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

Value index funds have underallocated tech

Michael Batnick looks at why value indexes have performed poorly over the last decade and finds a simple explanation, essentially it’s an allocation issue.

Value has 23% more exposure to financials and 29% less exposure to tech. This is the primary driver of the gap in performance over the last ten years. Over this time, tech stocks have gained 255% while financials have gained just 61%!


via What’s Wrong With Value? at The Irrelevant Investor

Robinhood to offer free crypto trading

Stock trading app Robinhood is becoming a cryptocurrency broker.

I believe this is the first “traditional” (used loosely here) brokerage to offer cryto in the US. In other countries, Etoro is an option. Of course, how long until Coinbase introduces traditional security trading?

via Stock trading app Robinhood to roll out bitcoin, ethereum trading at CNBC

You can’t “blockchain” everything

Matt Levine on the “blockchain” projects attempting to adopt to real world, which doesn’t function as neatly as needed. Blockchain opens up a a lot of new possibilities, but you can’t simply port physical businesses to a blockchain. New models are needed in some cases, and in most, blockchain isn’t the answer.

Levine, of course, references “tech” company Juicero:

You might call this the Juicero Problem: You can build a computer ecosystem and associate it with bags of fruit, and encourage people to use the computer ecosystem to squeeze the bags of fruit, but not everything that happens to the bags of fruit in the real world can be completely controlled by your computer ecosystem. You can’t prevent people from squeezing the bags with their hands. The world exists, and it is messier than your protocols want it to be.

via The Blockchain Is Not the World at Bloomberg

Crush Crypto Core Listed on IDEX – Crush Crypto

Originally, this was introduced on the Iconomi platform, which had a KYC process in place restricting those from countries with potential regulations, like the United States.

The solution? Wait a few months and list on an unregulated exchange, providing conveniently scheduled liquidity periods.

Crush Crypto Core (CCC) is now listed on IDEX. Anyone can now purchase CCC from the exchange.

For those of you who live in countries that are excluded from ICONOMI (US or Canada), or if your deposit limit in ICONOMI is maxed out, you can purchase CCC directly from IDEX.

In order to jump start the liquidity of CCC, we will put up some orders on IDEX every day at 2pm PST (5pm EST or 10pm GMT) so there is guaranteed liquidity at that time. We will put up buy/sell orders for CCC at the market value as quoted on ICONOMI, but will pull the order after 15 minutes since the value of CCC fluctuates continuously.

via Crush Crypto Core Listed on IDEX at Crush Crypto

Pressuring Apple to make iPhone less harmful to children

On January 6th, two Apple shareholders, Jana Partners and CalsTrs (The California State Teachers’ Retirement System ), publish a 2,500-word open letter urging Tim Cook and his team to do more to protect children from the harmful consequences of smartphone use. The missive to Apple, replete with citations, reads like an article found in a scholarly publication.

via Saving Our Children From Smartphones – Monday Note at Monday Note

Google’s AI Ranks Photos on Merit

NIMA uses a CNN that is trained to estimate what photos a user would find aesthetically pleasing or technically proficient on a scale of 1 to 10. Coming up with this number relies upon object recognition networks which help the AI recognize elements within the image.

via Google’s Artificial Intelligence Now Ranks Photos on Merit at Light Stalking

Indexing as a brute force solution to stock picking

If you think about it, indexing is a brute force solution of the problem of picking stocks. It is difficult to know which stocks will do well and which ones won’t, so your best bet is to buy them all and hope the aggregate return is positive. You can extend this idea across asset classes as well by diversifying your portfolio.

via Success by Exhaustion – Of Dollars And Data at Of Dollars And Data

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