Why Pension Funds Should Invest In Bitcoin | Zero Hedge
Bitcoin is largely unregulated, “very volatile,” difficult to hold - and should be included in institutional investors’ portfolios, according to a research paper by a hedge fund consultant and pension fund investor.
Some Bitcoin Analysts and Prediction Today and Yesterday & Why "It's not the Price, Dummy"
This is just for fun, I generally have no strong feelings toward bitcoin price (I'm just fundamentally against zero-sum get rich schemes). But today I decided to do a little bitcoin search in news.google.com and see what today's bulls were predicting in 2018. Side note, almost all of the news articles came from crypto sites. I tried my best to stay away from them. Farming magazine telling you agriculture is the future isn't exactly shocking. To people who invest, please don't consider this as a prediction that price will fall. I'm not astute or smart enough to predict either way. The only possible use is to make sure you are more skeptic regarding predictions. Keep in mind, a rich CEO or consultant can lose 100 million and not really affect his life that much, but a 10k or 100k lose for some people can be devastating. And remember, some of these rich hedge managers don't believe their own bullshit, and hopefully, some of these quotes will emulate that. (Note, I won't waste time linking them all, but by quoting them directly, it should be easy to google) (another side note, I didn't purposely search out specific names. I went by the first names I came across, and only ignoring those that I couldn't find anything regarding crypto in past years)
Present: Business Inside: Bitcoin is like 'digital gold' and won't be used the same as a traditional currency in at least 5 years, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz says Past: On Nov, 2017, he said: "Bitcoin could ‘easily’ reach $40,000 by the end of 2018, hedge fund legend Novogratz says" 2018: "Michael Novogratz calls a bottom in cryptocurrencies" (it wasn't) Novogratz started a crypto funding in 2018. First 9 months "Mike Novogratz’s Crypto Trading Desk Lost $136 Million in Nine Months" (Bloomberg). Quarter 4: "Galaxy Digital Posts $32.9 Million in Net Loss for Q4 2019". Feb 2020 "Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Slashes 15% Staff"
Present: "For Raoul Pal, CEO of Real Vision, the bullish atmosphere had been reinforced, and further gains were more likely than ever. “There are literally only two resistances left on the #bitcoin chart - 14,000 and then the old all-time high at 20,000,” he tweeted." In a tweet today, he said, "Bitcoin is eating the world... It has become a supermassive black hole that is sucking in everything around it and destroying it. This narrative is only going to grow over the next 18 months. You see, gold is breaking down versus bitcoin...and gold investors will flip to BTC" Past: 2014: "Put them in the same kind of equation we get a value of bitcoin and that value is a million dollars. Now, you'll never hear an analyst say this—but I don't mind this—I could be wrong by 90%, and it's still worth $100,000." (to be honest, that's a bit of an impressive prediction in 2014) On the other hand, he probably didn't really believe his own prediction because in June, 2017 (when it was 2000 USD or so), he said: " “This is the most exponential move we have seen. I don’t know how far it goes, but I sold out last week… and I’ve [owned Bitcoin] since it was $200. Anything that moves exponentially, always [blows up].”" In 2016, "This view brings Pal to the asset he favors most over the next year out of bonds, equities, currencies and commodities: the dollar."
Eh, that was just two. I was hoping to mention several people, but it appears not many people are actually making predictions anymore, and anyone mentioned are basically not big people so I couldn't find much on them regarding bitcoin before 2019. So, the main thing I like to highlight are the analysts and such are going to make money whatever happens. Fund managers are playing with people's money and, as long as they are not involved in frauds, there is no real harm to them against wrong predictions. Generally, successful business people are successful because they were loud, confident, and were able to convince others that they had the right idea. Even when wrong, they bounce back. Most of us aren't like that. Some bitcoiners come here to boast when price goes up, as if the increase in price is an indication that argument against bitcoin has been proven wrong. While some people here are fanatically anti-bitcoin, I am not one of those. I have nothing against people making money (why would I be upset that people I don't know around the world became wealthier??). But since bitcoin investing is by design a zero sum game, certain people will eventually lose, and it is most likely it is the people who were listening to predictions by experts that would ultimately be financially hurt, and not the experts making the predictions. Crypto investing has been a platform where the average person works hard in his day to day life, and then brings the fruits of his labor into this field. The actual productive part of that person's life is the one outside crypto, where they had been productive for the community, and in exchange, they receive wages. Crypto investing's promise is for this wage to increase without the actual productivity. The concern is mainly that the result of all that labor will be misused by crypto "experts" who's own income (their labor) is directly linked to predictions on crypto. The above paragraph is badly explained, but the main point is that the average person brings in outside money they worked hard for, while "experts" there is generally no outside money, crypto fund management or consulting itself is their job. --- Money can be made, of course, but money being made isn't necessarily an argument for something. Bitcoin, and crypto, has for the past 1.5 decades still largely just about numbers going up. Google trend on "bitcoin" show top related queries being "bitcoin price", "bitcoin usd", "bitcoin usd price". When people come here when it hits a particular arbitrary price point thinking it's their gotcha moment, it actually just reinforces my argument that it is only about the price. Nothing in the history of human economy has ever lasted based only on the economic model of who you could resell it for at a higher price. Even DeFi's smart contracts (as much as I could understand it) is about prices going up. It's like for these people the concept of contracts are based purely on money exchanging hands, and no actual task being done. Almost all contracts globally are based on specific productive tasks being done, such as employee contract, supplier contract, property contract, and so on. Only a tiny amount of it is based on "if this currency goes up, then give me that currency" contracts. ---
Why the stock to flow model is nonsense, but bitcoin may continue to follow it for a few more years
Bitcoin stock to flow model is wrong because: The basis of the entire model assumes that halvings create exponential price increases because miners lose half of their ability to depress price. Bitcoin inflation year over year inflation rate is ALREADY less than 2%, so whether that rate is 1%, 0.5%, or 0.25%, miners have no tangible effect on price because it's already practically zero. The stock to flow ratio might matter when only 4,000,000/21,000,000 were mined, but with 19,000,000/21,000,000 mined, the introduction of those last two million coins over the span of a hundred years will mean nothing going forward. For all intents and purposes, you are better off assuming bitcoin is already at 21 million and that there are no more coins left to mine. Bitcoin might follow the stock to flow model anyway for the next few years, because one word: demand The volatility index of bitcoin has been sitting at all time lows for the last year but the price is trending slightly up, usually that's indicative of an asset that is consolidating for a massive breakout. Think of bitcoin in 2016 as a good comparison. Of course bitcoin does not have a tangible intrinsic value per se, but it has an intangible value and that is: trust. Despite being in a nasty multiyear bear market, the on chain metrics for bitcoin have been pointing north the whole time. The people who believe in the fundamentals, the ones who believe in bitcoin are the ones keeping it alive and it's still growing in the background. The global economic circumstances with unlimited quantitative easing are favoring hard assets, and bitcoin is about as hard as it gets. Smart money aka institutions and hedge funds are buying bitcoin right now. Usually the entrance of smart money is a sign further appreciation is coming. This might be bitcoin's last exponential bullrun. At some point, market capitalization gets so high that it just can't mathematically appreciate exponentially anymore. At 200 billion, the marketcap is already pressing on those limits, but with the increased demand I'm forecasting is coming, I think bitcoin will have one last hurrah to levels in the multi-trillions. Unless Zimbabwe style hyperinflation is coming, bitcoin will find a ceiling that it will never touch again and peak.
Hello Redditors, my name is Alex Gutmann, I am the CEO of Bitrockxa Capital and today I present you my DeFi Token Rockxa.finance. The Bitrockxa Capital Lending Fund is a modern, highly automated and profitable crypto hedge fund and the first Bitcoin lending fund of its kind. 20 years of market experience paired with the most modern trading and lending engines generate an average return of over 14% per year. After joining the crypto universe six years ago and hearing many unfortunate stories from people who lost everything to make up for their losses by trading alts while all they had to do was hold bitcoin, I came across one solution. An interest based crypto fund. I want to expand my company further by creating the DeFi Token Rockxa.Finance. DeFi is a very interesting concept and it certainly has enormous potential for the future. So far it seems to me that it is definitely a zero-sum game at the moment. The high returns are only bearable as long as other people fill the "Ponzi" scheme. This is usually always the case with new emerging markets. Therefore, I designed the Rockxa Finance Token so that it is fully update capable in order to update future developments that will offer the best possible return and / or function. I don't want to set up a pump and dump scheme, but rather offer an opportunity to participate in the new DeFi market at an early stage. The income from the presale will be used to expand rockxa finance and Bitrockxa Capital. 25% of the income will be invested in the lendings funds at Bitrockxa capital, and the income is used to support the Rockxa Finance network. 25% go back to DeFi pools as liquidity and the remaining 50% will be used for the further development of Bitrockxa and Rockxa. The aim is to get a hedge fund with a license on the US stock exchange. The main goal behind Bitrockxa and Rockxa Finance is to give the rest of the world access to attractive returns and investment opportunities. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a country that allows free access to the financial markets. Now a few facts about Rockxa.Finance total supply 4,200,000 tokens presale: 1,300,000 tokens website and presale: rockxa.finance price $ 1.50 per Rockxa / 210 Rockxa per ETH Presale is open! Coming updates: staking, farming, lending, burning Also AMA Regards Alex Gutmann CEO Bitrockxa Capital
Figuring out LeanFIRE when you're on PAYE (student loans)
My background: I used to be a full-time musician- in 2011 I went back to school for acupuncture because I lost a lot of work, applied for almost 2k jobs over a few months without getting anything, about to be homeless, long story . That has not been incredibly lucrative but reasonably fulfilling; HOWEVER it has slowly been starting to uptick a bit. I'm a bit outside the norm in general, spent time after school travelling for couple years (worked a cruise ship acu gig when I ran out of $$, then learned about bank and credit card bonuses). I would love to get back to a place where I don't have an acupuncture gig with fixed hours but can have time to go thru hike for a month or two, travel with my partner, go on tour with my band, etc. I will likely have some earnings even after I "retire" but it's hard to figure out my # when dealing with PAYE. I used a form from another sub here for my deets:
38 (39 in Oct)
I'm self-employed...income is...IDK? I lost a lot of work due to the pandemic, and I was just 2 years in on new/renewed careers. Then got an EIDL of $15k and PUA that unfortunately got paused. But fortunately! Just hired for one and maybe two more gigs, but they don't know the schedule yet (12-15 hrs, not sure if every week, or every other week to start; job 2 will be a split of customers). Also just started selling tradelines as a side hustle, and will get back to more delivery apps now that I won't be eligible for PUA anymore. My guess is $45-55k this year, but it could potentially be a good deal more. YTD including EIDL and some grants it's $38k! This is crazy; rest of my life has been about $20k or less.
