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  • 22.05.2019 | USPS Experiments With Self-Driving Trucks for its Mail Delivery




    When it comes to self-driving technology, there are many potential implications to keep in mind at all times. To date, the number of autonomous vehicle son the public road has remained fairly limited. In the US, there will be a real-world trial by USPS involving self-driving trucks for mail delivery. A remarkable milestone which can make the whole system a lot more efficient. USPS Bets big on Self-Driving Trucks It is remarkable to see how well-known companies and service providers are willing to go when it comes to autonomous vehicles. Despite there still being plenty of risks associated with this technology, it is fairly obvious there are a lot of potential advantages to explore as well. As far as USPS is concerned, the company wouldn’t mind testing the waters in terms of making mail delivery more efficient along the way. Such a trial will be conducted over the course of the next two weeks. The main objective is to see how the self-driving trucks behave and whether or not they can effectively influence the way mail is delivered across the entire United States. Although the trial will only focus on three Southwestern states first and foremost, the data gathered from this trial will prove invaluable further down the line. There is still a long way to go until all of the US sees eye-to-eye when it comes to autonomous vehicles. The self-driving trucks taking care of this trial are the property of TuSimple, a San Diego-based startups. They confirmed this trial will allow the trucks to move mail between Phoenix and Dallas to determine whether or not improvements can be made. In terms of delivery costs and times, there is always plenty of room for further growth. However, it remains unclear if self-driving trucks will be beneficial or make things even worse moving forward. During this brief test, a total of five round trips will be performed by the trucks. Every trip is over 2,100 miles in length or roughly 45 hours of driving. Depending on how this trial goes, the project may be extended or even expanded upon. USPS Sees this as a viable research and testing approach to potentially incorporate this innovative technology. It is also worth noting this experiment is not paid for through tax dollars. Instead, the costs are offset through sales of postage and other products. It is not the cheapest experiment by any means, but it if it can help reduce overall costs, USPS will have found a winning strategy. Considering how the self-driving trucks will pass through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, there is a good chance someone traveling the major interstates in those regions will come across one of the TuSimple trucks over the next few weeks. This new experiment comes at a crucial time for the truck-driving industry. Reports indicate the shortage of truck drivers will rise to 174,500 in the next five years. As such, there need to be solutions in place to counteract this particular problem. Whether or not self-driving trucks are the answer to this looming problem, is a different matter altogether.  This USPS trial is a pretty big development for the industry as a whole. If successful, the future looks brighter than ever before.  

    When it comes to self-driving technology, there are many potential implications to keep in mind at all times. To date, the number of autonomous vehicle son the public road has remained fairly limited. In the US, there will be a real-world trial by USPS involving self-driving trucks for mail delivery. A remarkable milestone which can make the whole system a lot more efficient.

    USPS Bets big on Self-Driving Trucks

    It is remarkable to see how well-known companies and service providers are willing to go when it comes to autonomous vehicles. Despite there still being plenty of risks associated with this technology, it is fairly obvious there are a lot of potential advantages to explore as well. As far as USPS is concerned, the company wouldn’t mind testing the waters in terms of making mail delivery more efficient along the way.

    Such a trial will be conducted over the course of the next two weeks. The main objective is to see how the self-driving trucks behave and whether or not they can effectively influence the way mail is delivered across the entire United States. Although the trial will only focus on three Southwestern states first and foremost, the data gathered from this trial will prove invaluable further down the line. There is still a long way to go until all of the US sees eye-to-eye when it comes to autonomous vehicles.

    The self-driving trucks taking care of this trial are the property of TuSimple, a San Diego-based startups. They confirmed this trial will allow the trucks to move mail between Phoenix and Dallas to determine whether or not improvements can be made. In terms of delivery costs and times, there is always plenty of room for further growth. However, it remains unclear if self-driving trucks will be beneficial or make things even worse moving forward.

    During this brief test, a total of five round trips will be performed by the trucks. Every trip is over 2,100 miles in length or roughly 45 hours of driving. Depending on how this trial goes, the project may be extended or even expanded upon. USPS Sees this as a viable research and testing approach to potentially incorporate this innovative technology.

    It is also worth noting this experiment is not paid for through tax dollars. Instead, the costs are offset through sales of postage and other products. It is not the cheapest experiment by any means, but it if it can help reduce overall costs, USPS will have found a winning strategy. Considering how the self-driving trucks will pass through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, there is a good chance someone traveling the major interstates in those regions will come across one of the TuSimple trucks over the next few weeks.

