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Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s bid to become a broadcasting powerhouse by purchasing Tribune Media Co. hinges on spinning off TV stations to comply with U.S. limits on broadcast ownership.
Yet its proposals to sell stations from Pennsylvania to California are drawing fresh scrutiny as critics,…
Emerging markets tumbled in the second quarter after a stronger dollar and higher U.S. interest rates led many investors to flee from riskier investments in the developing world.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
Flight attendants call for action in response to study that finds the job comes with high cancer riskJune 30, 2018 | dailybusinessnews
A union representing the nation’s flight attendants has called for more health protections for its members, following a study that ties working as a flight attendant to an increased risk of developing breast and skin cancer.
The study, produced by researchers from Harvard University’s School of…
Unfortunate news for flight attendants: A new study finds that they suffer from higher rates of many types of cancer than the general population. The researchers compared data from more than 5,300 flight attendants who completed a health survey to about 2,700 non-flight-attendants with similar income and educational…
A consensus seems to have emerged in the past week that the U.K. is heading for the softest of Brexits. Yet behind this consensus lurks a dangerous complacency, writes Simon Nixon.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
A study has found that despite their volatility, cryptocurrencies do not endanger the financial system and the economy of Russia, as the risks are offset by the highly concentrated ownership of digital assets. Crypto fluctuations are not believed to affect consumption either. Russian residents have controlled cryptocurrency worth between $ 7.5 and $ 14 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to estimates published in the report.
Coins Compared to Commodities, Less Volatile than Some
The volatility of cryptocurrency rates is comparable to the price dynamics of foods, considered some of the most volatile commodities. Prices of products like meat, milk, and sugar can actually be much more volatile, according to a new study quoted by Russian media. It concludes that cryptocurrencies are not a threat to Russia’s financial stability.
Crypto volatility can affect the Russian economy much like the depreciation of the ruble, which leads to revaluation of the debt denominated in foreign currency, increased cost of borrowing, inflation expectations, and counterparty risks. The authors have calculated that crypto market fluctuations can increase the interest rate on domestic borrowings by about 1%, but that’s only if the share of virtual currencies in the structure of corporate debt reaches 4 trillion rubles, or at least 6% of the total.
According to the Russian Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA), the high volatility of cryptocurrencies can potentially create risks for the country’s financial stability, but these are balanced by the high concentration of ownership of the digital assets. ACRA estimates that the market value of the cryptocurrency attributable to the Russian economy or controlled by Russian residents has been between $ 7.5 and 14 billion in the first quarter of 2018. That’s only 1-2% of the M2 money supply in Russia. The global ratio is even lower at 0.5%.
The study is based on statistics measuring the Russian share of the global economy and money supply, as well as data about the structure of the turnover registered on crypto exchanges. The researchers note that it is still quite difficult to accurately estimate the share of cryptocurrencies against the money supply in the country, as the assessment is limited by the opacity of the cryptocurrency markets, the anonymity of crypto users and the use of cryptocurrency in cross-border settlements.
The authors point out that a number of factors can influence the volume of cryptocurrency owned by the residents of a given country. These include the level of development of financial markets and venture investing, the central bank’s policies, the stability of the national fiat currency, the inflation dynamics, and the rigidity of government regulations. They believe that the increase of market capitalization of cryptocurrencies, their acceptance as unit of account, the introduction of liberal regulations for ICOs and crypto payments can stimulate growth in the sector.
Consumption Not Affected by Crypto Fluctuations
The experts at ACRA see very little chance of crypto volatility affecting consumption in Russia. They claim consumption will decrease only by about 1% if cryptocurrency price shocks cause a 6% drop in the volume of liquid savings. In current prices, this corresponds to approximately 1.5 trillion rubles. “However, due to the huge distortion in the distribution of crypto assets, their volatility is not reflected in consumer spending,” notes the report, quoted by Kommersant.
