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Thoughts On The Market Series #1 - The New Normal?
Market Outlook: What to Make of This “New Normal”
By ****\* March 16, 2020 After an incredibly volatile week – which finished with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallying over 9% on Friday – I suppose my readers might expect me to be quite upbeat about the markets. Unfortunately, I persist in my overall pessimistic outlook for stocks, and for the economy in general. Friday’s rally essentially negated Thursday’s sell-off, but I don’t expect it to be the start of a sustained turnaround. We’re getting a taste of that this morning, with the Dow opening down around 7%. This selloff is coming on the back of an emergency interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve of 100 basis points (to 0%-0.25%) on Sunday… along with the announcement of a new quantitative easing program of $700 billion. (I will write about this further over the next several days.) As I have been writing for many weeks, the financial bubble – which the Fed created by pumping trillions of dollars into the financial system – has popped. It will take some time for the bubble to deflate to sustainable levels. Today I’ll walk you through what’s going on in the markets and the economy… what I expect going forward and why… and what it means for us as traders. (You’ll see it’s not all bad news.)
Coronavirus’ Strain on the Global Economy
To start, let’s put things in perspective: This asset deflation was coming one way or another. Covid19 (or coronavirus) has simply accelerated the process. Major retailers are closing, tourism is getting crushed, universities and schools are sending students home, conventions, sporting events, concerts, and other public gatherings have been cancelled, banks and other financial service firms are going largely virtual, and there has been a massive loss of wealth. Restaurant data suggests that consumer demand is dropping sharply, and the global travel bans will only worsen the situation. Commercial real estate is another sector that looks particularly vulnerable. We are almost certain to see a very sharp and pronounced economic slowdown here in the United States, and elsewhere. In fact, I expect a drop of at least 5% of GDP over the next two quarters, which is quite severe by any standard. Sure, when this cycle is complete, there will be tremendous amounts of pent-up demand by consumers, but for the time being, the consumer is largely on the sidelines. Of course, the problems aren’t just in the U.S. China’s numbers look awful. In fact, the government there may have to “massage” their numbers a bit to show a positive GDP in the first quarter. Europe’s numbers will also look dreadful, and South Korea’s economy has been hit badly. All around the world, borders are being shut, all non-essential businesses are being closed, and people in multiple countries are facing a lockdown of historic proportions. The coronavirus is certainly having a powerful impact, and it looks certain that its impact will persist for a while. Consider global tourism. It added almost $9 trillion to the global economy in 2018, and roughly 320 million jobs. This market is in serious trouble. Fracking in the U.S. is another business sector that is in a desperate situation. Millions of jobs and tens of billions of loans are now in jeopardy. The derivative businesses that this sector supports will be likewise devastated as companies are forced to reduce their workforces or shut down due to the collapse in oil prices. This sector’s suffering will probably force banks to book some big losses despite attempts by the government to support this industry. In a similar way, the derivative businesses that are supported by the universities and colleges across America are going to really suffer. There are nearly 20 million students in colleges across the U.S. When they go home for spring vacation and do not return, the effect on the local businesses that colleges and university populations support will be devastating. What does this “new normal” mean going forward? Let’s take a look…
The new normal may become increasingly unpleasant for us. We need to be ready to hunker down for quite some time. Beyond that, the government needs to handle this crisis far better in the future. The level of stupidity associated with the massive throngs of people trapped in major airports yesterday, for example, was almost unimaginable. Instead of facilitating the reduction of social contact and halting the further spread of the coronavirus, the management of the crowds at the airports produced a perfect breeding ground for the spread of the virus. My guess is that more draconian travel restrictions will be implemented soon, matching to some extent the measures taken across Europe. This will in turn have a further dampening effect on economic activity in the U.S., putting more and more pressure on the Fed and the government to artificially support a rapidly weakening economy. Where does this end up? It is too early to say, but a very safe bet is that we will have some months of sharply negative growth. Too many sectors of the economy are going to take a hit to expect anything else. The Fed has already driven interest rates to zero. Will that help? Unlikely. In fact, as I mentioned at the beginning of this update, the markets are voting with a resounding NO. The businesses that are most affected by the current economic situation will still suffer. Quantitative easing is hardly a cure-all. In fact, it has been one of the reasons that we have such a mess in our markets today. The markets have become addicted to the easy money, so more of the same will have little or no impact. We will need real economic demand, not an easier monetary policy. It won’t help support tourism, for example, or the other sectors getting smashed right now. The government will need to spend at least 5% of GDP, or roughly $1 trillion, to offset the weakness I see coming. Is it surprising that the Fed and the government take emergency steps to try to stabilize economic growth? Not at all. This is essentially what they have been doing for a long time, so it is completely consistent with their playbook. Next, I would anticipate the government implementing some massive public-works and infrastructure programs over the coming months. That would be very helpful, and almost certainly quite necessary. But there’s a problem with this kind of intervention from the government…
What Happens When You Eliminate the Business Cycle
The Fed’s foolish attempt to eliminate business cycles is a significant contributing factor to the volatility we are currently experiencing. Quantitative easing is nothing more than printing lots and lots of money to support a weak economy and give the appearance of growth and prosperity. In fact, it is a devaluation of the currency’s true buying power. That in turn artificially drives up the prices of other assets, such as stocks, real estate and gold – but it does not create true wealth. That only comes with non-inflationary growth of goods and services and associated increases in economic output. Inflation is the government’s way to keep people thinking they are doing better. To that point: We have seen some traditional safe-haven assets getting destroyed during this time of risk aversion. That has certainly compounded the problems of many investors. Gold is a great example. As the stock market got violently slammed, people were forced to come up with cash to support their losing positions. Gold became a short-term source of liquidity as people sold their gold holdings in somewhat dramatic fashion. It was one of the few holdings of many people that was not dramatically under water, so people sold it. The move may have seemed perverse, particularly to people who bought gold as a safe-haven asset, but in times of crisis, all assets tend to become highly correlated, at least short term. We saw a similar thing happen with long yen exposures and long Bitcoin exposures recently. The dollar had its strongest one-day rally against the yen since November 2016 as people were forced to sell huge amounts of yen to generate liquidity. Many speculators had made some nice profits recently as the dollar dropped sharply from 112 to 101.30, but they have been forced to book whatever profits they had in this position. Again, this was due to massive losses elsewhere in their portfolios. Is the yen’s sell-off complete? If it is not complete, it is probably at least close to an attractive level for Japanese investors to start buying yen against a basket of currencies. The major supplies of yen have largely been taken off the table for now. For example, the yen had been a popular funding currency for “carry” plays. People were selling yen and buying higher-yielding currencies to earn the interest rate difference between the liability currency (yen) and the funding currency (for example, the U.S. dollar). Carry plays are very unpopular in times of great uncertainty and volatility, however, so that supply of yen will be largely gone for quite some time. Plus, the yield advantage of currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, and Australian dollar versus the yen is nearly gone. In addition, at the end of the Japanese fiscal year , there is usually heavy demand for yen as Japanese corporations need to bring home a portion of their overseas holdings for balance sheet window dressing. I don’t expect that pressure to be different this year. Just as the safe-haven assets of yen and gold got aggressively sold, Bitcoin also got hammered. It was driven by a similar theme – people had big losses and they needed to produce liquidity quickly. Selling Bitcoin became one of the sources of that liquidity.
Heavy Price Deflation Ahead
Overall, there is a chance that this scenario turns into something truly ugly, with sustained price deflation across many parts of the economy. We will certainly have price deflation in many sectors, at least on a temporary basis. Why does that matter over the long term? Price deflation is the most debilitating economic development in a society that is debt-laden – like the U.S. today. Prices of assets come down… and the debt becomes progressively bigger and bigger. The balance sheet of oil company Chesapeake Energy is a classic example. It’s carrying almost $10 billion worth of debt… versus a market cap of only about $600 million. Talk about leverage! When the company had a market cap of $10 billion, that debt level didn’t appear so terrifying. Although this is an extreme example for illustrative purposes, the massive debt loads of China would seem more and more frightening if we were to sink into flat or negative growth cycles for a while. The government’s resources are already being strained, and it can artificially support only so many failing companies. The U.S. has gigantic levels of debt as well, but it has the advantage of being the world’s true hegemon, and the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency. This creates a tremendous amount of leverage and power in financing its debt. The U.S. has been able to impose its will on its trading partners to trade major commodities in dollars. This has created a constant demand for the dollar that offsets, to a large extent, the massive trade deficit that the U.S. runs. For example, if a German company wants to buy oil, then it needs to hold dollars. This creates a constant demand for dollar assets. In short, the dollar’s status as the true global reserve currency is far more important than most people realize. China does not hold this advantage.
What to Do Now
In terms of how to position ourselves going forward, I strongly recommend that people continue with a defensive attitude regarding stocks. There could be a lot more downside to come. Likewise, we could see some panic selling in other asset classes. The best thing right now is to be liquid and patient, ready to pounce on special opportunities when they present themselves. For sure, there will be some exceptional opportunities, but it is too early to commit ourselves to just one industry. These opportunities could come in diverse sectors such as commercial real estate, hospitality, travel and leisure, and others. As for the forex markets, the volatility in the currencies is extreme, so we are a bit cautious. I still like the yen as a safe-haven asset. I likewise still want to sell the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, and the Canadian dollar as liability currencies. Why? The Bank of Canada, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand have all taken aggressive steps recently, slashing interest rates. These currencies are all weak, and they will get weaker. Finding an ideal entry for a trade, however, is tricky. Therefore, we are being extra careful with our trading. We always prioritize the preservation of capital over generating profits, and we will continue with this premise. At the same time, volatility in the markets is fantastic for traders. We expect many excellent opportunities to present themselves over the coming days and weeks as prices get driven to extreme levels and mispricings appear. So stay tuned.
-Rupee continues to recover, gains Rs4.16 in four months The Pakistani rupee has maintained a gradual uptrend against the US dollar since the beginning of current fiscal year in July and is anticipated to gain more ground in the remaining eight months amid expectations of increase in foreign currency inflows. The rupee gradually strengthened Rs4.16 or 2.60% in the past around four months to Rs155.88 to the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). “The rupee may recover to 145 to the greenback by June 30, 2020,” Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP) President Malik Bostan projected while talking to The Express Tribune. Further: -In a positive development, Pakistani Rupee hits highest level of four months against US dollar The Pakistani rupee has shown recovery against the US dollar as the US currency reached the lowest level in four months. -ExxonMobil to help build LNG terminal in Pakistan After getting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract from private-sector consumers, US energy giant ExxonMobil is planning to build the third LNG terminal in Karachi as a joint-venture partner. Some time ago, ExxonMobil, in collaboration with Pakistan’s exploration and production companies, drilled an offshore well to search for hydrocarbon reserves in the Arabian Sea. However, the effort could not prove successful. Now, in a new venture with Energas consortium, the US firm is going to invest in setting up an LNG terminal in Pakistan. -Pakistan's Hindu community celebrates Diwali today in a renovated temple reopened by the Pakistan government after 72 years he country’s Hindu community is celebrating the annual religious festival of Diwali. The religious festivities are expected to take place in Shawala Teja Singh Temple, located in Sialkot, after 72 years. All preparations for the upcoming festival have been completed. The festival of Diwali is being seen as more of a cultural than a religious one as people from other faiths will celebrate alongside members of the Hindu community. The temple, where the festivities will take place, was closed down in 1947. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and certain members of the Hindu community decided to open the temple a few months ago, after which the renewal and renovation work had begun. Now, for the first time, this temple is going to celebrate a religious ceremony. -Tax Returns Filed Per Day in 2019 Have Increased by 127 Percent: FBR Chairman Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi has announced that on average, tax returns filed per day in 2019 have risen by 127 percent compared to last year. In a Twitter post, Zaidi shared details of the tax returns filed so far. As per the records, the number of tax returns filed in 2019 till October 25 stands at 918,027, as compared to 585,209 tax returns filed in the same period last year. Zaidi said that as of November, the FBR will impose strict measures against unauthorized interactions and harassement between its staff and the business community. The business community is suggested to report to FBR if any person contacts them through any manner without proper authorization. -Pakistan, Nepal agree to enhance trade ties President Dr. Arif Alvi on Saturday held a meeting with the Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli on the sidelines of 18th Non Aligned Movement Summit in Baku, ARY News reported. According to a statement issued by the ministry, both the leaders affirmed to enhance trade ties between the two countries and expressed their desire to further strengthen the bonds of friendship. Matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations, regional peace, grave human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir and other issues were came under discussion in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, President Alvi briefed the Nepalese prime minister on Indian illegal actions in occupied Kashmir. He expressed hope that Nepal will play its role as SAARC chair, for strengthening peace and stability in the region. -CPEC enters into 2nd phase: Poverty, agriculture, B2B initiatives prime focus: Khusro Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar Wednesday said the CPEC has now entered into its second phase with focus on poverty alleviation, agriculture and B2B industrial cooperation. “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government's economic reform measures will strengthen the country's economy as the investors' confidence is rebounding due to corrective measures," the minister expressed these views while talking to Australian High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw who called on him on Wednesday. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan was also present in the meeting. While discussing bilateral relations and foreign investment in various sectors in Pakistan especially in Gwadar, the minister said that ongoing phase of CPEC will bring about socioeconomic benefits for the welfare of the people. He said that CPEC offers enormous potential to boost national economy and reduce poverty. -Pakistan's Defence Exports have reached USD 212.6 MILLION IN 2018-2019 According to the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) “First Year Performance Report,” the country had registered $212.6 million US in defence exports from August 2018 to August 2019. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) booked the highest value at $184.38 million US, which was followed by Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) at $7.13 million US and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) at $1.3 million US. In addition, private sector firms booked $19.36 million US in sales. No additional breakdowns were provided by the MoDP. It is likely that PAC’s exports were fueled by co-production work for FC-1/JF-17 sales to Myanmar and/or Nigeria. Though an agreement was signed with Turkey for the sale of 52 Super Mushshak basic trainers, it is unclear if PAC has started manufacturing these aircraft. -DRAP to launch countrywide drive against substandard, spurious medicines The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is launching a countrywide campaign against substandard medicines, the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said while addressing the federal and provincial drug inspectors in Islamabad on Thursday. He said a crackdown is being launched throughout the country to eradicate the menace of unregistered, spurious and sub-standard medicine. In addition to medicine quality, he added, DRAP will also take stern action against violation of fixed prices of medicines. -Foreign exchange: SBP reserves increase $79m to $7.89b The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.14% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other friendly nations helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves. On October 18, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $7,892.7 million, up $79 million compared with $7,813.7 million in the previous week. The report cited no reason for the increase in reserves, which stood below the $8-billion mark. -Ease of business: Pakistan up 28 places on World Bank index Pakistan has jumped up 28 places on the World Bank’s (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index and secured a place among the top 10 countries with the most improved business climate – a development that will greatly improve Islamabad’s image abroad, Pakistan carried out six reforms that helped improving its ranking from 136 to 108, according to the WB’s annual flagship report, ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020’, released on Thursday. It turned out to be the sixth global reformer and first in South Asia that brought ease in doing business in the last one year. The fewer are the regulations the better is the ranking on the index. The key to attain perfection is to cut the bureaucracy hindering business activities in the name of various regulations and procedures. -CM approves Rs 500m for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has given approval of Rs 500 million for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency. He gave approval while presiding over a high-level meeting at CM Office here on Monday. During the meeting progress on Naya Pakistan Housing Project for low-income persons was reviewed and detailed briefing was also given to the participants on Naya Pakistan Housing strategy. While addressing the meeting, Usman Buzdar said that obstacles should be removed in order to ensure completion of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and financial conditions of common man should be kept in mind while chalking out housing policy of the project. All out attention should be paid while constructing small houses in the province, he added. It has also been decided during the meeting to launch rural housing project in 17 model villages. -KSE 100 gains 204 points amid improved sentiments The benchmark KSE 100 Index depicted remarkable progress as it gained around 204 points and concluded at 33,861-level.It was a busy start to the week at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) with earnings season hitting its peak, while volumes remained at par with previous weeks’ average. Biggest single day investment in treasury bills in the previous week of estimated US $87.5 million, increasing total investment to US$440 million since July 2019 was the major rally point in the market sentiments. The bourse recorded an intraday low of 33,572.36 soon after the commencement of the session. However, after regaining the momentum, the index marked its day’s high at 34,008.35 adding 350.89 points. It settled higher by 204.13 points at 33,861.59. The KMI 30 Index accumulated 386.53 points to settle at 55,155.92, while the KSE All Share Index managed to gain 86.13 points, ending at 24,543.78. -Sindh to reserve 0.5% job quota for transgender persons The Sindh Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to reserve 0.5 per cent quota in government jobs for transgender persons. “I want to bring transgender people into the mainstream,” said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during the cabinet meeting. “We want to make them an asset for our society.” CM Murad congratulated the transgender community on behalf of the cabinet and advised them to improve their education. Around 41,000 positions are vacant in different government departments across Sindh out of which 206 will be given to transgender people. A spokesperson from the chief minister’s house stated that out of the 41,000 available jobs 16,000 positions will be filled this fiscal year. Rest of the positions will be filled in the period of next three years. -Malaysia's Mahathir stands by Kashmir comments despite India palm oil boycott Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would not retract his criticism of New Delhi’s actions in occupied Kashmir despite Indian traders calling for an unprecedented