High risk, high reward market on a tear

Monday, 6 August 2018
Melbourne, Australia
By Bernd Struben

  • Cash, credit…or litecoin?
  • A 3,859% gain…inside a few weeks

‘Tap and go, or do you need to PIN?’

If you’ve visited any retail outlet over the past year, you’ll be familiar with the query. These days you can not only tap with your credit card, but with your phone.

It wasn’t too long ago that the standard question was, ‘Will that be cash or charge?’ And before that, of course, ‘Cash or cheque?’

Cheques have more or less gone the way of the dodo. Although I discovered VicRoads still uses them after they charged my wife twice to renew her rego. She’d paid online using a debit card. But once they’d admitted to their error, VicRoads could only reimburse us via snail mail and a good old fashioned cheque.

Cash, the government and mainstream media tell us, is dirty. Both literally and figuratively.

Literally, because cash spends much of its time riding around in people’s pockets, often on their backsides. And because not everyone adheres to stringent handwashing following a trip to the loo.

Figuratively cash is dirty because it fuels the dreaded black-market economy. Illicit drugs, stolen merchandise and, well, that tradie replacing your leaking faucet who offered you a 20% discount if you paid in cash.

Governments around the world are delighted by the steady decline in the use of cash. As are the heavyweight marketing companies.

Marketers and governments are united in their distaste for cash due to its anonymity. Governments fear losing out on potential tax revenue. And marketers fear losing valuable data on your buying habits.

Michael Andrew, chair of Australia’s Black Economy Taskforce (sounds ominous, eh?) spared no effort in blaming cash for a host of problems plaguing society. And in May this year the government banned cash payments of over $10,000. A cap that won’t be indexed to inflation, meaning the cash limit will essentially fall each year.

Yet the more noise that’s made about the demise of cash, the more determined I am to use it. Whether that’s spending $12 for lunch at Macca’s or $700 on new tyres for my Commodore.

Maybe it’s just puerile — I’ve certainly been accused of worse — but I find it satisfying that Google, Myer, Amazon and all of their ilk, along with the government’s Big Brother types like Michael Andrew, have no clue how that cash was spent.

But now there’s a new alternative. One that was mostly fantasy just 18 months ago…although Sam Volkering was already spruiking the idea back then.

And that’s to make everyday purchases using cryptocurrencies.

Still sounds farfetched?

Not if the Queensland government has anything to say about it.

More after the markets.

(If cryptocurrencies make you uncomfortable, it could be because you don’t understand them. In his introductory service, Secret Crypto Network, Sam walks readers through all the basics to get you comfortable with how to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptos. He and co-editor Ryan Dinse also make regular recommendations of some of the better known cryptos they believe are set for another sharp run higher. To find out more, simply click here.)

Markets

Over the weekend the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 136.42 points, or 0.54%.

The S&P 500 gained 13.13 points, or 0.46%.

In Europe the Euro Stoxx 50 index finished up 13.19 points, or 0.38%. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 gained 1.10%, and Germany’s DAX added 69.43 points, or 0.55%.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down 8.81 points, or 0.04%. China’s CSI 300 is down 0.68%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 is up 28.02 points, or 0.45%.

On the commodities markets, oil nudged down overnight. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is US$68.60 per barrel. Brent crude is US$73.18 per barrel.

A bit perversely, but that’s how manipulated markets tend to operate, the oil price fell after reports that Saudi Arabia had actually cut production in July.

From Bloomberg:

Saudi Arabia, which recently pledged oil-supply increases to tame rallying crude prices, cut production last month, according to OPEC delegates familiar with the matter.

The biggest member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 10.3 million barrels a day in July…

Under pressure from US President Donald Trump to reassure markets, the kingdom was said to have been preparing to pump 10.8 million or 11 million barrels a day.

The lower number follows signs that the Saudis couldn’t ultimately find buyers to justify pumping at record output levels. US crude futures lost more than 7 per cent in July, their steepest drop in two years, amid signs that a surplus is re-emerging in some parts of the world market.’

WTI prices dropped 1.4% on the news.

But regular readers will know I believe crude has another 10–15% to fall from current prices. Most likely before the end of September.

And with the simmering trade tensions between the US and China, crude prices could be hit even harder for two reasons.

First, global demand for oil would likely fall if global trade and economic growth gets hit. And two, it appears China will defy US calls to cut Iranian oil exports. That’s seeing a lot of oil bulls rethink their positions.

This headline comes from Bloomberg, ‘Hedge Funds Unnerved by Trade War Cut Oil Bets to 2-Year Low’. The article notes:

Oil traders had anticipated that sanctions would take Iranian barrels off the market, said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee $151 billion at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

But “if China is not participating in that — they are a pretty big consumer of Iranian crude oil — that leaves global production at a somewhat higher level,” he said.

