RSS feed Forex Humor 2009-2013 RSS feed Forex Humor Funny Forex drawings and caricatures <![CDATA[US dominates mining industry, beating out China]]>
The United States has scored another victory. It became the world’s top destination for bitcoin miners. The United States overcame China in this race after the latter declared war on cryptocurrencies and mining.According to new data from Cambridge University, the volume of bitcoin mining in the United States has soared by 428% over a year. As a result, the volume of hashrate – a term used to describe the collective computing power of miners – in the county reached 35.4% of global mining. Several months ago, China dominated the crypto market in terms of hashrate. However, its aggressive stance on the industry, primarily a ban on cryptocurrency transactions, took half the world’s bitcoin miners offline practically overnight.The biggest mining farms started fleeing China, heading to the cheapest energy sources on the planet. A lot of miners ended up in the United States.Cambridge experts say that states like Texas can “boast some of the world’s lowest energy prices, which is a major incentive to miners who compete in a low-margin industry, where their only variable cost is typically energy”. The Cambridge data zeroes out China’s monthly average share of the global hashrate in June. This is a massive change from September 2020, when China captured about 67% of the market.
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<![CDATA[Biden gives green light to Nord Stream 2]]>

It is hard to explain why US President Joe Biden waived congressionally mandated sanctions on the pipeline. Even at the beginning of the pipeline construction, it was obvious that it was a political project rather than a commercial one. Although the US position looks like a losing one, there are still some doubts.

Chris Pleasance at Daily Mail is sure that US President Joe Biden “gave the green light to a controversial gas pipeline that Vladimir Putin is now using to hold Europe to ransom by threatening to withhold supplies and push up the price of energy.” He also believes that the decision to lift sanctions that halted the construction may allow Russia to take control over the European energy market. The Kremlin regained the opportunity to affect pricing and took up the leading positions in the European gas market. “Russian engineers finished work on Nord Stream 2 last month and now only need EU leaders to give final approval to start pumping gas - a bargaining chip that Moscow has wasted no time in using to threaten the continent,” Chris Pleasance emphasized.

Notably, Joe Biden green-lit the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in May, when he lifted sanctions that had halted construction until 2020. Both critics and supporters of the US president were stumped by this strange action. Since Europe has entered the energy crisis and meteorologists are forecasting a cold winter, gas prices may skyrocket. In this case, Russia will have even more reasons to establish its own rules.

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<![CDATA[IMF reaffirms its ‘full confidence’ in Georgieva as chief after data scandal review]]>

The recent investigation launched by US law firm WilmerHale into the Doing Business 2018 Report has revealed that International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva forced staff to alter data on global business conditions when she was CEO of the World Bank.

Following a detailed review, investigators suspected Georgieva, the then chief executive of the World Bank, of pressuring staff members to manipulate data in order to make China's business climate appear more favorable. In addition, the investigation found data irregularities in reports on Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. However, Kristalina Georgieva publicly denied all the findings of the independent probe, calling them "false and spurious".

Against this background, the IMF had a meeting to conclude its review of that matter. The Executive Board considered that the information presented in the course of its review "did not conclusively demonstrate that the Managing Director played an improper role regarding the Doing Business 2018 Report." "Having looked at all the evidence presented, the Executive Board reaffirms its full confidence in the Managing Director’s leadership and ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties. The Board trusts in the Managing Director’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of governance and integrity in the IMF," the fund said in a statement.

At the same time, the fund pledged to consider "possible additional steps to ensure the strength of institutional safeguards in these areas."

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<![CDATA[Britain's steel producer warns of impending crisis due to soaring energy prices]]>

Great Britain, like the rest of Europe, is at risk of facing one of the gravest energy crises in recent years. Soaring wholesale gas prices threaten to have a severe impact on the country and call Britain’s economic recovery into question.

Manufacturers were the first to sound the alarm on growing threats to the national economy. UK Steel, the British steel industry's lobby group, warned of an impending crisis due to a steep rise in wholesale gas prices.

The steel producer is increasingly concerned that a further rise in fuel prices will whiplash the economy, thus tipping companies into the red and eroding wages. "With winter approaching, demand for gas and electricity will rise, and prices could get higher, which will make it impossible to profitably make steel," the company said. In this case, some plants may be forced to wind down operations "for increasingly extended periods with the consequences not only for individual companies but also UK steel supply to the UK economy and UK jobs." Sudden plant shutdowns could damage equipment, increase costs, and eventually lead to "poorer environmental performance with higher emissions," UK Steel warned.