boycott of Malaysian palm oil. The impasse could exacerbate what Mahathir described as a trade war between the world’s second biggest producer and exporter of the commodity and its biggest buyer so far this year. India’s top vegetable oil trade body on Monday asked its members to stop buying Malaysian palm oil after Mahathir said at the United Nations General Assembly last month that India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir. -“World’s two major companies setting up solar panel plants in Pakistan” Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced on Monday that the world’s two major solar panel firms will establish their plants in Pakistan. The minister tweeted saying “good news gets lost in political plays, yet I am very happy that the world’s two major companies are setting up solar panel’s plants in Pakistan.” Chaudhry added that China’s second-largest Lithium battery producer will also set up its workshop in Pakistan. The Lithium battery-powered buses will also be manufactured in Pakistan, the tweet further said. The Minister for Science and Technology was recently on a visit to Beijing where he met various Chinese officials and the country’s business leaders. -Pakistan Navy organizes free medical camp in Balochistan Navy organized a free medical camp in the village Dam of Balochistan in collaboration with Sahil and Ulfat welfare foundations. According to the spokesperson of Pakistan Navy, specialist doctors of surgical, medical, skin, gynecology, child and general medically inspected patients at the camp. Over 700 patients were provided with free medical treatment, medicines and ordinary surgical facilities. -Lahore to get Tram service soon Citizens of Lahore are getting a modern-day tram service soon, based on the famous British-era tram service. In this regard, the Punjab Transport Department has inked an agreement with CRSC International, a Chinese company specializing in rail transportation control systems, and Inkon Group of the Czech Republic. The development of the project is divided into several phases. In the first phase, a 35 km track will be constructed on Canal Road, Lahore. Up to 50 trams will run on this track. Once operational, the trams will be able to carry 35,000 passengers in 1 hour. The trams will be powered through electricity and batteries. A single tram will have a service life of around 40 years. 2 tram depots will be constructed at different locations as well. -10 Pakistani Universities Ranked Among the World’s Best in ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’ Ten Pakistani universities have been ranked among the top universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s list. THE is a weekly UK-based magazine that issues its annual list of world’s most influential universities. The list called ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’ has included 10 Pakistani varsities in different categories, including Gender Equality, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Decent Work, Economic Growth, and others. According to the magazine, the rankings assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. -PM Imran Khan inaugurates China-Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is moving forward through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Addressing inaugural ceremony of China Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan, he said this is the first joint project under the CPEC umbrella and he is very happy after inaugurating it. “The government will facilitate joint collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese businesses in various sectors.”, he said. PM Imran Khan said with the help of coal reserves in Thar, Pakistan can generate huge amount of electricity, which can be enough for at least 100 years. -Punjab Forest Department develops ‘record keeping’ mechanism Department of Forest Punjab is managing 1.6 million acres of forest land area – 67 per cent of the entire forest land area in Punjab – under the Geographic Information System (GIS), Pakistan Today learnt reliably on Friday. The program enabled the forests department to ensure sound management and introduce state of the art record-keeping and mapping methods. ‘Development of GIS-Based Forest Management Information System in Punjab’ was approved at PC-1 with a cost of Rs75 million and a gestation period of 36 months (2016-2019) has allowed for transfer of all forest resources and inventories into IT-based inventory systems and achieved extensive field surveys, rapid data collection and its processing for development of the forestry sector on efficient lines. -Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed $240 million foreign investment from Hutchison Port Holdings, a Hong Kong-based port operator. A delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings, led by its Group Managing Director Eric Ip, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Other delegation members included HPH Middle East & Africa Managing Director Andy Tsoi and Middle East & Africa Business Director Eric Ng. Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador-at-Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Haider Gilani were also present on the occasion. Group Managing Director Eric Ip apprised the prime minister of Hutchison’s fresh investment into Pakistan approximating $240 million which will enhance the new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, and increase Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion. -Punjab's tax collection jumps 44% Punjab’s tax collection registered a 44% growth to Rs77 billion in first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of previous year, despite tough conditions of the federal government for the provinces to get a share in the federal divisible pool of resources. Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht disclosed this at a review meeting of the Finance Department on Monday. The meeting was briefed that despite the financial backlog left by the previous government, the current government gave a surplus budget of Rs233 billion in order to meet financial requirements of the federal government to comply with conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme. -‘SECP recognised as 7th most effective regulator in world’ The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has been recognised as the “7th most effective regulator” by the World Economic Forum in its ‘Global Competitiveness Report-2019’. “Pakistan was ranked as the 52nd most dynamic economy in the world. The country secured this by improving 15 points from last year, as it stood at 67th in 2018,” said a statement issued by Mishal Pakistan, Country Partner at WEF’s Institute of the Future of Economic Progress System Initiative, on Wednesday. “The progress of Pakistan’s competitiveness was due to the achievements made during the last 12 months.” The most effective improvements were made due to the initiative and strategies adopted by the apex regulator for the corporate sector and the capital markets; supervision and regulation of insurance, non-banking financial companies and private pension schemes. The SECP improved Pakistan’s competitiveness rankings by improving the “number of days to start a business”, where Pakistan was ranked at the 90th position compared with 96th in 2018. -Pakistan China bilateral trade crosses $19 billion, highest ever in history Pakistan Ambassador to China , Naghmana Hashmi has said the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US $ 19.08 billion and both countries aimed to raise it further. “The bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US$ 19.08. We aim to raise it further,” Ambassador Hashmi said joint ventures in defence production have led to the manufacture of the MBT 2000 Al-Khalid Tank and JF-17 Thunder, a fighter aircraft. “On the diplomatic front, the two countries are committed to protecting and promoting multilateralism and upholding the United Nations (UN)Charter, while our cooperation has extended to science and technology, socioeconomic sectors and nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes,” she added. -Foreign Company Agrees to Drop $6 Billion Penalty, Re-Invest in Reko Diq: Reports The International Center of Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had slapped the country with a $6 billion penalty for revoking the contract without prior knowledge back in 2009. Soon after the development, the Prime Minister had empowered his financial team to contact the executives of the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to reach an out-of-court settlement and avoid the penalty. Reportedly, after the Pakistan authority’s approach, the company has not only agreed to take back the penalty but has also agreed to invest in the project again. As per media reports, PM Imran Khan contacted the TCC management and discussed the prospects of the matter. He assured the company his full support if they wanted to revise the investment plan for the project. The company will reportedly withdraw its appeal from the ICSID, while Pakistan will compensate for their damages due to the cancelation of the contract. -Current account deficit shrinks massive 64pc The country’s current account deficit (cad) in the first quarter of current fiscal year declined by a huge 64 per cent mainly on the back of a 21pc reduction in the imports bill. The State Bank’s latest data issued on Friday showed the current account deficit for July-September FY20 clocked in at $1.548 billion compared to $4.287bn in the same period last fiscal year; a decline of $2.739bn. The reduced current account deficit is a positive omen for the government, which is struggling with slow economic growth and high inflation. However, despite massive decline in rupee’s value, the country’s exports have failed to register any noticeable increase during the period. -Food imports down 24pc, exports up 14pc in Q1 FY20 Food group imports into the country during the first quarter of the current financial year (July-Sept 2019-20) decreased considerably by 24.7pc, whereas exports increased by 13.98pc compared with the corresponding period of last year. The import of food commodities into the country during the period under review came down from $1.45 billion to $1 billion, whereas the exports increased from $864 million to $984.7 million, according to latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). -Chinese Smartphone Company Realme to build mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan Chinese company Realme's Director of Marketing in Pakistan Mr He Shunzi in an interview disclosed that Realme is planning to set up the mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan. He told that company is inspecting locations in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Faisalabad Industrial Estate for suitable land. Pakistani mobile market offers guaranteed capital as Realme ranked top five android brands in Pakistan in less than nine months, capturing 8% of total market share, he added. -Chinese Coal Giant Wants to Convert Thar’s Coal to Diesel China’s Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group will help convert Thar’s coal into oil and the talks between the two parties are underway. The Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group is a subsidiary of China’s biggest coal producer, the Shenhua Group and the company already has the world’s largest plant for converting coal into diesel, with an annual production capacity of 4 million tons in Ningxia in its portfolio. The agreement, if signed, will be a ‘game-changer’ for Pakistan, believes Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, who accompanied Imran Khan on his recent visit to China. The Pakistani delegation held talks with the Shenhua Group during the trip: -In a positive development, Pakistan projected among top 20 rising economic growth engines of the World Pakistan projected among 20 top rising economic growth engines of the World that would dominate the global growth in next 5 years. Pakistan has been projected as one of 20 countries that will dominate global growth in five years time in 2024, an assessment made by Bloomberg using data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). -In a positive development, Pakistan textile exports register increase Textile exports from the country increased by 2.95pc during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-Sept FY20) compared with the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. The textile exports during the period under