How to Trade Stocks Like the Greatest Investors in History

While we can’t guarantee that following any of the strategies listed below will get you a strong return, studying the masters is certainly a good idea when it comes to improving your own stock trading.

Below are profiled just a handful of investors, picked because their styles are all different. There are many other hugely successful investors whose strategies fall somewhere between those outlined here.

Remember: the strategies outlined here are listed for educational purposes only and are not to be considered investment advice. You must choose how to trade stocks in a way that best suits your circumstances and experience and only with a regulated Broker.

Benjamin Graham

No list of classic investors would be complete without Benjamin Graham, who is widely considered the father of security analysis and value investing.

His book The Intelligent Investor is considered one of the greatest books on investing of all time.

Graham’s approach, as you might expect from the founder of value investing, was to find stocks whose prices much lower than the underlying fundamentals of the issuing company suggested they should be. He would look closely at a company’s books, finding those with strong balance sheets, above-average profit, solid cash flow, or little debt.

He identified stocks that were undervalued given the strength of the company to which they belonged and profited when the wider market cottoned on. You can easily do the same kind of analysis as Graham in order to find overlooked stocks.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is a disciple of Benjamin Graham, so much of his investment strategy is the same.

A particularly interesting part of Buffett’s investment strategy that warrants mentioning it is ‘circle of competence’. Buffett only invests in companies that he has a very strong understanding of. Everyone has a circle of competence – it is what you have a wealth of knowledge about. Your circle doesn’t have to be very big, and it can grow over time as you acquire new skills and expertise.

Put simply, if you have a strong interest in cars, it makes more sense to invest in General Motors than it does BNP Paribas.

No matter how attractive a certain stock may be at any given moment, Buffett will not invest in it unless it falls within his circle.

Philip Fisher

Philip Fisher is perhaps the best-known of the buy-and-hold investors. His book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits was the first investment book to become a New York Times bestseller, and his wisdom holds true today.

Fisher was a growth investor, who believed in carefully researching the fundamentals of a company to identify potential for growth and sticking with the stock through thick and thin. He bought Motorola shares in 1955 and famously still held them when he died in 2004. His approach to investing was incredibly intensive and involved questioning numerous people related to the company and industry in which he was considering purchasing stock.

He believed in the quality of a company’s management was one of the greatest assets a business could have, and would not buy stock in a company with a poor or mediocre management team.

While this approach is likely to be too much effort for all but the most hard-core traders, there are still plenty of ways his approach can still be applied today.

Fisher held some contrarian views to the wider markets. For instance, he did not like stocks that paid dividends, as in his mind this was capital that could be better used to fuel growth. He also knew that a company may have a low operating profit because it was committed to growth, rather than because its sales were poor.

John Templeton

John Templeton is known as one of the world’s greatest contrarian investors, meaning he often went against the market, sometimes buying stocks that no other investor would dare touch. For example, when other investors started selling stocks heavily at the outbreak of the Second World War, Templeton borrowed money in order to take positions in over a hundred US companies. Out of all the shares he bought, only four companies failed to return him a profit.

He later avoided tech stocks altogether during the boom of the late 90s, instead of buying into commodities, and was rewarded with handsome profits when Asian markets recovered and commodity demand picked up, while those who had bought tech stocks famously lost out when the Dotcom Bubble burst.

In 1939 Templeton spent $10,400 buying $100 worth of every stock trading below $1 per share in the New York and American stock exchanges. An amazing 34 of these companies were bankrupt at the time he purchased their shares, yet after four years he sold the whole lot for nearly quadruple his initial capital outlay.

Templeton’s investment style was to focus on value stocks, similar to Benjamin Graham, except that he pushed this further, seeking out stocks that had been deliberately neglected by the markets rather than simply overlooked. Often this was because the companies were sending out distress signals, such as bankruptcy.

If you want to be a contrarian you must know what you’re doing. It’s no use just going against the market for the sake of it; you need an understanding of what is driving the markets, and a good argument for why you think other investors are wrong in the way that they are stock trading.

Peter Lynch

One of the most successful fund managers of his time, Lynch has been described by many as a ‘chameleon’, as he never had a fixed investment style, but adapted his strategy depending upon what worked at the time.

Although at first glance it may seem like his strategy was therefore to have no strategy, he still stuck to his areas of expertise, and never got involved in something he didn’t understand. That latter point is important, as a lack of understanding is one of the key reasons why inexperienced investors often lose big money when they first start trading.

It may be that one of these investment styles already resonates with you. Some of these investors adhered firmly to one style of investment, such as Benjamin Graham who was staunchly a value investor, while others had a more mixed approach, or no fixed approach at all, like Peter Lynch.

Having an investment philosophy comes down to how you view the stock market, what you believe about the way businesses and the economy work, and whether you like risk or try to avoid it.

The strategies here are only presented as information and inspiration, and may not necessarily be right for your circumstances. There are still many good nuggets of wisdom to be found, even in strategies that go against your own personal approach or preferences.

Will the USD/CAD Bulls Hold Their Nerve?

Any signs of recovery were hammered on July 20 when the pairing fell 140 pips on news that Canada’s May retail sales had shot up 2%, rather than the forecast 1.1%. Recent comments by US President Donald Trump about his disdain for domestic interest rate hikes have also put pressure on the US Dollar.

But are we seeing an end to the USD/CAD upward momentum, or is this simply a slight pullback before the chart begins moving north again? The answer will likely be determined more by what Mr. Trump and the US is doing, rather than anything happening in Canada. That’s not a dig at Canada, more a reflection of the importance of the US dollar to all world markets.

The Canadian dollar, steady as she goes

The Canadians are widely seen as being dependable folk, and their currency is also regarded as one of the world’s most stable, traded by long-term investors and intraday traders in large numbers. Interest has increased locally because residents now benefit from using brokers with $1 million protection offered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which pays out if a broker goes belly up.

Because the Canadian dollar is the fifth most commonly held currency, it usually does not show the sort of hair-raising price volatility that befalls smaller currencies. But that’s not to say traders can’t take advantage. Intraday corrections come thick and fast on the back of regular scheduled economic news announcements, just like the Retail Sales one on Friday, July 20. This is a monthly statistic, along with Labour Force Survey (Canada’s employment figures), Consumer Price Index and Industrial Price Index. Traders also eagerly await the quarterly Gross Domestic Product figures.

But it’s commodity prices that have a huge impact on the Canadian dollar. The country relies heavily on its natural resources of oil, lumber and natural gas, and exports much of this abroad. This means that not only is foreign demand a pressure factor, but also the price of crude oil itself. When the price of crude slumped from US$105 to US$45 in 2014/15, Canada’s economy took a hit, sending it into a downturn for the first time in years. It’s often said that commodity prices, especially oil, have a greater influence on the Canadian dollar than economic news, and it’s no great surprise given the country’s reliance on its natural resources. Oil prices rise since the beginning of 2018 which helped the Canadain dollar to remain strong versus the greenback and other currencies. As long as oil prices rise, the Canadian dollar might be a correct position.

For the long-term investor, most of these volatility factors (economic news and the price of crude oil, for example) can be exploited by riding on the back of a long-term trend. But as we’ve seen, in a currency pairing like USD/CAD it takes two to tango. And when you’re dance partner is the US, it tends to take the lead.

USD volatility, the Trump effect

The US dollar is subject to volatility like any other currency, with changes to supply and demand, commodity prices and regular economic data all pushing or pulling the price up or down. As the most traded currency in the world, second-guessing which way the USD will go has become an art form. But now there is a new factor influencing the currency’s fortunes, and it’s one that is becoming rather hard to predict.

Step forward Donald Trump, the US President whose habit of speaking his mind often has ripple effects in the markets. While his imposition of trade tariffs with the European Union, Canada and China buoyed sentiment, the currency dropped when he openly questioned the Fed’s policy of interest rate hikes, suggesting it was keeping the dollar too high. Mr. Trump wants a lower dollar, making it cheaper for the US to do business abroad. And if there’s one thing we’ve come to learn about Mr. Trump, it’s that he likes to get what he wants.

USD/CAD long or short?

With all this variance and the unpredictability of looming trade wars, Brexit and maybe a currency war, too, how can you call what the future movement of the USD/CAD pairing will be? You can certainly look at our own financial market forecasts and analysis, but your willingness to jump in might be influenced by your desire to try to cash in on short-term movements or to hang in there for the long term.

As we’ve seen, the long-term trend for USD/CAD is bullish. The USD has been consistently strong, while the Canadian dollar less so. If you believe Mr. Trump won’t have any influence on the Federal Reserve’s decision making on interest rates, which he really shouldn’t as its meant to be impartial to political interference, then interest rates will continue on an upward curve, which in turn will keep the US dollar high. However, even Mr. Trump talking about interest rates has brought a dollar price correction, and any hint that the Fed might actually shift policy might make the dollar price fall further.

What is clear is that the Canadian economy is going through a purple patch. While retail sales are up, so too is inflation, with the figure at a six-year high of 2.5% in June, fuelled by increasing gas costs. What that means is the possibility of another increase in interest rates, which would drive up the Canadian dollar, and potentially drive down the USD/CAD, but only if the US dollar continues to weaken.

So, with all things considered, and without a crystal ball to give you the answer, the best bet might well be to follow the long-term trend and go long on USD/CAD. But intraday traders can lick their lips at short-term volatility, so long as they’re on the right side of any correction. Following Mr. Trump on Twitter now seems as important as watching out for key financial news, and it’s probably a lot more entertaining.

RoboForex to Add EOS to Its Portfolio

RoboForex announced today adding EOS, a cryptocurrency which is now available for trading with the broker on both MT4 and MT5 platforms. Currently, RoboForex clients have 7 crypto instruments to choose from.

RoboForex keeps expanding its crypto portfolio. The latest addition is EOSUSD, which is already available to the clients through MT4 and MT5, alongside with six other crypto pairs: BTCUSD, ETHUSD, BCHUSD, DSHUSD, LTCUSD, and XRPUSD. The EOSUSD trading conditions are the following: minimum lot size: 100, minimum increment: 0.01, leverage 5:1.

EOS is a cryptocurrency that was introduced in 2017 and is based on blockchain and smart contracts. Its key features are scalability, decentralized apps, and huge throughput (a few million transactions per second).

‘This is another step towards developing our crypto portfolio’, says Denis Golomedov, Marketing Director at RoboForex. ‘Our clients do value the flexibility and state of the art technologies we offer them As for us, our mission is meeting their expectations and constantly improving the trading conditions by opening the door to new instruments and opportunities.’

About RoboForex

RoboForex is a brokerage company catering to clients from various countries. The broker’s focus is on providing the traders with access to its own financial market platforms. RoboForex Ltd is a licensed company (License No. IFSC/60/271/TS/17). To learn more about RoboForex, please go to 

Media contacts

  • Timofey Zuev, Head of PR at RoboForex
  • E-mail/Skype:

Neluns is the next step in the financial ecosystems evolution

The bank side of the system will support operations with crypto and fiat currencies and will have a built-in currency exchange module. The system is likely to create the most favorable conditions for the further evolution and increased maturity of the cryptocurrency market.

Ecosystem Key features


The Neluns ecosystem includes:

  • Neluns Bank is the next generation bank supporting most of the core retail bank features for fiat money and cryptocurrencies.
  • Neluns Exchange is built on the cutting edge technology facilitating the improved accessibility of the secure and fast cryptocurrency trade operations.
  • Neluns Insurance company insures all the transactions and trades within the ecosystem.

Users have access to the following functionality within the Neluns ecosystem:

  • Trade cryptocurrencies with a few clicks
  • Exchange cryptocurrencies
  • Fast deposits and withdrawal to/from the system from around the globe
  • Option to open an IBAN Account that supports multicurrency (private or corporate)
  • Issue debit and credit cards from major card issuers Visa, MC, Amex
  • Promptly send and receive international money transfers
  • Earn more interest on your money in the Neluns savings accounts in fiat or cryptocurrencies
  • Receive loans from Neluns in fiat and cryptocurrencies
  • P2P (Peer-to-peer) Landing Platform allows earning interest on lending to other users
  • Draw profits from the NLS tokens trading on the cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Trades insurance is available and can be enabled for select or all transactions
  • Get dividends
  • Lowered risk levels and extra profits are open for the active market participants

Neluns Bank offers a broad range of services to private and corporate customers. The transactions are executed in fiat and crypto money. Once a multicurrency account is open users are able to carry out transactions in USD, EUR, GBR and cryptocurrencies. There’s an option to issue a bank card for the multicurrency account.  

There are 4 types of bank cards and respective software products available: Lite, Silver, Gold and Platinum.


Making purchases, sending payments, trading cryptocurrencies and fund withdrawals are available from any ATM around the globe 24×7.

Users can obtain loans in fiat or crypto money from the system as well as earn interest on the savings account in the system. All savings accounts are FDIC (The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insured. The P2P fiat and cryptocurrency lending platform will be developed and it will serve as a base of Neluns Bank. Users will be able to extend and obtain loans to/from other users.

Neluns Exchange is based on the bank guarantee principles allowing us to create the new high quality cryptocurrency exchange. These principles combined with the cutting edge technology are the pillars of the system supporting easy fund withdrawals, cyber security threats protection, high availability and peak loads resistance. The system is expected to offer both best user experience for cryptocurrency traders and great deals on savings account interest rates.

There will be apps created for iOS and Android to make sure that the bank and exchange operations are available on the go from mobile devices.  24×7 technical support service will be launched to address any challenges users face.



The project will be run in accordance with respective government regulations and all applicable legal frameworks to minimize the risks and facilitate the successful project execution.  Neluns Bank is in the process of obtaining a banking business license. Neluns Bank will adhere to all respective licensing, regulatory and supervisory requirements that are applicable for the regulated banks.  Neluns Exchange will be regulated as per CFTC (U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission) and SEC (U.S Securities and Exchange Commission) licensing requirements.

Main ICO Facts

NLS token is ERC20 token (public Ethereum blockchain). It is a security token with 50% dividends payout based on the Neluns ecosystem performance (the bank, the exchange, the insurance company).

Dividends are paid out on a quarterly basis.

Dividends payout formula is based of the number of tokens one holds vs. the total number of tokens.

NLS token holders who use the Neluns ecosystem products enjoy additional advantages. The more tokens are held the greater bonuses and privileges are provided.

  • NLS Token supply – 200M
  • Token price – $1

In 15 days after the first round of ICO starts Form D (an official notification of ICO start) will be submitted to SEC (U.S Securities and Exchange Commission).

ICO stages (rounds)


Hard Cap – $2.000.000

Soft Cap – $500.000

1 stage (round), pre-sale, stage (round) length 14 days, from 08-01-2018 to 08-15-2018.

bonus 30%

extra-bonus 40% investment of more than 1 ETH in one transaction

extra-bonus 50% investment of more than 10 ETH in one transaction


Hard Cap – $10.000.000

Soft Cap – $2.000.000

2 stage (round), pre-ICO, stage (round) length 21 days, from 08-15-2018 to 09-05-2018.

bonus 20%

extra-bonus 30% investment of more than 1 ETH in one transaction  

extra-bonus 35% investment of more than 10 ETH in one transaction


Hard Cap – $112.000.000

Soft Cap – $10.000.000

3 stage (round), ICO, stage (round) length 31 days, from 09-05-2018 to 10-05-2018

bonus 10%

extra-bonus 20% investment of more than 1 ETH in one transaction

extra-bonus 25% investment of more than 10 ETH in one transaction

Projects Website:

White Paper:


3 Common Forex Mistakes Beginners Should Avoid at all Costs

Choosing the Wrong Platform

Choosing the right forex trading platform is essential if you want to get to a good start. A good platform should provide good educational resources, access to news and a variety of trading signals. They should also allow you to trade exotic pairs since some brokers can be very limited as to which pairs you can actually trade. You should also know how they’re charging you for trades, what their withdrawal and deposit conditions are, and how good the customer service and actual platform is.

Risking Too Much

One of the most fundamental mistakes newcomers make is risking too much and getting struck by FOMO, or the fear of missing out. They see a trade they could’ve got in and think about how much they would have gained instead of thinking of how much they could’ve lost.

You should make sure that you only trade what you can afford to lose, and this can be different for everyone, but a good rule of thumb is to not spend more than 2% of your total available capital on any trade. While it may seem small at first, it’s the only sure-fire way to limit how much you could eventually lose.

Just look at it this way, if you end up losing 50% of your capital on a losing trade, you’ll need to double your money on your next trade just to break even. That’s just not sustainable, especially if you’re just getting started. Another advantage of only investing small sums is that you’ll be able to stay calm and not lose your cool if you’re in an initially losing trade. That will prevent you from closing positions too early out of panic since you won’t be afraid to lose whatever you put in.

Ignoring Longer Time Frames

Too many new forex traders come in with a day trading mentality and get sucked into short term 1 minute or 5 minute charts. But sometimes, clear uptrends can only be seen on daily, four hourly, or hourly charts. The longer the trend is, the stronger it will usually be. A dip on a 5-minute chart will never be long enough to give you the clear picture on a trend. While some traders do good on short term trades, they require a lot more discipline than long term ones. There’s also much more chance that there will be interference or noise since companies and big institution players use the market as well.

The foreign exchange market can be very lucrative if you know what you’re doing but it is not as easy as many would make you think. Make sure that you do your homework and know everything there is to know about the market before you consider going in.

EightCap Launches MT5 and Cryptocurrencies for Traders Worldwide

EightCap clients have been utilizing MetaTrader 4 previously but will now have the ability to choose their desired MetaTrader platform. The benefits of MT5 include improved mobile and desktop applications as well as access to a web trader for clients wanting to trade via their web browser.

EightCap traders will now also have access to 38 technical indicators, 21 timeframes, additional supported markets and a new economic calendar via the platform.

Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ripple, and Bitcoin have all been added to the new platform extending EightCap’s total trading instrument list to over 60 products.

To support these recent improvements to their product offering, EightCap has also expanded its client services and technology teams to ensure it can continue to offer cutting-edge services to its clients.

What’s next at EightCap?

FXEmpire can announce that further exciting changes are coming for this Australian broker with additional products not far off. EightCap has been expanding its reach around the globe with European and Asian traders joining its Australian client mix.

Traders are able to access EightCap’s flexible leverage options with the ability to trade up to 1:500 on both MetaTrader 4 & 5.

About EightCap

Launching in Australia in 2009, EightCap is an ASIC regulated broker providing global clients with access to a wide range of Forex and CFD products. It provides prices from top-tier liquidity providers and spreads as low as 0.0 pips to international clients. The company currently offers access to more than 60 financial instruments including global indices, metals, and oil, major and minor currency pairs.

Points (PTS) Raises $8M for Blockchain Data Sharing Protocol, Tackling Problem of 1.7 Billion Unbanked People

Points (PTS), the first truly scalable blockchain data collaboration protocol, is announcing $8 million in seed funding from investors including DHVC, Cherubic Ventures, Ce Yuan, Ontology Foundation, Nest. Bio Ventures, and China Chengxin Credit. The funds will go toward further expanding the team and securing new partnerships while continuing to build out its protocol.

“With the support of our VCs and partners, we’re excited to be able to launch the first and most accurate market-ready blockchain-based credit network,” said Sarah Zhang, Founder of Points.

Co-founded Sarah Zhang, who previously was the COO at Ninebot/Segway and Kate Shen, a former Hulu and Microsoft program manager, the first product developed from the protocol is a blockchain-based credit scoring platform. The company says that this protocol is aimed at providing highly accurate credit scores, which ultimately will give underrepresented banking customers – namely the unbanked – with more favorable financial products.

How this works is that the protocol enables multiple trustless institutions to share sensitive data, including names or social security numbers) with each other, but don’t risk having their data exposed to their competitors, even if they’re all plugged into Points. As a result, with more data shared through Points, combined with its AI capabilities, the more accurate the credit scores become and the more favorable banking products that institutions are able to provide to their customers. Ultimately this can mean favorable loans or other financial products for the 1.7 billion unbanked population. In return for the institutions sharing their data, Points offers an incentive through the compensation of PTS tokens.

“Our vision is to serve the underrepresented community, and with blockchain as a core technology for Points, we’re able to incentivize partners to participate in risk-free data sharing, which combined with AI, means truly accurate credit scores,” said Zhang.

Although the company sees itself competing with traditional banks and institutions, what’s sets itself apart is that Points has managed to achieve a market-ready protocol that can handle up to 10,000 transactions per second, while being able to analyze and output a result in under one second – a requirement for the company to be immediately deployable to its institutional partners in China.

To fulfill the need for data, Points is partnered with Chengxin Credit and Teleinfo, owned by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, giving Points access to 500 million credit profiles and one billion identity profiles.

“Among the few practical use cases for blockchain technology, Points has demonstrated a groundbreaking solution with its data collaboration protocol that can contribute to a solution for the world’s credit problems for the unbanked, but this is just the beginning,” said Bin Zhang, CEO and Chairman of the Board at China Cheng Xin International Credit Rating and advisor of Points. “We’re excited to be partnered with and invested in this cause.”

“Blockchain Could Be Recognized as Even More Important than the Internet”

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain are now part of history, perhaps representing the end of the financial and social system as we know it. However, it seems that only a few understand the deep foundations of cryptocurrencies, the technology behind them, the way they work and where they are heading to. We have collected the thoughts of Marco Amadori, an expert on blockchain, bitcoin, ICO’s and cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain has been compared to other major inventions such as the electricity and the internet. How significant is the Blockchain technology in relation to other inventions?

“It is an answer that will be given clearly only in a few years. Looking at it retrospectively, there are many similarities between the past and our days, often highlighted by commentators, in various innovations regarding the coldness which they were accepted by contemporaries and by the media of the time. Remaining on the “electricity” example, you can find images of old newspapers that showed drawings of burned houses by those fools who “dared to play with the power of lightning in the home”. Obviously, it is not enough to not -understand technology in order to be revolutionary.

A few months ago it was fashionable to call it The Internet of Money. If we think about it, it’s simple and it fits. The internet can also be described as “a decentralized system of communication of information that can not be censored globally”, while Bitcoin is “a decentralized system of communication of uncensored value on a global level”.

From these cases of the past, it is easier to describe an ecosystem of startups that develop above (and around) Bitcoin as in the early nineties there was an ecosystem of startups and companies that developed above (and around) the Internet.

So the comparison is not exaggerated, perhaps a little premature, but with an incredible potential.

While the final judgment remains premature, given all this range of enabling technologies, we could say that this innovation could one day be recognized as even more important than the Internet.”

There are many nations that integrate the Blockchain technology into the financial sector and banks (private banks and central banks). So far, what has been done to implement the blockchain technology in the Italian Financial sector?

“Speaking of nations I would say that at the political level very little has been done properly in Italy, we have seen timid consultations at the national level; However, the Autonomous Province of Trento stands out.

In 2017, it approved a proposal to promote the use of Bitcoin in the province, taking note of the phenomenon already underway that has transformed those areas into the Italian Bitcoin Valley. The banks have been interested in various ways, some have invested in internal training, to understand its potential and threats, while some invested also in private consortia, such as R3CEV, which take some concepts of Bitcoin but present them in a more engaging way.”

The Next Step in the Blockchain Evolution and Cryptocurrencies

Given the fall in Bitcoin’s price since the beginning of 2018, the future of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology is a hot topic. There are those who believe that cryptocurrencies are still a bubble and those who claim that they have become the next means of global payment. The blockchain, however, seems to be, in the unanimous opinion, a revolutionary technology that will remain part of the future.

What is the next step in the evolution of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology and ICO’s?

“Level 2 of the blockchain, known as Lightning Network or more simply as “off-chain systems”, that is, they do not write on Blockchain. Blockchains do not scale, they are slow and expensive; this is the price of non-censurability, reliability and open access security; so you have to use clever methods. The inheritance of trustlessness “on-chain” is inherited from below and moving correctly, with versatile and innovative cryptographic tools and sensible incentives for game
theory, to bring it “up” to more applicative layers.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, similar to the Internet, have also “low” logical layers such as the home ADSL connection, and higher logical layers, such as the HTTPS protocol, which we use to surf the Internet (or rather, use our “browser” to an even higher level of abstraction”).

The ICOs on digital platforms are easy to use but even simpler to exogenous problems to those who deal with a specific ICO (crypto kitties anyone?). Those ICO’s will migrate to off-chain tokens over Bitcoin, for added security and scalability.”

What are the major disadvantages of Blockchain as well as cryptocurrencies compare to the current system?

“Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are still in the early stage of their growth. We did not experience them for decades as a society, so we have not “internalized” them yet. The main flaw is that even before Bitcoin the world was not “ready” for digital security, users use silly passwords and insecure systems, now Bitcoin raises the bar because even before it was true that “data is money”, now it is also the opposite “money is data”, so the main risks are human experience with the digital medium.”

Legislation and Security

Governments in various countries of the world have begun to ask how to regulate the use of virtual currencies, how to guarantee savers against the associated financial risks, how to succeed in imposing fair taxation and how to apply anti-money laundering regulations.

The first laws are being enacted but it’s not easy to achieve the objectives of security, transparency, and fairness that governments must achieve.

What is your advice for the ICO industry to become legit and gain people’s trust?

“The technology is already good as it is, however, I also find that it’s right not to trust ICO’s as the ecosystem has yet to overcome the “baptism of fire” and investors cannot be protected without proper use cases.

In reality, a “hybrid” system between regulated ICO’s and IPO’s could be useful to allow regulated entities to have access to additional liquidity on secondary markets. It makes no sense, for now, to have both an investment tool for anonymous people around the globe but is recognized by institutional investors.”

The broad public is not yet familiar with the blockchain technology. How do you believe it should part of the common knowledge? Should it be thought in universities or perhaps at a younger education level?  

It would be a good idea. For now, however, the subject is unknown both in the private sector, in universities, and in research institutes. We have a superficial knowledge of theoretical nature and certainly insufficient from the practical point of view.

There is a large information asymmetry even within the industry ecosystem, there are very few real experts who practice and study and a flood of sellers of magic remedies based on rattlesnake oil; this is one of the reasons why inbitcoin and some other entrepreneurs from Pordenone founded Bcademy, a company selling training made by those who really use the technology to provide higher and working education both to  developers, accountants lawyers, and managers.

Best Deals – Amazon Prime Day

The Amazon prime day starts today, and it’s a big day for online shoppers. The 36 hours of sale starts today, July 16, at 3 pm ET. 17 countries will be part of this massive sale which includes the US, UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, India, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canda, Belgium, Austria and the new joiners that include the Netherlands, Singapore, Australia, and Luxemburg.

So, the big question, what can you buy on Amazon Prime day and what are the best deals?

The Echo Products

Those products are part of Amazon own devices and will be offered at their lowest prices. The Echo show will be offered at $129, $100 discount from its original price. The Echo Dot (2nd generation) will cost $15 less than its price of $29. On Prime day, all the Echo spot products are offered at a subsequential discount.

Fire Products

The Fire products are also part of Amazon devices and for those who had any intention to buy these products, the prime day is a great opportunity. The Fire TV stick – $19.99 ($20 off), Fire 7 Tablet – $29.99 ($20 off), Fire TV Cube – $199.99, ($40 off), Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet – $299.99 ($100 off).

TV Best Deals

Amazon offers the TCL 49-inch 4K Smart Roku for $399.99 ($200 off), and the TCL 55-inch 4K Roku Smart TV for $584 ($215 off).

You can also purchase the Toshiba 43-inch 4K Smart TV for $329.

Mobile and SmartPhones

Amazon offers the Moto G6 on Prime day for $259.99 ($100 off). The Huawei Mate 10 Pro will cost $500 on Prime day, a discount of $85.

Amazon will also offer mobile accessories at low-cost compared to its regular prices.

Home Accessories Products

Amazon Prime day is not only about tech products but also home and accessories, all of those small things we need.

The Ultimate Ears WonderBoom Bluetooth speaker will cost $49.99 ($50 off), the Gtech Pro Bagged Cordless vacuum cleaner which on a normal day cost $275.98, on Prime day will be sold for $149.

The Oral B Genius Cross action Electric, $79.99 ($62 off). The Belkin 12 Port Surge Protector for $15.19 ($36 off).

What Do You need to Shop on Prime Day?

Obviously, you need to be an Amazon Prime member, it’s not a complicated process but we recommend to do it before the sale starts. The prime rate annual fee is $119 but Amazon also provides you with a free trial.

Why Banks and Fintech Firms Should Team Up Rather Than Compete With Each Other

Traditional banks all over the world have always been part of a legacy industry that still follows age-old practices and techniques. With digital disruption becoming commonplace in every industry vertical today, it was only a matter of time before banks were forced to clean up their acts.

Findings from the Global Fintech Report 2017 suggest that almost 90% of global banks are concerned about losing revenue to Fintech firms.

In fact, these financial innovators are growing in such a fast-paced and profound manner that the global Fintech industry is currently valued at USD867 billion. Some of the main drivers of this growth include technological advancements, regional regulatory oversights, and increased customer demand for better banking processes.

While the numbers quoted until now suggest that banks do have something to worry about, truth is that traditional financial institutions continue to be widely used and profitable. However, this doesn’t mean that the existing banking network isn’t flawed.

What are the Two Main Challenges That Banks Currently Face?

Firstly, banks are bound by a number of regulations and pre-determined processes that have been in place for quite a while. Although these processes may have worked to date, they do restrict banks from adopting new ways and innovations.

In addition, a majority of banks aren’t very flexible when it comes to offering solutions that are more user-friendly or convenient.

How Financial Technology Companies and Banks can Help Each Other

For starters, here’s a big reason why Fintech is trending – almost half the people who use digital services for finances do so because of easier access to a wider range of products while having a seamless online experience.

Financial technology firms also use new ideas, agile infrastructure, and cutting-edge analytics to reinvent current banking processes for increased efficiency and convenience. This facet of Fintech is particularly useful as most banks have a huge network of loyal customers, plenty of resources, and a good hold over existing regulatory policies.

To begin with, Fintech firms have better and quicker access to a large amount of data. Consequently, they happen to be more nimble in the way they work. In such a situation, if a bank partners up with the right Fintech company, it can get up-to-date knowledge about existing as well as potential customers.

Armed with the latest information, banks can now tailor their products to be in line with their customers’ expectations. It can also determine what products add value and improve them while doing away with those products that no longer cut it.

Secondly, banks can become more flexible in the way they approach any financial service. With the backing of a Fintech firm, banks can implement disruptive solutions that are more user-friendly in nature. These solutions can also be focused on underserved customers.

Thirdly, back-end banking processes that take an eternity and consume plenty of resources can be finished in double-quick time with the help of financial technology. Fintech firms also have much to gain by partnering with a traditional banking institution. Banks offer the financial stability that’s much needed for any technology start-up.

With a sufficient amount of support, Fintech firms can continue doing what they do best – coming up with new, innovative, and disruptive digital solutions to existing problems. These firms can also gain access to new market segments with the right banking partner.

With robo advisors and virtual assistants being a big part of the financial services industry, it’s pretty much clear that digital revolution is well underway. Truth is that financial technology does have the power and the potential to undermine the role and relevance of traditional banks.

However, it also has the potential to help banks come up with better, quicker, and more economical working processes as well as new business models to make them more competitive in the long run.

Weekly Market Outlook: 16-22 July 2018

Is Trade War Really A Good Thing For The US?

The uncertainty surrounding the trade war between the U.S. and China has eased recently after the two world largest economies have signaled their intention to sit at the negotiation table. In addition, investors also started to realize that the effects of tariffs have substantially exaggerated.

In the FX market, the US dollar benefited the most of the improvement in risk sentiment. Surprisingly, safe haven currencies resisted quite well, which suggests that investors are not completely at ease yet. Indeed, even though the first batch of tariffs has already come into force, it will take some time before we can see effects on the economy. For now, the quick escalation of tensions doesn’t necessarily mean we are going for a full trade war but rather a way to flex muscles in anticipation of upcoming negotiation.

Nevertheless, there is a big chance that certain of those tariffs remain in pace after the negotiations. The Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, said he believes the US economy is “ in a good place ” right now but warned that escalation in tariffs between the US and its main trading partners could darken the picture. Indeed, the implementation of protectionist measures could have significant effects on inflation, investment and economic growth. The implementation of tariffs would be a double whammy as it could add upside pressure on inflation in the medium to long-term, while at the same time it will have a negative effect on growth, which would ultimately force the Fed hike rate less aggressively – if not put the tightening on pause for some time.

All in all, we believe that tariffs could prevent the Fed to continue its tightening cycle as planned, or even worse, it could push inflation higher while at the same time dampen economic growth. The latter scenario would be the worst possible scenario, as the Fed would have to bring down inflation by increasing the short-term rate, which would ultimately affect negatively economic growth.

At the moment, market participants remain cautious as emerging market assets have been dismissed by most investors. Developed markets’ equities ended last week slightly higher. Looking at the big picture, both the FX and the equity market remain range bound.

Are US Tariffs Effective?

As the two largest economies continue to implement punitive commercial actions and the Chinese economy arrives at the edge of its possible tariff retaliatory measures (China’s imports from the US accounted for USD 150 billion in 2017), trade surplus records are occurring in June.

Indeed, with a trade surplus estimated at USD 41.61 billion in June, its highest rate since the beginning of 2018, exports slightly higher (+3.10%) and imports substantially lower (+6%; prior: +15.60%), the Chinese economy lies in good conditions at first sight. The surplus with the US widens, estimated at USD 28.97 billion and highest since 1999 periods.

In fact, despite the evidence that US importers are inclined to squeeze their margins in order to satisfy the demand, Chinese exports remain in relative terms mostly oriented in Asia (approx. 46% in 2017) while the US, though it remains the largest trade partner, accounts for 29% of total exports. This suggests that the fate of Chinese economic growth will not be primarily bound to its exporting industry (e.g. manufacturing), but rather to its domestic demand. Since the credit risk from households and non-financial firms remains a major topic in the country and the government recently implemented stricter regulations to that regard, private consumption boost is expected to slow down, thus causing a slackening in Chinese growth.

Partially contributing to the decline of the CNY, the People’s Bank of China is most probably planning to maintain monetary policy conditions loose for the time being, thus causing a depreciation on the CNY. USD/ CNY trades at 6.6902 (year-to-date: +3%), currently trading at August 2017 range and expected to head along 6.70 in the short-term. Our year-end target lies along 6.80 for the pair.

Political Turmoil Takes The Ascendant Over Soft Eco Data

After a difficult week start for the British government, things seemed to stabilize at first sight. The departure of both David Davis, former Brexit Minister, and Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, already had a great deal of media coverage, pushing the cable below the 1.32 range, as worries of political disorder escalated to finally end up on a positive mark… At least until Trump’s frontal criticism of Prime Minister May Brexit plan during the end of the week.

Indeed, it appears that May’s government, composed mostly of soft Brexit supporters, will have the opportunity to negotiate with their EU partners smoothly and without having to count on disruptive tactics from both exiting Brexiteers colleagues. Furthermore, Brexit moderates from Conservative and Labour parties remain the absolute majority within the UK parliament and will, therefore, remain supportive towards that effort.

Nevertheless, the impact of further decline is lively. Despite a smooth assimilation on the side of the UK parliamentarians and the EU with regard to the White Paper plan published on Thursday 12. July 2018, and which was considered as the most important document after Brexit June 2016 referendum, May is not having respite.

Trump’s visit in the UK gives PM May some hard time, as the US President Interview with the Sun constitute a big impediment for political stability (despite Trump’s “ fake news” claim). Trump’s threat of canceling the awaited bilateral trade deal with the UK, if no hard Brexit is implemented, remains a shock for Ministers, which were counting on this key piece for supporting the transition process. Additionally, by affirming that Boris Johnson, former Foreign Secretary, and advocate of a hard Brexit transition, would make a great PM, Trump is making a serious affront to the current UK government.

Accordingly, the GBP got smashed on Friday trading session, and positive economic data figures during the week went ignored. For instance, month-to-month May GDP data written at +0.30% (prior: 0.20%), the decline in May trade balance deficit, as well as the monthly manufacturing production recovery, which signal an acceleration in economic activities, appear to be not considered by investors.

GBP/USD direction is indistinct but headwinds currently prevail. A new round of talks with the EU starting next week could change the tendency. Accordingly, we would expect the pair to remain below the 1.32 range until then.

African Consumer

Why? The leading business opportunity in Africa is the  continent’s rapidly expanding consumer market. Africa’s burgeoning consumer markets offer huge untapped potential for uniquely placed companies. With its rapidly expanding middle class, the continent is home to 1.1 billion people and will account for 20% of the global population by 2025. Well known barriers like political instability, diverse consumer behavior and poor infrastructure have delayed growth in consumer product-based companies. However, with the working-age population growing at 2.7% a year (the fastest rate of anywhere in the world), it is estimated that two- thirds of the projected 303 million African households will have discretionary income. With an average growth rate of 6%, Africa Co. is about to experience a massive explosion of its consumer pool. Furthermore, African consumers are young, willing to spend, and seeking to elevate their personal lifestyle by using new products. Demand for food and beverages will drive growth in consumption in a pattern similar to that seen in other emerging nations such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.

What? This Theme focuses on consumer demand in the food and beverage industry across the whole of the African continent. We target companies focused on the fastest-growing urban centers and rising per capita income.

Takeaways: In spite of serious challenges, inventive companies have been able to make Africa a success story. With the fastest projected growth rate of anywhere in the world, demand for consumer staples will continue to expand. For those companies uniquely positioned to tackle local challenges, a massive opportunity awaits.

The African Consumer

The African Consumer Certificate is available for trading at Swissquote.

US President Trump Tells UK PM May to Sue the EU

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has revealed on BBC interview that US president Donald Trump advised her to sue the EU. May added: “What the president also said at that press conference was ‘Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

President Trump has spent the last days in Europe where he attended a NATO meeting before traveling to the UK. He left Brussels with the commitment of NATO members to meet their agreed 2% spending target. Reports from the meeting suggested that he threatened to pull the US out of NATO if this wasn’t agreed which led to a knee-jerk selloff in markets at around 08:55 GMT yesterday.

He conducted an interview with the Sun newspaper in the UK where he is reported to have said that May’s plan for a softer Brexit “will probably kill” any future trade deal with the US. He said that PM May ignored his advice for a hard Brexit and that Boris Johnson would make a great PM.

GBPUSD has sold off since the comments were reported, falling to a low of 1.31641 but finished the week higher at 1.3236. The Brexit White Paper released on Thursday created little movement in markets. Next week will be important for GBP with economic data being released which will impact the BOE August rate decision, a key driver of direction in the currency.

The American President will travel to Helsinki, Finland to meet the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Should I Invest in Cryptocurrencies?

Is investing in cryptocurrency safe? Legal? Financially sound?

As the financial world becomes more and more dependent on digitization and data analysis, information sharing has developed as a way to not only relay communications but to quantify value and transfer currency. Decentralized currencies provide a new way of looking at money and controlling your financial future, without interference from traditional banks or financial institutions.

Decentralized Currencies vs. Fiat Currencies

Decentralized currency, also known as “peer-to-peer money,” is a bank-free method of transferring commodities (such as wealth) without dependence on a third party for transaction validation. By cutting traditional banks out of the picture, decentralized currencies have led to a reimagining of how money is viewed and treated and offers the potential for wide-reaching effects on other important, data-driven processes.

Most nations use the fiat currency model: all monies held by a central bank which is then backed by the bank’s ability to honor the currency. This money can be represented physically in bills, coins, bank transfers, as well as certificates of deposit. Since the bank determines the value of the money, the bank can raise or lower its value without consent or input from consumers. With fiat currency, the value of your money is always held by a banking institution of some kind, even if you have real paper, or plastic, bills in your wallet.

Unlike the fiat model, decentralized currency’s value is represented by an encrypted piece of computer code, known colloquially as a coin. The code is straightforward to verify but exceptionally hard to replicate or hack. The coin has two keys: one identifying its currency (i.e., Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.) and connecting it to that currency’s system, and one identifying the owner of the coin. The second key is transferable from person to person and is held in the owner’s choice of wallet (either virtual or paper).

Benefits of Decentralizing Currency

A decentralized currency, or “cryptocurrency,” has a consumer demand-driven value instead of a value determined by governing banks. Cryptocurrencies have many benefits, including:

  • Protection from bank failures or collapses, high banking fees, and other bank policies designed to charge you for handling your own money;
  • Borderless payments that work around limits set on international transfers by traditional banks operating on fiat currencies and allow large transfers to be made at a meager cost;
  • Stabilization in countries with a faltering fiat currency and a struggling economy, and equitable value unaffected by tariffs or varying exchange rates;
  • ‘Wallet Only’ requirement, allowing unbanked or underbanked populations to achieve security and the ability to perform financial transactions;
  • Blockchain technology, which is more secure than most financial institutions when it comes to transactional data.

Popular Cryptocurrencies

With more than 1,000 different cryptocurrencies in existence, and new ones being created almost daily, it can be challenging to know all the players.


Bitcoin (BTC) was created in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for a person or persons whose real identity remains unknown to this day. Based on blockchain (distributed ledger) technology, Bitcoin is in widespread use, including acceptance by Bloomberg, Microsoft,,, and even Dish Network. Bitcoin is currently the most expensive type of cryptocurrency.


Created in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum (ETH) is not just a cryptocurrency but also a blockchain platform upon which other people can build apps, create “smart contracts,” and even launch other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Transaction speed takes just seconds compared with Bitcoin, which can take up to 10 minutes.


Ripple (XRP) was designed to be a cryptocurrency used explicitly for rapid international money transfers. Unlike other cryptocurrencies that are entirely decentralized, Ripple Labs holds half of all coins as an owner. The company achieved its primary objective; international transfers with Ripple take only a few seconds compared with the one-week or longer timeframes experienced with traditional banks. Ripple has the added benefit of being accepted by American Express and Santander Bank.

Other Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies currently gaining in strength include Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS, Cardano (ADA), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar (XLM), IOTA, and NEO.

Forked Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

A ‘forked’ cryptocurrency occurs when a parent currency, such as Bitcoin, splits off creating a ‘child.’ In 2016 Bitcoin launched Bitcoin Cash in 2016 to improve scalability and resolve transaction fee issues. By December of 2017 BCH reached an approximate value of $4,000. Bitcoin Cash is faster than parent Bitcoin, with transaction fees that are much lower.

Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs, can be built on blockchain technology for practically any company, providing them with an opportunity to seek investors and raise capital while simultaneously creating a new cryptocurrency. The ICO is supported by investors who provide funds in the form of other cryptocurrencies.

Investing in ICOs can carry a higher risk than investing in a standard cryptocurrency, but brings with it the potential for higher return payoff in a shorter period. Most successful cryptocurrencies achieve their most substantial value explosion value within the first year or two of hitting the market.

In contrast to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), ICOs are less regulated by rules governing raising of capital, thanks mainly to the fact that legislation has not fully caught up with the reality of decentralized currency and blockchain technology.

So, should I invest?

And now we come to the key point. And the answer is an individual one — it comes down to your risk appetite. While there are still potentially compelling reasons to invest, there are also reasons thoughtful investors may want to wait and see how the market plays out.

Reasons you may want to take the risk

Speed and Ease of Use

Cryptocurrency payments generally occur within seconds or minutes, even for substantial or international transactions. Transfers can be made from any location and any device with an internet connection using a virtual wallet.


Cryptocurrencies are notoriously hard to hack, and the top cryptocurrencies maintain teams of experts whose job it is to keep it that way. Additionally, counterfeiting is impossible since there is no paper or coin currency.


Cryptocurrency transactions can remain utterly private since the username is unseen and only the unique wallet identifier is required to complete each transfer. While not entirely anonymous, this is attractive to many people who prefer more privacy than afforded by traditional banking institutions. ‘Privacy Coins’ go one step further, helping to mask a user’s identity on the blockchain.


Unlike fiat currency which requires a centralized institution to maintain stewardship of monies, cryptocurrency provides full autonomy within a peer-to-peer system, instead of the need to be overseen by a third party (that can potentially interfere with financial transactions).

Cost Effective and Tax-Friendly

Fees and commissions associated with cryptocurrency are small, and most digital currencies avoid high tax rates, tariffs, and international fees for global transfers. These currencies are borderless, without the constraints of geographical or political barriers.

Irreversible Transactions

With digital currencies, third parties cannot reverse a transaction once it is made. There can be no chargebacks, returned funds, or other forms of transaction reversal by a third-party.

Constant Availability

Unlike traditional banks which are subject to off hours, statutory holidays, and location closures, cryptocurrencies transactions can be performed at any time, day or night, every single day of the year.

Increase in Value – So Far

Most major cryptocurrencies have shown a constant growth rate over time. While spikes and dips have been radical, cryptocurrency is believed by many financiers as a viable long-term investment.  Though the technology remains unproven at scale, the advantages of blockchain could eventually mean an impressive market capitalization for cryptocurrency — but we’re not there yet.

Reasons you may want to wait

Technological limitations

Bitcoin has a theoretical limit allowing it to process no more than a few transactions per second.  Due to the way it’s structured, it will never exceed that (while entities like Visa process hundreds).  While this isn’t a fundamental limit of Blockchain, Bitcoin is still the biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, and its failures may be reflected in the ecosystem as a whole.


The currency has value because it’s commonly accepted — it’s an upgrade from a barter system because its holders don’t need to find someone that has the exact good they want who also wants the exact goods they produce.  Because there’s a common value exchange, transactions can happen easily.

In the world of cryptocurrency, it’s yet to be determined which (if any) currency will be the most commonly adopted.  This means that while there may be big winners, there will also very likely be big losers, so investing in a non-diversified portfolio of cryptocurrencies carries a high amount of risk.  My own industry (accounting software) has seen this same fragmentation happen: the backers of Xero or Quickbooks, for example, are very happy — while many other players have fallen by the wayside.

Bad Actors

Some creators of cryptocurrency have made a lot of money simply by issuing a new coin. And some of those have then walked away with the money and no support for the coin. Investors need to take extra care and diligence in finding dedicated and long-term teams behind a cryptocurrency.


While “immutability” is one of the key selling points of cryptocurrency, it can also be a drawback when hackers gain keys to coins they shouldn’t have access to.  Once they process a transaction sending themselves the coin, there’s no way to reverse it.  Meaning, there’s no fraud protection equivalent; when it’s gone, it’s gone, and we have yet to go a year without a major hack involving the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars.

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The Future of Cryptocurrency Investing

Thanks to digital data transfer via the internet facilitating cryptocurrencies exchanges, decentralized money may be on its way to becoming a strong player in global commerce. With the worldwide expansion of high-speed internet access and the accessibility of online transactions becoming more readily available to individuals, cryptocurrency has room to thrive.

A staggering 2.2 billion individuals across the world do not have access to traditional systems of exchange or banking; they do, however, have access to an internet connection via a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Cryptocurrency offers a way for these unbanked populations to quickly, easily, and securely process transactions or facilitate asset transfers.

Cryptocurrency remains mostly unrecognized as legal tender by a majority of countries. But that’s not necessarily a negative. In countries where cryptocurrencies are considered digital products, as opposed to money, they are not subject to exchange rates, interest rates, transactions charges, or other levies imposed by specific nations. Additionally, the peer-to-peer mechanism of blockchain technology allows cross-border transfers and transactions to be conducted without concerns over currency fluctuations.

Getting Started in Cryptocurrency Investing

Initial cryptocurrency investments can be made via a traditional exchange, by funding an account with the currency of your choice, or by buying coins, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, and using that to invest in other cryptocurrencies on an alt exchange like Coinbase.

Market Trends

Trading cryptocurrencies are not for the faint of heart, however, as the market can be much more volatile other types of stocks. Due to the high transacting speed, the market is highly volatile and can cause value change drastically in as little as an hour.

Talking with a financial advisor can help you make the best decision about whether investing in cryptocurrency is right for you.

Tips for Investing in Crypto Markets

Investing in cryptocurrency can be rewarding. But, as with all investment choices, decisions should only be undertaken with care and under the advisement of a trusted financial professional. Additional counsel from a tax specialist familiar with pending legislation that could affect how cryptocurrency is viewed.

Cryptocurrencies are customarily treated as high risk, with most experts recommending they occupy a maximum of 10-20% of a diversified portfolio, to mitigate extreme risks. Top rated cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are typically considered to be a preferred investment due to their history.

Conversely, ICOs are seen as the ‘penny stocks’ of crypto and can provide a variety of options for multiple, smaller investments. ICOs are currently under public and legislative scrutiny, and regulations concerning their use has the potential to change at any time with little forewarning.

Taxes on Cryptocurrency Investments

The Internal Revenue Service says virtual currency transactions are taxable by law. However, in the only guidance issued to date occurring in 2014, applies to transactions using cryptocurrency and states that for Federal tax purposes, “virtual currency is treated as property.

It further defines cryptocurrencies as anything that is considered a “convertible virtual currency,” meaning it has an equivalent value in or acts as a substitute for, actual currency. This means it can apply to major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin but does not necessarily apply equally to all existing cryptocurrencies.

As things currently sit, purchase of cryptocurrencies does not result in a realized loss or gain until you sell.

While you’ll need to have a steady hand and a hefty appetite for risk (and a widely diversified portfolio outside of cryptocurrencies), smart investment in cryptocurrencies could still mean a substantial return on your investment.

This article was written by Jaren Nichols, Chief Operating Officer at ZipBooks Online Accounting Software. Jaren was previously a Product Manager at Google and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Things to Consider When Trading the Canadian Dollar

The Canadian Dollar (CAD) is an important currency part of the Forex dashboard. As part of the DXY (Dollar Index), where it holds almost a ten percent stake, the CAD reflects the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian economy.

Speaking of Canada, the country stands for a symbol of capitalism and freedom. Part of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), Canada has a performant economic model many countries only dream about.

The CAD pairs in Forex trading are favorite among retail traders. The leading one, apparently, is the USDCAD pair, as it considers the CAD against the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. Dollar.


The funny thing is that the two countries share a common border, so the two economies are interconnected in more ways that many traders believe.

In trading, when buying or selling a currency pair, traders analyze the two economies corresponding to the currencies that make up the pair. In this case, the United States and the Canadian economy.

Because the United States economy is the largest in the world, and the USD is the world’s reserve currency, the economic data out of the United States dominates the economic calendar.

As for the CAD and CAD pairs, here’s the most important economic data to consider:

  • Bank of Canada interest rate decisions and press conferences
    • Bank of Canada (BOC) meets every six weeks, on a Wednesday, to set the rate on the Canadian Dollar. Traders oversee the decision as the press conference that follows offers more details that influence the value of the Canadian Dollar
    • the higher the interest rate, the better for the currency
  • Unemployment Rate and the Employment Change numbers
    • The jobs data is typically released at the same time with the NFP (Non-Farm Payrolls) in the United States – first Friday of every month. However, sometimes a one week delay may exist between the two.
    • Positive data is good for the CAD
    • When released at the same time with the NFP, the USDCAD pair is difficult to trade due to bi-directional flows
  • CPI or Inflation
    • The Consumer Price Index or inflation is part of the BOC mandate
    • Higher inflation leads to higher interest rate, so it’s bullish for the currency
    • Lower inflation triggers lower CAD
  • Ivey PMI
    • In Canada, there’s only one PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) release, unlike in other countries
    • Values higher than 50 are positive for the CAD
    • Lower values than 50 signal contraction for the Candian economy
  • Oil prices and U.S. oil inventories
    • Canada is an energy-driven economy as it is a big oil producer. Hence, the price of oil has a big impact on the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
    • Lower oil prices trigger lower CAD
    • Higher oil prices lead to strong CAD
    • S. oil inventories cause fluctuations in the CAD pairs because most of the Canadian oil exports go to the United States
    • Lower U.S. inventories trigger a bullish CAD reaction
    • Higher U.S. inventories trigger a bearish CAD reaction
Canada is an energy-driven economy as it is a big oil producer


As a leading currency in Forex trading, the Canadian Dollar is part of essential currency pairs. It fluctuates freely, hence it is a source of potential successful speculation. Understanding what drives its moves is critical for Forex traders.

How Bitcoin Helps Bankroll North Korea’s Arms Program

The isolated country has long been cut off from the global trade and financial system by a series of sanctions, imposed as punishment for continuing its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs in the face of international condemnation. But as it comes to trading in cryptocurrency—largely unregulated, anonymous and easily laundered—the reclusive regime of Kim Jong-un has found a way to maintain access to hard currency and keep funding its arms development.

The North Korean government could have made more than $200 million in trading the cryptocurrency, according to Priscilla Moriuchi, a former officer with the United States’ National Security Agency who now works for the cyber threat intelligence firm Recorded Future.

In a March interview with Radio Free Asia, Moriuchi said North Korea had managed to round up 11,000 Bitcoins, worth about $210 million at their peak last December (although just $72 million today). While that’s not nearly enough to bankroll a weapons effort as extensive as North Korea’s, it nonetheless demonstrates the creative lengths the regime will go to in order to maintain what it sees as its strategic insurance policy.

“I would bet that these coins are being turned into something—currency or physical goods—that are supporting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program,” Moriuchi said in an interview with Vox.

North Korea is believed to be active in running vast computer networks dedicated to generating the currency by solving complex mathematical problems. Such efforts are electricity-intensive, but this is surprisingly well-suited to North Korea, which has abundant supplies of coal but is famously dark in nighttime satellite images because consumer power generation is not a government priority. The regime needs ways to effectively export its energy that aren’t subject to sanctions, as coal shipments would be. And the high bandwidth usage involved is hardly an issue in a country where only a handful of elites are even allowed access to the internet.

But mining isn’t the country’s only way of gaining access to Bitcoin. There’s also simple theft. Already accused in the more traditional hacking of $81 million from the Bank of Bangladesh in 2015, North Korea is now thought to be bringing that experience to bear in raiding cryptocurrency accounts. Its hackers are suspected of stealing nearly 4,000 Bitcoins from the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange YouBit in April 2017, causing it to collapse. And South Korea’s National Intelligence Service believes North Korean hackers may have also been behind the theft in January of $530 million from Coincheck, a Japanese crypto exchange, the largest such raid to date.

The benefits of such efforts to North Korea are obvious, especially as it pursues, for now, a course of rapprochement with its longtime adversary, the United States. Any influx of cash that eases the pressure on the regime only serves to enhance its leverage in any negotiations. And if that cash can be obtained without clearly violating sanctions, there will be fewer calls on the American president, Donald Trump, to renew or expand penalties on Kim and his regime, freeing him to make greater concessions that benefit Pyongyang.

The Kim government is supported by the elites, whose loyalty is assured through the luxuries and perks that Bitcoin trading facilitates—everything from cognac to ski lifts—even as the rest of the North Korean economy strains and teeters from the weight of sanctions. But that government also enjoys the backing of an army of true believers, including the hacker corps that underpins all of these efforts.

“As a completely socialist country, money is not the primary motivator—duty to country is,” said Federico Tenga, a co-founder of the Bitcoin company Chainside who was invited to teach students at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and was surprised by their eagerness to learn about trading in cryptocurrency.

“There’s this feeling that a North Korean’s only motivation is to work for their country,” Tengo said in an interview with ExpressVPN, which advocates online privacy and security. “By using Bitcoin, you can help regain some agency over your country’s finances, i.e., handle Bitcoin for the state.”

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It isn’t clear what exactly can be done about all this. The measures that experts like Moriuchi believe are necessary to start crimping North Korea’s efforts—increasing regulation of exchanges and wallet providers, and creating reporting requirements similar to those that govern traditional banking transactions—seem unlikely to be embraced by the cryptocurrency enthusiasts who have built the trade on directly opposing principles: independence, anonymity, decentralization and privacy.

In this environment, it would seem, Kim has even less incentive to step away from his Bitcoin than he does to relinquish his nuclear deterrent.

Mastering the Basics of Momentum Indicators

RSI – Relative Strength Index

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is one of the simplest ways to gauge momentum. Developed by J. Welles Wilder in the 1970’s, it’s based on the simple notion that prices will tend to close higher in an uptrend and close lower in a downtrend.

RSI is constructed by comparing the average gains on up days and average losses on down days over a given period, usually 14 days. A shorter time period may be appropriate for less volatile markets. The reading is a number between 0 and 100. Rising markets will produce readings closer to 100 while falling markets will result in readings closer to zero.


The RSI is very useful for determining whether a market is overextended. Markets are said to be overbought if the RSI rises above 70 and oversold if it falls below 30. This can be modified to 80/20 for a market that is a strong trend. In a rising market, the RSI tends to look overbought at times.

Failure Swings

Divergence is the most important characteristic of the RSI. By divergence, we mean the indicator moving in an opposite direction (diverging) from the security. For instance, if the RSI starts to fall but the security keeps setting new reaction highs, it can foreshadow a reversal. But the RSI indicator provides a more precise version of divergence known as ‘failure swings’ which offer a confirmation of the trend change signaled by divergence.

Bearish Failure Swing

For a bearish failure, or failure swing top, the RSI enters overbought territory – above 70 – and then makes a lower high, which may or may not be below 70. The security continues to rise and makes a higher high. This creates a bearish divergence with a trading signal coming when the RSI lower reaction low.

An example of a bearish failure swing predicting a reversal.

Bullish Failure Swing

For a bullish failure swing, also known as a failure swing bottom, the RSI enters oversold territory – below 30 – and then makes a higher low, often but not always above the 30 level. At the same time, the security continues to fall and makes a lower low. This situation would be termed simple bullish divergence. The signal comes when the RSI forms a new higher reaction high.

An example of EURUSD bullish failure swings predicting a strong rally.


Stochastics is a momentum indicator that shows where the most recent closing price fits in relation to the price range over a predetermined number of days, usually 14. The indicator is based on the premise that prices have a tendency to close at or near highs in when the security is in an upward trend, and at or near lows when prices are trending lower.

A reversal signal is given on divergence. For example, if the market continues to make new highs but prices are tending to settle at the lows of the day, it can foreshadow a reversal in the uptrend. From a logical viewpoint, this makes sense as if prices are not able to settle at the highs of the day it suggests buyers are losing interest and taking profits sooner.

Whilst you do not need to know the formulae used to work out the indicator, it is useful to how the basis of its

construction so you can apply it to your trading. The indicator usually incorporates two lines, the %K and %D lines which oscillate between 0 and 100. The %K shows the latest close in relation to the average range of the last 14 days. The %D line takes a 3-day moving average of that line.

For ‘slow stochastics’, which is more commonly used, the data is further smoothed by taking a moving average (usually 3 or 5 days) of the moving average. In this situation, the %K line is the 3-day moving average of the simple 14-day stochastics (the original %D line), and the %D line is a 3 or 5-day moving average of the new, ‘slow’ %K line.


Stochastics is useful in determining whether a market is overextended. Usually, we would say that the security is overbought when the %K moves above 80 and oversold when it falls below 20. As with any indicator of this sort, a security can continue to rise despite being overbought and continue to fall when it is already oversold.

Stochastics ranging between overbought + oversold conditions.

%K is shown in grey and %D is shown in red.


Buy and sell signals are given on crossovers – when the %K line moves above or below the %D line.

When the %K line (which is faster moving and more responsive to short-term movements in price) moves below the %D line, it is considered a bearish crossover. A bullish crossover occurs when the %K line moves above the %D line. This agrees with the premise of using multiple moving averages.

These signals are quite frequent and must be treated with caution – usually, traders look for other conditions to be met before a simple crossover is seen as a strong signal. If a crossover occurs whilst the market is considered overbought or oversold, it can have greater validity. As an example, if a bearish crossover occurs while the stochastics show overbought conditions (i.e. above 80), the trader would then look for a move back below 80 for confirmation.

An example of a bullish crossover, as %K line moves above %D line and out of the oversold territory.

Using the same chart pattern but applying the stochastics indicator in addition to the MACD reveals how the stochastics crossover provides an earlier signal of a trend reversal. This agrees with the principle that momentum leads to price action while moving averages are lagging indicators that follow prices. The delay in the MACD signal is noticeable versus that provided by the stochastics. This is a good example of how it is useful to use more than one indicator, with a particular emphasis on using indicators that are based on different data inputs to derive their signals.

This article of ETX Capital

ESMA Regulations: A Brief History of Regulation

The departure of a very prominent broker from the US market made waves back in 2017. The blowback though was felt by the entire industry…globally. This tarnished the industry’s (admittedly) not so pristine image which it is still trying to recover from.

Then earlier this year Chinese authorities enacted their own CFD crackdown, by contacting the heads of foreign CFD companies and inviting them to a quiet little sit-down. In the company of a few dozen police officers.

This isn’t the first time the CFD industry has experienced a crackdown – just a few years ago brokers were forced by the FCA to fully screen and assess the competence of their clients. Gloom and doomers across the industry said the sky was falling, that this would cripple the industry, lessen their pool of clients. Not really – it just made the industry better, as a result, many brokers started offering education to their traders in the form of webinars, ebooks, and video tutorials.

We have also seen in the past few months a global clampdown on unregulated brokers – but of course, those were illegal anyway. The regulations are targeting legal and fully regulated brokers.

Why ESMA Why?!

ESMA isn’t happy that many FX or retail CFD brokers target novice and inexperienced traders. This is why it is restricting high leverage which is often used by new traders but avoided by experienced traders.

Forums were ablaze with complaints of a nanny state and unnecessary restriction under the guise of protecting new traders.

But hear me out, maybe the problem goes deeper – maybe the reason new traders are losing is that although they trade with high leverage – they probably are unlikely to do so with a trading strategy and risk management measures in place. This is why there is a high rate of failure amongst inexperienced traders – a lack of risk management and trading without a strategy. How can I claim so vehemently that these are the mistakes new traders make? Well because they use high leverage – that’s all the proof needed.

The most rudimentary type of risk management is the so-called risk-reward ratio. It basically calculates the amount of risk that needs to be taken for a target return. The lower the ratio the more conservative your ration is. Leverage increases risk – which sure increases the potential reward…but again the possibility of getting that reward is greatly diminished.

Risk Reveal Yourself! Leverage you’re Cool.

Obviously, the biggest unknown when forex trading is the risk. A trade moving against you can decimate both your account and if you are trading with a broker that doesn’t offer negative balance protection, it could put you in debt.

If you haven’t been keeping track, leverage increases risk, which is why ESMA is targeting it in its new regulations. The higher the leverage – the higher the risk.

What if you could know what your risk was though and still use significant leverage? Impossible right? Wrong.

Some brokers are offering ways to trade CFDs with known and even predefined risk with access to significant leverage.

One of these tools, easyTrade, not only allows traders to set their maximum risk, it uses an ingenious way to offer trading that doesn’t require margin, which means trades won’t be closed out by margin stop-out by basing the new product on vanilla options.

Another great benefit is that easyTrade does not cap your trade’s potential. Some financial instruments, like binary options for example, feature fixed payout no matter how well the trade goes.

OctaFX to Start cTrader Demo Contest 100th Round

9 July 2018, OctaFX, a foreign exchange broker, opens registration for the 100th round of its cTrader Weekly Demo Contest. For this special round, the prize pool is doubled. The race for the first five places starts 23 July 2018 and lasts for five days until night 27 July.

OctaFX has been holding this contest for four years. Since its launch in 2014, almost 500 happy contestants have won and withdrawn $39,600. On this special round, first five most successful and skillful traders will get $300, $200, $150, $100, and $50, respectively.

By the contest rules, competitors register special demo accounts that do not require any real investment. All contestants trade under equal initial conditions without any restrictions on the trading techniques. They can trade any symbol provided by OctaFX for the cTrader platform. Top 5 traders, who profit more, win the round and get the prize money automatically after announcing the results.

Prize withdrawal does not apply any special exceptions. Traders get the money to their real trading account on OctaFX (if they do not have one, OctaFX creates one for them) and can choose whether to withdraw it right away or start trading with it.

The registration for the event lasts from 9 July to 23 July 2018 (EET) on the сontest page. All terms and conditions of this contest are posted on the OctaFX site.

OctaFX is an STP Forex broker providing online trading services worldwide since 2011. It brings a top-quality trading experience to more than one million trading accounts. Since its foundation, OctaFX gained 24 rewards in their respective field and paid out over $2.5 million in bonuses. It conducted several global and local promotion campaigns with money and product prizes. Сurrently, OctaFX has three campaigns running.

Alexis Webster Joins FXTM as Chief Commercial Officer

6 July 2018 – Global award-winning forex broker, FXTM, is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexis (Lex) Webster as Chief Commercial Officer. As CCO, Lex will be responsible for overseeing various functions within the company, including the Sales, Marketing, Market Research and Partnership Support departments.

Lex is a well-known figure in the financial services industry and has vast experience in sales, marketing and product development across retail derivatives and discount broking. Lex brings 18 years of considerable experience from international companies with him. Prior to joining FXTM, he held the role of Senior Vice President, Strategy & Execution for six years at Gain Capital.

Welcoming Lex as Chief Commercial Officer, Nicholas Defteras, CEO of FXTM, said “We are delighted to welcome Lex Webster as the newest member of FXTM. I believe that his extensive experience will not only help him further develop the departments that he oversees, I am also confident that he will heavily contribute to the strategic growth of our business on a global level.”

Commenting on his appointment, Lex added, “I am truly delighted to have joined the FXTM family. The company has developed itself on a global scale as a fast-growing and innovative brand within our industry, and I can’t wait to contribute further to its successful commercial development. FXTM has already achieved a great deal as a young company and I am ecstatic to be a part of this award-winning team.”

For more information, please visit: FXTM           

These are the Top Venture Capital Firms Investing in Blockchain

Venture capital funds have been investing in blockchain for the better part of the past decade. But it’s only in the last two years that the industry has really begun to mature.

Over 120 venture capital (VC) firms have now made two or more investments in blockchain companies. With that in mind, we will look at the development of venture capital in the industry and some of the leading players.

Maturation of Venture Capital and Blockchain

Some VCs, like Node Capital, made their first investments in the industry in 2011. For the most part, however, things were quiet until 2013 when almost two dozen different venture capital funds invested in blockchain startups.

Some of the early funding rounds of blockchain companies, like investments in Ripple and Coinbase, have paid off handsomely. Still, venture investing really hit its stride in the last couple of years. So far in 2018, there have been more than 200 venture investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. This is more than in all of 2011-2015 combined.

Investment has been Increasing Sharply

Not only has the number of venture deals been rising, but so has their size. Robinhood, a stock and cryptocurrency trading platform, raised $363 million in a single series D round in May of 2018. Compare that to the $50 million it raised in 2015. Likewise, in 2012 Ripple was among the first cryptocurrency companies to receive venture funding. Ripple raised a total of just $3.1 million in its first three funding rounds. That’s less than 1% of what Robinhood raised in a single round this year.

Though there are more than a hundred venture capital funds actively investing in the blockchain, there are several dozens that play an outsized role. The 50 top venture funds in the space invested nearly half a billion dollars in blockchain in 2017 and are on pace to more than double that amount in 2018.


Who are the Top Venture Capital Firms Investing in Blockchain?

There are essentially two key types of venture investors in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies:

Traditional Venture Capital Funds

The first type consists of traditional venture funds, many specializing in technology startups that have added a handful of blockchain companies to their portfolios. Some examples include multi-billion dollar venture funds like Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

Sequoia has largely invested indirectly via investments in cryptocurrency hedge funds like Polychain Capital and Metastable Capital.

Andreessen Horowitz made early investments in Ripple and Coinbase in 2013 and has continued to invest in more than a dozen other blockchain companies. In fact, they recently announced that rather than comingle blockchain companies with their existing funds, they would create a $300 million crypto-focused fund.

But for most of these funds, blockchain investments remain a relatively small component of their investment funds.

Crypto-Focused Venture Funds

The other key type of venture funds is those dedicated exclusively to cryptocurrency and blockchain investments. Though the majority of venture funds on Crypto Fund Research’s list of the top 50 blockchain venture funds are of the traditional variety discussed above, the top three are all dedicated funds. These include Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital, and Blockchain Capital.

These funds invest only in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. And they do a lot of it. Digital Currency Group, for example, has made nearly 60, mostly seed-stage, investments in blockchain companies since they started in 2013.

The 10 Most Influential Venture Investors in Crypto/Blockchain

Let’s take a more detailed look at the top 10 venture capital firms investing in the space. Their rankings are a function of not only the number and size of their investments in blockchain startups but also how long they’ve been doing it and how active they have been of late.

As discussed earlier, Digital Currency Group has been an extremely influential investor in blockchain since 2013. They began with an investment of less than a million in crypto payment processor BitPay. Since then they have invested close to $100 million in dozens of blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. They were also early investors in two of the most prominent success stories: Coinbase and Ripple. Their name refers to digital assets, a broad term encompassing cryptocurrencies and investments in blockchain companies and similar assets.

Like Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital invests exclusively in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. Technically, Pantera bills itself as an investment firm and hedge fund, but much of their investment has come via providing venture-style seed funding to blockchain companies. Pantera was an early investor in Ripple and has since made over 30 venture investments in the space. They have also invested in several initial coin offerings (ICOs). ICOs are similar to initial public offerings except that rather than issue stock certificates, companies sell equity via tokens which grant the buyer a stake in the company.

Number three on the list is Blockchain Capital. As their name implies, they are another venture fund exclusively investing in blockchain and related companies. Blockchain Capital began investing in the space in late 2013 and has since invested in more than three dozen blockchain companies. They claim to theirs was the first VC fund dedicated to Bitcoin/blockchain. Most recently they were part of a $35 million series D funding round for a digital asset merchant bank called High Flyer.

Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, is one of the world’s largest venture funds. They manage almost $3 billion in assets. While only a small portion of this is invested in blockchain and crypto startups, they have made more than their share of investments. Their recent decision to start a fund dedicated exclusively to digital assets puts them in a position to be among the most influential venture investors in the space for years to come.

Node Capital is a bit unique among the funds we’ve discussed so far. For one, they are the first venture fund on this list headquartered outside the US. Based in Beijing, Node Capital has focused much of its investment on companies in Asia like and Houbi. Another thing that differentiates Node from many of the funds on this list, is their tendency to invest in ICOs rather than via seed or early-stage funding.

While Boost VC also invests in artificial intelligence and virtual reality, they are largely focused on the blockchain. More an accelerator than a traditional venture firm, Boost has made dozens of, mostly small, investments in companies like Ledger, Coinbase and Libra Credit Network. Boost VC has the serious pedigree, having been co-founded by Adam Draper, son of legendary venture capitalist and blockchain investor Tim Draper.

Like Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Capital is a multi-billion dollar venture capital firm investing in a variety of startups. However, they have been relatively active in the blockchain. IDG made angel and seed stage investments in Ripple and has since invested in Circle, Mars Financial, and others.

Draper Associates is the main early stage venture capital arm of Tim Draper’s venture capital empire. He also is the founder of Draper University, an entrepreneurship program based in Silicon Valley. Tim Draper became a bit of a mainstream name when he received international attention for purchasing Bitcoin that the US Marshall Service had seized from illegal darknet marketplace Silk Road. Draper primarily invests in tech companies and blockchain has naturally become a part of this portfolio.

Like Node Capital, Ceyuan Ventures is based in Beijing and primarily invests in Asian startups. Though they haven’t been as active in blockchain as Ceyuan, they have made a name for themselves with investments in companies like, Basis, and Mars Finance.

10th place was actually a tie between two very different venture companies. Lightspeed Venture Partners is another multi-billion dollar venture fund with half a dozen offices across the globe. They have made a handful of relatively large investments in blockchain startups. TechStars, on the other hand, is more of a technology accelerator and has made many, mostly small, investments in blockchain startups.

These are the some of the most important venture capital funds involved in the blockchain. Though they have different strategies, operating procedures, and setups, they all play critical roles in funding the development of blockchain infrastructure across the globe. This list will likely look very different in a couple years, or even a couple months, as new players rapidly enter the space.

View a complete list of the top 50 blockchain venture capital funds.