Apple Earnings: Profits Slip, iPhone Sales Fall Way Short of Estimates

Apple’s fiscal Q1 revenue and profits fell, marking the first time the company had to report such dismal numbers for this particular quarter in more than 10 years.

The culprits behind the declines were slowing iPhone sales and China’s economic downturn.

The tech giant’s earnings per share and revenue did beat analyst estimates. This was despite iPhone sales coming in lower than estimates.

Apple had warned investors about the expected lower sales at the beginning of January. Its stock plunged on that news.

Breaking Down Apple’s Fails And Beats

The tech giant reported earnings per share of $4.18, and revenues of $84.31 billion for the quarter that ended Dec. 29. Analysts’ estimates were $4.17, and $83.97 billion, respectively.

Its flagship iPhone saw its revenue fall 15% from the prior year. iPhones brought in $51.98 billion in sales, but analysts were looking for $52.67 billion.

Apple’s profits fell to $19.97 billion.

While iPhone sales were lower than expected, total revenue from all other products and services grew 19% to $10.9 billion. Apple had warned at the beginning of the month that emerging markets and the economic slowdown in China were presenting challenges to iPhone sales.

Mac revenues also missed estimates, but just slightly. Analysts estimated revenues from the machines would be $7.42 billion, but they were $7.416 billion instead.

Revenues from iPad sales, however, handily beat estimates. The street was looking for $5.9 billion, and Apple reported $6.729 billion.

Apple Continues To Guide Lower

Apple shares rose nearly 6% in after-market trading, though the stock sits well below its all-time high.

The street expects the number of iPhones sold over the next three months through the end of March will continue to decline at the steepest level in the company’s history.

Apple set Q2 2019 guidance lower than the street’s estimates. It set it at between $55 billion and $59 billion, while analysts were looking for $59.98 billion.

Here’s a breakdown of its guidance for its fiscal 2019 second quarter:

  • gross margin between 37 % and 38%
  • operating expenses between $8.5 billion and $8.6 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $300 million
  • tax rate of approximately 17%

About the guidance, Cook told CNBC:

“Well, we don’t attach our guidance to what the street is looking for, we attach it to what we can do. And so we think we can do $55 to $59 [billion]. Considering the currency situation, etc. it’s a strong guidance.”

He went on to say that revenue was down five percent during Q1, but only down three percent at constant currency. The effect will be more this quarter on currency than it was in the last quarter, Cook added.

“As we got into January, things have improved from where they ended in December, and that gives us some optimism. Of course that you don’t know what will continue, but I would also point out that seems to map to trade tension as well, that there is a bit more optimism in the air in January, or certainly I feel that anyways. I’m encouraged by the comments coming out of both countries.”

Optimistic In The Face Of It All

Cook said that while it was disappointing to miss its revenue guidance, he was confident about Apple’s outlook. He said the quarter’s results demonstrate that the “underlying strength of our business runs deep and wide.”

In the earnings release statement, he said:

“Our active installed base of devices reached an all-time high of 1.4 billion in the first quarter, growing in each of our geographic segments. That’s a great testament to the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers, and it’s driving our Services business to new records thanks to our large and fast-growing ecosystem.”

Despite the revenue and profit slips, Apple’s stock rose in after-market trading. At the time of writing, after the conference call, the stock was up 5.6% to $163.30.


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Author: Tedra DeSue 
Image Credit: Featured Image from Drew Angerer / Getty Images / AFP

Why China’s Economic Slowdown Could Trigger a Full-Blown Global Recession

By CCN.com: According to new figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Chinese government, Europe and China are continuing to struggle following a poor year of growth in 2018.

ECB President Mario Draghi said on January 24 that downside economic risks could pose a threat on the economy of the euro-zone, citing geopolitical uncertainties, the U.S.-China trade war, and the volatility in the global financial market as major contributing factors.

China and Europe Slowdown May Lead to a Global Recession

Earlier this month, a market strategist Russel Napier wrote in a column that the demise of the euro could trigger the collapse of the global monetary system, resulting in a full-blown global recession.

Napier said:

“The key consequence of this collapse will be the destruction of the euro. The expected success of the far-right and far-left in the European parliamentary election in May this year augurs the beginning of the end for the currency union. Both extremes share a commitment to the return of sovereignty to their parliaments that is incompatible with a single currency.”

In an official speech, ECB President Mario Draghi acknowledged the decline in the momentum of the euro and the euro-zone economy on Thursday, stating that the central bank will have to establish new inflation and economic forecasts by the end of the first quarter of 2019.

