Another Federal Reserve president has spoken out on interest rates. Neel Kashkari says there is no need for interest rate hikes right now but that the US Federal Reserve does not exist to protect investors.

Though the stock markets are exhibiting “nervousness,” says Kashkari, investors have to figure out what to do next.

We are not here to protect investors from losses. This is a capitalistic economy we live in and if investors take risks, they should bear the consequences of those risks.

But, says the Minneapolis Federal Reserve chief:

We pay attention to the stock market.

No Reason to Apply Economic Brakes

Kashkari, echoing Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic’s recent comments, believes it’s time to stop interest rate hikes:

I don’t see any reason that we need to tap the brakes pre-emptively on the economy, let’s let the job market continue to strengthen and wages and inflation pick up and we can always raise rates then.

Bostic said last week that, amidst uncertainty:

The appropriate response is to be patient in adjusting the stance of policy and to wait for greater clarity about the direction of the economy and the risks to the outlook.

After a slew of interest rate hikes in 2017 and 2018 and a declining equities markets at the end of 2018, the US Federal Reserve took the pressure off the markets early this January. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said:

We will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves.

The markets responded, with five days of consecutive gains.

S&P 500 (Blue) Dow Jones Industrial Average (Red) and Nasdaq (Yellow) Performance Over the Last Year | Source: Trading View

Federal Reserve United and Independent

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida has since said the Federal Reserve could be “very patient.”

Kashkari’s comments on investors come in defense of US President Donald Trump’s attacks on the central bank. He says the Federal Reserve is “united” in its independence and focus on data.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I hope the people over at the Fed will read today’s Wall Street Journal Editorial before they make yet another mistake. Also, don’t let the market become any more illiquid than it already is. Stop with the 50 B’s. Feel the market, don’t just go by meaningless numbers. Good luck!

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Federal Reserve Chair Powell knocked back Trump’s criticisms as the market struggled in late 2018, saying he would not resign. The Federal Reserve is an independent body, and despite Trump’s comments, he cannot fire Powell or force him to quit.

With further interest rate hikes in the near future now very unlikely, investors appear more confident despite other concerns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 141 points or 0.59%.

Credit: CCN

CCN had a chance to speak with Paul Puey, founder of Edge Wallet and veteran crypto entrepreneur. Edge Wallet was previously called Airbitz. In the early days of crypto, Airbitz was a Bitcoin-only wallet that featured a directory of brick and mortar businesses which accepted Bitcoin. It was one of the only mobile wallets which allowed the user to own their private keys without having to see them.

While it was very popular as Bitcoin wallets go, the era of Ethereum and beyond made it necessary to adapt to people who expect to be able to use more than one cryptocurrency.

Edge is AirBitz for the Multi-Asset Age

Today, its descendant is called Edge, a modern multi-asset wallet, modular in design, which is focused on user-friendliness.

Paul Puey of Edge Wallet, formerly Airbitz

Puey says that the Airbitz codebase was so ingrained in the Bitcoin architecture that they had no choice but to rebuild much of it from scratch, keeping intact the core security model: Edge servers never see your private key, you own your coin and can take your private key with you between devices and even wallets.

The security model is what we rallied around. It was contrary to a lot of the enterprise models. So we called it the Edge security model of securing data. When we transitioned to Edge, we said this is the model we’re going to use, while also making it a platform for other apps to use.

Edge wallet enables a user or merchant to set up a wallet — while retaining control of the private keys — and accepting major cryptos including Monero and Ethereum in a matter of minutes. With Airbitz, they were one of the first to easily enable this. Today, they are one of the few companies to offer such features and use open source code.

Puey also explains during the call that while the business directory was one of the most popular features of Airbitz back when it took a lot of manpower to maintain. “As soon as we added one Bitcoin business, three more would stop accepting it – and we wouldn’t even know about it,” he tells us.

“You could find out pretty easily when a company started accepting cryptocurrency, but nowhere could you find out when a merchant stopped accepting it.”

CCN remembers a very notable example of this: Rakuten made headlines across the cryptoworld when it acquired a Bitcoin wallet company and integrated Bitcoin on its flagship store. Then one day it stopped accepting crypto and no one noticed. Same thing with Expedia and others.