    This new experiment comes at a crucial time for the truck-driving industry. Reports indicate the shortage of truck drivers will rise to 174,500 in the next five years. As such, there need to be solutions in place to counteract this particular problem. Whether or not self-driving trucks are the answer to this looming problem, is a different matter altogether.  This USPS trial is a pretty big development for the industry as a whole. If successful, the future looks brighter than ever before.

     

    22.05.2019 | Let me borrow your ride: US gets UK carrier, while her captain gets the boot




    The captain of the HMS Queen Elizabeth has just been relieved of command, reportedly over borrowing the ship’s car for personal use. Yet the US Marines are about to do basically the same with the Royal Navy’s flagship carrier. Commodore Nick Cook-Priest, who took over as captain of the Queen Elizabeth (R08) in October 2018, has just been “reassigned” and ordered to sail the ship back to Portsmouth after a dry-dock refit. “We can only say that management action is ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further,” the Royal Navy said in a statement. Several UK media outlets, however, reported that Cook-Priest was reprimanded for using the ship’s official car, a Ford Galaxy minivan, for personal trips on the weekends. Captain Nick Cooke-Priest, the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been relieved of his duties. The RN has confirmed that he has been reassigned to a new role without providing a specific reason. https://t.co/mEpGBrklc1pic.twitter.com/8lPDgwoBPf — Grey Funnel Line (@GreyFunnelLine) May 20, 2019 Cook-Priest was not accused of fraud or embezzlement, and reportedly paid for the gas himself. Still, it appears that borrowing a ship’s official minivan is a career-ending mistake in the Royal Navy, and Cook-Priest will be replaced by Captain Steve Moorhouse, currently in command of the HMS Prince of Wales, the carrier’s sister ship still under construction. The two 280-meter, 65,000-ton ships are the largest-ever Royal Navy vessels, though still dwarfed by the US Ford-class supercarriers. A retired senior officer has criticised the Royal Navy for sacking the captain of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth over misuse of an official car, saying it “smacks of political correctness”. https://t.co/EcMGUo1dyA — Donald Martin, editor-in-chief (@TheHeraldEditor) May 17, 2019 Here is where things get ironic. The Queen Elizabeth, also known as Big Lizzy, was commissioned in December 2017, but is still sailing around without an air wing, due to the bottleneck in UK purchases of the US-built F-35B fighters. The fifth-generation stealth jet made by Lockheed Martin has been plagued by software and hardware problems, and is also one of the most expensive weapons programs ever.   Lockheed has designed three variants of the F-35, including a naval one, but the design of the British carriers – which lack a steam catapult, due to cost considerations – lock the Royal Navy into using the most expensive variant of the F-35, the S/VTOL F-35B, with a base price of at least $115 million (£90.31 million) apiece. The UK has committed to buying some 138 F-35s over the next few decades, and signed a contract for the first 48, estimated to cost the crown £9.1 billion ($11.6 billion) by 2025, including training and maintenance. Of the 42 F-35s the UK is supposed to have by 2023, 24 will eventually be assigned to the Queen Elizabeth – if all goes according to plan, anyway. Until then, however, the Queen Elizabeth is a carrier without actual planes. So the US military has proposed an inventive stopgap solution: Send in the Marines! A USMC fighter squadron is currently preparing to deploy aboard the Royal Navy carrier sometime in 2021, said the Marine Corps’ chief aviator, Lieutenant-General Steven Rudder. “It's going to be a wonderful new way – and I will offer, potentially a new norm – of doing coalition combined allied operations with a maritime partner,” Rudder said at the annual Sea-Air-Space conference on May 7, according to Military.com. So the British taxpayers ponied up billions of pounds for building Big Lizzy only to turn it over to the Americans, yet Commodore Cook-Priest gets in trouble for borrowing a Ford minivan? What a deal     ...

    The captain of the HMS Queen Elizabeth has just been relieved of command, reportedly over borrowing the ship’s car for personal use. Yet the US Marines are about to do basically the same with the Royal Navy’s flagship carrier.

    Commodore Nick Cook-Priest, who took over as captain of the Queen Elizabeth (R08) in October 2018, has just been “reassigned” and ordered to sail the ship back to Portsmouth after a dry-dock refit.

    “We can only say that management action is ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further,” the Royal Navy said in a statement. Several UK media outlets, however, reported that Cook-Priest was reprimanded for using the ship’s official car, a Ford Galaxy minivan, for personal trips on the weekends.

