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Decred Journal — April 2018
This post covers what happened in Decred last month. Let's get down to business and have About section at the end.
Wallet and node software version 1.2.0 has been released. Decrediton wallet highlights: improved startup experience, redesigned overview page, added basic graphs to visualize statistics and an export to CSV (helpful for tax reporting). dcrd node software highlights: significantly faster startup and compact filters to support light clients. See full release notes and downloads here, for Decrediton use 1.2.1 bugfix release. The release process has been improved. Instead of announcing a release date and trying to meet it, a Release Candidate 1 (RC1) will now be posted. After it has been tested an bugfixed with the help of the community, a second candidate (RC2) will be released. This is repeated until an RC version with no apparent bugs becomes the final release. The new process removes a ton of pressure from developers and users and gives more time for testing. As our primary consumer-facing product, Decrediton, is growing in features and complexity, more testing will be required for new releases. Politeia is "Getting close to a public beta of voting" (slack). Decred plugin merged, paywall and voting are in the testing stage. Ticket voting works on testnet via CLI. Trezor support got closer as Decred patch was merged. Please note this is only firmware support, to be usable it also needs wallet integration. WooCommerce Decred plugin alpha version is ready for testing. Decred.org received a new sleek exchanges page. The contributors page has been updated to add 10 new faces. Some of them are new to the project but others have been contributing for a while. Dev activity stats for April: 152 active PRs, 125 commits, 21,656 added and 10,288 deleted lines spread across 7 repositories done by 2-7 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: April started at 2.0-2.7 PH/s range and seen a general increase with some big fluctuations between lows at 2.2 and new all time high above 5.2 PH/s. Nodes: there are 200 public listening and 500 normal nodes per dcred.eu as of May 1. 169 nodes already upgraded to version 1.2.0. Some 30 nodes were observed to be testing Release Candidate versions before the final release. Ticket price 30-day average has seen a steady rise to 87.5 DCR. Stake participation is solid 46.1% with 3.53 million DCR as of May 1.
Updates from Obelisk's Taek:
We got results back. They are more or less on line with the simulations I didn't realize this, but we don't get the real chips back for 3 more weeks. The ones we've been testing are hacked together into a DIP package (they are BGA chips) that really screws up the results There's a decent chance that the full bga chips perform better For the time being though, we're pretty much on track for the hashrates estimated on the website (slack, Apr 12)
And regarding the June delivery date:
We're still on track for batch 1. We've ordered most of the parts we'll need, including the chips. We've got working chips, we've got test boards, test units, test everything. We've signed manufacturers to produce everything. Obelisk is going strong. (reddit, Apr 23)
We are thankful for his updates in our #pow-mining channel and hope other ASIC manufacturers will also join. Fellow Sia miners are discussing the design of Obelisk SC1 case. Halong: B29 units are shipping. The amount of units in first batch was estimated 450-600 by our community member. Review of DragonMint B29 published, people are discussing shipping and running the miners. By surprise, Innosilicon announced the sale of D9 DecredMaster ASIC miner with specs identical to Halong B29 while being much cheaper ($6800 Inno vs $10499 Halong). Expected shipping date of the first batch is April 28-30. The company is active on their bitcointalk thread, also see our reddit. Just 9 days later Innosilicon announced second batch with delivery on May 7-11 and same price of $6800. (reddit)
Decred's Brazilian community made good progress with integrations this month.
emiliomann: On April 2nd @Rhama will launch the first BR exchange of altcoins with fiat market and totally within the laws of the Brazilian government. Decred will have the two markets DCBTC and DCBRL. It’s very difficult to fulfill all the legal requirements and get authorization to work with FIAT here.