Last year was $21600 AGI. I put $11150 additional into my SEP IRA and Trad IRA combined. I'm on PAYE for student loans and trying to keep numbers low. My COL is about $1k a month including vacation/fun money savings.
Mostly retirement savings in as much tax-advantaged accounts as possible bc of potential tax bomb when PAYE is over (15 years from now).
Fairly risk tolerant, I'm someone who might make a "risky" move after lots of research, though maybe proven right. Contrarian is a better word.
as of 8/5/20 Trad IRA $4416, SEP IRA $5479 HSA $3550. I'm about to move funds in here tho. Most likely opening a Solo401k since contribution limits are higher.
Bought a car during the pandemic for $4k (2014 Mitsubishi Mirage w/70k miles). No house, moved into boyfriend's house which he owns (~$25ishk left). We plan on a celebration of our relationship at some point (year? IDK. when will all this be over.) but neither of us wants to spend crazy amounts. I'm thinking $5k tops, for a baller event that has a lot of DIY, have done events like this before tho obviously not the W word for myself. I love doing this sort of thing couple times a year, so it's realistic.
Any big debts? Yiup, student loans- at present I'm 5 years in on PAYE, and it's grown to $204k. 12 semesters of acupuncture school. Long story, don't want to get into my choices, I'm ok with this. Also hope to pay the least amount towards it legally possible, please no discussions of the morality of this.
I had some cash locked up earlier in a bank account bonus (one of my areas of "investing" or "side hustle" since I wanted to keep the money available from EIDL if I needed to pay it back and everything was very nuts earlier in the year, wanted liquidity. I'm probably just going to end up putting it in the market now that I know it will just be "income" and I don't really have another bank deal tying it up that I'm that keen on right now. Trad IRA is doin the 10-ETF Paul Merriman value approach. Geez I have been so meh on this tho, still not up to my cost basis on this one for the year. Part of me wants to totally abandon this approach. SEP IRA is 30% in physical gold and silver, and some miners right now. Unsure of where to put rest of cash. As soon as we get another dip (5-10%?) will put the HSA in a mix of Fidelity zero-fee index funds. I'm wondering where to put the incoming moneys. Baskets? Growth, dividend, international? I'm so underwhelmed with the value approach this year. I do like the emphasis there on international and would like to do more there. I want to keep ~30% for now in the commodities/miners since I am not a huge fan of bonds and really T bills either right now. Is it worth it to set up a self-directed solo 401k to take advantage of alternative investments, even though my income is probably low compared to a lot of people here? Also- I did trad IRA last year to get my #'s low for the student loan payment. I will be saving a lot more of my overall income this year (was still paying biz startup expenses until last October), what's the cutoff for when Roth makes sense or not, considering the student loan plan I'm on. I also have been using alternative investments this year- kickfurther, vinovest, groundfloor. Mostly just dinky moneys to test the waters but I'd like to increase it. I am also interested in bitcoin/crypto as a hedge- for now just have stuff from various sign up bonuses, but thinking to take a small position (if possible in a tax-advantaged way)
Raoul Pal, the former hedge fund manager who founded Real Vision, thinks the fallout from the coronavirus will have immense, far-reaching impacts on the global economy.
The duration and severity of the pandemic is something that Pal thinks hasn't yet been accounted for properly.
Pal thinks a further 20% decline in stocks is on the horizon.
For context, in October, Pal called the Federal Reserve cutting rates to zero and the US having negative rates. In late February, Pal said to buy bonds and that the impacts from the coronavirus would be "meaningful and real."
"The whole world's f---ed." That's what Raoul Pal, the former hedge-fund manager who founded Real Vision, said on the "Lindzanity" podcast when he initially learned the coronavirus was uncontrolled and spreading rapidly. "The moment the spread hit Iran ... and then Italy — that all happened over the span of three or four days — I was like: 'time to panic before everybody else,'" he said. "It's human behavior function. If the Chinese closed every single border and every city, everybody's going to do it." To bring you up to speed, Pal retired at 36 after quitting jobs at Goldman Sachs and GLG Partners. He lives comfortably on a 140-person island in the Cayman Islands and spends his days writing market research, which comes with a hefty price tag of $40,000 per year. "I said: 'Listen, this is the biggest economic event of all of our lifetimes — and it's coming'" he added. "And that was, in retrospect, the greatest call I've ever had." But this isn't the first time Pal's nailed a prescient call. Back in October, he said the Federal Reserve needed to cut interest rates to zero and warned of negative interest rates in the US, both of which have materialized. What's more, as the market was topping out in late February, Pal expressed his affinity for owning bonds — a trade that would've immensely rewarded investors who took his advice. He also warned that the implications from the coronavirus would be "meaningful and real." That was before things really started to fall apart. Today, Pal thinks the coronavirus will cause "the largest insolvency event in all history." And given his track record as of late, that's not reassuring. "I think the balance of probabilities are that this is a much longer event — in terms of economic impacts — than anybody is pricing in," he said. "I think it's a huge societal change that's coming from all of this." To Pal, the duration of the fallout stemming from the coronavirus is the key factor here — one that he thinks investors aren't paying enough attention to. In his mind, those who are a projecting sharp V-shaped recovery in the third and forth quarter are incorrect in their assumptions. "Isolation is going to be a real event for a significant period of time," he said. "You've got a world that's going to be much more closed, and that's leading to complications in supply chains." He added: "It makes people become more local." Pal's prognostication echos that of billionaire "bond king" Jeffrey Gundlach. In a DoubleLine webcast earlier this week, Gundlach said "we're going to be getting much more, less-connected to globalization" and "we're going to be bringing manufacturing back and thinking about things in very different ways." But the changes that Pal and Gundlach highlight don't happen overnight, which is why Pal thinks the fallout could worsen. Every day that the pandemic drags on is one less day without production and consumption. Then that, in turn, heightens bankruptcy risk. With all of that under consideration, here's how Pal is positioning his portfolio to weather a deeper equity rout. Ideally, he'd like to get to the allocation below.
25% trading opportunities
"So I'm now in the point of thinking we've got another 20% downside or so to come before we get the 3-, 4-month bounce of hope," he said. "For the average guy, this is a very, very, very difficult world we're going to go into — and I can't sugarcoat it because there is no nice answer."
Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?
These crypto lending & borrowing services found early traction. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? https://reddit.com/link/icps9l/video/98kl1y596zh51/player This is the third part ofCrypto Banking Wars— a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become thebank of the future. Who is best positioned toreach mainstream adoptionin consumer finance? While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this verypowerfultechnology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe a crypto-native company will ultimately become the bank of the future. We’re confident Genesis Block will have a seat at that table, but we aren’t the only game in town. In the first post of this series, we did an analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. In our second episode, we looked at the world of non-custodial wallets. Today we’re analyzing crypto lending & borrowing services. The Earn and Borrow use-case covers a lot of what traditional banks deliver today. This category of companies is a threat worth analyzing. As we look at this market, we’ll mostly be focused on custodial, centralized products like BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius. Many of these companies found early traction among crypto users. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? Let’s find out.
Because speculation and trading remains one of the most popular use-cases of crypto, a new crypto sub-industry around credit has emerged. Much of the borrowing demand has been driven by institutional needs. For example, a Bitcoin mining company might need to borrow fiat to pay for operational costs (salaries, electricity). Or a crypto company might need to borrow USD to pay for engineering salaries. Or a crypto hedge fund needs to borrow for leverage or to take a specific market position. While all of these companies have sufficient crypto to cover the costs, they might not want to sell it — either for tax or speculative reasons (they may believe these crypto assets will appreciate, as with most in the industry). Instead of selling their crypto, these companies can use their crypto as collateral for loans. For example, they can provide $1.5M in Bitcoin as collateral, and borrow $1M. Given the collateralization happening, the underwriting process becomes straightforward. Companies all around the world can participate — language and cultural barriers are removed. https://preview.redd.it/z9pby83d6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=54bf425215c3ed6d5ff0ca7dbe571e735b994613 The leader (and one of our partners) in this space is Genesis Capital. While they are always the counterparty for both lenders and borrowers, they are effectively a broker. They are at the center of the institutional crypto lending & borrowing markets. Their total active loans as of March 2020 was $649M. That number shot up to $1.42B in active loans as of June 2020. The growth of this entire market segment is impressive and it’s what is driving this opportunity for consumers downstream.
