The Israel Deception

Is the return of Israel in the 20th century truly a work of God, or is it a result of a cosmic chess move to deceive the elect by the adversary?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

One sovereign government paid for propaganda to push the fear of a cryptocurrency collapse

One of the biggest tools governments have towards promoting an agenda is the use of the media to push out propaganda.  In fact the United States has perfected this activity down to a science when we saw during the 1930's and 40's the use of documentaries and public announcements to fearmonger citizens on the 'evils of marijuana'.

But of course the use of paid propaganda is not limited to just one nation or government.  And as we are seeing right now in the country of Poland, they have chosen to use Youtube as the media conduit to push an agenda on the ills of cryptocurrencies.

Poland's central bank paid a YouTube star to make a video about a cryptocurrency crash in order to warn about the dangers of investing in digital coins.  
The National Bank of Poland (NBP) told CNBC it spent 91,221.99 Polish zloty ($26,764) on Gamellon, a YouTube partner network that features a number of well-known bloggers, as well as Google and Facebook's Irish subsidiary. 
Marcin Dubiel, who has nearly 1 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, posted a video titled "Stracilem Wszystkie Pieniadze?!" which translates as "I lost all my money." It follows a character who buys a fake digital currency which crashes. - CNBC
We suspect that Poland's attempts to curb the ongoing mania that is cryptocurrencies through the use of paid propaganda will fail along the same lines that America's 'war on drugs' did in trying to stop people from using illegal narcotics.  But perhaps 20 years from now their video will make a great meme the same way Reefer Madness has for the drug culture during a time when marijuana is once again becoming a legal commodity.

Bitcoin once again falls below $10,000 after peaking just below $12,000 in most recent rally

After falling down below the $6000 handle a couple of weeks ago, Bitcoin had rallied since that time thanks in part to an undisclosed investor who piled in with $400 million worth of buys.  However over the past two days this rally appears to have stalled as overnight selling has pushed the price of Bitcoin back down below $10,000 per coin.

Bitcoin is struggling to stay above $10,000. 
The cryptocurrency fell below the psychologically key level Thursday, failing the latest attempt to recover from a sharp sell-off in the last several weeks.
Bitcoin dropped about 5 percent to a low of $9,878.72, its lowest level in a week, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index, which tracks prices from four major cryptocurrency exchanges. 
This is the second straight day of declines and the first time bitcoin has dropped below $10,000 since last Friday. - CNBC
Even at $10,000 per coin, the cryptocurrency remains down 50% from its all-time high achieved back on Dec. 17.

One of the trends we are looking at is how the Bitcoin price will react to the CME's February Bitcoin futures contract which is set to expire on Friday the 24th.  Because it was the implementation of this contract back in December that helped precipitate the hard correction for the cryptocurrency, which has yet to recover fully within 40% of its all-time high.

Maduro feels his Petro cryptocurrency scheme so good, why not create another! Only this one will gold backed rather than oil

Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro was elated when initial sales of his country's Petro cryptocurrency netted three quarters of a billion in sales on Tuesday.  And to celebrate this 'success', the Socialist dictator wants to double down by creating a second national crypto that will be backed by gold rather than oil.

Venezuela's oil-backed "petro" cryptocurrency raised $735 million in the first day of its pre-sale Tuesday, President Nicolas Maduro has claimed. 
The Venezuelan president said on Twitter that the petro token raised more than 4.777 billion Chinese yuan, or $735 million, and that the state-backed virtual currency "reaffirms our economic sovereignty." - CNBC
Leading into this week's cryptocurrency sale of an oil backed token, the Maduro government was becoming hard pressed financially due to the fact that very few foreigners were willing to lend the nation money following years of business nationalization, asset confiscation, and defaults on their debts.  And even with stellar sales of the Petro, it is unlikely that this 'virtual currency' will stave off the ongoing hyperinflation that has completely ravaged the nation as well as the people.

Unfortunately for Maduro, $750 million is little more than a drop in the bucket, and is perhaps just a single month's buffer to be able to pay a military which is the only thing keeping him in power.  Thus it appears that he must squeeze his cryptocurrency schemes as much as he can while the iron is hot, and this has led on Feb. 22 to his announcement of a second crypto ICO that will be backed by gold reserves instead of oil.
"I don’t want to get ahead of things, but we have prepared a surprise, a gold-backed ‘petro,’ which will have the same parameters as the oil-backed ‘petro.’ This topic will be raised next week," he said. 
On Tuesday, Venezuela launched the presale of cryptocurrency tokens supported each by a barrel of Venezuelan oil. Maduro has estimated early gains at $735 million.
The cash-strapped nation has been struggling with political and economic fallout of a global slump in oil prices and US sanctions after Washington blocked its investors from buying Venezuelan debt. 
In December, Maduro announced the idea to create a cryptocurrency, backed by the country's oil reserves to “to advance the country’s monetary sovereignty." The country has allocated five billion barrels of oil for the cryptocurrency, with reported plans to to set the initial price at $60 per one unit of the currency. – Sputnik News
In the end Maduro's cryptocurrency schemes will likely only provide him a few months breathing room of hard currency infusions.  And with millions of people in Venezuela already starving, and hundreds of thousands trying desperately to flee across the borders into other countries, the Venezuelan President could soon find himself ruling over an empty land, and a socialist 'utopia' with very few people in it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Daily Economist update for Feb. 21 2018 - U.S. Finance and Economics Report

Even Ethereum co-founder says that HODL is not the way to invest or trade in cryptocurrencies

The volatility of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc... make it difficult to trade or invest based on 'old school' analysis like fundamentals and technicals.  And yet despite many of them moving both up and down by 75% in price over a single month's time, there are alot of 'gurus' of cryptocurrencies who advocate the ideal of Hold On For Dear Life (HODL) trading.

However there is one individual who is a major player in the crypto sphere who is dead set against the HODL mentality, and as a co-founder of the Ethereum cryptocurrency, his opinion carries a great deal of weight in the industry.