    Cook-Priest was not accused of fraud or embezzlement, and reportedly paid for the gas himself. Still, it appears that borrowing a ship’s official minivan is a career-ending mistake in the Royal Navy, and Cook-Priest will be replaced by Captain Steve Moorhouse, currently in command of the HMS Prince of Wales, the carrier’s sister ship still under construction.

    The two 280-meter, 65,000-ton ships are the largest-ever Royal Navy vessels, though still dwarfed by the US Ford-class supercarriers.

    Here is where things get ironic. The Queen Elizabeth, also known as Big Lizzy, was commissioned in December 2017, but is still sailing around without an air wing, due to the bottleneck in UK purchases of the US-built F-35B fighters. The fifth-generation stealth jet made by Lockheed Martin has been plagued by software and hardware problems, and is also one of the most expensive weapons programs ever.  

    Lockheed has designed three variants of the F-35, including a naval one, but the design of the British carriers – which lack a steam catapult, due to cost considerations – lock the Royal Navy into using the most expensive variant of the F-35, the S/VTOL F-35B, with a base price of at least $115 million (£90.31 million) apiece.

    The UK has committed to buying some 138 F-35s over the next few decades, and signed a contract for the first 48, estimated to cost the crown £9.1 billion ($11.6 billion) by 2025, including training and maintenance.

    Of the 42 F-35s the UK is supposed to have by 2023, 24 will eventually be assigned to the Queen Elizabeth – if all goes according to plan, anyway. Until then, however, the Queen Elizabeth is a carrier without actual planes. So the US military has proposed an inventive stopgap solution: Send in the Marines!

    A USMC fighter squadron is currently preparing to deploy aboard the Royal Navy carrier sometime in 2021, said the Marine Corps’ chief aviator, Lieutenant-General Steven Rudder.

    “It's going to be a wonderful new way – and I will offer, potentially a new norm – of doing coalition combined allied operations with a maritime partner,” Rudder said at the annual Sea-Air-Space conference on May 7, according to Military.com.

    So the British taxpayers ponied up billions of pounds for building Big Lizzy only to turn it over to the Americans, yet Commodore Cook-Priest gets in trouble for borrowing a Ford minivan? What a deal

     

     


    22.05.2019 | End of days for Theresa May? New Brexit deal torn to shreds by Tories & UK media




    End of days for Theresa May? New Brexit deal torn to shreds by Tories & UK media Theresa May’s last-ditch attempt to push through her Brexit deal with a ‘new’ set of pledges is in tatters, with her own Tory MPs, Labour and the once loyal right-wing press all united in their opposition of the beleaguered UK PM. No sooner had May outlined her new ‘compromise’ 10-point Brexit offering to the nation and parliamentarians on Tuesday afternoon, could the sound of knives sharpening be heard on the Tory backbenches – with calls for her to quit. It has ostensibly been the prime minister's opening of the door on a second referendum that has really riled Tories across the board, from those previously loyal to May to the hardline Brexiteers. Tories Former London Mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith took to social media to unleash a scathing critique of May's deal with a second referendum as bait. He tweeted: “That it takes us towards a rigged referendum between her deal and no Brexit is just grotesque. The PM must go.” I supported the PM’s rotten deal last time as I felt we could then draw a line and select a new PM to pick up the pieces. But I cannot support this convoluted mess. That it takes us towards a rigged referendum between her deal and no Brexit is just grotesque. The PM must go. — Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) May 21, 2019 Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the influential Tory Brexiteer group the European Research Group (ERG), also gave a damning verdict, claiming the PM's latest proposals were “worse than before.” While former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is hotly tipped to succeed May as prime minister, singled out the prospects of a customs union and second referendum as reasons he would vote it down. The Prime Minister’s latest proposals are worse than before and would leave us bound deeply in to the EU. It is time to leave on WTO terms. — Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) May 21, 2019 With great reluctance I backed MV3. Now we are being asked to vote for a customs union and a second referendum. The Bill is directly against our manifesto - and I will not vote for it. We can and must do better - and deliver what the people voted for. — Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 21, 2019 Press The front pages of Wednesday's papers made for grim viewing for May. You know when things are bad when the consistently loyal Daily Mail turn against you with their ‘Theresa's Gamble Too Far’ headline. Fellow right-wing paper, The Daily Telegraph, went with the brutal: ‘Desperate, deluded, doomed.’ May's new compromise deal highlights A vote for MPs on whether the deal should be subject to a referendum. The government will bring forward a customs union compromise for MPs to decide on how to break the impasse. No change in the level of environmental protections when the UK leaves the EU. New workers' rights bill that guarantees workers' rights will be no less favorable than in the EU. A commitment that, should the backstop become necessary, the government will ensure that the UK will stay aligned with Northern Ireland. Labour Labour has been equally scathing of May's fresh proposals, with leader Jeremy Corbyn contesting that they were “basically a rehash of what was discussed before.” He raised the issue of May's weak position as leader, calling into question the “deliverability” of her new deal, adding that his party would not be supporting the Bill. Theresa May's new Brexit deal is a rehash of her old bad deal and Labour cannot support it. pic.twitter.com/C5W1jalDWU — Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 21, 2019 The End is Nigh? It's increasingly apparent that the prime minister's position is becoming untenable. In a desperate last bid to please everyone, she has essentially pleased no-one. It was never going to be an easy task to unite a House of Commons with no overall majority for the government. May has managed to push lawmakers further away and not closer to backing her deal. Her attempt at compromise has come at the end of the process, when it should have been instigated after the 2017 General election which produced a hung parliament. The dark clouds appear to be circling above the besieged prime minister. The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg reports that “there is a new push to oust PM asap.” At Wednesday's meeting of the powerful Tory 1922 committee, there will be an attempt to change the rules to allow for another confidence vote in May, according to backbench MP Nigel Evans. There is a new push to oust PM asap so she doesn’t have chance to put the bill forward being led by Nigel Evans - tory backbench cttee meeting today - one tells me ‘it’s Sunday’ - day when euro results come thro that it’s over — Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) May 22, 2019 Nigel Evans: “We cannot put up with this any longer. I will be asking my colleagues on the 1922 executive tomorrow to agree to a rule change so we can hold an immediate confidence vote. It was the Cabinet’s duty to have acted this morning. They failed, so it’s up to us now”. — Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) May 21, 2019 Could the EU election results, scheduled for Sunday, finally be the day when May throws in the towel and admits defeat on her Brexit deal, and ultimately call time on her reign as UK prime minister? We await with bated breath.     ...

