Yellen: Banks ‘very much stronger’; another financial crisis not likely ‘in our lifetime’

  • Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that banks are “very much stronger” and another financial crisis is unlikely anytime soon.
  • Speaking during an exchange in London with British Academy President Lord Nicholas Stern, the central bank chief said the Fed has learned lessons from the financial crisis and has brought stability to the banking system.
  • Banks last week passed the first round of the Fed’s stress tests to see how they would perform under adverse conditions like a 10 percent unemployment rate and turbulence in commercial real estate and corporate debt.
  • “I think the public can see the capital positions of the major banks are very much stronger this year,” Yellen said.
  • The crisis, which erupted in September 2008 with the implosion of Lehman Brothers but had been stewing for years, would have been “worse than the Great Depression” without the Fed’s intervention, Yellen said.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that banks are “very much stronger” judging by how major institutions did in the recent stress tests.
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Land grabGovernments may be big backers of the blockchain

How Governments may be big backers of the #Blockchain  #Smartcity

  • But now it also uses the technology underlying bitcoin, called the “blockchain”, to help secure Georgian government records.
  • Experts are eyeing the experiment for proof of whether blockchain technology could alter the infrastructure of government everywhere.
  • Brian Forde, a blockchain expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argues that governments will drive its adoption—an ironic twist for something that began as a libertarian counter model to centralised authority.
  • According to a recent IBM survey of government leaders (conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister company), nine in ten government organisations say they plan to invest in blockchain technology to help manage financial transactions, assets, contracts and regulatory compliance by next year.
  • Valery Vavilov, BitFury’s head, says blockchains are not merely a business opportunity, but a way to change how governments serve their citizens.

IN THE hills overlooking Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, sits a nondescript building housing rows of humming computer servers. The data centre, operated by the BitFury Group, a technology company, was built to “mine” (cryptographically generate) bitcoin, the digital currency.
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SAP’s chief strategy officer thinks blockchain is not a zero-sum game

  • Blockchain is not a zero-sum game and its implementation across various sectors is going to be an overall positive for businesses, German software company SAP’s chief strategy officer said Wednesday.
  • Deepak Krishnamurthy spoke to CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual June meeting in Dalian, where he said blockchain will complement SAP’s supply chain business.
  • We have the largest supply chain product in the enterprise software industry, so having blockchain supply chains connect with SAP supply chains is going to be value-creating for our customers,” he said.
  • Krishnamurthy said the technology’s adoption is going to benefit companies such as SAP by automating a lot of paper-based transactions.
  • Blockchain is not the only technology that SAP is focusing on.

Deepak Krishnamurthy told CNBC that blockchain will complement SAP’s supply chain business.
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Central banks raise alarm over new crash after steep rise in lending

  • World leaders have been warned to guard against another financial crash after a steep rise in risky bank lending over the past year that could threaten the stability of the global financial system.
  • The international body that represents central banks said a recovery in global trade this year and improving levels of GDP in most countries could create complacency and convince policymakers to ignore warning signs of excessive lending coming from the financial sector.
  • With only two weeks until the G20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) said politicians and central banks needed to keep financial markets in check to prevent another crash.
  • Soaring stock markets, which have become detached from underlying values, were another sign that unjustified exuberance had replaced last year’s overly pessimistic reaction to political events such as the US election and the UK’s Brexit vote, BIS cautioned in its annual report published on Sunday.
  • But despite these dangers, BIS warned that “keeping interest rates too low for long could raise financial stability and macroeconomic risks further down the road, as debt continues to pile up and risk-taking in financial markets gathers steam.”

Bankers warn that high-risk borrowers pose danger to stability of global financial markets
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Bitcoin Price Forecast – Focus on the Dollar

#bitcoin Price Forecast  Focus on the Dollar #blockchain #btc #eth #etc #ltc #xmr #ico #xrp

  • We had mentioned in our forecast yesterday that the bitcoin prices are likely to fall further on fundamental and technical factors and this is what we saw for the first half of the day yesterday.
  • We have been asking our readers to maintain an eye on the dollar prices as well as the bitcoin prices, like that of every other currency, are expressed as a combination of the prices of bitcoin and the dollar.
  • It is very convenient for many of the traders to focus just on the bitcoin aspect of this combination and lose sight of the equally important currency in the dollar.
  • It is very important that the trader has an eye on the relative strength of the dollar as well so that he can trade the bitcoin prices accordingly.
  • With the dollar expected to continue to weaken in the short term, we should see the bitcoin prices move higher and continue the bullish trend that we are likely to see in the cryptocurrency industry in the days and the weeks to come.

We had mentioned in our forecast yesterday that the bitcoin prices are likely to fall further on fundamental and technical factors and this is what we saw for the first half of the day yesterday. But this was soon followed by  a recovery in the prices which has since pushed the prices steadily higher
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Yes, Bitcoin is a bubble and it’s about to burst

Yes, Bitcoin is a bubble and it’s about to burst by @jessefelder

  • The popularity of trading Bitcoin has now reached the point where none other than the New York Times sees fit to declare cryptocurrencies, or more specifically initial coin offerings, “The Easiest Path To Riches On The Web.”
  • Not to be left out, CNBC published a brief tutorial on trading crypto with your smartphone and MarketWatch featured a teenage bitcoin millionaire who now forecasts a $1 million price target.
  • These are exactly the sort of headlines and stories that characterize a speculative mania otherwise known as a “bubble.”
  • What makes the “initial coin offering” craze that much crazier than the day-trading mania is that these are essentially nothing more than very thinly-veiled ponzi schemes.
  • Like every bubble (or ponzi scheme) they’re counting on a greater fool paying an even more insane price so they can realize a profit.

The popularity of trading Bitcoin has now reached the point where none other than the New York Times sees fit to declare cryptocurrencies, or more specifically initial coin offerings, “The Easiest Path To Riches On The Web.” Not to be left out, CNBC published a brief tutorial on trading crypto with your
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GPU Makers Are Now Specifically Targeting Ethereum And Bitcoin Miners

GPU makers are now specifically marketing to bitcoin and ethereum miners

  • But traditional graphics cards are not especially well-suited to the cryptocurrency mining gold rush.
  • The solution may well be on the way, in the form of graphics cards made specifically for cryptocurrency miners.
  • There are now two such cards listed on the website of PC component maker ASUS: the MINING GP106-6G and the MINING RX470-4G.
  • The product page claims that the GP106-6G, “enhances the megahash rate by up to 36% compared cards in the same segment that are not tailored for mining.”
  • AMD’s graphics cards have long been the preferred choice for cryptocurrency miners.

A pair of ASUS cards with few or no display outputs and heavy-duty cooling may be just what the miners are after.
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Hackers have made just 3.7 bitcoin – or less than $10,000 – with the latest cyberattack

Hackers have made just 3.7 bitcoin – or less than $10,000 – with the latest cyberattack

  • Those behind the recent cyberattack affecting businesses around Europe have successful received a total of nearly 4 bitcoins, worth around $9621 at today’s price.
  • On Tuesday, reports emerged of a ransomware virus affecting businesses and governments throughout Eastern Europe.
  • The malware, which has been identified as a modified version of the “Petya” virus, has also affected business in Western Europe, including Maersk, Merck and WPP.
  • The virus locks users out of their computer and demands a ransom of $300 paid in Bitcoin.

Those behind the cyberattack affecting Europe have only succeeded in receiving a total of nearly 4 bitcoins, worth just $9621.
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Global Cyberattack: What We Know and Don’t Know

#Bitcoin on a rollercoaster ride after the latest global cyber attack. All you need to know.

  • • Cybersecurity researchers first called the new ransomware attack Petya, as it bore similarities to a ransomware strain known by that name, which was first reported by Kasperksy in March 2016.
  • • Symantec, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity firm, confirmed that the ransomware was infecting computers through at least one exploit, or vulnerability to computer systems, known as Eternal Blue.
  • • ESET and several other cybersecurity companies have identified at least one other exploit used in the attack known as PsExec, which takes advantage of a single computer that has not been updated with the latest software in a network to spread infections by looking for — and using — administrative credentials.
  • • Several cybersecurity researchers have identified a Bitcoin address to which the attackers are demanding a payment of $300 from their victims.
  • Cybersecurity researchers say that like WannaCry, the ransomware infects computers using vulnerabilities in the central nerve of a computer, called a kernel, making it difficult for antivirus firms to detect.

Here’s what we know and don’t know so far about the new ransomware attack hitting governments and companies around the world.
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Nvidia to launch graphics cards specifically designed for digital currency mining

  • Nvidia, the market’s best-performing stock, is going to launch graphics cards specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining through its partners.
  • Product listings for Nvidia-based and AMD-based cryptocurrency mining cards recently appeared on the website of ASUS, a leading maker of graphics cards.
  • ASUS Nvidia-based mining card product page

    Nvidia, AMD and ASUS have not officially announced the digital currency mining cards, according to their website press pages.

  • The dramatic jump in digital currency prices this year is driving demand for Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.
  • AMD told CNBC in early June the “newly resurgent cryptocurrency mining markets” were driving demand for its graphics cards.

Nvidia will release graphic cards specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining through its partners, according to a source familiar with the matter.
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