Draghi emphasized that a wide range of instruments such as bonds, interest rates, and long-term loans could be utilized to stimulate the euro-zone economy. But, analysts remain unconvinced whether it would be sufficient to lead to the euro-zone to a full recovery by the year’s end.

An economics commentator Greg Ip noted that based on the numbers released by the IMF, which suggest that the global economy is set to expand by 3.5 percent in 2019, a global recession will not occur in the short-term.

However, Ip explained that the series of revisions made by the IMF in its forecasts and projections present an issue for central banks across the world and depending on the strategies employed by major regions like the euro-zone and China, the global economy may face long-lasting turbulence throughout the years to come.

“This latest disappointment isn’t the story; the real story is the serial disappointments that have dogged this expansion from the start. The IMF keeps projecting a return to the 4%-plus growth that prevailed in the 2000s, and keeps having to revise it down,” Ip wrote.

The slow down in the growth rate of the European economy coincides with the newly released report from the Chinese government that the economy of China grew by a mere 6.6 percent in 2018, recording the slowest pace in over two decades.

U.S. Economic Growth is on the Decline as Well

Several reports in the past week have claimed that the struggle of the euro-zone and China may affect the economy of the U.S. in the short-term.

Already, as disclosed by the Conference Board economic research director Ataman Ozyildirim, U.S. economic growth is projected to slow down by the end of the year, having recorded a slight drop in the last quarter of 2018.

Since late December, major stock market indexes including Dow Jones, S&P 500, SSE Composite, and Nikkei 225 have performed relatively well, but analysts believe that the global economy remains vulnerable to a potential downturn and trend reversal.


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Author: Joseph Young 
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Samsung Galaxy S10 Bitcoin Wallet Leaked by Insider: Is it Official?

By CCN.com: BGR, a U.S.-based technology publication, reported that a Samsung insider leaked images of the new Galaxy S10 model equipped with a native Bitcoin wallet.

The Galaxy S10 has not yet been released to the public, but Samsung reportedly distributed the model to accessory makers and merchants.

Galaxy S10 with a Crypto Wallet?

According to Gregory Blake, who released several screenshots of a suspected Galaxy S10 prototype, the new model of the South Korean mobile phone manufacturing giant has an integrated feature called “Samsung Blockchain KeyStore” that enables users to have full control over their private keys and crypto funds.

Once the Blockchain KeyStore is authenticated and enabled on the device, users are able to begin sending and receiving cryptocurrency using the native crypto wallet on the mobile phone.

The screenshot shared by Blake revealed Ethereum as the only supported cryptocurrency on the device, possibly because the phone is still a prototype. However, one image included graphics that appeared to be bitcoins, so it’s likely more currencies would be included at launch.

Verifying that the phone in question is a Galaxy S10, a technology journalist at BGR Chris Smith explained:

“We know it’s a Galaxy S10 phone because the punch-hole camera is placed near the top right corner. The A8s’ selfie cam is on the left side. Also, we know it’s a Galaxy S10 phone rather than a Galaxy S10+ model because it features a single-lens selfie camera. It’s clear the handset isn’t the Lite version, because the screen has curved edges, rather than flat.”

Previously, CCN reported on Dec 13, 2018, that Samsung plans to integrate a crypto cold storage into its S10 model following the company’s filing of trademarks for Samsung blockchain.

At the time, SamMobile executive editor Adnan Farooqui confirmed that the company is developing a cold storage crypto wallet and intends to integrate it in the Galaxy S10.

Why it Makes Sense for Samsung to Integrate a Bitcoin Wallet

In July of last year, Samsung Insights reported that the most secure device to run a cryptocurrency wallet on is a mobile phone due to the presence of a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).

Dissimilar to laptops, PCs, and other types of devices, smartphones have a native environment that operates independently of the memory and storage. As such, data stored in a TEE cannot be altered by the operating system, completely eliminating the possibility of a security breach affecting data stored in the trusted environment.

By utilizing a TEE on a mobile phone, a crypto wallet can operate much more securely and efficiently than laptops and desktops, which still remain as a popular platform for wallets and exchanges.

“This is why smartphones have an edge over laptops and desktops for cryptocurrency wallets: without the benefits of the hardware-based TEE, the keys are more vulnerable,” Joel Snyder, a senior IT consultant and Samsung Insights contributor, said. “There is a significant caveat: a naïve wallet developer might choose to simply store the keys on the normal internal storage of the phone, in which case there’s little additional protection from using the smartphone platform. Or the wallet itself might be malware, in which case all bets are off.”