Against this background, the country's authorities are utterly confused. According to business minister Kwasi Kwarteng, the government is working on ways to support energy-intensive industries hit by rising gas prices. The official even called the situation critical.

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<![CDATA[Soaring energy prices threaten to dent US economic recovery]]>

Despite many challenges, the US economy remains resilient. However, now, it is again preparing to overcome an obstacle along the path to recovery. The world's largest economy, like the rest of the world, is facing rising energy prices that threaten to delay its economic rebound.

The energy market has rallied significantly over the last few months. Oil and gas prices have reached seven-year highs. Thus, oil prices have added 64% in a year, while gas prices have doubled in just six months. Petroleum products are also gaining in value: gasoline prices have risen by $1-$3 per gallon (one US gallon equals 3.78 liters), while heating oil prices have soared by 68% this year. A surge in energy prices is driven by strong demand that is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. Against this background, factories have to ramp up production, which requires energy. At the same time, energy supplies are limited.

According to experts, the current situation may lead to higher inflation, lower consumer spending, and slower economic recovery. Andreas Steno Larsen, an analyst at Finland's Nordea Bank ABP, believes that the US economy will grow by 1.5% in 2022 compared to the previous forecast of a 3.5% increase. He predicts that in 2022, oil and gas prices in the United States could rise by 40%.

Europe is also experiencing an energy crisis. Gas prices in the region have more than tripled in 2021. Besides, the UK that left the European Union is on the brink of an energy disaster. Thus, soaring gas prices, poor performance of wind farms, and a halted power link between France and Britain have put the country's economy at risk.

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<![CDATA[Trump says Biden helps China not US]]>

From time to time, Donald Trump makes ripples on the smooth surface of political life. Apparently, he is not going to give up his career as a politician even after a devastating defeat. Not long ago, he lashed out at the Biden administration for the proposal that may benefit China far more than the US.  

Trump believes that Democrats are doing nothing to improve the situation in the country or raise its prestige. In his outrage, he even accused Biden of some ties with China. Trump was mainly enraged by the controversial bill proposed by Biden: a $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan to support Democratic priorities in education, health, and clean energy. The former president is sure that if Biden's bill receives approval, it will be more lucrative for American entrepreneurs to work in China rather than in the United States.

"Biden's plan will dramatically raise business taxes, one of the highest in the world and significantly higher than in a place called communist China, have you heard of this?" he pointed out.  

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<![CDATA[UK faces worst shortage of qualified workers on record]]>

The UK is experiencing a shortage of highly qualified personnel, especially in the financial sector. According to the latest data from the Department of Labor, the number of vacancies in this sector more than doubled in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.

It has always been a hard task for employers to hire competent financial experts. Yet, in the UK, this problem has turned into a full-blown crisis. There were 8,343 new listings for financial services positions between July and September, a report released by recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley and data provider Vacancysoft showed. Notably, there were 3,575 vacancies in the same quarter last year. In September alone, companies posted 2,818 new jobs, logging the busiest month since at least January 2014. First of all, firms are mainly looking for employees for positions related to jobs in risk and compliance. These vacancies account for 13% of all banking vacancies.

"This has been caused by the easing of government lockdown measures, and in turn with banks initially having made cuts to their staff, they now need people to join their teams again. The recruitment market has turned to become a candidate-led market with candidates having multiple different options on the go, which requires institutions to move quickly when hiring," Ben Harris, the head of governance at Morgan McKinley, said.

The European Banking Authority noted in its study that nearly a hundred highly paid bankers left Britain before Brexit. Many financial firms had relocated over 7,000 employees from London to the bloc to ensure that customers had full access to the EU financial market.


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<![CDATA[JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon says supply chain disruptions to end next year]]>

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is optimistic that global supply chain woes will not be an issue in 2022. In his forecast, Dimon pinpointed that supply chain hiccups caused by the coronavirus pandemic would not be able to disrupt the economic recovery in the US and would not prevent consumers from spending money. Indeed, consumer demand is currently on the rise, while producers worldwide are facing significant difficulties created by supply chain disruptions. Executives of many companies indicate that disruptions could impact their earnings in the coming months.

