Common sense kicks in following the Bitfinex hack
By Marcie Terman, Communications Director, First Global Credit and XBT Corp Geneva
Those of us involved in the cryptocurrency space right now are all certified early adopters and we wear that badge with great pride. We are individualists, a bit edgy and a bit libertarian. Because of this, companies like First Global Credit that take a hard line on the Know Your Customer rules withstand a lot of criticism. Cryptocurrency aficionados do not like the fact that we are legally compelled by international convention to understand who we do business with. But I will tell you from a life-long responsible relationship with my money (crypto or otherwise), it makes sense knowing who is on the other side of monetary transactions.
That is why when First Global Credit was founded in 2014 we published the identity of everyone on our management team. It seemed only fair if we demanded transparency from our customers that we in turn would be equally transparent with them. It would seem that in the aftermath of the Bitfinex hack the sentiment of the rest of the bitcoin market are suddenly in step with our own as the numbers of customers signing up and immediately KYC’ing their live trading accounts on our bitcoin backed, stock, futures and FX trading platform have increased four times the usual level over the past 7 days.
At a cursory inspection it may seem eminently fair that Bitfinex’s founders have taken the view to spread losses over their entire pool of customers. But if you think about this critically, it wasn’t the customer’s fault that permitted an automated, unchecked process at BitGo to release funds to points unknown. And given that the identity of Bitfinex’s management is not generally known, it makes it much easier for the culpable to hide until the heat dies down. Perhaps giving the go ahead on ill-conceived policies like this would have been deliberated on with greater care if the decision makers knew they would be identified as responsible?
My thinking is that these issues with Bitfinex have raised the question of what kind of accountability you can expect from vendors that use their customers’ penchant for anonymity as a cloak that they themselves can hide behind? (Doubly bizarre since Bitfinex follows the KYC conventions for their customers to reveal their identities.) This kind of thinking is logically followed by the realization that platforms offering anonymity or exchanges that automate withdrawals (a thing you NEVER see in conventional online brokerages) are perhaps not the most trustworthy place to store capital. With anonymity not only is it very easy for a financial service business, its website and its founders to disappear if things suddenly go wrong, it also makes it much harder to make a bid to reclaim capital yourself after a hack if you have no way of proving that it was your money stolen in the first place!
We cryptocurrency advocates consider the sanctity of personal information inviolable but the standard for company founders is and should be different. If you choose to do business with companies that hide the identities of their founders creating an opportunity to avoid responsibility, you, yourself are equally as culpable. I believe strongly, as many in crypto do in the principle of personal responsibility which is why I know that people who do not stand behind what they are selling are looking to avoid the consequences of poor decisions.
Having recognised that anonymity is not desirable in a business where client assets are involved I would suggest substituting the goal of anonymity with the selection of business partners that show a high regard for the personal privacy of clients as we do at First Global Credit. Choose business partners domiciled in jurisdictions that share your values. Make sure that the jurisdiction follows rule of law and the concept of search and seizure as it existed before the panics of the last decade. A blanket request for all customer data is simply not acceptable. If a government feels that there is criminal activity associated with an account, the proper course of action is to obtain a warrant through an objective legal system only after due process has been exercised.
Customers have a responsibility as well where the security of their assets are involved. Do not complain if your financial service company uses manual processes for withdrawal. Consider multiple layers of validation for transactions over a certain level simply a cost of doing business that is there to protect you as well as your service partner. Restrict your financial dealings to companies that you have vetted to make sure that they have a serious approach to not only maintaining security but validating processes regularly to make sure your service partner stays as far ahead of thieves as humanly possible. But at the core of all these measures lies transparency which should do much to facilitate trust between customer and service provider.
Those of us involved in the world altering cryptocurrency markets are absolutely ahead of the curve. We are doing exciting things, making the fiscal world more equitable, creating opportunities that will remove money from the hands of bankers and put it back in the hands of people who worked for the assets in the first place. Bringing opportunity to populations that have been abused by their governments for far too long. That’s pretty exciting stuff! But these paradigm changes do not mean that the sensible precautions that are part of the conventional financial markets should be ignored.
The success of the First Global Credit Trading competitions is due to the ingenuity and persistence of the people who choose to take part. We have old friends who have traded with us from almost the beginning. These people have profitable live accounts, who like the challenge of pitting themselves against others. We have other people who have never traded with us before.
Each competition is different, not only because the people taking part are different but because live market conditions are always in flux, always presenting new challenges. This time, traders who made the bulk of their money trading bitcoin FX were going to have a hard time making headway. The only thing in their favour, it’s a level playing field and all the bitcoin fx traders were going to have a hard time making a profit. But in the Fantastic Four Competition a higher number of players used bitcoin FX to try to increase their competitive edge.
It is also interesting to note that of all the people taking part in the competition, over half of the traders playing were at least somewhat in profit. But among those traders who were profitable 1.2% of them made over 70% of the profits. Since there could be only 4 winners, I think it should be noted that people really made an effort to aggressively trade a wide variety of strategies. And for so many people to be profitable during very difficult trading conditions speaks to the quality of the people taking part. So without further delay, I’d like to introduce you to the diverse and interesting group of traders who have won the Fantastic Four Trading Competition.
Winner – Futures Trading Category
Name: Alejandro Alvarez
Day Job: Serial Entrepreneur, Computer and Network Security Expert
Location: Malaga, Spain
Specialty: Futures Trading
Interviewer: What was your strategy that let you do so well in the competition?Alejandro is a serial entrepreneur and father of 4 who not only enjoys futures trading, but a rich and active lifestyle as well. He has not taken a position in bitcoin but observes several groups. He has seen several of First Global’s competitions advertised, but his interest was piqued when he saw that this time we had added futures to the roster of available markets.
I have learned not to trade the noise. I risk enough to maximize my available capital though I was a little overinvested several times during the competition. But I have learned to be patient, waiting for the right moment to enter the market. Once I am in a trade, if I’ve got the direction right, I hold onto it and add to my position. When I believe the conditions are about to change, then I exit. To judge the market conditions for a trading decision I analyze interrelated markets.
Interviewer: Which futures did you trade to win the competition?
I only traded the S&P, 10 Year US Treasury Notes and Gold. I did not use currency switch to move out and into bitcoin.
Interviewer: When you start trading the winning account, what are your plans for the profits you will make?
I plan to start immediately. I’m not interested in using the profits. I plan to leave them in the account to let the capital increase.
