Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Posts Tagged ‘Cryptocurrencies’

The promise of the blockchain technology

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2018

Date: 30-08-2018
Source: The Economist

What blockchains may be able to do for your business, and what they can’t

WEPOWER IS a Lithuanian startup that aims to change the way renewable-electricity projects are paid for. The government-guaranteed prices that have propelled growth in wind and solar energy around the world are being cut back, says Nick Martyniuk, WePower’s founder. So his firm wants to help developers of renewables raise money by selling the rights to the electricity their plants will produce once built. Customers will buy a smart contract now, running on Ethereum’s blockchain, that will provide them with power later.

Using a blockchain offers several advantages, says Mr Martyniuk, who used to work as an energy trader. Big energy users such as foundries and aluminium smelters already negotiate such contracts with power stations, but they are often complex and time-consuming. Contracts on a blockchain could be offered off the shelf, allowing smaller companies—and perhaps, one day, individuals—to use them too. Such contracts would be as easily tradable as any other crypto-asset, creating a secondary market in power agreements. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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It Was Meant to Be the Better Bitcoin. It’s Down Nearly 90%

Posted by hkarner - 26. August 2018

Date: 25-08-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

With faster transactions and lower fees, cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash was conceived as a way to make bitcoin a mainstream payment tool

Many bitcoin holders view it as a hedge against the collapse of government-backed currencies, but don’t often use it to pay for things.

The bear market in cryptocurrencies has punished investors who bought bitcoin at the height of cryptomania last year. But losses have been even more brutal for those who invested in once-promising rivals of bitcoin.

Consider Bitcoin Cash, an offshoot of bitcoin that launched on August 1, 2017, which moves independently of bitcoin itself. While bitcoin has fallen 67% from its record intraday high of $20,089 in December, Bitcoin Cash is down a crushing 88% from its peak of $4,355.62, according to CoinMarketCap.com. Friday evening, it traded at around $533.

Hundreds of other coins have also plummeted in value, but the underperformance of Bitcoin Cash is notable because it touches on a bigger theme: whether virtual currencies can really become a means of payment that would supplant traditional money. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Cryptocurrencies and monetary policy

Posted by stgara - 6. August 2018

Date: June 28, 2018

Executive summary

This Policy Contribution tries to answer two main questions: can cryptocurrencies acquire the role of money? And what are the implications for central banks and monetary policy?

Money is a social institution that serves as a unit of account, a medium of exchange and a store of value. With the emergence of decentralised ledger technology (DLT), cryptocurrencies represent a new form of money: privately issued, digital and enabling peer-to-peer transactions.

Historically, currencies fulfil their main functions successfully when their value is stable and their user network sufficiently large. So far, cryptocurrencies are arguably falling short against these criteria. They resemble speculative assets rather than money. Primarily this is because of their inherent volatility, which is the by-product of their inelastic supply, and which limits their widespread use as a medium of exchange.

Cryptocurrency protocols could theoretically evolve to limit their volatility and correct their current deficiencies. If successful, this could lead to an increase in their popularity as an alternative to official currencies. A successful alternative to official currencies could put pressure on those who manage official currencies to provide better policies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bitcoin Falls Sharply After Another Cryptocurrency Exchange Is Hacked

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juni 2018

Date: 11-06-2018

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The largest cryptocurrency has lost more than half its value this year

Since 2014, cryptocurrency exchange hacks have cost investors at least $1.4 billion, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange said it suffered a “cyberintrusion,” prompting bitcoin prices to fall sharply toward year lows.

Bitcoin dropped more than 10% over the weekend, falling below $6,700, according to research site CoinDesk. The largest cryptocurrency has lost more than half its value this year, falling by nearly two thirds from its record high near $20,000 in December. Its low for the year came in February at less than $6,000. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Reinvent the Monetary Wheel?

Posted by hkarner - 24. Mai 2018

Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999.

Cryptocurrencies promise to realize Friedrich Hayek’s dream of a free market in money. But human societies have discovered no better way to keep the value of money roughly constant than by relying on central banks to exercise control over its issue.

LONDON – Slumps have always been boom times for monetary experiments, and the economic collapse of 2008-2009 was no different. Underlying this recurrence is the instinctive feeling that economic calamities must have monetary causes, and therefore monetary remedies. There is either too much money, which causes inflation, or too little, which leads to depression. So the aim of monetary reformers –among whom are always a large number of quacks and cranks – has been to “keep money in order” and prevent its gyrations from disturbing the “real” economy of production and trade.

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The Old Allure of New Money

Posted by hkarner - 23. Mai 2018

Robert J. Shiller, a 2013 Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at Yale University and the co-creator of the Case-Shiller Index of US house prices. He is the author of Irrational Exuberance, the third edition of which was published in January 2015, and, most recently, Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception, co-authored with George Akerlof.

Practically no one, outside of computer science departments, can explain how cryptocurrencies work, and that mystery creates an aura of exclusivity, gives the new money glamour, and fills devotees with revolutionary zeal. None of this is new, and, as with past monetary innovations, a seemingly compelling story may not be enough.

NEW HAVEN – The cryptocurrency revolution, which started with bitcoin in 2009, claims to be inventing new kinds of money. There are now nearly 2,000 cryptocurrencies, and millions of people worldwide are excited by them. What accounts for this enthusiasm, which so far remains undampened by warnings that the revolution is a sham?

