More on Robinhood’s plan to offer free crypto-trading

By essentially using crypto trading as a loss leader instead of its primary business like Coinbase and other apps, Robinhood could substantially expand beyond the 3 million users it already has. Simplifying trading and tracking could bolster Bitcoin and Ethereum. And by combining it with traditional equities trading in a single app, Robinhood could further legitimize the cryptocurrency craze.

More on Robinhood’s plan to offer free crypto-trading and the pressure it put’s on Coinbase, while also helping to legitmize crypto to a degree.

via Robinhood adds zero-fee cryptocurrency trading and tracking at TechCrunch

The IRS problem with Crypto

Cryptocurrencies could pose a huge threat to governments should they be unable to collect taxes.

But the bigger concern about cryptocurrencies may be the damage they could do, in the long run, to government finances through lost tax revenue.

The core technology underlying cryptocurrencies, known as blockchain, is premised on anonymity: Transactions are public but linked only to an electronic address. This is a big part of what makes blockchain attractive.

But anonymity is also the main fuel for the underground economy, which is now conducted largely via cash. The underground economy is a significant source of lost tax revenue. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that it loses around $500 billion annually because of unreported wages alone. And the underground economy in the United States — estimated at 8.4 percent of output — is relatively small compared with those of other countries.

If cryptocurrencies were to replace cash as the preferred anonymous medium of exchange, they could significantly expand the underground economy because they are so much more convenient than cash.

via Opinion | Why the I.R.S. Fears Bitcoin at The New York Times

KodakOne and KodakCoin, from a photographer’s perspective

Some thoughts on KodakOne and KodakCoin from a photographer’s perspective. There’s a problem with photography licensing rights, but as with most of token projects the viability question remains. It’s hard to see how Kodak has an advantage over a new company/project focused solely on solving licensing rights.

Will It Actually Work? The short answer…who knows, but it is a great solution to an ongoing problem. Creating such a digital market-place is a very interesting concept. Kodak says they are empowering photographers not just by allowing them to securely manage their image-assets, but also by helping us create a new economy, a photography-based one. This doesn’t sound so crazy, considering all the images that flood social networks streams every day. We crave images. We consume them like crazy on social media. As Jim Casper from LensCulture says, “photography (is) the most universal medium of communication worldwide”.

via How KodakOne and KodakCoin Are Trying To Rethink Your Photography Business at Light Stalking

There’s reason for banks to worry about bitcoin

And here’s a good reason for banks to be wary of Bitcoin:UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber said the Swiss bank won’t trade Bitcoin or offer it to retail clients as increased regulation could lead to a “massive” drop in value.

“This is something where the price is really unclear,” Weber said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We fear that in the future if these investments implode and the market corrects, then investors will be looking at ‘who sold us this?’”

If some dude on the internet sells you a hugely volatile asset with no intrinsic value and it immediately loses 50 percent of its value, you’re like “well played, dude on the internet.” If a bank does it, though, you sue.

from Matt Levine in Crypto Finance Meets Regular Finance at Bloomberg.com

Another bearish outlookon non-major cryptocurrencies

aside from BTC and ETH, all of the other TOP 10 coins will disappear into oblivion.

as always, lots of links to excellent pieces throughout their weekly post

via Token Economy #30: Gazing into the crypstal ball at Token Economy – Medium

Alternative Investment Options

Alternative investing, meant to include anything not traded on the traditional finance exchanges, are enticing to small investors because of the potential for more control and greater upside. This typically comes in exchange for more volatility and/or less liquidity. Essentially, there’s a cost for investing in public markets due to the ease of access and liquidity and alternative investments should seek the investments that may be a little harder to reach and get greater returns.

With that in mind, here’s a few ideas on alternative investment options:

  • Real estate. The biggest alternative investment market. Many different ways to invest from very hands, fix and flip, to passive investments in real estate projects. Lots of potential to use leverage. Many online tools have become available to help investors find projects. Returns often not as good as what can be found by networking for deals.
  • Crypto. New market that went from ~$15 billion to $500 billion in 2017. Lots of potential to invest still. Bitcoin and ethereum have potential. More exciting is new technology will result in some big winners. Finding the best tokens is very difficult. Very risky overall.
  • Forex. Never interested me much as it seems there is always somewhat limited upside. Seems not meant for passive investing but active trading.
  • Peer-to-peer lending. Appears quite risky but have not looked into it much.
  • Angel investing. Many online tools for investing in new businesses. Very limited liquidity. Potential for big gains. Very volatile.
  • Buying businesses. Not necessarily passive, amount can be determined by owner. With right criteria, risks can be mitigated. Some potential for leveraging money. Can result in cashflow or flip for a big payoff.

We’ve already invested in some of these and we’ll look at some of these options in more detail with new posts over the coming weeks and months.