Interviewer: Did you discover or learn anything during the competition you’d like to tell us about?
I learned that you have to be aware that anything can happen. You need to be ready for unexpected things.
Interviewer: Is there anything you might have done differently in hindsight.
Yes of course, always. But asking that question is not useful because in real time you never know what will happen. Hindsight is 20/20.
Interviewer: Tell us about any memorable trades you made during the competition?
I remember one long S&P trade where I went long at 2030. I added to the position several times and exited at 2080. In hindsight I exited too soon as the market eventually reached 2105!
Winner – Stock Trading Category
Name: Perica Vukelj
Day job: Software developer
Specialty: Stocks and options
Perica is a happily married software developer living in the beautiful country of Montenegro. He has a daughter who is very important to his happiness. While he works in development, he is also a bitcoin holder who likes to occasionally trade stocks and options. We interviewed him to find out how he did so well in the stock trading category and to learn a bit more about his trading style.
I first learned about the Fantastic Four competition on the NewsBTC website. “I said to myself, this is great! Exactly what I needed. Now my bitcoin can be put to work. Because it was always annoying to me that the capital I have in bitcoin is just sitting there ‘only in bitcoin’. It is time consuming and expensive (trading fees and the time for international bank transfers) to be in bitcoin when I am bullish and when I am not so content with bitcoin to need to get fiat from a bitcoin exchange and put it somewhere else. And if I’m wrong and pull out of bitcoin, (which I am very often) I may miss big move and later get less bitcoins for the same money.
I love competitions and competing. After all, trading is, itself, a sort of competition, (In my humble opinion). So I decided to try for myself in the Fantastic Four Competition. I didn’t think I could get to the top of the list but with a bit of luck I did.
It was great experience. When you are competing there is always pressure to trade. During normal trading you might pass on some opportunities because you are not so confident. But in a competition you have to give it a try – after all the other competitors probably won’t pass on it. Also, you never know how close the other traders are behind you and how far away are the ones ahead of you! This pressure kept me trying to give my best every day. Keep looking for new trades all the time. It was fighting market moves and fighting with other competitors at the same time.
Winner – Bitcoin Fx Trading Category
Name: Eric Stein
Day job: Entrepreneur, Master trader, guitarist and Search Engine Optimization specialist
Location: Chicago, USA
Specialty: some stocks, some futures, bitcoin
Eric is a true Renaissance man who at age 35 has been involved in the bitcoin ecosystem since 2013. His most recent accomplishment is the launching the ‘bitcoin drudge report’ at http://Bitcoins.sx. He obtained many of his own bitcoins through mining. We caught up with Eric during a break in his hyper busy schedule to ask him about his opinions about the trading competition and the bitcoin market in general.
Interviewer: Do you use bitcoins to buy things?
Sure! When I can. I love supporting the bitcoin ecosystem.
Interviewer: What was the strategy that let you do so well in the competition?
I traded some stocks, had some good runs. Also traded a few futures but I did not have much luck in futures. Then I moved all my profits into bitcoins.
Interviewer: Do you have an opinion on why bitcoin has started to rise recently after having traded in a range for so long?
Yes, I believe it is due to increased mainstream adoption, increase in news exposure, increased blockchain believers, etc. I believe it is still way under priced.
Interviewer: Do you have any ideas about what will move bitcoin towards mainstream acceptance? Large merchants like paypal and amazon directly accepting bitcoin will help – or when they start using some kind of blockchain technology.
Interviewer: What do you think the price of bitcoin will be a year from now?
$999,999 per coin!
Interviewer: Would you like to build a career based on trading?
Yes. I want to be the worlds’ greatest cryptocurrency trader.
Interviewer: When you start trading the winning account, what are your plans for the profits you will make?
I will grow my portfolio to be holding millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin.
Interviewer: Did you learn anything during the competition you’d like to share?
Yes. I learned a ton. Go big or go home. Stay focused, stay non-objective and stay fearless!
Interviewer: Is there anything you might have done differently in hindsight.
Stay focused and don’t jump into moves without the proper due diligence. Look at charts at different time scales.
Interviewer: Is there anything else you would like to say about bitcoin or the trading.
Yes. Bitcoin TO THE MOON!
Winner – Overall Trading Category
Name: [let’s just say] Entheogenism
Day job: Full time trader/gambler/ Entrepreneur
Location: Somewhere in the USA
Speciality: Stocks and currency
Here’s a cross section of his comments about the competition and cryptocurrency in general.I originally ran into Entheogenism on the bitcointalk.org forum and invited him to join the competition. He did join and by the end had achieved a top rank. Entheogenism is full of strong opinions and is absolutely another Renaissance man with a huge number of diverse interests. Among these accomplishments he is a self-styled crypto enthusiast and decade-long FX and stock trader. A transhumanist-futurist, creative writer, ambitious person interested in space colonization & human enhancement. His twitter profile is @Entheogenism for those that want to connect more directly with him.
I use Bitcoin & Ethereum to gamble on dice & gaming sites. I would use btc to pay Lyft, AirBNB and Expedia if I needed to, but this hasn’t come up yet. I also use bitcoin to buy on Steam or buy Amazon / Walmart gift cards & turn to fiat to pay bills.
Thoughts On himself
I belong and am active in transhumanism/futurism groups a lot more than crypto-related ones. However, I’ve been an active BitcoinTalk forum member since Feb. 2014 and have been on some other crypto forums as well, though sparingly. I’ve used bitcoin faucets since 2014. I use them even now, though much less than years ago, of course. I believe free or ad-based crypto/wealth distribution to unbanked and/or poor people is extremely valuable because otherwise they cannot participate online.
Thoughts on the competition and the FGC platform
During the competition I did not use the currency switch system. As far as I am concerned it would be simpler, more elegant & convenient to simply add FX currency pairs trading instead. I found your platform intriguing in that though it lacked FX, it did offer individual stocks. A ridiculously broad amount of them, in fact, far more than any FX broker or bitcoin site you’ll find (and I’ve reviewed almost all of them, for years). The ETFs & bond/Index Futures you offer are intriguing, however, they don’t seem practical except for a several-months/years even, style of trading, as those instruments take eons to manifest (finally) some macro price moves, compared to individual stocks. So, I focused my trading on the DOW (DIA), NASDAQ and the biggest IT Tech stocks exclusively. I made most money with NASDAQ by far.
