While there was some nuance in yesterday's pre-open trading, with Asia at least putting up a valiant defense to what would soon become another US rout, this morning the market theme is far simpler: a global sea of red.
Stocks fell across the globe as worries over softening demand for the iPhone prompted a tech stock selloff across the world, while the arrest of car boss Carlos Ghosn pulled Nissan and Renault sharply lower. Even China's recent rally fizzled and the Shanghai composite closed down 2.1% near session lows, signalling that the global slump led by tech shares would deepen Tuesday, adding a new layer of pessimism to markets already anxious over trade. Treasuries advanced and the dollar edged higher.
S&P 500 futures traded near session lows, down 0.6% and tracking a fall in European and Asian shares after renewed weakness in the tech sector pushed Nasdaq futures sharply lower for a second day after Monday's 3% plunge
and crippled any hopes for dip buying. News around Apple triggered the latest bout of stock market selling, after the Wall Street Journal reported the consumer tech giant is cutting production for its new iPhones.
Europe's Stoxx 600 Index dropped a fifth day as its technology sector fell 1.3% to the lowest level since February 2017, taking the decline from mid-June peak to 21% and entering a bear market. Not surprisingly, the tech sector was the worst performer on the European benchmark on Tuesday, following Apple’s decline to near bear-market territory and U.S. tech stocks plunge during recent sell-off. The selloff was compounded by an auto sector drop led by Nissan and Renault after Ghosn, chairman of both carmakers, was arrested in Japan for alleged financial misconduct. The European auto sector was not far behind, dropping 1.6 percent, and the broad European STOXX 600 index was down 0.9 percent to a four-week low.
“Most of Europe had a red session yesterday and that has been compounded by the news on Apple and tech stocks overnight, The overall climate is risk off,” said Investec economist Philip Shaw. “Beyond stocks, the Italian bonds spread (over German bonds) is at its widest in about a month now, and Brexit continues to rumble on - uncertainty is very much hurting risk sentiment,” he added.
Earlier, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 1.2 percent, with Samsung Electronics falling 2 percent. In Japan, Sony Corp shed 3.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 1.1 percent, with shares of Nissan Motor Co tumbling more than 5% after Ghosn’s arrest and on news he will be fired from the board this week.
Meanwhile, as noted yesterday, the CDS index of US investment grade issuers blew out to the widest level since the Trump election, signaling renewed nerves about the asset class.
Exactly two months after the S&P hit all time highs, stocks have been caught in a vicious decline and continue to struggle for support as some of the technology companies that helped drive the S&P 500 to a record high earlier this year tumbled amid a slowdown in consumer sales and fears over regulation, many of them entering a bear market.
At the same time, a more gloomy macro outlook is emerging, with Goldman chief equity strategist David kostin overnight recommending investors hold more cash even as it reiterated its base case of S&P 3000 in 2019.
Ray Dalio disagreed, and said that investors should expect low returns for a long time after enjoying years of low interest rates from central-bank stimulus.
“The easy days of long, global bull markets where you can invest in a tracker for five basis points -- I say this as an active fund manager -- and watch the thing go up, I think those days are gone,” Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Barclays Bank PLC and Standard Life Aberdeen PLC, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “It’s going to be a move back to value investing, and back to the Warren Buffett-style of investment.”
In the latest Brexit news, UK PM May is reportedly drawing up secret plans to drop the Irish border backstop and win support from angry Brexiteers, while reports added PM May has received agreement from the EU to drop the backstop plan if both sides can agree on alternative arrangements to keep the border open. Meanwhile, Brexiteers reportedly still lack the sufficient number of signatures required to trigger a no-confidence vote against UK PM May, the FT reported. In related news, Brexit rebels reportedly admitted attempts to oust PM May has stalled as Eurosceptic MPs turned on each other. The Telegraph also reported that the confidence vote now appears to be on hold until after Parliament votes in December on Mrs May's Brexit deal.
Sky News reported that the UK government are to publish new analysis before the MPs’ meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement comparing the “costs and benefits” of Brexit. The impact of three scenarios will be measured; no Brexit, no deal, and leaving with the government's draft deal and a free trade agreement.
In rates, Treasuries rose, driving the 10-year yield down to its lowest level since late September, ahead of Thanksgiving Thursday. Italian government bond yields jumped to one-month high on Tuesday and Italian banking stocks dropped to a two-year low, hurt by risk aversion and concerns over the Italian budget. Euro zone money markets no longer fully price in even a 10 bps rate rise from the European Central Bank in 2019, indicating growing investor concern about the economic outlook in the currency bloc.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index whipsawed in early London trading even as it stayed near a more than one-week low on concern cooling global growth will slow the pace of Fed rate hikes, keeping Treasury yields under pressure. At the same time, the pound stabilized as Theresa May appealed to business leaders to help deliver her Brexit deal, and evidence mounted that a plot to oust her as U.K. Prime Minister is faltering.
The euro slid as Italian bonds dropped, pushing the yield spread to Germany to the widest in a month; the currency had opened the London session higher, supported by corporate buying in EUGBP. The yen rallied to a month-to-date high as Asian stocks followed a U.S. equity slide while the New Zealand dollar got a boost from a jump in milk production; the Aussie was on the back foot even after the RBA said Australia’s unemployment rate could fall further in the near term. India’s rupee rallied a sixth day after the central bank signaled a compromise with the government in their dispute over reserves.
Bitcoin extended its drop below $4,500 for the first time since October 2017.
WTI crude oil futures hovered around $57 a barrel after oil prices lost steam as fears about slower global demand and a surge in U.S. production outweighed expected supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Brent crude slipped 0.9 percent to $66.21 per barrel.
In other overnight news, BoJ Governor Kuroda said there is currently no need to ease further, while he added that there was a need for bold monetary policy in 2013 and now we need to persistently continue with policy. Furthermore, Kuroda suggested that the chance of reaching the 2% inflation target during FY2020 is low. Japanese PM Abe says the next initial budget is to have measures to address sales tax.
India's Finance Ministry sources expect that the RBI will stand pat on rates at its meeting next month.