Looking for good financial advice? Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the digital currency Ethereum, jumped on Twitter to offer just that, but it’s probably not the advice you’d expect. He believes traditional assets are still best for those who want to generate lucrative interest from long-term investments. Cryptocurrencies on the whole are still in the infancy stage, and don’t generate interest.   
“Cryptocurrencies are still a new and hyper-volatile asset class and could drop to near-zero at any time,” he states. “Don’t put in more money than you can afford to lose. If you’re trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet.”  
The problem with cryptocurrency is that its value is volatile. For instance, on November 19, 2017, one Ether coin valued at $355 in real-world cash. By January 13, 2018, the value skyrocketed to $1,139 and then plunged to $591 per coin by February 5, 2018. Investing in cryptocurrency is obviously risky business.  
Investing in this emerging technology does sound promising, but as Buterin points out, now may not be the time for those looking to build a large investment value over time. Cryptocurrencies appear to be a high-risk investment that require constant monitoring to determine the ideal time to purchase and/or sell digital coins. – Digital Trends

Perfect storm brewing for gold as production continues to fall at a time when investors will soon be looking for safe havens

Last month we published an article surmising that the gold industry may have crossed the Rubicon when it comes to mining output.  And now just one month later, expectations for gold production appears to be getting even worse which is setting up a perfect storm for gold prices since investors may soon be dumping financial assets for reliable safe havens.

The gold market is setting up for a perfect storm as the top mining producers’ supply is forecasted to decline right when demand is likely to surge.  The surge in gold demand will occur as the broader stock markets roll over and begin their inevitable massive correction.  Due to the tremendous amount of leverage in the system, the coming market correction will be quite violent at times.  If investors believe the correction is over, and high times are here again, then they haven’t learned anything about the cyclical nature of markets. – SRS Rocco
And this additional analysis comes from Rick Mills.
I’m sometimes reluctant to talk about gold as a commodity, since so much of the gold market is driven by investment, but there are some interesting things happening that makes this a very good time to consider an investment in gold or gold stocks. 
Simply put, the world is running out of gold, especially the stuff that’s high grade and easy to find, and this makes me bullish on the precious metal – irrespective of all the familiar demand factors like safe haven, inflation hedge and store of value.
South African gold production has plummeted below 250 tonnes compared to 1,000 tonnes in the 1970s, and in China, the only country to increase production in recent years, it fell in 2017 by 9%
This has many industry observers talking about “peak gold”. A Thomson Reuters report said 2016 was the first year since 2008 that gold mine output actually fell – by 22 tonnes or 3%. World Gold Council chair Randall Oliphant agreed that the world may already have produced the most gold in a year that it ever will. He predicted gold prices to move as high as $1,400 an ounce in 2018. “Production is likely to plateau at best, before slowly declining as demand rises…” Bloomberg quoted him saying in September. 
As for new gold mines, the bear market of 2012 to 2016 meant most large gold companies slashed exploration budgets and small explorers had an extremely tough time raising cash. – Silver Doctors
“This is a perfect storm that will cause much higher gold prices for investors who are wise enough to see it.” - Steve St. Angelo

Next catalyst for higher gold prices could actually come from Japan rather than from China or India

As China celebrates the Lunar New Year and the transition to the Year of the Dog this week, it is another Asian economy that may actually supersede the Chinese here in 2018 when it comes to gold and gold buying.

Japan is experiencing two events over the next two years that are historically celebrated with the population buying gold.  The first is the coronation of a new Emperor, and the second is the planned Olympics that are going to be held in Tokyo in 2020.

The Year of the Dog is shaping up to be another good one for investors in gold, who may enjoy price rises of 10 per cent to 15 per cent as Japan buys up the precious metal to commemorate its new emperor and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Game. 
Gold has already risen 10 per cent in the lunar year just ended, and as well as Japanese demand, a weak US dollar, a shift from shaky stock markets and political tensions in Europe over Brexit will keep the outlook for the commodity promising this year, analysts said. 
“According to Japanese tradition, the Japanese government will issue gold coins to celebrate the new emperor ascending the throne in 2019,” said Jasper Lo Cho-yan, a senior vice-president at iBest, part of Haitong International Securities. 
“Japan will also issue gold coins to celebrate the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the market expects the Japanese government to start purchasing physical gold in the second half of this year to meet this demand. This will boost the gold price,” he said. – South China Morning Post
Bottom of Form

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cryptocurrencies have a new evangelist in Steven Seagal

With the rise of cryptocurrencies there has been no shortage of celebrities who have not only signed on to promote one currency or another, but in some cases create them under their own banner.  But on Feb. 13 one famous actor has signed on to be a evangelist or Ambassador for a cryptocurrency platform as in his eyes it fits well into his beliefs of Zen Buddhism.

Steven Seagal has become the official ambassador for Bitcoiin2Gen, a new cryptocurrency launching its Initial Coin Offering. 
Hollywood actor Steven Seagal has become a believer of Bitcoiin2Gen, the Hollywood action star will be representing the leading cryptocurrency organization, Bitcoiin2Gen, as brand ambassador. 
Steven Seagal is an American actor, producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist, and musician who holds American, Russian, and Serbian citizenship. 
As a Buddhist, Zen teacher, and healer, Steven lives by the principles that the development of the physical self is essential to protect the spiritual man. He believes that what he does in his life is about leading people into contemplation to wake them up and enlighten them in some manner. These are precisely the objectives of the Bitcoiin2Gen to empower the community by providing a decentralized P2P payment system with its own wallet, mining ecosystem and robust blockchain platform without the need of any third party. – Bitcoiin2gen

Hong Kong gold exchange to aid Yuan internationalization by creating gold trade corridor along Silk Road

Hong Kong has long been the conduit to the outside world for China, and this will become especially relevant in their Silk Road project.  And as a compliment to China's planned internationalization of its currency, the Hong Kong gold exchange is looking to expand all along the Belt and Road corridor to provide products and services under the RMB banner.

The Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society (CGSE), Hong Kong’s gold exchange, is in talks with Singapore, Myanmar and Dubai to establish a gold commodity corridor to promote yuan-denominated products under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, according to its president Haywood Cheung Tak-hay. 
The gold commodity corridor could be formed by establishing an integrated infrastructure network by using Hong Kong as a base, and connect the proposed bonded warehouse in Qianhai with commercial users and precious metals traders in countries along the Belt and Road, Cheung said on Tuesday at an event to mark the exchange’s first day of trading in the Year of the Dog. 
“The successful linkages of such a gold corridor could probably boost demand from users and investors for kilobar gold,” Cheung said. “This may also increase the turnover of yuan-denominated products by two or three times.” – South China Morning Post

The land of chocolate and banking giving an open arms welcome to cryptocurrencies

On Feb. 18, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) announced they are planning to encourage crypto and other digital currencies inside their borders, while also providing guidance on ICO issuance.

Wanting to ensure criminal activities such as money laundering are limited through the use of cryptocurrencies, FINMA is in the process of establishing basic guidelines for the establishment of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO's), while at the same time allowing the already burgeoning crypto market to flourish.

Graphic courtesy of Coin Telegraph
While financial regulators across the world are cracking down on bitcoin, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has decided to encourage digital currencies by issuing guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs). 
According to the regulator, Switzerland has recently seen a sharp growth in the number of upcoming ICOs planned to be launched in the country, as well as numerous enquiries about cryptocurrency regulation. In an attempt to encourage the ICO market and blockchain technology, FINMA has clarified how standards around anti-money laundering and securities regulations could be applied to virtual currencies. 
“The application of blockchain technology has innovative potential within and far beyond the financial markets. However, blockchain-based projects conducted analogously to regulated activities cannot simply circumvent the tried and tested regulatory framework,” FINMA chief executive Mark Branson said. 
“Our balanced approach to handling ICO projects and enquiries allows legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system,” the CEO highlighted. – Russia Today
The cryptocurrency market is already 1400 strong, and well on its way to a market cap of over $1 trillion.  And the makeup of cryptocurrencies range from speculative investable securities, mediums of exchanges in commerce, resource backed ones with gold, oil, and diamonds, and hundreds of others tied to specific industries.

GoldX receives Sharia compliance and will begin issuing gold backed cryptocurrencies to the Asian Islamic world

Last year saw the acceptance and introduction of Sharia compliant gold backed cryptocurrencies in and from the Middle East, and now on Feb. 20 we have the first ones provided this approval in Islamic Asia.

GoldX is a gold backed cryptocurrency created by the company HelloGold, and was just given approval by the Sharia Financial council to be able to sell its tokens to Islamic savers and investors in the regions of Malaysia and Thailand, with many more locations expected to become open in the future.

The Malaysia-based cryptocurrency called GOLDX has now received certification from Amanie Advisors, a local Islamic finance consultancy. 
GOLDX, unlike other cryptocurrencies involves issuance of a token which is backed by physical gold.This means the issuance process and audited assets can provide clients with transparency, certainty and immediacy of transactions, which are all important principles in Islamic financial contracts
Islamic finance consultancy firms such as the Amanie Advisors permit the new technology to become “halal” and that allows it to extend its influence to Islamic finance markets across the Middle East and Asia. 
According to the company HelloGold, the next step is to extend its gold platform to Thailand. 
Recently the company also launched a mobile app which is based on blockchain technology. – Sputnik News
The list of gold backed cryptocurrencies has risen to around 31 as of Feb. 20, with two primary ones now being accepted as 'Halal' in the Islamic financial world. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Here we go again. Elites decry for higher taxes on themselves without voluntarily donating their money to the IRS coffers

We are going to let you in on a little secret... there is nothing stopping you, I, or anyone from making a charitable gift to the U.S. government to help pay down the budget deficit in any amount you see fit.  So when Bill Gates came out recently and whined to pundits at CNN that the government should be making him and other wealthy Americans pay more in taxes, immediately one should look beyond this rhetoric to what they are truly trying to say.

One of the world's richest men, Bill Gates, says he should pay more in taxes and urged the US authorities to require other billionaires to contribute “significantly higher” amounts. 
“I need to pay higher taxes. I've paid more taxes – over $10 billion – than anyone else, but the government should require the people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes,” Microsoft founder said in an interview with CNN. – Russia Today
Ironic wouldn't you say, coming from a billionaire who put most of his money into a non-profit charity so he could still spend it as he saw fit, but without having to pay anymore taxes than he has to under the myriad of legal loopholes.

The Daily Economist update for Feb. 19 2018 - U.S. Finance and Economics Report

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sell your alcohol stocks? Millennials staying at home to smoke pot versus going out and drinking having major effects on alcohol sales

The marijuana legalization movement is no longer residing on the fringes of society as the advent of its legalization in places like California and Washington D.C. has brought the commodity fully into the mainstream of society.

Yet perhaps what was not anticipated in all of this was how quickly its adoption would bring about economic changes onto the financial landscape, and in this we mean even above that of providing a new revenue stream for government coffers.

As more and more states begin to legalize pot, there are two significant trends taking shape.  The first is the fact that sales of alcohol in states which have legalized pot in either medicinal or recreational form are in severe decline, with an estimated $2 billion so far being transferred over to the pot industry.

joint study by researchers at two U.S. universities and one in South America claims a reduction in the U.S.’s overall alcohol consumption appears directly related to the rise of medical marijuana laws recently enacted in a number of states. Presented by Michele Baggio, University of Connecticut, Storrs; Alberto Chong, Georgia State University, Atlanta and Universidad del Pacifico, Lima; and Sungoh Kwon, University of Connecticut, Storrs, the working paper may add to what many believe will prove definitive regarding the relationship between wine and marijuana consumption. 
Using the 90-chain data, the study compared alcohol sales of states that do not have medical marijuana laws and states with medical marijuana laws (before and after the laws were implemented). The researchers also included demographics (age, race) as well as economics (income) for the study because those areas make a measurable impact on alcohol consumption. 
Over the ten years studied, counties located in medical marijuana states showed almost a 15 percent reduction in monthly alcohol sales. - Forbes
The second growing trend however is one that will most likely carry the biggest impact for the beer and alcohol industry as the now largest demographic in the United States, that of the Millennials, are en masse ditching booze for pot.  And even more, millennials are also ditching the bar scene to instead stay at home to smoke weed while watching Netflix.