“This will not be an issue next year at all. This is the worst part of it. I think great market systems will adjust for it like companies have. Keep in mind, the consumer’s buying other stuff. They can’t buy cars, they’re buying home improvement; they can’t travel internationally, they travel domestically. The spend level is very high,” Dimon said.

At the same time, Goldman Sachs expects spending on some services and non-durable goods to stay persistently below pre-pandemic trends. Meanwhile, shortages of semiconductors that are now disrupting the production of cars and equipment worldwide are suggested to last through the first six months of 2022.

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<![CDATA[SpaceX beats new record]]>

Elon Musk’s SpaceX not only helps humans make extraordinary progress in space exploration but also pleases its investors with fat profits. The commercial company whose space program is perhaps more expensive than that of some nations has set a new record. SpaceX’s market capitalization exceeded $100 billion after the company’s investors had announced the start of a planned sell-off of their shares.

SpaceX has arranged a deal with new and existing investors to sell shares worth up to $755 million at the price of $560 per unit. This deal should boost its market capitalization to $100.3 billion. The company has not attracted new capital yet as its buy offer is just the reselling of existing shares. SpaceX has gained 33% since February when its market capitalization totaled $74 billion and the price of one share was $419.99.

This makes SpaceX one of the rare private hectocorn companies. A hectocorn is a business worth over $100 billion. From now on, Musk’s brainchild is the second-largest private company in the world, lagging behind China’s Bytedance owned by Tiktok. The value of SpaceX has soared over the recent years as it managed to raise billions to back two costly projects: Starship and Starlink.

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<![CDATA[Yellen warns of ‘catastrophic’ consequences if Congress fails to address debt limit]]>

Although the US Senate has approved legislation to temporarily raise the federal government's debt limit by December 3, the risk of a financial crisis remains high. Negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders are a long and delicate process. Since Senators have voted 50-48 to pass the bill, the final adoption of the law is still in question.

Against this background, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed deep concerns over a possible economic catastrophe. She supposes that the economy could fall into a recession if Congress fails to address the federal government’s borrowing limit. This measure is necessary to fund the previous initiatives adopted by Congress rather than to pay new bills, she noted. If lawmakers do not make a decision by December, the effects could be severe, Yellen warned.

“US Treasury securities have long been viewed as the safest asset on the planet. That partly accounts for the reserve status of the dollar. And placing that in question by failing to pay any of our bills that come due would really be a catastrophic outcome,” Yellen said. “I fully expect it would cause a recession as well,” she added.