In-Person Crypto Usage Still Ways Off

This sparks a discussion about the lack of in-person adoption of cryptocurrencies. Puey believes that the real problem is reliable point-of-sale systems which seamlessly integrate cryptocurrencies.

Businesses don’t want to have to care about what method of payment their customers are using. They want convenience and integration with their existing inventory and business management systems. Puey believes that a crypto-native firm, rather than a firm already embedded in the point-of-sale industry, will be the ones to make this a reality.

Where we are today is definitely not where we expected the industry to be from the perspective of merchant adoption when we entered the space back around 2013/2014. While we believe firmly that that is how we will interact with crypto going forward, we’ve realized we’re in a different phase. It is in a phase of speculation because, number one, many people just don’t know what will succeed. Sure, Bitcoin’s on top, but there are a whole lot of bets saying it could be another currency. And in that sense, people have a little bit of discomfort saying well, okay, we’re going to really hang our flag on this or that one.

“The biggest missing piece in merchant adoption is that there are no tools to incorporate cryptocurrency into their entire business model.” – Paul Puey

Acceptance Is Only the First Part of the Merchant Conundrum

This reporter said that FIO (Foundation for Interwallet Operability) should help with businesses having to choose a cryptocurrency. Puey disagreed, saying that while FIO might make it easier to accept funds, it doesn’t make it easier to integrate cryptocurrencies into a business model. He said:

This is the biggest answer to your question. The biggest missing piece in merchant adoption is that there are no tools to incorporate cryptocurrency into their entire business model. The point of sale is only the start of it. And even there, there are no great options available.

The essence of the thing is that the killer app for merchants will be a superior point-of-sale system that can do it all – to include dealing with the post-payment aspects of accepting cryptocurrency. Some grand combination of Node40, a cash register, and a smart payment kiosk which supports all relevant forms of payment is required.

Simply developing such a product would not be enough, either. The merchant would also have to see an advantage in using it – such as lower fees and a wider customer base. While it’s far from impossible, in today’s market it simply isn’t where the focus is.

Augur Uses Edge

Puey says that Augur makes use of Edge code without Augur users necessarily needing to know as much. Augur is not their only partner, but it’s one of their more recognizable name brands.

On the business-to-business side of things, Edge is a code development powerhouse, creating enterprise-grade software on a security model that is philosophically consistent with crypto natives. They work on the borderline: users can be their own bank but still have a degree of convenience that’s hard to attain with standard wallet implementations.

One of our flagship partners, Augur, integrates our Edge platform inside of their app. It lets people use Augur much like Airbitz, where you just create an account and login. Private keys are created, encrypted, and backed up automatically.

He says that Edge is infinitely expandable at this point. Blockchain development teams can use the Edge SDK to build mobile products. Edge can more easily integrate new blockchains than it could have in the Airbitz days, when even forks of Bitcoin were hard to do.

Every blockchain is now a plugin. In most cases you can just find another blockchain that’s similar to it, copy and paste, and change the code to query that blockchain, and create and sign transactions on it.

Being open source, companies are able to use a white label version of the product, and Puey says that several currently are.

Core Member of the Foundation for Interwallet Operability

Edge is part of the Foundation for Interwallet Operability, along with wallets like Mycellium and BRD. As we previously wrote about FIO:

The Foundation for Interwallet Operability is a standards body of sorts and it governs the FIO Protocol, a protocol that “will provide an enhanced layer of usability features for existing and future wallets and exchanges.” Its goal is to increase blockchain adoption and the userbase of cryptocurrencies generally by encouraging ease-of-use of lack of friction in wallet and exchange designs.

Puey says of Edge’s membership in FIO:

As one of the founding members of FIO, all of the wallets that are founding members are getting the implementation of FIO added to the wallet. So by the time it hits mainnet, you’ll have FIO support on almost half a dozen major wallet sin the industry. […] The idea of sending to a name is not a new idea in the industry. Many different projects have tried to do this. But their biggest issue is they had a faltering on business development. They didn’t convince the industry to adopt those standards. And I think this is what FIO did right. They really focused on the business development.