This new report reveals that the growing use of cannabis in California will have a significant impact on the alcohol industry. “We found that for millennials, the choice between the two main recreational substances, alcohol and tobacco, has always been an easy one. Growing up with anti-tobacco messaging, the smoking rate for 18–29 year olds in the U.S. has dropped by 22% over the past decade, leaving alcohol as the substance of choice,” said OutCo CEO, Lincoln Fish. “But we are already seeing a decrease in alcohol sales, which means that cannabis is poised to be the new recreational substance of choice for many millennials and beyond.” 
• Beer was the most popular substitution, with 34% of millennials saying they will opt for cannabis over beer. 
• 18% of millennials will substitute cannabis for wine. 
• 14% of the millennial population will substitute cannabis for spirits. - Outco
Businesses, along with much of Wall Street, are both working hard to accommodate the millennial generation, and at the foundations of this demographic is the need for quality over quantity, and experiences over material goods.  And with this in mind their trend of transferring alcohol consumption for that of marijuana is one that could potentially change the future for both industries, and remain a trend for decades to come.

Coinbase expanding into the payment processing game with a 'Paypal like' system for Bitcoin and Litecoin

With Visa just having signed a partnership with Litecoin to provide payment processing features for the cryptocurrency, it appears the U.S.'s largest cryptocurrency exchange now wants to get into the act.

Coinbase, which functions as the largest crypto exchange in America, has announced it is launching a 'Paypal like' system which will facilitate the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin for use in retail commerce.

The largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, is releasing a PayPal-like service of its own. 
On Wednesday, Coinbase wrote about its new platform that will make it easier for merchants to accept payments with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin through Coinbase Commerce. 
Using the platform on an e-commerce website adds a PayPal-like button to the checkout screen. 
“Coinbase Commerce can be directly integrated into a merchant’s checkout flow or added as a payment option on an e-commerce platform,” the blog post continued.
Shopify, which allows users to launch their own online stores, is already giving its users the option to accept payments via Coinbase Commerce. - Fortune

2018 continues trend of last year with more store closures and new bankruptcies

2017 saw nearly 1000 retail store closures with the inclusion of several long-time chains filing for bankruptcy.  And despite the so-called booms of the 'Trump Economy', it appears that the only winners have been stocks which set new records thanks to companies putting their money into buybacks rather than growth.

Additionally, last year's holiday shopping season did not perform as well as expected and the consequences of this are showing up now in early 2018 as ongoing trends for retail appear to be continuing down the same path as one year ago.

After shutting down more than 5,000 stores in 2017, store-closings are accelerating in 2018 with news that Bi-Lo LLC, the supermarket company that owns the Winn-Dixie chain, is preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing as soon as next month, and is planning to shut almost 200 stores as part of the move - either before or after the filing. 
Winn-Dixie joins JCPenney, Bon-Ton, Toys R Us, Sam’s Club, Macy’s, Sears, Kmart and others in the growing list of 2018 shutteringsas the 'great economy' that stocks foreshadow fails to show up in the retailer landscape.
As details, the new year is shaping up to be another difficult one for traditional retailers. 
J.C. Penney – 8 stores  
After closing more than 140 stores in 2017, J.C. Penney is shutting down one of its distribution centers and eight more stores nationwide, The Dallas Morning News reports.  Around 670 jobs will be cut with the closing of the distribution center in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, this summer. Meanwhile, around 480 employees will be affected by the eight stores that are closing, which follows a post-holiday review. The locations will be shut down between now and May, according to CNBC. 
Bon-Ton – 42 stores 
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., a department store chain, is closing more than 40 underperforming locations this year, including stores under all of the company’s nameplates. Store closing sales are scheduled to begin on February 1 and run for approximately 10 to 12 weeks, the company said in a news release. Associates at the affected locations will be offered the opportunity to interview for available positions at other stores. 
Toys R Us – Up to 182 stores 
Toys R Us, the iconic Wayne, New Jersey-based toy retailer, has announced that it will shut down up to 182 U.S. stores. Store closing sales are likely to begin in early February, with the bulk of the closures expected to take place by mid-April, according to a letter from the company’s CEO. However, some closures may be avoided if the store can negotiate more favorable lease terms. 
Sam’s Club – 63 stores 
Bad news for Sam’s Club members! The Walmart-owned warehouse club has abruptly shut down multiple locations across the country, according to local media reports. The retailer has confirmed that 63 clubs are closing and up to 12 of them will be converted to e-commerce fulfillment centers. Walmart said the impacted clubs will close over the next few weeks, leaving 597 Sam’s Club locations. 
Macy’s – 11 stores  
Nearly a dozen Macy’s department stores will soon be closing their doors forever. In a news release, the company announced the closure of 11 Macy’s stores. It’s part of the retailer’s plan to close approximately 100 stores, which was announced back in August 2016.  Macy’s intends to close an additional 19 stores as leases or operating covenants expire or sale transactions are completed. 
Sears and Kmart – 103 stores 
Just days after the holiday shopping season ended, Sears Holdings announced that it’s closing more than 100 stores.In a news release, the struggling retailer said it told associates at 64 Kmart and 39 Sears stores that the locations will be shut down between early March and early April 2018. Liquidation sales will begin as early as January 12 at the impacted department stores. Sears Holdings previously announced plans to shut down 63 Kmart and Sears stores this January. The company closed more than 350 locations last year. 
J. Crew – 50 stores 
After reporting a 12% sales drop for its third quarter, J. Crew said it will close dozens of stores by the end of January 2018, CNN Money reported. In a news release, J.Crew said it expects to close 50 stores during fiscal 2017, which ends in January. 
And now Winn-Dixie plans to shutter 200 of its 500 stores... - Zerohedge

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Venezuela's President desperately calls for global investors to buy into his Petro cryptocurrency scheme as sales begin next week

Venezuela currently resides within a double whammy of Socialist policy and monetary insolvency.  Thus the old saying from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fits perfectly for Nicholas Maduro and the Venezuelan government.