Thoughts on bitcoins
BTC/USD price dynamics in 2009-2013 reflected the fact this was a new technology that changed the world dramatically, with unknowns as fundamental as ‘Gregory Maxwell in 2011 thought he would go to jail for working on bitcoin’ and ‘Satoshi was so uneasy about being a bitcoin dev/founder that he eventually disappeared in 2010, leaving matters to Gavin Andresen.
So, here you had something that the world had never seen before, suddenly creating a gold rush, yet with ginormous precedents worrying people about ‘going all-in’ on this: Liberty Reserve, 2012-2013 legal troubles. MegaUpload. Napster. eGold. There were so many internet projects that were similar in a lot of ways, that had got shut down, before BTC, that people were afraid, the whole way, until in November 2013, the US Congress, widely expected to eyebrow negatively BTC if not outright try to ban or illegalize it – Instead, acclaimed that crypto/bitcoin was a positive invention!!!! They were happy people would use it!!!! WHAT?? REALLY? So of course the price went ballistic in mid-Nov-2013 up to late December, by which time China’s involvement had come to a serious stopgap due to their central bank forbidding any big finance institution from using BTC (as it was deemed too risky/destabilizing).
These 2 giant BTC price bubbles in 2013 deflated dramatically in early 2014, helped even more by Mt. Gox’s final collapse. Crypto then took 1.5 years to recover from this drop, even as institutional & corporate investment flooded the scene. In late 2015 after the August stock market global scare (from China), wealthy Chinese were extremely worried about capital controls being imposed. So, they rushed to BTC, for the first time in such numbers again, since 2013. This was in addition to the russian MMM ponzi’s need for a useful utility vehicle to move funds around – bitcoin was perfect for this. When these inflows pumped BTC’s price in Oct 2015, people took notice. They had long awaited the signs of the ‘pump’ which should come from nearing the July 2016 block reward halving btc event. So, as soon as they saw this rise, they jumped in. This pyramid effect is what caused the price, relatively stagnant / hitting bottoms throughout 2014-2015, to finally rise & maintain such higher floors, during late 2015 & all of 2016 so far.
Winner prize accounts will be opened tomorrow. You’ll be able to follow the winners and watch their returns climb on the FGC blog or by following us on @firstglobalcredit on Twitter. and future articles on performance.
by Marcie D Terman
16 February 2016
Cross border payment processor Earthport is the latest established company to throw its weight behind the adoption of blockchain technology for banks and other orthodox financial service providers. The company is driving this with the message, “you do not have to endure the risk of working with a start-up to benefit from blockchain tech.” Earthport, a mature company, is adding a range of blockchain based services to the existing menu of what they offer their banking and corporate customers.
Over the last six months the campaign to highlight the advantages of blockchain and private networks backed by banks and governments over bitcoin is having a greater degree of success. Internal dissension among the core developer group coupled with continuous light pressure from bodies like the European Parliament and successful PR campaigns like the R3 banking consortium all work towards slowing the adoption of public blockchains and its leading example bitcoin. The latest effort to move the public’s attention away from bitcoin is evidenced by the recent renaming of blockchain tech as DLT, Distributed Ledger Technology.
The accountability and economies that internally managed blockchains will impose on financial institutions is certainly a positive step. For example, if mortgages had been maintained on private blockchains prior to 2000, the issues at the core of the Credit Default swap Crises of 2008 would probably not have been possible. This is because it would have been impossible to hide the credit worthiness and payment history of high risk mortgages which caused the mis-pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities sold to financial institutions worldwide.
But does the value to be derived from private blockchains make it acceptable to ignore the value of public blockchains like bitcoins? That is certainly what banks and governments hope will be accepted by the public at large. To drive home the message that bitcoins are dangerous we are continually reminded that woven into their history are tales of the Silk Road, Mt. GoX and the loss of significant wealth through misplaced private keys and hard drives. All new technology at its beginnings are difficult to use, unfamiliar and therefore unpopular with the mainstream. If pressed, it’s not hard to remember that 20 years ago there was no Amazon or Google and many thought the internet was the primary communications tool of pornographers and felons. And anyone old enough will remember the arcana you needed to master to set-up Internet software and modems?
There will be mistakes. But true innovation comes from young companies. Though it is to be noted that on many occasions young companies are piloted by seasoned professionals discontent with the status quo. It can reasonably argued that there is considerably more risk limiting the custodianship of blockchain tech to established companies, with behaviour that in many cases is not the most trustworthy or laudable. However much energy is applied towards slowing the adoption of bitcoins and other public blockchains, and it cannot be stated with certainty that we know what form digital currency will take, Pandora’s box is well and truly open, the paradigm shift is in progress and the ultimate result will be accountability in all of blockchan’s uses.
What do you think?
The latest news round up for trade-able items on the First Global Credit platform, covering:
- Cameron International
Apple, Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)
Apple Inc. is scheduled to issue its Q116 quarterly earnings data after the market closes on Tuesday, January 26th. Analysts expect the company to announce earnings of $3.25 per share and revenue of $77.10 billion for the quarter.
Apple Inc. opened at 101.42 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $565.45 billion and a P/E ratio of 11.00. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $105.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $113.88. Apple Inc. has a 1-year low of $92.00 and a 1-year high of $134.54.
In related news, CEO Timothy D. Cook sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.08, for a total transaction of $3,662,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Also, SVP Daniel J. Riccio sold 13,588 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.81, for a total transaction of $1,641,566.28. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 40,755 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,923,611.55.
A number of brokerages recently weighed in on AAPL. FBR & Co. restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $175.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a report on Monday, November 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on shares of Apple from $140.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, November 2nd. Pacific Crest reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, November 3rd. Sterne Agee CRT reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, November 10th. Finally, Credit Suisse reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $140.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, November 10th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, forty-one have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Apple currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $140.67.
The financial services industry is dangerously complacent in its approach to digital money. Some of the major banks almost look like they fear technological change that promises greater transparency, efficiency and security at a lower cost.
Too many industry players and regulators have spent more time shutting down innovations than driving them. Barclays, Chase, Westpac and the Bank of Ireland are among the many global banks to have refused business or closed the accounts of cryptocurrency pioneers, when they should have been learning from them.