Enabling Easier Acquisition and Storage of Cryptocurrencies

Edge, since it was called Airbitz, has always focused on the user experience. Their core belief is that mass adoption doesn’t happen when the user is required to do too many things they are not used to doing.

They strive to serve as many use cases as possible. The Edge wallet integrates Changelly and other exchange platforms. It also has Simplex, which enables users to acquire cryptocurrencies with credit cards and bank accounts.

Through a partnership with Simplex, which supports US customers, Edge enables users to purchase cryptocurrency with a credit card.

Puey says when a user goes to make an exchange, the wallet will figure out which platform is best to use for their use case. It checks between Changelly, ShapeShift, and ChangeNow to see which service will best meet the user’s needs. Users who don’t want to create accounts are directed to exchanges that don’t require them, although Puey says most will in the long run. While Edge is not the only wallet to have built-in exchange capabilities, it is one of the few which US users can use with no friction.

Edge Wallet is the only wallet which will allow you to swap between blockchains and finds the best deal for you at the same time.

Edge is available for Android and iOS. It is not available for the desktop at present time, although its open SDK could be used to develop a wallet for desktop compatible with Edge private keys.

Credit: CCN

According to a report from Credit Karma, US bitcoin investors who decided to exit the bitcoin market lost $1.7 Billion. Unrealized losses, belonging to those who didn’t sell, account for $5.7 billion.

Credit Karma GM Jagjit Chawla believes many Americans don’t know they can qualify for a crypto tax reduction as a result of their losses.

“Even though those who sold their bitcoin at a loss can typically claim a tax deduction we found that before taking our survey, 61% of respondents who lost money on bitcoin didn’t actually realize they could get a tax deduction for bitcoin losses.”

A US citizen who locks in their crypto losses could claim up to $3,000.

Anything over that amount can be carried over to next years’ tax returns, offsetting potential gains tax.

Selling Bitcoin “a Taxable Event”

Many bitcoin investors and traders don’t know that selling bitcoin could be considered a taxable event. While most people are aware of the potential ramifications of underreporting income, what many don’t know is that not reporting losses could result in missing out on valuable deductions.

With crypto investors suffering losses throughout 2018 as prices fell by up to 90%, this seems fairly important.

TaxToken – Streamlining Crypto Tax

TaxToken is a BaaS startup that assists investors and traders keep track of their crypto tax.

Incorporating blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, TaxToken can automate the crypto tax filing process.

This means quick, easy, and mistake-free crypto tax filing.

TaxToken co-founder Nathan Nichols recognizes the issues many people have had when dealing with crypto tax.

“TaxToken was founded on one principle – it shouldn’t be difficult to file your cryptocurrency taxes. TaxToken is humbled and excited to officially launch our cryptocurrency accounting software and play our role in developing the blockchain ecosystem.”

By automatically syncing with users exchanges and wallets, TaxToken provides an easy to use system that imports ICO’s, trade history, airdrops, mining, and payments.

The information is then available on an easy to read dashboard that offers users a complete review of their transactions, which are available for download.

The Credit Karma report suggests that investors who are made aware that they can deduct losses are more likely to take the steps needed to file their crypto tax, even if they lost money.

Credit: CCN

After shelving a focus on processor chips for the cryptocurrency mining market, Nvidia is looking to robotics and artificial intelligence for future success.

Nvidia’s Seattle Robotics Research Lab

Nvidia has officially opened a 13,000 ft. robotics research lab in Seattle. The lab will have 20 Nvidia roboticists as well as 30 academic experts.

The lab is working on a dozen robotics projects including “cobots” that will work alongside humans.

Dieter Fox. Source Wikimedia.

Heading up robotics for Nvidia is Dieter Fox, a researcher, and professor in robotics. He says:

“We want to develop robots that can naturally perform tasks alongside people.”

The lab has a specially designed IKEA kitchen to test its “kitchen manipulator” robot that utilizes AI and deep learning to perform tasks.

“By pulling together recent advances in perception, control, learning, and simulation, we can help the research community solve some of the greatest challenges in robotics.”

And of course, sooner or later this will translate into Nvidia products. Robotics and AI is a longer game than Nvidia’s last jump into cryptocurrency. This foray was achieved by focusing its existing chip-making capabilities to mining. Nvidia stepped back out of its cryptocurrency focus in 2018

Nvidia has an AI research lab in Toronto, Canada as well as 200 scientists under its NVIDIA Research umbrella. These experts are also working on computer vision, self-driving cars, and graphics.