While most of the borrowing demand comes from institutional players, there is a growing desire from consumers to participate on the lend/supply side of the market. Crypto consumers would love to be able to deposit their assets with a service and watch it grow. Why let crypto assets sit on an exchange or in cold storage when it can be earning interest? A number of consumer-facing products have emerged in the last few years to make this happen. While they also allow users to borrow (always with collateral), most of the consumer attraction is around growing their crypto, even while they sleep. Earning interest. These products usually partner with institutional players like Genesis Capital to match the deposits with borrowing demand. And it’s exactly part of our strategy as well, beyond leveraging DeFi (decentralized finance protocols). A few of the most popular consumer services in this category include BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius. https://preview.redd.it/vptig5mg6zh51.png?width=1051&format=png&auto=webp&s=b5fdc241cb9b6f5b495173667619f8d2c93371ca
BlockFi (Crunchbase) is the leader in this category (at least in the West). They are well-capitalized. In August 2019, they raised $18.3M in their Series A. In Feb 2020, they raised $30M in their Series B. In that same time period, they went from $250M in assets under management to $650M. In a recent blog post, they announced that they saw a 100% revenue increase in Q2 and that they were on track to do $50M in revenue this year. Their growth is impressive. BlockFi did not do an ICO, unlike Celsius, Nexo, Salt, and Cred. BlockFi has a lot of institutional backing so it is perceived as the most reputable in the space. BlockFi started with borrowing — allowing users to leverage their crypto as collateral and taking out a loan against it. They later got into Earning — allowing users to deposit assets and earn interest on it. They recently expanded their service to “exchange” functionality and say they are coming out with a credit card later this year. https://preview.redd.it/byv2tbui6zh51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=bac080dcfc85e89574c30dfb396db0b537d46706 Security Woes It’s incredible that BlockFi has been able to see such strong growth despite their numerous product and security woes. A few months ago, their systems were compromised. A hacker was able to access confidential data, such as names, dates of birth, postal addresses, and activity histories. While no funds were lost, this was a massive embarrassment and caused reputational damage. https://preview.redd.it/lwmxbz5l6zh51.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=ebd8e6e5c31c56da055824254b35b218b49f80e0 Unrelated to that massive security breach and earlier in the year, a user discovered a major bug that allowed him to send the same funds to himself over and over again, ultimately accumulating more than a million dollars in his BlockFi account. BlockFi fortunately caught him just before withdrawal. Poor Product Execution Beyond their poor security — which they are now trying to get serious about — their products are notoriously buggy and hard-to-use. I borrowed from them a year ago and used their interest account product until very recently. I have first-hand experience of how painful it is. But don’t take my word for it… here are just a few tweets from customers just recently. https://preview.redd.it/wcqu3icn6zh51.png?width=1055&format=png&auto=webp&s=870e2f06a6ec377a87e5d6d1f24579a901de66b5 For a while, their interest-earning product had a completely different authentication system than their loan product (users had two sets of usernames/passwords). Many people have had issues with withdrawals. The app is constantly logging people out, blank screens, ugly error messages. Emails with verification codes are sometimes delayed by hours (or days). I do wonder if their entire app has been outsourced. The sloppiness shines through. Not only is their product buggy and UX confusing, but their branding & design is quite weak. To the left is a t-shirt they once sent me. It looks like they just found a bunch of quirky fonts, added their name, and slapped it on a t-shirt. https://preview.redd.it/mi6yeppp6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=fd4cd8201ad0d5bc667498096388377895b72953 Culture To the innocent bystander, many of these issues seem totally fixable. They could hire an amazing design agency to completely revamp their product or brand. They could hire a mercenary group of engineers to fix their bugs, etc. While it could stop the bleeding for a time, it may not solve the underlying issues. Years of sloppy product execution represents something much more destructive. It represents a top-down mentality that shipping anything other than excellence is okay: product experience doesn’t matter; design doesn’t matter; craftsmanship doesn’t matter; strong execution doesn’t matter; precision doesn’t matter. That’s very different from our culture at Genesis Block. This cancerous mentality rarely stays contained within product & engineering — this leaks to all parts of the organization. No design agency or consulting firm will fix some of the pernicious values of a company’s soul. These are deeper issues that only leadership can course-correct. If BlockFi’s sloppiness were due to constant experimentation, iteration, shipping, or some “move fast and break things” hacker culture… like Binance… I would probably cut them more slack. But there is zero evidence of that. “Move fast and break things” is always scary when dealing with financial products. But in BlockFi’s case, when it’s more like “move slow and break things,” they are really playing with fire. Next time a massive security breach occurs, like what happened earlier this year, they may not be so lucky. Institutional Focus Based on who is on their team, their poor product execution shouldn’t be a surprise. Their team comes mostly from Wall Street, not the blockchain community (where our roots are). Most of BlockFi’s blockchain/crypto integration is very superficial. They take crypto assets as deposits, but they aren’t leveraging any of the exciting, low-level DeFi protocols like we are. While their Wall Street heritage isn’t doing them any favors on the product/tech side, it’s served them very well on winning institutional clients. This is perhaps their greatest strength. BlockFi has a strong institutional business. They recently brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor — a crypto hedge fund who does a lot of borrowing. In that announcement, BlockFi’s founder said that bringing them on “aligns well with our focus on international expansion of our institutional services offering.” They also recently brought someone on who will lead business development in Asia among institutional clients. BlockFi Wrap Up There are certainly BlockFi features that overlap with Genesis Block’s offering. It’s possible that they are angling to become the bank of the future. However, they simply have not proven they are capable of designing, building, and launching world-class consumer products. They’ve constantly had issues around security and poor product execution. Their company account and their founder’s account seem to onlytweetaboutBitcoin. I don’t think they understand, appreciate, or value the power of DeFi. It’s unlikely they’ll be leveraging it any time soon. All of these reasons are why I don’t see them as a serious threat to Genesis Block. However, because of their strong institutional offering, I hope that Genesis Block will ultimately have a very collaborative and productive partnership with them. Assuming they figure out their security woes, we could park some of our funds with BlockFi (just as we will with Genesis Capital and others). I think what’s likely to happen is that we’ll corner the consumer market and we’ll work closely with BlockFi on the institutional side. I’ve been hard on BlockFi because I care. I think they have a great opportunity at helping elevate the entire industry in a positive way. But they have a lot of issues they need to work through. I really don’t want to see users lose millions of dollars in a security breach. It could set back the entire industry. But if they do things well… a rising tide lifts all boats.
While many companies in this category seem to be slowly adding more financial services, I don’t believe any of them are focused on the broader consumer market like we are. To use services like BlockFi, Nexo, or Celsius, users need to be onboarded and educated on how crypto works. At Genesis Block, we don’t believe that’s the winning approach. We think blockchain complexity should be abstracted away from the end-user. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto. For many of these services, there is additional friction due to ICO tokens that are forcefully integrated into the product (see NEXO token or CEL Token). None of these services have true banking functionality or integration with traditional finance —for example, easy offramp or spending methods like debit cards. None of them are taking DeFi seriously — they are leveraging crypto for only the asset class, not the underlying technology around financial protocols. So are these companies potential competitors to Genesis Block? For the crypto crowd, yes. For the mass market, no. None of these companies are capable of reaching the billions of people around the world that we hope to reach at Genesis Block. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
long time lurker, i'm thinking of writing a book on the bad advice given here on this sub... something like "how to make the least from the rest of your investment returns". all quotes are virtually verbatim. For any new folks, let it serve as a guide that if you see someone saying it, you can rest assured knowing that they shouldn't be giving out advice. "I developed my own trading strategy" "I'm looking for a developer to implement my strategy" "I like X because of the 6% dividend yield" "The price of X has gone down, now is a really good time to buy X as its can't be long before it rallies... or should i buy Y instead" "I sold after the dip and i'm waiting for a good opportunity to buy in" "I'm 70% cash at the moment" "The oil price is low, how can i trade oil... how can i take physical delivery of oil... i read about 'oil cash and carry trade' how do i... yes thanks i read about contango on investopedia, but what is it?" "I'm looking to take advantage of the situation, where can I buy options" aka "where can i trade a derivative i know basically nothing about, in a mathematically zero-sum game market place where i'm totally out-matched... because well, i saw that prices fell, and its not obvious to me that when prices fall, volatility goes up, and as such premiums charged by option writers go up too, but that doesn't matter because i want to lose some money by buying deep OTM lottery tickets" "At SAXO / IG you can trade OTC products, warrants, ETPs, CFD options like i do, but i don't really understand enough to not know why they are not options... (but i'm going to recommend it to you anyway)." "3x leverage means 3x the return... now tell me more about rebalancing tracking error, why should i care... restrike event? i'll forget about that later)" "You can sign up to trade complex products, its easy, you just skim read the professional investor declaration and hit accept... no i've never read a Fund/ETP/ETN prospectus, why?" "I attended/teach/sell an online trading course" "gold is a good hedge, X% of my portfolio is in gold" "I trade about 2-3 per week" "Penny stocks" "AIM stocks" "My bitcoin investment"
On March 15th, the Federal Reserve started the first round of its stimulus plan to stabilize the tumultuous economic conditions caused by the country-wide shut down due to COVID19. Significant was a $700 billion round of Quantitative Easing (QE) and the cutting of interest rates effectively to zero percent. The reaction of the stock market and most asset classes was to continue its downward trend that had started in late February. The Federal Reserve continued to make smaller policy changes during the next 8 days until March 23rd when it announced its “extensive new measures to support the economy”. In short, the Fed is expanding its QE program announced on March 15th and will be making additional expansions in the future as needed. This time Wall Street reacts positively, as March 23rd was the starting point of a historic bull run.
