Blockchain tech is still in the early stages, but companies such as IBM are rapidly coming up with a variety of ways to use it.
Analysts have been suggesting use cases since bitcoin’s meteoric rise a couple years ago, but we are only just now starting to see some of those use cases implemented. Meanwhile experts continue to look years in the future in an attempt to predict where the technology will be used next.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham attended the Money 20/20 conference this week to learn more about cryptoassets and blockchain tech.
Among the panels he covered in his report on the conference were two focusing on the future of the technology. Experts shared their predictions for how the blockchain will be used more than 10 years from now and also about what they think the next phase for cryptoassets will be.
Blockchain tech in 2030
Graham feels the panel about the future of blockchain was the “most contentious” panel on the technology. BTCC Co-founder and CEO Bobby Lee faced off with IBM Blockchain Leader Dave Maddox, Juno Consultant Jill Carlson and Bloq Chairman and Co-founder Matthew Roszak. Each expert had their own view of what blockchain will look like in 2030.
For example, Lee said he hasn’t yet seen any use cases for blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies. He sees major limitations for blockchain that’s “truly unique and differentiated from traditional databases.” A true blockchain requires some information to be publicly verifiable.
Maddox disagreed with Lee, saying that IBM has already successfully implemented its blockchain strategy with more than 500 engagements and about 25 others in production. He mentioned one as a food trust network for Walmart, Carrefour and others in the food industry.
Carlson pointed out that confusion about the technology continues in both blockchain and cryptoassets. Roszak focused on the variety of tokens, which he expects to increase dramatically in the coming years as stablecoins, asset-backed tokens and many other types gain traction.
Blockchain tech on Wall Street
Graham also highlighted a panel which discussed using blockchain in the global finance industry. We have already seen a few implementations in this area, but more is probably coming down the pike.
For example, Jennifer Peve of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation said they are considering how blockchain tech can change the way transactions are carried out. She said they’re also discussing ways distributed ledger technology is “uniquely qualified to solve pain points with the existing system,” Graham explained.
As far as specifics, Peve suggested that distributed ledgers will one day replace the current payment infrastructure. She added that attempts to place the blockchain on top of the current infrastructure haven’t worked and instead have resulted in added expenses.
Dave Morehead of Pantera Capital also pointed out that blockchain could reduce the fees associated with transactions, especially in cross-border payments.
Meanwhile the technology could increase the number of transactions completed, thus improving the experience of users.
FAANGs Lose Over $135B Overnight
The stock market was in a sea of red yesterday. The broader markets witnessed yet another correction. Stocks such as Facebook [FB], Apple [AAPL], Amazon [AMZN], Netflix [NFLX] and Google [GOOG], also known as FAANGs led the sell-off yesterday.
FAANGs lost over $135B in market value overnight. Analysts have raised concerns over Apple’s iPhone unit shipments. Several of them have cut iPhone shipment estimates and this has driven Apple shares lower.
Apple’s market cap has fallen from a high $1.1T to its current value of $882B. During its last earnings call, Apple had also stated that it will no longer provide data for device sales further adding fuel to fire.
Facebook trades at a two-year low
Facebook shares continue to burn investor money. Shares are down 13% this month and 20% since Oct. 2018. Facebook shares have impacted after an investigative report by New York Times accused the former of promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Amazon shares fell declined over 5% yesterday. The stock faced the wrath of investors as it missed revenue forecasts last month. Netflix, on the other hand, has slumped over the last few months as there are concerns over the company’s international expansion efforts.
Have FAANG’s bottomed out?
FAANGs drove the markets for several years and generated spectacular returns for investors. A focus on developing innovative products and services have ensured market leadership for FAANGs.
However, since Oct. 18, these shares have declined significantly. FAANGs have lost a whopping $700B in market cap over the last 50 days. Does this mean that FAANGs have bottomed out and are trading at attractive valuations?
It’s too early to tell. We have seen that concerns over iPhone device sales, Facebook controversies, and decelerating growth for Amazon and Netflix have weighed in on stocks. Investors are now paying attention to fundamentals in an uncertain macro environment driven by rising interest rates and the trade wars between China and the United States.
Does this mean that the party is over? Certainly not! These companies are leaders in innovation and are expected to launch products and services that will help them maintain revenue growth in the near future.
Analysts though are still bullish on FAANGs. They have a 12-month target price of $233.47 for Apple, implying an upside potential of 26%. Similarly, shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google are trading 50%, 41%, 48%, and 32% respectively below their target price estimates.
3 Ways To Invest From Your Smartphone For Under $5
The numbers say 80% of Millennials don’t invest in stocks.
Reason? Half say they don’t have money, one-third says it’s for “old white men,” another third says they don’t know how.
In addition to that, there’s demographic gap. “The average age of a financial advisor is 55,”Douglas Boneparth, a New York City-based financial planner last year. “There are more financial advisors over the age of 70 than there are under 30.”
Despite these beliefs, you don’t really need much money, nor experience, to get started. (Just look at our fearless co-founder Odunayo Eweniyi and what she’s pulled off here…)
Be that as it may, here are three ways to get started for $5 or less.
What: A micro-investment app (iOS and Android) with over 30 ETFs according to industry, sector and risk tolerance.
How it works: Download the app and choose your investment.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We help people who don’t have a lot save money on a weekly basis,” CEO and co-founder Brandon Krieg said in one interview. “Stashers look like America, they look like people you meet every day: they are nurses and teachers and Uber and Lyft drivers.”
What: iOS and Android app.
How it works: Download the app and choose one of six index funds. When you buy, say a cup of coffee for $1.75, it rounds up the change to $2 and deposits the difference.
Minimum investment: $5
Cost: Just like Stash, fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.
“We’re not trying to preach austerity to the client, because that’s a bummer,” CMO Manning Field says. “Some people will say, ‘Don’t have the cup of coffee.’ We’ll tell you to have the cup of coffee and invest along the way.”
What: A commission-free investment app (iOS and Android).
How it works: Download and start buying stocks.
Minimum investment: Whatever stock you want to buy.
And by the way, if you want to get a fast start on real estate, here’s Forbes’ list of nine REITs with yields between 8% and 10%.
Analyst: ‘Bitcoin Just Collapsed Like A House Of Cards…’
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Ever since their mighty peak back in December, Bitcoin has seen a consistent plunge all year long, briefly dropping under $5k a coin today.
“Bitcoin collapsed like a house of cards on Monday,” Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, wrote Business Insider in an email.
In fact, today’s drop continues a filthy week for Bitcoin, which has now dropped to a low not seen since December, right before the wicked explosion in prices that had Bitcoin as high as $20k per coin.
Once that happened, Bitcoin basically went mainstream, with “Blockchain” and “cryptocurrency” becoming words du jour. And once that happened, it basically created a frenzy around cryptos.
Just peep this. It’s not even a hockey chart, it’s just insanity.
Aaaaaand, here’s another showing the raucous trading activity back in December 2017.
All in all, Bitcoin lost 12% of its value in the past week and nearly 20% in the last three months.
For whatever it’s worth, it’s not just Bitcoin that’s taking a beating; other cryptos are getting slammed as well. Both Litecoin ($5.10 per coin) and Ethereum ($156/coin) are down 12%.
So, who else is bullish on crypto?!