RBA Governor Lowe states that steady policy is to be maintained for 'a while yet' and it is likely that rates will increase at some point if the economy progresses as expected.
Expected data include housing starts and building permits. Best Buy, Campbell Soup, Lowe’s, Medtronic, Target, TJX, and Gap are among companies reporting earnings. Market Snapshot
Top Overnight News
- S&P500 futures down 0.8% to 2,676.00
- STOXX Europe 600 down 0.5% to 353.25
- MXAP down 1% to 150.89
- MXAPJ down 1.2% to 481.70
- Nikkei down 1.1% to 21,583.12
- Topix down 0.7% to 1,625.67
- Hang Seng Index down 2% to 25,840.34
- Shanghai Composite down 2.1% to 2,645.85
- Sensex down 0.8% to 35,498.94
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 5,671.79
- Kospi down 0.9% to 2,082.58
- German 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 0.359%
- Euro down 0.2% to $1.1433
- Italian 10Y yield rose 10.4 bps to 3.223%
- Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.3 bps to 1.653%
- Brent futures down 0.8% to $66.23/bbl
- Gold spot little changed at $1,223.14
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 96.29
Asian stock markets were lower across the board as
- Bank of England governor Carney appears before lawmakers on Tuesday. He’ll be joined by fellow interest-rate setters Jon Cunliffe, Andy Haldane and Michael Saunders. Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan has already asked the BOE to assess any agreement
- While Salvini is threatening to hijack the EU agenda as the dispute over Italy’s 2019 budget heats up, his closest adviser is trying to steer the populist coalition away from a head-on clash with Brussels, according to senior government and League officials who asked not to be named discussing confidential matters
- Credit markets are set for the worst year since the global financial crisis as investors abandon hope of a late-2018 rally
- Turmoil engulfed cryptocurrency markets again on Tuesday, with every major coin extending a rout that’s rocking confidence in the nascent asset class. Bitcoin, which started the year at more than $14,000, has fallen below $4,500. Rivals including Ether, Litecoin and XRP joined the slide, though they pared losses that reached as much as 17 percent
- Evidence is mounting that the plot to oust U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is faltering. One rebel leader said in private that more than 50 Tories had claimed they would submit letter but they hadn’t all followed through
- Germany and France have warned the EU to do more to prevent the U.K. from being able to claim victory in Brexit talks, according to EU diplomats. Spain’s Foreign Minister said the EU shouldn’t accept a text on a Brexit agreement that Spain isn’t happy with
- U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he wants to keep a second Brexit referendum open as an option
- Australia’s unemployment rate may fall further in the near term based on leading indicators of labor demand, the central bank said in minutes of its November meeting
- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says he welcomes a diversity of opinion on the effectiveness of negative rates. He also said he believes continuing current policy is best approach for achieving the central bank’s inflation target
the risk averse tone rolled over from Wall St, where the tech sector led the sell-off as Apple shares dropped nearly 4% on reports it had reduced production orders and with all FAANG stocks now in bear market territory. As such, the tech sector underperformed in the ASX 200 (-0.4%) and Nikkei 225 (-1.1%) was also pressured with Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan among the worst hit after their Chairman Ghosn was arrested on financial misconduct allegations. Shanghai Comp. (-2.1%) and Hang Seng (-2.0%) were heavily pressured after the PBoC continued to snub liquidity operations and as China’s blue-chip tech names conformed to the global rout in the sector, while JD.com earnings added to the glum as China’s 2nd largest e-commerce firm posted its weakest revenue growth since turning public. Finally, 10yr JGBs were weaker amid profit taking after futures recently hit their highest in around a year and following mixed results at today’s 20yr auction. Top Asian News
- BlackRock Doesn’t Expect Significant Growth Slowdown in China - China Stocks Lead Global Losses as Tech Rout Hits Fragile Market - Stock Traders in Asia Keep Finding New Reasons to Hit ’Sell’ - World’s Largest Ikea to Open in Manila as Company Bets on Asia Major European indices are largely in the red
, with the SMI outperforming (+0.1%) which is being bolstered by Novartis (+1.0%) following their announcement of a joint digital treatment with Pear Therapeutics for substance abuse disorder. The DAX (-0.7%) is lagging its peers, weighed on by Wirecard (-5.0%) following a disappointing change to guidance forecasting as well as weak sentiment across IT names after the FAANG stocks entered bear market territory on Wall St. In particular, the Stoxx 600 Technology sector (-1.9%), dropped to its lowest level since Feb 2017. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank (-2.5%) are in the red due to reports that the Co processed payments for Danske Bank in Estonia. Top European News
- Draghi’s Man in Rome Shows Populists Alert to Budget Backlash
- BASF Targets $2.3 Billion Profit Boost From Corporate Revamp
- Danske Fights Back as Hush Money Claims Raise New Questions
- The One Thing Supercharging Europe Earnings in 2018 Is Crashing
- As Things Stand, Spain Will Vote Against Brexit Deal: Sanchez
the DXY index remains technically prone to further downside pressure having closed below another Fib support level yesterday and testing the next bearish chart area around 96.050-10 ahead of 96.000 even. However, a more concerted bout of risk-off trade/positioning saved the DXY and broad Dollar from steeper declines as the tech-induced sell-off in stocks intensified, and jitters over Brexit alongside the Italian budget returned to the fore. NZD/AUD
- The Kiwi is bucking the overall trend and outperforming in contrast to this time on Monday, with Nzd/Usd rebounding firmly to 0.6850+ levels and Aud/Nzd retreating through 1.0650 to just south of 1.0600 following overnight data showing a hefty 6.5% y/y rise in NZ milk collections for October. Conversely, the Aud/Usd has slipped back under 0.7300 again, and close to 0.7250 in wake of RBA minutes underscoring no rush to hike rates and subsequent affirmation of wait-and-see guidance from Governor Lowe. In fact, he asserts that the jobless rate could decline to 4.5% vs 5% at present without inducing wage inflation, while also underlining concerns about the supply of credit. JPY/CHF
- Both benefiting from their more intrinsic allure during periods of pronounced risk aversion and investor angst, as Usd/Jpy probes a bit deeper below 112.50 and a key Fib at 112.46 that could be pivotal on a closing basis with potential to expose daily chart support circa 112.16 ahead of 112.00. Meanwhile, the Franc has inched closer to 0.9900 and over 1.1350 vs the Eur that remains burdened with the aforementioned Italian fiscal concerns. GBP/EUR