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<![CDATA[Analysts unveil key reasons for meme coins popularity]]>
Why have meme tokens become so popular among traders? Analysts suppose that stagnation in more reliable crypto assets is the main reason for such popularity. Notably, a rising appetite for risk also explains why traders choose such tokens.In early October, the price of several digital currencies, which feature the image of a Japanese breed dog Shiba Inu, showed a significant jump. The Shiba Inu token as well as Akita Inu and Dogelon Mars are among the best performers. Thus, the Shiba Inu token has entered the ranks of the world's top 20 cryptos in terms of the market capitalization. In one week, its price skyrocketed by 324%. The price of the Akita Inu token surged by 274% and Dogelon Mars soared by 190%.The meme currencies achieved such a spectacular success thanks to Elon Musk’s publications on Twitter, especially the one with the photo of his Shiba Inu puppy. In addition, Elon Musk is known for his eye-catching twits that have attracted investors’ interest in various cryptocurrencies.However, demand for meme tokens depends not only on speeches and posts provided by reputable and famous people. Stagnation in larger and more stable coins such as bitcoin also boosts the interest in meme coins. After a rapid rise, bitcoin has become less volatile, showing a more stable dynamic. However, market participants prefer more active trading in order to make money faster.Meme tokens meet such requirements and provide traders with the opportunity to enjoy risk trading. Such an approach looks like gambling and it will hardly suit everyone.ENCRY's founder Roman Nekrasov is sure that this theory is true. At the same time, he warns against investing all the funds in such assets. Trading of meme tokens is very risky since it is almost impossible to predict their future movement.Vladimir Smetanin, CEO of Swiss-based financial company Newcent, supposes that the popularity of such assets is extremely unstable and they may lose it as fast as they achieved it. Notably, the actions of some big players of the crypto market may cause a collapse in any asset. Not so long ago, bitcoin climbed to $55.5 thousand for the first time since May 2021. Ki Young Ju, CEO at CryptoQuant, explains such a rally by whale buying. It means that big players invested $1.6 billion in bitcoin in just 5 minutes. 
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<![CDATA[Europe finds way to mitigate energy crisis]]>
The energy crunch in Europe is not ebbing away. For this reason, EU states are looking into the benefits of joint gas purchases.The European Commission is desperately trying to find a way out on how to lower soaring gas prices.  Currently, it is considering the possible benefits of member states jointly buying strategic reserves of gas and its further storage. This measure is supposed to help governments stabilize energy prices, prevent price spikes, and also survive the upcoming winter.The new EU project is aimed at tackling several problems at once, e.g. tax cuts, financial aid for poorer households, and a number of companies in various sectors. The European Commission hopes that by adopting the new initiative, it will be able to lower energy prices by April 2022. However, they will significantly exceed the average price of previous years.Apart from that, the European Commission encourages EU member states to actively switch to renewable energy sources. The gradual shift to greener energy will ensure that the bloc will not face the same energy price shocks in the future. Energy ministers from EU countries will hold an urgent meeting in Brussels to discuss the price spike on October 21 and 22. "The only way to fully decouple gas from electricity is no longer to use it to generate power. This is the EU's long-term goal, to replace fossil fuels with renewables," EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson pointed out.Notably, the idea of creating a single platform for the purchase of natural gas for all EU countries has been brought up more than once. Before that, a similar proposal was made by Eastern European countries, e.g. the Polish government. However, this proposal did not meet cordial support in many European countries. Simson said that it was extremely difficult to implement this idea because the obvious advantages were ignored until recently.The cost of gas and electricity before the heating season rose to the highest levels ever. On October 6, gas was estimated at $1,924 per thousand cubic meters. Industrial companies were forced to reduce production volumes. The sky-high electric bills of citizens also raised alarm bells.Despite the fact that Russia sticks to its long-term contract obligations, the European Union calls for more gas supplies. On October 7, President Vladimir Putin suggested his country could sell more gas to the EU through Ukraine. Following this statement, gas futures collapsed to $1,000 per thousand cubic meters. In the period from 11-17 October, gas futures were evaluated at $1,028 per thousand cubic meters.
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<![CDATA[Cleveland Fed's Mester: US inflation largely reflects pandemic-related factors]]>

The current spike in US inflation rates can be mainly attributed to both supply-side and demand-side factors. However, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester admitted on Thursday that most of the current price changes might be driven by pandemic-related shifts that could subside over time.

Mester urged policymakers not to rush to draw conclusions. According to her, when determining how to respond to inflation, it is worth distinguishing short-term inflationary pressures from inflation that could be longer lasting. She believes that it is of utmost importance to understand how much of that increase is driven by supply shocks and how much of it is driven by demand that would respond to monetary policy. By the way, Loretta Mester will have a vote on the Fed's policy-setting committee in 2022.

The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland strongly recommends that Fed members keep an eye on upside risks regarding inflation. This is necessary because some of the supply-side challenges caused by the pandemic may take longer to be resolved than initially anticipated.

If inflation is still driven by supply-side factors, monetary policy should not respond to it, Loretta Mester stressed. To find out whether monetary policy is too accommodative or not providing enough accommodation, officials should consider both inflation expectations and other indicators, she noted.

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<![CDATA[Senate approves debt ceiling bill and averts default]]>

The United States has once again saved the world from another epic disaster. This time, it was a financial disaster. The events unfolded as if in a Hollywood movie: the world is on the verge of a financial catastrophe. At the very last moment, despite all differences and contradictions, representatives of the two opposing parties unite to save it. 

The US Senate has finally approved the legislation to raise the national debt ceiling by $480 billion, preventing not only a default in the country but also serious financial upheaval worldwide. This time, every vote mattered as there was too little time left. Senators voted 50-48 to adopt the bill. Although it was a small gap, the deal was approved. The country's authorities can now raise the debt limit while negotiations are underway between Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans are still not very pleased with the way things unfold. “The pathway our Democratic colleagues have accepted will spare the American people any near-term crisis”, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell commented on the situation. Earlier, McConnell offered to let Democrats temporarily lift the borrowing. He also added that the stopgap measure should give Democrats “more than enough time to pass stand-alone debt limit legislation”. In other words, the confrontation between the two parties will continue but already with a higher debt ceiling.

