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| October 19, 2018

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‘Sad Day for American Retail’: Sears Declares Bankruptcy

October 15, 2018 |

A $ 134 million debt payment due Monday was the final straw for the business Richard Warren Sears started in 1886. Sears, an American institution for many years, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday, CNN reports. The company, which also owns Kmart, says it plans to remain in business…

Retail stocks sink as Amazon raises hourly pay; Dow sets new record high

October 3, 2018 |

U.S. stocks ended mixed Tuesday, with retailers sinking after Amazon said it will raise hourly wages for U.S. employees and smaller companies continuing to stumble. Several big industrial companies rose, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high.

Amazon, one of the nation’s largest…

L.A. Times – Business

She paid $3.47 for a prescription drug. The retail price was 10,000% higher

August 28, 2018 |

Stephanie Garman picked up some prescription meds from CVS the other day. Normally she doesn’t give such things a second thought. This time she took a closer look at her receipt.

The retail price for her drug: $ 355.99.

The amount due: $ 3.47.

In other words, Ventura resident Garman was being charged…

L.A. Times – Business

Consumers shopped their way to higher U.S. retail sales than expected in July

August 15, 2018 |

American shoppers stepped up their spending more than expected in July amid rising consumer confidence, a tight labor market and this year’s federal tax cut.

Higher spending on food, gasoline and clothing led a 0.5% jump in U.S. retail sales to $ 507.5 billion last month compared with June, the…

L.A. Times – Business

Retail stocks rise and bank stocks fall; indexes barely budge

August 10, 2018 |

Major U.S. indexes stood stock-still for the third consecutive day Thursday as gains for retailers were canceled out by losses for banks and other companies.

Energy companies again headed lower after a sharp drop in oil prices the day before. Amazon and media company Viacom led consumer-focused…

L.A. Times – Business

NYSE Owner: Bitcoin Should Be in Retirement Funds, Credit Cards, Retail Stores

August 4, 2018 |

NYSE Owner: Bitcoin Should Be In Retirement Funds, Credit Cards, Retail Stores

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner of arguably the most important stock exchange in the world, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is introducing a new company, Bakkt. The idea is to weave bitcoin into 401(k)s, credit cards, and retail. The project is getting a lot of hype due in large measure to two very powerful backers: Microsoft and Starbucks. Is this the mainstreaming ecosystem enthusiasts have been urging?

Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton

NYSE Wants Bitcoin in 401(k)s, Credit Cards, Retail Stores

ICE’s digital assets head, turned CEO of the new project Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler, explained in a company blog, “Formed by Intercontinental Exchange — an operator of global exchanges, clearing houses, data and listings services — Bakkt will work with companies that include BCG, Starbucks, Microsoft and others, to create an open ecosystem that supports growing needs in the ~$ 270 billion digital asset marketplace.”

ICE quietly owns and operates two dozen regulated markets and exchanges, from the United States and Canada to Europe. It also holds clearing houses in the Netherlands, Singapore, greater Europe, the US, and Canada as well. It has revenues well in excess of $ 5.5 billion. It’s also the parent company for the NYSE, an exchange with great prestige among traditional finance: the NYSE is 226 years old, and is easily the globe’s biggest exchange by market cap, some $ 21.3 trillion as of last summer.

NYSE Owner: Bitcoin Should Be In Retirement Funds, Credit Cards, Retail StoresMs. Loeffler told Fortune how for over a year ICE built Bakkt in secrecy. The company name is a twist on asset backed securities, Bakkt, which by design is to engender trust. And trust is everything in the legacy marketplace, but it has a decidedly different meaning in the cryptocurrency world. Trust on Wall Street usually means regulations, and lots of them.

Indeed, by late Fall this year, Bakkt hopes to have a fully federally regulated space for all things bitcoin. Fortune notes how “ICE aims to transform Bitcoin into a trusted global currency with broad usage.” That’s an interesting admission for enthusiasts wondering what Wall Street is ultimately up to with this enormous announcement and marketing/public relations campaign. Trust in the Bitcoin ecosystem is established through mathematics, voluntary adoption, by completely bypassing third party fragility, frictions, and gatekeepers for which legacy finance is famous.   

NYSE Owner: Bitcoin Should Be In Retirement Funds, Credit Cards, Retail Stores

Speculation and Coffee

“By combining regulated infrastructure with institutional and consumer applications,” Ms. Loeffler continues, “we’ll apply our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets. In this way, we intend to play a key role in boosting institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets.” Investment, also according to Fortune, includes Boston Consulting Group, Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, and Susquehanna International Group in addition to better known brands Starbucks and Microsoft.

No doubt, ICE’s endorsement of Bitcoin lends a great deal of credence for other Wall Street investors to start exploring the cryptosphere. A futures market appears immediately in the works. Ms. Loeffler’s blog post details, “As an initial component of the Bakkt offering, Intercontinental Exchange’s U.S.-based futures exchange and clearing house plan to launch a 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with physical warehousing in November 2018, subject to CFTC review and approval. These regulated venues will establish new protocols for managing the specific security and settlement requirements of digital currencies. In addition, the clearing house plans to create a separate guarantee fund that will be funded by Bakkt.”