"Socialism works until you run out of other people's money".

Since late last year when Venezuela defaulted on sovereign bonds held by Wall Street, only Russia has been willing to backstop the OPEC nation's debt through promises of collateral in the country's oil reserves.  But even this was limited to simply rolling over current debt, and not in providing new monies desperately needed for their hyperinflationary economy.

So with very few options left for President Maduro, the Socialist dictator embarked on a scheme of putting the nation's resources onto the Blockchain and in creating a new cryptocurrency to replace the Bolivar.  However with Venezuela's track record of confiscation, nationalization, and debt defaults, it is unlikely that Maduro will garner any real support even as he makes a desperate plea to investors to buy his crypto which will officially go on sale next week.

Venezuela’s new “petro” cryptocurrency will attract investments from Turkey, Qatar, the United States and Europe, the country’s cryptocurrency regulator said on Friday. 
The government of President Nicolas Maduro, which says the petro will help skirt financial sanctions by Washington, has scheduled the first petros sale for Tuesday. 
Skeptics say that concerns about Venezuela’s financial solvency will likely limit investor interest, while the U.S. Treasury Department has warned the petro may violate sanctions against the OPEC nation. 
“On Tuesday, there will be quite a few announcements about the start of the process,” Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Superintendent Carlos Vargas said on the sidelines of a political meeting in Caracas. 
“And there will surely be a lot of investors from Qatar, Turkey, and other parts of the Middle East, though Europeans and Americans will also participate.”
He did not elaborate.  - Rueters

Friday, February 16, 2018

Move over Litecoin, as a gold backed cryptocurrency is also entering into the payment system game

Yesterday we published an article regarding a new partnership between Litecoin and Visa to establish a payment card so that the cryptocurrency could be used in everyday commerce.  Now on Feb. 16 we can add a gold backed crypto to the mix as is partnering with Orca to create its own payment system.

Offering the first payment gateway using cryptocurrency supported by gold, has entered into a partnership with Business Operating System (BOS) pioneer, Orca
Orca, an easy-to-use, intelligent BOS based in Singapore and Malaysia, is used in food and beverage (F&B) businesses across eight countries. By connecting various modules and solutions, Orca promotes a seamless flow of information to provide accurate and timely data to improve operations. BOS is a collection of business processes to boost the efficiency of each function of one's business. It includes the fundamental framework, policies and routines needed to operate and grow a business. Orca also has many Point of Sale (POS) systems in Malaysia and Singapore. 
Puregold will provide free payment machines and tablets that properly include the POS system to merchants, and manage promotion for the payment gateway, using ICO funding. This will put Puregold in a strategic position to acquire merchants in Asia. 
Puregold is working with COSS Exchange in managing the ICO marketing and listing, and talks have also started regarding a potential future cooperation when it comes to POS/payment gateway solutions.  – PR Newswire

Guest host on Rogue Money - Feb. 16 2018

Gold price on track for best week since 2016 as real inflation fears signal even higher prices for the metal

Ever since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) report at the beginning of the week, gold prices have responded with a more than $40 move to the upside.  And this has led the commodity to be on track for its best week of gains since 2016.

Gold futures grasped at a narrow advance Friday and headed for a weekly gain of about 3% even as the dollar index, battered in recent trading, tipped higher and stocks headed for their best week in more than a year. 
April gold GCJ8, +0.09% was up $1.80, or 0.1%, to $1,357.10 an ounce. It fell modestly Thursday after a settlement at $1,358 Wednesday, marking its highest level in nearly three weeks. 
Spot gold has risen 3.2% so far this week, putting it on track for its biggest weekly rise since April 2016. - Marketwatch

Bitcoin price breaks back over $10,000 per coin, but resistance level very strong in trying to hold it

It didn't take long for Bitcoin to push back over $10,000 per coin level after finally breaking out from its week long range of between $7500 and $9000.  However this psychological level is showing hard resistance as Bitcoin has bounced back below it three times in the past 24 hours.

Virtual currency bitcoin climbed back to $10,000 per token for the first time in two weeks. Some experts say that this psychologically-key level may bring new enthusiasts to the crypto market. 
Bitcoin had previously lost nearly two-thirds of its value in a sharp plunge from a historic high of $20,000 in mid-December to below $6,000 last week. The cryptocurrency was trading at $10,044 at 9:40 GMT, according to 
The recovery of bitcoin and the crypto markets in general was reportedly spurred by the US Senate's cautiously-optimistic response to calls for stricter regulations. – Russia Today

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Daily Economist update for Feb. 15 2018 - Gold, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency Report

Another state seeking to recognize gold and silver as money as Idaho on verge of making metal purchases tax free

Last year the state of Arizona passed a law which once again recognized gold and silver as money, and removed all local taxes on the sale and purchase of the precious metals.  Now on Feb. 12 we may be soon be adding another state to this list as legislators in Idaho are on the verge of passing the same type of law that Arizona has regarding both gold and silver as money.

