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Op-Ed

Observations from a Post-Bubble(?) World

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If you have any kids, you’re by now familiar with the phenomenon of the Angry Birds. The game series and subsequent branded clothing and the like have created something literally insane: a $1 billion IPO valuation for something called Angry Birds. We’re not making this up.

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Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish maker of Angry Birds, is targeting an IPO that would give it a market value of €802 million ($956 million) to €896 million ($1.1 billion). […] Rovio said it would price shares between €10.25 ($12.20) and €11.50 ($12.30). […] Rovio has built an empire around its popular mobile game Angry Birds, including toys, clothes and an animated 3-D movie. […] The gaming app, which was released in 2009, allows players to sling virtual birds at enemy pigs to save their eggs.

Meanwhile, people are concerned that we’re in a bubble with cryptocurrencies and, more specifically, with initial coin offerings and the technologies coming out of them. Let’s be real: the two things are not the same. For better or worse, games and movies are proven ways to make money, while most of the technology we’re offered in the ICO space is speculative at best.

But, of the technologies that we’re offered, those that actually do succeed, well, some of the will re-shape society. And that’s what we’re betting on: the kind of money that is made then. But it’s clear that if we were in a bubble, it recently popped. The bloodshed may not even be over, there may be speculative pumps left before the whole market has some time to rebuild. All the same, it’s helpful to monitor what’s going on in the rest of the world to determine if we’re really overvaluing things.

Most firms in the ICO space differ from Rovio in two ways: they don’t have a working product or solid revenue to point at. As such, most of them aren’t trying to value themselves at nearly the same level. But if society can afford this amount to value a games company, then certainly we’re far from having too many fundamentally transformative companies come out of the cryptocurrency space.

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We’re either a long way from the bubble or somehow in a world where bubble economics don’t truly apply. Every token brings with it a stagnated exit from the cryptocurrency market, thereby inflating the amount of value that is actually invested in the crypto economy. The amount of demand to liquidate it actually is less important when the activity around ICOs is viewed through this lense: even when people, or the network as a whole, loses a bit of money, it gains in new participants, who later are likely to re-add the lost value.

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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Op-Ed

I’m Upset I Can’t Buy More

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There is too much great stuff on sale. Americans will know what I am talking about. This is like going to the dollar store for gold bricks. Last night was crazy. When Ethereum is hovering at 3 figure levels, that is enough to make my eyes dilate. I hope everyone was ready for it, and you got some good bottom dollar coin. However, after digging and digging, I haven’t found a REALLY good reason why the market is down.

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It was a sell off partially based on some markets beginning to be regulated. China repeating the same things for anyone’s guess as to why. You “shut down” your markets in September. China, we get it. Factory workers and teenagers need foreign cars though, and I will not be standing for all this smoke screen news!

I believe China is calming the seas before they jump in. They want to set the rules, and be fused into its oversight. A government full of mature adults is going to have a tough time figuring out how this one is going to work from a technical perspective. People who do these things are not plentiful. Trust me, I have tried finding one.

Why I am not nervous about Chinese volume is Alibaba. After some of the strongest words we’ve seen from their government, why now would Jack Ma say he is beginning to look into blockchain for Alibaba? I haven’t known many to defy the government over there, clearly he is comfortable enough that he will use technology to better his Chinese business. I am very curious as to how. I will give my guess and a couple good prices that I saw.

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NEO 

Did you look at it when I first spoke about it? I hope you did. You will see that this platform is very very good for making businesses, and has a centralized structure that can be controlled. A company with a Chinese national used to doing government business has a centralized platform. Handful of nodes. They control who. This already looks like a fantastic auction house for someone to buy (“regulate”). It came very close on my exchanges to $200. It is now $117 as of this writing. The supply is 100,000,000 total. On par with Ethereum.

China likes the “There is only one game in town and we know them” deal. If there is even a whiff of that being the case, 100,000,000 could be eaten up very quickly. If they successfully launch coins/Dapps, their currency is very well infused to benefit. Wouldn’t any coin holder love to see a website ask for NEO as payment for their ICO/ACO? I think that some blockchains are designed to be controlled. I don’t think NEO is the one wearing a tie die shirt talking about freedom, I think this coin has a crew cut and is ready to serve his country. Just one man’s opinion.

Ripple

This one always frustrates me. How it is $1 is beyond me. I have heard so many things about how XRP isn’t really utilized by the corporate customers and I should “look into it”. No, I am not going to look into it. Here is what I do know. Brad Garlinghouse was on CNBC and works right across the street from Coinbase. A powerful top-10 American currency with bank relationships is not going to be denied it’s place on the American exchange. You saw what happened to bitcoin cash. Access means everything. This is a company that people actually trust. If you see the articles on Ripple, they aren’t negative! Bitcoin has had drug seizure arrests in the news, and we all know about Silk Road. Brad has just been coming out with more bank friends. The more they hear brand names and Ripple together, the more popcorn I buy for the Coinbase open. Once again, one mans opinion. $1.02 as of this writing.

Lumens

I can’t stop writing about this platform. It is 36 cents, with half the circulating supply as Ripple. This is literally Ripple! The guy who was behind Ripple forked it and here is Lumens. Banking the unbanked is the wrapper, NextGen brokerage house is the candy bar. Once I heard mass customization of government compliant coins, my mind hasn’t really stopped. Currently, I don’t think the developer community is at the level of a major platform, and I also don’t think we have hit a critical mass of people who can do this stuff. I think the more kids in college who look into this stuff during their engineering degree, the more people we will have to help business people. I am a businessman, and for the second time in this article I am telling you finding someone to do this is very difficult. Scarcity is very important to note when a lot of money is on the line

I dont ignore rock bottom prices. I saw $155! Litecoin is being used already, it is a functioning business with a supply on par with bitcoin. It is super fast to use as a currency and transfer vehicle. There are people accepting this as payment. Mark Cuban said he will begin accepting bitcoin and Ethereum for Dallas Mavericks basketball games. I don’t think there is a way he won’t add Litecoin too. I am not saying the Dallas Mavericks fans will begin crypto’ing up, I am saying businesses – brick and mortar and e-commerce accept Litecoin, and that number will grow. That doesn’t scream $155 to me.

 

Conclusion

This doesn’t seem like a one or two day storm to me. These are sustained low prices, and I think we saw a lot of money move out. This doesn’t mean anything. The only things you should look for are facts. Some finance ministers opinion on the way things ought to be isn’t a declaration of law. When we hear the distinct declaration from the government officials in charge, we then can quantify the issue it will cause. Emotions have no bearing on long term prices, and I think there are a whole lot of feelings in the room right now.

 

None of what I have said is a recommendation to buy or sell securities. I own some, but I am a lightning god and a risky son of a B. You saw the drop. People lost rent payments. People have to pay back loans they took out. This is scary stuff. When the market is unregulated, dumb people can get very hurt within an instant at no fault of anyone else. That hurt is called selling. Please be careful, and keep your emotions in check. Best of luck.

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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Op-Ed

This is Why You’re Here

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I often dwell on Youtube live streams of crypto traders from around the world. Most of the time it’s about technical jargon I am not really interested in, but sometimes you will get some good information on a currency that you didn’t otherwise know about. However, what sticks out to me most about these rooms (and why I love them the most) is that people from all walks off life on earth bomb in on the audio chat in different accents, “IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO BUY XYZ?” Russian dockworkers, Australian insurance salesman, Silicon Valley engineers; all of these people are scared to death put their feet in the water. Today, thankfully, I can answer all of those people. It is now a good day to buy XYZ.

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Every single one of you created your accounts for today. Not to trade when its 20% up because of a tweet. When scared people cash out, you cash in. If you aren’t comfortable with that, unregulated speculative markets may not be for you. There are functioning businesses with valuable coins that are 20-30% down as of this publication.

From where I am sitting, everything looks good here. Ethereum in the low thousand, Litecoin sub $200, XRP nearing $1. These are lows. We haven’t seen these prices in a while. The reason this is occurring is reportedly because South Korea is moving back and forth like a ping pong ball on cryptocurrency regulation. The speculative 1000x return $.001 currencies will be hit much harder from this than the functioning businesses if South Koreans are restricted from trade. The strongest speculators are South Koreans. If they are hindered, a lot of the speculative coins may be affected.

What am I looking at today? What I have been looking at for a while now. Platforms. I want places where businesses can go, and are already going. Currently, I have become enchanted with Stellar/NEO/Ethereum/Komodo’s (and Ripple, not so much XRP) way of doing business.

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Stellar

Jed McCaleb is not a man to discount. He designed the Ripple way of functioning with US entities, and I believe he has done it again, but more on the B2C side, and I didn’t mean business 2 consumer. I meant broker 2 consumer. His platform can now mass produce/customize tokens that are going to be compliant with United States laws. KYC information, AML procedures, all the bells and whistles you need for a Texan to smile. Call me a sell out, but if no one wants to follow the rules, they won’t be getting their dinner. If Stellar’s ICO platform has an imbedded value of having the functionality to deposit and settle themselves in bank/investment accounts compliantly, we have a competitive advantage you ain’t never getting past. When’s the last time you searched something on Yahoo? Bing?

NEO

I am not naive enough to think that other platforms that aren’t functioning in the US aren’t worth investing. NEO’s DAPP platform (a place where people can set up store fronts) is one of the most advanced, allowing the creators on their network a lot of room to design DAPP businesses. This is an enormous platform, just like Ethereum. Every road can have a good High Street for shopping for specific things. Or, only one could survive. I don’t intend on putting my eggs in one basket.

Ethereum

As the king of trade for primary offerings, Ethereum has had so many success stories with currencies being launched using its guidebook (ERC-20). I don’t know how much value over time, but this is a platform that people understand how to develop on. It may be clunky right now, but thanks to your generous pump, they may soon (or already) have more resources than any other platform. They have customers. I love customers. Look into it.

Komodo

This one will be the toughest to explain for someone who isn’t tech focused. The Barterdex/Atomic Swap movement is a revolutionary platform of trade. They can do cross train swaps, without using the base currency. I trade ADA for KMD. XRP for LTC. The platform is functioning, and getting better each day. No one, and I mean no one can say that they are loving the way exchanges are working right now. Anyone who is trying to move the ball forward has my interest.

Conclusion

Look at the coins you have been watching, and discuss with yourself internally what your limits are. I am hoping that you have planned for days like these by having capital on the sidelines. If you haven’t, don’t make it up out of thin air. If you’re fully invested, stay fully invested. This is a buyer’s day, not a seller’s day. If you can’t handle that, this industry is going to lose you a lot of money. I have no idea what even the next hour holds for cryptocurrency. However, a wagering man must wager. Each time it hits that new low, a small buy. There is no special sauce to buying things 20-30% off.

 

This is NOT a recommendation to buy or sell any currencies. As you can see, we sold off on ambiguous news. This boat rocks back and forth. Always do research and I wish you the best of luck on a day like today.

Do keep in touch with me about what everyone is thinking . I have created a twitter @raijincrypto, would love to hear thoughts on your plans.


The night sky 

Featured images courtesy of Pexels and 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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Op-Ed

China and America: What We Need

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Great news! We are seeing that South Korea is going to be verifying their users, not banning the practice of trading altogether. They will begin identifying who exactly is tied to every single account. I think there will still be some backlash from disgruntled Finance Ministers (or whoever-the-hell), and we haven’t seen much crazy price movement that would come with a “we’re back open” announcement. I think this good news has wrapped the bad news in a bow. Koreans are okay to trade, and we want them to continue! That country loves speculating. However, this hits the Chinese traders right in the mouth.

