Monthly Archives: October 2018

NFC Heavyweight Showdown: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams

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A huge NFC battle takes place on Sunday afternoon. The Green Bay Packers travel to California to take on the Los Angeles Rams. Both teams are headed by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. The surefire Aaron Rodgers for the Packers and the Rams Jared Goff, who if he can continue his play over the next few seasons will be in the conversation for the Hall of Fame.

The Packers are struggling this year, the Rams are not. Green Bay comes in with a record of 3-2-1 and the Rams are a perfect 7-0 on the year. This is a game that the Packers will really need to win to keep them up in the NFC playoff race. The Rams have pretty much locked up their playoff spot but the Packers are in a dogfight to get there. The Rams are favored at home by 8.5 points.

Green Bay Huge Underdog

The Packers come into the game playing pretty good. The Packers will be as good as Aaron Rodgers is. If Rodgers plays well, then the Packers generally will win the game. The Packers move the ball at a 445.7 yards per game average with 342.0 yards of that coming through the air. Rodgers has thrown for 1,997 yards so far this year and has added in 12 touchdowns.

The Packers running game is spurred by Jamaal Williams on the ground as he has 224 yards rushing but hasn’t found the end zone yet. Devante Adams has caught 47 balls for 557 yards and six touchdowns. The Packers receiving corp is very banged up coming into this game. Trevor Davis and Jake Kemerow are both on the injured reserve list and Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison are both listed as questionable. Aaron Rodgers is also listed as questionable, but he will be playing.

Rams Offense has been Unstoppable

The Rams are rolling right now and they have been virtually unstoppable. They have won all of their games this year and don’t look like they have struggled much at all in their games. The Rams gain 457.4 yards a game with 153.1 yards coming on the ground. The Rams are more balanced than the Packers and that shows up in the offensive yardage gained. The Rams score 33.6 points a game and allow just 18.3 points a game. Goff has thrown for 2,130 yards this year and 14 touchdowns against five interceptions.

Todd Gurley leads the team in rushing gaining 686 yards on the ground thus far this year and has punched it into the end zone 11 times this season to lead the league. The leading receiver for the Rams is Robert Woods who has caught 41 balls for 602 yards. Woods has also found the end zone three times this year. Cooper Kupp and Troy Hill are the only two players listed on the Rams injury report for this week.

Rams Stay Unbeaten

The Packers have a huge test in front of them as they travel to play the Rams. The Rams have looked unbeatable this year and are just killing everyone that they play. Don’t put a victory past Aaron Rodgers though as he has the ability to lead his team to a win over any team he plays.

Goff will prove to be too much for the Packers though as the Rams keep rolling and secure another win against the Packers pulling them ahead in the all-time series which is currently tied. Don’t be surprised if the Packers sneak in a backdoor cover and make it close at the end of the game due to the play of Rodgers. I look for the Rams to cover the 8.5 point spread.

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NHL Weekend Picks – Guide to Betting This Saturday’s Games

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Well, given how all over the map the start to this hockey season has been, it should come as no surprise that I found myself on the wrong end of some picks last week. Toronto and LA looked terrible and cost us money all over the place. We are going to avoid both teams this weekend as there are definitely some kinks that need to be ironed out on both sides.

  • Last week: 1-3-1
  • Season total: 3-7-1

Time to get on the winning side of the ledger, and here is where it all begins.

Edmonton @ Nashville (Nashville -1.5, o/u 6)

Even without their starting goalie Pekka Rinne, Nashville continues to move forward. Jusse Saros is 5-1 this year, proving once again that if you have a good backup, you are going to be just fine. The team does it with balanced scoring, which is the exact opposite of what is happening in Edmonton. The Oilers are squandering the chance to shine with the best player in the world, and another week of inadequacy has left the management scratching their heads. This one is an afternoon game in Smashville, so we expect more of the same.

