Tag Archives: Digital
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Large companies with significant digital revenues in the European Union could face a 3 percent tax on their turnover under a draft proposal from the European Commission seen by Reuters.
The proposal, expected to be adopted next week and still subject to changes, has been modified from an earlier draft which put the planned corporate rate between 1 and 5 percent.
The tax, if backed by EU states and lawmakers, would only apply to large firms with annual worldwide revenues above 750 million euros ($ 924 million) and annual “taxable” revenues above 50 million euros in the EU.
The tax is presented in the draft as a temporary measure that would only be implemented if no deal is found on a more comprehensive solution which would tax the digital profits of companies in the countries where they are made, rather than where the firms are headquartered as is the case now.
($ 1 = 0.8117 euros)
Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Foo Yun Chee
[unable to retrieve full-text content]LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday it had created a new unit for its streaming video and international businesses as the company retools its traditional media operation for a world rapidly embracing online video.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – After researching digital currencies for work last year, personal finance writer J.R. Duren hopped on his own crypto-rollercoaster.
Duren bought $ 5 worth of litecoin in November, and eventually purchased $ 400 more, mostly with his credit card. In just a few months, he experienced a rally, a crash and a recovery, with the adrenaline highs and lows that come along.
“At first, I was freaking out,” Duren said about watching his portfolio plunge 40 percent at one point. “The precipitous drop came as a shock.”
The 39-year-old Floridian is part of the new class of crypto-investors who do not necessarily think bitcoin will replace the U.S. dollar, or that blockchain will revolutionize modern finance or that dentists should have their own currency.
Dubbed by longtime crypto-investors as “the noobs”– online lingo for “newbies” – they are ordinary investors hopping onto the latest trend, often with little understanding of how cryptocurrencies work or why they exist.
“There has been a big shift in the type of investors we have seen in crypto over the past year,” said Angela Walch, a fellow at the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies. “It’s shifted from a small group of techies to average Joes. I overhear conversations about cryptocurrencies everywhere, in coffee shops and airports.”
Walch and other experts cited parallels to the late-1990s, when retail investors jumped into stocks like Pets.com, a short-lived online seller of pet supplies, only to watch their wealth evaporate when the dot-com bubble burst.
Bitcoin is the best-known virtual currency but there are now more than 1,500 to choose from, according to market data website CoinMarketCap, ranging from popular coins like ether and ripple to obscure coins like dentacoin, the one intended for dentists.
Exactly how many “noobs” bought into the craze last year is unclear because each transaction is pseudonymous, meaning it is linked to a unique digital address, and few exchanges collect or share detailed information about their users.
A variety of consumer-friendly websites have made investing much easier, and online forums are now filled with posts from ordinary retail investors who were rarely spotted on the cryptocurrency pages of social news hub Reddit before.
Reuters interviewed eight people who recently made their first foray into digital currency investing. Many were motivated by a fear of missing out on profits during what seemed like a never-ending rally last year.
One bitcoin was worth almost $ 20,000 in December, up around 1,900 percent from the start of 2017. As of Friday afternoon it was worth about $ 10,000 after having fallen as much as 70 percent from its peak. Other coins made even bigger gains and experienced equally dizzying drops over that time frame.
“There was that two-month period last year where all the virtual currencies kept going and up and I had a couple of friends that had invested and they had made five-figure returns,” said Michael Brown, a research analyst in New Jersey, who said he bought around $ 1,000 worth of ether in December.
“I got swept by the media frenzy,” he said. “You never hear stories of people losing money.”
In the weeks after Brown invested, his holdings soared as much as 75 percent and tumbled as much as 59 percent.
BUY AND “HODL”
Investors who got into bitcoin before its 2013 crash like to refer to themselves as “OGs,” short for “original gangsters.” They tend to shrug off the recent downturn, arguing that cryptocurrencies will be worth much more in the future.
“As crashes go, this is one of the biggest,” said Xavier Levenfiche, who first invested in cryptocurrencies in 2011. “But, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a hiccup on the road to greatness.”
Spooked by the sudden fall but not willing to book a loss, many investors are embracing a mantra known as “HODL.” The term stems from a misspelled post on an online forum during the cryptocurrency crash in 2013, when a user wrote he was “hodling” his bitcoin, instead of “holding.”
Mike Gnitecki, for instance, bought one bitcoin at around $ 18,000 in December and was sitting on a 43 percent decline as of Friday, waiting for a recovery.
“I view it as having been a fun side investment similar to a gamble,” said Gnitecki, a paramedic from Texas. “Clearly I lost some money on this particular gamble.”
Duren, the personal finance writer, is also holding onto his litecoin for now, though he regrets having spent $ 33 on credit card and exchange fees for a $ 405 investment.
Some retail investors who went big into cryptocurrencies for the first time during the rally last year remain positive.
Didi Taihuttu announced in October that he and his family had sold everything they owned — including their business, home, cars and toys — to move to a “digital nomad” camp in Thailand.