Chipmaker Nvidia Worst Performer on the S&P 500 Last Year

Nvidia Share Price Over the Last Year. Source: Trading View

Nvidia struggled towards the end of 2018 amidst lower demand for its graphics processor unit (GPU) mining chips. It joined technology stocks and the wider markets in a troublesome end to 2018.

There are reports that SoftBank could sell its stake in Nvidia. By late December Nvidia’s share price was 54% down, making it the worst performer on the S&P 500. Its data center product sales to cloud providers like Amazon failed to meet expectations. Nvidia’s share price had previously risen over its AI and Crypto hype.

Semiconductor stocks are under pressure with Samsung reporting falling chip sales. Though there has been some rebound from December lows Todd Gordon from Trading Analysis said this week:

“The bounce back in the semis since the lows has been a little bit of an underperformance compared to the Nasdaq.”

Erin Gibbs. Source Twitter.

Gordon is recommending shares in Advanced Micro to investors; however Erin Gibbs of S&P Global Market Intelligence says Nvidia stock may be in for a comeback:

“I actually like Nvidia, and one of the reasons is because it’s so beaten up it really looks unlikely for [Nvidia] to get much cheaper at this point. We’re looking at about 50 percent profit growth for 2019.”

Though Gibbs also warns that the semiconductor space as a whole has flipped from a 5% rise in expected profits six months ago to an expected fall of 7%. She added:

“Overall, the semiconductor industry is the one industry that we do not recommend to buy.”

It’s a “Buy” for Nvidia Shares

William Stein, an analyst at Sunset Robinson Humphrey, is bullish on both the semiconductor industry and Nvidia believing the outcome of trade talks between the U.S and China will make a difference. Stein says:

“We believe a constructive resolution will lift semis, but a delay or destructive resolution will take most lower.”

Stein believes Nvidia stands out as a growth opportunity in the semiconductor space. And, that the release of the Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 gaming graphics card will boost the company’s earnings.

Overall, according to CNN, analyst’s consensus on Nvidia stock is to buy. With 22 out of 37 confident in the stock. Earnings reports from Nvidia are expected on February 13.

Nvidia is not the only technology corporation looking to new markets to boost performance. Amazon is reportedly developing a new game streaming service to compete with Microsoft and Google.

Credit: CCN

According to multiple sources, BNP SA, known by many as the largest bank in France, reportedly made a loss of $80 million in derivative trades connected to the United States.

The sources confirmed that Antoine Lours, the Head of U.S index trading at BNP, is yet to return to his position at the bank. Lours has been away on vacation since Christmas when he initiated trades on the S&P 500 Index.

Increasing tensions between the United States and China over tariffs and trade disputes caused U.S stock prices to slump over the holiday. Although the stocks did regain their ground, the high volatility concerned many traders and investors, causing massive stock selloffs.

U.S. Trading Desk Shutdown

It hasn’t been the perfect start of 2019 for BNP Paribas. In addition to the $80 million lost over trades gone awry, the bank will close down its U.S. commodities derivatives desk. The commodities division consisted of 16 traders who traded commodities such as agricultural products, metals, and energy. The decision to close is in line with an earlier decision made by the bank to cease financing oil sands and shale projects.

According to an unnamed source, the decision indicates a series of adjustments made by the bank, aiming at protecting its profitability.
Jean Pierre Lambert, Analyst at London-based Keffe, Bruyette & Woods, said:

“The bank seems to be adopting enhanced discipline on costs and profitability at its markets activities.”

Opera Trading Desk

The bank will also be shutting down Opera Trading Capital, its proprietary trading division. The division, which makes risky bets with BNP’s capital, is being shut down after last year’s market volatility saw it struggle to make profits. The business is reportedly funded with over $600 million. The bank is reportedly closing it so its resources can be reallocated to client-focused businesses.

Major Banks Call Grim Results

BNP’s key trading business saw a 10% drop in revenue over three-quarters of 2018, while Citigroup Inc. also reported a 21% drop in trading fixed income, commodities and currency on Monday. JPMorgan Chase &Co. followed on Tuesday, claiming that its trading business was greatly affected by “challenging market conditions.”

