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The Lower It Goes, The Safer It Gets
November 17, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

Background

Last month, while stocks lost ground, we’ve pointed out that Bitcoin’s volatility has dropped considerably. At a time when most assets experienced extreme moves (down), the biggest cryptocurrency has been as stable as it never been before.

In our last article covering Bitcoin, we’ve concluded that:

Bitcoin’s long-term trend lines suggest that the downswing isn’t over yet. The most valuable cryptocurrency has dropped more than 60% this year, but divergence analysis doesn’t portend for a positive future.

Bottom line: Not yet. Make it times two:

Certainly not yet boring, but also not yet worthwhile buying.

Sudden Flash Crash

After two months that saw Bitcoin trading relatively calmly inside a rough range of $ 6,200-$ 6,800, we had an over 10% flash crash. On November 14th, the price dropped from ~$ 6,300 to ~$ 5,500, and on the next day the leading cryptocurrency traded as low as ~$ 5,300.

This was the first time that Bitcoin traded below $ 6,000 since August, falling to its lowest level this year.

Analysts emphasized uncertainty surrounding hard fork that is scheduled to take place in bitcoin cash.

Correction Mode

Overall, the Bitcoin correction is now -73% over the past 333 days. Although the magnitude of the correction is not unusual, the tenor is.

Out of past 11 corrections that Bitcoin went through:

1. Four had a deeper correction and another one saw (more or less) the same magnitude.

2. Only one correction spanned across more days than the current correction.

Interestingly, the average time it took for Bitcoin to reach a new record high post a correction is only 216 days. While this might be an evidence that we are past due, it took no less than 1181 days for Bitcoin to set a new record post the longest correction (410 days), which is (as mentioned above) the only correction that lasted longer than the current correction we’re in.

Shrinking Market

The broader cryptocurrency market also suffered notable losses, declining from total value of $ 210B (a week ago) to $ 164B.

The combined market-cap of the 20 largest cryptocurrencies is down over $ 346 billion YTD, a decline of 68% (!) since the end of 2017.

2018 Performance

Bitcoin annual returns for 2011-2018 show that, unless we see a miraculous recovery over the next six weeks, 2018 has a good chance to become the second year (only) with a negative return.

As a matter of fact, as it stands now, 2018 might go down in history as the worst year in Bitcoin’s history.

Funny thing is that when one is looking at the 2018 YTD returns of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin doesn’t look that bad… As a matter of fact, Bitcoin is one of the better performers in the space.

Bitcoin Investment Trust

At its peak last year, the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX:GBTC) was trading at a premium to NAV of over 100%. Today that premium moved down to 5%.

The Bitcoin Investment Trust is now down over 84% from its December 2017 peak. Putting it differently, GBTC is under-performing its underlying asset.

Volatility

Even with all the noise and negative return, Bitcoin’s annualized volatility continues to trade relatively calm. Bitcoin’s rolling 30-day annualized volatility was (until Nov. 14) only 14%. That is/was an all-time low!

To put things into the right perspective, 14% is so low that recent Bitcoin volatility equals that of both stocks and oil.

Even bonds, in spite of remaining less volatile, aren’t too far off.

Bottom Line

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, it’s hard – perhaps impossible – to time things perfectly.

Therefore, much of the in-and-out swings is about guts feeling, rather a clear, coherent, analysis.

As such, what we wrote recently in an article where we explain our shift from a short-term bull (Q4/2018) to a longer-term bear (Q4/2019) seem very relevant for Bitcoin too:

Remember: Timing is everything…

Allow me to finish with two quotes – a very old one and a fresh one.

The old one is attributed to King Solomon who was most famous for his wisdom:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven – World English Bible, Ecclesiastes 3

The fresh one is from Michael Batnick, aka The Irrelevant Investor:

When you were born might be the single most important factor when determining your experience in the market. It’s also the one that is completely out of your hands. – Michael Batnick

…so is Risk Management!

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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Bitcoin gets back above $10,000 on Bitstamp, a more than two-week high
February 15, 2018 6:10 pm|Comments (0)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bitcoin rose above $ 10,000 on Thursday for the first time in more than two weeks, as investors bought back the digital currency after having fallen 70 percent from its all-time peak hit around mid-December.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin rose as high as $ 10,095.82 and was last at $ 10,060.26, up 6 percent on the day.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

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SpaceX gets U.S. regulator to back satellite internet plan
February 14, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s SpaceX, fresh off the successful launch this month of the world’s most powerful rocket, won an endorsement on Wednesday from the top U.S. communications regulator to build a broadband network using satellites.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed the approval of an application by SpaceX to provide broadband services using satellites in the United States and worldwide.

“Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach,” Pai said in a statement.

SpaceX told the FCC in a Feb. 1 letter that it plans to launch a pair of experimental satellites on one of its Falcon 9 rockets. That launch, which has been approved by the FCC, is set for Saturday in California.

The rocket will carry the PAZ satellite for Hisdesat of Madrid, Spain and multiple smaller secondary payloads.

SpaceX was not immediately available for comment.

On Feb. 6, the company launched the world’s most powerful rocket, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, from Florida. The 23-story-tall jumbo rocket carried a Tesla Inc Roadster from the assembly line of Musk’s electric car company as a mock payload

Pai said after a staff review he was urging approval for SpaceX, saying: ”it would be the first approval given to an American-based company to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies.”

Over the past year, the FCC has approved requests by OneWeb, Space Norway, and Telesat to access the U.S. market to provide broadband services using satellite technology. The FCC said the technology “holds promise to expand Internet access in remote and rural areas across the country.”

The recent approvals are the first of their kind, the FCC said, for “a new generation of large, non-geostationary satellite orbit, fixed-satellite service systems.”

The FCC “continues to process other, similar requests,” it added.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2017 that SpaceX hopes it can use revenue from a satellite-internet business to finance manned missions to Mars.

The U.S. government is working to try to bring high-speed internet access to rural areas that lack service. An FCC report released this month said the number of Americans without access to both fixed and mobile broadband fell by more than half from 72.1 million in 2012 to 34.5 million in 2014.

Approximately 14 million rural Americans and 1.2 million Americans on tribal lands lack mobile broadband even at relatively slow speeds.

Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio

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Google gets into audiobooks as rivalry with Amazon heats up
January 23, 2018 6:00 pm|Comments (0)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google introduced audiobooks to its online store on Tuesday, making its smart speakers and virtual assistant more competitive with Amazon.com Inc’s Echo devices and Alexa voice assistant.

Listening to audiobooks is among the most popular nighttime uses for smart speakers, a burgeoning type of home appliance that provides audio streams of music, news and other data based on user commands to an embedded virtual assistant.

But Google’s Home speakers have lagged Amazon Echo in terms of audiobook features. Amazon-owned Audible, the top provider of audiobooks, has not been supported on Home and other speakers with Google Assistant.

Google launching an audiobooks store widens the battle, which has also seen Google’s YouTube unit stop supporting an Amazon product.

Greg Hartrell, head of product management for Google Play Books, listed subscription-less buying as the top selling point for the new audiobooks store.

“You can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments,” he said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Audible offers one-off purchases, but promotes a $ 14.95 monthly subscription that includes one free download and 30 percent off further purchases. Amazon and Audible did not respond to requests to comment.

Google began selling ebooks in 2010. Hartrell told Reuters in a statement that audiobooks are being added because “our users are asking for them.”

About 16 percent of U.S. adults own a smart speaker, according to an Edison Research survey conducted in late 2017. The firm in conjunction with Triton Digital also found last spring that 30 percent of frequent audiobook listeners had used a smart speaker to take in an audiobook in the previous 12 months.

Audiobook sales surged nearly 20 percent annually for three consecutive years, reaching $ 2.1 billion in 2016, according to the latest Audio Publishers Assn. data.

Thad McIlroy, an online book industry consultant, said audiobooks represent the only publishing category with “strong growth” so it makes sense for Google to challenge Amazon despite having a weak ebooks business.

Google-purchased audiobooks can be accessed through Google Play Books on the web, apps for Android and iOS devices or through Google Assistant in speakers, Android smartphones and “soon” cars with Android Auto, Hartrell wrote.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Susan Thomas

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Uber vs Google: And now, the self-driving car war gets nasty
July 31, 2017 11:35 am|Comments (0)

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Even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world are at the mercy of a grade-school concept: supply and demand.

That’s how a person like Anthony Levandowski can get paid $ 120 million by Google, leave to start his own company, watch that company get acquired by Uber just months later, and then find himself barred from working on self-driving car technology by a U.S. court.

That goes to show just how important Levandowski—and other engineers like him—truly are to the arms race around self-driving cars. 

“It’s not like [you] can hire any one of the thousands or tens of thousands of people who have a particular certification,” said Nidhi Kalra, who heads the RAND Corporation’s self-driving car policy work. “They’re looking for people who are innovators in the fields of machine learning, deep learning, LIDAR design—and there aren’t a lot of those people out there.” Read more…

More about Google, Uber, Autonomous Cars, Self Driving Cars, and Waymo


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Elite trainer Chad Brown gets first Triple Crown win with Cloud Computing in Preakness
May 30, 2017 3:55 am|Comments (0)

Cloud Computing’s trainer Chad Brown celebrates with the trophy in the winner’s cirlce after the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico …
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Early Predator Gets The Worm Baby
December 10, 2016 6:00 pm|Comments (0)

In this episode of the science cartoon series “Out There,” one woman’s delightfully wholesome tableau becomes, upon closer examination, a horrific scene of horror. That’s nature for you. Cartoon by Ted Rall and Stephanie McMillan.


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Google Drive Search Gets a Natural Language Boost, More News
October 19, 2016 8:35 am|Comments (0)

Google is bringing the powerful natural language processing (NLP) technology that underlies its search engine to Google Drive. In a blog post announcing the move  this week, Josh Smith, product manager at Google Drive, described NLP as a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.

Continue reading…
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Google Drive Search Gets a Natural Language Boost, More News
October 6, 2016 4:10 pm|Comments (0)

Google is bringing the powerful natural language processing (NLP) technology that underlies its search engine to Google Drive. In a blog post announcing the move  this week, Josh Smith, product manager at Google Drive, described NLP as a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.

Continue reading…
Cloud Computing


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Google Drive Search Gets a Natural Language Boost, More News
October 6, 2016 2:55 am|Comments (0)

Google is bringing the powerful natural language processing (NLP) technology that underlies its search engine to Google Drive. In a blog post announcing the move  this week, Josh Smith, product manager at Google Drive, described NLP as a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.

Continue reading…
Cloud Computing

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