The exchange turned out to be Profitfy. Profity is innovating by using dcrtime for their blockchain ID login via Original My. Great to see this deeper engagement with the tools that Decred provides, and not a surprise that it comes from @Rhama, who has been a community member since day one. This seems to have spurred another exchange, Braziliex, to bring forward their launch of DCBRL and DCBTC pairs, coming just 2 hours after Profitfy launched. Not stopping there,
viniciusfrias: We're excited to announce PagueCripto.com, a Brazilian crypto-to-fiat payment gateway which accepts Decred among other cryptocurrencies for Brazilians to pay daily bills, such as credit cards, energy, rent, etc, and also to make local bank transfers. Our service is both a web platform and an Android app, and as our community is relevant in Brazil, we are offering a discount coupon (50%) in service fees using DCR until May 14, 2018. Check it out at paguecripto.com and in Google Play Store. (slack)
Moving to other countries, good news from Canada:
michae2xl: Decred is now available on @ezBtcCanada, an exchange with DCCAD trading pair. From Toronto – ezbtc.ca
Eventually we hope to offer the pair in GBP and YEN as well
changenow.io, a non-custodian exchange for fast conversions, added DCR. You can see all exchanges known to support Decred in a spreadsheet maintained by snr01. Many of them are missing from coinmarketcap.
RAurelius: I think that a law firm accepting Decred is a worthy distinction from other previously publicized companies that accept Decred for typical consumer products. Legal services are severely lacking in the Crypto-sphere, so the publicity is good for everyone in this arena.
Great to see business owners reaching us directly in chat. VotoLegal is migrating from Ethereum to Decred blockchain:
emiliomann: VotoLegal, a Brazilian project that uses blockchain technology to allow election campaign funding to be transparent and that all transactions conducted are tracked and made available to the citizens, now uses dcrtime and Decred blockchain. https://twitter.com/decred_bstatus/986610826051276800 (slack)
YBF Ventures and Decred announced partnership in building a blockchain-focused development and business hub in Australia.
With the YBF Ventures partnership, Decred hopes to grow their Australian contractor network and scale their operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. (btcmanager.com) We specifically chose Decred for a more robust corporate partnership, and it is the first time that a decentralised autonomous organisation is partnering with a ‘traditional’ organisation in such a capacity. (ybfventures.com)
Dustorf joined on the marketing front and is conducting a brand discovery analysis:
Decred is soliciting the input of our user community. In order to better understand you, what you think of Decred, and where you would like it to focus its efforts, we've come up with a short (4 minute) survey. Your input of all varieties is most appreciated https://www.surveymonkey.com/2LHK3FV
April targeted advertising report released (previous March report here). Reach @timhebel for full version. The iconic "Not Overly Scammy" t-shirt by cryptograffiti is available for purchase. For those wondering, the meme originates from @fluffypony. Some hilarious promos by @jackliv3r: onetwothree.
Community event at YBF Ventures in Australia. Meetup in Wroclaw, Poland. BBQ with @scalarcapital team in Austin, USA. Blockchain Expo in London, UK. Decred was well represented at this large-scale industry event. Project Lead Jake took part in several interview and the Decred stand manned by community members was flooded with inquisitive visitors. (video, photo 123) First Decred meetup in Hangzhou, China. (slack) Business of Blockchain at MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, USA. Presentation: Blockchain Sovereignty and Blockchain Integration for Businesses by Jake Yocom-Piatt. (event, reddit, photo 123) Cambridge Blockchain Meetup in Cambridge, USA. Talk: Cutting the Head off the Snake by Jake Yocom-Piatt. (event, photo 123) Upcoming events:
Madison Blockchain Meetup in Madison, USA on May 21
Second episode of Lightning Network educational series is out, exploring topics such as payment channels, onion routing, centralization risk, and challenges that still lie ahead. (youtube) A user’s perspective and introduction to blockchain governance (Richard Red) The Importance of Governance: Analyzing the Aftermath of the Monero Hard Fork by Noah Pierau (btcmanager.com) The Crypto Show w/ Marco from Decred (youtube) Interview with Jake at @Blockchain_Expo by Crypto Coin Growth (youtube) Interview with Jake at @Blockchain_Expo by Cryptocurrency Academy (youtube) Alternative Blockchain Governance Systems With Jake & Kyle From Decred at @Blockchain_Expo by Crypto Disrupt (youtube) Decred Looks Ahead: An Interview with Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt (Exclusive) (sludgefeed.com) How Complex Bitcoin Politics Led to the Creation of Decred (btcmanager.com) Interview with Decred’s Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt on Crypto Ad Bans and Market Volatility (cryptoslate.com) Decred’s Jonathan Zeppettini: The Industry Is Going To Be Displacing Wall Street (blocktribune.com) On Chain VS. Off Chain Governance: The Ins And Outs (coinjournal.net) Decred: On true decentralisation, Bitcoin communities, and avoiding the ICO route [Video] (blockchaintechnology-news.com) Marco in shitcoin talk episode 54 (youtube)
Reddit highlights: A debate on Decred protocol security and attack cost, a comparison of expected and actual block production times, a write-up on distribution of powers and how Monero could benefit from a PoS governance layer, twoother threads on ASIC resistance, and one discussing different types of decentralization. Very thoughtful discussion on whether it is appropriate to use half naked photos in marketing, followed by meta-discussion how to handle very polarizing issues and unwanted contributions to the marketing efforts of a decentralized project. (slack, continued) A new #governance channel was created to discuss governance in Decred and other projects. politeia subreddit was recovered for Decred community. Thanks to Tivra for filing the request. Politeia can bring a lot of value outside Decred so it well deserves its own sub. A new Slack invite page has been setup and onboarded 40 people in 48 hours. Decred StackExchange site proposal was closed due to inactivity in a 7 day period, according to Area 51 rules.