Cameron International Corporation (NYSE:CAM)
Shares of Cameron International Corporation (NYSE:CAM) appreciated by 3.43% during the past week but lost 4.96% on a 4-week basis. In the past week, the shares have outperformed the S&P 500 by 1.99% and the outperformance increases to 2.72% for the last 4 weeks.
Cameron International Corporation has dropped 8.43% during the last 3-month period . Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at -4.15%.The company shares have rallied 36.44% in the past 52 Weeks. On November 3, 2015 The shares registered one year high of $71.22 and one year low was seen on January 29, 2015 at $39.52. The 50-day moving average is $62.12 and the 200 day moving average is recorded at $60.81. S&P 500 has rallied 7.3% during the last 52-weeks.
Cameron International Corporation (NYSE:CAM) : On Friday heightened volatility was witnessed in Cameron International Corporation (NYSE:CAM) which led to swings in the share price. The shares opened for trading at $59.49 and hit $61.19 on the upside , eventually ending the session at $60.58, with a gain of 4.81% or 2.78 points. The heightened volatility saw the trading volume jump to 2,747,893 shares. The 52-week high of the share price is $71.22 and the company has a market cap of $11,566 million. The 52-week low of the share price is at $39.52 .
Despite a number of bearish developments last Friday, the gold price rose during Asian trading hours on Monday while continuing to trade around the $1,100 per ounce level.
Spot gold was last at $1,100.60-1,100.90 per ounce, up $2.90 from Friday’s close. Trading ranged at $1,097.80-1,101.10 so far.
Gold has more or less its held ground despite bearish developments last Friday whereby risk appetite improved after a crude oil price rally lifted global equities, while European Central Bank president Mario Draghi hinted of further policy easing in March.
Benchmark crude oil prices have rebounded to above $30 per barrel, however, they remain around 12-year lows due to high global production levels.
The Nymex WTI March contract was last at $32.27, up 0.25 percent, while the ICE Brent crude was 0.31 percent higher at $32.28 so far during Asian trading hours on Monday. Oil prices are getting support from a massive snowstorm on the US East Coast which helped boost demand for oil for heating.
“Gold’s ability to largely shrug off these developments is impressive,” said HSBC in a report on Friday.
Financial market volatility, including currency volatility, along with diminished expectations of a Fed rate hike in March and ongoing macroeconomic risks will keep a sufficient bid in gold to support prices, it said.
Intuit, Inc (NASDAQ:INTU)
Shares of Intuit Inc. appreciated by 2.32% during the past week but lost 4.08% on a 4-week basis. In the past week, the shares have outperformed the S&P 500 by 0.89% and the outperformance increases to 3.67% for the last 4 weeks.
Intuit Inc. is up 0.03% in the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at -2.69%.The company shares have rallied 4.76% in the past 52 Weeks. On May 22, 2015 The shares registered one year high of $109.21 and one year low was seen on August 25, 2015 at $79.63. The 50-day moving average is $95.85 and the 200 day moving average is recorded at $96.42. S&P 500 has rallied 7.3% during the last 52-weeks.
On Friday heightened volatility was witnessed in Intuit Inc. which led to swings in the share price. The shares opened for trading at $93.07 and hit $94 on the upside, eventually ending the session at $93.61, with a gain of 1.81% or 1.66 points. The heightened volatility saw the trading volume jump to 1,076,526 shares. The 52-week high of the share price is $109.21 and the company has a market cap of $24,713 million. The 52-week low of the share price is at $79.63.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)
Microsoft Co. was upgraded by analysts at Piper Jaffray to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.
Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Goldman Sachs restated a “sell” rating and issued a $45.00 target price (up previously from $40.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, October 23rd. Vetr lowered shares of Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $58.07 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 7th. Pacific Crest restated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Monday, December 28th. Citigroup Inc. restated a “sell” rating and issued a $38.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday, September 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $57.00 target price (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, December 10th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, twenty-two have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $56.18.
Shares of Microsoft opened at 52.29 on Friday. Microsoft has a 12 month low of $39.72 and a 12 month high of $56.85. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $54.16 and its 200-day moving average price is $49.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $417.69 billion and a PE ratio of 34.77.
Paychex, Inc (NASDAQ:PAYX)
Shares of Paychex, Inc. appreciated by 3.19% during the past week but lost 10.46% on a 4-week basis. The shares have outperformed the S&P 500 by 1.75% in the past week but underperformed the index by 3.23% in the last 4 weeks.
Paychex, Inc. has dropped 3.44% during the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at -8.89%.The company shares have rallied 0.02% in the past 52 Weeks. On December 1, 2015 the shares registered one year high of $54.78 and one year low was seen on August 24, 2015 at $41.59. The 50-day moving average is $51.13 and the 200 day moving average is recorded at $49.36. S&P 500 has rallied 7.3% during the last 52-weeks.
On Friday heightened volatility was witnessed in Paychex, Inc. which led to swings in the share price. The shares opened for trading at $48.19 and hit $48.835 on the upside, eventually ending the session at $48.19, with a gain of 1.69% or 0.8 points. The heightened volatility saw the trading volume jump to 4,049,831 shares. The 52-week high of the share price is $54.7805 and the company has a market cap of $17,394 million. The 52-week low of the share price is at $41.59.
The latest news round up for trade-able items on the First Global Credit platform, covering:
- 3M Co
- Time Warner Cable
3M Co (NYSE:MMM)
New England Research & Management boosted its position in shares of 3M Co by 10.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 7,793 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 750 shares during the period. 3M accounts for approximately 1.0% of New England Research & Management’s portfolio, making the stock its 25th largest position. New England Research & Management’s holdings in 3M were worth $1,174,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of MMM. Community Bank & Trust of Waco, Texas acquired a new stake in shares of 3M during the fourth quarter worth $883,000. Founders Capital Management raised its stake in shares of 3M by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Founders Capital Management now owns 1,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $286,000 after buying an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. Curbstone Financial Management raised its stake in shares of 3M by 98.2% in the fourth quarter. Curbstone Financial Management now owns 10,934 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,647,000 after buying an additional 5,417 shares in the last quarter. First American Trust acquired a new stake in shares of 3M during the fourth quarter worth $204,000. Finally, Southport Capital Management raised its stake in shares of 3M by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Southport Capital Management now owns 12,546 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,890,000 after buying an additional 49 shares in the last quarter.
3M Co opened at 140.49 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $152.51 and its 200-day moving average price is $150.43. 3M Co has a 52 week low of $134.00 and a 52 week high of $170.50. The stock has a market cap of $86.50 billion and a PE ratio of 18.16.