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<![CDATA[UK financial sector struggles with staff shortage]]>

The UK financial sector is struggling with the worst staff shortage. In the third quarter, the number of vacancies almost doubled from the same period last year. From July to September 2021, companies were looking for 8,343 new employees, while in the same period in 2020, they were seeking just 3,575. In September alone, 2,818 new workers were needed.

Jobs that entail certain risks and imply compliance with regulatory requirements should be taken first. They account for just 13% of the total number of vacancies.

The shortage of staff is a consequence of quarantine restrictions. During that time, banks were drastically reducing their staff. To date, measures to stop the spread of the virus have been significantly eased, so the companies need more staff. This gives candidates much more flexibility in their job selection. Under the circumstances, the companies have to make hiring decisions much faster. Previously, this was not common to them.

In August, the European Banking Authority reported a marked decline in the number of financiers in the United Kingdom. According to its data, nearly a hundred highly paid bankers left Britain ahead of its departure from the European Union. Financial services firms have shifted more than 7,000 employees from London to Europe.

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<![CDATA[SpaceX hits $100 billion valuation]]>

The valuation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX has recently hit $100 billion, following a secondary-share sale last week.

SpaceX has an agreement with investors to sell up to $755 million in stock. The new share price will be $560 (previously it was valued at $419.99). Importantly, in February, its market capitalization totaled $74 billion. Now, it amounts to $100.3 billion. At the same time, the company did not raise new capital. It just offered a secondary sale of existing shares.

As a result, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is the second-largest private company in the world. The leading position belongs to the owner of Tiktok, Chinese Internet holding company Bytedance.

In recent years, SpaceX has increased its market cap significantly amid the financing of projects like Starship and Starlink.

By launching around 1,740 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit, the company strives to provide high-speed Internet connectivity to even the remotest areas of the planet. The cost of Starlink services is $99 per month. There are more than 100,000 users worldwide.

The Starship rocket aims to land humans on other planets, including Mars and the Moon.  The next step is to launch the rocket into orbit. In August, Musk boldly stated that Starship is almost ready but the company is still awaiting approval from regulatory authorities.


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<![CDATA[US may default on its debt]]>

US President Joe Biden has warned Congress that the country would default if it refused to take action. Biden realizes the significance of this issue and has already compared it with a meteor that is threatening the US economy like in the movie Armageddon starring Bruce Willis.

The US President said at an online meeting with businesses that for more than 200 years the United States had been considered the safest and most secure place for global investment. He compared it to the financial rock. However, it is now blocked by the government borrowing ceiling. If Congress does not raise the debt limit, the US will face serious problems, including reputational damage.

This procedure used to be a matter of routine and did not cause any debates as everyone was aware that the level of acceptable borrowing ceiling would be increased. Currently, Republicans refuse to raise the debt limit due to their own political reasons.

"We’re not expecting Republicans to do their part. We’re just asking them not to use procedural tricks to block us from doing the job that they won’t do. A meteor is head to –  is headed to crash our economy. Democrats are willing to do all the work stopping it," the president stated and urged Republicans to stop "playing Russian roulette" with the US economy. "If you don't want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don’t destroy it," Biden noted.

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<![CDATA[Republicans unwilling to raise US debt ceiling]]>

According to US President Joe Biden, if the country defaults on its debt , Republicans will be to blame. At present, Democrats are not able to provide protection against default on debt obligations due to disagreements with the Republican Party.

Now, the default risk in the US is very high. The increase of the public debt ceiling used to be a trivial matter some months ago and easy to deal with by the US authorities. Currently, it is a key issue that needs urgent action. "A failure to raise the debt limit will call into question Congress' willingness to meet our obligations that we have already incurred, not new ones. This is going to undermine the safety of US Treasury securities and will threaten the reserve status of the dollar as the world's currency that the world relies on," the US President noticed in his recent speech.

Biden also mentioned possible effects of failure to raise the debt limit. He warned of an economic catastrophe.  The US dollar may lose its status as the main reserve currency. Moreover, rising interest rates on the national debt, as well as a decline in the US credit rating are possible. Besides, Joe Biden put the blame on Republicans. "Not only are Republicans refusing to do their job, but they are threatening to use their power to prevent us from doing our job - saving the economy from a catastrophic event," the US President noted. According to the CEO of the US largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, a possible US default on its debt  will have disastrous economic consequences. 