The Breaking of the 60/40 Model
The 60/40 model of portfolio allocation has been a traditional portfolio management strategy used for over 30 years. The strategy states to put 60% of your funds into stocks and the remaining 40% into high quality bonds. The philosophy behind this investment strategy is that by having your portfolio diversified this way, you won’t take a huge hit if your stocks go down because you’ll have returns from bonds to make up for it. This is a strategy generally used by people with low risk tolerances, or people who don’t want to constantly keep their eyes on the markets. Over the past few decades, the 60/40 model has demonstrated a good amount of success; however, there are many who believe the chances of this strategy continuing to function successfully into the future are very low. Both JP Morgan and Bank of America have released statements on the decline of the 60/40 portfolio. JP Morgan strategists have stated “In the zero-yield world, which we think will be with us for years, bonds offer neither much return nor protection against equity falls,” referencing the fact that the majority of government bonds are trading at yields below 1%. In a research note titled “The Death of 60/40” Bank of America strategists had this to say, “The challenge for investors today is that both of those benefits from bonds, diversification and risk reduction, seem to be weakening, and this is happening at a time when positioning in many fixed-income sectors is incredibly crowded, making bonds more vulnerable to sharp, sudden selloffs when active managers rebalance.” So, with diminishing trust and poor returns from bonds, many investors are looking for other assets to replace the 40% hole in their portfolios. Many are increasing their percentage allocated to stocks in addition to investing in Gold and other metals as a protection against inflation. Many investors are also looking to Bitcoin.
Asset Reallocation Flowing from Bonds to Stocks
The historical runup in stock prices, specifically for the tech heavy Nasdaq, started on March 23rd. With the NAS100 index up close to 60% (from $6,584 to $10,616) in less than 3 months. It's not showing any signs of slowing down. In the opinion of QuantifyCrypto, the major reason for this is the flow of capital that would normally be going into bonds is now going into stocks. Yes the Fed stimulus is positive, but can you say the market conditions are actually better for stocks when there is still uncertainty in the future? While some stocks are fundamentally better due to COVID19, this is not true for most stocks. The next chart shows the price movement of the NASDAQ 100 Index for 2020. NAS100 Daily Chart from Trading View
Asset Reallocation to Cryptocurrency – When?
When asked about the current demise of the 60/40 portfolio model, veteran investor Dan Tapiero stated there could be “nothing more bullish for gold and bitcoin,” and that we are in the midst of the “beginning of the end for [government] bonds as a functioning productive asset class. Traditional 60/40 portfolios will need to find a new defensive asset to replace a portion of the 40%.” It seems that other players in the world of finance are saying similar things, hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC in May that Bitcoin is a “great speculation” and that he has one to two percent of his assets in Bitcoin. Historically, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies tend to have higher volatility than stocks. Three days before the Federal Reserve started making its announcements, Bitcoin went down over 50% in a single day. High volatility and a full price recovery continued in April and May, with Bitcoin closing on May 30th at ~$10,440. Until this point, there had been a high correlation between the NASDAQ 100 and Bitcoin as shown in the chart below. NAS100 Daily Chart with Bitcoin (blue line) added Since June 1st, Bitcoin has clearly lagged while stocks have continued their upward climb. While Crypto has been stagnant and down since May, the fundamental picture has never been better:
The Central Bank stimulus response is inflationary to Fiat currencies, this is positive for non-inflationary assets like gold and cryptocurrency.
The lack of new funds moving into bonds is flowing into stocks. When the stock market advance slows or starts to decline, the flow into other assets classes will start to increase.
The full deflationary impact of the Bitcoin halving still has not kicked in.
Corporate adoption and use cases for cryptocurrency is accelerating (Future article).
Before COVID occurred, 2020 was looking like a very strong year for Bitcoin and Altcoins. This price strength is likely to return.
As government bonds continue to trade with yields below 1%, it is safe to say that more and more people will be abandoning the traditional 60/40 strategy. While it’s too early to determine what the new percent strategy will become, with Bitcoin presenting a clear solution to the problems with bonds and the diminishing value of cash, portfolio managers may very well be using cryptocurrency to solve their diversification requirement.
The platform Quantify Crypto provides live cryptocurrency prices, technical analysis, news, heatmaps and more. Our flagship product is the trend algorithm, designed to be on the correct side of significant cryptocurrency price moves. We are a new site, please check us out and let us know what you like and do not like about the site. None of this is meant to be financial advice and I do not have any financial expertise. John Barry worked at the New York Stock Exchange for over 23 years, it was as a developer supporting computer systems, not as a stock trader. Alex Wason is an intern working for Quantify Crypto Full discloser: John Barry owns Bitcoin and has stock positions.
The Bitcoin Tipping Point ...."To me, this signals a massive seminal moment of legitimacy that can not be understated. Hedge Fund guys are said to be the smart money but the truth is, with QE infinity forcing yields to zero, there’s not a whole lot of alpha to generate, leaving fund managers mostly investing in the same dog shyt, copycatting each other and chasing returns. In a world where managers are just trying to index or clip there 2 & 20 and avoid career risk in getting blown up, Paul Tudor Jones just green lighted a move into Bitcoin that now puts the risk on fund managers for NOT having exposure and lagging significantly in performance. Getting exposure to Bitcoin is the #1 buzz going around hedge funds, which will eventually trickle down to Independent Wealth Managers, Advisors and Mutual Funds. And while I don’t expect capital to flow in overnight, this is exactly how it starts. This is precisely why I believe Paul Tudor Jones foray into Bitcoin has created a that “tipping point” or that magic moment for Bitcoin where it crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire into mainstream finance." Full post here: https://thisisnewmoney.substack.com/p/the-bitcoin-tipping-point
VipMex Crypto and Futures Contract Trading Platform Gives Away 346 USDT to Celebrate Launch
vipmex.com A new trading platform called VipMex has entered the market, allowing users to invest in cryptos and futures contracts with ease. About the Company Hong Kong-based VipMex is a company specialized in providing all-inclusive financial investment options and management for crypto assets and futures. The team behind VipMex is made up of many highly educated professionals with a background in various advanced technologies. Their main goal is to develop accessible futures and cryptocurrency options by establishing a secure investing environment which can be navigated by clients of all levels of experience. This cryptocurrency exchange relies on a powerful trading system that serves as the basis of a comprehensive and strong trading environment. VipMex focuses on providing low cost and easy to use crypto investment alternatives that can be accessible to all users. VipMex Risk Strategy The VipMex exchange was built on providing exposure to cryptocurrency markets for all kinds of investors at competitive and low rates. Usually, when the clients have opposing positions, let’s say one Bitcoin contract is long and the other Bitcoin contract short, both sides of the trade are covered, with the exchange making its profits from the fees of the trades. If most clients trade in the same position, VipMex will hedge in the underlying market or derivates markets, meaning they might actually buy Bitcoin or long Bitcoin futures if the majority of clients take long positions on Bitcoin contracts. This allows the platform to pay out all its clients if their positions turn out to be correct. In case of unforeseen market developments, the exchange will store a certain percentage of its profit in a Risk Reserve Fund to always pay out the revenues of their clients. USDT Base Currency On the VipMex crypto exchange, the Tether (USDT) stablecoin is used as the base currency, meaning that the exchange rates of the other digital assets are generally quoted against Tether. USDT is the most popular and used stablecoin in the crypto market, having its value pegged to that of the US dollar. The coin recently surpassed XRP and became the world’s third-largest crypto according to a market cap of $8.805.483.772. USDT is also the most traded crypto based on its 24-hour volume, surpassing even Bitcoin. With the occasion of platform launch, VipMex is giving 346 USDT to users who register on the crypto exchange and perform trading activities. Fees and Discount Bonus VipMex users can withdraw USDT from their account without having to pay any fees. A one-time transaction fee which is 0.05% becoming the best cost-effective comparing with Binance, Huobi, SnapEx, OKEX etc. for each position opened. The crypto exchange offers zero spread accounts, which have no difference between the bid and ask price. This allows traders to know their entry and exit levels when they open a position. There are no slippage costs (the difference between the projected price of a trade and the price at which the trade is completed) and no clawback (take back money as a form of taxation). Moreover, VipMex also introduced a system where users can gather bonus for missions or trading and then use these bonus to deduct their margin. Multi-Currency Account VipMex supports the trading of multiple digital assets and commodities from one single account. This means that users do not have to go and create multiple accounts to hold and manage different cryptos or futures. All trading can be done from one account, simplifying matters for investors who want a diverse trading portfolio. In addition to cryptocurrencies, users can also trade using fiat by making deposits on the platform’s Over The Counter exchange. This way, those who are new to crypto and do not yet own the assets can still invest by using their fiat funds. Up to 500x Leverage VipMex users can engage in margin trading and leverage anywhere from 10x to 500x. While margin trading is riskier compared to other types of trades, it can bring higher rewards. The trading platform incorporates a unique “close all” function. Also, in order to protect clients’ profitability and hedge against risk exposure, in certain extreme market conditions, VIPMEX might temporarily prevent clients from opening new positions in a single direction until it is safe to open trades on that position again. Accurate Price Listing VipMex displays its crypto prices by using a K-line weighted average based on the data sourced from 3 of the biggest crypto exchanges on the market, namely Binance (30%), OKEx (40%), and Huobi (30%). This is done in order to feature cryptocurrency prices in the most accurate way. Binance is the world’s first crypto exchange in terms of 24-hour trading volume, while OKEx is sixth. VipMex is ready to help investors find easy crypto trading solutions, as well as futures contract options, and help them get the best profits by adopting risk-mitigating strategies.
Bitcoin 11 Years - Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far - Tooootally NOT a SCAM !!!!