- Almost a case of déjà vu for Sterling and the single currency as early attempts to the upside vs the Greenback saw Cable and EuUsd revisit recent peaks around 1.2880 and 1.1470 respectively, but a combination of chart resistance and bearish fundamentals forced both back down to circa 1.2825 and 1.1425. In terms of precise technical/psychological levels, 1.2897 and 1.1445 represent Fib retracements, ahead of 1.2900 and 1.1500, while the Pound has remained relatively unchanged and unresponsive to largely on the fence pending Brexit rhetoric from the BoE in testimony to the TSC on November’s QIR. In commodities,
gold has stayed within a USD 5/oz range and traded relatively flat throughout the session moving with the steady dollar ahead of US Thanksgiving. Similarly, copper traded lacklustre breaking a 5-day rally because of a subdued risk sentiment stemming from ongoing US-China trade tensions; with Shanghai rebar adversely affected from these factors. Brent (-0.1%) and WTI (+0.2%) are following a relatively quiet overnight session, while recent upticks in the complex resulted in WTI reclaiming the USD 57/bbl and Brent edging closer to USD 67/bbl. This follows comments from IEA Chief Birol that Iranian oil exports declined by almost 1mln BPD from summer peaks. Looking ahead, traders will be keeping the weekly API crude inventory data which is expected to print a build of 8.79mln barrels. On today's light data calendar,
in the US, there should be some interest in the October housing starts and building permits data, especially following Fed Chair Powell’s recent comments acknowledging a slowdown in the housing market and yesterday’s homebuilder data. Away from that, the BoE’s Carney is due to appear before the Parliament’s Treasury Committee to discuss the Inflation Report, while the ECB’s Nouy and Bundesbank’s Weidmann are both scheduled to speak at separate events. US Event Calendar
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
- 8:30am: Housing Starts, est. 1.23m, prior 1.2m; MoM, est. 1.79%, prior -5.3%
- 8:30am: Building Permits, est. 1.26m, prior 1.24m; MoM, est. -0.79%, prior -0.6%
With the sell-off of the last 24 hours we have now traded through the last of our YE 2018 top level credit spread forecasts as US HY widened 6bps to +424bps (YE 2018 forecast was 420). We still think US HY is the most expensive part of the EUR & US credit universe but as discussed above, last night we’ve become more optimistic on all credit in the near-term after what has been the worst week of the year. Credit massively under-performed equities last week but equities caught up on the downside yesterday. The sell-off was underpinned by the FANG names selling off, an accounting scandal emerging at Nissan, oil swinging around and the US housing market spooked by weak data.
Just on the market moves first, the NASDAQ and NYFANG indexes slumped -3.03% and -4.28% yesterday, registering their fourth and third worst days of the year, respectively. Facebook and Apple fell -5.72% and -3.96% respectively, as the sector remains pressured amid a slew of negative PR and the spectre of stricter government regulation. Over the weekend, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview that “the free market is not working” and that new regulation is “inevitable”. This negatively impacted highly-valued social media companies. Twitter and Snapchat traded down -5.02% and -6.78% respectively. The tech sector was further pressured after the WSJ reported that Apple had cut production orders in recent weeks for the new model iPhones, with chipmakers broadly trading lower and Philadelphia semiconductor index shedding -3.86%. The S&P 500 and DOW also slumped -1.66% and -1.56% respectively while in Europe the STOXX 600 turned an early gain of +0.71% into a loss of -0.73%. In credit, cash markets were 2bps and 11bps wider for Euro IG and HY and 2bps and 6bps in the US. CDX IG and HY were, however, 3bps and 11bps wider, respectively. Elsewhere, WTI oil first tested breaking through $55/bbl yesterday, after Russia stopped short of committing to supply cuts, before recovering to close +0.52% at $56.76.
Bond markets were relatively quiet, with Treasuries and Bunds ending -0.4bps and +0.6bps, respectively, albeit masking bigger intraday moves. BTP yields rose +10.6bps to 3.597%, within 10 basis points of their recent closing peak, as rhetoric between Italian officials and their European peers continued to intensify. Finance Ministers from Austria and the Netherlands separately spoke publicly about their concerns, and expressed their hope that the European Commission will loyally enforce the fiscal rules. Italian Finance Minister Tria tried to calm conditions by framing the disagreement as relatively minor, though he also accused the Commission of being biased against expansionary policies, which he argued are needed to avert a macro slowdown.
Back to credit, as we highlighted yesterday, the recent weakness in the asset class has become a talking point for broader markets and while our view is now that value is starting to emerge, there are an increasing number of idiosyncratic stories plaguing the market. There were a couple more examples yesterday with the aforementioned story about Nissan removing its chairman after being arrested for violations of financial law. This caused Renault’s CDS to widen +25.0bps (equity down -8.43%), while Vallourec bonds dropped 15pts after falling 11pts on Friday as concerns mount about the company’s rising leverage in the wake of recent results. Like we’ve see in equity markets, it does feel like credits are now getting punished with sharp moves in the wake of negative headlines Certainly something to watch, but as we said above, credit is now much more attractively priced than it has been for some time.
From steel tubing to Downing Street, where we’ve actually had a rare temporary lull for Brexit headlines over the last 24 hours, although behind the scenes it does look we’re getting closer to the threshold for a confidence vote in PM May with the Times yesterday reporting that “senior Brexiteers” had told reporters that they had “firm pledges” from over 50 MPs to submit letters. As a reminder, 48 are needed to trigger the process. Looking further out, yesterday DB’s Oliver Harvey published a report arguing that there is still a path towards an orderly Brexit based on the existing Withdrawal Agreement should May survive a confidence vote. This path is provided by the political declaration on the future economic relationship. The latter has yet to be negotiated, and as the EU27 and UK recognise in the joint statement, the existing temporary customs arrangement (TCA) already provides a basis for a future economic relationship. Oli argues that the UK should push for the political declaration on the future relationship to explicitly commit the UK to a form of Brexit that might be described as “Norway plus.” The temporary customs arrangement would become permanent, but under the governance framework of UK membership of the EEA and EFT. The UK should tie the political declaration on the future relationship to the good faith clause in the existing Withdrawal Agreement, meaning that if negotiations were not pursued on these lines after the transition period had begun, the UK could withhold payments from the EU27. This would help to allay concerns from across the political divide that the UK would be “trapped” in a sub optimal customs union with the EU27.
Meanwhile, to complicate matters, Bloomberg has reported that the EU is mulling over issuing a series of separate statements on Brexit on Sunday, in addition to the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration. This comes after pressure from some EU countries not to appease any additional UK demands. Elsewhere, the SUN has reported that the PM May has drawn up a secret plan to scrap the Irish backstop arrangement in an attempt to win over angry Tory Brexiteers after a meeting with them yesterday. However, if a mutually agreeable solution couldn’t be found over the last couple of years, it seems tough to imagine one was finally found yesterday afternoon. We’ll see.
Further adding to the complexity of where Brexit heads, last night the DUP abstained on the UK finance bill, which implements the budget. This stops short of their prior threat to actively vote against the legislation, but is still a surprise and signals that further political turbulence between PM May and the DUP is likely. The bill only just scraped through. Sterling finished +0.14% yesterday and this morning is trading flattish (+0.02%) in early trade.
Sentiment more broadly in Asia is following Wall Street’s lead with almost all markets trading in a sea of red. The Nikkei (-1.25%, with Nissan Motors down as much as -5.41% and Mitsubishi Motors -6.71%), Hang Seng (-1.84%), Shanghai Comp (-1.63%) and Kospi (-0.96%) are all down along with most other markets. Elsewhere, futures on S&P 500 (-0.29%) are extending losses as we type.
Back to yesterday, where as we mentioned at the top, weak US homebuilder sentiment survey data played its part in the moves for markets. The November NAHB housing market index tumbled to 60 from 68 in October after expectations had been for just a 1pt drop. That’s the lowest reading since August 2016 and biggest one-month drop since February 2014. The details weren’t much better and falls into line with the expectation of a softer outlook for housing. As you’ll see in the day ahead we’ve got more housing data in the US today so worth keeping an eye on even if the October data for starts could be distorted by Hurricane Michael.
As far as the day ahead is concerned, we’re fairly light on data today with Q3 employment stats in France, October PPI in Germany and November CBI total orders data in the UK the only releases of note. In the US, there should be some interest in the October housing starts and building permits data, especially following Fed Chair Powell’s recent comments acknowledging a slowdown in the housing market and yesterday’s homebuilder data. Away from that, the BoE’s Carney is due to appear before the Parliament’s Treasury Committee to discuss the Inflation Report, while the ECB’s Nouy and Bundesbank’s Weidmann are both scheduled to speak at separate events.
https://www.xrpchat.com/topic/5203-ripples-big-demo-and-why-you-missed-the-big-deal/?do=findComment&comment=49659 submitted by
MY TRANSCRIPTION... 0:19
PATRICK GRIFFIN: All right I think we're gonna get started. There's total capacity. People at the door - there's a little room over here inside. There's chairs here - there’s chairs over here don't be shy. All right in case you don't know this, you are in “XRP In Action,” a live demo and expert Q & A.
I’m Patrick Griffin [with] David Schwartz and Stefan Thomas. We've got an hour today. We'll walk you through, we’ll do a quick round of introductions. Stefan is going to do a demo. We have a self-guided Q&A where I basically tee up some questions for these guys that will all be softballs don't worry! Then we'll turn it over to you guys to ask questions for the technical experts. Maybe we'll do it the quick round of intros, starting with Stefan:
1:07 STEFAN THOMAS: Yeah so, my name is Stefan Thomas I am CTO with Ripple. Before Ripple I was involved with BitCoin for several years and now I work on the vision and technical direction for Ripple.
1:22 DAVID SCHWARTZ: My name is David Schwartz. I'm the chief cryptographer at Ripple. I’ve been working on Ripple since 2011 and public ledger tech. Before that I was working on cryptographic messaging systems and cloud storage for government and military applications.
1:35 PATRICK GRIFFIN: I am Patrick Griffin. I’m the head of business development. I don’t know why I’m up here, but there’s our CTO and our head of cryptography, but actually I think we are the, to be honest here, I think we are the, we are the one two and three first employees of Ripple. Well, two one and three. We've been here for quite some time and it's been a long journey. So why don't we first start off with the demo and I think I'll tee it up: This is a demo that demonstrates our technical our technology start of the inter ledger protocol, moving payments in and out of XRP and Stefan will do a better job of articulating what you are about to see.
2:22 STEFAN THOMAS: All right thanks Patrick. So here we're gathered to have a quick round table on XRP. I want to go through the demo pretty quickly so we can get to the actual discussion Q&A which I thin is the meat of this session. Basically, what we're trying to do at Ripple is we're trying to make money move like information. This has been our mission since day one, and it has never changed and so we're building a number of different technologies that all integrate to make this vision a reality. And so what we think about how information actually moves I think it's really it's really this chart that captures it.
So what's happened is that the cost of moving information has really declined over the last couple decades and very strongly so. And as a result the volume of information that’s been moving has exploded. And so, very often you know, our customers will be talking to me about, you know:
Oh are you focused on corporate payments? Are you focused on consumer payments?
I think what you have to realize is that we're somewhere down here in that curve and so you know when you say like two-thirds of all payments are corporate payments you're really talking about two-thirds of almost nothing. I think what we're focused on is this growth that you can create if you increase the efficiency of the system enough.
And so the way that we're kind of approaching that is we want to streamline the way that liquidity works today. So today you have 27 trillion dollars in float sitting around the world that is essentially there to facilitate real-time payments when the underlying systems are not real time.
3:59 STEFAN THOMAS: So, for instance, I swipe my credit card somewhere there has to be an actual creditor or money available to pay that merchant if that's supposed to happen instantly if the underlying money can't move in real time. And so that's been the case ever since we were using gold and fiat currencies in order to move money internationally, but with digital assets there's actually opportunity to improve upon that and actually move real assets in real time.
So if you have something like XRP you don't need to pre-fund float all around the world. You can actually just have this digital asset and if you want to transfer value to somebody, you want to transfer value internationally, you can just transfer that asset and that moves instantly okay?
4:40 STEFAN THOMAS: So that's really the improvement. So with that I want to give you sort of a case example in a demo. This is something that already happens on blockchains today where there are money sources business that are using, businesses they're using block chain in order to move funds so they might sort of offer this as a service to small and medium businesses where if I want to let's say pay somebody in a different country I can go to one of these companies and they will move that money for me.
5:09 STEFAN THOMAS: So, in this example, we're kind of pretending that we're a publisher, we have a reporter in the field. and we’d like to pay them. And so, you know we don't really build apps, but we enable banks and other money service businesses to build apps on top of our platform. So this is kind of a mock-up that we’ve developed where, you can imagine, this would be just built into the the particular app of that company. And so I can basically pick any amount, so let’s say I want to send, say $7, and what happens is that you can see is that amount updates so what happens during that time is that we actually try to find the cheapest path from where the sender is to which are provided at the recipient uses and then once we found that cheapest path, we figure out what the exact cost is going to be, so we have that transparency upfront. What is the cost of this payment and this is all powered by the open source protocol InterLedger. Now, when I send this payment, it goes through right away. I don't have to wait for a ton of confirmations and so on.
6:11 STEFAN THOMAS: So let's talk a little bit about what is happening there in the background. So first, we basically look at the topology of the network and then we try to find a path. So say it found a path through XRP. Once we select the path, we basically send a code request to figure out what we think that cost is going to be and then we send the money through in two phases as per InterLedger Protocol, and that's enabled on XRP using a feature called escrow that we just launched earlier this year and so now XRP is it's fully InterLedger enabled.
6:50 STEFAN THOMAS: So, if we look at the kind of a cost calculation, this is kind of some fictional numbers but it's correct in terms of order of magnitude, right. So you have Bitcoin, you have Theory, we have XRP, we have Swift, and so our algorithm basically goes in and it tries to select the best option and so people often ask me like why does InterLedger help XRP? or why are you guys working on InterLedger as a completely neutral protocol when you actually have this vested interest in XRP?
7:18 STEFAN THOMAS: Well, because the reason is that XRP is right now by far the best digital asset but it's not being used as much as Bitcoin, for instance, and so in order to close that gap we want to get to a point where the selection of asset is kind of automated and you have algorithms to just pick the best one in which case, right now, XRP would get picked all the time. So that's why we have such a vested interest in just enabling more efficient selection. All right. So as you can see, it's the lowest fee right now and it’s the fastest turn right.
7:48 STEFAN THOMAS: Now, going a little bit further into the future, I was kind of talking about that huge explosion in volume and I think where that comes from is completely new user inter faces that we don't necessarily think about today. So one example would be, you have something like a publisher and a reader and a reporter and the reader is actually browsing an article and they're not having to sign up and go through a paywall in order to do that Their browser just pays them on their behalf automatically and then as a publisher I can see the money sort of coming in, in real time as users are browsing my website. And so you're basically providing the sort of metered access to your content. There's just one example. I think there's a lot of cases of APIs and other parts the industry that could benefit from micro-payments as a more granular way of transacting. So I don't have time to talk about that, but with that I hope you've got sort of a taste of both what XRP looks like today as well as what the future holds in terms of doing micro payments through payment channels, and so on, on InterLedger. So with that, I'll hand it over to Patrick to start the discussion.
9:00 PATRICK GRIFFIN: Very cool. So maybe it’s worth stepping back and also looking at our company strategy and having a conversation around what it means when we talk about an Internet of Value, which I think well this is a Silicon Valley company and for most people that doesn't mean a whole lot so maybe we can take a first stab at trying to explain what is an Internet of Value and Stefan, I’ll start with you. Actually, why don’t we start with David and give you a break.
9:24 DAVID SCHWARTZ: Yeah, so what is the Internet of Value and what are we working on? Well, the Internet has brought connectivity to billions of people around the world. They have smart phones. They have easy access to the movement of information but money is still siloed. It's still trapped in systems that don't talk to each other. Moving payments are expensive. They're slow. There's high friction. There's trillions of dollars that moves across borders and that's moved mostly by financial institutions, and we need to move that money more efficiently. We need to know where it is. We need to improve that flow.
10:02 DAVID SCHWARTZ: I don't know if any of you have made international payments or most of you have on traditional systems and you know that it's very hard to know where that money is. It’s very hard to know how much it's going to cost you ahead of time. The user experience is not great. A significant fraction of those payments fail. It takes several days. It's almost easier to ship money than it is to use our existing payment system. So we want to provide an Internet of Value where there is instant payment. Payment on demand, without failure. When you know ahead of time how much money is going to deliver. You know what path is going to take and because that transaction is set up using modern internet protocols you know ahead of time exactly what the requirements are at the destination so you don't have a failure because you didn't have the right information at the beginning.
10:45 STEFAN THOMAS: Yeah so um whenever I think of the Internet of Value, I think the number one thing that happened with the internet was that it kind of commoditized reach. So, before the Internet, if you wanted to be an online service provider like AOL or CompuServe the number one thing that you needed to have in order to be competitive is a lot of users. And if the main thing you're competing over is just having a lot of users it's very hard to get into that market for obvious reasons because you start out with zero users so how do you attract the first couple? But once you have something like the internet where all the different networks are actually tied together, suddenly the number of users you have is completely irrelevant, right? Because all of the networks are tied together you can reach all the websites, you can email all the people on the internet and so the competition has to be about something else and what does it become about? It becomes about about the efficiency of the system.
11:35: STEFAN THOMAS: And so, this fundamental transition has not happened with money yet. Like right now the the biggest consumer payment systems are things like Visa and MasterCard and they're very much competing on: We’re the biggest. We have the most merchants. We have the most customers, and so how are you going to compete with us, right? We would not even have to try to be efficient, necessarily, right? Because we're only competing with each other. It's very hard to get into that market, and so what we're trying to do with InterLedger, by creating an internet working protocol we're allowing you to go across multiple hops across multiple steps through the financial system and as a result you can tie a lot of smaller providers, a lot of smaller banks together and as a result make a system that’s much more competitive.
12:15: PATRICK GRIFFIN: I’ll just add my two cents in. I when I talk about the Internet of Value with customers it's typically the conversation on the cost and opportunities and for us you know, one of the analogies it's overused in the internet I think the Internet of Value, at least for me, is the function of bringing the marginal cost of payment processing down to as close to zero as possible. Now you can do that in one of two ways: Lower the cost of payment processing. Just for the sake of conversation these two things are 50/50. Payment processing: the messaging going between institutions and the cost of reconciling transactions as they go from one siloed network to another siloed network. Those are huge costs that the system currently bears just as a function of tracking down lost payments or fixing mistakes and broken transactions.
13:00 PATRICK GRIFFIN: Something like 12% of all international wires fail. That is an astonishing number if you come from Silicon Valley where you're typically used to five nines of reliability. The financial system isn’t working even with one nine of reliability. The other side of the equation so that it’s a processing function. We are able to achieve better processing by starting that sort of settlement layer, it’s a little bit academic, but then ultimately what our customers are buying from us today is just a payment processing capability.
13:30 PATRICK GRIFFIN: The second stool, leg of the stool, if you will, this two-legged stool, for this Internet of Value, is liquidity. And this iquidity cost is a huge component of the payments that infrastructure today. And so, when you think about the cost that you pay when you wire money internationally, it's not just processing costs and fees. Banks and financial institutions and payment processors have to cover their cost of capital. They are laying out a massive amount of cash in different overseas accounts to make sure that when you send a payment to Japan there's cash on hand in Japan to service your payment.
14:05 PATRICK GRIFFIN: The whole visual that we saw here with XRP that's really where we see there being a large opportunity to bring the liquidity costs down if you can fund your payment instantly on demand without pre-floating cash or opening up credit lines with your counter-parties you can really bring down this component of that cost so those two things together in my mind at least that's that is what really comprises the internet of value. You tackle those two things: processing and liquidity really starts to open up and level the playing field. And on leveling the playing field maybe a question back to you Stefan is and a little bit about the strategy so as we go out and roll out these new APIs for bank to bank or financial institution processing, this narrative around using the digital assets upon payment certainly there's no reason why you couldn't insert Bitcoin in there or Etherium or some other digital assets do you view this as maybe leveling the playing field for all digital assets and creating an opportunity for other digital assets to come in and basically compete for that case?
STEFAN THOMAS: 15:12 Yeah so, we definitely look at it as as a way to create more competition I think that I'm just looking at the market today, most of the digital assets out there are not really designed for enterprising spaces, right? There they're coming from a background of direct to consumer use. They're kind of designed in a way that maybe isn't always necessarily totally in line with how regulators think about the financial system and as a result it’s quite difficult for companies to use these assets, so I think maybe some of people in the room are Bitcoin entrepreneurs and so you may know some of these struggles and you know some of these difficulties of using an asset like Bitcoin. I think you know me, speaking as CTO, more from the technical side, there are definitely big differences between the different digital assets, and so if you look at things like settlement speed on Ripple you get below four seconds most of the time four seconds on average. On Bitcoin you have to wait nine minutes between just to get one confirmation.
16:14 STEFAN THOMAS: There's things like finality. On Ripple when you get one confirmation you can hundred percent trust it, it cannot get reversed because the set of validators that are known so it can't be some validator you've never heard of suddenly coming up with a different answer. Whereas on Bitcoin, there can always be a longer chain that you just haven't heard of yet so you have to wait for multiple confirmations to gain more confidence. Another difference is that you know Ripple is non-deterministic and so bitcoin is is random so what that means is that the actual delay between blocks on Ripple is pretty consistent. It's four seconds with the standard deviation of 0.8 seconds so it's almost always exactly four seconds. And so, with Bitcoin it's more variable, right? So you could have a block after a minute. You can have a block after half an hour. And so, it's much harder for businesses to kind of rely on a system that has that high variability because it increases your risk as you holding an asset.
17:12 STEFAN THOMAS: So these are just some examples of why we think that XRP is best suited for payments use cases. And I think I'll give, be giving a talk later today on on going into a bit more depth on some of these differences
17:28 DAVID SCHWARTZ: And and we're not afraid of a level playing field. As Stefan said we think we can succeed on a level playing field but also you can get people to build a level playing field. It's very hard to get other people to stand behind something that has a built-in bias in favor of one company. Twitter doesn’t, it doesn't mind the fact that the internet wasn't built for Twitter. Facebook doesn't mind. They like the fact that there's an open platform that everybody can support and use and they're willing to compete on that level playing field and if they lose on that level playing field you know, so be it, somebody else will win and the world will be a better place for it. We believe that we have the advantages today and we believe that we can get the industry behind an open standard that facilitates these types of instantaneous payments.
18:07 PATRICK GRIFFIN: So David, this is a question coming back to you. In this level playing field obviously there are digital assets can compete on different characteristics. Obviously I think that Bitcoin as scalability challenges have been I think very famous recently could you comment a little bit on Bitcoin’s recent lows some of the things that have come up around resiliency scalability and maybe draw a contrast to XRP and how XRP is working.
18:32 DAVID SCHWARTZ: Sure. I think the idea that you don't need governance. The idea that you can just have this decentralized system that magically government itself doesn't really work. The internet is a decentralized system it has governance. Bitcoin currently is experiencing a little bit of a governance failure due to with dis-alignment of incentives. Historically the minerss have had an incentive to keep the system working. Everybody needs the Bitcoin system to work, whether you hold, whether you try to do payment’s, whether you're mining. This system has to work or nobody has anything. Everybody's benefited from the value of Bitcoin going up. If you’re a miner, you want the value to go up. If you hold Bitcoin, you want the value to go up. If you're using it for payments having more liquidity and lower risk and holding bitcoins is good for you.
19:11 DAVID SCHWARTZ: So everybody's incentives were aligned. They're starting to become dis-aligned recently because miners have been getting a lot of revenue from transaction fees Miners like high transaction fees. Users obviously would prefer to pay less for their payments. People who want to use Bitcoin as a payment platform want frictionless payments and they're not getting them because of the fees. So there's been a little bit of a governance breakdown due to that misalignment of incentives and it's not clear how you resolve that. It's not really clear how the stakeholders can realign their incentives.
19:39 DAVID SCHWARTZ: I’m confident that Bitcoin will come out come through it but I think it shows that governance is important. You should understand how a system is governed whatever system it is because there is going to have to be governance. It’s not going to magically govern itself. Now Ripple, the stakeholders are the validators and the validators are sort of chosen by the other validators, so right now Ripple is obviously very big in that space. We’re the major stakeholder on the network, but the recent interest into the price increase has begun diversifying the stakeholders and so we hope to see different jurisdictions, different companies and those will be the people who will be the stakeholders and they'll make the decision if there are going to be changes in the rules behind in that market. We think that that will work better and I think if you, once you accept that there has to be governance, you really want it to be the people who are using the network. You don't want the technology to force you into having other stakeholders whose interest may be adverse to the people who just want to use the system to store value and make payments.
20:32 PATRICK GRIFFIN: So what stuff, I mean do you have anything to add just in terms of the underlying design of the systems and how they're confirming transactions? I think when you go way way way back to our company's beginning it was billed as Bitcoin 2.0. And you know we felt like there was another way you could build a decentralized digital asset without without mining. So maybe talk a little about the confirmation engine behind XRP and some of its advantages over other systems
21:04 STEFAN THOMAS: Yeah, so as I mentioned in the introduction, I was fairly involved in the in the Bitcoin community back in 2010-2011 and one of the features that I contributed to was paid to script hash as a reviewer it was one of the first people to re-implement Bitcoin and I pointed out some flaws and you know we ended up with a much better solution. And so, through that experience going through the cycle of new feature on Bitcoin, even back then when the committee was much smaller I realized that it was actually very painful to do even a uncontroversial improvement to the system and that was partly because people had a very strong tendency to be conservative which is a good thing, for any, like whenever you're modifying a live system. But there was also just like no good process for introducing changes.
22:00 STEFAN THOMAS: We had to come up with a process ad hoc. We came up with this whole voting on mining power and so on. Now, from that experience I remember going back to a wiki page on the big part of working called the hard fork wish list and I kind of looked at and is sort of the list of things other things that we wanted to do and a lot of them were in my opinion, in my humble opinion, must haves for any kind of mainstream or enterprise adoption and so I was kind of like putting numbers next to them like this would take eight months this would take 12 months this would take two years and it started to add up like I'm not going to see this get to that point if we go at this rate.
22:38 STEFAN THOMAS: And then you know Ripple approached me and they had a lot of that hard fork wish list already implemented but maybe more importantly they had a different idea on the governance structure and I think there's sort of two key differences: The first key difference is there is an entity that's actually funding the development of the asset and all the technology behind the asset. And so you know, I was looking at the Bitcoin foundation website the other day and they're currently, their most recent blog post is to promote this lawsuit in New York to try to strike down the bit license and apparently the foundation feels that it's strategically important for Bitcoin to kind of fund this lawsuit and they looked at how many people had actually donated to the donation address that they were giving and it was just over a thousand dollars basically. Almost nothing
23:31 STEFAN THOMAS: And I was thinking like well if XRP you know had any strategic issue like that there would be millions of dollars immediately that just Ripple would put behind the issue and so as a holder of the asset that's really important for me to know that, you know, there is some some entity that's actually defending it from a technical standpoint, from a legal standpoint, from a business standpoint. That makes a big difference
23:53 STEFAN THOMAS: And then the second big difference that I saw was how features and how generally the evolution of the technology is managed. So on Ripple, there's voting among the validators, which is not too dissimilar from you know the kind of mining voting that we're doing on Bitcoin. However the validators on Ripple are largely chosen by the users or they are chosen by the users. And so they're not chosen by so this algorithm or just by their virtue of being very efficient in mining. And so as David pointed out earlier, the incentives are very different. On Ripple, the incentives are you know I want the people who are appointing me to be validators to be happy with my validations because otherwise you know there's what they will stop paying me. And so you know there's a much more closely aligned incentive for the value of some Ripple to do what the actual users want to do.
24:46 DAVID SCHWARTZ: And I would add that there there are sort of vulnerabilities in both types of systems. Like with the miners, it would be a double spend. With the validators, they could simply stop validating and the network would halt, but one tremendous difference is that you know how to fix one and it's not clear how you would fix the other so if you had the miners that were being pressured, let's say by a friend in government, or they were double spending or for whatever reason they are holding transaction fees high, let's say the block size issue got to the point where it was absolutely critical and there was no ability to come up with an agreement. It's not clear how you solve that. You change the mining algorithm? Like that's the nuclear option? Nobody knows what you do. With the system on consensus it is clear what you do. You can, you can change the validators. The validators work at the pleasure of the users, the holders, the real stakeholders of the network.
25:33 DAVID SCHWARTZ: That, I think that is a fairly significant advantage once you realize how important governance is. And it's not just a handle of failure as Stefan pointed out there's going to be evolution of the system unless you think the systems are absolutely perfect today. Well bitcoin is already proven that there they're not absolutely perfect today. I can’t, I certainly wouldn't try to claim the Ripple is perfect today. We have a wish list of features too, limited by engineering time, but we have to get people to agree to implement those features and I think that's also an argument why you can't have one blockchain to rule them all. There are features that also have costs and every feature has a cost because if you have a public blockchain everybody that uses that public blockchain, at a minimum, when there's a new feature they have to do a security review and make sure that that feature doesn't create a vulnerability for them. So there's a fixed cost that's fairly high. There's a huge bug bounty on Bitcoin and on Ripple right? Billions of dollars if you could steal money on the system. So the cost to implement a feature is high. So if there's a feature that somebody really wants it would be really useful for them they're probably not going to get that's not enough to get any feature on the system, so you're going to have a diversified system of multiple block chains and multiple ledger systems of all kinds competing with each other for share. that's why I think InterLedger is important because InterLedger will permit people who use different block chains and different systems, for good reasons, to be able to make payments to each other quickly seamlessly and without the risk associated with little pays problem.
26:53 PATRICK GRIFFIN: hmm Maybe just a last question before we turn it over to the audience and you've mentioned InterLedger. Stefan is the creator of InterLedger or the chief architect of it. When you walk around the conference today, you'll see a lot of companies that have blockchain offering. So, sort of going back to 2014, now if you remember, the the terminology and the marketing was all about it's not about Bitcoin it's about the blockchain. And so now we have some sound perspective on that. What's your take on the fundamental premise of a de-centralized distributed database without a digital asset and what's the trade-offs in terms of functionality versus utility? What's your opinion given the architecture IOP.
27:42 STEFAN THOMAS: Well that's a question I could easily spend hours on, so let me try to summarize. So as you mentioned, my colleague Evan Schwartz and I, we we came up with this protocol InterLedger and that came out of actually in a couple of different work streams but one in particular I remember was I was trying to figure out how to make Ripple more scalable and I was thinking about a particular kind of scalability which is similar to what David just mentioned, which was scalability in terms of functionality not just in terms of how many transactions can you do per second. Like how do I serve very different use cases that have you know mutually conflicting trade-offs. So as I was thinking about that problem I was kind of saying well maybe you don't even have to keep that one set of global state. Maybe you can have state in different places and a lot of that is honestly just rediscovering database knowledge that we've had since the 70s. Now just looking at Jim Gray's papers and just oh yeah that works for blockchains too
28:41 STEFAN THOMAS: So we took those ideas and we combined them with ideas around from the internet from the internet background in terms of networking and the concept of internet working and so on. And so, when I look at these private blockchains type approaches I think they are doing the first of those two steps namely they're applying sort of modern data, modern database thinking or classical database thinking to blockchain but I don't think they're really applying the Internet thinking yet because they're if they're attempting to achieve interoperability just by homogeneity which does not give you that diversity of use cases and so if you want that you have to think about what are the simple stateless protocols they can actually tie these different systems together without dictating how they work internally. So I can have my private blockchains that has all these like special features and it works in this way and you can have your private box and it works in the other way but we can still talk through a neutral protocol and you know the way that we're thinking about InterLedger, we're not married to InterLedger being a thing like I'm completely happy if it's lightning or if it's something else but I think as an industry to agree on some kind of standard on that layer.
29:51 STEFAN THOMAS: I think one of the reasons that we can is because unlike a blockchain a standard is neutral you know there's no acid anyone's getting rich off of. There's no there's a lot less to agree on. The list of decisions you have to make is a lot shorter. You know my colleague Evan, he makes a point, a very good point about with InterLedger only like seven eight major decisions that you have to make in the architecture to really arrive at it and so I think we have really good reasons for each one of them and so we think that there will be a certain convergence on on one standard protocol for again not just blockchains, but like any kind of ledger.
30:26 DAVID SCHWARTZ: I just ant to add that InterLedger is completely neutral to how the ledger works internally. Any ledger that can support a very short list of very simple operations. Every banking ledger can perform those operations. Almost anything the tracks ownership of value of any kind is capable of confirming that value exists, putting that value on hold, transferring that value between two people and those are the only primitives that InterLedger builds on. It's just by the clever combination of those operations in a way that provides insurance that all of the stakeholders get out of the transaction the thing that they're supposed to get out and get back whatever they were going to put in if they don't get out what they're supposed to get out. It’s, it's astonishingly simple at the protocol level.
31:08 PATRICK GRIFFIN: Okay, with that I will turn it over to the room for questions and some Q&A Aany questions in the back?
QUESTION: Yeah, I’m kind of new to this and I just have some really basic questions. I read something recently where, Ripple was now the second most funded, or invested. Bitcoin was first, and Etherium was third. Can you tell me how you got to that position? You seem like you’re poking up about Bitcoin and how Ripple probably is more efficient and better. Then I had a second question - Where do I get a Ripple T-Shirt?
32:06 PATRICK GRIFFIN: The first question is how did, how did we get to this position we're in and does that generally capture the essence of that question and then Ripple t-shirts I'm not sure about that (Come work for us!) I will attempt to answer the first question and if you guys want to jump in. I think that is a function of one: Silicon Valley companies do one thing I think very well, they pick a lane and they go deep on it. For us, what we've been very very focused on it the use case. as a company we but we picked a long time ago to go deep on cross-border payments and in particular wholesale cross-border payments that’s financial institution to institution. It’s at the enterprise level and so when we look at digital assets today we think that there is a very very very use case around the consolidation of capital to fund payments overseas, which is exactly what we just demonstrated. Being able to transfer an asset from a server in one country to a server in another country and basically allow for payments companies to operate with much less capital deployed overseas. It's a, it's a quantifiable use case. Today there's 27 and a half trillion dollars in float in the banking system just wait sitting idly waiting for payments to arrive. That's compounded when you go to look at corporates and you look at payment service companies. So there's a very very very very very big number and I think that the recent traction that we've gotten has been an acknowledgement of the use case how it fits into our overall product offering. Ssome of the technical benefits of XRP itself and then when you look around, I mean I think that its head, you're hard-pressed to find another digital asset with as clearly articulated the use case that where the time horizon is now. I think there's lots of really exciting things going on in IOT and device-to-device payments and sort of the future some of things that I that Etherium people talk about for example, but it still feels like it's still at the horizon and I think this is being deployed today. There is a a path to commercial production and ultimately I think that's part of the reason why we're getting some traction.
34:18 DAVID SCHWARTZ: I think we also sort of crossed an important threshold. If an asset doesn't have value and it doesn't have liquidity you can't really use it even if it has the properties that are perfect for your use case simply because you can't you can't get enough of it without moving the market and I think we crossed a threshold (not the end) -
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