The analysts also say that if the use of cryptocurrency increases in Russia, the Central Bank can employ the same monetary policy instruments it currently applies in regards to foreign currencies. In case crypto markets remain opaque, digital currencies can be treated like foreign cash, and if the bank is successful in tracing crypto transactions, digital coins can be regarded as electronic foreign currency funds.
The Central Bank of Russia has previously opposed the legalization of cryptocurrencies as legal tender and unit of account. The legislation currently under review in Russia’s parliament can change that to a certain extent. It has been reported that some texts allow the use of tokens and coins in settlements, although, unlike the ruble, cryptos will not be considered a mandatory means of payment in the country.
Of the three drafts approved on first reading by the State Duma, the bill “On Digital Rights” deals with crypto payments. The other two, “On Digital Financial Assets” and “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms”, aim to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs), crypto mining and taxation. The proposed legislation describes cryptocurrencies and tokens as electronic property created with cryptographic tools.
Do you think price volatility hampers the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability, Russian Study Concludes appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Corner those experienced within cryptocurrency’s ecosystem, and they’ll admit something akin to addicts exist. That fine line between obsession and irrational exuberance is probably best exemplified in wild price fluxuations, furious buying and selling. At least one historic county in Scotland, Peeblesshire (Siorrachd nam Pùballan), believes they’ve identified bitcoin addicts, and are beginning to treat them in the same manner as those with similar attractions to gambling.
Bitcoin Addicts are a Thing in Scotland
Crypto addicts could do worse, and that’s for sure: Scotland’s Castle Craig Hospital addiction treatment center is a bucolic, sprawling campus seemingly designed to induce calm and reflection. It’s also home to a first of sorts, according to regional press: a concentrated program set to dealing with a growing phenomenon, cryptocurrency addiction.
The hospital’s creative writing coordinator and gambling therapist, Christopher Burn, explains how the “high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It’s a classic bubble situation.”
Mr. Burn can be temporarily excused from jumping his lane into speculative finance; a good guess is literally no one seeks him out for economic analysis. But the rest of his point can be valid in the sense of popular anecdotes. At what time in the journey from regular, functional adult to 21 year old Canadian living in a car to save money in order to buy lesser-known crypto is it an addiction? What if the example does not involve a ballsy single dude; instead, it’s a family of five with three children, parents in their late 30s, who’ve sold their house in hope of riding the-then booming bitcoin core (BTC) price? Are these examples of addiction or are they simply badass pioneers who know something the rest of us do not?
Is Crypto Just Gambling in Disguise?
Tony Marini, on site therapist, and someone who has also struggled with cocaine and gambling addictions himself, details, “Having been through it myself, my experience of addiction gives me insight and empathy towards others who have the same problem. I see cryptocurrency trading as a way for people to escape from themselves, into another world, because they don’t like the world they’re in. The first stage of treatment is to join other addicts in group therapy and share their life stories. This helps them identify with each other and realise that they’re not alone.”
A recurring word, “escape,” permeates both explanations, still admittedly fuzzy in the way of a solid definition. Nevertheless it does seem if crypto occupies too great (?) a space in a person’s mind, to a point where they chronically ignore real, ongoing life around them, they just might have a problem. And since speculative markets very often evidence fast fortunes gained and lost, and gained and lost again, there must be properties of problem behavior similar to gambling addictions (which have been well-documented).
Experienced in treating addictions such as traditional alcohol and drug problems, Castle Craig Hospital has begun addressing addictions involving cryptocurrency. Indeed, they’re using techniques in the course developed from successful gambling addiction methods. Though more than ten million people worldwide are said to be trading and dealing in cryptocurrency, no firm numbers or percentages exist regarding the amount of people with addictive symptoms.
Do you think crypto addiction exists? Let us know in the comments.
Images via the Pixabay, Castle Craig Hospital.
‘Rules of origin,’ already a major issue in Nafta negotiations, could determine which products will be allowed to enter the European Union tariff-free after Brexit because of the U.K.’s important role in many continent-spanning assembly lines.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe