“If you were a drug dealer, a murderer. . .” open an account at JP Morgan

By Simon Black – Soverign Man.

On Tuesday afternoon, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of banking giant JP Morgan, let loose on Bitcoin.
He was speaking at the Barclays Financial Services conference, and when asked whether his bank employs any Bitcoin traders, he responded-
“If we had a trader who traded Bitcoin, I’d fire them in a second,” calling any trader who deals in the cryptocurrency “stupid”.
He went on to say that Bitcoin is a “fraud” and “won’t end well”.
Now, Dimon is a brilliant executive and banker. He knows his stuff. But… fraud? Really?
My dictionary defines fraud as “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.”
That term seems to more aptly describe the banking industry that Dimon represents.
From Wells Fargo’s illegal opening of fake customer accounts to the constant manipulation of interest rates, exchange rates, and asset prices, outright FRAUD is standard practice among big banks.
Dimon also stated that Bitcoin is primarily appealing for criminals– “if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that. . .”
Again, this is a totally baseless and confounding statement. 10+ million Bitcoin users are drawn to the cryptocurrency for a multitude of reasons.
For some, the fact that it is decentralized is a major factor. For others, it’s the low transaction cost.
Sending an international wire transfer through the banking system, for example, can take three days and cost $100. With Bitcoin it takes an hour and costs less than a dollar.
Sure, criminals might use Bitcoin. They also use Amazon.com gift cards and government bonds.
Ironically for Jamie Dimon, criminals even use JP Morgan bank accounts to launder their money, considering that the bank has paid BILLIONS in fines over the last few years for failing to detect their customers’ illegal activities.

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Why Bankers Dont Like Bitcoin

By Shae Russell – Markets & Money.

Bitcoin is ‘stupid’ and ‘will blow up’.

Or so says top brass at JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon. He adds: ‘If we had a trader who traded bitcoin, I’d fire him in a second for two reasons. One, it’s against our rules. Two, it’s stupid.’

Likening bitcoin’s rapid rise to the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century, Dimon frames the crypto’s rise as ‘fraud’. He was quoted yesterday as saying, ‘It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed.’

That’s a tad dramatic. But, unsurprisingly, the price of bitcoin tumbled after his statements.

Have a look at bitcoin’s decline in the past day…

Source: CoinDesk
[Click to enlarge]

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The Irony of a Billionaire’s Hatred for Bitcoin

By Sam Volkering – Money Morning.

When it comes to Wall Street heavy hitters, Jamie Dimon is one of the biggest. He’s the CEO at JPMorgan.

You remember JPMorgan right?


OK, here’s a refresher.

JPMorgan is the bank that helped create those really complex mortgage bond products in the 2000s. JPMorgan was one of the crooked banks that then packaged them up, bundled them together and created Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs).

JPMorgan was one of those banks that fraudulently engineered those products. And they were one of the kingpins of the entire 2008 debt crisis, the housing collapse in the US, and the global market crash.

JPMorgan was one of those banks that were ‘too big to fail’. Except on the brink of extinction they sat. That is until the taxpayer bailed them out. That’s right, the taxpayer. The average person helped bail out these Wall Street crooks. But did they get a choice? No. Central powers — friends of Wall Street, the government — made that decision for them.

And while taxpayer money bailed out banks like JPMorgan, who do you think was left to pick up the pieces? Who do you think was hit hardest by the debt crisis, the recession, and the housing collapse? Who was left in the wake of it all, while the likes of Dimon escaped unharmed?

Was it the bankers and the fraudsters, the ones who started the mess? No. Sure a few might have lost jobs. The million dollar bonuses dried up, for a year or two.

But did they really suffer? After creating one of the biggest financial crises in history. Do you reckon fat cats like Dimon really had anything to answer for? Of course not. That’s not how the system works.

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Stargroup/DigitalX JV Deal for Bitcoin ATM’s

By Kris Sayce – Markets & Money.

Looks like you’ll soon be able to swap Bitcoin for cash at your local ATM.

From Business Insider yesterday:

Australian ATM operator Stargroup has signed a joint venture with DigitalX, a blockchain technology and advisory company, to convert its machines to trade the digital currency Bitcoin.

The joint venture agreement is for the entire global network of Stargroup ATMs, initially with 500 in Australia, to allow buying and selling of Bitcoin.’

Bitcoin is here to stay.

If you’ve not got a little money in the world’s biggest crypto…GET IN NOW.


The Secret Code for Crypto Profits.

By Ryan Dinse – Money Morning

I write a lot about cryptocurrencies. But with good reason.

I firmly believe that there’s never been such a unique, fascinating and game changing investment opportunity. And I don’t think there ever will be again. At least not in my lifetime.

Of course not everyone agrees with that. In fact, it’s still the minority view.