Bitcoin users have reported problems with buying and selling bitcoin using their bank accounts for some time, and based on a recent Merkle blog, the problem continues, notably in the United Kingdom. The blog doesn’t name any banks that are creating the problems.
Banks can close accounts with little notice, the blog noted, and moving the funds out of a closed account can be challenging.
The banks are reportedly taking these actions when the customer buys or sells bitcoin using their bank account. A transaction with a message field that includes the word “bitcoin” can alert the bank to take action.
Banks can also become alarmed when a customer adds a debit card linked to a Coinbase account to their bank account.
All banks are not taking these actions. The Merkle claimed that various smaller banks are less inclined to take such actions than larger banks.
One recent Reddit post noted a problem with Lloyds, a major U.K.-based bank. The customer noticed Lloyds blocked a bitcoin transactions when they started using their debit card on Coinbase. When the customer called Lloyd’s customer support and explained the situation, Lloyd’s unblocked the transaction but said previously-blocked transactions would not go through since they were buying digital assets that might cause issues with Coinbase.
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)
LinkedIn was downgraded by equities researchers at Vetr from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. They presently have a $239.31 target price on the social networking company’s stock. Vetr‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 10.84% from the company’s previous close.
A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on LNKD. MKM Partners upped their price target on shares of LinkedIn Corp from $285.00 to $310.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Piper Jaffray reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $287.00 price target (up previously from $240.00) on shares of LinkedIn Corp in a research note on Thursday, November 5th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on shares of LinkedIn Corp from $240.00 to $271.00 in a research note on Friday, November 13th. RBC Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of LinkedIn Corp in a research note on Wednesday, November 11th. Finally, Brean Capital reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of LinkedIn Corp in a research note on Monday, November 2nd. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-three have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $274.88.
Salesforce.com, Inc (NYSE:CRM)
Salesforce.com’s stock had its “buy” rating restated by investment analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a report released on Friday.
Several hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Jennison Associates boosted its stake in salesforce.com by 3.7% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates now owns 19,768,305 shares of the CRM provider’s stock valued at $1,372,513,000 after buying an additional 709,394 shares during the last quarter. Terra Nova Asset Management boosted its stake in salesforce.com by 365.7% in the third quarter. Terra Nova Asset Management now owns 33,160 shares of the CRM provider’s stock valued at $2,302,000 after buying an additional 26,040 shares during the last quarter. KSA Capital Management acquired a new stake in salesforce.com during the third quarter valued at $1,736,000. ING Groep acquired a new stake in salesforce.com during the third quarter valued at $1,267,000. Finally, KBC Group boosted its stake in salesforce.com by 13.3% in the third quarter. KBC Group now owns 87,310 shares of the CRM provider’s stock valued at $6,062,000 after buying an additional 10,249 shares during the last quarter.
Several other research firms have also recently commented on CRM. Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on shares of salesforce.com in a research note on Monday, September 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of salesforce.com from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 15th. Wunderlich reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of salesforce.com in a research note on Wednesday, September 16th. Vetr cut shares of salesforce.com from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $77.47 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, December 30th. Finally, MKM Partners reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of salesforce.com in a research note on Monday, January 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and forty-two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $87.03.
Time Warner Cable, Inc (NYSE:TWC)
CT Financial Advisors maintained its position in shares of Time Warner Cable Inc during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 211 shares of the cable operator’s stock at the end of the fourth quarter. CT Financial Advisors’ holdings in Time Warner Cable were worth $39,159 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Gerstein Fisher purchased a new position in Time Warner Cable during the third quarter worth approximately $241,000. Harvest Management increased its position in Time Warner Cable by 37.9% in the third quarter. Harvest Management now owns 20,000 shares of the cable operator’s stock worth $3,587,000 after buying an additional 5,500 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep increased its position in Time Warner Cable by 2,399.0% in the third quarter. ING Groep now owns 99,960 shares of the cable operator’s stock worth $17,967,000 after buying an additional 95,960 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Water Island Capital purchased a new position in Time Warner Cable during the third quarter worth approximately $44,787,000.
Time Warner Cable Inc traded up 0.95% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $182.93. The stock had a trading volume of 2,114,400 shares. The company has a market cap of $51.81 billion and a P/E ratio of 27.35. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $183.71 and its 200-day moving average is $185.65. Time Warner Cable Inc has a one year low of $134.21 and a one year high of $194.22.
The latest news round up for trade-able items on the First Global Credit platform, covering:
- Cisco Systems
Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)
According to 26 Analysts, The short term target price has been estimated at $ 722.19.The target price could deviate by a maximum of $85.13 from the forecast price. In the near term, the target price could hit a high of $850 and a low of $ 525.
During the last several months other analysts have commented on the company rating. MKM Partners initiates coverage on Amazon.com, Inc. The current rating of the shares is Buy. Equity Analysts at the Firm announces the price target to $800 per share. The rating by the firm was issued on December 15, 2015.
Amazon.com, Inc. has received a buy rating for the short term, according to the latest rank of 2 from research firm, Zacks. The company received an average rating of 1.4 from 30 analysts. 23 have rated it as a strong buy. 2 analysts recommended buying the shares. 5 analysts have rated the company at hold.
Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. appreciated by 0.68% during the last five trading days but lost 0.79% on a 4-week basis. Amazon.com, Inc. is up 23.71% in the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at 113.68%.
2016 could prove to be the year that the price of bitcoin surges again. Not because of any dark-web drug-dealing or Russian ponzi scheme, but for an altogether less sensational reason – slower growth in the money supply.
Bitcoin is a web-based “cryptocurrency” used to move money around quickly and anonymously with no need for a central authority. But despite being championed by some as the digital money of the future, it is often dismissed as a currency that is too volatile to invest in.
The reason 2016 looks set to be different is that bitcoin’s price is likely to be driven in large part by similar factors to a traditional fiat currency, following the age-old principles of supply and demand.
Instead of being controlled by a central bank, bitcoin relies on so-called “mining” computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve mathematical puzzles every 10 minutes. In return, the first to solve the puzzle and thereby clear the transactions is currently rewarded with 25 new bitcoins, worth around $11,000 .
But when it was invented in 2008 by the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto”, who has yet to be identified, the bitcoin program was designed so that the reward would be halved roughly every four years, in order to keep a lid on inflation. The next time that is due to happen is July 2016.
