Oct. 13, 2014, 12:53 PM
- Though considering tech stocks "somewhat overvalued," famed VC/PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel thinks the problem pales when compared with a bond/fixed-income bubble "of massive size." (video)
- Thiel: "Tech investors always overrate growth and always underrate durability ... 75%-80% of the value of these companies exists a decade or more in the future ... You can measure growth, but you can't measure durability."
- Thiel also reiterates his view that Alibaba (BABA -0.1%), like other Chinese Internet names, is a political entity. "You're betting on Jack Ma staying in the good graces of the Communist Party."
- He's a fan of the eBay/PayPal (EBAY -1%) split, but disagrees with Carl Icahn's call for PayPal to go on an acquisition spree. "I think mergers only make sense when there are real synergies .. and it's not obvious what the synergy between PayPal and any other business would be at this point."
- GSV Capital (GSVC +1%) might be disappointed to hear Thiel state he thinks "it's going to be a while" before analytics software vendor Palantir (co-founded by Thiel) goes public. Palantir, valued at $9B in a late-2013 funding round, made up 11.2% of GSV's net asset value at the end of Q2.
- A cautious stance is shown towards Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS). "I think it's worked on the level of a currency ... but it's not yet worked on the level of a payments system, and you need to get the payments system to work."
- As data breaches pile up, Thiel expects cybersecurity to remain a big problem - "So much commerce is happening on the Internet and we often have no good intuition of how poor the security is." - that needs to be addressed by software. Cybersecurity plays FireEye (FEYE +3.1%) and CyberArk (CYBR +6.5%) are among the high-beta tech names rallying today.
- Tech ETFs: XLK, VGT, TECL, IYW, ROM, TDIV, TECS, IGM, RYT, QTEC, PSCT, FTEC, FXL, REW, MTK, PTF
Oct. 5, 2014, 1:51 PM
- Coinbase is now showing a bid-ask spread of $293.80-$294.22. That puts Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) over 55% below its June highs, and roughly 75% below its late-2013 all-time highs.
- Plenty of theories are being thrown around to explain the decline. Bulls argue a stronger dollar is taking a toll, as is dollar conversion by the growing number of merchants/platforms accepting Bitcoin. Bears argue a speculative bubble is bursting, with the total value of Bitcoins in existence falling towards a level that reflects their actual usage (still relatively low).
- Bitcoin Watch states Bitcoin's total market cap is now just slightly above $4B. 852K Bitcoins (current value of $250M) were sent over the last 24 hours.
- Fred Wilson, still an ardent believer in the cryptocurrency, has observed Bitcoin's 2-year chart bears some resemblance to Gartner's diagram for the hype cycle surrounding important new technologies.
Sep. 19, 2014, 1:37 PM
- Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) prices are down $25 today, and over $70 on the week. Coinbase is currently showing a bid-ask spread of $400.29-$401.90.
- The Alibaba IPO is viewed as a possible culprit - Bitcoin Magazine observes volume at both major Chinese and European exchanges is well above daily averages, leading it to think investors are unloading Bitcoin positions to buy into Alibaba.
- Quant trader Raffael Danielli isn't buying the theory. "Selling your Bitcoins yesterday (and during the night) will only put USD into your Bitcoin exchange account. From there you have to still transfer it to your stock broker which usually takes a couple of days."
- Though the list of high-profile Bitcoin supporters has kept growing in recent months, Bitcoin prices are now down ~40% from their June highs, and ~65% from all-time highs set last fall.
Jun. 2, 2014, 6:25 PM
- Apple, which previously took a hard-line stance against Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS) wallet apps, has updated its App Store review guidelines to state apps "may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions."
- Coinbase is now showing a Bitcoin bid-ask spread of $673.68-$675.89, putting the virtual currency well above a Sunday close of $646.01. It's now up ~71% from an April 10 price of $395.34.
- Previous: Dish Network to accept Bitcoin payments
Apr. 10, 2014, 6:23 PM
- Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS) is currently showing a bid-ask spread of $380.22-$381.97 on Coinbase. The cryptocurrency last traded at these levels in mid-November, when its was in the midst of a parabolic run to $1,100.
- The apparent trigger: Chinese exchanges have begun receiving shutdown notices from banks (previous). They'll have to stop allowing Bitcoin-related bank deposits by April 15.
