey - infamous Kenyan anthropologist, conservationist, and politician - as her neighbor. Despite being sent to secretary school, she pursued her innate passion for wildlife and dream of becoming a scientist working with animals. Dr. Kahumbu was in Manhattan recently to raise awareness around WildlifeDIRECT’s new campaign, Don’t Let Them Disappear in partnership with Amarula.

“We are losing one elephant every 15 minutes. This has a huge impact on their communities, as elephants - much like humans - live in closely interlinked family groups. They connect and interact with other family groups. If one elephant gets killed, other elephants 20 kilometres away will hear about it. elephants communicate on a vast scale using sonic vibration.”


Full story at http://bit.ly/2w65Ep1


Source: Huffington Post


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Wildlife Conservation: Hard to spot: criminals find new ways to smuggle rhino horns

Hard to spot: criminals find new ways to smuggle rhino horns

International traffickers have tried many ways to smuggle African rhino horns to Asia, concealing them inside wooden Buddha statues, stashing horn pieces in lobster heads kept in a refrigerated container and disguising horn portions as the bases of painted statues.

Now, conservationists say, some criminal groups are processing rhino horns into powder and trinkets in South Africa before export, a trend that could reflect changing consumer tastes and make it harder for law enforcement to intercept the illegal cargo.

The development highlights the difficulty of countering criminal syndicates, some of which include Chinese nationals, which show versatility in the face of periodic anti-poaching successes by security officials, who have reported confiscations of intact rhino horns at the main international airport in Johannesburg in past months. South Africa, which has about 80 percent of the continent's rhinos, has experienced record levels of poaching in the past decade.

Recent investigations by South African police discovered small, home-based workshops where rhino horns were cut into small pieces, beads and bracelets, or packaged as powder, TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, said in an analysis released Monday. The development will test overstretched law enforcement agencies if traffickers expand such operations, and growing evidence that swindlers are making fake rhino horn products out of cow horns adds to the challenge, the report said.


Full story at http://abcn.ws/2w65GNF


Source: http://abcnews.go.com


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Crypto News: Bitcoin's Price Is Back Above $4,000, But Is All-Time High in Sight?

Bitcoins Price Is Back Above $4,000, But Is All-Time High in Sight?

It's safe to say Friday wasn't the most stable day for the (BTC/USD) exchange rate.

After news of exchange shake-ups in China triggered a wave of panic selling, prices fell below $3,000 for the first time in months. Overall, this was the lowest total observed on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index since August 5, when a V-shape recovery saw prices rise all the way to $3,875.

Yet, just a few days later, the price is already back at that level, having gained 33% in three days.

The sharp recovery could be attributed to oversold technical conditions and to the relief offered by news that China’s exchange ban would not impact all forms of cryptocurrency trading.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2w51Kgk


Source: CoinDesk


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