In April Decred showed a confident recovery after previous months. DCUSD moved from below $40 to nearly $90 and the more liquid DCBTC from 0.0058 to 0.0093. OOOBTC showed unexpectedly huge DCR trading volume of $19 m on April 10 (reddit), it went back to normal 2 weeks later. On April 25 a wild rush took the price from 0.00777 to 0.0177 BTC in under 30 minutes on Poloniex, setting a new USD all time high of ~$165 ($141 world average). Prices on other exchanges followed to a lesser degree. Possible causes were discussed on reddit. Talking about all time highs, an indicator tracking difference between ATH and current price shows Decred is competitive at retaining USD value.
Bittrex finally opened registrations again. ASIC debates are raging after Bitmain stealth-launched ASICs for Sia, Monero and Ethereum. Most opinions reflect on whether and how to resist ASICs, but some are recognizing the Decred way, like this excellent piece. The importance of governance is gaining recognition as well. One notable example is Mike Hearn's AMA where it was a hot topic.
About This Issue
This project was motivated by the desire to expose just how much is happening in Decred and save the time for people unable to actively follow our channels. It aims to cover all relevant developments with a short description and links to read further. It shows the depth of the project and the involvement of the community. We also plan to launch a newsletter and consider a shorter version if there is such a demand. This is the first issue and feedback is welcome to discover what is best for our readers. Please join our Slack and write us on #writers_room or comment directly on GitHub. Any help is welcome too. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, jazzah, Richard-Red, snr01 and vj.
Futures Falls On Chip Carnage As World Await Brexit Verdict
Stocks in Europe faded early gains and S&P futures fell after a mixed session in Asia as chip stocks were taken to the woodshed on poor guidance from Nvidia and Applied Materials sparked fears that the chip bull run is over, while investors wondered whether China and America can de-escalate their trade war after mixed signals by US officials just days before the G-20 summit. The euro failed to rebound while the sterling halted its biggest drop in 2 years after some of the most dramatic 24 hours yet in the Brexit process and another turbulent week for world markets. With reports of a UK leadership coup still rife and fear that the country could crash out of the EU without an agreement, cable struggled to rise above $1.28. Meanwhile traders around the world were waiting for an outcome from the ongoing Brexit saga: “If and when a vote on the withdrawal agreement occurs is uncertain. Whether the withdrawal bill is passed by both houses of Parliament is uncertain,” Joseph Capurso, a senior currency strategist at CBA, said in a note. “Whether the Prime Minister resigns or is challenged for the leadership is uncertain. And, whether there is a second referendum and/or an election is uncertain.” Fears over political turmoil in the UK and Italy dragged Europe's Stoxx 600 back into the red, set for its first weekly drop in three, trimming Friday’s gain as AstraZeneca's drop weighed on the gauge after a cancer-drug setback while telecom names were outperforming. Utilities started the session lower in the wake of yesterday’s ECJ decision which deemed the UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months as a violation of state aid rules. Other individual movers include Vivendi (+4.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after posting impressive Q3 sales metrics and announcing a potential sale of part of their Universal Music Group division. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (-2.3%) and Shire (-1.3%) have been seen lower throughout the session after both posting disappointing drug updates. Not helping sentiment, ECB head Mario Draghi said the bank still plans to dial back its stimulus at the end of the year, but acknowledged the economy had hit a soft patch and inflation may rise more slowly than expected. “If firms start to become more uncertain about the growth and inflation outlook, the squeeze on margins could prove more persistent,” Draghi told a conference. Earlier in the day, Asian shares ended the session in the red (MSCI Asia -0.2% to 151.52), led lower by declines in Japan, even as China and Hong Kong rose after initial reports the United States might pause further China tariffs were denied by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who damped hopes of any imminent trade deal with China. The Nikkei fell 0.6% pressured by a drop in the USDJPY after China Mofcom began an investigation into alleged dumping of machine tools by Japanese firms. The Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) swung between gains and losses after continued liquidity inaction by the PBoC which skipped Reverse Repos for a 16th consecutive occasion. S&P futures were hit on fresh slowdown concerns, this time out of the semiconductochip space, after Nvidia gave a dire sales forecast, projecting a 20% drop in revenue while a disappointing outlook from Applied Materials indicated the chip industry is holding off on expansion plans in the face of a murky outlook for electronics demand. The chipmaking sector saw another bout of selling in Asia, wiping at least $11.2 billion in market value amid signals that demand for servers, personal computers and mobile is falling. Also falling after hours were shares of AMD and Intel, dragging Nasdaq futures lower. "It started with Apple, then Nvidia ... Since performances of these companies set the tone for the global tech and chip industries, related Japanese stocks will likely be sluggish for a while,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, a strategist at Pictet Asset Management. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after Fed Chairman Powell flagged his concern over potential headwinds for the U.S. economy, while the pound staged a modest rebound on reports that some pro-Brexit ministers decided to stay in their governmental posts. The pound gained as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May defied demands to quit and amid reports her environment secretary wouldn’t resign, following the resignation of several ministers Thursday. The yen rallied as trade stress simmered, with investors trying to gauge whether China and the U.S. can de-escalate their dispute. Also under water was the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which hit a one-year trough overnight. It had tumbled 10 percent early in the week when support at $6,000 gave way. It was last changing hands at $5,500 on the Bitstamp platform. Treasuries were steady while 10-year yields on German bonds were set for their biggest weekly fall in three weeks, in a sign that the Brexit uncertainty and worries about Italy’s finances, continued to support demand. Italian bonds edged higher even as European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore that the country’s government was openly defying EU budget rules. Emerging-market currencies consolidated recent gains while oil prices extended their rebound. Oil prices rose, helped by a decline in U.S. fuel stockpiles and the possibility of a cut in OPEC output. Brent (+1.3%) and WTI (+1.1%) are both in the green and continuing their rebound seen yesterday with WTI hovering around USD 57.00bbl. Energy newsflow remains light, post-yesterday's DoE report, however, Iraq’s North Oil Co. have announced that they have resumed Kiruk oil exports heading towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Looking ahead, the main highlight on the calendar will be the Baker Hughes rig count. Elsewhere, natural gas futures are relatively steady after their 19% decline yesterday which came in the wake of a 20% increase the day before. In geopolitical news, US Republican and Democrat Senators filed a bipartisan bill seeking to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to war in Yemen and killing of journalist. North Korean Leader Kim inspected test of new high-tech tactical weapons, according to Yonhap citing North Korean state media Today's data include October industrial production and capacity utilization. Viacom is among companies reporting earnings Market Snapshot
S&P500 futures down 0.3% to 2,725.25
STOXX Europe 600 down 0.01% to 358.38
MXAP down 0.2% to 151.52
MXAPJ up 0.2% to 486.84
Nikkei down 0.6% to 21,680.34
Topix down 0.6% to 1,629.30
Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 26,183.53
Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 2,679.11
Sensex up 0.5% to 35,446.11
Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 5,730.55
Kospi up 0.2% to 2,092.40
Brent futures up 1.2% to $67.41/bbl
Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,216.36
U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.93
German 10Y yield rose 0.8 bps to 0.368%
Euro up 0.2% to $1.1346
Italian 10Y yield rose 0.3 bps to 3.12%
Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 1.617%
Top Overnight News
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has laid out a scenario for a pause in the central bank’s interest-rate hiking campaign sometime next year by highlighting potential headwinds to the U.S. economy.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is defying demands to quit as she battles to keep control of her fractious government long enough to deliver a Brexit deal that’s drawn ire from across the political spectrum.
Pro-Brexit ministers Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom have decided together not to quit the government, Times reporter Tim Shipman said on Twitter.
ECB’s Draghi sees no reason for expansion to come to abrupt end, he said at an event in Frankfurt, Germany.
PG&ECorp. rallied as much as 49 percent in extended trading Thursday after the head of the California Public Utilities Commission said he can’t imagine allowing the state’s largest utility to go into bankruptcy as it faces billions of dollars in potential liability from deadly wildfires
Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp. have been contacted by U.S. criminal investigators for information about transactions they handled for a small bank branch in Estonia that’s at the center of one of the biggest money-laundering investigations in history, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Asia-Pac stocks traded indecisively as the region lacked fresh catalysts and as uncertainty regarding Brexit and US-China trade played on investor’s minds. ASX 200 (-0.1%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) were choppy with outperformance of tech and mining names in Australia overshadowed by a lacklustre broader market, while the Japanese benchmark was subdued by mild flows into the JPY and after China Mofcom began an investigation into alleged dumping of machine tools by Japanese firms. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) swung between gains and losses after continued liquidity inaction by the PBoC which skipped OMOs for a 16th consecutive occasion, while participants were also tentative amid ongoing trade uncertainty after conflicting reports regarding the next round of China tariffs being placed on hold which USTR Lighthizer later denied. Finally, 10yr JGBs were mildly higher with prices underpinned amid an indecisive tone seen in stocks and with the BoJ also present in the market for JPY 680bln of JGBs in the belly to super-long end. Top Asian News - China’s Kindergarten Crackdown Is the Latest Disaster for Stocks - Modi Is Said to Enlist Tata for Jet Airways Rescue Ahead of Vote - Philippines Shuts 3 Miners, Suspends 9 Others After Review - Indian Central Bank Board to Discuss Surplus Funds Transfer European equities trade relatively flat (Eurostoxx 50 +0.2%) in the wake of mixed trade headlines overnight for the US and China. Performance across European indices is relatively equal whilst focus once again falls on the FTSE 100 (U/C) which remains at the whim of Brexit-inspired fluctuations in the GBP. Once again, potential upside for the index is being capped by losses in domestically focused banking names (RBS -3.0%, Lloyds -2.1%) as Brexit uncertainty continues to dampen investor sentiment. In terms of sector specifics, most sectors are trading higher with mild outperformance seen in telecom names. Utilities started the session lower in the wake of yesterday’s ECJ decision which deemed the UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months as a violation of state aid rules. Other individual movers include Vivendi (+4.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after posting impressive Q3 sales metrics and announcing a potential sale of part of their Universal Music Group division. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (-2.3%) and Shire (-1.3%) have been seen lower throughout the session after both posting disappointing drug updates. Top European News
Finnish Software Company Basware Is Said to Explore Sale
Vauxhall Owner Said to Weigh Closing a Factory Post-Brexit
Amid Brexit Gloom, Deutsche Bank Sees Frankfurt as Next London
Nyrstar Surges on Hopes Over Trafigura Refinancing Talks
GBP- The Pound is not the biggest net mover for a change, but still one of the most volatile and vulnerable as Cable pivots 1.2800 and EuGbp trades between 0.8850-80. The fall-out from Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting continues as UK PM May strives to sell the Brexit draft, but facing a rising rebellion within the Conservative Party that appears to have reached the critical mass required to trigger a no confidence vote. However, some positive news with a key Minister deciding not to follow others out of the Government, as Gove opts to stay rather than go. In terms of technical impulses, Cable is holding above yesterday’s 1.2725 low, ahead of chart support around 1.2710-00 that protects mtd and ytd troughs at 1.2696 and 1.2662 respectively, while near term resistance is seen around 1.2836 before 1.2850, but 1 bn option expiries at 1.2800 could well exert more influence into the NY cut. For EuGbp, several MAs form support blow 0.8850 and the 100 DMA at 0.8910 may hamper further gains if0.8900 is breached.
JPY- Maintaining a firm underlying safe-haven bid as broad risk sentiment remains fragile and China is reportedly investigating machine dumping by Japan – Usd/Jpy near the bottom of a 113.20-65 range.
EUCAD/CHF- All narrowly mixed vs the Greenback, with the single currency keeping afloat of 1.1300 and eyeing a Fib at 1.1358, while the Loonie is holding recent recovery gains through 1.3200 as oil prices continue their rebound and the Franc meanders between 1.0075-50 vs 1.1000+ earlier this week when the broad Dollar and DXY were in the ascendency (index well above 97.000 vs just below the figure presently).
EM- The Lira is off best levels, but still relatively bid after reports that the US could Turkish cleric Gulen in an attempt to assuage President Erdogan to adopt a less aggressive stance against Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi killing. Usd/Try now near the middle of a 5.3240-3940 band.
In commodities, gold (+0.2%) is trading relatively flat after hitting new weekly highs of USD 1218.39/oz earlier in the session; following uneventful overnight trade. Elsewhere, Shanghai Zinc prices have risen due to London Metal Exchange stockpiles falling to decade-low levels. Brent (+1.3%) and WTI (+1.1%) are both in the green and continuing their rebound seen yesterday with WTI hovering around USD 57.00bbl. Energy newsflow remains light, post-yesterday's DoE report, however, Iraq’s North Oil Co. have announced that they have resumed Kiruk oil exports heading towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Looking ahead, the main highlight on the calendar will be the Baker Hughes rig count. Elsewhere, natural gas futures are relatively steady after their 19% decline yesterday which came in the wake of a 20% increase the day before. US Event Calendar
9:15am: Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.3%; Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 0.2%, prior 0.2%
11am: Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 11, prior 8
4pm: Total Net TIC Flows, prior $108.2b, Net Long-term TIC Flows, prior $131.8b
Krugman and Bitcoin and Me: Radical Thoughts on Fixed Supply Currency
My dad asked me how I reconciled Bitcoin's fixed supply with the Keynesian model of supply. I understand that most people around here don't hold much stock in what Paul Krugman has to say. But much of the real world actually does, what with his Nobel prize and all. So I put some serious consideration into what he had to say about deflation, how it relates to Bitcoin, and other vague currency questions. What follows is my email back to my pa. Many of these ideas have come from my time spent in this forum, so feel free to chop it up, edit, and distribute away if you find any of it worthwhile. Thoughts from a liberal after reading Paul Krugman's 2010 NYT piece: Why is Deflation Bad? Krugman and Bitcoin and Me Krugman's argument against deflation is built with a dependency: that there is a central authority which controls the money supply. So in a sense he has two core points. (1) Krugman prefers that a centralized authority control the currency supply in order to manipulate the economy. I'll allow that this tool can be a good, stabilizing force. But if that's the case, I want to be able to vet that institution from the bottom up before handing them the keys to the kingdom. And I want that institution to unequivocally work for society, not for Goldman Sachs. If I thought the current system worked well, I wouldn't be exploring other options in the first place. (2) Krugman prefers that that centralized authority manipulate the economy such that it encourages spending and lending. In other words, manipulate toward small inflation. This could be a good thing. And maybe the economy it creates is more fluid than a deflationary one. But when you bake into the system incentives to spend now and borrow from the future now, you get exactly the problems that you'd expect: over-consumption and a society largely ridden in debt. Control of the supply of the currency carries tremendous power. It can be used to smooth natural economic cycles and encourage specific consumer and producer behavior. This supply-manipulative ability is not in and of itself a bad thing. The question is whether it is necessary- because with Bitcoin (as it stands) it is impossible. Within the theoretical bounds of crypto-currency, the abilities for algorithmic, "smart" money-supply, one that rests on mathematics rather than the banking elite, are endless. There are truly exciting developments to come in this space. A First Consideration on Currency Think, for a moment, of the unit of currency as sort of a creditor's note. It is an IOU from society; a placeholder for some unit of production. It says, "I produced something valuable (for someone else who takes part in this system). In return I got this note. I have reasonable assurance that one day I can cash this IOU in for something that I'll need in the future." The unit of currency acts as a placeholder for its owner. Under this system, people trade their current productivity for the placeholder, and later (given the system still has integrity) they can trade that placeholder for something that raises their standard of living. It allows us to "time-shift" our production with respect to our consumption. But don't forget!: A unit of currency as "just a thing". It only carries value if it is actually valued by somebody else you want to do business with. The dollar, the gold bar, the Bitcoin. the Euro, all work the same way: they are nothing but numbers or paper or metal. They are just atoms arranged in a way that make them valuable to a group of people only because they trust in the future of their common system. Currencies are a subset of commodities. Commodities are things (oil, clothing, food, televisions) that are valuable to humans because they have useful properties. Like we said above, a currency's use is to "time-shift" production and consumption. The properties of the object that afford this advantage are usually a combination of irreproducibility, fungibility, scarcity, ease of transport, and securability. Why is Deflation Bad? In his 2010 NYT piece, Krugman argues that deflation hurts the economy due to three factors: (1) People become less willing to spend, because sitting on money becomes an investment. Your dollar tomorrow will buy you more than what it can today, so why spend today? Therefore, spending goes down. (2) Those in debt get into serious trouble awfully quickly, because the nominal amount-owed appreciates in value. As a result, they spend significantly less. At the same time, creditors have been shown to not spend enough such that it make up for this difference. Therefore, borrowing (and spending) goes down. (3) Psychologically, people hate nominal wage decreases. With a fixed supply currency, year over year, wages will have to decrease in name. Even if the value of your wage rises, the amount written on the paycheck is lower. Therefore, people freak out. These are troubling scenarios, though I think the first two are more substantial than the third. I don't mean to underestimate the psychological factor- in economics psychology is everything- but we'll talk about this later. Krugman presents the first two points as bugs in a deflationary system. I see them as features. "Your dollar will buy you more tomorrow than what it can today." I think this is natural. We are a rapidly advancing species; through technology we are becoming more efficient, automating crappy tasks, raising the standard of living for less work, of course a dollar (that placeholder for your unit of production) is going to go further tomorrow than it does today. Personally, I find this appealing. It provides every incentive to work now and spend later. That falls very much in line with good ol' American hard-working values and non-consumptive ethics. Krugman finds this worrying though. If people have less incentive to spend, their is a crisis in demand. Hello liberals?! When was the last time we complained about lower consumption? In a country wracked with hyper-consumption that has put an unprecedented load on Earth's environment and ignited a climate crisis, I see a drop in demand as a breath of fresh air! Furthermore, you don't have to worry about people never spending. People will always spend now- but only on the want/need products, rather than the maybe-want-need-this-now-really-might-as-well-because-my-currency-is-losing-value-and-all-these-things-meet-my-zillion-useless-ephemeral-wants products. I do believe there are much higher economic principles at work here. The United States is the world's default consumer. The global economy needs us to consume as much as it needs the million child laborers to produce. The economy would come crashing down if we stopped consuming immediately. But if we're trying to aim for a more sustainable economy, one that is compatible with the Earth's environment, let's move slowly and use a deflating currency as an incentive! "Deflation rewards creditors and hurts debtors. Debtors spend less and creditors don't spend more enough to offset." The impassive Krugman is beating around the bush. There is a problem when debtors suffer at the expense of creditors, and it's more than just a net loss in consumer spending. If you're concerned about a reduction in spending, see my previous point. But the remaining ethical problem is glaring- a power imbalance already exists in a creditor-debtor relationship, and it seems that deflation only widens this gap, crucifying the debt class on a cross of deflationary coin. There's no doubt that this is a problem. And wealth redistribution may ultimately be easier with an inflationary currency- again, a word on that later. But there is also an incentive here: borrow less. Credit card debt is at an all-time high, up 1200% in the US since 1980, all while student loans have ballooned out of control. But neither of these problems even compares to the $7.8 trillion of mortgage debt our country has dug itself into. Now debt is not a bad thing. The right combination of debt and saving, that is- using both capital previously earned with capital borrowed from future earnings- indicates a healthy economy. I don't want to have to work my entire life only to afford a house at the very end. I want to be able to borrow from my future economic output, buy the house now, and live in it while I work to pay it off. The same goes for student debt, corporate debt-financing, etc. Access to credit is crucial to a healthy middle class. But ever-increasing debt is not sustainable. Nobody lives- and produces- forever, so you cannot always borrow from your future economic output. In the end, regardless of the money tricks you play, you have to produce enough value to cover your consumption. The world recently found out, in a mild manor, what happens when a currency's incentive and a nation's culture favors borrowing. When given the opportunity to build houses they never could have dreamed of paying off in their lifetime, millions of people took the offer and the biggest lenders took the risk. The echoes of their mass default still burden the global economy 6+ years later. The point is, if Krugman says "inflation promotes borrowing", I say, "is this debt-ridden wreck what we really want our economy to look like?" "People would freak out when their paycheck goes down." I say get over it. Other possible proclamations in a deflationary world:
"Today, this meal costs the most it ever will!"
"My phone bill will never be this high again!"
"Filling my car up costs less every day!"
"Taxes go down every year so I love my life!"
Better yet, this reflects reality! Technology makes everything cheaper every day. You should be paying lower phone bills tomorrow. Has the infrastructure gotten less efficient? Here it feels like Krugman's grasping for straws. He pounces on people's reaction to their one source of income rather than their many expenses. This point also invokes that ugly liberal side: "The people don't know what's best for them." The Central Authority as a Tool for Wealth Redistribution Now we're talking. As a Liberal, I consider this to be a most important necessary evil. But let's call it what it is: stealing from the rich to give to the poor. (Unless we reject the modern notion of property- stay tuned...) In an inflationary economy, value is constantly leaching out of everyone's savings. Those who control the monetary supply have a means of reaching into every dollar, and skimming off a little bit of value. We can choose to do a lot of good with this. Right now the skimmed dollars are "lent" to banks- the theory is that they then have more to lend to the general public and everyone benefits. Lending is good right? It introduces liquidity. But continue this cycle ad infinitum and all the spending in the economy starts in the form of bank debt! It is no coincidence that Americans households are more in debt than ever before. If wealth redistribution is the only benefit of a central supply authority (which can fall out of trust at any time), this is a weak foundation. We already have a mechanism for wealth redistribution: taxation. Let's be proud of it, call a duck a duck, raise taxes on the wealthy, and introduce that liquidity with massive infrastructural programs, education spending, science spending, etc, rather than in the form of bank loans. One last point- inflation appears to be a flat tax. That's already bad. It affects every dollar proportionally, rich or poor. Worse, the middle class and poor have a higher percentage of their net worth in USD- so inflation then becomes a regressive tax... given to banks... to be lent out to again to the middle class. All in the name of wealth redistribution?! In the name of kick-starting the economy?! Something's fishy here, and "you wouldn't understand, it's more complicated" doesn't cut it as an answer for these practices. Bitcoin So. What are we even doing here? In 2009 a great mind developed a tool, the first in the history of human civilization, for "minting" a currency according to a fixed and open sourced algorithm. Without the involvement of any third party, you can now send an irreproducible digital object of fixed supply to anyone with an internet connection. The implications are mind-boggling. But the first such currency, Bitcoin, happened to be fixed-supply and ultimately deflationary, which has re-sparked the deflation vs. inflation debate. This is happenstance. The protocol that gives rise to these digital currencies- the bitcoin protocol (small b)- could easily implement a different supply model. Paul Krugman can start a currency, KrugCoin, with any supply model that he likes! Which begs one last question. Let's say I'm presented with an option: I may collect my paycheck in a currency that deflates- that is, my paycheck will gain value over time. Or I may collect my paycheck in a currency that inflates- it loses value over time. Why would anyone choose the latter? Must a population be forced into using an inflationary currency? Are we?
Bitcoin - Canadian Dollar Chart (BTC/CAD) Conversion rate for Bitcoin to CAD for today is CA$14,218.58. It has a current circulating supply of 18.5 Million coins and a total volume exchanged of CA$21,806,814,492 USD CAD (US Dollar / Canadian Dollar) The US Dollar vs. the Canadian Dollar is a very popular currency pair due to the extremely large amount of cross border trading that occurs between the U.S. and Canada. The CAD is considered to be a commodity currency because of the large amount of natural resources, especially oil, that are mined and exported to southern neighbors. The world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is stored and exchanged securely on the internet through a digital ledger known as a blockchain. Bitcoins are divisible into smaller units known as satoshis — each satoshi is worth 0.00000001 bitcoin. BTC/CAD CURRENT RATE. 1 BTC - Bitcoin Canadian Dollar - CAD. CA$ 14,128.36 USD/CAD is the forex ticker that represents the US Dollar-Canadian Dollar currency pair. The USD/CAD rate, as indicated on the live chart, shows traders how many Canadian Dollars are required to ...
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