Credit: CCN

China’s weakening economy is driving fears of a global slowdown and now impacting oil markets. The price of crude oil fell 2.1% today.

New Data Shows a Cooling Chinese Economy

The latest data on Chinese imports and exports, below expectations, dropped the Dow Jones 230 points in premarkets today. The Dow Jones recovered but failed to turn green, ending the trading session down 0.36%.

Imports to China fell 7.6% year on year, while exports fell 4.4%.

According to recent reports, sources are warning that China is planning to lower its growth forecast to 6%. And, Moody’s has also found that “producers price inflation” has lowered over six consecutive months, a further sign of reduced demand in China.

Brent Crude Oil Price Drops 2%

The international benchmark for oil price, Brent crude, fell $1.48, or 2.5%, a barrel ending the trading session at 1.92% down at $59.27 a barrel.

Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer said of China’s impact:

“Both imports and exports disappointed expectations and are set to revive fears about a global growth slowdown.”

Stephen Innes of Oanda echoed the sentiment saying:

“Oil prices are getting weighted down by the prospects of weaker economic growth in China.”

Despite hope last week of positive trade resolutions between the US and China, Innes added:

“This data drives home just how negative of an impact trade war is having on the Chinese and perhaps global economy.”

The import figures do not specifically point to a slowdown in China’s demand for oil, yet. Reuters calculations put China’s imports of crude oil up 30% in December 2018 compared to the previous year.

Oil futures also fell, the NYMEX-traded West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 0.9% to $51.12 per barrel.

OPEC Cuts May Hold Back a Greater Impact on Oil Prices

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries including Russia agreed to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day beginning this January. The move is designed to prevent market oversupply and boost oil price. This could be balancing today’s impact on crude price from China and slowdown fears.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said today:

“The global economy is strong enough, I’m not too concerned. If a slowdown happens, it will be mild, shallow and short.”

Al-Falih is confident in the current performance of the oil market and does not believe OPEC should reconvene early to address the issue.

Analysts are predicting oil prices, per Brent Crude, to reach the mid-$60s and WTI to reach $55. This may depend on China’s economic performance later this year and the final outcome of US-China trade talks.

Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at OppenheimerFunds, said today he does not expect a US recession for at least five years. Memani believes a positive resolution between the US and China will happen as both countries have too much to lose, leaving the markets “home free.”

Credit: CCN

An anonymous donor surprised popular Twitch streamer Sick Nerd with a donation of 20 bitcoins. He was streaming Old School RuneScape at the time to his 109,000 followers.

Twitch Streamer Nets a Large Bitcoin Donation

Initially, Sick Nerd received a donation of 4 BTC. He received more BTC throughout his stream. While the gamer at first thought that someone was messing with him, he received more throughout the session. He received a total of 20.49 BTC (approx. $73,000 at the time) by the end of the day.

Sick Nerd was surprised, as it was the largest donation he had ever received. He took to Twitter to thank the mysterious benefactor. He added that he would be responsible with the money.

Sick Nerd@Sick_Nerd

Thank you to my mysteriously benefactor whoever you are, genuinely a life changing amount of money that I or nobody deserves but look what happened.
Crazy

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The game he was playing is a popular award-winning MMORPG called Runescape, which made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records by having 200 million users. Runescape takes place in a medieval fantasy realm called Gielinor, where players fight monsters, complete quests, and collect resources.

Bringing Crypto to Gamers

Over the last few years, gaming has become one of the largest entertainment industries. 27-year-old Tyler “Ninja” Blevins earned over $10 Million in 2018 alone streaming Fortnite.

The donation made to Sick Nerd is a small drop in the streaming industry. However, it is significant because it is one of the largest Twitch donations made using cryptocurrency. Streamers can accept crypto donations through StreamLabs, which uses Coinbase to enable viewers to donate cryptocurrencies. It accepts Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum (ETH) as donations. StreamLabs also supports crypto payments on other live-streaming platforms such as YouTube.

