On Tuesday, February 5th, the Chairmen of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) testified before the U. S. Senate banking committee regarding regulation of cryptocurrency trading. Both agencies have recently brought major cases against, and issued cease-and-desist orders to multi-million dollar operations.
One source of labor already firmly embedded and becoming more important to employers are independent contractors or “freelancers”. Work on an as-needed basis and/or from a remote location is becoming more accepted and is known as the “gig economy.”
On Friday, January 12th the two-year United States Treasury Note closed trading at 5 PM New York time with a yield of 2.002%. This security has not traded with a “two handle” since September of 2008.
Finance people can sometimes be offended when activities like stock investing are likened to betting. Some would be quick to point out nuances such as betting being won largely by luck whereas investments are influenced by factors that can be studied and analyzed. Perhaps they are simply reacting to the negative connotation betting carries.
Life expectancy in the United States has declined for two years in a row and early statistics indicate that 2017 that may add a third upward move in the death rate. This has not happened since the Spanish Flu pandemic killed 3-5% of the of the world’s population in 1918-20
Although cryptocurrencies are the ‘it’ topic of the moment, the technology that makes them possible—blockchain—is having an equally successful run. Blockchain uses a decentralized network of nodes to handle processing and verify transactions, creating blocks of data that form a public, unalterable ledger of every transaction that was logged on the network. Additionally, the technology has proven itself an effective tool to build applications, offering significant advantages over existing infrastructure.
Though bitcoin’s existence spans a relatively short 10-year period, it has gone through many stages of growth. The price of one bitcoin has skyrocketed and crashed several times, but the cycle of interest has always seen its trajectory rise upwards over time. This steady (and often volatile) trend has taken the seminal cryptocurrency to new heights, but its relationship with participants is always changing.