“But with the right wallet leveraging the benefits of smartphone TEE, there’s no place safer to store your money.”

If the official Galaxy S10 model launches with a native Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet, it may pose a significant threat to companies such as HTC and projects working on blockchain phones that exclusively support cryptocurrencies.


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Author: Joseph Young 
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EU Smacks Mastercard with $650 Million Fine for Doing What Credit Card Companies Do Best

By CCN.com: The European Commission on Tuesday slammed Mastercard with a 570.6 million euro ($650 million) fine after finding the company guilty of breaching antitrust rules. According to information released by the EU regulatory body, the original fine was reduced by 10 percent because Mastercard cooperated with the Commission during the investigation.

Mastercard Overcharged Customers, Colluded against Merchants

Mastercard, which is the second biggest card brand in the European Economic Area, forced acquiring banks to apply the interchange fees of the country where the retailer was located. These practices restricted merchant options and stopped them from finding other cards with friendlier transaction fees.

Prior to December 2015, interchange fees in the EEA varied widely between countries. In December 2015, the EU capped interchange fees at a maximum of 0.2 percent of total transaction value and 0.3 percent  of transaction value for debit and credit cards respectively. This interchange fee regulation reduced retailers’ costs by a significant margin that reflected in the cost of items.

EC Investigation and Half-a-Billion Dollar Fine

Source: Shutterstock

In 2013, regulators opened a formal investigation into Mastercard to determine if its acquiring rules breached any of the antitrust laws of the EU. After its investigations, the Commission determined that Mastercard’s rules racked up more costs for both retailers and consumers as the retailers had to pay more bank charges which then translated to higher cost of items.

The Commission determined that if Mastercard’s rules were nonexistent, retailers would have the opportunity to enjoy lower bank rates from countries with lower interchange fees, which would then lower costs for card users and non-card customers alike.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner in charge of competition policy said:

“European consumers use payment cards every day, when they buy food or clothes or make purchases online. By preventing merchants from shopping around for better conditions offered by banks in other Member States, Mastercard’s rules artificially raised the costs of card payments, harming consumers and retailers in the EU.”

The Commission arrived at the 570 million euro figure based on the duration of the infringement, the amount of sales recorded during the infringement period and Mastercard’s level of cooperation during the investigation. In return for admitting to infringement of EU antitrust and competition rules, Mastercard received a 10 percent fine reduction.

It will be recalled that in July 2018, Google was handed a $5 billion fine by the European Commission after also being found guilty of engaging in non-competitive behaviour by forcing manufacturers to make Chrome and Google Search the default search tools on Android devices.

In any case, the fine didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Mastercard’s share price. MA shares dropped by 1.26 percent to $199.46, which was somewhat better than the 1.42 percent decline seen in the broad S&P 500 index.


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Author: David Hundeyin
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JP Morgan-Backed Firm Partners with Blockchain Startup Owned By Former Deloitte Exec

JP Morgan-backed digital services firm Smartrac has partnered with SUKU Ecosystem, a blockchainstartup owned by former Deloitte exec Eric Piscini, according to a tweet on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

SUKU, which is parented by another Piscini-owned blockchain firm Citizen Reserve, will provide its platform to integrate with Smartrac’s supply chain. Smartrac is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) inlay manufacturer. Based on the public Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, Citizens Reserve’s platform is operating its own cryptocurrency, ZERV, which was developed on an ERC20 token.

Piscini, CEO at both SUKU and Citizen, said that the new partnership aims to resolve major problems related to supply chain digitization. Per Piscini the new blockchain integration will improve tracking, security, and transparency across the supply chain. Dinesh Dhamija, CTO of Citizens Reserve, said:

“The combination of Smartrac’s digital enablement capabilities along with Citizen’s Reserves’ SUKU platform will provide a unique identity for each physical product with a transparent and accessible supply chain solution.”

Netherlands-based Smartrac specializes in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and is reportedly the world’s largest supplier of electronic passports inlays. In July 2018, global e-commerce giant AlibabaGroup acquired shares in Smartrac, while JP Morgan reportedly remained the largest shareholder.

Deloitte, a Big Four audit and consulting firm, recently included blockchain technology in its Tech Trends 2019 report, stressing its disruptive nature and outlining blockchain as “the unsung hero of our digital future.”