The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing among gamers. Earlier in January, Fortnite added support for Monero payments to its online merchandise shop. However, the company later clarified that it was a mistake and has since removed it. Razer, a popular gaming hardware manufacturer, launched a program called SoftMiner last month to allow gamers to earn Razer Silver through mining while their computers are idle.

Credit: CCN

A user contacted CCN with information related to Giga Watt, a Bitcoin mining company finally going out of business after declaring bankruptcy in November 2018. The firm lasted a little over a year, launching with an ICO model in September 2017.

The business model of Giga Watt was slightly different than other hosted mining solutions. Clients owned the mining hardware and paid for upkeep out of their earnings. Giga Watt offered competitive power rates which turned out to be unsustainable. A representative for the company told clients on their Customer Support Telegram channel that users could pay to have their mining hardware shipped home.

WTT Token Effectively Useless

Hacked.com gave Giga Watt’s WTT token a one-time rating of 7.0 during the ICO boom. The rating was, all such ratings are, related to the liklihood that an ICO buyer would make a profit on buying ICO tokens. The rating would have been accurate if buyers timed their sales with the market – WTT saw prices as high as $4.62 after it first went on the market.

Its ICO price was $1.20 or less, depending on when during the sale that the holder purchased. This reporter, who did his share of ICO ratings during that time, can see why such a high rating would be issued. Nevertheless this reporter would have included a note that his feelings were based on the probability of the token performing well initially. Long-term performance of the token would depend on the performance of Giga Watt itself.

The WTT token is a utility token. It represents 1 Watt worth of mining equipment hosted with Giga Watt for 5

At the end of the 2-week period, on the few markets that carry it, WTT is trading under .00035 Eth. That’s roughly 4.5 cents at time of writing.

0 years. A typical Bitcoin mining hardware solution like the Antminer S9 uses more than 1300 watts. It’s not hard to see why the platform would be attractive. Definitively not cloud mining, the program offered a powerful boost to miners.

When it actually worked, that is.

Bankruptcy Filed in November: “We Still Have Power in Moses Lake”

Two days before the news circulated that Giga Watt had filed for bankruptcy, customers had been experiencing problems for some time with miners randomly shutting off. On November 24th, a company representative told clients: “We still have power in Moses Lake.”

Two days later the news hits. The following document surfaces:

Among the creditors owed is Neppel Electric, which is reportedly owed nearly $500,000.

On Advice of Our Attorney…

Mining operations for some clients continued until very recently, when utilities were finally cut off completely due to nonpayment. The tight-lipped staff at Giga Watt would only say publicly:

Shutdown due to non payments. Revenue from the hosting less than expenses.

Among the creditors owed is Neppel Electric, which is owed nearly $500,000.

This reporter attempted to get further information from Giga Watt representative Andrey, only to be effectively stonewalled:

The business model of Giga Watt was slightly different than other hosted mining solutions. Clients owned the mining hardware and paid for upkeep out of their earnings.

Our speculation: “Andrey” is likely “Andrew Kuzenny,” head of investor relations.

You can read the full whitepaper below. An interesting thing to note is that one of their staff is named “Brian Armstrong,” not to be confused with the crypto billionaire and CEO of Coinbase.

Bitcoin Mining Company Fina… by on Scribd

Credit: CCN

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, is laying off 10 percent of its 6,000-employee workforce. The layoffs are part of a move to streamline the business and cut costs.

“SpaceX must become a leaner company,” President Gwynne Shotwell wrote in a Friday email. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

‘Extraordinarily Difficult Challenges Ahead’

Shotwell explained:

This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary.

The company is providing a minimum of eight weeks’ pay and other benefits to the fired workers.

SpaceX launch
SpaceX is streamlining to prepare for “difficult challenges ahead.” (Twitter)

Investors Dazzled by SpaceX

Elon Musk — the billionaire founder of electric-car company Tesla — launched SpaceX in 2002 to make space travel accessible to everyday people. In addition, SpaceX’s goal is to colonize Mars.

Equidate’s Robert Hilmer says SpaceX is one of the most valuable private companies in the world, with the potential to raise an “unlimited amount” of capital.

“SpaceX is one of [the most] popular pre-IPO tech companies globally,” Hilmer told CNBC.