That's right folks, it's that time again for the annual review of how Bitcoin is going: all of those claims, predictions, promises .... how many have turned out to be true, and how many are completely bogus ??? Please post / link this on Bitcoin (I am banned there for speaking the truth, so I cannot do it) ... because it'a way past time those poor clueless mushrooms were exposed to the truth. Anyway, without further ado, I give you the Bitcoin's Achievements, Lies, and Bullshit Claims So Far ... . Bitcoin Achievements so far:
It has spawned a cesspool of scams (2000+ shit coin scams, plus 100's of other scams, frauds, cons).
Many 1,000's of hacks, thefts, losses.
Illegal Use Cases: illegal drugs, illegal weapons, tax fraud, money laundering, sex trafficking, child pornography, hit men / murder-for-hire, ransomware, blackmail, extortion, and various other kinds of fraud and illicit activity.
Legal Use Cases: Steam Games, Reddit, Expedia, Stripe, Starbucks, 1000's of merchants, cryptocurrency conferences, Ummm ????? The few merchants who "accept Bitcoin" immediately convert it into FIAT after the sale, or require you to sell your coins to BitPay or Coinbase for real money, and will then take that money. Some of the few who actually accept bitcoin haven't seen a customer who needed to pay with bitcoin for the last six months, and their cashiers no longer know how to handle that.
Contributing significantly to Global Warming.
Wastes vasts amounts of electricity on useless, do nothing work.
Exponentially raises electricity prices when big miners move into regions where electricity was cheap.
It’s the first "currency" that is not self-sustainable. It operates at a net loss, and requires continuous outside capital to replace the capital removed by miners to pay their costs. It’s literally a "black hole currency."
It created a new way for people living too far from Vegas to gamble all their life savings away.
Spawned "blockchain technology", a powerful technique that lets incompetent programmers who know almost nothing about databases, finance, programming, or blockchain scam millions out of gullible VC investors, banks, and governments.
Increased China's foreign trade balance by a couple billion dollars per year.
Helped the FBI and other law enforcement agents easily track down hundreds of drug traffickers and drug users.
Wasted thousands if not millions of man-hours of government employees and legislators, in mostly fruitless attempts to understand, legitimize, and regulate the "phenomenon", and to investigate and prosecute its scams.
Rekindled the hopes of anarcho-capitalists and libertarians for a global economic collapse, that would finally bring forth their Mad Max "utopia".
Added another character to Unicode (no, no, not the "poo" 💩 character ... that was my first guess as well 🤣)
Provides an easy way for malware and ransomware criminals to ply their trade and extort hospitals, schools, local councils, businesses, utilities, as well as the general population.
~~Bitcoin is "striking fear into the hearts of bankers, precisely because Bitcoin eliminates the need for banks. ~~, Mark Yusko, billionaire investor and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
"A bitcoin miner in every device and in every hand."
"All the indicators are pointing to a huge year and bigger than anything we have seen before."
"Bitcoin is communism and democracy working hand in hand."
"Bitcoin is freedom, and we will soon be free."
"Bitcoin isn't calculated risk, you're right. It's downright and painfully obvious that it will consume global finance."
"Bitcoin most disruptive technology of last 500 years"
"Bitcoin: So easy, your grandma can use it!"
"Creating a 4th Branch of Government - Bitcoin"
"Future generations will cry laughing reading all the negativity and insanity vomited by these permabears."
"Future us will thank us."
"Give Bitcoin two years"
"HODLING is more like being a dutiful guardian of the most powerful economic force this planet has ever seen and getting to have a say about how that force is unleashed."
"Cut out the middleman"
"full control of your own assets"
"reduction in wealth gap"
"cannot print money out of thin air"
"Why that matters? Because blockchain not only cheaper for them, it'll be cheaper for you and everyone as well."
"If you are in this to get rich in Fiat then no. But if you are in this to protect your wealth once the current monetary system collapse then you are protected and you'll be the new rich."
"Theres the 1% and then theres the 99%. You want to be with the rest thats fine. Being different and brave is far more rewarding. No matter your background or education."
"NO COINERS will believe anything they are fed by fake news and paid media."
"I know that feeling (like people looking at you as in seeing a celebrity and then asking things they don't believe until their impressed)."
"I literally walk round everyday looking at other people wondering why they even bother to live if they don't have Bitcoin in their lives."
"I think bitcoin may very well be the best form of money we’ve ever seen in the history of civilization."
"I think Bitcoin will do for mankind what the sun did for life on earth."
"I think the constant scams and illegal activities only show the viability of bitcoin."
"I think we're sitting on the verge of exponential interest in the currency."
"I'm not using hyperbole when I say Satoshi found the elusive key to World Peace."
"If Jesus ever comes back you know he's gonna be using Bitcoin"
"If this idea was implemented with The Blockchain™, it would be completely flawless! Flawless I tell you!"
"If you're the minimum wage guy type, now is a great time to skip food and go full ramadan in order to buy bitcoin instead."
"In a world slipping more and more into chaos and uncertainty, Bitcoin seems to me like the last solid rock defeating all the attacks."
"In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any filthy statist's blessing, but because I am enlightened by own intelligence."
"Is Bitcoin at this point, with all the potential that opens up, the most undervalued asset ever?"
"It won't be long until bitcoin is an everyday household term."
"It's the USD that is volatile. Bitcoin is the real neutral currency."
"Just like the early Internet!"
"Just like the Trojan Horse of old, Bitcoin will reveal its full power and nature"
"Ladies if your man doesnt have some bitcoin then he cant handle anything and has no danger sex appeal. He isnt edgy"
"let me be the first to say if you dont have bitcoin you are a pussy and cant really purchase anything worldwide. You have no global reach"
"My conclusion is that I see this a a very good thing for bitcoin and for users"
"No one would do such a thing; it'd be against their self interests."
"Ooh lala, good job on bashing Bitcoin. How to disrespect a great innovation."
"Realistically I think Bitcoin will replace the dollar in the next 10-15 years."
"Seperation of money and state -> states become obsolete -> world peace."
"Some striking similarities between Bitcoin and God"
"THANK YOU. Better for this child to be strangled in its crib as a true weapon for crypto-anarchists than for it to be wielded by toxic individuals who distort the technology and surrender it to government and corporate powers."
"The Blockchain is more encompassing than the internet and is the next phase in human evolution. To avoid its significance is complete ignorance."
"The bull run should begin any day now."
"The free market doesn't permit fraud and theft."
"The free market will clear away the bad actors."
"The only regulation we need is the blockchain."
"We are not your slaves! We are free bodies who will swallow you and puke you out in disgust. Welcome to liberty land or as that genius called it: Bitcoin."
"We do not need the bankers for Satoshi is our saviour!"
"We have never seen something so perfect"
"We must bring freedom and crypto to the masses, to the common man who does not know how to fight for himself."
"We verified that against the blockchain."
"we will see a Rennaisnce over the next few decades, all thanks to Bitcoin."
"Well, since 2006, there has been a infinite% increase in price, so..."
"What doesn't kill cryptocurrency makes it stronger."
"When Bitcoin awake in normally people (real people) ... you will have this result : No War. No Tax. No QE. No Bank."
"When I see news that the price of bitcoin has tanked (and thus the market, more or less) I actually, for-real, have the gut reaction "oh that’s cool, I’ll be buying cheap this week". I never knew I could be so rational."
"Where is your sense of adventure? Bitcoin is the future. Set aside your fears and leave easier at the doorstep."
"Yes Bitcoin will cause the greatest redistribution of wealth this planet has ever seen. FACT from the future."
"You are the true Bitcoin pioneers and with your help we have imprinted Bitcoin in the Canadian conscience."
"You ever try LSD? Perhaps it would help you break free from the box of state-formed thinking you have limited yourself..."
"Your phone or refrigerator might be on the blockchain one day."
The banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, so why can't crypto do the same ???
Central Banks can print money whenever they way, out of thin air, without any consequences or accounting, so why can't crypto do the same ???
It's impossible to hide illegal, unsavory material on the blockchain
It's impossible to hide child pornography on the blockchain
All Bitccoins are the same, 100% identical, one Bitcoin cannot be distinguished from any other Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin can only go up because of scarcity / 21 million coin limit. (Bitcoin is open source, anyone can create thir own copy, and there are more than 2,000+ Bitcoin copies / clones out there already).
immune to government regulation
"a world-changing technology"
"a long-term store of value, like gold or silver"
"To Complex to Be Audited."
"Old Auditing rules do not apply to Blockchain."
"Old Auditing rules do not apply to Cryptocurrency."