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Author: Helen Partz
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$3 Billion Google-Backed AI Unicorn UiPath Set to Achieve Revenue Growth of 5614%

From CCN.com: UiPath, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup first backed by Google’s CapitalG fund in 2018 will shortly, according to leaked reports, achieve over 5000% growth.

Business Insider sources claim UiPath, also backed by Sequoia Capital and Accel, is set to hit $200 million annual recurring revenue (ARR). ARR is a metric used by software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers to reflect subscription revenues.

The ARR figure for UiPath was just $3.5 million in 2016. Its ARR hit $150 million in November 2018. When it reaches its predicted $200 million ARR in coming weeks UiPath will have grown by 33% in less than three months.

UiPath is a robotic process automation (RPA) specialist providing “software robots” to enterprises in the form of its SaaS platform. The software automates back-office business tasks using AI.

By early 2018 the startup, focused on supplying Fortune 500 firms, had 700 enterprise customers including BMW Group and Huawei.  This had grown from just 100 the year before. At the time catapulting UiPath’s ARR by 690% and making it a market leader in the RPA market. CEO Daniel Dines says:

“Our idea is to have a robot for every employee, working side by side on the same computer in assisted automation. We see this as a compelling proposition to many of our customers, having both back office and front office.”

“First” Romanian Unicorn Startup is Now Worth Over $3 Billion

UiPath is dubbed the “first” Romanian unicorn. The AI company received its status of a startup valued at over $1 billion by its March 2018 round of funding. This round was led by Accel and joined by Google’s CapitalG.

CapitalG then went on to lead a September 2018 funding round. By this point, UiPath had a $418 million influx of capital for the year and an over $3 billion valuation.

Formed in 2005, UiPath retains its development team in Bucharest, Romania and has offices globally including in New York and Japan.

UiPath isn’t the fastest company to gain “unicorn” prestige. Still, UiPath’s rapid evolution proves artificial intelligence is a good bet technologically and strategically for investors. For Google parent Alphabet, AI is less of a choice and more of a necessity.

Laela Sturdy, a partner at Alphabet’s CapitalG says:

“We strongly believe that RPA is a primary route for organizations to benefit from AI.”

The company was ranked 26th on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 last year and entered the Forbes 2018 Cloud providers listing in 14th position in September. By this time UiPath was boasting 1750 enterprise and government customers.

Reporting also indicates UiPath’s clients now include the armed forces and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). UiPath is still a private company with no signs yet of plans to go publicly listed.

Gartner predicts the value of the AI market in 2018 to reach $1.2 trillion. Of emerging technologies, AI will be one of the first to see widespread use, outpacing blockchain and even IoT. For FAANG companies like Google, exploring AI directly and indirectly is common-sense if they are to retain their digital market domination.


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Author: Melanie Kramer 
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Business Insider Lists 13 Crypto-Friendly Celebs Who May Own Millions in Bitcoin

Business Insider recently listed 13 celebrities who support cryptocurrencies and may hold some coins themselves.

Cryptocurrency is designed to be the future of money, and it appears many celebrities strongly back this notion or revolutionary technology behind it.

Business Insider recently listed 13 celebrities who have shown support cryptocurrencies publicly and may be holders of digital currencies themselves.

The list contains celebs from a range of different backgrounds including sports stars, actors, business people and musicians.

Business Insider state that some of the celebrities “could be in possession of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin.”

Singers/Entertainers:

#1 Snoop Dogg: When hardly anyone else saw the potential of Bitcoin, Snoop Dogg was selling his album for 0.3 BTC online in 2013. It is unknown how many of these albums he sold, but by today’s BTC valuation, he could have earned more than $1,000 per sale. The hip hop guru also appeared at the XRP Community Night crypto party.

#2 Pitbull: He aimed to launch a new cryptocurrency called Smackathon along with eMerge Americas, which was designed for sending payments in the music industry. Pitbull publicly announced this in April 2018 as reported by CNBC.

#3 Mel B: The former Spice Girl partnered with CloudHashing in 2014, a company offering Bitcoin-mining contracts, and started accepting BTC as payment for her Christmas Single in 2014.

#4 Madonna: The Queen of Pop teamed up with Ripple and Facebook to raise money for her Raising Malawi Foundation. The online fundraising event included Ripple matching every dollar donated to the campaign.