Bitcoin is nothing more than a classic bubble according to Nobel Prize winning Yale university professor, Robert Shiller.

The best example (of a bubble) right now is bitcoin. And I think that has to do with the motivating quality of the bitcoin story. And I’ve seen it in my students at Yale. You start talking about bitcoin and they’re excited!’

Incidentally, Shiller wrote a seminal book on speculative manias, Irrational Exuberance. It was a deep analysis of the dramas over the centuries in which otherwise sane people drove prices for tulips, stocks, and houses to inexplicable heights.

He clearly knows a thing or two about bubbles.

But when asked in the same Quartz interview what he thought of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings — the crypto equivalent of an IPO), he replied, ‘What’s an ICO?’

That makes me think the professor hasn’t done the required reading!

Anyway, time will tell who ends up right…

And I don’t want to be accused of merely being a cheerleader and writing only when things are going well.

In the last few days we have seen some big falls in the prices of most cryptocurrencies.

I’m talking 60%+ falls in 24 hours in some cases.


Like most economic outcomes these days, it’s all to do with China.

The Chinese regulator came out with a statement on Monday saying that all Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) were illegal under Chinese law. Given the fact that most of the recent ICO hype has driven the crypto price rises across the board, this statement had a predictable effect.

Prices fell as some investors panicked. Traders used it as an excuse to bank some profits on the recent price rise.

It’s not just about being right

So am I concerned? Is the bitcoin bubble about to pop? A Ponzi scheme about to collapse?

No. I don’t think so.

Consider the following.

Australian Interest Rate 07-09-17 Source: Howmuch.net
[Click to open new window]

The graphic is slightly off, as Bitcoin is now worth $71 billion and the entire cryptocurrency market is around $170 billion. But the comparison still makes sense.

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Bitcoins, Tulips, and the Straw Man



By Sam Volkering – Money Morning.

There is a lot of ‘grave dancing’ going on.

Earlier this week bitcoin and ethereum prices were in freefall. The crypto-cynics were rejoicing. From highs of US$5,000 and US$400 respectively prices ‘plummeted’ to US$4,000 and US$300.


Well partly due to psychological resistance at those high values. And part in response to a global crackdown on cryptocurrency by governments. In my view, it’s quite likely automated trading had a hand in it all too. The big question is, should you worry?

To put it simply, no.

This is affectionately known as ‘tree shaking’. It’s part of the crypto game, to see who will fall from the tree and who’s going to stay up there. Remember, this is a long term financial revolution. It’s not about short term gain.

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Ainslie Bullion Now Offering Bitcoin.

By Sam Volkering – Money Morning

The case for Bitcoin continues to gather steam.

Every day I see stories of mainstream businesses adopting the world’s No. 1 digital currency.

Check this out…

After 43 years in the gold and silver game, precious metals dealer Ainslie Bullion now offers customers bitcoin.

Director Paul Engeman says:

The fundamentals for what constitutes a monetary asset are the same — it must have intrinsic value and have a medium of exchange. Gold and silver have been the champions of the space for 5000 years, but bitcoin has the same properties in that there’s only 21 million of them and it’s a slow process to digitally mine new ones.’

Bitcoin’s 21 million ‘coin’ hard limit and wealth storage properties make it gold for the 21st century.

In just eight years it’s gone from zero to over five grand. It’s a financial revolution the likes of which we’ve never seen…and likely won’t again in our lifetime.

You’d have to be blind not to see it.


Cryptocurrencies: Revolution or Scam?

By Shae Russell – Markets & Money

Cryptocurrencies are ruffling feathers at the moment.

It may have something to do with the US$1.6 billion in initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the past year.

It may have something to do with the most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, gaining 333% since January this year.

It may have something to do with what The Age labels ‘hard money enthusiasts’.

It may have something to do with the ‘profusion and untested concepts [that] has spurred talk of a bubble’, as Bloomberg explained on Sunday.

Or it may have to do with the fact that the greatest monetary disruption in our lifetime has fallen into our lap. And that it’s unsettling the people that control the money supply.

The pervasive mistrust of cryptocurrencies is coming from short-sighted governments and central banks that fear what they can’t control. And it doesn’t help that the media is towing the government line.

An Australian-based start-up launched its own cryptocurrency last week, and The Age couldn’t help but point out all the things ‘wrong’ with cryptocurrencies, writing:

This week a Perth-based energy trading start-up called Power Ledger said it raised $17 million from speculators and crypto enthusiasts in Australia’s first ICO (initial coin offering). An ICO is a bit like an IPO, except digital tokens created from thin air are up for grabs, rather than small pieces of ownership in a business. There are no regulators or stock exchanges involved.

What bothers me most about this isn’t the lack of regulators or exchanges involved. It’s pointing out that digital tokens are created from ‘thin air’.