Bitcoin now at $16,600.00. Those of you in the old school who believe this is a bubble simply have not understood the new mathematics of the Blockchain, or you did not cared enough to try. Bubbles are mathematically impossible in this new paradigm. So are corrections and all else", John McAfee, 7 Dec 2017 @ 5:09 PM,https://mobile.twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/938938539282190337
2013-11-27: ""What is a Citadel?" you might wonder. Well, by the time Bitcoin became worth 1,000 dollar [27-Nov-2013], services began to emerge for the "Bitcoin rich" to protect themselves as well as their wealth. It started with expensive safes, then began to include bodyguards, and today, "earlies" (our term for early adapters), as well as those rich whose wealth survived the "transition" live in isolated gated cities called Citadels, where most work is automated. Most such Citadels are born out of the fortification used to protect places where Bitcoin mining machines are located. The company known as ASICminer to you is known to me as a city where Mr. Friedman rules as a king.", u/Luka_Magnotta, aka time traveler from the future, 31-Aug-2013, https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1lfobc/i_am_a_timetraveler_from_the_future_here_to_beg/
2018-12: Listen up you giggling cunts... who wants some?...you? you want some?...huh? Do ya? Here's the deal you fuckin Nerds - Butts are gonna be at30 grandor more by next Christmas  - If they aren't I will publicly administer an electronic dick sucking to every shill on this site and disappear forever - Until then, no more bans or shadow bans - Do we have a deal? If Butts are over 50 grand me and Lammy get to be mods. Deal? Your ole pal - "Skully"u/10GDeathBoner, 3-Feb-2018 https://www.reddit.com/Buttcoin/comments/7ut1ut/listen_up_you_giggling_cunts_who_wants_someyou/
2018-12: "Bitcoin could be at$40,000by the end of 2018, it really easily could", Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, ex-hedge fund manager of the Fortress Investment Group and a longstanding advocate of cryptocurrency, 21-Sep-2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC1anDg2KU
2018-12: Bitcoin will end 2018 at the price point of$50,000, Ran Neuner, host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader and the 28th most influential Blockchain insider according to Richtopia,https://www.bitcoinprice.com/predictions/
Over the past 100 days, Grayscale has bought every third bitcoin
Over the past 100 days, Grayscale has bought every third bitcoin The Grayscale Investments cryptocurrency investment fund acquired every third bitcoin mined in the last 100 days. And in April, the fund bought 50% of all ETH mined. At the same time, despite the financial crisis and the fall of the cryptocurrency market in March, shares of Grayscale crypto funds in the first quarter of 2020 attracted record investments, which indicates a growing interest of institutional investors in the crypto industry. Why does the company need so many coins, what is its current position regarding the crypto market and what role does it play on it?
Aggressive Grayscale crypto purchases have recently been spotted with respect to ether. So, by April 24, the company had bought about 756 539 ETNs (accurate data are not publicly available) for its Ethereum Trust fund. This is about 48.4% of all 1.5 million coins mined since the beginning of this year. As a result, the company already owns 1% of all coins in circulation and only increases the pace of purchases. The first user to notice this was Reddit under the nickname u/nootropicat. According to the latest quarterly report by Grayscale, the flow of investments in ETN reached a record level for the first three months of 2020 — $110 million. This is a very sharp increase, given that total investments in ETN for the previous two years amounted to $95.8 million. The total demand for the Ethereum fund grew over the quarter is almost 2.5 times compared with the fourth quarter of 2019. From the beginning of the year until the end of April, the company issued 5.23 million shares of the fund at 0.09427052 ETN apiece. At the same time, shares are traded with a premium of 420% relative to the current price of the coin — $92 against $17.70. That is, investors are willing to pay extra pretty much not to deal with cryptocurrency on their own. Most likely, the increase in the rate of purchase of the coin is associated with the upcoming upgrade of the network to the state of Ethereum 2.0. It can take place at the end of July, but, most likely, it will happen not earlier than the end of the year. After the upgrade, the network will become more scalable and there will be the possibility of staking — validators will be able to receive passive income for providing their funds to confirm the blocks. The crypto market, by the way, is also preparing for the transition of the ecosystem to a new stage. ETH has grown 55% since the crash in March, from $110 to $202 on the day of publication. At the end of April, CoinDesk drew attention to the increase in the number of long positions in ETH futures — this indicates expectations for further growth of the coin.
Last quarter — the most successful in the history of the company
In May, Grayscale released a report on the results of the first quarter of this year. “Despite the decline in risky assets this quarter, Grayscale’s assets continue to approach record highs, as does our share of the digital asset market,” the document says. And this despite the coronavirus pandemic, the global recession and the traditional cryptocurrency market volatility. A record $503.7 million investment was raised in the first quarter. This is almost twice the previous quarterly maximum of $254 million in the third quarter of last year and accounts for 83% of the total capital of $1.07 billion raised for the entire 2019. New investors accounted for $160 million of raised funds. The main products of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale Ethereum Trust raised $388.9 million and $110 million, respectively. It is noteworthy that the company reduced the premium on stocks of funds relative to the price of assets. 88% of investments came from institutional investors, among which hedge funds prevail; 5% — from accredited individuals, 4% — from pension accounts (yes, pension funds are extremely conservative in nature, but also invest in bitcoin against the background of a decrease in the profitability of other assets); 3% came from family offices, and 38% of customers invested in several products at once. It is noteworthy that two years ago the share of institutional investors was about 50% — it is obvious that they no longer consider bitcoin as something criminal. “Many of our investors see digital assets as medium and long-term investment opportunities and the main component of their investment portfolios. Quarterly inflows doubled to $ 503.7 million, demonstrating that demand is reaching new peak levels even in conditions of “risk reduction”, the document says. Today, more than 46.5% of the inflow of funds was attracted from multi-strategic investors. Crypto investors accounted for only 11.2% of the inflow, according to the report. Grayscale currently operates ten cryptocurrency investment products targeted at institutional investors. They cover PTS, ETN, ETS, BCH, ZEC, XRP, LTC, ZEN, XLM. The value of the assets under his management is more than $3.8 billion. GBTC is the most demanded product, most investors invest in it and it takes about 1.7% of the total volume of circulating bitcoins. Aggregate quarterly flow of funds to different Grayscale products. Pay attention to the growing share of investors diversifying portfolios with products tied to altcoins. Since January of this year, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has been registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to it, the company provides quarterly and annual reports in the form of 10-K. The status makes it possible to sell shares of a trust in the secondary market after 6 months, rather than 12, as before, and also increases the confidence of conservative investors. Other products comply with OTCQX reporting standards in the OTC market and are approved by the US Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for public offering. Amount of assets managed by Grayscale as of May 20, 2020. It is noteworthy that the news about the success of Grayscale comes amid news of how panicky investors in traditional assets are fleeing from market turmoil. So, the largest fund managers — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors — lost several trillion in capitalization of their assets, and BlackRock in the first quarter for the first time in five years saw a net outflow of funds from its long-term investment products.
Bitcoin is the best asset for hedging portfolios in crisis
At the end of April, Grayscale also released a separate report on the analysis of the impact of regulators during a pandemic and the crisis caused by it and how it affected the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market as a whole. The document said fiat currencies are at risk of devaluation as central banks print more and more money. Even the US dollar, which is the world’s reserve currency, risks being devalued if the US Federal Reserve continues to print the currency in trillions. A decrease in interest rates to zero and negative values deprives government bonds of the status of “safe haven” during the crisis. Therefore, investors are trying to diversify their portfolios with alternative instruments. Cryptocurrencies are the best choice for this, according to the authors of the report. The text emphasizes the historical significance of gold as a global standard, but it is noted that in the modern digital world it is becoming increasingly burdensome for investors — it has complex logistics. Bitcoin seems resistant to the problems that other assets face. Therefore, in times of economic uncertainty, the first cryptocurrency is one of the best assets that investors can use to hedge their portfolios. The coin performs better than any other asset, including fiat currencies, government bonds, and traditional commodities like gold. The authors of the report emphasize that Bitcoin has already begun to show signs of becoming a protective asset. At the same time, the company believes that bitcoin is an excellent asset not only in times of crisis. So, in December 2019, Managing Director of Grayscale Investments Michael Sonnenshine said that the company expects an influx of investments in bitcoin after the transfer of $68 trillion of savings between generations in the next 25 years. Today, this capital is invested in traditional assets, but a significant part of these wealth millennials will invest in cryptocurrencies. Already, according to him, investments in GBTC are among the five most popular among young people, ahead of, for example, investments in Microsoft and Netflix.