One must bear in mind that attempts to reinvent money have a long history. As the sociologist Viviana Zelizer points out in her book The Social Meaning of Money: “Despite the commonsense idea that ‘a dollar is a dollar is a dollar,’ everywhere we look people are constantly creating different kinds of money.” Many of these innovations generate real excitement, at least for a while.

As the medium of exchange throughout the world, money, in its various embodiments, is rich in mystique. We tend to measure people’s value by it. It sums things up like nothing else. And yet it may consist of nothing more than pieces of paper that just go round and round in circles of spending. So its value depends on belief and trust in those pieces of paper. One might call it faith. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Initial Coin Scams

Posted by hkarner - 10. Mai 2018

Nouriel Roubini, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, was Senior Economist for International Affairs in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank.

There are now nearly 1,600 cryptocurrencies, and the number continues to rise. It is time to start recognizing their issuers‘ utopian rhetoric for what it is: self-serving nonsense meant to separate credulous investors from their hard-earned savings.

NEW YORK – Initial coin offerings have become the most common way to finance cryptocurrency ventures, of which there are now nearly 1,600 and rising. In exchange for your dollars, pounds, euros, or other currency, an ICO issues digital “tokens,” or “coins,” that may or may not be used to purchase some specified good or service in the future.

Thus it is little wonder that, according to the ICO advisory firm Satis Group, 81% of ICOs are scams created by con artists, charlatans, and swindlers looking to take your money and run. It is also little wonder that only 8% of cryptocurrencies end up being traded on an exchange, meaning that 92% of them fail. It would appear that ICOs serve little purpose other than to skirt securities laws that exist to protect investors from being cheated. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Investor Warren Buffett warnt vor Bitcoin und lobt Apple

Posted by hkarner - 7. Mai 2018

6. Mai 2018, 14:38 derstandard.at

Buffett sagt „böses Ende“ für Kryptowährungen voraus. Der Kauf weiterer Apple-Aktien ist für ihn denkbar

Omaha (Nebraska)/Cupertino (Kalifornien) – Der Starinvestor Warren Buffett hat erneut vor Kryptowährungen wie Bitcoin gewarnt. Mit dem Digitalgeld werde es ein böses Ende nehmen, sagte der 87-Jährige am Wochenende vor zehntausenden Besuchern der Aktionärsversammlung seiner Beteiligungsgesellschaft Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha.

Cyberdevisen seien eine unproduktive Anlage, er bevorzuge produktive. Buffett hatte schon im Jänner erklärt, er werde niemals Geld in Cyberdevisen stecken. Investieren will er indes in weitere Apple-Aktien – wenn denn der Preis stimmt. Zudem lobte er die jüngste Entscheidung des iPhone-Herstellers, eigene Aktien im Volumen von bis zu 100 Milliarden Dollar (83,55 Milliarden Euro) zurückzukaufen. Erst vor wenigen Tagen hatte Buffett erklärt, Berkshire habe weitere 75 Millionen Apple-Papiere gekauft. Die Nachricht hatte – zusammen mit der Rückkauf-Ankündigung und den zuvor präsentierten Quartalszahlen – die Apple-Aktie auf ein Rekordhoch getrieben. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Switzerland Wants to Be the World Capital of Cryptocurrency

Posted by hkarner - 30. April 2018

Date: 29-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Four of the 10 biggest initial coin offerings last year were in Switzerland, more than any other country

With its banking prowess, low taxes and elite universities, Switzerland hopes crypto-finance startups will make cities like Zug the heart of an emerging Crypto Valley in Europe.

ZUG, Switzerland—When 24-year-old Ian Worrall launched his crypto-investment startup MyBit last year, he chose this Swiss lakeside city.

It was an odd fit: the no-holds-barred corner of the financial markets meeting button-down Switzerland.

Yet this nation, as closely tied to its ultrasafe Swiss franc as it is to the Alps, is entranced by volatile digital currencies. Buildings in Zug and in Zurich, Switzerland’s financial center, are blossoming into crypto-finance hubs.

Four of the 10 biggest initial coin offerings last year were in Switzerland, according to PwC, more than any other country. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Let’s destroy Bitcoin

Posted by hkarner - 25. April 2018

Date: 24-04-2018
Source: Technology Review

Three ways Bitcoin could be brought down, co-opted, or made irrelevant.

In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto served the world an entirely new kind of currency. It was one that people could move over the internet instantaneously and nearly free of charge. Issued and distributed not by a central bank but by its own users, it drew the drapes of privacy around financial transactions while making forgery—in theory, at least—impossible.

It’s nine years later, and there are now 24 million active Bitcoin wallets in use around the world. The value of a single bitcoin has risen from about a dollar in 2011 to as high as $19,700 in late 2017.

But success, of course, breeds competition. And Bitcoin is now clearly the dominant cryptocurrency; as of this writing, in early April, its market cap was three times that of Ethereum, its nearest competitor, and roughly equal to those of all other cryptocurrencies combined.

Yet while Bitcoin has established an economy in which it’s impossible to forge transactions, it provides no defense against replication of the idea itself. No one can copy an individual bitcoin, but anyone can copy the idea of Bitcoin. So how might a government, or a corporation, or even ordinary people, go about doing so in a way that makes Bitcoin useless or redundant? Here are a few scenarios. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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