The Idaho State House today overwhelmingly approved a bill which helps restore constitutional, sound money in the Gem State. 
State representatives voted 60-9 to pass House Bill 449 sending the measure introduced by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Steve Vick to the Senate for a hearing in the Local Government and Taxation Committee. 
Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Idaho Freedom Foundation, and Money Metals Exchange, HB 449 is a tax-neutral bill which excludes gains and/or losses on the sale of precious metals coins and bullion from an Idaho taxpayer’s taxable income. 
“Gold and silver are the only money mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, and they should not be subject to tax,” said Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange, an Idaho-based national precious metals dealer. “This legislation will help Idaho citizens protect themselves from the inflation and financial turmoil caused by the Federal Reserve System.” 
An increasing number of Idaho citizens are realizing that owning gold and silver as a form of savings can help protect against the ongoing devaluation of America’s currency. However, under current law, the taxpayer who sells their precious metals may end up with a capital “gain” in terms of Federal Reserve Notes – commonly referred to as “dollars.” – Sound Money Defense

Dubai gold company to open cryptocurrency vaulting service that will include insurance from hacks

In the crypto world, two of the biggest issues that owners of virtual currencies need to deal with is the threat of cyber theft (hacking), and exchanges going insolvent.

So a company located in one of the world's financial hubs is seeking to help alleviate these and other risks by opening a 'cold storage' vaulting service for cryptocurrency holders which would also provide physical insurance in the case of either natural disasters or theft by a cyberhack.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) has given a gold trading company in Dubai the first cryptocurrency trading license in the Middle East, and the company has responded by launching the “world’s first” cold storage vault for crypto, according to a press release on the DMCC’s site. 
Regal RA DMCC, the company that received the crypto license, is a subsidiary of Regal Assets, which is a gold investment company. 
Ksenia Kiseleva, manager of the Dubai Regal Assets office, said that Regal RA is planning to apply for crypto licenses in other countries as well, and is currently developing an online trading platform for all crypto-commodities. Kiseleva notes that Regal RA sees cryptocurrencies as a “commodity” instead of a payment method, according to Bloomberg
According to the DMCC, crypto investors trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and other altcoinswill be able to store their coins offline in what the company calls the “world’s first deep cold storage for crypto-commodities”. Regal RA’s cold storage vault is touted as one of the “most secure precious metal facilities in the world” and located in Almas Towers, Dubai, the DMCC Free Zone headquarters. DMCC promises crypto assets will be “physically insured” against natural disasters and hacks. 
Generally, cold storage of cryptocurrencies means that the crypto is stored offline, directly on a hardware wallet, as opposed to a wallet or third-party service connected to the internet that could be vulnerable to attacks or scams. – Coin Telegraph

The platform and cryptocurrency known as the 'Banker's Coin' to integrate with Saudi Arabia's banking system

Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Ripple was created as a blockchain platform to play a complementary role with the current financial system rather than oppose it.  And this is why Ripple is known on the street as the 'Banker's Coin'.

So with this in mind it should not come as a surprise when on Feb. 15, the parent company behind Ripple announced they have an agreement to help integrate their platform into the banking system of none other than Saudi Arabia.

The parent company behind the centralized and third-largest cryptocurrency, Ripple, will work in the banking system of the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the firm claims.
Saudi Arabia and Ripple, the company behind the XRP coin, will cooperate by using xCurrent, software that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. 
“Central banks around the world are leaning into blockchain technology in recognition of how it can transform cross-border payments, resulting in lower barriers to trade and commerce for both corporates and consumers,” said Dilip Rao, Ripple’s global head of infrastructure innovation. 
The Saudi central bank will be the first to use Ripple’s blockchain network. – Russia Today

Litecoin on verge of overtaking Bitcoin as a real medium of exchange

Because of its issues regarding transaction speeds, acceptability, and fees associated with transactions, Bitcoin has not only leveled out in its attempt to become a recognized medium of exchange, but it has in fact lost ground as third party processors remove their ties with the cryptocurrency.  And this of course has now opened the door for other cryptos to try to take its place in the realm of commerce.

So with this in mind one of Bitcoin's contenders may now be making a move as on Feb. 14, Litecoin signed an agreement with powerhouse processor Visa to create a payment system that would utilize the cryptocurrency as money under a format known as Litepay.

Litecoin gained 36 per cent in value in last 24 hours, raising its capitalization to $11.9 billion and making it the fifth most capitalized cryptocurrency in the world. On February 14, Litecoin hit the $210 mark, according to CoinMarket Cap data. 
What caused the value to spike? The Daily Express reports that it is due to a deal made with Visa. According to the report, the credit card company is planning to introduce Litepay, a payment system compatible with Visa credit cards. 
What this means is that we are going to see Litecoin cards very soon, and business will finally get its hands on a practical cryptocurrency payment method. 
The system that some already named breakthrough is expected to enter service on February 26. – Sputnik News

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Bitcoin breaks out of recent range and moving up towards $10,000 per coin

Ever since the Chicago Mercantile Exchange began implementation of a Futures contract for Bitcoin, the price of the cryptocurrency has move than halved.  Yet perhaps even more interesting is how the price has been pushed down into certain trading 'ranges', which is indicative of Wall Street manipulation to protect their derivative interests.

However on Feb. 14, Bitcoin may be looking to break out of its most recent range of between $7500 - $9000 as a combination of less rhetoric on regulations, a falling dollar, and higher inflation could provide the catalyst for a quick move back to $10,000.
Cryptocurrencies are recording their biggest gains in weeks after the president of the European Central Bank shrugged off talk of a ban. 
Bitcoin was up more than 7% in early trading Wednesday, gaining over $400 and adding $7.7 billion in market capitalization. In the past week, Bitcoin’s value has bounced back from recent turbulence, adding over $1,100 in value and over $19 billion in market cap. 
While European banking officials warned consumers about the highly volatile nature of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other cryptocurrencies, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, said in a video response to user submitted questions that no ban or regulation was forthcoming. 
‘Many of you posted questions about whether the ECB is going to ban Bitcoins or it’s going to regulate Bitcoins,” he said. ‘I have to say it’s not the ECB’s responsibility to do that.’ - Fortune

The Daily Economist update for Feb. 14 2018 - Valentines Day and Stagflation Report

Gold price rises over 1% following higher than expected inflation numbers

It didn't take long for the price of gold to recover back over $1340 following today's inflation report.  In fact, besides the over 1% gain gold has achieved in early morning trading here on Valentine's Day, gold has also risen by more than $30 since it was beaten down to $1316 just three days ago.

The "most-watched datapoint in history" just hit... and everything is hotter than expected... 
Amid updated seasonal adjustments from BLS and strong base effects, Headline CPI printed a much hotter-than-expected 2.1% YoY (1.9% YoY exp) 
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in January. The shelter index increased 0.2 percent as the indexes for rent and owners' equivalent rent both rose 0.3 percent, while the index for lodging away from home declined 2.0 percent over the month. - Zerohedge

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Like clockwork, U.S. declares Pakistan a terrorist financing country just weeks after they consider dumping the dollar for bi-lateral trade with China

There is nothing that will bring down the ire of the United States upon you faster than if you dare to interrupt dollar hegemony around the world.  And the examples of this are aplenty in just the past 18 years as Washington has either brought about war or regime change to at least four different nations who threatened the domination of the Petrodollar.

And now we can sadly add a new country to this list as just weeks after Pakistan began considering a new bi-lateral trade agreement with China to use their own currencies, the U.S. has suddenly named Pakistan a 'terror financing' country, with economic sanctions expected to soon be implemented against them.

In a decision that comes as the directors of several US intelligence agencies testify before the Senate about various terrorism-related (and Russia-related) risks facing the US, Reuters is reporting that the Trump administration is moving to place Pakistan on a global watchdog's terrorist-financing watchlist. 
Pakistan reportedly said it is "hopeful" it can stave off its inclusion on the list at a meeting next week. The declaration has been in the works virtually since the beginning of the Trump administration, as Trump has accused Pakistan of not doing enough to stop the Afghan Taliban and affiliated Haqqani network - even accusing officials in Islamabad of allowing safe haven to the terrorists. 
Of course, such a decision will only push Pakistan, a nuclear power and the world's sixth-most populous country, into the waiting arms of its neighbor, China, which shares a border with the contested regions of Jammu and Kashmir and has been working to strengthen its diplomatic ties with Pakistan as part of its geopolitical chess match against the US, which is explored in this article from Global Research: 
As GR explains, one US-led effort to contain China's regional activities has been the formation of a regional "quadrilateral alliance" - or quad - including the US, Australia, Japan and India. Zerohedge

The Daily Economist update for Feb. 13 2018 - Gold, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency Report

Bitcoin dilemma: how do your heirs gain access to your cryptocurrency assets if you die suddenly

Since the cryptocurrency phenomenon is still very new in many aspects, there are numerous real world problems that could make access and use of your coins unassailable in the instances of either an accidental death, or that of natural causes.

Take for instance the case of an early adopter of Bitcoin.  Back in 2012 a 26 year old miner of the cryptocurrency died suddenly in a plane crash and no one in his immediate family was able to access his Bitcoin accounts or wallets.

Five years ago, Matthew Moody was killed during an observational flight when the two-seater plane he was in crashed flying over a canyon in Chico, California. 
His father, Michael Moody, knew his 26-year-old son had been mining Bitcoins — today worth thousands of dollars each — but had no idea how many he had or how to find them. Michael Moody has spent the past three years seeking the answers.  
“My son was actually one of the earliest people to mine it,” said Moody, a retired software engineer. “He used his computer at home to mine Bitcoins when you actually could do it that way and he had a few we think.” 
The decentralized and unregulated nature of Bitcoin means that without the keys to access his son’s digital wallet, hosted by, Moody has no way of accessing any funds. And it’s almost impossible to find out whether a person is sitting on peanuts or a fortune, as wallets can contain an unlimited number of unique addresses, or identifiers, with Bitcoins assigned to each. Without knowing every address, it’s not possible to locate every piece of currency. - Bloomberg
The thought of an early demise by anyone who is still young is an age old dilemma that supersedes even this era of cryptocurrencies.  In fact very few below the age of 30 even own a Will or some other legal document that spells out to beneficiaries how they wish to divide their assets.

And while dealing with probate when it comes to assets and accounts in the regular financial system is difficult enough, it becomes nearly impossible to gain access to one's cryptocurrencies if they do not have a plan in place to get the necessary keys to trusted entities or individuals should someone in ownership of a cryptocurrency pass away.

This is why when conducting any form of investing, one must always have a plan on how these assets can be dealt with should something unforeseen come to pass, such as an unplanned death or one becoming incapacitated.  Otherwise over time, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin may actually lose large portions of their supply because the encryption that helps protect cryptocurrency owners from theft and fraud is the very same structure that could lock them out forever if something happens to you where you are the only one who knows the access code.

Cryptocurrency alliance to offer government full access to Bitcoin trader data as a means to make crypto trading legal in India

As governments around the world issue new regulations or restrictions on the trading of cryptocurrencies, one alliance of traders appears willing to forego one of the virtual currency's greatest benefits in order to entice their government into making cryptocurrency trading and ownership legal.

Indian cryptocurrency traders make up approximately 10% of the world's market, and over the past year the government has gone back and forth in their debate on whether to allow this security to trade legally, or if they would eventually ban its trading and ownership outright.  However to help entice its legalization, an alliance of cryptocurrency exchanges and traders may soon be offering the Indian government access to cryptocurrency holders personal information.