The unprecedented financial measures taken by the US Federal Reserve, as well as the worsening recession, are forcing even the most conservative investors to rethink their current strategies and portfolio composition. Many of them are increasingly beginning to appreciate the fixed emission and non-correlation of Bitcoin — it is becoming a tool for risk diversification. Growing institutional interest is driving the acceleration of coin prices. Subscribe to our Telegram channel
Inflation may grow as the US prevents negative interest rates, boosting Bitcoin bull case
One of the biggest Bitcoin catalysts over the past few months has been the introduction of negative interest rates into economies in Europe and Asia. The idea goes that if consumers have to pay banks to hold their money, they will seek assets that provide relatively better yield. BTC fits the bill: it costs no money to hold, or it can even yield upwards of six percent yield if coins are held on a platform such as BlockFi. Unfortunately for the Bitcoin bull case, the U.S. Federal Reserve has been hesitant to let its policy interest rate go negative. Chairman Jerome Powell said in a recent speech that negative interest rates are something the Federal Reserve is not looking at as a viable monetary policy lever. Yet the fear is the economy will eventually demand it. That’s to say, to keep the cogs of Corporate America turning, it will need more stimulus. And that stimulus could be massive for Bitcoin. The Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate could soon double To respond to the ongoing recession caused by the end of the business cycle and the COVID-19 lockdowns, the Federal Reserve has been forced to take record action, dropping its policy interest rate to 0-0.25 percent just months ago. But with the worst economic outlook in modern history as both the Bank of England and Federal Reserve have said, it may not be enough. A 2017 study from two individuals on the Federal Reserve Board — which is arguably more relevant today than before due to the macroeconomic backdrop — found that due the tendency to keep rates and inflation near zero, economic performance will be poor. Low inflation will beget low inflation and output will be low. So what’s the solution? According to an op-ed authored by former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke in 2017, a solution may be to increase the central bank’s inflation target to four percent, double the status quo of two percent inflation. This would give the Federal Reserve more flexibility with monetary policy, especially in recessions like the one we’re going through today. It would also be relatively easy to implement, he postulated. Bitcoin Stands to Benefit Max Bronstein of Coinbase recently wrote in response to the Bernanke’s post that we could see another “wave of debt monetization,” whereas treasuries issue new bonds and/or central banks create money: “IF YOU’RE WONDERING HOW THE FED IS GOING TO TRY AND STAVE OFF NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES, HERE’S A POTENTIAL PREVIEW, AUTHORED BY BEN BERNANKE HIMSELF. THE INFLATION TARGET IS GOING HIGHER, EXPECT ANOTHER WAVE OF DEBT MONETIZATION.” It’s a trend that could benefit Bitcoin. Paul Tudor Jones, a hedge fund billionaire, explained in a recent report that Bitcoin is the “fastest horse” in a world where there is an “unprecedented expansion of every form of money, unlike anything the developed world has ever seen.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk has echoed this as well, writing in a recent tweet: “ALTHOUGH MASSIVE CURRENCY ISSUANCE BY GOVT CENTRAL BANKS IS MAKING BITCOIN INTERNET MONEY LOOK SOLID BY COMPARISON.” PRETTY MUCH, ALTHOUGH MASSIVE CURRENCY ISSUANCE BY GOVT CENTRAL BANKS IS MAKING BITCOIN INTERNET money look solid by comparison
\These questions are sourced directly from Telegram* Q: How do I shutdown my Chaosnet Darknode?A: Please follow these directions: https://docs.renproject.io/chaosnet/chaosnet-darknode/untitled-3 Q: Can I run a Chaosnet Darknode and Mainnet Darknode at the same time (on the same computer).A: No, if you want to do that you’ll have to run them on separate computers. Q: You mentioned DCEP in your latest piece and "12 App Ideas", but it's going to run on a centralized private network. The Bank of England also just released a report on how they're thinking about their CBDC and DLT/centralization, and stress that a DLT could add resilience, but there's also no reason a currency couldn't be more centralized. The Block reported that other central banks (like the EU and Singapore) are considering third-party chains like Corda. Can you comment on which CBDC designs may or may not be compatible with RZL? You previously said "RZL sMPC provides ECDSA signatures because that’s what it is used by Ethereum, Bitcoin, etc. Whatever solution they come up with, will be the solution that RZL has to be upgraded to use (the whole point of RenVM is not to tell other chains how to do things, and still provide interop; this means waiting on them to define their solution and then working with that)." So, what does centralization mean for RZL, and how can we think about compatibility between these designs on the technical side? A: The topic of centralisation in interoperability comes down to the compounding effect of using multiple networks. Put another way “you’re only as decentralised as your most centralised component”. While there are nuances to this, the core idea rings true. RenVM can be used to interoperate many different kinds of chains (anything using ECDSA, or naturally supporting lively threshold signatures) is a candidate to be included in RenVM. However, a centralised currency that has been bridged to a decentralised chain is not decentralised. The centralised entity that controls the currency might say “nothing transferred to/from this other chain will be honoured”. That’s a risk that you take with centralised currencies (take a look at the T&Cs for USDC for example). The benefit of RenVM in these instances is to become a standard. Short-term, RenVM brings interoperability to some core chains. Medium-term, it expands that to other more interesting chains based on community demands. Long-term, it becomes the standard for how to implement interop. For example: you create a new chain and don’t worry about interop explicitly because you know RenVM will have your back. For centralised currencies this is still advantageous, because the issuing entity only has to manage one chain (theirs) but can still get their currency onto other chains/ecosystems. From a technical perspective, the Darknodes just have to be willing to adopt the chain/currency. Q: dApps will have their own risk tolerances for centralized assets. Eg USDC was a bigger deal for MakerDAO than Uniswap. If CBDC liquidity were suddenly bridgeable, some dApps would be more eager to adopt it than others - even despite the risks - because they provide native liquidity and can be used to store/hedge in it without cashing it out. My question is more technical as it relates to RenVM as the "Universal Stablecoin Converter". You sound convinced that RenVM can bridge Libra, DCEP, maybe other CBDCs in the future, but I'm skeptical how RenVM works with account-based currencies. (1) Are we even sure of DCEP's underlying design and whether it or other CBDCs even plan to use digital signatures? And (2) wouldn't RenVM need a KYC-approved account to even get an address on these chains? It seems like DCEP would have to go through a Chinese Circle, who would just issue an ERC20. A: As far as underlying blockchain technology goes (eg the maths of it) I don’t see there being any issues. Until we know more about whether or not KYCd addresses are required (and if they are, how they work), then I can’t specifically comment on that. However, it is more than possible not to require RenVM to be KYCd (just like you can’t “KYC Ethereum”) and instead move that requirement to addresses on the host blockchain (eg KYC Ethereum addresses for receiving the cross-chain asset). Whether this happens or not would ultimately be up to whether the issuer wanted interoperability to be possible. Q: In that scenario, how would RenVM even receive the funds to be transferred to the KYC'd Ethereum address? For Alice to send DCEP to Bob's KYC'd Ethereum address, RenVM would need a DCEP address of its own, no? A: Again, this is impossible to say for certain without knowing the implementation of the origin chain. You could whitelist known RenVM scripts (by looking at their form, like RenVM itself does on Bitcoin). But mostly likely, these systems will have some level of smart contract capabilities and this allows very flexible control. You can just whitelist the smart contract address that RenVM watches for cross-chain events. In origin chains with smart contracts, the smart contract holds the funds (and the keys the smart contract uses to authorise spends are handled as business logic). So there isn’t really a “RenVM public address” in the same sense that there is in Bitcoin. Q: The disbonding period for Darknodes seem long, what happens if there is a bug? A: It’s actually good for the network to have a long disbonding period in the face of a bug. If people were able to panic sell, then not only would the bug cause potential security issues, but so too would a mass exodus of Darknodes from the network. Having time to fix the bug means that Darknodes may as well stick around and continue securing the network as best they can. Because their REN is at stake (as you put it) they’re incentivised to take any of the recommended actions and update their nodes as necessary. This is also why it’s critical for the Greycore to exist in the early days of the network and why we are rolling out SubZero the way that we are. If such a bug becomes apparent (more likely in the early days than the later days), then the Greycore has a chance to react to it (the specifics of which would of course depend on the specifics of the bug). This becomes harder and slower as the network becomes more decentralised over time. Not mcap, but the price of bonded Ren. Furthermore, the price will be determined by how much fees darknodes have collected. BTW, loongy could you unveil based on what profits ratio/apr the price will be calculated? This is up to the Darknodes to governance softly. This means there isn’t a need for an explicit oracle. Darknodes assess L vs R individually and vote to increase fees to drive L down and drive R up. L is driven down by continue fees, whereas R is driven up by minting/burning fees. Q: How do you think renvm would perform on a day like today when even cexs are stretched. Would the system be able to keep up? A: This will really depend on the number of shards that RenVM is operating. Shards operate in parallel so more shards = more processing power. Q: The main limiting factor is the speed of the underlying chain, rather than RenVM? A: That’s generally the case. Bitcoin peaks at about 7 TPS so as long as we are faster than this, any extra TPS is “wasted”. And you actually don’t want to be faster than you have to be. This lets you drop hardware requirements, and lowering the cost of running a Darknode. This has two nice effects: (a) being an operator generates more profit because costs are lower, and (b) it’s more accessible to more people because it’s a little cheaper to get started (albeit this is minor). Q: Just getting caught up on governance, but what about: unbonded REN = 1 vote, bonded REN = (1 vote + time_served). That'd be > decentralization of Darknodes alone, an added incentive to be registered, and counter exchanges wielding too much control. A: You could also have different decaying rates. For example, assuming that REN holders have to vote by “backing” the vote of Darknodes: Let X be the amount of REN used to voted, backed behind a Darknode and bonded for T time. Let Y be the amount of time a Darknode has been active for. Voting power of the Darknode could = Sqrt(Y) * Log(X + T) Log(1,000,000,000) = ~21 so if you had every REN bonded behind you, your voting power would only be 21x the voting power of other nodes. This would force whales to either run Darknodes for a while and contribute actively to the ecosystem (or lock up their REN for an extended period for addition voting power), and would force exchanges to spread their voting out over many different nodes (giving power back to those running nodes). Obviously the exchange could just run lots of Darknodes, but they would have to do this over a long period of time (not feasible, because people need to be able to withdraw their REN). Q: Like having superdelegates, i.e, nodes trusted by the community with higher voting power? Maybe like council nodes A: Well, this is essentially what the Greycore is. Darknodes that have been voted in by the community to act as a secondary signature on everything. (And, interestingly enough, you could vote out all members to remove the core entirely.) Q: Think the expensive ren is a security feature as well. So, doubt this would impact security potentially? I don’t know. I wouldn’t vote to cut my earnings by 40% for example lol A: It can lead to centralisation over time though. If 100K REN becomes prohibitively expensive, then you will only see people running Darknodes that can afford a large upfront capital investment. In the mid/long-term this can have adverse effects on the trust in the system. It’s important that people “external” to the system (non-Darknodes) can get themselves into the system. Allowing non-Darknodes to have some governance (even if it’s not overall things) would be critical to this. Q: That darknode option sounds very interesting although it could get more centralized as the price of 100k Ren rises.For instance dark nodes may not want to vote to lower the threshold from 100k to 50k once Ren gets too expensive. A: A great point. And one of the reasons it would be ideal to be able to alter those parameters without just the Darknodes voting. Otherwise, you definitely risk long-term centralisation. Q: BTC is deposited into a native BTC address, but who controls this address (where/how is this address’s private key stored)? A: This is precisely the magic behind RenVM. RenVM uses an MPC algorithm to generate the controlling private key. No one ever sees this private key, and no one can sign things with it without consensus from everyone else.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about some things it took me a while to figure out when I started investing. This was well received, and there were some interesting follow up questions, especially around what to invest in. A commonly recommended strategy on this sub-reddit is to invest in index funds, but that was another thing that it took me a while to figure out, and my first post didn't really get that far, so I present the spiritual successor: Things I Wish I'd Known Earlier About Index Funds This write-up is intended to broadly answer the question: How do I invest in a way that my returns will track the overall UK, US, or global stock market? N.B. I've also cross-posted this to ahttps://reboapp.co.uk/content/index-funds/, which is a knowledge base I'm building for UK investors. Let me know if there are any particular topics you'd like me to write about in future.