Business People:

#5 Bill Gates: The Microsoft founder who is known for his philanthropic efforts is a well-known BTC invested public figures. Though at one point he did say he would short Bitcoin if he could, he has also previously spoken about its usefulness in processing payments and that Bitcoin’s low costs make it exciting.

Socialites:

#6 Paris Hilton: The hotel heiress and media personality publicly announced in September 2017 that she is looking forward to the ICO of LydianCoin.

Sports Personalities:

#7 Mike Tyson: The celebrated boxer has produced Bitcoin ATMs and Wallets (with Bitcoin Direct) that used branding which replicates his face tattoo. He is a well-known Bitcoin investor.

#8 Lionel Messi: One of the most celebrated footballers of this generation, Messi became the face of the first crypto smartphone in the world, produced by Israeli firm Sirin Labs.

#9 Floyd Mayweather, Jr.:

Mayweather has promoted several ICOs including Hubii Network, Stox, and the controversial Centra. His involvement in the ICO scene also led to the SEC filing charges against him.

Actors:

#10 Gwyneth Paltrow: Gwyneth Paltrow is involved in several business ventures, and crypto is one of her interests. The MCU actress became the face of Abra, a Bitcoin wallet and has served as an advisor to the project since 2017. In November 2018, she also shared an article on Twitter, talking about the fundamentals of crypto and Bitcoin and how to invest in digital assets.

#11 Ashton Kutcher: Actor-turned-investor Ashton Kutcher isn’t shy about his crypto investments. He and his Shark Tank colleague Mark Cuban have invested together in UnikoinGold- a currency for online gaming in popular games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends. He also invested in BitPay.

#12 Hugh Laurie: More popularly known as Dr. House, Laurie invested in Bitcoin in 2015. Not much is known about his current holdings.

#13 Johnny Depp: Depp’s extravagant lifestyle has raised many eyebrows over the years, but he has shown interest in cryptos as well. He became a partner at TaTaTu, a blockchain startup last year.

The full original version of Business Insider’s article can be found here.


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Author: Viraj Shah
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France nears implementation of digital tax

France is working on a “GAFA” tax with a maximum rate of five percent, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says

France will push ahead with its own tax on large internet and technology companies by introducing a bill that would be retroactive to January 1, its finance minister said Sunday.

The move comes as the European Union tries to finalise an EU-wide levy.

“We are working on a tax that would affect internet service companies with of more than 750 million euros ($850 million) and 25 million euros in France,” Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

“If these two criteria are not met, they (the taxes) will not be imposed,” he noted.

A draft bill would be presented to the government by the end of February “and rapidly put before parliament for a vote,” Le Maire said.

“The tax would apply as of January 1, 2019 and its rate would vary according to the level of sales, with a maximum of five percent,” a level that would represent “around 500 million euros” annually for France, he added.

Paris has been driving hard for a so-called “GAFA tax”—named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—to ensure the global internet giants pay a fair share of taxes on their huge business operations in Europe.

Le Maire called the question “a major issue in the 21st century.”

EU tax revenue losses and internet giants
Tax revenue losses in selected EU member states from Google and Facebook, as France goes alone on new digital tax.

He said that a Europe-wide agreement was also possible by late March, in light of a compromise reached in December with Germany, which has been less enthusiastic about such a levy.

A spokesman for Facebook France told AFP: “We will continue to respect our fiscal obligations as defined by French and European legislation.”

Google France declined to comment on Le Maire’s remarks.


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Author: PHYS ORG
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United Nations Calls Bitcoin and Crypto ‘New Frontier’ in Finance

In a year-end report on the global economy, the United Nations calls cryptocurrency a “new frontier” in digital finance. According to the UN, crypto and blockchain technology at large have the potential to create new and revolutionary business models that cut red tape and dramatically increase efficiency.

This is not the first time the UN has expressed its interest in digital assets. In May, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) revealed its collaboration with IOTA to “explore how IOTA’s innovative technology – which provides an open-source distributed ledger for data management – can increase the efficiency of UNOPS operations.” UNOPS is also exploring Ripple’s suite of cross-border payment solutions, according to a report from the Association for Financial Professionals from late 2017.

The new report from the UN, called the “World Economic and Social Survey 2018”, dives into the advantages of crypto, blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

Here’s a look at the highlights.

Crypto Represents “New Frontier” in Digital Finance

“Cryptocurrencies represent a new frontier in digital finance and their popularity is growing. The decentralized networks for cryptocurrencies, bitcoin being a well-known example, can keep track of digital transactions. They enable value to be exchanged and can give rise to new business models which would otherwise require significant regulatory and institutional commitments.