WTI won’t fall to US$55 per barrel in a straight line. But all manner of global forces are aligning to pull crude prices lower. Stay tuned…

Turning to gold, the yellow metal is trading for US$1,214.60 (AU$1,642.46) per troy ounce. Silver is US$15.44 (AU$20.88) per troy ounce.

One bitcoin is worth US$7,023.46.

The Aussie dollar is worth 73.95 US cents.

Cash, credit…or litecoin?

‘Cash or bitcoin?’

I’ve yet to hear any clerk pose that question. But the first one who does will earn my loyal patronage.

And if Queensland’s government has its way, more and more stores will be accepting not just bitcoin, but also litecoin, ether, dash and NEM.

As CoinDesk reports:

Australia’s Queensland state government has awarded a $100,000 grant to a crypto travel experience startup, a government official announced on Wednesday.

The company, TravelbyBit, designs “tourist routes” on which travelers can spend crypto, and also provides a crypto payments platform for merchants.

“Tourism is one of Queensland’s most important industries,” Innovation Minister Kate Jones said in a statement. She added:

“TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments.” …

“With this next phase of technology, we are targeting a different brand of tourist – the tech savvy travellers from anywhere in the world who are looking to book their travel experiences ahead of their trip and use digital currency to pay for their travels,” he [TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh] said in the statement.’

Crypto naysayers take note.

Regardless of what the price of bitcoin does over the coming months and years, cryptocurrencies aren’t going away.

If you’ve ever travelled internationally, you’ll know the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ your bank inflicts with every credit card transaction or ATM withdrawal you make overseas.

TravelbyBit could spell the end to those parasitic fees. And while it’s early days yet, Queensland may well find its crypto efforts well rewarded.

A 3,859% gain…inside a few weeks

While we’re on the topic of cryptos, this headline from Bloomberg caught my eye, ‘Crypto Bulls Pile Into ICOs at Record Pace Despite Bitcoin Rout’.

An ICO, as a reminder, is an initial coin offering. You can think of it as similar to an initial public offering (IPO). That’s where a company first lists on an exchange and becomes available for everyday investors to buy shares.

The Bloomberg article notes that:

This year’s selloff in virtual currencies has done little to dent investor enthusiasm for initial coin offerings, which attracted a record $12 billion in the first half.

That’s up from $7 billion for the whole of 2017 and a more than 50-fold jump from 2016, according to Autonomous Research LLP.’

You can see the leap in ICOs in the chart below:



chart image

Source: Bloomberg / Autonomous Research
Click to enlarge


You can also see that EOS and Telegram together represented a large chunk of the new offerings. EOS is a platform for open-source projects. Telegram is a messaging service.

But even without these two, the ICO market is clearly surging.

And this is precisely why Sam Volkering launched his premium advisory service, Crypto Tech Investor, in October 2017.

This is not a service for crypto newbies. And the subscription price is not cheap. But with the eye-popping potential gains on offer in ICOs, you could repay the annual subscription with a small investment in just one winning new crypto.

Here’s what Sam has to say:

Cryptocurrencies are the most exciting and disruptive financial revolution we’ve seen in over 5,000 years. Since gold was first used as money.

For the first time ever, a genuine currency alternative has emerged that cannot be controlled by a central bank or government…

A new crypto hits the market approximately every four days. They have strange names like OmiseGo, 0X and Monero.

And they could potentially make you more money in a single month than some working Aussies make in an entire year.

That’s the potential you’re looking at here. We’ve seen some ICO top performers like Metal and Etheroll notch up record gains of 3,924% and 3,859%, inside a few weeks.

Of course, the cryptocurrency market isn’t without risk. A lot of risk. But in my view, played right, the extraordinary opportunities could have the potential to outweigh that risk.

Do take careful note of what Sam says about the risks.

When you’re hunting for 30-bagger type returns (that’s 30 times your investment) in a period of weeks or months, you’ve got to be aware that you could lose some or even all of your money.

If you’re comfortable with that reality, and you’re hoping to get into the next Metal or Etheroll on their initial launch date, then check out Sam Volkering’s Crypto Tech Investor here.

Finally, here’s the latest on Sarah Hanson-Young’s hurt feelings, from The Australian Tribune:

‘Hanson-Young Backs Down from Sexual Harassment Claims’

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has congratulated Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on following through with repeated threats of legal action that have dragged on for more than a month, by finally filing a Statement of Claim.

However, Senator Leyonhjelm said he was surprised, that the Claim he received on 1 August makes no reference to what Senator Hanson-Young has been bitterly…

If you’re fed up with sanitised, politically correct dogma cut and pasted from one mainstream source to another, then The Australian Tribune is for you.

And it’s absolutely free.

Sign up here to get The Australian Tribune delivered free to your inbox five days per week.

You can visit our website at https://www.theaustraliantribune.com.au/ to read the complete article above now.

Cheers,
Bernd