In an interview, Taihuttu said he has no regrets. The crypto-day-trader’s portfolio is in the black, and he predicts one bitcoin will be worth between $ 30,000 and $ 50,000 by year-end.
His backup plan is to write a book and perhaps make a movie about his family’s experience.
“We are not it in it to become bitcoin millionaires,” Taihuttu said.
Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Steve Orlofsky; Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Estonia could become the first country in Europe to launch its own digital means of exchange — the “estcoin” — under plans outlined by the manager of its pioneering e-residency scheme, in place since 2014.
Kaspar Korjus said in a blog post that the estcoin would be aimed at the Baltic country’s 27,000 e-residents — foreigners who open a company there via the web — but would not be a parallel currency to rival the euro.
This year’s meteoric surge in the value of Bitcoin has focused fresh attention on digital or cryptocurrencies, which to date have all been launched by private companies but are now being considered by some governments and central banks.
Korjus said estcoins could serve one of three purposes: rewarding services to the e-resident community, verifying one’s identity online, or as a means of payment pegged to the euro.
“All three of these models of estcoin are viable and can be introduced (even without alarming the European Central Bank),” Korjus wrote in the blog post.
Estonia’s central bank governor Ardo Hansson later said the estcoin was not a government initiative and that the central bank had not been consulted.
First floated in the summer, the idea of an estcoin was rebuffed by ECB President Mario Draghi, who said in September the only currency of the euro zone was the euro. An ECB spokesman would not comment further on Tuesday.
Korjus stressed the estcoin would simply be a “token” and not compete with the single currency.
But the third of Korjus’s possible designs, which he labels “euro estcoin”, envisaged that it would work as a parallel means of payment that bypasses the banking sector.
“We would never provide an alternative currency to the euro, but it’s possible that we could combine some of the decentralized advantages of crypto with the stability and trust of fiat currency and then limit its use within the e-resident community,” he said.
And the first version, described as a “community estcoin”, would it see openly traded on traditional and cryptocurrency exchanges at a later stage.
That could put Estonia on a collision course with the ECB if estcoin adoption was wide enough to have an impact on the euro zone economy and so interfere with Frankfurt’s monetary policy.
The numbers are small so far, however. A Deloitte report cited by Korjus estimates that e-residents brought 14.4 million euros to Estonia in the scheme’s first three years and foresaw a rise to 1.8 billion euros by 2025.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced earlier this month the launch of the “petro”, a digital currency backed by oil reserves, to shore up his country’s collapsed economy and circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions.
In Europe, Sweden’s central bank has said it may introduce an e-version of the crown currency as the use of cash declines while Bank of England is also pondering whether to introduce a digital currency for use by businesses and households. But Denmark’s central bank said “no” to its own e-crown last week.
The ECB has been lukewarm on the subject but Executive Board member Yves Mersch said recently it would experiment with “cash on different digital technologies”.
Additional reporting by David Mardiste in Tallinn; Editing by Catherine Evans
TOKYO (Reuters) – The chief executive of Japan’s largest bank expects new business opportunities to appear as digital currencies allow collection of data on how people use their money.
While Japan’s big banks have distanced themselves from bitcoin and other existing digital currencies, they are trying to create their own to provide cheaper and easier means of payments and money transfers.
“We would be able to capture kinds of financial behavior that cannot be collected as data in cash transactions,” said Nobuyuki Hirano, CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), speaking as chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association at a news conference on Thursday.
“We can use the data to create new value.”
Hirano’s bank is developing its own “MUFG Coin” digital currency using the blockchain technology behind bitcoin.
The bank has been conducting experiments with MUFG Coin among its employees, including using the currency to split restaurant bills with each other over their smartphones.
Unlike bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies, MUFG Coin is tied to Japanese yen, so users can exchange it for yen at the same rate as they bought the digital currency.
MUFG has said it plans to expand the experiment to involve all of its 30,000 domestic employees next year.
Japan’s third-largest lender Mizuho Financial Group is also developing its own digital currency, J Coin, targeting widespread use by 2020.
Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by David Goodman
TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba shares rose 3 percent in early trade on Wednesday after sources told Reuters that Western Digital Corp has offered to drop out of a group bidding for its flash memory chip business to take a stronger position in their joint venture instead.
The move could see Toshiba finally seal a deal to sell the chip business after months of delays, providing it with the funds needed to cover billions of dollars in liabilities arising from the failure of U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.
Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Stephen Coates
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This story continues at The Next Web
This piece explores the manner in which digitalization–the use of analytics, big data, the Internet of Things, cloud, and mobile–gives enterprises new opportunities to propel their business. At the same time, “digital” transforms operations processes, business processes, and customer experience.
“Digital” is the new “cloud.” Once upon a time, these words meant something. Now they mean whatever a speaker wants them to mean — especially if, internally or externally, they’re trying to sell you something. Not surprising, this level of ambiguity has created a fertile environment for mythical thinking.
Computerworld Cloud Computing
Huawei provides a new ICT architecture that features cloud-pipe-device collaboration based on cloud computing to help customers realize agile and …