Everywhere I travel around the world, investors of all types — individuals, family offices, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds or private equity — want to get into SpaceX.

Meanwhile, Musk is taking the downsizing in stride.

He has not commented on the layoffs, preferring instead to focus on upcoming space launches.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Elon Musk

@elonmusk

Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the @SpaceX Texas launch site. This is an actual picture, not a rendering.

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The South African business mogul is more concerned that SpaceX’s newest test flight rocket has a cool, aerodynamic design.

“Obv must be more pointy tho,” Musk tweeted, in reference to the tip of the rocket.

Elon Musk

@elonmusk

It needed to be made real

Elon Musk

@elonmusk

Obv must be more pointy tho

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Musk is an unwitting media darling who generates countless headlines. In August 2018, Musk stirred a volcanic backlash from Tesla investors after tweeting that he might take his car company private.

Weeks later, the SEC sued Musk for securities fraud, claiming his errant tweet caused Tesla stock to spike 6 percent that day. Shareholders were enraged when Tesla shares abruptly tanked in the following days.

The debacle forced Musk to step down as chairman in September 2018 and pay a $20 million fine to the SEC.

Elon Musk: I am Not Satoshi Nakamoto

Despite being a technophile, Elon Musk does not own crypto, as CCN reported.

“I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago,” Musk confessed on Twitter.

In November 2017, Musk denied speculation that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. A former SpaceX intern inadvertently started the rumor with a blog post.

Sahil Gupta wrote at Medium: “Satoshi is probably Elon.”

Elon is a self-taught polymath. He’s repeatedly innovated across fields by reading books on a subject and applying the knowledge.

It’s how he built rockets, invented the Hyperloop (which he released to the world as a paper), and could have invented Bitcoin.

Musk responded by denying that he invented Bitcoin. Meanwhile, the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has never been confirmed.

Credit: CCN

Despite a plethora of sometimes unclear regulations and restrictions, large businesses and banks in India are still embracing cryptocurrency — or at least some of the technology that underpins it — as a more reliable way to reconcile accounts, make payments, keep proper records, and manage internal funds. According to a report in the India Times, a number of Indian corporations are currently trialing blockchain technology as a means of record keeping.

Top Firms in India Eye Blockchain for Payments

Despite the traditionally hostile stance of the Reserve Bank of India on cryptocurrency exchange activities and its recent announcement that it will not be launching the mooted “Digital Rupee,” cryptocurrencies still appear to have a future in India. In the light of revelations that a lack of proper record keeping contributed to the IL&FS takeover, more large businesses are apparently willing to explore alternatives which will ensure that all financial records and contracts are properly documented.

Using blockchain technology for record-keeping practically removes the possibility of discrepancies, and it is this security functionality that makes it especially useful for large corporations with multi-level data flow. While still in it’s testing stage, sources quoted by the India Times say that the results look promising. According to them, if final results are impressive, the corporations involved have plans to scale up the whole process to cover wider areas.

unilever blockchain india
Hindustan Unilever is one of a variety of large conglomerates in India that are exploring blockchain technology for B2B payments.

Some of the big names reportedly making such moves include Hindustan Unilever, ABG Shipyard, HDFC Bank, and Reliance Industries. Right now, several pilot tests are running which use DLT strictly as a record keeping tool with hopes of balancing the books either at the end of the quarter or at the year’s end. Although there is no publicized timeline yet for the testing and proposed scale-up, stakeholders expect that blockchain technology will have a big future in the Indian corporate space.

Speaking to the India Times, Sai Venkateshwaran, a Partner and Head of CFO Advisory at KPMG India, said:

Apart from greater efficiency and accuracy, [blockchain technology] has the potential to bring enhanced levels of transparency for group treasury management and also cost savings.

Crypto Refuses to Go Away

Significant restrictions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may yet prove to be a challenge for such nascent implementations, but many experts are of the opinion that these restrictions can be circumvented if corporations keep transactions strictly in house. In addition to high levels of cryptocurrency fraud taking place in India, regulatory concern also falls on the space because of perceived problems with taxation and accounting compliance.

Despite this, according to the report, corporate stakeholders remain convinced that getting regulators on their side in an economy projected to surpass the US by 2030 is only a matter of time.

Credit: CCN