As India cozies up further with cryptocurrencies, it looks like enthusiasts will have to let the government get a ringside view of the action, as a proposal to link accounts on Bitcoin exchanges to users’ national IDs is in the works. 
Ajeet Khurana, head of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), told the Economic Times that the group (which counts seven cryptocurrency exchanges among its members) plans to submit a proposal to the government, in which the concerned agencies will be able to look up purchase data for all buyers and sellers on domestic exchanges and trace their activity through their Aadhaar ID or Permanent Account Numbers (PAN). 
The decision to propose traceable activity within India’s domestic exchanges follows a statement from the country’s Finance Minister from earlier this month, in which he said that cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tender there (to be clear, no currency except the Indian Rupee is a legal tender in the country), and that there will be a crackdown on the use of virtual currencies in financing illegitimate activities. 
In addition, India’s tax authorities have issued notices to some 100,000 investors, asking them to reveal the profits they’ve earned through trading. There’s likely plenty in taxes to be collected, as one in every 10 Bitcoin transactions is said to take place in the country.– The Next Web

After week of market chaos, gold regains part of their losses and the dollar continues trend back down

In the midst of a market selloff or correction, fundamentals and technicals usually go out the window.  And this is especially true when most of the losses are tied specially to the actions of one or two securities (VIX and XIV),

So with this in mind in the aftermath of last week's turmoil and chaos in the market, we appear to be returning back to the trends that have been occurring since 2017 which include gold prices moving higher, and the dollar continuing its trek lower.

Gold futures finished higher on Monday, taking their cue from a weakening U.S. dollar to recoup roughly half of what they lost last week. The updraft came even as global stocks were rebounding from their worst weekly rout in two years and as bond yields resumed a steady ascent. 
April gold GCJ8, +0.17% rose $10.70, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,326.40 an ounce, logging the biggest one-day dollar and percentage gain since Jan. 24, according to FactSet data. The gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, climbed by 0.7%. Prices lost 1.6% last week, the largest weekly loss in two months, as investors were unsettled by renewed volatility in stocks amid fears about rising bond yields and inflation. 
March silver SIH8, -0.12%  added 43.1 cents, or 2.7%, to $16.57 an ounce, while the silver-focused iShares Silver Trust SLV, +0.47%  rose 1.7%. 
Last week “traders booked profits in gold long positions to meet margin money calls on equity investments. Gold fell as a result,” said Chintan Karnani, chief market analyst at Insignia Consultants. 
“Stability on global stock markets will be positive for gold,” he said. “Investors will hedge in gold to counter stock market volatility whenever there is less need for margin calls on stock market investment.” – Market Watch

Russian Finance Minister announces Moscow is ready to disconnect from the dollar if U.S. decides to cut them off from SWIFT system

To say that Russia has been severely harmed by the implementation of economic sanctions by the U.S. ever since the spring of 2014 is more propaganda than fact.  Yes it is true that Moscow has had to adjust to the loss of trade partners in Europe, but in the end they very quickly found alternative partners able to pick up the slack.

Yet more importantly, the sanctions forced Russia to realize that the unipolar reserve currency system no longer functioned as a neutral platform for global payments and transactions and instead had become a weapon for U.S. foreign policy.  And in this realization several nations, and in particular Russia and China, began a concerted effort to create their own alternative platforms which would not only allow them to function if the U.S. decided to cut them off from SWIFT, but to provide an alternative to any other country who were either hit themselves by sanctions, or wanted to bypass the dollar system in order to move towards use of their own currencies in bi-lateral trade.

And now on Feb. 13, a Russian Deputy Finance Minister announced that Russia was fully prepared to disconnect from all use of the dollar should the U.S. ever choose to cut them off from the SWIFT system.

Russian financial institutions and firms are ready to work without SWIFT's interbank cash transfer services, according to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. 
“Certainly, it is unpleasant, as it will prove a stumbling block for companies and banks, and will slow down work. It will be inevitable to deploy some aged technologies for information transfer and calculations. However, the companies are technically and psychologically ready for the shutdown as this threat was repeatedly voiced,” Dvorkovich said, as quoted by TASS. 
He added that the measure may have a negative impact on corporations working in the US and Europe. 
“In general, disconnecting Russia from SWIFT would be a crazy step on the part of our Western partners. It is obvious that for the companies which work in Europe and the US it would be harmful. And this applies not only to the shutdown of the service,” he said.
The potential disconnection of Russia from SWIFT has been under discussion since 2014, when the EU and the US introduced the first round of international penalties against Moscow over alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis and the reunification with Crimea. 
In 2017, Russia’s Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina told President Vladimir Putin that the banking sector had been provided with all the necessary conditions for operating lenders and payment systems in case of disconnection from SWIFT. According to the regulator, 90 percent of ATMs in Russia were ready to accept the Mir payment system, a domestic version of Visa and MasterCard. – Russia Today

Monday, February 12, 2018

Arizona becoming a place where gold, silver, and now cryptocurrencies are welcome

On Feb. 8, the Arizona State Senate passed a bill which would allow residents to pay their tax obligations in Bitcoin.  And while this law still has to be ratified by the House and Governor's Office, the move continues an ongoing process for Arizona where alternative forms of money are becoming welcome.

The Arizona Senate passed a bill on Feb. 8 to allow residents in the state to pay their taxes with cryptocurrenciespublic records indicate. 
The Senate Bill 1091, which intends to enable cryptocurrencies for tax payment, was introduced Jan. 10, 2018 and passed by the Senate Finance Committee by a 4-3 vote on Jan. 24. On Feb. 8, the Senate passed the bill by a 16-13 margin, with one no-vote. 
The bill has now been sent to Arizona’s House of Representatives. 
If the bill is adopted, Arizona would become the first state in the U.S. to accept cryptocurrency tax payments by the year of 2020, as stated on the public record. The bill would allow taxpayers of the state to use “a payment gateway, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin or any other cryptocurrency recognized by the department, using electronic peer-to-peer systems.” – Coin Telegraph
Back in May of last year, Arizona signed into law a bill that recognizes gold and silver as money, and removed state taxation on the purchasing and sale of precious metals.  And coupled with the strong likelihood of their Revenue Office soon accepting Bitcoin as payment for taxes, it prepares the way sometime in the future for a return of Sound Money use in their local economy.