Bitcoin was also designed to emulate a commodity by having a finite supply of 21 million bitcoins, which will be reached in around 125 years, up from around 15 million today. Hence, also, the use of the term “mining”.
Daniel Masters, co-founder of Jersey-based Global Advisors’ multi-million dollar bitcoin hedge fund, started his career as an oil trader at Shell in the mid-1980s and spent 30 years trading commodities before crossing over to bitcoin.
Now he reckons the price of bitcoin could test its 2013 highs of above $1,100 next year and then pick up speed to rise to $4,400 by the end of 2017.
Cisco Systems, Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO)
According to 22 Analysts, The short term target price has been estimated at $ 30.98.The target price could deviate by a maximum of $4.23 from the forecast price. In the near term, the target price could hit a high of $37 and a low of $ 17.
During the last several months other analysts have commented on the company rating. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey initiates coverage on Cisco Systems, Inc. The current rating of the shares is Buy. Equity Analysts at the Firm announces the price target to $32 per share. The rating by the firm was issued on November 24, 2015.
As many as 25 brokerage firms have rated Cisco Systems, Inc. at 1.88. Research Analysts at Zacks have ranked the company at 3, suggesting the traders with a rating of hold for the short term. 2 rated the company as strong sell. The stock garnered a place in the hold list of 6 stock Analysts. 2 analysts suggested buying the company. 15 analysts rated the company as a strong buy.
Shares of Cisco Systems, Inc. appreciated by 0.15% during the last five trading days but lost 2.47% on a 4-week basis. Cisco Systems, Inc. is up 7.23% in the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at -0.38%.
Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ:FB)
The stock price is expected to reach $ 124.07 in the short term. The number of analysts agreeing with this consensus is 27. The higher estimate for the short term price target is at $155 while the lower estimate is at $95. The standard deviation of the price stands at $11.8.
During the last several months other analysts have commented on the company rating. Equity analysts at the Brokerage firm Argus Research maintains its rating on Facebook, Inc. The rating major has initiated the coverage with an buy rating on the shares. The Analysts at Argus Research raises the price target from $115 per share to $130 per share. The rating by the firm was issued on November 6, 2015.
Facebook, Inc. has received a buy rating for the short term, according to the latest rank of 2 from research firm, Zacks. The company received an average rating of 1.21 from 29 analysts. 24 have rated it as a strong buy. 4 analysts recommended buying the shares. 1 analysts have rated the company at hold.
Shares of Facebook, Inc. appreciated by 0.92% during the last five trading days but lost 1.69% on a 4-week basis. Facebook, Inc. is up 12.28% in the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at 35.23%.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)
21 analysts have set the short term price target of Microsoft Corporation at $56.95. The standard deviation of short term price target has been estimated at $6.39, implying that the actual price may fluctuate by this value. The higher and the lower price estimates are $ 65 and $39 respectively.
During the last several months other analysts have commented on the company rating. Goldman Sachs upgrades its view on Microsoft Corporation according to the research report released by the firm to its investors. The shares have now been rated Neutral by the stock experts at the ratings house. Earlier, the shares had a rating of Sell. Goldman Sachs raises the price target from $45 per share to $57 per share on Microsoft Corporation. The rating by the firm was issued on December 18, 2015.
Research firm Zacks has rated Microsoft Corporation and has ranked it at 3, indicating that for the short term the shares are a hold. 21 Wall Street analysts have given the company an average rating of 1.76. The shares has received a hold rating based on the suggestion from 5 analysts in latest recommendations. 1 market expert has a sell on the stock. Strong buy was given by 12 Wall Street Analysts. The company had a buy rating from 3 analysts.
Paychex, Inc (NASDAQ:PAYX)
Paycheck Inc. reported mixed results for second-quarter fiscal 2016 wherein the bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate but top line missed the same. Nevertheless, the company marked year-over-year improvement on both the counts.
Earnings of 52 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and jumped 10.6% from the year-ago quarter mainly backed by higher
Paychex reported total revenue (including Interest on funds held for clients) of $722.million, up 7% year over year. However, it missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $724 million. Excluding interest on funds held for clients, total services revenue (Payroll service and Human Resource Services) grew 7% year over year to $711.3 million.
Yelp, Inc (NYSE:YELP)
Yelp Inc. shares are expected to touch $30.09 in the short term. This short term price target has been shared by 17 analysts. However, the standard deviation of short term price estimate has been valued at 8.94. The target price could hit $45 on the higher end and $18 on the lower end.
During the last several months other analysts have commented on the company rating. In a research note released to the investors, RBC Capital upgrades its rating on Yelp Inc. The analysts at the brokerage house have a current rating of Outperform on the shares. Earlier, the shares were rated a Sector Perform by the brokerage firm. The rating by the firm was issued on November 13, 2015.
As many as 29 brokerage firms have rated Yelp Inc. at 2.62. Research Analysts at Zacks have ranked the company at 3, suggesting the traders with a rating of hold for the short term. 1 rated the company as strong sell. Sell was recommended by 1 analysts. The stock garnered a place in the hold list of 19 stock Analysts. 2 analysts suggested buying the company. 6 analysts rated the company as a strong buy.
Shares of Yelp Inc. appreciated by 3.94% during the last five trading days but lost 10.51% on a 4-week basis. Yelp Inc. is up 20.91% in the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at -48.97%.
The latest news round up for trade-able items on the First Global Credit platform, covering:
- Biogen Idec
- Clovis Oncology
- Dunkin Brands
Apple, Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)
The stock price of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could increase 43% over the next 12 months, according to Goldman Sachs, which also added the stock to its “conviction buy list.”
The investment bank set a $163 price target on the shares of Apple. The stock closed $117.29 per share on Wednesday, up by more than 3% driven by Goldman Sachs bullish conviction in the iPhone maker.
In a note to investors, Goldman Sachs said Apple’s stock is currently trading at 11 times price-to-earnings ratio (P/E), similar to a “hardware stock.” However, the investment bank noted that Apple is introducing different services such as the Apple Music, and it believes that the iPhone maker is becoming more similar to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google.
“Apple’s multiple embodies the scars from prior fallen giants in hardware (Motorola, Nokia, BlackBerry, and HP, to name a few). However, we think Apple’s business model has less in common with traditional hardware companies, and more in common with companies that monetize mobile users through content and services,” wrote Goldman Sachs.