review were recorded at $3,371.974 million as against the exports of $3,275.303 million during July-September 2018-19, according to latest data by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The textile commodities that contributed to the positive growth included raw cotton, exports of which grew by 53.65pc, from $7.047 million to $10.828 million. Similarly, the exports of yarn (other than cotton yarn) increased by 21.95pc, from $7.759 million last year to $9.462 million, while that of knitwear surged by 11.14pc, from $701.393 million to $779.548 million. -Kartarpur Corridor will open to public on November 9: PM Imran Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that Pakistan will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. The premier’s announcement came via a Facebook post in which he said that construction work on the Pakistani side had entered the final stage. “Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe,” he wrote. “World’s largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world,” he said. -'$1.2b penalty in Karkey case likely to be waived' Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and senior lawyer Babar Awan has said that the $1.2 billion penalty that Pakistan has to pay to Turkey’s Karkey rental power plant is likely to be waived. “International institutions, through high-level backdoor contacts, have agreed to waive off the penalty. This is very good news for Pakistan,” said Awan while addressing the media on Friday. “International institutions have shown their trust in Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added. -Punjab Govt to Introduce a Unified Tax Collection System Punjab government is contemplating the introduction of a unified tax collection system in the province. The unified system will streamline the tax collection process and facilitate the taxpayers. At the moment, Punjab Revenue Department, Excise and Taxation Department, and local administrations collect taxes in Punjab. On Sunday, Finance Minister of Punjab, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, headed a meeting of Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA). Bakht said that a special tax management unit will be set up at the Punjab finance department that will unify tax collection all across the country. -PM To Launch Clean Green Pakistan Index for Multiple Cities Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, said that Imran Khan will launch the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) at a grand launching ceremony on October 30. The initiative is aimed at introducing competition among cities on various indicators, including public access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation, effective solid waste management, and tree plantation. The prime minister will announce a six-month competition among 19 cities of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, he added. The adviser said that after six months, these cities will be ranked again and those with prominent progress will be rewarded with special federal and provincial government funds and more cities will be joining the competition. -PM Khan Will Lay The Foundation of Baba Guru Nanak University on Oct. 28 Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to lay the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University on October 28. The establishment of this university in Nankana Sahib was announced earlier this year when PM Khan was in the town for a Spring Tree Plantation Campaign. -Sindh govt invites bids for Dhabeji SEZ The Sindh government has launched the well-connected Dhabeji Special Economic Zone in district Thatta near Port Qasim, according to a statement issued on Monday. In this connection, the Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC), being the provincial SEZ custodian, has invited proposals for the development and operation of Dhabeji project through an advertisement published in leading national and international newspapers. Dhabeji SEZ was highlighted in the recent meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Industrial Cooperation. The senior officials of China’s National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) appreciated the Sindh government on the progress made so far. The Sindh government launched the project through an international competitive bidding process as a build-up to the upcoming 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting between China and Pakistan, which would be held next month. -Rice exports surge 51pc in first quarter FY20 Rice exports from the country during the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 grew by 50.76pc as compared to the corresponding period last year. During the July-September period, about 839,356 metric tonnes of rice, worth $470.584 million, were exported as compared the exports of 551.5,86 metric tonnes, valuing $312.147 million, during the same period of FY19. According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of basmati rice increased by 47.29pc, as 212,873 metric tonnes of basmati rice ($194.669 million) were exported during the first quarter of FY20, as compared the 127,669 metric tonnes ($132.166 million) in the same period of last year. Meanwhile, 34,090 metric tonnes of fish and fish preparations worth $79.549 million were also exported in the period under review as compared to the exports of 25,859 metric tonnes valuing $67.294 million during the same period of last year.
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Originally posted by Darkstar at Forex Factory. Disclaimer: I did not write this. I found this post on ForexFactory written by a user called DarkStar, which I believe a lot of redditors will benefit from reading. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ There has been much discussion of late regarding borker spreads and liquidity. Many assumptions are being made about why spreads are widened during news time that are built on an incomplete knowledge of the architecture of the forex market in general. The purpose of this article is to dissect the market and hopefully shed some light on the situation so that a more rational and productive discussion can be undertaken by the Forex Factory members. We will begin with an explanation of the purpose of the Forex market and how it is utilized by its primary participants, expand into the structure and operation of the market, and conclude with the implications of this information for speculators. With that having been said, let us begin. Unlike the various bond and equity markets, the Forex market is not generally utilized as an investment medium. While speculation has a critical role in its proper function, the lion’s share of Forex transactions are done as a function of international business. The guy who buys a shiny new Eclipse more then likely will pay for it with US Dollars. Unfortunately Mitsubishi’s factory workers in Japan need to get their paychecks denominated in Yen, so at some point a conversion needs to be made. When one considers that companies like Exxon, Boeing, Sony, Dell, Honda, and thousands of other international businesses move nearly every dollar, real, yen, rubble, pound, and euro they make in a foreign country through the Forex market, it isn’t hard to understand how insignificant the speculative presence is; even in a $2tril per day market. By and large, businesses don’t much care about the intricacies of exchange rates, they just want to make and sell their products. As a central repository of a company’s money, it was only natural that the banks would be the facilitators of these transactions. In the old days it was easy enough for a bank to call a foreign bank (or a foreign branch of ones own bank) and swap the stockpiles of currency each had accumulated from their many customers. Just as any business would, the banks bought the foreign currency at one rate and marked it up before selling it to the customer. With that the foreign exchange spread was born. This was (and still is) a reasonable cost of doing business. Mitsubishi can pay its customers and the banks make a nice little profit for the hassle and risks associated with moving around the currency. As a byproduct of transacting all this business, bank traders developed the ability to speculate on the future of currency rates. Utilizing a better understanding of the market, a bank could quote a business a spread on the current rate but hold off hedging until a better one came along. This process allowed the banks to expand their net income dramatically. The unfortunate consequence was that liquidity was redistributed in a way that made certain transactions impossible to complete. It was for this reason and this reason alone that the market was eventually opened up to non-bank participants. The banks wanted more orders in the market so that a) they could profit from the less experienced participants, and b) the less experienced participants could provide a better liquidity distribution for execution of international business hedge orders. Initially only megacap hedge funds (such as Soros’s and others) were permitted, but it has since grown to include the retail brokerages and ECNs. Market Structure: Now that we have established why the market exists, let’s take a look at how the transactions are facilitated: The top tier of the Forex market is transacted on what is collectively known as the Interbank. Contrary to popular belief the Interbank is not an exchange; it is a collection of communication agreements between the world’s largest money center banks. To understand the structure of the Interbank market, it may be easier to grasp by way of analogy. Consider that in an office (or maybe even someone’s home) there are multiple computers connected via a network cable. Each computer operates independently of the others until it needs a resource that another computer possesses. At that point it will contact the other computer and request access to the necessary resource. If the computer is working properly and its owner has given the requestor authorization to do so, the resource can be accessed and the initiating computers request can be fulfilled. By substituting computers for banks and resources for currency, you can easily grasp the relationships that exist on the Interbank. Anyone who has ever tried to find resources on a computer network without a server can appreciate how difficult it can be to keep track of who has what resources. The same issue exists on the Interbank market with regard to prices and currency inventory. A bank in Singapore may only rarely transact business with a company that needs to exchange some Brazilian Real and it can be very difficult to establish what a proper exchange rate should be. It is for this purpose that EBS and Reuters (hereafter EBS) established their services. Layered on top (in a manner of speaking) of the Interbank communication links, the EBS service enables banks to see how much and at what prices all the Interbank members are willing to transact. Pains should be taken to express that EBS is not a market or a market maker; it is an application used to see bids and offers from the various banks. The second tier of the market exists essential within each bank. By calling your local Bank of America branch you can exchange any foreign currency you would like. More then likely they will just move some excess currency from one branch to another. Since this is a micro-exchange with a single counterparty, you are basically at their mercy as to what exchange rate they will quote you. Your choice is to accept their offer or shop a different bank. Everyone who trades the forex market should visit their bank at least once to get a few quotes. It would be very enlightening to see how lucrative these transactions really are. Branching off of this second tier is the third tier retail market. When brokers like Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, etc. desire to establish a retail operation the first thing they need is a liquidity provider. Nine in ten of these brokers will sign an agreement with just one bank. This bank will agree to provide liquidity if and only if they can hedge it on EBS inclusive of their desired spread. Because the volume will be significantly higher a single bank patron will transact, the spreads will be much more competitive. By no means should it be expected these tier 3 providers will be quoted precisely what exists on the Interbank. Remember the bank is in the business of collecting spreads and no agreement is going to suspend that priority. Retail forex is almost akin to running a casino. The majority of its participants have zero understanding how to trade effectively and as a result are consistent losers. The spread system combined with a standard probability distribution of returns gives the broker a built in house advantage of a few percentage points. As a result, they have all built internal order matching systems that play one loser off against a winner and collect the spread. On the occasions when disequilibrium exists within the internal order book, the broker hedges any exposure with their tier 2 liquidity provider. As bad as this may sound, there are some significant advantages for speculators that deal with them. Because it is an internal order book, many features can be provided which are otherwise unavailable through other means. Non-standard contract sizes, high leverage on tiny account balances, and the ability to transact in a commission free environment are just a few of them… An ECN operates similar to a Tier 2 bank, but still exists on the third tier. An ECN will generally establish agreements with several tier 2 banks for liquidity. However instead of matching orders internally, it will just pass through the quotes from the banks, as is, to be traded on. It’s sort of an EBS for little guys. There are many advantages to the model, but it is still not the Interbank. The banks are going to make their spread or their not go to waste their time. Depending on the bank this will take the form of price shading or widened spreads depending on market conditions. The ECN, for its trouble, collects a commission on each transaction. Aside from the commission factor, there are some other disadvantages a speculator should consider before making the leap to an ECN. Most offer much lower leverage and only allow full lot transactions. During certain market conditions, the banks may also pull their liquidity leaving traders without an opportunity to enter or exit positions at their desired price. Trade Mechanics: It is convenient to believe that in a $2tril per day market there is always enough liquidity to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately belief does not negate the reality that for every buyer there MUST be a seller or no transaction can occur. When an order is too large to transact at the current price, the price moves to the point where open interest is abundant enough to cover it. Every time you see price move a single pip, it means that an order was executed that consumed (or otherwise removed) the open interest at the current price. There is no other way that prices can move. As we covered earlier, each bank lists on EBS how much and at what price they are willing to transact a currency. It is important to note that no Interbank participant is under any obligation to make a transaction if they do not feel it is in their best interest. There are no “market makers” on the Interbank; only speculators and hedgers. Looking at an ECN platform or Level II data on the stock market, one can get a feel for what the orders on EBS look like. The following is a sample representation: You’ll notice that there is open interest (Level II Vol figures) of various sizes at different price points. Each one of those units represents existing limit orders and in this example, each unit is $1mil in currency. Using this information, if a market sell order was placed for 38.4mil, the spread would instantly widen from 2.5 pips to 4.5 pips because there would no longer be any orders between 1.56300 and 1.56345. No broker, market maker, bank, or thief in the night widened the spread; it was the natural byproduct of the order that was placed. If no additional orders entered the market, the spread would remain this large forever. Fortunately, someone somewhere will deem a price point between those 2 figures an appropriate opportunity to do something and place an order. That order will either consume more interest or add to it, depending whether it is a market or limit order respectively. What would have happened if someone placed a market sell order for 2mil just 1 millisecond after that 38.4 mil order hit? They would have been filled at 1.5630 Why were they “slipped”? Because there was no one to take the other side of the transaction at 1.56320 any longer. Again, nobody was out screwing the trader; it was the natural byproduct of the order flow. A more interesting question is, what would happen if all the listed orders where suddenly canceled? The spread would widen to a point at which there were existing bids and offers. That may be 5,7,9, or even 100 pips; it is going to widen to whatever the difference between a bid and an offer are. Notice that nobody came in and “set” the spread, they just refused to transact at anything between it. Nothing can be done to force orders into existence that don’t exist. Regardless what market is being examined or what broker is facilitating transactions, it is impossible to avoid spreads and slippage. They are a fact of life in the realm of trading. Implications for speculators: Trading has been characterized as a zero sum game, and rightly so. If trader A sells a security to trader B and the price goes up, trader A lost money that they otherwise could have made. If it goes down, Trader A made money from trader B’s mistake. Even in a huge market like the Forex, each transaction must have a buyer and a seller to make a trade and one of them is going to lose. In the general realm of trading, this is materially irrelevant to each participant. But there are certain situations where it becomes of significant importance. One of those situations is a news event. Much has been made of late about how it is immoral, illegal, or downright evil for a broker, bank, or other liquidity provider to withdraw their order (increasing the spread) and slip orders (as though it was a conscious decision on their part to do so) more then normal during these events. These things occur for very specific reasons which have nothing to do with screwing anyone. Let us examine why: Leading up to an economic report for example, certain traders will enter into positions expecting the news to go a certain way. As the event becomes immanent, the banks on the Interbank will remove their speculative orders for fear of taking unnecessary losses. Technical traders will pull their orders as well since it is common practice for them to avoid the news. Hedge funds and other macro traders are either already positioned or waiting until after the news hits to make decisions dependent on the result. Knowing what we now know, where is the liquidity necessary to maintain a tight spread coming from? Moving down the food chain to Tier 2; a bank will only provide liquidity to an ECN or retail broker if they can instantly hedge (plus their requisite spread) the positions on Interbank. If the Interbank spreads are widening due to lower liquidity, the bank is going to have to widen the spreads on the downstream players as well. At tier 3 the ECN’s are simply passing the banks offers on, so spreads widen up to their customers. The retailers that guarantee spreads of 2 to 5 pips have just opened a gaping hole in their risk profile since they can no longer hedge their net exposure (ever wonder why they always seem to shut down or requote until its over?). The variable spread retailers in turn open up their spreads to match what is happening at the bank or they run into the same problems fixed spreads broker are dealing with. Now think about this situation for a second. What is going to happen when a number misses expectations? How many traders going into the event with positions chose wrong and need to get out ASAP? How many hedge funds are going to instantly drop their macro orders? How many retail traders’ straddle orders just executed? How many of them were waiting to hear a miss and executed market orders? With the technical traders on the sidelines, who is going to be stupid enough to take the other side of all these orders? The answer is no one. Between 1 and 5 seconds after the news hits it is a purely a 1 way market. That big long pin bar that occurs is a grand total of 2 prices; the one before the news hit and the one after. The 10, 20, or 30 pips between them is called a gap. Is it any wonder that slippage is in evidence at this time? Conclusions: Each tier of the Forex market has its own inherent advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your priorities you have to make a choice between what restrictions you can live with and those you cant. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want. By focusing on slippage and spreads, which are the natural byproduct of order flow, one is not only pursuing a futile ideal, they are passing up an enormous opportunity to capitalize on true inefficiencies. News events are one of the few times where a large number of players are positioned inappropriately and it is fairly easy to profit from their foolishness. If a trader truly wants to make the leap to the next level of profitability they should be spending their time figuring out how identify these positions and trading with the goal of capturing the price movement they inevitably will cause. Nobody is going to make the argument that a broker is a trader’s best friend, but they still provide a valuable service and should be compensated for their efforts. By accepting a broker for what it is and learning how to work within the limitations of the relationship, traders have access to a world of opportunity that they otherwise could never dream of capturing. Let us all remember that simple truth.
Looking back in recent history, it seems as though big investors and financial organizations are changing their attitudes towards Bitcoin and altcoins. The media coverage worldwide illuminated the vast returns being had in the cryptocurrency markets, with many coins up over 100x since their conception. This certainly has garnered the attention from both legacy and newcomer investors. Currently, everyone is waiting to see if cryptocurrencies can continue on their path to new all time highs. 2017 turned out to be a whirlwind year, with most cryptocurrencies soaring to new all time highs at the end of 2017 and early 2018. The media coverage of cryptocurrencies was nonstop, with news reports on financial programs almost daily. In addition, many movies and tv shows mentioned cryptocurrency, including the technology oriented show “Silicon Valley.” So far, 2018 has seen a vast pullback in the cryptocurrency markets. Many of the smaller altcoins are down over 90% with Bitcoin, the crypto leader, still being down over 60% from all time highs. Even with the overall market pullback, many investors are still very bullish on cryptocurrencies going into 2019. Many big name institutions are jumping head first into crypto, with NYSE announcing a new crypto exchange, BAAKT. Also Fidelity has announced a crypto support platform for their customers. Even legendary Ivy league university Yale has announced a new 400 million dollar investment fund geared towards cryptocurrency. With so much bullish news adding up rapidly, almost everyone seems to expect a very profitable year for crypto leading into 2019. While Bitcoin is still currently the market leader there are also some big name altcoins that expect 2019 to be a huge year for them. The Altcoin Hierarchy Before investing in the crypto market, let us go through the basic classes of cryptocurrencies that exist in the market. While every class has the potential to have impressive returns, some coins have more impressive use cases and concepts, In addition to more qualified and funded development teams. Simply put, not all altcoins were created the same. The Penny Stocks of Crypto These are the bottom tier altcoins that could possibly become worthless in the near future. They operate much like penny stocks, advertising big promises of ‘guaranteed gains’. Eventually, many fail to offer a fraction of their promised returns. One of the ways to identify these is to look at their team members, their past experiences, objectives of the project, probability of mass adoption, actual use of the coins and many more. The reasons for their failure is usually because of unwillingness to work for the vision they once promised in the first place, bad wealth management, inclusion of scammers in their team, unrealistic expectation from the project and also making money via pump and dump schemes. Some of these coins are Trumpcoin, Russia Coin and Verge. Average Coins According to the ‘coinmarketcap’ website, there are currently more than 2000 cryptocurrencies listed on their website. Among those, there are around 500 of them that can be considered in this ‘average’ category. These are the coins that do have a purpose/objective to work on but fail to maintain a good development team. They and their coins don’t really have any kind of purpose in the crypto market and fail to finalize any kind of legitimate deals and partnerships with good investors. This makes their performance very limited as compared to other altcoins in the market. Some of these coins are Deep Brain Chain, Funfair, Decred, Navcoin, Populous, Cryptonex. Good Coins There are around 500 of such good coins in the market that do offer a good objective for the project, a solid team with good experience to execute such tasks, a good marketing strategy to reach out to masses to share their ideas and quality contacts to make some good partnerships in the market. The only reason why they are only classified as ‘good coins’ is due to the lack of uniqueness that the other ‘very good coins’ offer. They don’t really have that ‘point of parity’ in their project/product that separates them from their counterparts. Some of these coins are NEM, Stratis, Monero, and BAT. Very Good Coins There are around 100 such ‘very good coins’ in the market. Their objectives are well defined with a solid team to execute their tasks perfectly. Along with that, their marketing teams are also well-qualified to make their ideas reach to the masses. Because of such a wonderful blend, they are able to make better and strong partnerships with a number of good companies. What separates them from the ‘Good Coins’ category is their USPs (Unique Selling Points). They are unique in what they do and that’s what makes the difference. Such coins are NEO, Stellar, Cardano, Ripple Top Tier Cryptocurrencies These are the top tier coins that provide the best functionalities. They have real-world usage, objectives to solve a real-world problem, strong fundamental teams to execute the mission of the project, marketing teams to spread the ‘idea’ and collaboration with a number of media channels to gain early investors. Also, due to a good PR team, they are able to make a very strong partnership with a lot of Fortune 500 companies that give them an extra edge over rest of the projects in the market. Some of these coins are VeChain, Ethereum, Bitcoin, IOTA, Icon, EOS, Kinesis. Promising Projects Going Into the New Year With more than 2000 cryptocurrencies out there in the crypto market, only a couple 100 of them qualify to be a top tier investment. It can be quite the challenge to find a worthy project among the thousands of choices. These next projects are some that show a lot of promise heading into 2019. Always remember the 3’S’ of the investment – Sane, Smart and Sensible. An investor who is sane, smart and sensible will always look into the facts before he invests in any business or project. Kinesis This is one of the most promising upcoming projects in crypto. The broad overview of the coin is to offer an alternate and better evolutionary step beyond the basic monetary and banking system available today. In short, it is a cryptocurrency that is backed by precious metals like gold and silver. According to the CEO of the company, Thomas Coughlin, the Kinesis coin is basically divisible units of allocated gold and silver which you can use as a currency. There will be two stable Kinesis coins in the market backed by Gold and Silver. The stable Kinesis coins backed by Gold will be tagged as KAU and the stable Kinesis coins backed by Silver will be tagged as KAG. These stablecoins backed by the precious metals like Gold and Silver are real game changers as these 2 precious metals are definable stores of value for use in trade and investment in the real-world economies. The Kinesis coin is based on the Bespoke Blockchain Technology, a blockchain network forked off from the Stellar Blockchain Technology in order to suit the requirements of the Kinesis coin. The cryptocurrency project is headed by Thomas Coughlin who is also the CEO of the Kinesis company. He has 15 years experience in the investment, funds management and capital markets. Before being the CEO of the Kinesis company, he held similar positions for the Bullion Capital and TRAC Financial Group as well. Apart from Thomas Coughlin, there are other great members in the team as well. Their team consists of people like: Michael Coughlin, Chief Financial Officer, having 41 years experience as a CPA in the accountancy and financial services professions. Eric Maine, Chief Strategy Officer, having more than 30 years experience in Senior Management in the exchange and financial markets. Ryan Case, Head of Sales & Trading in Kinesis, having extensive experience as Head of sales trading & partnership and also valuable experience in commodity, cryptocurrency, forex and derivative markets. Jai Bifulco, Chief Marketing Officer, having a full-fledged 12 years of experience in award-winning full-stack marketer in Finance. He previously held roles of directors in multiple brokerages, consulting and Fintech sectors. There are more than 30 different team members in this project spanning their roles from The Executive Committee to the Advisory Board to the Operations and Development team. The coins are very limited in number as compared to other cryptocurrencies where the softcap is limited to just 15,000 KVT coins and HardCap is limited to 300,000 KVT coins. Minimum token that one can buy is set to 1 KVT which is equal to $1000. So far, more than 57,000 KVT tokens have been sold which roughly equals to a whopping sum of $57 Million. With such a huge investment already deployed for the development of the project, there are still 30 more days left for the ICO sale period to end. Also, apart from the investments gained, the Kinesis cryptocurrency is also focusing much on the partnerships with the top companies in the industry. These include companies like ABX (Allocated Bullion Exchange), MLG (Blockchain Consulting), Sigma Prime, Etherlabs and Fine Metal Asia Limited. This cryptocurrency is certainly the one to watch out for in 2019. VeChain Broad Overview – In simple layman terminology, Vechain is a supply chain protocol to track logistics inventory. It has successfully implemented blockchain technology in various sectors like agriculture and industries like luxury goods and liquor. They basically strive to solve real-life problems by providing solutions in various industries like: Logistics: In this sector, VeChain implements the blockchain technology to improve the flow of information from one department to another by breaking silos yet maintaining the data privacy of every department. Government: There are more than 111 VeChain nodes deployed worldwide. The municipal governments participate in the VeChain blockchain network as nodes. The VeChain blockchain network offers decentralization and immunity against the data hacking that allows room for transparent information exchange. This indeed improves the efficiency of the municipal governments. The technologies used to track the logistics are: Assigning digital identities to physical stocks that can be stored on the VeChain blockchain network Usage of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) NFC (Near Field Communication) Proof Of Authority Consensus In-House Temperature Controlled Tracking Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) The future potential of the VeChain cryptocurrency looks quite promising as the coin is signing new partnerships every month or so. Some of its partners are PricewaterhouseCoopers, DNV GL, Renault Group, KUEHNE + NAGEL, D.I.G, China Unicom and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration of China. Every single company with whom VeChain partnered has millions of customers that will use the VeChain technology embedded in their system. This makes the coin solve real-life problems and have mass adoption. VeChain indeed makes a big difference in the logistics business. However, given the kind of turmoil that the entire cryptomarket is facing where the total market capitalization has fallen from $800 Billion to just around $200 Billion, no one can give any kind of assurance on the returns in your investment in the crypto assets. However, stablecoins like Kinesis has a reward yield system that incentivizes its investors for holding, depositing and also referring new users. Hence, the investors always stay on the benefit side even if the market collapses for a short duration. IOTA In simple terms, IOTA is a cryptocurrency which is designed for the Internet of Things. The cryptocurrency was developed to root a new direction to IoT by establishing a standardization called, ‘Ledger of Everything’ which means that the data exchange between sensor-equipped machines would be enabled to populate IoT. IOTA has the potential to make transactions easy. A basic use case of IOTA can be seen in IOTA enabled vending machines. These machines can dispense the items without involving the associated transaction costs. Some other use cases of IOTA are Reddit Chains etc. Technology Behind IOTA Surprisingly, IOTA does not use the traditional Blockchain technology for its design and development. In fact, a new platform called ‘Tangle Technology’ is being used for IOTA to operate on. The Tangle Technology deploys a mathematical concept called Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAG) which resolves both the scalability and transaction fees issues which we face in blockchain based cryptocurrencies. In IOTA, for a transaction to be valid, each node present in DAG Tangle must approve the previous two transactions occurring at the other node. And adding to a note, this process removes the chances of mining and makes the system fully decentralized. Future Potential Keeping in mind the remarkable result of IOTA, there exists a promising scope for it in the near future in various applications and platforms. IOTA would be standing tall and different in the future world full of cryptocurrencies vulnerable to quantum computers. IOTA has a lot of companies that it is working with. Some of them include Bosch, Volkswagen,Fujitsu, Accenture, Poyry and many more. When viewed from a macro perspective, so far IOTA looks to be fee-less, scalable and fast which makes it next to perfect. However, if you own IOTA, the chances of you liquidating it into fiat currency via a ‘debit card’ and buying something from a grocery store is quite low. In order to fill this gap of actually buying something from the street market and becoming the global currency, Kinesis has introduced its Kinesis Debit Cards that enables the Kinesis token holders to exchange their tokens against FIAT currency and simultaneously buy products from a grocery shop, something which IOTA fails to offer. ICON ICX Broad Overview: ICON is a South Korean based company that develops blockchain technology and accompanies the cryptocurrency called ‘ICX’. ICON is a network framework which has been designed to allow independent blockchains to interact with each other. It allows interconnected blockchain networks to participate in a decentralized system which converges at a central point. Technology: ICX token is built on the Ethereum blockchain network. ICON has developed a loop-chain platform that connects different blockchain communities through the ICON Republic which serves as the governing head for the Federation of other independent blockchain bodies. All the communities are linked to Republic through C-Reps (Community Representatives) which then connects to Nexus. C-Reps functions as the portals to the communities to establish a connection with Nexus. And this way the entire procedure is carried out. Future Scope: It is believed that ICON has plans to provide platforms to financial, security, insurance, healthcare, educational industries which can help them to carry transactions on a single network. Thus, ICON (ICX) can be seen having a good time in the coming days. Also, it has been successful in signing a partnership deal with the tech-giant Samsung where it will be using ICON’s own Chain ID for a new Samsung project called ‘Samsung Pass’. Apart from Samsung, ICON has also signed deals with PORTAL NETWORK & W Foundation. However, it is notable that ICON is built on the Ethereum network and is an ERC20 token. Hence, the transaction speed greatly depends on the Ethereum network. Currently, Ethereum can execute 15 transactions per second which is quite low in terms of what ICON (ICX) is currently aiming for. However, to fill this gap, we have Kinesis Bespoke Technology that offers a whopping speed of 3000 transactions per second. This lightning fast speed keeps the Kinesis token way ahead than ICX token. Enjin Broad Overview The native cryptocurrency of the Enjin Network, the Enjin Coin (popularly known as only ENJ) follows the ERC20 token standard and is used with a smart contract-based blockchain platform. Its typical users include content creators, game developers, and other members of the gaming community, who need to use virtual tokens to manage and trade virtual goods in the gaming world. Technology behind Enjin As an ERC20-compliant token, the ENJ functions in accordance with the rules an Ethereum contract has to implement. It is used on a dedicated platform that is designed to support open-source software development kits (SDKs), applications, plug-ins, and payment gateways. As for its users, they will be able to efficiently participate in developing, launching, managing, and trade content and game-related products on the Enjin Network, without having to deal with the technical complexities. Summary of Potential The ENJ is expected to solve some performance issues in using similar cryptocurrencies on the market today, including payment frauds where goods are not actually delivered, slow transaction processes, lack of ownership of virtual goods, lack of transaction standards, and centralization problems. According to its creators, the ENJ coin, which is based on a blockchain, will create a distributed, trustworthy, and secure framework where transactions can be executed smoothly and quickly with minimal transaction fees. Its autonomous and decentralized system will ensure that all offers and deals will be honored. Conclusion Generally speaking, the Enjin Coin is good. It helps bring the benefits of blockchain to millions of people participating in the virtual goods market. Its creators are working hard to prevent fraud in the gaming world. However, it is still a relatively new project. As such, it is still volatile. This means that you still have to take utmost care and be wise when using it. EOS Broad Overview EOS is considered by many people who are participating in the virtual goods market as one of the best cryptocurrencies to use, supported by a powerful infrastructure for decentralized applications. Basically, the EOS blockchain is used for the development, execution, and hosting of decentralized applications (dApps) that are traded virtually. Technology behind EOS The EOS system is composed of two key components, which are the EOS.IO and the EOS token. As for the former, it functions like a computer’s operating system in managing and controlling the EOS blockchain, with the use of an architecture that enables horizontal and vertical dApps. As for the latter, it is held (instead of spent) by the users to be able to become eligible of building, running, and trading apps, as well as using EOS network resources. While EOS still does not have an official full form, it supports all core functionalities to allow individuals and businesses to create and trade blockchain-based apps. It also runs on a web toolkit for interface development, just like Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. Summary of Potential While there are already a lot of cryptocurrencies based on Ethereum similar to it, the EOS system focuses on the critical and problematic points of the blockchain. Specifically, it attempts to solve the problems of scalability, speed, and flexibility that often cause transaction processes to slow down, which is a common issue in blockchain-based systems. According to its creators, EOS.IO could also address other problems that come with the ever-increasing size of the dApps ecosystem, such as limited availability of resources, constrained networks, spamming, false transactions, and limited computing power. It is said to be able to support thousands of commercial-scale dApps without hitting performance bottlenecks by using asynchronous communication methodologies and parallel execution across its network. Conclusion The EOS system is very advanced. It is designed to address common problems with standard blockchain-based networks. But like other new cryptocurrency platforms on the virtual market today, it still has some weak points to improve. Also, there is again the exposure to volatility, as users hold the tokens to be eligible to trade virtually. Nebulas Broad overview Nebulas (NAS) is a new generation blockchain and is open for public collaborations for decentralized application (dApp) development. Its adaptability and scalability are the two characteristics that could propel NAS to be one of the top cryptocurrencies, thus giving it enough leverage to compete in the market. Technology behind Nebulas Nebulas is the first crypto running on a 3rd generation blockchain, thus making it the dominant player of the new platform. This makes Nebulas highly flexible and scalable, even giving a good leverage in future-proofing their code. That could help avoid hard forking whenever some issues come up during scaling processes. Summary of potential Adaptability, scalability and search-ability are three of the biggest potential NAS has to offer. With the 3rd generation blockchain it uses, it can allow the adaption of other codes based from Nebulas. This means that other cryptos can adapt to its platform soon enough. Moreover, it can also act as a blockchain search engine. This can let users search particular blockchains based on efficiency and community strength. Finally, its goal to provide fair incentives to Decentralized Application (dApp) developers is something that collaborators could expect. This means that more developers are expected to come, thus strengthening NAS even further. Conclusion Nebulas (NAS) is a promising crypto especially with its adaptability, scalability and search-ability potentials. It can help with the fluidity of crypto into this new generation platform. However, it still lacks the value stability that Kinesis or stablecoins hold. NAS is still unpredictable, unlike Kinesis that backs it value with real gold. Sky Broad overview SkyCoin is a full environment system of blockchain technology, and has the goal of endorsing the actual usage of cryptocurrency. Technology behind Sky Sky has its own algorithm, the Obelisk, which uses the web of trust dynamics to spread influence all throughout the network to come up with a consensus decision. The consensus decision depends on each node, by valuing its influence score. The influence score of each node is determined by the number of network nodes connected to it. This depicts the importance of the node to the network. Aside from the Obelisk, Sky also operates its own cryptocurrency which is SkyCoin, its own ICO platform Fiber, a decentralized social media platform called BBS, and a decentralized messenger called Sky-Messenger. Summary of potential Sky focuses its potential on being a full ecosystem of blockchain technology that encourages actual usage of crypto. Through its unique algorithm which is the Obelisk and some other dApps associated with it, Sky is a promising crypto technology and could be considered as the most complete one as of today. Conclusion Sky, SkyCoin and the Obelisk is definitely a massive platform that could be considered as a full ecosystem of crypto and its related technology. Nonetheless, the SkyCoin depends its value on node influence scores, which could change from time to time as well. This makes Kinesis and Stablecoins still a better choice, especially for investors who want clear investments without hassle. Crypto Predictions for 2019 While 2017 had the masses captivated and investing large amounts of capital, 2018 has seen price drops and sagging hopes. While the returns in 2017 exceeded anyone’s expectations, a strong pullback was predicted by many. Whether or not this bear market continues from here is the real question many investors face today. Bitcoin’s rapid rise and fall exposed many problems, and the developers of the top cryptocurrencies in 2019 took note. When considering your crypto investments for 2019, factor in the following trends we predict will influence investments: More Pullbacks According to the CEO of Vellum Capital, Eric Kovalak, the price of cryptos will reach new lows before they will rebound to new heights. This includes the biggest cryptocurrencies in the market, including Bitcoin. Kovalak believes that it will be priced below $3,500 before it will find its way back up. However, there are many mixed opinions on the current price of BTC, with some arguing the bottom for the crypto markets have already been seen. Due to Bitcoin-based remittances, uncertainty in global economies like Asia, Turkey and Venezuela, and mobile penetration, there will be a surge in interest and the price of the digital currency. A Flood of Institutional Investors Institutional investors have been waiting on the sideline for the ETF to rule in favor of Bitcoin. According to Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Capital, once the ETF arrives, “institutional fomo’ will start flooding the market.” Another factor is Kinesis, the investment blockchain that provides investors with a safe and reliable alternative. Pegged against precious metals, it provides protection against volatility that may be caused by political instability. The Kinesis Monetary System lets you own real gold or silver when you purchase the digital currency. Your ownership is then digitized and then made available for spending, trading, and transfer. What is even better, the monetary system can be used internationally, ensuring reliability of money around the world. With the recent crisis around the Turkish Lira, the price of gold has significantly increased. Mass adoption of crypto by consumers In January 2019, blockchain technology will be 10 years old. It remains a speculative investment to this day but 2019 could be the year of mass adoption for digital currencies. For this to happen, however, there has to be some triggers. Speculation should become a real utility. People must use blockchain projects in everyday life so they will gain widespread use. Decentralized applications (DApps) must gain mainstream status to promote widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. Improved payment processing, addressing the issue on the current situation of slow transaction times and high transaction fees. Scalability of blockchain technology with little to no impact on its efficiency. To date, slow transaction times are due to the growing number of users and transaction sizes. This calls for blockchain to grow and have the ability to compete with Mastercard, PayPal, or Visa. Introduction of off-chain solutions that allow users to complete a transaction through peer-to-peer payment channel instead of within the blockchain. This will address slow transaction times. Security will be provided by the parent blockchain. Gold Is Still The Standard Despite the promises and unique functions of many cryptocurrencies, there is still uncertainty in these new markets. Gold has remained the best form of investment throughout history, and the best store of value, especially through times of crisis in politics and economies. Kinesis pegs its value to gold which has proven to be the safest investment in history. Therefore Kinesis stands to gain from the stability gold offers while simultaneously fusing it with the unique features of this cutting edge crypto technology. With the Kinesis Monetary System, investing in gold is no longer the slow process that many older investors are used to. This cryptocurrency is backed by gold and silver and supports precious metals trade. It has three essential assets. Tokens that represent an investors ownership of gold and silver. The inherited system where performance is done. Complete blockchain security that supports investments and paves the way for the creation of new assets protected in a banking system. Most importantly, the Kinesis Monetary System allows thousands of transactions to be completed per second in a completely secure channel. The Near Future Even a decade later, cryptocurrencies are still very much in their infancy. At this time, no one is sure what shape this growing sector will take in the future. Many cryptocurrencies will come and go but the ones that show the most promise, that fulfill their use cases, will stick around for the long term. With any emerging technology, we have to watch how it evolves and how it merges with our everyday life, changing the way we interact with everything around us.
Despite the huge amount of hype, AMAs, and the deployment of a plethora of sycophants patrolling Telegram, Reddit etc., Liquid ICO has returned absolutely zero value to investors, and everything promised in their 2017 white paper remains undelivered. Buyers who threw more than 100m USD into Quoine coffers are now left with a coin valued at less than a quarter of its initial offer, and no use for it. Most disappointingly, ICO proceedings have not been allocated as promised, and the Liquid team is just using them for its own purposes. Quoine (Liquid) is a healthy exchange, and the likelihood of seeing funds returned is very realistic if a legal class action is put forward.
1. Has the project accomplished the goals set out in the white paper?
It is staggering to see the difference between what the white paper promised to ICO investors in 2017 and what Quoine team has actually achieved.As the crux of its master plan, Liquid planned to aggregate all major crypto exchanges into a single world order book and use Forex exchanges to blend order books across different FIAT currencies. Supercomputers would be able to process astronomical numbers of trades at the speed of light, Liquid and Qash were just about to conquer the imminent future of all crypto exchanges and global crypto trading.This idea crashed when the Quoine Team realised that they also needed to move FIAT across accounts to make that work, and FIAT transactions are much slower than digital ones.More than one year has passed since then and, not surprisingly, not a single point of the white paper has been accomplished; Quoine/Liquid is now just an exchange which has simply lost some of its market share against more successful competitors.And still, they come out with statements such as:
‘’We envision QASH could even become the preferred standard Token used to pay for all services provided by the broader financial industry…’’
‘’QUOINE is already in discussion with multiple financial institutions, FinTech startups and partners to make QASH the preferred payment Token for upcoming and existing financial services.’’
In Q2 2019, Qash will have its own blockchain
In Q3 2019, Quoine will be granted a banking license
Example from Quoine's whitepaper The harsh reality is that Qash has never been used to pay a single penny of any financial transaction, there are no financial institutions considering it for payments. Quoine is not applying for or being granted, a banking license, and Qash will not have its own blockchain in 2019 or ever. Of all the complex diagrams, flow charts, and mind-blowing dreams, advertised in their 2017 white paper, nothing has been achieved, not even the internal order book which was meant to simply aggregate Quoine’s own internal order books. Fourteen months after starting their project, Quoine officials have not been able to name a single Exchange officially onboard for Liquid project. We remain unconvinced to when they claim: ‘’some of the exchanges we are in contact with, do not feel comfortable to have their names disclosed…’’ And while investors’ expectations have been pushed aside, a massive effort has been deployed to build up a squadron of sycophants called ‘community champions’, meant to simulate participation and interest for the few genuine members of the chats in which they participate, as well as surveilling and banning any critical comment or negativity on media such as Telegram, Reddit and others. Quoine has simply chosen to pocket investors’ money and put up something to soothe their anger and despair. However, most of the funds are still held by the issuer and will be likely returned to purchasers if a legal class action is put forward.
3. How has the team made use of funds? Have funds been used exclusively for the purposes of the project?
Quoine executives have blatantly stated on several occasions that some of the resources dedicated to Liquid project, were diverted to help Quoine to comply with Japanese regulators. That came at the cost of significantly delaying or even abandoning of the goals of the project. It is clear to us that Qash buyers have financed the project as described in the white paper with the purposes of making good use of the tokens, not with the purpose of fixing Quoine’s financials and operations. Moreover, in regard to the allocation of tokens proceedings, the white paper stated: https://preview.redd.it/abp34cftngn21.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=e08e0eb4d1d6a943e9377b244cddf6ea90df753f We strongly doubt that any of the above has been maintained:
20% of 100m would make a hefty $20m of investments in the development of the Liquid platform, but looking at what has been released so far, the result is worth a tiny fraction of what it was supposed to be.
50% ($50m) of the proceedings in liquidity: as far as the architecture of the project is concerned, these proceedings were supposed to be deposited and used in those accounts opened at the partner exchanges, but because the project never started, we expect them to be still in Quoine bank account.
Most appallingly, what Quoine presented in 2018 as Liquid, is merely a new UI design of Quoine platform with an improved market maker running the order book; nothing of that is in the interest of or beneficial to Qash buyers, who remain still unserved in their expectations of service/product. We observe huge equivocation with Liquid ICO: subscribers fairly expect things such as the return of their investment, good use of the tokens etc., conversely Quoine executives believe that the money was given to them as support for their corporate interests and financial performance, and bear little obligation to deliver promises. Overall, Quoine has never released a single piece of information about how ICO proceedings have been spent.
4. Does the idea of the project require blockchain implementation?
The project would require a blockchain implementation if Qash was really meant to be used as a method of payment between entities outside Liquid, unfortunately, this fundamental aspect has been missed as well as all the others.
5. Is the token innovative in some way?
No, – Qash token is just a duplication of the ERC20 token, wrapped in a bunch of spin and marketing.
Qash is currently trading at less than a quarter of its initial value but, most scarily, Qash markets have very poor liquidity and there is no support to contrast even mild dumping. We encourage all Qash tokens holders and earlier investors who have suffered financial losses associated with the purchase of the tokens, to join our class action with confidence, based on the following:
Quoine has failed to achieve any of the promises set out in the ICO white paper
Quoine has not made proper and exclusive use of the ICO proceedings, particularly has not allocated funds as promised in the white paper
More than a year since inception, it appears clear that none of the milestones of the project is in place, nor will it ever be achieved: no utility, no world order book, no banking license, no Qash blockchain, no use of Qash as a payment method in financial services
…what is the point of investors’ money still held by the issuer, other than paying salaries and dividends at Quoine?
Has Qash-Liquid accomplished the goals set out in the white paper?
It is staggering to see the difference between what the white paper promised to ICO investors in 2017 and what the Quoine team has actually achieved. As the crux of its master plan, Liquid endeavoured to aggregate all major crypto exchanges into a single world order book and use Forex exchanges to blend order books across different FIAT currencies. Supercomputers would be able to process astronomical numbers of trades at the speed of light. Liquid and Qash were just about to conquer the imminent future of all crypto exchanges and global crypto trading. This idea crashed when the Quoine Team realised that they also needed to move FIAT across accounts to make that work but ultimately, FIAT transactions are much slower than digital ones. More than one year has passed since then and unsurprisingly, not a single point of the white paper has been accomplished: Quoine/Liquid is no just an exchange which has simply lost some of its market share against more successful competitors. And still, they produce statements such as:
‘’We envision QASH could even become the preferred standard Token used to pay for all services provided by the broader financial industry…’’
‘’QUOINE is already in discussion with multiple financial institutions, FinTech startups and partners to make QASH the preferred payment Token for upcoming and existing financial services.’’
In Q2 2019, Qash will have its own blockchain...
In Q3 2019, Quoine will be granted a banking license...
The harsh reality is that Qash has never been used to pay a single penny of any financial transaction and there are no financial institutions considering it as a payment option. Quoine is not applying for or being granted a banking license, and Qash will not have its own blockchain in 2019, or ever. Of all the complex diagrams, flowcharts, and mind-blowing dreams advertised in their 2017 white paper, nothing has been achieved, not even the internal order book which was meant to simply aggregate Quoine’s own internal order books. Fourteen months after starting their project, Quoine officials have not been able to name a single Exchange officially onboard for the Liquid project. We remain unconvinced by their claim: ‘’some of the exchanges we are in contact with do not feel comfortable to have their names disclosed…’’ And while investors’ expectations have been pushed aside, a massive effort has been deployed to build up a squadron of sycophants called ‘community champions’, meant to simulate participation and interest for the few genuine members of the chats in which they participate, as well as surveilling and banning any critical users or negativity on media such as Telegram, Reddit and others. Quoine has simply chosen to pocket investors’ money and put up something to soothe their anger and despair. However, most of the funds are still held by the issuer and will be likely returned to purchasers if a legal class action is put forward. Read more and join the class action here: http://ico-class-action.org/class-actions/qash-liquid
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