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China is pushing out miners, getting wiser to capital flight loopholes, and seemingly wanting nothing to do with cryptocurrency or blockchain. When Facebook is taboo, did you really think blockchain was going to be the bee’s knees? I think my two main worries going into 2018 are China and America. The way that these two economies react formally to cryptocurrency has not yet been fully developed. Probably because they are trying to figure out ways for it to work for them before they denounce it altogether. Let’s think about their problems.

China

The country who needs this the most! They have had a restrictive government that often places rules that can jeopardize the value of their hard earned savings. I love when San Francisco techies talk about de-centralization needs to happen in America NOW, when Chinese people are fighting for their financial lives each and every day. I feel for them! I want them to be able to access the things that can give them more freedom of choice in investment and storage. This Korea thing was a real stinker. When the people with the biggest problem that needs solving can’t access your products, it is tough. I am worried about this. I don’t take too much risk in this market, and this is one of those risks that could jeopardize a lot.

Here is what we are hoping to see: They deal with the devils they know. There are plenty of Chinese nationals who have dealt with government officials before, that are now putting up their crypto storefronts. I am hoping that these are the ones that they will work with to create a future that they determine. The entire internet will slowly migrate into the blockchain, I just think they want to set the rules for it. This may take a while, and I think Chinese volume will suffer for this. I really hope that better, more compromising things can come out of this government a little quicker. We are already seeing so much growth from the Chinese teams! Anyone see NEO last night? Walton, QTUM also making moves back. These are some of the best minds in the world at anything, let alone cryptocurrency. I think China will have to blink eventually.

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America: Taxes & ICOs & Donald, Oh my!

I really strongly doubt that a low key tax announcement is all we will hear from the United States. Angel list is ripe with new exchanges desperately trying to get on the market before Coinbase realizes their app is the only competitive advantage they have. GDAX and Coinbase are the pioneers, they were able to come up with something good enough for a public that needed it. However, when the pioneer doesn’t put some more crypto logs on the fiat based fire, I start to get cold. We need more things to buy in fiat, and I want a 1099 for it. Ya, I said it. I want a tax bill. We will never get to full adoption without formalized procedures. Decentralization is wonderful, but it isn’t there yet. Just spit me out a tax bill so we can get this thing started.

Make no mistake, start-up currencies and platforms from the United States are coming, and quickly. The government will formalize the ICO (ACO was the proposed?) process so that we don’t have wide scale fraud and plagiarized white papers. This will be when people can buy Exchange Traded Funds with crypto constituents. You really think there won’t be a SPDR for this at some point? My other articles continue to point out working businesses (I argue platforms for Dapps & Smart Contracts) will be the main constituents of these financial products. I am desperately trying to find ALL the United States based working blockchain focused cryptos. I will keep you posted on my findings of course. I never, ever, ever talk about something I don’t know about. There is way too much money at stake for me to talk about things prematurely. Be careful on Youtube, please please please.

Donald. The Donald. We haven’t heard one thing BIG about cryptocurrency from him. Mnuchin can say what he wants, but clearly Twitter is running the show (especially for us cryptocurrency people!!). This is a huge unknown. This can affect the dollar. This can affect the banking industry. This can affect the loan industry. We already have robots working at McDonald’s, now shirt and tie people are at risk? I am hoping we craft a peaceful transition, but less money will be available to pay people. Think about what happens when you can get a rate for a mortgage on the blockchain, sourced by global crowdfunding through intermediaries? I don’t even want to know how low that rate can get when it becomes mainstream. Humans have always had power in numbers. This can be a very big number.

None of what I am saying is a recommendation to buy cryptocurrencies, in fact it was a warning sign. Let’s all be safe, do research, and know that this can, quickly, go to $0. Best of luck.


Journey from Lao Cai to Sa Pa

Image courtesy of Pexels.

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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