Our Pick: Take Nashville -1.5 goals

Washington at Calgary (Washington -1.5, o/u 6.5)

The reigning champs are making their way across the prairies, but this time right on the heels of their division rival Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins torched Calgary for 9 goals in their last game, and the Caps are hoping for the same kind of defensive breakdown. Evgeny Kuznetsov has emerged as a real start on this Caps team, which gives more space for legend Alex Ovechkin to go to work. The Flames, on the other hand, have far too much talent to be playing this poorly. They are going to have to figure it out soon, or changes can be expected in a city that is desperate to get their team to at least be the best in its province. We don’t see the turnaround starting today, and saw a money line of -115 that we are jumping on.

Our pick: Take Washington on the money line -115

New York Islanders at Philadephia (Phil -1.5, o/u 6.0)

No one is quite sure what to make of either of these teams, but one thing is for certain: they both create entertaining hockey as a result. Both these teams are struggling to find identity in net, as each has cycled through goaltenders over the last decade. Up front, the Islanders are clearly trying to move on without John Tavares, and seem to have found scoring in bursts. The Flyers, on the other hand, have a lot of streaky firepower on their roster. We expect this one to be a barnburner, and we think the Islanders will keep it close.

Our pick: Take the Islanders +1.5 and the over

Montreal at Boston (Boston -1.5, o/u 6.0)

At the start of the season, this looked less likely to be another battle in this age-old rivalry. The Habs were not supposed to accomplish much this season while the Bruins were a Cup Contender. Well, here we are a few weeks in, and the two teams are neck-and-neck in the standings. The young Canadiens don’t seem to know they aren’t very good, and Carey Price is having a resurgence in nets. One thing Montreal has going for it tonight is a very distracted Boston crowd – the Red Sox will be playing in LA for the World Series in the middle of tonight’s matchup. Look for Montreal to sneak one out here, or at least keep it very close in a low scoring affair.

Our Pick: Montreal +1.5 and the under

Colorado at Minnesota (Minnesota -1.5, o/u 5.5)

This is an interesting line – Colorado has been scorching hot to start the season, and their top line is firmly entrenched as one of the best in the league. They are playing the second night of back-to-back games and heading on the road to Minnesota, which is likely why the Wild are favored. However, Minnesota hasn’t shown us enough to give us the confidence that they are going to be slowing down the Avalanche. It is a marquee matchup in nets with Varlamov going against Dubnyk, which is why the total is down to 5.5 goals. We don’t like that number much in this game, and yet we love Colorado to win the game outright. Checking the money line, we find value here at +145. Feel free to take the goals to hedge your bet, but we are taking our shot at the upset.

Our pick: Colorado money line +145

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NFL Betting Preview: New York Jets at Chicago Bears

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Two teams with a ton of potential meet up in Illinois as the New York Jets make the trip to take on the Chicago Bears. This matchup pits an AFC team against an NFC team both with a ton of potential for the future. Both teams have their quarterback of the future and will look to mold their guy into what they need going forward.

The Bears sit at 3-3 on the season and their three wins all came in a row after starting the season off with a loss. The Jets are 3-4 and they lost their last game to the Vikings, 37-17. Prior to that they had won two games in a row. The Bears are favored at home in this one by eight points.

Rookie Quarterback for New York

The Jets have not been that bad this year. Sam Darnold has played at a level that is at or just a bit higher than what was expected of him. The Jets are actually outscoring their opponents this year despite a losing record. So far on the year the Jets are averaging 26.0 points a game and allowing 25.1 points a game. The offense has struggled to move the ball at times as they only gain 343.6 yards a game but they have also been able to keep defenses at bay by mixing up their run and pass.

The Jets average 221.7 yards a game on the ground but they also gain 121.9 yards on the ground. Darnold has thrown the ball for 1,552 yards this year and 10 touchdowns but has also thrown 10 interceptions. Isaiah Crowell leads the team in rushing with 459 yards on the ground. Crowell has added in five touchdowns on the ground. The leading receiver for the Jets is Robby Anderson. He has caught 17 passes for 314 yards and five touchdowns.

Chicago Looking to Snap Losing Streak

The Bears rely on second year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to lead them and thus far this year he has done a pretty solid job of doing so. Trubisky has thrown for 1,594 yards and 13 touchdowns through only six games. He has thrown six interceptions on the year. Trubisky is rather mobile gaining 245 yards rushing this year on just 31 carries. He has plunged into the end zone twice.

Jordan Howard has run for 311 yards to lead the teams and has also plunged into the end zone twice this year. Taylor Gabriel is the leading receiver for this team with 30 catches for 329 yards and two touchdowns. The offense has been able to move the ball pretty well and convert it into points. They are ranked 6thin the NFL with 130.7 rushing yards a game. They are also 6thin the NFL in scoring by putting up 28.3 points a game. The defense has also been very good as they allow 22.3 points a game, which is 11thin the NFL.

Jets Compete in Chicago

The Bears and Jets are very similar teams right now. The Bears are just a little bit better on both offense and defense, but not by much. A healthy Khalil Mack helps the Bears out a ton, but he isn’t 100 percent right now. The Jets are still in rebuilding mode with Darnold as their man going forward. They are a bit ahead of schedule, but so are the Bears Both teams are playing better than they were expected to do so this year and both look like they could be in line to make the playoffs either this year or next. Look for the Bears to take down the Jets at home, but I feel like the Jets are going to sneak in a cover.

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SEC Betting Pick: Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs

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For both the number 9 Florida Gators andthenumber7 Georgia Bulldogs, this is the most important game of the season. For Florida, they sit at 6-1, with their only loss being a 27-16 loss to number 12 Kentucky. Their most notable win of the season is 27-19 win over number 4 LSU. For Georgia, they also sit at 6-1, with their only loss being a 36-16 loss to that same LSU team.

All of Georgia’s wins have come against teams that currently sit unranked. With both having one loss already on their record, this likely becomes a do or die for any National Championship hopes. Whoever wins lives to fight another week. For the team that loses, it likely means they won’t be part of the final four. With both teams coming off of their bye weeks, each should see the best from their opponents which will make for a great matchup when Florida travels to TIAA Bank Field to take on Georgia. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm ET.

The point spread comes in with the Georgia Bulldogs as 6.5-point favorites at home. The over/under on total points scored is 52.

The Two Teams Match Up Really Well With One Another

On paper, this has the potential to be such a good matchup. For Florida, they are scoring an average of 34.43 points per game while only allowing an average of 16.57. For Georgia, those numbers are 39 for the offense and 16.29 for the defense. For Florida, they are averaging 408.3 total yards per game while allowing 323.3. For Georgia, they are averaging 461.9 while allowing 310.6. Florida’s pass defense ranks 6th in the nation, allowing just 160.1 passing yards per game while Georgia ranks 13th in total points allowed in the country. Everywhere you look, these two teams seem to match up well with one another.

Florida Looking For Upset On The Road

Florida will be looking to Feleipe Franks to lead them under center against the Georgia defense. On the season, Franks is 103 for 182 with 1,406 yards thrown, 15 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Franks has also added another 126 net yards and a touchdown on the ground. His best receivers this season have been Van Jefferson (19 receptions, 265 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Freddie Swain (11 receptions, 225 yards, 4 touchdowns).

On the ground, the Gators have three who have rushed for around or more than 300 yards. Dameon Pierce (295 net yards, 2 touchdowns), Lamical Perine (376 net yards, 3 touchdowns) and Jordan Scarlett (381 net yards, 3 touchdowns) have all had some success.

Defensively, Vosean Joseph leads the team with 44 tackles, while Jachai Polite (7 sacks for 42 yards) and Jabari Zuniga (4.5 sacks for 44 yards) lead the team in sacks. B Stewart leads the team with 2 interceptions.

Georgia Looking To Get Past Week 7 Loss

Georgia is hoping for a bounce-back game from quarterback Jake Fromm. After struggling against LSU, Fromm has still had a very productive season thus far. He is 99 for 148 with 1,409 yards, 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Fromm’s most productive receivers have been Mecole Hardman (24 catches, 358 yards, 4 touchdowns), Riley Ridley (25 receptions, 337 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Jeremiah Holloman (11 receptions, 234 yards, 2 touchdowns).

On the ground, Elijah Holyfield has been their most productive back, rushing for a net gain of 488 yards and 4 touchdowns on 65 attempts. D’Andre Swift has also been solid rushing for 362 yards and 4 touchdowns on 71 attempts.
Defensively, the team leaders are Richard LeCounte (40 tackles), D’Andre Walker (5 sacks for 28 yards) and Deandre Baker (2 interceptions).

Game May Be Too Close To Call, Giving The Edge To Florida

As mentioned throughout, these two teams seemingly matchup very well with one another. It would not shock me if these two played to a pretty close, pretty low-scoring game. With that in mind, I have a hard time spotting a team almost a touchdown. Again, it is very possible that Georgia wins this game, but for my money, I will take Florida and the 6.5 points.

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Daily Racing Tips – Ladbrokes Sale Cup Day Special

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Sale – Race 4 2.10pm AEDT

No. 3 Sirius Suspect

Sirius Suspect has been racing well this campaign  and this is a genuine drop in class. He maps to get a lovely one right on the speed and Jye McNeil really should be able to control this race from the outset. He looks an excellent chance to return to winning form.

Bet Now: Sale Race 4

Sale – Race 5 2:45pm AEDT

No. 3 Wassergeist

Wassergeist has been racing well without winning this campaign and he finds himself in a very winnable contest this afternoon. This is an even field in which luck in running could prove crucial and Wassergeist maps to get a lovely trail in transit with Luke Nolen in the saddle.

Bet Now: Sale Race 5

Sale – Race 7 4.00pm AEDT

No. 7 Doubt Defying

Doubt Defying returned to the races with an outstanding win at Royal Randwick and a repeat of that performance would make him very tough to beat in the Ladbrokes Sale Cup. He is a horse that still has plenty of upside and this is his chance to claim black-type success.

Bet Now: Sale Race 7

Sale – Race 9 5.10pm AEDT

No. 2 Capannello

It is fair to say that Capanello is racing in career best form and he has been excellent this campaign. He is a horse that very rarely produces a poor performance and he does run well over 1000 metres. It would a shock if he missed the placings and he can win again.

Bet Now: Sale Race 9

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We Will Provide Missing Link for Institutional Investors, Says Fidelity Crypto Head

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The president of Fidelity Digital Asset Services has spoken about the company’s plans in an interview, such as the decision not to launch an in-house exchange, how it intends to attract more institutional investors, and why it’s crypto offering is focused on custody and trade execution.

Crypto Paired with More Traditional Financial Models

In his interview with Laura Shin, yesterday, on her Unconfirmed podcast, Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity’s new investment arm, outlined the asset management’s game plan.

Rather than operating an exchange — which Jessop says “other folks are already doing quite a good job at” — the firm instead wants to focus its energy on creating high quality market access services for its customers.

To make this happen, Fidelity intends to work with existing exchange and infrastructure providers to evolve the market in a direction that “suits the needs of institutions” as opposed to retail clients (at least for the near future). However, Jessop declined to divulge which exchanges have so far garnered Fidelity’s stamp of approval.

In order to meet the “needs of institutions,” Fidelity is building its platform around a more traditional model. This move is in response to what Jessop sees as a big problem in the current market: that most cryptocurrency exchanges require buyers and sellers to have funds upfront, and this need for pre-funded accounts creates friction.

In order to provide a frictionless experience, Fidelity plans to follow a model that permits users to execute trades at one or more exchanges at best price, then determine how to settle. This is what institutional demand requires, Jessop says.

Fidelity: Perfect Fit for Custody Solution

He goes further, though, explaining how currently there are lots of investors who have large positions in crypto that face difficulties executing trades due to the lack of a suitable custodian.

This is the gap in the market Fidelity hopes to fill.

Jessop believes that Fidelity’s vaulted cold storage custody solution, when paired with its traditional security protocols (the “Fidelity standard”), will be the missing link that finally lures a herd of institutional investors into the cryptosphere.

Jessop continues, saying that it’s Fidelity, and only Fidelity, that has the tools to make this happen. He explains that the level of security necessary to safeguard customer’s private keys is a mix of physical security, cybersecurity, and operation security, which, as Jessop points out, Fidelity has a lot of experience with.

Not only is the firm currently handling over $7 trillion in assets, but it’s been researching and experimenting with cryptocurrencies and blockchain since 2014.

This is exactly what Fidelity is selling to institutional customers: “we know how to manage security at scale.”

Accelerated Influx of Institutional Investors

In closing, Jessop highlights the fact that as of late there’s been a rapid maturation of interest in the industry.

This includes real work that is being done to determine the role of digital assets in a broader investment thesis such afamily offices and emerging asset managers who are looking to create trust products and other market access vehicles for crypto.

This reflects the fact that investors are starting to do work around the digital asset class in the same way that they try to understand equity markets of fixed income markets. Jessop points out that this is a very healthy sign for the industry moving forward.

It’s now been 10 years since the world was introduced to the Bitcoin whitepaper. However, according to Jessop it is Fidelity’s new crypto offerings, paired with the state of the growing industry, that create the perfect storm for an acceleration of institutional investors into the market. 

Leading the Curve

Looking ahead, on the back of this institutional evolution into the space, we can “expect more [influx] over this year and into ‘19, which will raise the bar for everyone and help accelerate growth in the market,” Jessop claims.

Although he is willing to admit that Fidelity may not have made a particularly early entrance into the crypto space (compared to startups, the very nature of institutions means they typically don’t lead the market in new ventures), today, with its offerings geared towards attracting institutional investors, the firm is in many ways ahead of the majority of its Wall Street competitors:

“Fidelity is excited to be the first, or one of the first, and expect there will be more [asset management firms] behind us,” Jessop concludes.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Blockchain-Powered Islamic Bonds to Fund Microfinance Projects in Indonesia

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Indonesian firm Blossom Finance has announced plans to launch blockchain-based sukuk, Islamic bonds, to fund microfinance projects in the Muslim-majority country.

Blossom Finance’s “Smart Sukuk” to Automate Issuance of Islamic Bonds

The project, to roll out in the coming months, involves using distributed ledger technology to keep issuance costs low while attracting a large pool of retail investors, said Khalid Howladar, chief strategy officer.

“Technology allows you to onboard customers in a far cheaper way than you could ever do before, Howladar said.

Howladar added that the deal would be smaller than most other sukuk, but the asset would use a profit-sharing structure and carry a profit rate of around 10 percent. Other planned blockchain-based sukuk will aim to fund an environmental waste disposal project and a hospital expansion, Reuters reported.

Blossom Finance’s “Smart Sukuk” platform leverages Ethereum blockchain smart contracts and increases the efficiency and reach of sukuk issuance by standardizing and automating much of the legal, accounting, and payment overhead of conventional sukuk offerings.

Smart Sukuks charge no upfront fees or costs to the institutions or investors. Rather, Blossom takes a 20% share of the investor’s profits – called a carried capital interest, Matthew J. Martin, chief executive, explained in a statement.

“It’s all about having skin in the game. The world is full of quick money bankers that simply want to transfer the risk away – and that is completely against the spirit of Islamic finance. The excessive risk transferred garbage assets that bankers love led to the 2008 worldwide financial implosion. Sukuk is the polar opposite: it’s based on assets, not debt; it involves risk participation, not risk transfer.”

What distinguishes a sukuk as a “securitized” asset is that after the issuance of a share of ownership, investors can hold a sukuk until maturity and receive payments from the fund-raising institution or they can sell their ownership to a third party in the secondary market.

With Blossom’s Smart Sukuk, fundraisers collect funds from investors in exchange for Smart Sukuk Tokens, which represent an ownership portion of the sukuk.

Payments are automatically distributed back to the Smart Sukuk Token holders via the blockchain according to the rules of the smart contract and without the need of conventional banks or intermediaries.

Moreover, the blockchain product does not require institutions to add cryptocurrency to their balance sheet as the Smart Sukuk supports the issuance of Sharia-compliant bonds in local currency.

BMT Bina Ummah, a non-profit cooperative located in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, is using Blossom Finance’s platform to ask for the equivalent of $85,000. Profit from microfinance activities will be split in a ratio of 40% to the investor and 60% to the issuer.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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IBM Survey: No Major Central Bank Will Implement CBDCs in the Near-Term

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A report on central bank digital currencies has found that 61% of institutions don’t think a blockchain is necessary due to low efficiency gains during trials.

IBM Survey Finds That Central Banks Won’t Be Introducing CBDCs in Near-Term

The report was conducted by IBM and the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF).

The survey, finalized on 21 September 2018, recognized several policy concerns, mainly in regard to financial stability and the implications of widening access to central bank accounts.

While 38 percent of respondents came from institutions that are actively researching and trialing wholesale CBDCs, no major central bank intends to implement a retail CBDC in the near-term.

Providing a holistic view of approaches to setting up a wholesale CBDC, which are deemed to be the most relevant digital currencies for the central banking and regulatory community, the IBM report demystifies the popular idea that banks are no longer needed in the financial system, said Jesse Lund, vice president of IBM Blockchain.

“The social movement behind Bitcoin has perpetuated a mistaken idea that banks are no longer necessary actors for secure global money transfer.”

According to the report, countries which decide to adopt CDBCs are likely to create a central bank-issued, fiat currency-backed digital token, with no significant monetary policy implications and designed simply as a digital reserve.

The U.S. monetary system may integrate blockchain in the future, taking into account the words of Lael Brainard, member of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

“Digital tokens for wholesale payments and some aspects of distributed ledger technology – the key technologies underlying cryptocurrencies – may hold promise for strengthening traditional financial instruments and markets.”

What could have profound geopolitical and regulatory implications is the eventual expansion of wholesale CBDC to serve as a digital global reserve asset along the lines of the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing right.

Distributed ledger technology may not be necessary in the eyes of the majority of respondents. Even the Bank of England (BoE), which shows enthusiasm regarding blockchain, says the technology is not yet mature for purposes of real-time gross settlement.

The report noted:

“61% of central banks said a blockchain may not be necessary as they have observed few efficiency gains during trials, given that the technology is still in early stages of development. Central banks such as the Bank of England believe DLT holds promise, but at this stage the Bank concludes that the technology is not sufficiently mature to be the core of next-generation RTGS systems.”

IBM Blockchain argues that wholesale CBDC may improve efficiency, speed, and resilience, as well as lower the cost and complexity associated with existing faulty and error-prone payments systems.

Central bank-issued CBDC may remove credit risk and ensure stability of the token’s value, the report argues, adding that liquidity risk is removed as the central bank can issue more tokens.

The document also states that a decentralized system provides more independence to participants, who can send tokens peer-to-peer and settle central bank money in real time, regardless of the central operator being online or not.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Prominent Analyst: Bitcoin is Still in the Middle of a Bear Market

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An inverse monetary velocity pattern indicates that bitcoin bulls are wrong about the market’s next bull run.

Willi Woo, a prominent cryptocurrency market analyst, pitted the digital currency network value (or market cap) against the daily US Dollar volume transmitted through the blockchain. A proportion between the two equated into Bitcoin Network-to-Value (Bitcoin NV) Ratio, similar to P/E ratio used in equity markets.  A high Bitcoin BV indicates that the net value is exceeding the sum that is getting transmitted to Bitcoin’s payment network. It alternatively means that investors get inside an unsustainable bubble.

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Willy Woo analyzed a historical correlation between Bitcoin NV parameters. When there was a deviation between the network volume and the value transmitted through the bitcoin blockchain, the market switched to a bearish bias. Conversely, it went bullish when deviation became minimal. At the present time, the divergence between the two said parameters is appearing wider than ever. The output of their ratio is available in the chart below:

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Nevertheless, Willy Woo admitted that the launch of Liquid, Bitcoin’s first sidechain, took a considerable amount of volume off the main chain. That could have manipulated the Bitcoin NV equation to some extent.

Bearish bias can fade

With bitcoin volume becoming one of the critical parameters of Willy Woo’s bearish analysis, another argument could reduce its impact. A low bitcoin volume market generally injects an idea that traders are using it as a store of value. It means that they are not actively trading it but speculating on the holding itself. Bitcoin-finding-bottom stories are controlling the current market sentiment. The investments made by institutional investors into this space attests to traders’ emotions, giving an adequate response to the low-volume criticism.

Willy Woo mentions the same in one of his tweets, stating that a Bitcoin is still performing better than other assets on larger time-frames. The analysis compared the risk-adjusted return of the digital currency with Gold, US Stocks, US Real Estate, Oil, Bonds, and whatnot.

“One of my favorites, comparing Bitcoin as a long-term investment to other assets over a 4 year HODL period. This is Sharpe Ratio, a measure of risk-adjusted returns. Bitcoin shines above all others,” he said while exemplifying it with a chart, as attached below:

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Low Volatility

Another sign of bullishness is low volatility. Institutional investors and regulators would likely prefer assets that exhibit the least volatility. Bitcoin so far has been a notorious instrument for its wild upside and downside swings. Traditional economists still reject the digital currency for displaying unremorseful market behaviors, gyrating even a retail investor.

However, the influx of serious money into the Bitcoin space has improved volatility to a considerable extent. Willy Woo found that a general BTC/USD pair was marking a volatility index similar to that of a mainstream forex pair, the NZD/USD. The analyst, however, quoted that the digital currency would still find it difficult to be referred to as a “store of value.”

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Engineers are Leaving Silicon Valley Firms to Crypto; Sign of Demand

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In recent months, an increasing number of engineers and developers announced that they are leaving established Silicon Valley tech companies in search for new opportunities in the world of blockchain and crypto.

Firms like Facebook, Apple, Google, Netflix, and Amazon are all viewed as target companies for most engineers. However, even these giants are rapidly losing their best developers to the growing blockchain industry.

Engineers’ Fascination with Blockchain Technology

A lot of these technicians, such as Facebook’s former engineer Maximilian Wang, or Qi Zhou, who worked at both, Facebook and Google, have left these firms to pursue the blockchain. They were among those who discovered blockchain technology relatively early, meaning prior to the explosion of cryptocurrency in 2017. Ever since then, they were fascinated by it, and they quickly became investors into crypto.

Despite the fact that this was only a little over a year ago, blockchain and cryptocurrency were still far from being as well-known as they are today. Because of that, even the most optimistic investors had doubts, but also strong faith in the new tech. After the crypto craze kicked off, numerous investors such as Preethi Kasireddy decided to leave their former positions and try their luck in the blockchain world.

While this was undoubtedly a big risk to take, they believed that it was worth taking. The blockchain world greeted them with open arms. Not only are engineers coming from big companies highly skilled and sought after in the crypto and blockchain industries, but their background also brings new credibility to these projects.

It is known how difficult it can be to get a good position in firms like Google, Facebook, or Amazon. And when someone from those position leaves for a specific blockchain project, that is a big nod to this project’s quality and potential. Furthermore,  a lot of engineers in these companies are young people, in their late 20’s or early 30’s, which allows them to quickly understand and accept new concepts.

Why Crypto and Blockchain Won’t Work Within Large Firms

A lot of these engineers are not leaving tech firms for blockchain and crypto in their desire to earn better. Instead, they are leaving simply due to their belief in this technology, and its potential to take over traditional methods at some point in the future. They wish to help this technology reach that point. However, they cannot hope to work on the blockchain within the large companies.

Some firms like Facebook have developed an interest in the blockchain, and have even launched teams that will research this technology. However, due to the fact that Facebook is a large, well-established company, it has far more restrictions than startups that are free to shape themselves however they like. Another large issue comes from ICOs. If Facebook were to launch an ICO, this would be a very sensitive project. It would have to be responsible to the shareholders, it would need good reasons for the move, and it would have to find a way to implement digital coins into its existing business model.

These difficulties will likely prevent large firms from reaching out to blockchain and crypto in the near future. However, engineers and developers still believe that this technology is the future, and they are willing to risk their careers at the largest tech companies in order to help that future arrive sooner.

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