    End of days for Theresa May? New Brexit deal torn to shreds by Tories & UK media

    Theresa May’s last-ditch attempt to push through her Brexit deal with a ‘new’ set of pledges is in tatters, with her own Tory MPs, Labour and the once loyal right-wing press all united in their opposition of the beleaguered UK PM.

    No sooner had May outlined her new ‘compromise’ 10-point Brexit offering to the nation and parliamentarians on Tuesday afternoon, could the sound of knives sharpening be heard on the Tory backbenches – with calls for her to quit.

    It has ostensibly been the prime minister's opening of the door on a second referendum that has really riled Tories across the board, from those previously loyal to May to the hardline Brexiteers.

    Tories

    Former London Mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith took to social media to unleash a scathing critique of May's deal with a second referendum as bait. He tweeted: “That it takes us towards a rigged referendum between her deal and no Brexit is just grotesque. The PM must go.”

    Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the influential Tory Brexiteer group the European Research Group (ERG), also gave a damning verdict, claiming the PM's latest proposals were “worse than before.” While former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is hotly tipped to succeed May as prime minister, singled out the prospects of a customs union and second referendum as reasons he would vote it down.

    Press

    The front pages of Wednesday's papers made for grim viewing for May. You know when things are bad when the consistently loyal Daily Mail turn against you with their ‘Theresa's Gamble Too Far’ headline. Fellow right-wing paper, The Daily Telegraph, went with the brutal: ‘Desperate, deluded, doomed.’

    May's new compromise deal highlights

    • A vote for MPs on whether the deal should be subject to a referendum.
    • The government will bring forward a customs union compromise for MPs to decide on how to break the impasse.
    • No change in the level of environmental protections when the UK leaves the EU.
    • New workers' rights bill that guarantees workers' rights will be no less favorable than in the EU.
    • A commitment that, should the backstop become necessary, the government will ensure that the UK will stay aligned with Northern Ireland.

    Labour

    Labour has been equally scathing of May's fresh proposals, with leader Jeremy Corbyn contesting that they were “basically a rehash of what was discussed before.” He raised the issue of May's weak position as leader, calling into question the “deliverability” of her new deal, adding that his party would not be supporting the Bill.

    The End is Nigh?

    It's increasingly apparent that the prime minister's position is becoming untenable. In a desperate last bid to please everyone, she has essentially pleased no-one. It was never going to be an easy task to unite a House of Commons with no overall majority for the government.

    May has managed to push lawmakers further away and not closer to backing her deal. Her attempt at compromise has come at the end of the process, when it should have been instigated after the 2017 General election which produced a hung parliament.

