Here are the TL;DR headlines from today’s show:
Phony bank accounts a normal thing for Wells Fargo. Friday stocks drop but perhaps the news is being overblown. IMF managing direct warns: the natives are getting restless. Euro-zone is seeing price inflation for food. Finland tests out a basic income. Lykke Initial Coin Offering is underway, will it float? 2nd Largest BTC mining pool setting up a new pool for open-sourced testing of new mining techniques. SegWit is being criticized for the soft-fork approach. Is that a blockchain on your telephone pole? Utilities and the blockchain. Ethereum Classic is still kicking but for what and how will they innovate better than ETH?
All this and more here on Neocash Radio episode 173! Recorded September 14th, 2016 in Manchester, NH!
We’ve written out short overviews of the topics discussed on today’s show below; be sure to listen in to the whole podcast to get more information, insights, and thoughts on each of them from JJ, Darren, and Randy!
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DOW Jones 18,034.77
30Y UST 2.44% up
Bitcoin (BTC) $615
Litecoin (LTC) $3.86
Ether (ETH) $12.05
Monero (XMR) $10.40
1 doge = 1 doge
5,300 Wells Fargo employees fired over 2 million phony accounts
Federal regulators said Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts since 2011. The fraudulent accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees while employees boosted their sales figures to make higher commissions and bonuses. The Wells Fargo CEO has come out defending the bank’s culture, claiming there was “no incentive to do bad things” while laying blame solely on “bad employees.”
Clearly, there was an incentive; the report calls this a “widespread” practice, citing an estimated 1.5 million deposit accounts and over 565,000 credit card accounts that were created without customer’s knowledge. Wells Fargo has fired 5,300 employees in relation to this scam, and has been slapped with $185 million in fines, and will issue $5 million to refund customers.
Friday: Stocks See Biggest Drop Since June as Rate-Hike Fears Grip Wall Street
US Stocks go down slightly, but not dramatically on news that quantitative easing in the European Union will sunset in March of 2017. This may result in higher corporate interest rates in the EU, which can influence other interest rates. This may result in (slight) upward pressure on interest rates in the US. However, there is a limit. Some analysts still believe that the European Central Bank may vote to extend the €80 billion monthly money-printing devaluation beyond March, but are speculating that they will announce that decision in December.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warns of ‘groundswell of discontent’ against globalisation
Giving a speech titled “Making Globalisation Work For All”, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director warned politicians that “growing inequality in wealth, income, and opportunity in many countries has added to a groundswell of discontent, especially in the industrialized world,” adding that many people felt they “lack control” in a “system [that] is somehow against them”.
Unfortunately, her proposed solutions to this problem include ideas that have proven to not be effective, like increasing mandatory minimum wages.
Euro zone return to inflation confirmed as food prices surge
A small uptick in Euro zone inflation in July was confirmed by data in August which showed food prices surging over the year, although overall price indices still fell in 12 of the 19 member states. Euro zone prices rose 0.2 percent year-on-year, though the annual inflation rate remains quite shy of the European Central Bank’s target of just under 2 percent.
Finland to test implementing Basic Income
Finland has randomly selected a group of 2,000–3,000 citizens already on unemployment benefits to begin receiving a monthly basic income of €560 (approx. $600). The pilot study will run from 2017-2018, and will assess whether basic income can help actually increase the employment rate, reduce poverty, social exclusion, and bureaucracy.
The difference between these basic income payments and the recipient’s current unemployment not immediately apparent, but Finland has promoting “experimental governance,” which tests multiple solutions to problems over a specified timeframe and implements those programs which performed best.
Lykke, a Swiss FinTech company, aims to create a global marketplace to trade financial instruments and more
Lykke, a trading venue where buy and sell orders are crossed with a matching engine, announced the start of its ICO campaign. The company hopes to raise 1.5 million Swiss francs through the sale of thirty million Lykke coins, which represent ownership of the Lykke company. Lykke itself is not a crypto-currency or distributed ledger technology company; it is a marketplace that allows secure trading of financial instruments over the Bitcoin blockchain with colored coins, and it reportedly integrates seamlessly with the existing traditional financial system.
2nd Largest BTC mining pool launches 2nd pool to explore mining technology
Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer Bitmain has launched a new mining pool as a part of its block explorer BTC.com’s offering. The new mining pool—its second after Antpool—is open-source, reportedly reduces the odds of mining orphaned blocks, and will not charge any fees until 2017, at which point the pool will collect 1.5%.
Segwit Moves Closer to Full Proposal for Bitcoin as Accusations of Politicking Flare
Segregated Witness (Segwit), a proposed solution to Bitcoin’s block size debate, is nearing full proposal, but many feel that its advancement has been controversial and politically motivated. There is also criticism that Segwit would be implemented by a soft-fork—where 75% of the nodes need to agree to the change—rather than a hard-fork, where it would require consensus from the entire network to be adopted without splitting the network.
Segwit reduces Bitcoin transaction size by separating the signature field and the transaction data, and lower transaction size allows for more transactions to be included in a block, regardless of block size.
Bitcoin Technology Harnessed to Push Electricity Revolution
Blockchains are starting to disrupt the electricity industry. Systems like TransactiveGrid from ConsenSys run off an Ethereum-based blockchain to measure energy consumption and generation from solar panels in Brooklyn to allow neighbors to pool resources, handle micropayments, and sell energy back to the grid without costly middlemen and human meter readers.
Yes, there are developments happening with Ethereum Classic
Former Ethereum CEO Charles Hoskinson joined the Ethereum Classic dev team earlier this year, and just posted an update to Steemit updating followers on what’s happening. Among the bulletpoints, they’ve interviewed several community manager candidates, are forming a technological steering committee, are investigating new smart contract languages such as those coming from Synereo, and they’re looking to potentially rebrand to avoid confusion and potential trademark issues with Ethereum.
TheDAO hacker moves funds, gives 1000 ETC to ETC Dev team
The anonymous hacker(s) behind the DAO debacle has begun moving around his/her/their Ethereum funds into different accounts, and as a strange tip of the hat, sent 1000 ETC (approximately $1,300) to the Ethereum Classic development team.