December 26, 2017
Even bitcoin must follow basic economic rules
Never invest in a business you do not understand.
If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.
Those are two wise and important rules to live by, and if you follow both, you’ll stay far, far away from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, including the new bitcoin futures market.
This is a column I’ve tried to avoid because it takes time to understand blockchain technology and how immutable, distributed ledgers will eventually revolutionize commerce. Thanks to some basic cryptography classes from my Army days, I even understand how bitcoin is mined and its integrity is maintained.
Bitcoin does not, however, void the basic laws of economics. Strings of computer code will never become a true currency capable of holding value over time. And just as gravity holds us to the Earth, economics will bring bitcoin’s perceived value crashing down.
Proponents of cryptocurrencies love the fact that no government regulates or controls them. Bitcoin exist only as pieces of computer code stored on a ledger shared by thousands of servers around the world, and it only has value because those users say it does, not because a government guarantees it.
Unlike the dollar, which the central bank can print or take off the market as economic needs require, bitcoin are released at a standard rate per week. New bitcoin are awarded to the owners of the servers that maintain the ledger and perform difficult mathematical calculations, a process known as bitcoin mining. The bitcoin supply is determined by an algorithm.
Anyone in the world, meanwhile, can spend real money to buy bitcoin and anonymously trade it with other owners of bitcoin without anyone tracing it. That’s why bitcoin is popular among criminals, particularly extortionists, embezzlers and money launderers.
The value of bitcoin is determined solely by how much the owner of a bitcoin wants for it and how much a buyer is willing to pay. Prices vary widely based on which exchange is used, and most transactions take place in China, South Korea and Japan.
Some say bitcoin is the new gold, but you can’t bury bitcoin in the backyard, and there are no industrial uses for it. Bitcoin only exists on the shared ledger, where hackers can and have stolen it.
Others have compared bitcoin to the tulip bulb bubble of 1636. But that’s unfair, because you can store bulbs in the backyard, and if they lose financial value, you can still enjoy the flowers in the spring.
However, if a government, such as China, bans bitcoin, or everyone wakes up tomorrow and decides it is a fad, then it becomes worthless instantly.
There is no rational explanation for why bitcoin traded at 6 cents in September 2010, reached $3,025 in June and hit $17,513 at noon last Tuesday, according to Coindesk.com. That’s a lot for something that exists solely as a mathematical equation in a market that no single person or institution controls or regulates.
Traders also need to explain this: Why bitcoin and not one of the 800 other crypto-currencies that use the same technology? Why not litecoin, etherium, crypterium, titcoin or potcoin?
Human greed and ignorance are the only explanations.
Remember the late 1980s, when everyone said real estate could only go up? That led to the savings and loan crisis and the 1991 recession.
Remember the late 1990s, when everyone said dot-coms could only go up? That led to the telecoms-led recession of 2001.
Remember the late 2010s, when analysts said bitcoin would hit $100,000 in 2018? That was this week, after an unknown number of people already had $285 billion invested.
No sane person can look at bitcoin’s 1,600 per cent price increase this year and deny that speculators have taken over something that was supposed to be an alternative to official currencies for international transactions. The only way 15 per cent daily price gyrations happen is when investors are making huge bets and cashing in huge profits.
Some proponents believe Cboe’s decision to start trading bitcoin futures this week marks bitcoin’s entry into mainstream financial markets. The opposite it true.
The federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulates these markets, and Cboe, and beginning this week the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, must adhere to government oversight. Bitcoin exchanges that settle the futures contracts will also need to conform.
Widespread bitcoin adoption would also introduce unmitigated risk into global currency markets because you have to buy bitcoin with an existing currency. If central banks see bitcoin as a risk to the global economy, they will regulate it, shut it down or replace it.
South Korea’s prime minister, a deputy governor of China’s central bank, and regulatory officials from Japan and the U.S. have all warned investors and markets about cryptocurrencies, signaling their anxiety over what happens if the bubble gets any bigger. Of course, if they step in, the bubble will definitely burst.
So are people making money from trading bitcoin? Absolutely. Do we know when the bubble will burst? No idea. Should you try to ride the wave before it crashes? See above.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
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Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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