Monday, May 19, 2014

Matt Taibbi On America's 'Injustice System'

Journalist Matt Taibbi joins Larry to examine inequality in the U.S. justice system. In his new book, "The Divide-American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," Taibbi says white-collar criminals walk, while the poor get locked up in record numbers.

- Source, Russia Today

Saturday, May 17, 2014

No Way Out - Stock, Bond and Real Estate Markets Will Collapse

Doug Casey of predicts, "When interest rates inevitably go up from these artificially suppressed levels where they are now, the bond market is going to collapse, the stock market is going to collapse, and with it, the real estate market is going to collapse. These pension funds are going to be wiped out. Then what's going to happen? This is a very bad situation. The U.S. is digging itself in deeper and deeper."

"There's no way out," according to Casey. He explains, "It means, in the real world, there is cause and effect. Actions have consequences . . . . What could happen? You could have lots of bank failures. You could have a stock market crash. All this money that the government has created has bulled up the stock market to new highs. So, the next step is likely to be down."

- Source, USA Watchdog

Thursday, May 15, 2014

US Government Report: China is Threat to Global Bitcoin Economy

China’s crackdown on bitcoin threatens to undermine the industry’s global economy, according to a new US government report.

Drawing a contrast between the actions of domestic authorities to “investigate and regulate bitcoin without restricting its use” and the recent, restrictive steps taken by the Chinese government, the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission report concluded:

“If Chinese regulators successfully prevent Chinese users from accessing bitcoin, the global bitcoin market will face continued price declines, significantly decreased trading volumes and threats to its legitimacy.”
Continued uncertainty

In recent weeks, the regulatory environment in China has shifted, with Chinese banks closing the accounts of bitcoin businesses and the government ordering restrictions on digital currency coverage in the media coverage.

While last year’s rapid uptake of bitcoin in China helped take the price to record levels, this year the country has been a source of uncertainty for the bitcoin economy, depressing prices to around the $400-$500 mark.

During this time, Chinese regulators have displayed little transparency about their intentions, the report finds:

“The true attitude of China’s regulators toward bitcoin is characteristically ambiguous; while PBoC pressures banks and bitcoin companies behind closed doors, its officials claim openly that China cannot ban bitcoin.”
Bitcoin’s next China

Although the crackdown has had an impact on China’s bitcoin economy, locations like Hong Kong have benefitted from the Chinese government’s actions.

Hong Kong has a “wide regulatory latitude and tech-friendly atmosphere”, the report notes, arguing that it is the “most suitable transplant location ahead of Singapore and South Korea”.

Still, the Chinese bitcoin economy may be down, but it’s certainly not out. Major exchanges like Huobi and OKCoin, for example, are working to bolster the perception of bitcoin in China, while the broader ecosystem has taken steps to ensure exchanges are not the target of further government action.

The question now is how much farther the Chinese government will go to deter bitcoin businesses.

- Source, CoinDesk

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BitPay Raises $30m in Record-Breaking Bitcoin Funding Round

Atlanta-based bitcoin merchant processor BitPay has officially raised $30m in Series A funding in the largest-ever financing round for a bitcoin company.

The round was led by Index Ventures, and included Yahoo founder Jerry Lang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Felicis Ventures, PayPal founder Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Horizons Ventures, RRE Ventures, Virgin Galactic’s Sir Richard Branson and TTV Capital.

As part of the deal, Index Ventures’ Jan Hammer and noted bitcoin ecosystem investor Jimmy Furland will join BitPay’s Board of Directors.

Rapid growth

In an interview with CoinDesk, BitPay CEO Tony Gallippi framed the funding as both a validation of the explosive growth his company has seen over the past year and a way for BitPay to continue its success into 2015 and beyond.

For example, the company will aggressively expand its team, tripling its work force by adding 70 jobs across its global offices.

“We have to continue to make our product more scalable,” said Gallippi. “What works for 1,000 merchants does not work for 100,000 merchants. We’ve got to continue to add new features to the platform, we’ve got to continue to build things that our merchants are asking for.”

BitPay’s $30m round comes amid an increasingly active year for bitcoin startups. Fellow merchant processor and consumer bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase raised $25m in December, while wallet and secure storage platform Xaposecured $20m in March.

BitPay previously raised $2m in funding as part of a seed round led by Founders Fund in May 2013.

As of January, BitPay reported that it is now adding more than 1,000 merchants to its network each week. Furthermore, the company processed more than $100m in bitcoin payments in 2013.

- Source, CoinDesk, read more here:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Chinese Gold Demand Dropping

Gold demand has been in a downtrend for six weeks in Shanghai and premiums have been sub zero since late February, which doesn’t hint at a supply shortage on the SGE.

At the same time we saw GOFO rates being negative in week 15 in western markets, which does hint at supply shortages. This situation illustrates the PBOC’s gold policy;gold is allowed to be imported but not exported.

- Source, The Silver Doctors, read more here: