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Opinion: Why the Vaping Market is a Good Investment Prospect

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Making successful investments involves focusing on the future, and the future of the vaping market has gone from potentially bleak to expectantly brilliant. The vaping market consists of vaping liquids, also known as e-juice or e-liquids, and vaping devices that are more advanced than the standard e-cigarettes found at gas stations and convenience stores. The future of vaping is showing exceptional promise for several reasons.

Changes in FDA Regulations

The potentially bleak future of vaping stemmed from stringent regulations from the Food and Drug Administration that were set to go into effect in mid-2017. Those regulations would have required lengthy and extremely costly applications that independent vaping product manufacturers would have been hard-pressed to meet.

A mere two weeks prior to going into effect, however, the FDA announced a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation that focused more on the harms of traditional cigarettes than decimating the vaping industry. Not only did the FDA extend the application deadline, but the agency noted it would make the process more transparent, predictable and efficient.

It likewise noted nicotine was most harmful when delivered by combustible cigarettes. The agency’s new aim is to ensure regulations allow for the development of products that may be less harmful than traditional cigarettes, which points right to products in the vaping industry.

Support from Other Public Health Organizations

While it may have taken some time for the FDA to come around, public health officials in the U.K. have been supporting vaping over smoking for several years. In 2014, Public Health England made the determination that vaping was about 95 percent safer than smoking cigarettes. A dozen public health organizations across the U.K. joined forces with Public Health England in 2016 to issue a joint statement affirming that vaping is considerably less harmful than smoking.

Studies Standing Firm

Both new and existing studies stand firm in support of vaping. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found vaping and nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches or gum, resulted in the same reduction in smoking-related carcinogens and toxins.

Previous studies have been withstanding the test of both time and opponents. A 2014 Public Health England independent review shed light on the fact that vaping products don’t contain the multitude of carcinogens and toxins found in cigarettes.

The Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs assembled an international expert panel that ranked a number of nicotine products from 1 to 100, with 100 being the most hazardous. They gave traditional cigarettes a score of 100; vaping products received less than 16.

Another review presented to public health and pharmacy officials in the U.K. pegged the long-term harm of vaping at about one-twentieth that of traditional cigarettes. As more studies supporting vaping continue to emerge and the general public becomes more aware of what vaping is all about, previous myths are being systematically dispelled.

Building on Solid Foundation

Great Britain has already seen more than 1 million give up smoking in favor of vaping.

An estimated 10 percent of adults currently vape in the U.S., with the smoking rate expected to drop up to 3 percent per year.

A Wells Fargo Securities equity research report predicts vaping industry revenue to hit $27 billion by 2023, compared to the $14 billion predicted for traditional cigarettes for that same year. The current state of vaping enjoys a solid foundation, with the expectation of gathering more strength and support moving forward.

SOURCES:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/07/smoking-numbers-hit-new-low-as-britons-turn-to-vaping-to-help-quit-cigarettes

http://time.com/3915957/e-cigarettes-vaping-health-tobacco-addiction/

http://www.smallcapfinancialwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/E-Cigs-Revolutionizing-the-Tobacco-Industry-Interactive-Model.pdf

http://www.smokinginengland.info/reports/

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/311887/Ecigarettes_report.pdf

https://www.karger.com/article/FullText/360220

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/456704/McNeill-Hajek_report_authors_note_on_evidence_for_95_estimate.pdf

http://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2599869/nicotine-carcinogen-toxin-exposure-long-term-e-cigarette-nicotine-replacement

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017/02/06/E-cigarettes-may-be-less-toxic-than-tobacco-study-suggests/2661486436910/

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/534708/E-cigarettes_joint_consensus_statement_2016.pdf

https://cei.org/blog/how-fda-commissioner-gottlieb-can-save-e-cigarettes-and-lives

https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm568923.htm

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Sarah Johnson is a contributing writer to Hacked.com. To learn more, visit https://www.blacknote.com/




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Bitcoin

Peter Schiff Tells Joe Rogan Bitcoin Price Will Hit $1,000

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“They think ‘oh, there’s twenty-one million Bitcoins’, and they think that that means they’re scarce. Well they’re not scarce, there’s so many other currencies out there, and it’s only scarce because… it’s coded to be scarce. Gold is scarce because it really is scarce.”

So said investment broker and financial commentator Peter Schiff on July 17th’s episode #1145 of the Joe Rogan Experience. Schiff fully believes that Bitcoin will drop below $1,000 in the near future, at which point it will disintegrate entirely. Funnily enough, Bitcoin’s recent surge began the same day that Schiff conducted the interview.

“There’s nothing that any other cryptocurrency can’t do that Bitcoin is doing… it doesn’t have any actual value. There’s lots of things I can do with gold that shows it has value…”

Lack of Real Value

Schiff went on to list the myriad of industrial, mechanical, medical and personal uses for gold which give it a real-world value – a value which he says Bitcoin lacks.

“All you can do with it is give it to somebody else. That’s its whole purpose is to give it to somebody else.”

At one point in the interview Rogan reminds Peter of the comments he made earlier regarding the state of the dollar economy, and questions why a crypto-based economy couldn’t be feasible.

Schiff, ever the proponent of small-government, pointed out that it would certainly be possible for the government to issue a digital currency in much the same way that they currently issue paper fiat currency, and that such a move would eventually tighten the government’s grip on the whole economy. Whereas before you could receive a $50 from your neighbour for some yard work and not have anyone know, now all of a sudden it would be tracked.

Fatalistic Predictions

It may seem like Schiff dodged the question by pushing everything towards the government angle, but his answer actually revealed his deeper thoughts on the issue. It’s clear from listening to Schiff speak that he doesn’t even question whether governmental regulators will get their paws on crypto – he naturally assumes it to be the case. He goes back to emphasize crypto’s lack of inherent value, saying:

“I don’t think any of these currencies can ever be stable because there’s no value to stable them. There’s no value to store. The only cryptocurrencies that would work are cryptocurrencies that are backed by a real commodity, like gold.”

What followed was an advert for his own gold-backed value transfer platform, Gold Money.

Coming away from the interview, one gets the impression that Peter is tied to a very traditional ethos regarding what qualifies as an effective currency, and may end up surprised by what’s to come.

With that said, I’m sure everyone reading this would agree that he has a point – after all, people don’t really use crypto as currency at the moment. At least not yet. But a quick glance at the crypto headlines reveals several prominent coins opening up crypto-fiat ATM’s, while online marketplaces are popping up where people can make purchases using crypto just as though they were on eBay or Amazon.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 25 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Opinion

A Reminder to Hodl: Bitcoin’s 68% Retracement Isn’t Unusual

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Much has been written about bitcoin’s meteoric price collapse over the past six months. The decline has been so severe that many have questioned whether bitcoin’s long-term supporters (hodl’ers) have lost their resolve. However, a careful evaluation of bitcoin’s previous bear markets reveals that the latest retracement isn’t out of the ordinary.

The Support Level Every Trader Needs to Know

As Hacked reported Wednesday, the psychologically important $6,000 support level has been holding well despite the recent downturn. As it turns out, this level offers much more than just psychological significance: it represents a 70% correction from last December’s all-time high and, depending on who you ask, is roughly the break-even rate for miners.

According to Ben Marks, CEO of Blocktrade Capital, the nine previous bitcoin corrections had an average retracement of 64%. For corrections lasting longer than 50 days, the average reversal is 76%. Based on this analysis, $6,000 represents the midpoint of both time frames (as a refresher, bitcoin peaked above $19,700 in December).

For technical traders keeping close tabs on charting patterns, bitcoin’s 2018 correction is almost identical to the correction of 2014 when looking at three popular oscillators: RSI, MACD and Stochcastics. One can argue that the outlook for bitcoin in 2014 was far worse than it is today (Mt. Gox bankruptcy, fallout from Silk Road, poor crypto literacy among consumers, businesses and regulators). And yet, cryptocurrencies became one of the fastest-growing markets of all time just a few years later.

As Tom Lee has reminded us time and time again, virtually all of bitcoin’s yearly gains occur over the span of just ten days. Remove those days and BTC/USD is actually down 25% annually.

Market Psychology

Opponents of bitcoin like to argue that the cryptocurrency lacks “intrinsic value” while cleverly negating the massive amount of resources needed just to maintain the network. If mining rigs, computing power, human resources, crypto exchanges, wallets and thousands of start-ups do not represent “intrinsic value,” then we may have a problem with semantics.

Whether you call it intrinsic value or fundamentals, bitcoin is supporting a global marketplace that extends far beyond what traders do. In fact, “investment coins” now represent half of the total money supply in blockchain, down from 72% over the past year.

That being said, traders and other market participants have a vested interest in protecting their investment. Unless you are shorting bitcoin through the futures market, there is a large community of actors who are committed to keeping prices elevated – or, at least, stable. Going back to Marks, there’s strong reason to believe that market participants will spur to action to prevent bitcoin from falling below, say, $5,000. Those who argue that the market has no bottom and can theoretically fall to zero have clearly overlooked the sheer volume of positive developments occurring on multiple fronts: regulation, adoption, innovation and custodial services. (As an aside, I sometimes have to write multiple Crypto Roundups each week just to keep track of all the positive news.)

There’s no denying that market psychology toward cryptocurrency is brutal right now. However, consider this: bitcoin’s nearly 70% correction has occurred much faster than previous retracements. The recent correction has lasted roughly 200 days compared with 300 that followed the 2014 price collapse. Theoretically, this means that an upward correction could be accomplished much more expeditiously than the several years it took to catapult prices toward $20,000.

To wrap up this article, I’ll leave you with a paragraph I wrote on June 12 that sums up where we are in bitcoin world:

“There’s strong reason to believe that bitcoin’s recent downturn is here to stay for much longer than many had predicted. The good news is the cryptocurrency’s value proposition has only increased over the past six months thanks to institutional adoption, Lightning Network upgrades and continued growth of blockchain enterprise. In a market that is heavily influenced by sentiment, the facts will set you free.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 503 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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GDPR and Blockchain: Three Projects Seeking to Decentralize Data Protection

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Whether you’ve been keeping track of the news or are a citizen within the European Union yourself, there is a great chance that you have noticed the recent discussion regarding the newly implemented GDPR (or ‘General Data Protection Regulation’) in the bloc.

The rules came into effect this year alongside the recent vote in favor of implementing stricter copyright laws pertaining to intellectual property and ‘memes’ and has caused a fair bit of controversy, alongside the recent worldwide events including the USA, and their repeal of ‘Net Neutrality’ laws across the entire USA.

Image source: Forbes.com

Advertising, Big Data and You

For a wide range of reasons, digital advertising is a huge industry – being near-perfect solutions for digital, web-based organisations which are seeking to maximise their revenue / profits, whilst minimising expenses.

A common phenomenon affecting advertising is ‘Big Data’, where user information is collected and processed through complex artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Your usage of internet technology more likely than not creates an endless trail of digital footprints, which are gathered and interpreted by companies and their systems to provide and interpret detailed insights on user habits.

Data Protection Rights

GDPR is meant to result in transparent and honest interactions between consumers, big data companies, and even social media companies such as Facebook now face the challenge of how to market or rebuild trust with consumers. Though there is still a myriad of concerns amongst consumers regarding how companies will approach this.

Implementation of GDPR has caused quite a shakeup for the AdTech industry, with users are being given total control over how much data websites and applications can collect about them.

Now users can consent to which cookies web operators have access to, but there are still several ways for big data to continue to profit from your data without cookies. Methods such as incoming IP tracking scripts, Browser Fingerprinting and malware-infected websites are commonplace and could prove more malicious than previous methods.

Can Blockchain Further Increase Data Privacy?

Technology has already empowered websites visitors with the ability to overcome issues such regarding data privacy and invasive advertising tactics.

‘Adblocker’ for example is a web-browser extension which automatically removes almost all adverts from a website, and just like ‘NoScript’ (removing potentially malicious scripts from pages) has been utilised by software such as Tor Browser to achieve thorough user safety and anonymity.

Through these kinds of solutions, blockchain or not, website operators are going to be encouraged to increase the quality and value of content on their pages.

Considering such software and the exponential growth of blockchain as an industry, it is of little surprise that we have seen an influx of services, products and ICOs which seek to combine the benefits of these technologies with those of blockchain / cryptocurrency.

Here are a few of what we consider to be the most interesting in the present crypto space…

1. Online.io

Image source: Online.io

The Online.io project financially rewards website operators in a ‘proof of online’ system which essentially quantifies the time spent on each website and rewards website operators appropriately. It is also the only project in this article which we haven’t reviewed on this site so far (although I wouldn’t count it out for the near future, so watch this space!)

Their proprietary crypto-coin (OIO) will be used to distribute rewards to all parties based on visitor time-spent, bounce-rate and other established metrics. This presents a fascinating opportunity for website owners to still effectively monetize their website in compliance with GDPR and without the need to utilize other means of data collection.

Online.io could somewhat be considered a democratized system, as users rank each website based on their experience. The highest rated websites will be rated higher in ‘Trust’ through an algorithmic formula, which acts as an indicator of website quality for future visitors.

It’s likely to continue delivering a highly positive boost to the whole ecosystem as consumers now (especially millennials) would rather get rid of traditional advertising methods: hence ad-skipping buttons on YouTube as well as Ad-blockers and anti-tracker software.

2. Peer Mountain

A blockchain based project which seeks to connect so called “self-sovereign ID holders with businesses, enabling commerce at scale” by utilising technological solutions like smart contracts.

Peer Mountain is unique for providing customers (a private individual / citizen) with a greater level of confidence when looking to access a product or service – no matter where they are, or what their country of origin may be.

To the organisations taking part, budding entrepreneurs worldwide, a whole new market audience is available. A mutual benefit which is equally enjoyed by the ‘self-sovereign ID holder’ too – incentivised by not having to register their private information on a host of centralized servers.

The security is achieved through use of innovative code: which makes use of a combination of user-experience solutions, with the innate security benefits of distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency.

3. DOVU

This team has put all its efforts into creating a ‘mobility’-focused solution which incorporates “a unified token, wallet and marketplace for earning and spending mobility related rewards”. By mobility, what they are referring to is of course transportation related activities: such as ride-sharing and courier services.

In this instance however, it also applies to mobility information – and how it is bought and sold in the data economy.

Unlike the other solutions listed, DOVU aims to resolve the contentious issue of data privacy by allowing service providing companies make direct offers to users of its ecosystem in return for a quantity of the platform’s proprietary token.

Key use cases and clients pegged to take advantage of this platform include automotive manufacturers and marketing organisations for use in big-data research and algorithmic insight / report generation.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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