NYSE Owner: Bitcoin Should Be In Retirement Funds, Credit Cards, Retail StoresFortune believes the bigger move Bakkt is proposing involves everyday retail ventures. “Using Bitcoin to streamline and disrupt the world of retail payments,” the magazine stressed, “by moving consumers from swiping credit cards to scanning their Bitcoin apps. The market opportunity is gigantic: Consumers worldwide are paying lofty credit card or online-shopping fees on $ 25 trillion a year in annual purchases.” Both Microsoft customers and Starbucks customers are very familiar with digital, smartphone related transactions. Transitioning over to bitcoin, with institutional blessing, should be a snap, ICE is assuming.

Starbucks’ Vice President of Partnerships and Payments, Maria Smith, was quoted in the press release, noting, “As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted, and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks.” That also appears to fly directly in the face of Bitcoin’s ultimate point. To nearly everyone familiar with its power, bitcoin as a currency is an end in-and-of-itself, it is the value, and was meant to leave fiat — not to be simply a keen transfer mechanism to government paper. Nevertheless, Bakkt’s CEO, Ms. Loeffler, concludes, “We’re excited about the opportunity to help unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets. Bakkt is preparing for launch in upcoming weeks, and we look forward to keeping you updated.”

Is bringing Wall Street into crypto a good thing? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Images via Pixabay, ICE, NYSE. 

Be sure to check out the podcast, Blockchain 2025; latest episode here

The post NYSE Owner: Bitcoin Should Be in Retirement Funds, Credit Cards, Retail Stores appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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$450-million office, housing and retail complex underway on Vine in Hollywood

June 21, 2018 |

A block in Hollywood once slated to hold a museum dedicated to the Academy Awards is being transformed into a spacious $ 450-million campus of offices, apartments and stores.

Kilroy Realty Corp. has broken ground on Academy on Vine, a long-anticipated project on 3.5 acres just south of the ArcLight…

L.A. Times – Business

Stocks finish mixed; Amazon leads retail rally, and Exxon slides

April 28, 2018 |

U.S. stocks finished with a split decision Friday after a wobbly day of trading. Amazon led a rally among retailers, but Exxon Mobil dragged energy companies lower to end an uneven week on Wall Street.

So far, U.S. companies’ first-quarter earnings reports have been strong, but overall, they haven’t…

L.A. Times – Business

March Retail Sales Rebound, With Help From Autos

April 16, 2018 |

Spending at U.S. retailers bounced back in March, but the broader trend in consumer spending shows only moderate growth despite a solid labor market and growing worker paychecks. US Business

PR: Bitcoin Miner Distributor BlokForge Opens US Retail Location

March 23, 2018 |

Bitcoin Miner Distributor BlokForge Opens US Retail Location

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. does not endorse nor support this product/service. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

BlokForge, one the nation’s largest suppliers of cryptocurrency mining hardware, is announcing the grand opening of its 2,000 sq. ft. retail location in Mesa, Arizona. The new store will carry over 20 product SKU’s from the largest brands in the world such as Canaan Creative.

The U.S.-based retail location represents a physical presence and is the first to do so stateside. BlokForge will be offering sales, repair, and consulting, along with classes by the end of the year.

Despite being a relatively new entrant to the mining supply space, BlokForge is unique in that it originated as an import-export company with over 20 years of experience sourcing hardware from overseas manufacturers before segueing into cryptocurrency mining hardware. The U.S. based company has grown quickly, expanding to its current 100,000 sq ft. warehouse. Formerly the site of Sunkist Citrus Growers, it was acquired by BlokForge’s parent company in February of 2015 and redesigned by Arizona architect Debartolo Architects in an effort to preserve the historical significance of the building, while making it fully functional for the growing needs of the supplier.

Founder, Nick J. added, “We chose this building in particular due to Mesa, Arizona’s commitment to bring innovation and startups to their downtown area. Repurposing a building that served this community for nearly 100 years just made sense.”

The company’s rapid pace of growth is a testament to its long-standing experience in sourcing, fulfillment and distribution.

“We have a really strong team with a ton of experience in supply chain logistics. A lot of our competitors sell on online but do not have a physical retail space to call home. Our operation is specialized to support the growing needs of hobbyist and home miners, while robust enough to supply large scale mining operations with large orders. Our strong partnership with our suppliers ensure we have the fastest delivery times out of the U.S.” says Nick. He further added “Our company feels bitcoin and blockchain technology are the future and we are excited to be an integral part in the growth of it.”

The company offers to its thousands of customers, the peace-of-mind of a direct U.S. presence, foregoing the need to deal with a foreign intermediary, and the customs paperwork that often comes with it. It also boasts a fully stocked warehouse for fast order fulfillment, and can fulfill orders as small as one machine, or 10,000. The company employs a locally-based, dedicated customer service team with chat and phone support.

The company’s location is no accident. The Arizona Senate passed a bill recently that would allow residents to pay their taxes using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Representative Jeff Weninger who has sponsored similar bills in the past is “sending a signal to everyone in the United States and possibly throughout the world that Arizona is going to be the place to be for blockchain and digital currency technology in the future.”

BlokForge is currently the largest authorized distribution hub for Canaan Avalon miners in the U.S. The company plans to launch a second retail location soon. For more information on the company or to purchase products online, please visit or call 1-888-55-CRYPTO.

For Press and Media Inquiries contact:

Corey Hosford

Supporting Link

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: Bitcoin Miner Distributor BlokForge Opens US Retail Location appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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