February 1, 2018

Perspective

Bloomberg – Marijuana Mapped: the Price of Weed Across the U.S. – Jen Skerritt 1/30

WSJ – Daily Shot: US Real Disposable Income and Consumer Spending 1/30

Pew – Remittances from abroad are major economic assets for some developing countries – Drew Desilver 1/29

Worthy Insights / Opinion Pieces / Advice

A Wealth of Common Sense – What To Do When Your Stocks Are Soaring – Ben Carlson 1/30

Real Estate

WSJ – Daily Shot: FRED – US Homeownership Rate 1/30

WSJ – Daily Shot: FRED – Change in Owner Occupied Housing Units 1/30

WSJ – Daily Shot: FRED – California Homeownership Rate 1/30

Energy

eia – U.S. crude oil exports increased following hurricane – related refinery disruptions – Corina Ricker 1/29

Cryptocurrency

WSJ – Bitcoin Is Having Its Worst Month in Three Years – Steven Russolillo and Eun-Young Jeong 1/31

WSJ – Daily Shot: Investing.com – Bitcoin 1/29

Bloomberg Gadfly – Crypto Trading Needs a New Model – Tim Culpan 1/28

  • “Many don’t understand how these exchanges work, and that’s why hacking is such a problem.”
  • “When someone buys cryptocurrency from a centralized exchange — I’m going to stick with Bitcoin (BTC) as an example — they swap fiat money for the nominated BTC. But that coin doesn’t get sent to the customer. If it’s bought from a non-exchange seller, then it comes into the exchange’s own wallet, and gets held there. A ledger entry is made, and the customer gets an IOU. If the seller is on the same exchange platform, no BTC even needs to be shifted, the exchange simply changes its accounts to note one less BTC for the seller, one more for the buyer.”
  • “The customer only actually holds the BTC if they then go through the process of sending it from their exchange wallet to another wallet, for example on their smartphone, and that usually incurs fees. Given the large amount of BTC held by just a few wallets — likely owned by exchanges —  it’s clear many customers don’t bother to take possession of the BTC themselves.”
  • “That’s why hacking is such a problem. Centralized exchanges are acting as custodians for a commodity that can’t be copied or double-spent, in an environment where possession is nine-tenths of the law, and using infrastructure that offers a certain amount of anonymity.”
  • “One obvious solution is to boost security protocols. The use of a cold wallet — one not connected to the internet — is now a common tactic. But clearly not all exchanges are practicing good digital hygiene.”
  • “Instead, I see decentralized exchanges becoming more popular. As with equity trading, such a platform is merely the place for a buyer and a seller to meet, and for prices to be discovered. The exchange can play a certain settlement and custodian role, but with blockchain technology, this can be simplified to the point of virtual elimination — atomic transactions could come into play here.”

Africa

NYT – Dangerously Low on Water, Cape Town Now Faces ‘Day Zero’ – Norimitsu Onishi and Somini Sengupta 1/30

  • “…after a three-year drought, considered the worst in over a century, South African officials say Cape Town is now at serious risk of becoming one of the few major cities in the world to lose piped water to homes and most businesses.”

Britain

FT – Property sales in London fall 20% in four years – James Pickford 1/30

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