The Great Crypto War

Ever since cryptocurrencies made their mainstream debut, they’ve been polarising to say the least.

In response to crypto mania, companies in the tech and finance industries have split off into two staunchly opposed camps.

On the one hand are companies that decided to ride the crypto wave in the hopes of making a profit. On the other are those that make a point of fiercely opposing it on the grounds that cryptos are, at best, an ill-conceived scam.

Samsung joins the crypto party

Despite the incessant crypto debate, Samsung is the latest tech giant to join the ranks of crypto adopters.

In a statement released this week, they revealed they would become the first major semiconductor firm to manufacture a chip specifically for mining digital currency. This move is likely to help Samsung rival the small number of Chinese firms that currently dominate the crypto chip market.

This collision of tech could be immensely profitable for Samsung, as graphics cards and mining chips remain among the most lucrative of industries. The demand is so high that it has resulted in worldwide shortages and inflated pricing of mining-related computer equipment.

Clearly, the popularity of crypto mining hasn’t diminished despite the significant price drop bitcoin and other coins have experienced in 2018. Bitcoin has fallen 9.9% this week, slipping below the US$10,000 mark. The prices of all top 10 coins also dropped this week, including Cardano, NEM and EOS.

Samsung’s crypto innovation strategy seems to be working well for the company, having just overtaken Intel as the world’s largest chipmaker by revenue. A spot Intel has held since 1992.

By jumping on the digital currency bandwagon, Samsung joins a host of other companies that have harnessed the potential of cryptos.  

Kodak, which last month announced a blockchain-based service designed to help photographers get paid when their photos are used without a licence, is another prime example of this.

Kodak’s stock price shot up 200% following the announcement, and has remained elevated since.

Meanwhile, the list of major influencers that wish to suppress the bourgeoning power of cryptos continues to grow. Traditionally, central bankers and governments have been the key players in repressing the rise of cryptos — notably Chinese and South Korean authorities.

But on Tuesday this week, a social media giant joined the ranks of crypto-deniers, with Facebook revealing that they would no longer be permitting cryptocurrency advertising. In a statement released this week, they said they would cease to promote ‘…financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.

Their motives for the ban remain ambiguous. And as Shae wrote this week, it was likely a move solely made to appease investors.

However, as we appear to be in the midst of a crypto price crash, and as the headlines about major exchange hacks keep rolling in, it’s difficult to know which side to support. Both present legitimate arguments, and it can be confusing sorting through the conflicting information.

That’s why it’s important to obtain your facts from reputable sources. And to avoid those who so readily dub themselves ‘crypto experts’ after only a few weeks of reading mainstream headlines.

Sam Volkering does not fall into that category. He has been following cryptocurrencies since 2013, and has written extensively on the subject since. His new book, Crypto Revolution, explains in simple terms how to navigate and exploit the world of crypto. So before you dive into — or completely write off — the Wild West of crypto, you should check out his book here.

This week in Markets & Money

On Monday, Ryan reflected on the growing level of global debt. After years of excessive money printing, interest rates have been left artificially low and asset price bubbles have sprung up across the board. Central banks now need to unwind this process. Although the market drops might spook investors, a correction is necessary to prevent a crash. And if the banks don’t make a move this year, the crash in 2019 could be devastating.

To read the full story, click here.

On Tuesday, Shae wound back the clock to the 1960s. It was a time of retail revolution in Australia. Major shopping malls like Chadstone were beginning to pop up, soon to become the norm for the suburban shopping experience. Now retail is on the verge of massive change again. With retail growth stagnating, retailers need to adapt to the new desires of consumers. And Westfield Corporation could be leading the way…

To find out how, click here.

On Wednesday, Shae made an astute comparison between the current state of the market and a party in full swing. You may have noticed that things appear pretty good right now. Almost too good. And as people get more comfortable, they fall into a false sense of security. Much like a good party, optimism about the economy can go on for too long. And as the hangover that is likely to follow becomes worse by the hour, investors should beware.

To read the full story, click here.

On Thursday, Facebook joined the long list of influencers attempting to control cryptocurrencies. While Chinese and South Korean governments got the ball rolling, now it seems even social media websites want in on the action. Facebook has recently announced that it would start banning all crypto advertising as it often comes from companies with dubious motives. But Shae believes that there’s another motive behind Facebook’s attack on cryptos…

To learn more about this story, click here.

On Friday, Shae became aware of a questionable marketing scheme. One where anyone can learn to become a financial services broker via a franchising model. The reason for this generous offer is more sinister than you might think. Brokerage firms are preparing to ride a big boom about to hit the Aussie stock market. And they are looking to take unsuspecting consumers along for the ride as insurance.

To read the full story, click here.

Katherine Johnson, usually going by just ‘Katie’, is a member of Port Phillip Publishing’s editorial team, as well as the Editor of the Saturday edition of Markets & Money. Katie works with all of your editors to maintain the quality of their research and analysis. In her Saturday Markets & Money articles she specialises in cryptocurrency and technology stories, and brings you a recap of the week from your other Markets and Money editors.

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