While that’s true, the mainstream doesn’t bother to point this out about banks. Banks essentially create money out of thin air too. Yet you don’t see the media pointing that out often.

I’ve never seen them take the time to remind us that the billions in dollars of banking profits that shareholders love to see come from loans made out of thin air.

You know why? Because it’s what they know. It’s much easier to stick by what has always been, and pick out the faults of the new.

The Age continues:

To describe ICOs as the wild west of finance would be an understatement but, at the moment, lots of people are making a killing from them.

Bitcoin also appeals to anyone seeking to move money across borders (relatively) anonymously. This includes — but is not limited to — money launderers, drug dealers and other criminals.

Because it can’t be easily manipulated by central banks or governments, Bitcoin initially found favour among “hard money” enthusiasts, who worry that an ever-expanding money supply will eventually trigger a financial crisis.

To their credit, at least The Age did mention that people who fear endless money creation are flocking to bitcoin.

For years, the hard-money enthusiasts were the gold and silver bugs. The people who supported something that had been money for millennia. Gold and silver are favoured by hard-money types because powerful elites can’t fiddle with the supply.

And initially, that’s where bitcoin found its support.

However, why is the anonymity of cryptocurrencies now an issue? I don’t know many people that go around bragging about how much money is or isn’t in their bank account.

More importantly, rather than just saying that people like the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies, they instead tell you that money launderers, drug dealers and other criminals use cryptos.

Few people truly ‘get’ what this cryptocurrency boom is all about. While I have no doubt there are charlatans out there looking to make a quick buck, there’s a much bigger story behind it. As Sam Volkering, editor of Secret Crypto Network, told me recently, ‘Revolutions don’t take a few months or a year, they take a generation or more. We’re still right at the start of it all.’

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t going away. And they aren’t the domain of money launderers, thieves and drug dealers. Cryptos are a legitimate way to get your money out of the financial system, and to protect your wealth.


Bitcoin, Sour Grapes and the Institutional Herd

By Charles Hugh Smith – Blog.

The point is institutional ownership of bitcoin is in the very early stages.

If I had a bitcoin for every time some pundit declared bitcoin is a bubble, I’d be a billionaire. There are three problems with opining that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are bubblicious:

1. Everything is in a bubble now: stocks, bonds, housing, heck, even bat guano is bubblicious. Exactly what insight is being added by yet another guru repeating the BTC is a bubble meme?

2. What’s the value proposition in declaring BTC is in a bubble? Spotting bubbles is like shooting fish in a barrel; the value proposition is in identifying the price/time tipping point at which bubbles pop.

3. Declaring bitcoin is a bubble is starting to sound like sour grapes. Sour grapes defined: those who missed the 10-bagger (never mind the 100-bagger) feel better by dismissing the whole thing as a fad and a bubble, but as BTC continues marching higher, it looks like they missed the boat but are too proud to admit they didn’t grasp the significance of cryptocurrencies and BTC in particular.

For those who don’t know what the fuss is about, here’s a one-year chart of bitcoin (BTC). Note the increase from $500 to $5,000 ($4.500 as I write this). Some initial coin offerings have made gains that make this mere 10-bagger look like small change.


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There’s literally a ‘token’ called F*ck that’s up 370% in the last 24-hours

By Simon Black – Soverign Man.

I vividly remember having a conversation several years ago with a woman about her real estate investments in the United States.
It must have been around 2005 or 2006… the peak of the property bubble.
She was a psychologist from somewhere in the midwest, telling me about how she was flipping off-plan condominiums in Florida.
Basically she would put money down to secure a condo unit in a building before it broke ground, then sell her contract to someone else at a higher price when the building was closer to completion.
I remember as she told me this story she was practically cackling at how quickly and easily she was doubling and tripling her money, and at one point said, “It is just soooo easy for me.”

Those words stuck.

I remember thinking, “Investing isn’t supposed to be easy. There’s supposed to be risk and hard work involved.”
But she wasn’t alone. Legions of amateur investors were piling into the market doing exactly the same thing.
Everyone seemed to be flipping condos. And everyone seemed to be making money.
It didn’t add up.
I remember one investor explaining to me how he would flip his condo contract to someone else when the building was 30% complete. Then that buyer would flip the contract to another investor when the building was 60% complete.

Then another sale when the building was 80% complete, etc.
“But who is the person at the end of the line?” I asked. “Someone has to eventually live in all of these condos and be willing to pay the highest price.”
“Oh there will ALWAYS be plenty of people who will live here,” he told me.
To these investors it was a foregone conclusion that required zero analysis: there will
always be buyers, no matter how high the price gets.

One of the marks of a good investor is learning from his/her mistakes; when an investment performs poorly, a good investor will try to figure out WHY, and incorporate those lessons into future decisions.

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