Blockchain and Crypto Have Many Use Cases

“For example, a value token called climatecoin is being considered as a basis for creating a global market for carbon emissions, allowing peer-to-peer exchange of carbon credits and a direct connection with the Internet of Things. It would then be possible for devices to calculate their own carbon emissions and purchase carbon credits to offset those emissions.

There are also proposals for using blockchain technology as a distributed ledger of real-world information on property registration, personal identity, and provenance of food and medicines, among many other types of data. The United Nations and the World Identity Network are exploring ways to register the identities of children on a blockchain as a means of combating child trafficking.”

Innovation Comes From Inherent Trust

“The innovativeness of this system lies in the way in which the various parts combine to create the trust and guarantees that the traditional financial system derives from institutions and regulation. The incentives align the interest of participants towards contributing to the system’s security.

In contrast, the traditional system relies on a complex armature of reporting, oversight and implicit or explicit guarantees, ultimately backed by the reputation of the central authority. As such, the blockchain technology presents the possibility—a first in the field of finance!—that trust in institutions backed by government can be replaced by trust in computer code.”

You can check out the full report here.


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Author: Daily Hodl Staff
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CBOE CEO Reveals What is Keeping Out Wall Street’s Billions From Cryptocurrency Market?

During the conference at a media luncheon on Jan 16, 2019, Ed Tilly, CEO of CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) indicated what is hindering the Growth of Bitcoin Futures and keeping the Wall Street money out of the cryptocurrency market. According to him, Electronic Traded Notes (ETNs) is keeping out wall street’s billions.

Why ETNs are must for the success of Bitcoin Future?

Since Electronic Traded Notes can be denominated in smaller amounts, retail investors can easily access them. On the other hand, an institutional investor who would use Bitcoin futures needs to have a separate account set up to enter into the market. Tilly conveys the importance of ETN as the entry point for institutional investors. He says;

“The power of having that future there is also having an ETN that is more attractive to retail, and then institutions can lay off risk on the listed futures market”,

He asserted that both the products are critical to each other – it becomes a base for both market, wall street and main street. Nevertheless, he sees ETN is easily accessible to average investors and doesn’t have a higher barrier to enter into the market, whereas, Bitcoin futures would demand ‘significant amount of legwork’.

Absent that leg and introducing trackers or notes, I think we will be in this, ‘It trades every day, but it is not the story.

Govt. shutdown delaying the launch of Cryptocurrency products

He says that the regulators are always reluctant to approve ETNs and in tenure of a government closure, it is even more difficult to predict the launch of new products like Ether futures. Moreover, Coingape reported SEC’s latest order on freezing all pending proceeding doesn’t necessarily change the status of Bitcoin ETF Approval. Tilly says that ‘we cannot move for future products;

“I have two regulators that are not taking calls right now, that doesn’t mean there is nothing we are interested in. It means nothing is going to happen in this government shutdown.”

Furthermore, as far as the ETF’s are tied with the regulators, they’re left with a difficult question. With this he says;

“How do I protect the US customer from manipulation in a market that I don’t regulate?. You answer that question, you get your first ETN.”


Regulators are Still Uncertain on Cryptocurrency regulations

The launch of first CBOE’s bitcoin futures in 2017 when the Bitcoin prices reached nearly $20000 was a historical entry and the open interest for the future counts 5306 contracts. However, after a year, the number of open interest declined to 3420 contracts. With this, Tilly also talks about the success behind CBOE’s Volatility Index (VIX) futures which significantly has 370,354 contracts in open network on Thursday, 17th Jan 2019. Consequently, he adds that there are a number of financial products in connection with the VIX contract.

“Why is VIX successful? Really calls upon the pool of liquidity in the S&P 500. Oh, and there is an institutional futures contract that is traded at the CME. There is a most successful ETF, SPDR. There are trackers and replicating notes that lever up that exposure. All of that works together.”

While appreciating VIX’s contract, he adds that the crypto market has also tried offering new financial products to the market but regulators are uncertain to approve. Tilly link the growth of bitcoin with the approval of ETFs by regulators however, we have seen SEC in the month of August 2018 has already rejected 9 ETFs including Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust.

Seems like Govt. shutdown is affecting the crypto market and product launches are getting delayed. Further, the rumors that Trump might call for an emergency situation if true is not a very good sign for the cryptocurrency market. 


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Author: Tabassum
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