- Leading local exchange BTC China has already seen an 80% drop in trading volume from its peak. It's prepping legal "workarounds" to deal with a shutdown.
- In addition to the Chinese news, a massive selloff in risk assets (headlined by a 130-point drop for the Nasdaq) might have also taken a toll.
Mar. 27, 2014, 4:00 PM
- Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS) prices are down more than 8% following Chinese media reports stating China's central bank (the PBOC) has ordered state-owned banks to stop transacting with businesses that make use of the cryptocurrency. Coinbase is currently showing a bid-ask spread of $518.59-$522.26.
- The reports haven't been independently confirmed. The CEO of local Bitcoin trading site BTC China says the order (if it exists) would prevent clients from depositing funds via their bank accounts. He adds the PBOC might not make a formal announcement, but simply enforce the ruling via direct channels with banks.
- This month has already seen the PBOC take a harder line on online/mobile payment services, such as those offered by Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent. In December, the PBOC barred financial institutions from giving Bitcoin pricing, buying/selling the currency, and insuring Bitcoin-linked products. The move was seen as an attempt to more tightly regulate the yuan.
Mar. 4, 2014, 2:26 PM
- Roughly two months after the company became one of the first major online retailers to accept Bitcoin (BITCN), Overstock's (OSTK +7.8%) transaction volume has topped $1M. "We did not expect to hit this milestone so quickly," says CEO Patrick Byrne.
- Byrne has suggested his support for Bitcoin is fueled by both ideological and business motivations. "[Bitcoin] helps us fight the machine," he told Wired.
- Bitcoin transactions still amount to a small percentage of Overstock's total sales: The company's Q1 revenue consensus is at $344.9M.
Feb. 26, 2014, 7:32 AM
- Bitcoin prices continue a sharp bounce after diving amid the closure of the Mt. Gox website. The most recent quote of $567.70 compares to a level about $200 lower 24 hours ago.
- "I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues," writes Mt. Gox chief Mark Karpeles on the website.
- In the meantime, U.S. and Japanese authorities have launched probes related to the case.
- ETFs: BITCN, TUCND
Feb. 25, 2014, 4:54 AM
- The price of Bitcoin has plummeted 11.2% to $484.35 after one of its leading exchanges, Mt Gox, appeared to have disappeared amid speculation of a massive security breach and that it's about to go bankrupt.
- Mt Gox's Web site was blank this morning and all its tweets have been deleted. Since the start of this month, customers had been unable to withdraw their bitcoins. On Sunday, CEO Mark Karpeles resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation.
- One rumor, based on a leaked document, is that 744,400 bitcoins worth $350M have been stolen from Mt Gox, or 6% of all bitcoins in existence.
- Six other major bitcoin exchanges and businesses have said they'll work together to reassure customers about the security of their funds.
- Meanwhile, security firm Trustwave yesterday said hundreds of thousands of computers have been infected with a virus called "Pony" that allows thieves to steal digital currencies such as bitcoins.
- ETFs: BITCN, TUCND
Feb. 7, 2014, 11:10 AM
- An "increase in the flow of withdrawal requests” has caused technical issues says Mt. Gox, which promises an update on the situation on Monday.
- Apple's (AAPL) decision on Wednesday to pull bitcoin (BITCN) wallet app Blockchain.info from the App Store could be a reason behind the sudden boost in withdrawal requests, suggests TechCrunch. Bloomberg reports of several posting videos of themselves destroying their iPhones in protest. "I'm switching," says SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert. This isn't the first bitcoin wallet app removed by Apple which may see the virtual currency as a competitor for its yet-to-be announced payments system.
- Bitcoin's value dove from $831 yesterday to $658 this morning.
Dec. 27, 2013, 8:32 AM| 7 Comments
Dec. 26, 2013, 4:21 PM
- WPCS International (WPCS) shares jump 16.6% AH after the company announces that recently-acquired subsidiary BTX Trader has released a beta version of its Bitcoin trading platform. Beta features include order entry/cancellation on 5 exchanges, real-time market data, and charting.
- COO Ilya Subkhankulov: "[W]e are still in development mode, but we're on schedule to release both web and mobile versions of our platform by early 2014." WPCS expects BTX Trader to begin generating revenue by mid-2014.
- Shares have oscillated wildly following the acquisition, from highs of 5.25 AH following the initial announcement to lows of 1.08 in the days following.
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