For more go to: http://www.opptrends.com/2015/11/apple-inc-aapl-goldman-sachs/
Biogen Idec, Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB)
Vetr upgraded shares of Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Monday morning. They currently have $318.10 target price on the biotechnology company’s stock.
A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Cowen and Company reiterated a buy rating and set a $494.00 price objective on shares of Biogen in a research report on Wednesday, July 22nd. Oppenheimer restated a sector perform rating on shares of Biogen in a research report on Wednesday, September 23rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Biogen from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, October 1st. Piper Jaffray restated an overweight rating and issued a $410.00 target price (down previously from $485.00) on shares of Biogen in a research note on Tuesday, July 21st.
Finally, Leerink Swann reduced their price objective on Biogen from $464.00 to $425.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 15th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $398.96.
Bitcoin is trading flat again and the trading range that began on November 13th is still in force. For the past five days now BTC/USD oscillated up and down but ultimately ended back at the $330 figure. We are currently quoted at $331.71 on BTC-E, with the daily range shrinking to only $5.99 dollars.
The BTC-E discount to the general USD market is now within the normal $2-$3 dollars seen before the October rally. The premium on Chinese exchanges over USD sites has disappeared as well, with most quoting BTC at 2,131 Yuan or $335.71 dollars. This page provides an overview of all major BTC exchanges.
The normalization of the premium/discount across exchanges is yet another signal that calmer markets may follow. During the month-long rally that ended on November 11th, exchanges were moving all over the place due to the large volatility. Other indicators show a noticeable slowdown as well. The 14-day Average True Range has plummeted from a high of $41.85 dollars on November 15th to $24.57 dollars today. This is still high by historical standards, the values before the October rally ranged between $4-$5 dollars.
Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ:CLVS)
Clovis Oncology was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $54.87 target price on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock. Vetr‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 103.30% from the stock’s previous close.
Shares of Clovis Oncology traded up 0.67% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $26.99. The company had a trading volume of 3,764,340 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $93.07 and a 200-day moving average of $88.45. The company’s market capitalization is $1.03 billion. Clovis Oncology has a 12-month low of $26.02 and a 12-month high of $116.75.
Clovis Oncology last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 5th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($2.62) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($2.07) by $0.55. During the same quarter last year, the company earned ($1.17) EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Clovis Oncology will post ($9.16) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Dunkin Brands Group, Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN)
Dunkin Brands Group was upgraded by Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $45.62 price objective on the stock. Vetr‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 11.02% from the company’s previous close.
Shares of Dunkin Brands Group traded up 0.29% on Monday, reaching $41.09. 993,178 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $3.81 billion and a P/E ratio of 24.80. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $42.11 and a 200 day moving average of $49.67. Dunkin Brands Group has a 12-month low of $39.29 and a 12-month high of $56.79.
Dunkin Brands Group last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 22nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.01. The business earned $209.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $204.32 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.49 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Dunkin Brands Group will post $1.91 earnings per share for the current year.
LinkedIn, Corp (NYSE:LNKD)
LinkedIn Corporation shares are expected to touch $271.17 in the short term. This short term price target has been shared by 24 analysts. However, the standard deviation of short term price estimate has been valued at 32.78. The target price could hit $310 on the higher end and $189 on the lower end.
For the current week, the company shares have a recommendation consensus of Buy. Many analysts have commented on the company rating. Equity analysts at the Brokerage firm Barclays maintains its rating on LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD). The rating major has initiated the coverage with an overweight rating on the shares. The Analysts at Barclays raises the price target from $250 per share to $265 per share. The rating by the firm was issued on November 2, 2015.
LinkedIn Corporation has dropped 1.37% in the last five trading days, however, the shares have posted positive gains of 25.89% in the last 4 weeks. LinkedIn Corporation is up 37.76% in the last 3-month period. Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at 8.29%.
Netflix, Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX)
Netflix had its target price raised by Citigroup Inc. from $110.00 to $121.00 in a research report sent to investors on Friday.
In related news, insider Jonathan Friedland sold 3,213 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.09, for a total transaction of $337,654.17. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Also, Director A George Battle sold 49,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.95, for a total value of $5,289,550.00.
Shares of Netflix traded up 3.01% on Friday, hitting $120.63. 23,353,565 shares of the company traded hands. Netflix has a 12 month low of $45.08 and a 12 month high of $129.29. The company has a market capitalization of $51.56 billion and a PE ratio of 320.82. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $107.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $102.2
Visa, Inc (NYSE:V)
Visa was downgraded by Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. They currently have a $82.38 target price on the credit-card processor’s stock. Vetr‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 2.39% from the stock’s previous close.
Visa traded up 2.07% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $80.46. The stock had a trading volume of 7,212,397 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average of $76.13 and a 200-day moving average of $71.79. The stock has a market cap of $195.83 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.95. Visa has a 1-year low of $60.00 and a 1-year high of $80.50.
Visa last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 2nd. The credit-card processor reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.01. The company earned $3.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.56 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.18 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Visa will post $2.88 EPS for the current year.
Recent market indicators and price increase demonstrate why.
Bitcoin is once again in the news as the bitcoin/USD price has risen around 35% in October. October also marked a milestone for bitcoin investment company First Global Credit, as trading volume on the platform achieved record growth. Customers traded over $1.4 million dollars’ worth of mainstream stocks and ETFs using bitcoin as collateral margin. This represents an increase of 48% over the previous month’s trading volume following a trend established earlier this year. First Global Credit’s platform allows the use of bitcoins as collateral margin to generate a return trading blue chip and high growth stocks, stock market indices and ETFs. First Global Credit is one of a growing number of companies using bitcoin as an asset to generate a return on investment.
This acceptance of the tangible value of bitcoins coupled with the upward trend in bitcoin’s value contradicts recent assertions supported by the press that there is greater interest in developing the potential of private blockchains rather than bitcoin itself. Many feel this refocus of attention on blockchain technology is being championed by mainstream banks as demonstrated by the R3 initiative. This initiative is being led by a consortium of banks publicised as a way to use blockchain technology to decrease consumer costs, but is, in fact a clear attempt by the banks to retain control over the world financial networks. Contrarian company First Global Credit and companies like them are committed to supporting the development of a free bitcoin capital market independent of banks and government. Instead of forgoing the benefits of bitcoin as an independent currency, their strategy is to create services that bridge the traditional economic environment and the digital currency economy.
This is the message First Global Credit CEO Gavin Smith brought to the European Banking Community last month at Barcelona’s Blockchain Week’s Trading Conference. “Allowing the establishment of a capital market in bitcoins will create the economic efficiencies supposedly being sought by the banks through the R3 initiative. This will allow people to transact business just as they do in the fiat economy,” says Smith. “The focus should be on the creation of an independent bitcoin capital market separated from the control of banks. This will be the best way to facilitate the benefits available through the adoption of the blockchain. The next step in attracting the attention of mainstream individuals and businesses is to provide products and services that generate a return from non-committed capital. These services in turn provide the capital needed to underwrite loans which will finance business growth for companies transacting all their business in bitcoins. Bitcoin based futures and options will make it possible to anticipate costs and project profit. After the facilities are in place for a bitcoin capital market, let the banking industry join the free trade network that has been established.”
This is also the view shared by First Global Credit board member Jon Matonis. Mr. Matonis was speaking to the European Banking Industry as guest of honor at Geneva’s Findating event sponsored by Dukascopy Bank and the House of Versace. “The problem with the banking industry is not that they lack access to blockchain tech. The problem is that the banking industry functions as a protected cartel with unique government privileges and regulatory barriers to entry. On the other hand, the public bitcoin blockchain drives the standard for a value transfer protocol in a permissionless environment offering global accessibility and unparalleled security. I think the question the R3 participants need to answer is that if in the end the consortium only serves to replicate the existing cartel then what have they really achieved?” Matonis continues, “I think it’s a noble experiment and the experience they get from working with blockchains will be invaluable and a potential onramp to the public blockchain. But they need to realize that at the end of the day the banks may just be creating their own altcoins.”
About First Global Credit
First Global Credit is a company committed to providing the bridge between the opportunities available in the mainstream markets and the digital economy. The company has been founded by financial service professionals with 35 years’ collective industry experience. We strive to provide meaningful services that allow our customers to run their entire fiscal lives through the use of digital currency and we deliver these services with an attention to customer service not generally found in digital currency focused companies. Our processes are designed to assure the privacy of our customers alongside the security of their assets. The company is committed to developing a stable and secure digital currency capital market; to provide an environment which will prove fairer, more accessible, and less costly for the public to transact business than existing banks and financial institutions.
We have just returned from an extended trip into Latin America where BTC are used in some places just as readily as cash. Here is our advice for the current state of the BTC market.
We’re starting to get a little nervous about bitcoin market behaviour. Followers of our recommendations should now have sold out of their long positon, 1/3 at $425 showing almost $100 profit from the purchase level and the balance at $360 at a much smaller profit.
But what now?
The chart shows a failure of the market to break the 50% retracement level of the major leg down ($680 -> $275) on the recent rally up to $454. We have now drifted down on poor volume back to the $360-$370 level (with a low on the move of $342). While the declining volume on this move gives us some encouragement (the move seems more caused by lack of interest than genuine selling) we are concerned that the recent auction will create a ready pool of sellers looking to lock in some profits (assuming they were bought at a discount which seems likely).
We will take a short position on a break below the recent low of $342, a break of this level is likely to be indicative of auction winners selling into the market. I would start with a 1/3 position and then see how the market develops, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the market retest the lows below $300 if the $342 level is broken.
On the upside we are now in wait and see mode, we see nothing constructive in the price action to lead us to take a long position at this time.
Good Luck from First Global Credit
Nine days of practice trading time remain until the competition starts!
November 22, 2014:
First Global Credit yesterday announced the details of its “Ticket to Prosperity” competition in front of room jammed with avid Bitcoin Traders at The Bitcoin Center of New York located at 40 Broad Street just steps away from the New York Stock Exchange. The competition takes place using First Global Credit’s Active Trader Service Platform and enables individuals to compete for the opportunity to become a market trader fully backed by First Global Credit.
People can sign up for a free demonstration paper trading account immediately and then when they log into the First Global Credit site on December 1st, they just need to select the Competition account. The Demonstration Paper Trading Account enables users to try out the trading system using simulated Bitcoins as collateral to make investments in stock, stock market indices, ETFs and precious metals. Although the investments are not “real”, the simulation uses live price data and fee structure so reflects exactly what would happen in an equivalent live environment. “This includes an increase in trading power if the price of Bitcoins goes up while they are trading.” Says First Global Credit Business Development Director Marcie Terman. “This service is about maximizing the earning potential of your Bitcoins while retaining them for their long-term growth potential.”
First Global Credit will provide all competition participants with 100 ‘demonstration’ Bitcoins to use as security during the competition. Every day the top ten traders will be reported on the First Global Credit’s Facebook page and Twitter feeds. The winner will be announced 12 noon GMT Saturday, the 17th of January with access to the live trading account to commence the following Monday.
The competition will run from 1st December 2014 to 16th January 2015 and is open to anyone regardless of age. “Of course, we will have to find something to replace the Porsche Boxster lease that is provided when the star trader reaches Level 11 of the trading program if they can’t legally drive; like in the case of a super talented 12 year old for instance,” laughs Terman.
For full competition terms and conditions please go to Competition Terms for full information.
First Global Credit launched its Bitcoin investment service at the Inside Bitcoin Las Vegas at the beginning of October. That service, designed for people that prefer a buy and hold strategy has had clients using actual Bitcoins as investment collateral almost from day one and has been gaining dozens of users on a daily basis.
The website, www.firstglobalcredit.com makes it possible for those who have mined, purchased or received Bitcoins in payment to maximize the potential of their holdings by using them as security on investments in world-wide stocks, ETFs, commodities and stock markets indices. This is the first of five major service launches planned for 2014-2015, and the first of many investment options that will become available through First Global Credit over the next few months.
How to Participate
1. Go to http://www.firstglobalcredit.com/register and enter an email address to create a demonstration paper trading account. You will receive a temporary password at your email address which should be used immediately to log into the account. ‘Demonstration’ Bitcoins can be added to the demonstration account to be used as collateral for paper trades.
2. On the first of December when logging onto the website, select “Competition” from the pull down menu to start trading. Each competition account is seeded with 100 synthetic Bitcoins to be used for the full length of the contest. Lose them and you are out. Grow them to a value greater than any other trader and you win.
3. Your performance can be monitored on the Trade Statement tab of the competition platform. To see if you’ve made it into the top 10 subscribe to the @FirstGlobalCred Twitter feed.