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<![CDATA[Ether could overtake bitcoin, survey finds]]>

Ether has every chance of overtaking bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency. According to a CoinShares survey, 42% of investors believe that ether has the most compelling growth outlook, while only 18% of them are bullish about BTC.

Today, both cryptocurrencies are very popular among market participants. The report shows that 30% of survey participants invest in ether. The same percentage of investors prefer bitcoin. By the way, the second and third most popular crypto assets are Cardano and Polkadot.

Another key finding of the survey is that 35% of respondents see their investments in ether as predominantly speculative. Meanwhile, 23% use digital assets as a diversification tool. Besides, the survey found that the main reason why market participants refrain from investing in crypto is state legislation regarding virtual currencies. Thus, politics, government bans, and regulation make up 58% of the perceived key risks for digital assets.

Currently, ether is trading at around $3,668. Over the past year, the second-largest cryptocurrency has gained in value by more than 900%, while its capitalization has reached $421 billion.

As for bitcoin, its current price is $55,502, with a market capitalization of $1 trillion. On October 6, the most popular digital asset surpassed the level of $55,000. As a result, analysts became more optimistic about its further dynamics. Thus, an expert at TradingView predicted that BTC could rise to $100,000.

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<![CDATA[SEC not intend to ban cryptocurrencies]]>

After recent harsh statements made by Gary Gensler, Chairman of the SEC, market participants were worried that the US could follow China’s warpath on the crypto market. Gary Gensler rushed to dispel fears saying that the US would not take such tough measures and prohibit digital assets.

Notably, such fears were quite reasonable. Gary Gensler is widely known as a vocal opponent of virtual assets. However, as US lawmakers always tend to repeat, the US is a country of freedom and opportunities, not prohibitions and limits. To tackle the issue, they just need to adopt legislation on crypto regulation in the country. Many lawmakers speak in favor of the introduction of stricter rules for cryptocurrencies. Mr. Gensler pinpoints that the prior goal of the regulator is to ensure compliance with the rules for protecting investors and regular consumers, anti-money laundering regulations, and tax legislation. When being asked about the possible ban on the use of digital coins in the US, he replied that the SEC's approach to crypto regulation was completely different from other countries. Besides, before prohibiting virtual assets, the SEC must seek approval from Congress.

Therefore, the regulator's attitude towards crypto does not contradict the statement of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. At congressional hearings, Powell disclosed that he had no intention of banning cryptocurrency in the US. However, local authorities intend to tighten control over illegal crypto transactions. US President Joe Biden has already found the so-called allies in the fight against crypto criminals.

Fears over the ban on digital currencies in the United States intensified amid China’s crackdown on the crypto market in September. Beijing declared any transactions with cryptocurrency illegal.


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<![CDATA[ETH may outperform BTC in near future]]>

In a complicated and unpredictable battle between bitcoin and ether, the latter one has taken the lead. Evaluating prospects of ETH growth, more and more analysts admit that it may outperform bitcoin in just several years. The fact is that ether’s outlook looks more convincing.

The recent survey conducted by CoinShares unveiled that 42% of polled investors “see Ethereum as having the most compelling growth outlook.” At the same time, only 18% believe that BTC may face a rosy future. At the moment, both cryptocurrencies are popular among investors. Almost 30% of respondents invest their funds in ether and bitcoin. Cardano and Polkadot are also among the most popular crypto assets. The survey also showed that “35% of investors see their investments into digital assets as predominantly a speculative one.” However, 25% see it as a “diversification tool.” At the same time, “politics, government bans and regulation make up 58% of the perceived key risks for digital assets”. 

In general, during the year, ETH has appreciated by more than 900%. The currency’s market cap hit $412 billion, whereas  bitcoin's market value is $1 trillion. Analysts provide positive forecasts for bitcoin, expecting a jump to $100,000.


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<![CDATA[India to become one of world’s fastest-growing crypto markets]]>

India may well become the world’s biggest cryptocurrency market. It has already made some serious steps, while the ban on virtual assets in other countries, China in particular, only makes things easier. India’s crypto market capitalization soared by 641% in 12 months. This makes the country the fastest-growing crypto market in Central and South Asia and Oceania as well as in the world.

Owing to buoyant demand for digital assets,  India has a chance to become a major crypto investment center. It will depend on how quickly the government draws up regulatory guidelines. In terms of crypto market capitalization, the country lags behind only the Middle East and Europe. At the same time, India is an absolute leader in its region. For example, the capitalization of the digital currency market in neighboring Pakistan has increased by just seven times over the year. India’s authorities are now actively engaged in the field of cryptocurrency market regulation. However, the country has relatively recently considered the possibility of a complete ban on the use of cybercash. Yet, such legislation has never been adopted. Chainalysis experts suggest that amid the current trends, India will only resort to the introduction of specific taxes.

India's leadership in the region has been driven by high activity on decentralized finance platforms. The country's stake in global transactions totals 59%. In addition, the volume of cryptocurrency-related venture investments has increased in the region. “Large institutional-sized transfers above $10 million worth of cryptocurrency represent 42% of transactions sent from India-based addresses, versus 28% for Pakistan and 29% for Vietnam. Those numbers suggest that India's cryptocurrency investors are part of larger, more sophisticated organizations,” the report said.

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<![CDATA[Pandora Papers unmask UK’s tax haven]]>

The Pandora Papers, the largest investigation in journalism history on corruption and offshores, exposed world leaders, influential businessmen, and celebrities using offshore schemes estimated at billions of dollars. The reputation of several people and countries has suffered.

The British public is urging the government to protect the country from dirty money. It has been revealed that London has become one of the largest tax havens where the world's richest and most powerful people hide their wealth. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released the so-called “Pandora Dossier” that sparked a massive reaction in the UK. The citizens are outraged at London's role in the offshore schemes.

“These leaks show that there is one system for corrupt elites who can buy access to prime property and enjoy luxury lifestyles,” Duncan Hames, policy director at the campaign group Transparency International UK, said. According to Hames, the Conservative government has to take measures to combat tax evasion and money laundering. First of all, the government must close the loopholes that allow the companies in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands to hold property in the UK without revealing the names of their true owners, Hames stated. The next step the government should take is to crack down on professionals that help those with illicit wealth hidden in the UK, he added.

HM Revenue and Customs initiated an inspection of the Pandora Papers. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that the UK tax authorities would scrutinize the released materials. “It is a global problem, there’s a global dimension to it and we need other countries to cooperate with us to tackle this,” Sunak added.

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<![CDATA[UK and EU may enter “Cold mistrust” era]]>

Since the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, relations between the two parties have been souring. British authorities threaten their former partner with an even poorer relationship.

Such unexpected announcements were caused by the dispute over trading arrangements governing Northern Ireland. The conflict has become so bitter that the parties have resorted to threats, warning of “cold mistrust”. “The stakes are high, the arguments can be bitter. And I worry this process is capable of generating a sort of cold mistrust between us and the EU which could spread across the relationship,” Britain's Brexit minister David Frost said. The fact is that Northern Ireland left the European Union as a part of the UK. At the same time, the country remains in the EU customs zone. Now, according to the Northern Ireland Protocol, all goods entering the region from the rest of the UK via the maritime border must pass customs checks. Notably, the land border is still open. David Frost said that the deal that was previously called successful needed some changes. “We need to see substantial and significant change,” Davis Frost emphasizes. The Brexit Minister supposes that the points of the agreement are inconsistent and vague. Lord Frost has been seeking amendments to the Protocol for several months already. However, the EU repeatedly refuses to reopen the talks on the issue.

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<![CDATA[Biden's spending bill called harmful to US values]]>

Representatives of the US Republican Party have criticized President Joe Biden's grandiose economic plan. According to them, the idea of a "welfare state", on which the plan is based, contradicts American values.

Opponents of Build Back Better believe that subsidies to low-income groups undermine the national idea that work and welfare are inextricably linked. In fact, this contradicts the social doctrine of work incentives. In other words, handing out free money calls into question the need for such important things as education and labour, and discourages people from actively participating in the economy. Republicans said that the absence of the need to work and earn a decent living for themselves and their children would reduce the economic motivation of families, hurt small businesses and lead to an increase in voluntary unemployment.

"The proposal includes an elimination of the child tax credit as we know it, replacing it with welfare without any work requirement. Republicans believe the family is the foundation of a strong society, which is why we have supported expanding the child tax credit in the past. But we also know work establishes purpose and there is no government substitute for a job and an earned income," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote in an op-ed for the New York Post.  

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