What is an index?
An index is a calculated value that summarises the performance of some category of assets into a single number which can be tracked over time. For indexes which track stock markets, this is typically the total valuation of the companies in some section of the stock market. For example, the FTSE 100 is an index which tracks the value of the largest 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Market indexes are normally calculated using capitalisation weighting, where the companies included in the index are selected based on their market valuation, and the larger the market valuation of a company, the more weight it is given in the index.
What is a capitalisation-weighted index?
In a capitalisation-weighted index, the index is calculated by summing the total market value of all of the companies. This means that if one company is worth £20 billion, and another is worth £10 billion, the former company will contribute twice as much to the index. A 10% increase in the price of the former company would increase the index by twice as much as a 10% rise in the latter company. An index is also usually normalised, so that it starts at a nice value like 1,000 on the first day it is measured. This normalisation happens by recording the sum of the market values of the companies on the first day, and then dividing later measures by this amount.
What is an index fund?
An index fund (also commonly referred to as a 'tracker') is a wrapper which will hold shares in the various assets in an index, weighted by the same weighting as in the index, so that the value of the index fund should track the underlying index closely over time. If the index goes up by 3%, then so should the index fund. For example, an index fund which tracks the FTSE 100 has £1 billion invested in it in total, then that £1 billion will be used by the fund manager to buy £1 billion worth of shares in the FTSE 100 companies, weighted by their market value, so that the fund would hold twice as much of a £20 billion company than a £10 billion company. As the valuations rise and fall, and as companies come in and out of the FTSE 100, the index fund will buy and sell shares to keep their allocation as close to the FTSE 100 weighting as possible.
Why use capitalisation weighting for an index?
By using a capitalisation-weighted index, the index is measuring how the market is choosing to allocate capital. If the market value of one company in the index is £20 billion (the total value of all of the company's shares adds up to £20 billion), and another company has a market value of £10 billion, then the shareholders are valuing the first company at twice as much as the second. If they weren't, then some people would sell shares in the company that they thought was overvalued, and buy shares in the other company that they thought was undervalued, until the prices shifted to match what people think. Of course some people might think this, while others think the opposite, so the market value only represents the average sentiment of the shareholders. There is no correct objective valuation, only the valuation that comes from the average of all the shareholder decisions. This is why we talk about market value rather than just value. By using a capitalisation-weighted index, the index tracks this market valuation. Now we could define loads of different indexes based on completely different criteria. For example, rather than worrying about market capitalisation, we could form an index based upon the value of all companies whose names begin with an 'L'. It's unlikely that this would tell us anything particularly interesting about the market though!
Why the market average is the best you can do
When you invest in an index fund tracking a capitalisation-weighted index, you are delegating your investment decisions to the market. You will be investing in companies in the index in proportion to how much capital everyone else has invested in these companies. This may seem like blindly following the herd, and you might think that you can do better than this, but you almost certainly can't. The reason you can't beat the market is that it's a zero-sum game - if you're going to do better than the average, someone else has to do worse than the average. So if you are going to do better than the market average over the long term, you need to make better decisions than at least 50% of the other people making active investment decisions. When the market contains institutional investors, hedge funds, people with PhDs, very fast computers, and significant amounts of money, it's unlikely that you're going to be in the upper half. Instead of trying to beat the market average yourself, you might be tempted to invest in an actively managed fund, where the investors try to make strategic picks to beat the market. The managers of such funds certainly have more resources available to them than you, and some even have excellent histories of market beating returns. However, there's no way for you to tell if an actively managed fund is actually better than the market average, or if they've just been lucky in the past. To illustrate this, consider the following thought experiment: If I pick 500 people and ask them to flip a coin 10 times in a row, I'd expect one or two of them to get 10 heads in row. If we pick one of those people, and look at their coin flipping record, then this person appears to be very talented at flipping a coin and getting heads. However, if I asked them to flip the coin again, they would have a 50/50 chance, just like everyone else. So in a world where there are many actively managed funds, some will have done better than the market average in the past. But how can we tell whether they were just lucky, or, on the contrary, if they will continue to beat the market? The unfortunate answer is you likely can't.
Structure of Index Funds
So far, we've covered the basics of the index fund concept, but in order to actually get your money invested, you'll need to know a little bit about what real index funds look like in practice. If you haven't already, this might be a good time to review my original post on getting started with investing. In the UK there are two common types index funds:
Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICs). An OEIC is essentially a limited company which you can buy shares in. The company then uses the money from the sale of its shares to purchase the underlying assets in the index it is trying to match. OEICs are often referred to simply as 'funds'.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). An ETF is like an OEIC, but it is publicly traded on an exchange. This means you are buying and selling shares in the ETFs from other investors, rather than the fund itself. New shares are created and dissolved as needed to match demand.
The legal structure of these funds doesn't matter too much to you as a personal investor, but there are some differences between OEICs and ETFs that you should be familiar with:
Liquidity. ETFs trade on a public exchange, so the price changes frequently, all day. You can buy and sell shares in an ETF quickly, at any point during the day. OEICs on the other hand are priced once per day, and after placing a buy or sell order, it will typically not execute until noon the next working day.
Cost. Brokers typically charge different amounts for trading shares on a public exchange, compared to buying units of an OEIC. It will vary from broker to broker, but brokers often charge significantly less for trading shares in an OEIC, compared to an ETF. On the other hand, there's often an extra ongoing 'custody fee' or 'platform charge' percentage levied upon OEIC holdings by the broker. How much this matters will depend on your broker, the size of your portfolio, and how frequently you plan on trading.
Ongoing charges. Both OEICs and ETFs will have ongoing management charges, which will be an annual percentage of your holdings. These are deducted automatically from your returns. There's no clear distinction between OEICs and ETFs here, but make sure you're aware of the ongoing charge in whichever fund you choose. For straightforward index funds tracking an index like the FTSE 100, expect an ongoing charge of less than 0.1% a year.
Hopefully the previous sections have demystified the workings of indexes and index funds to some degree. However, you may still have questions about which index funds to invest in. That's worth a whole separate write up, but here is a brief overview of the landscape of some of the different types of index funds that are available:
Large cap, mid cap and small cap
Large cap companies are those with the largest capitalisations, and in the UK typically refers to the FTSE 100 companies. That is, the largest 100 companies in the UK. The smallest company in the FTSE 100 has a market capitalisation of around £4 billion. Some example index funds tracking large cap companies are:
Mid cap companies are those with smaller capitalisations, typically referring to the FTSE 250 companies, which are the 101st-350th companies in the UK by market capitalisation. The market capitalisation of these ranges between around £4 billion to £500 million. Some example index funds:
Index funds also provide a convenient way to invest in foreign markets, outside the UK. The funds are located in the UK, and priced in GBP, so they are very accessible to a UK investor, but can hold investments in European, US, or global markets. The S&P 500 index is similar to the FTSE 100 index in the UK, but tracking the top 500 companies in the US. The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF is an index fund tracking the S&P 500. Likewise, the EURO STOXX 50 index tracks the largest 50 companies in Europe, and can be invested in through index funds such as the iShares EURO STOXX 50 UCITS ETF. There also exist indexes which aim to track the global market, such as the MSCI World index.
As well as indexes which track company valuations, there are indexes which track bond valuations. For example the Vanguard UK Government Bond Index Fund aims to track the Bloomberg Barclays U.K. Government Float Adjusted Bond Index. Index funds can also track other asset classes, like gold, property, and even alternative assets like Bitcoin.
Funds of funds
A single index typically represents a narrow cross section of the world, likely tracking only companies of a certain size, in a certain region, or a certain asset class. You may need to hold investments tracking multiple indexes in order to have a diversified portfolio across different assets types, company sizes and geographies. Rather than doing this manually, it is also possible to invest directly in a fund of funds. In this case, the fund holds a number of different underlying funds, tracking different indexes. This allows a single fund to have appropriate diversification. Some examples of these funds of funds, particularly those aimed at passive investors are:
Hopefully this article has helped to explain what an index fund is, and why you might be interested in investing in index funds. The above examples are certainly not a full list of the available indexes and index funds, and you should definitely do further research into which funds are most appropriate for your investment goals. Good luck with your investment journey!
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Multibillionaire Hedge Fund Pits Bitcoin against Lower-Yield Bonds
This video was made possible by our Patreon community! ️ See new videos early, participate in exclusive Q&As, and more! ️ https://www.patreon.com/Economics... Does the word 'Risk, Loss' pop up in your head while thinking about trading! Here's a new Bitcoin trading platform • BitcoinHedge • The World's First Zero-Loss Bitcoin Hedge Trading Platform ... Sign in to like videos, comment, and subscribe. Sign in. Watch Queue Queue Longtime hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones said Monday that he believes Wall Street could be witnessing the historic "birthing of a store of value" through... To combat fears of a trade war, put your money in bitcoin, said hedge-fund manager and bitcoin bull Brian Kelly. "[Bitcoin] is the new gold," Kelly said Friday on CNBC's "Fast Money." "In this ...