    The dark clouds appear to be circling above the besieged prime minister. The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg reports that “there is a new push to oust PM asap.” At Wednesday's meeting of the powerful Tory 1922 committee, there will be an attempt to change the rules to allow for another confidence vote in May, according to backbench MP Nigel Evans.

    Could the EU election results, scheduled for Sunday, finally be the day when May throws in the towel and admits defeat on her Brexit deal, and ultimately call time on her reign as UK prime minister? We await with bated breath.

     

     


    21.05.2019 | Exploring A Beneficial Trading Ecosystem Built From Experience




    Long gone are the days of open outcry exchange trading floors and phoning your broker to purchase or sell shares.  The modern era of trading is a highly competitive, speed-oriented endeavor, with the spoils enjoyed by those traders who can access fast execution and exceptional pricing.  Fortunately, the AxiTrader ecosystem has been keenly developed to level the playing field for all investors by supporting the advanced tools and functionalities needed to hone an edge in modern financial markets. Building A Solid Foundation on Strong Values Founded in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, AxiTrader has constructed its ecosystem around three simple values: honesty, trust, and transparency. This value-oriented approach means that traders can participate in a range of exciting financial markets with the knowledge that their needs are being prioritized. Whether a newcomer to trading or an experienced investor seeking fast execution and virtual private server access (VPS) to support automated strategies, AxiTrader is committed to delivering an unrivaled trading experience for its clients. Part of this commitment revolves around pricing transparency and competitive rates. By leveraging dependable relationships with primer brokers and globally recognized financial institutions, AxiTrader provides ample liquidity. This abundant liquidity is shared directly with AxiTrader clients who benefit from low spreads*. The aggregation of all this liquidity alongside rapid order matching technology which is constantly refined to reduce latency and improve execution times helps ensure a narrow bid-ask spread, even times of heightened volatility.  For clients of all shapes and sizes, this means direct access to pricing models that were formerly only available to institutional investors and traders. Steadfast Service and Support Beyond the pledge to provide transparent pricing terms to clients, AxiTrader is dedicated to ensuring a seamless trading experience with an average connection time to servers of 6 milliseconds and speedy order execution.  However, beyond performance, there is much more that goes into an organization that has been awarded the title of Most Trusted Forex Broker by the UK Forex Awards.  This is just one of the many awards conferred upon AxiTrader for its operational reliability, narrow spreads, customer support, client satisfaction, and renowned affiliate program. AxiTrader’s trader-centric approach has helped it expand well beyond the borders of Australia, with the broker now serving clients in over 150 countries through 4 regional offices.  A significant catalyst behind this astonishing growth is the company’s unwavering emphasis on sustaining a compliant trading environment that meets some of the most rigorous global regulatory standards.  Further enhancing AxiTrader’s credibility is oversight from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, ensuring a safe and secure experience for clients. On its own, trading is a challenging undertaking. Knowledge is tantamount to client success, and to this end, AxiTrader also delivers with its exceptional educational resources and market updates.  From the basics to more advanced materials, AxiTrader’s video tutorials and eBooks are both supportive and accessible thanks to their availability in 24 languages.  Additionally, weekly market reports, market analysis, technical analysis, guides and infographics round out the resources designed to give clients an extra edge. One of AxiTrader’s most lauded features is its renowned customer service, with company representatives standing by 24 hours a day, 5 days a week to handle client inquiries.  Apart from the ability to reach representatives by phone and email, clients can also access assistance via a live chat feature embedded directly on the website.  Moreover, social media fans can track financial markets, research, analysis and company announcements across numerous social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Compete Confidently In Ever-Evolving Global Markets Financial trading is a competitive pursuit that requires a partner dedicated to maintaining a reliable, dependable, and trustworthy investing experience. Time and again, AxiTrader has continually highlighted its loyalty to client interests.  Whether the function of operational consistency, technological prowess, cost-consciousness, or resolute customer service, AxiTrader has repeatedly proven that championing stakeholder interests pays off in more ways than one.  For clients, the results are just as evident.     ...

    Long gone are the days of open outcry exchange trading floors and phoning your broker to purchase or sell shares.  The modern era of trading is a highly competitive, speed-oriented endeavor, with the spoils enjoyed by those traders who can access fast execution and exceptional pricing.  Fortunately, the AxiTrader ecosystem has been keenly developed to level the playing field for all investors by supporting the advanced tools and functionalities needed to hone an edge in modern financial markets.

    Building A Solid Foundation on Strong Values

    Founded in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, AxiTrader has constructed its ecosystem around three simple values: honesty, trust, and transparency. This value-oriented approach means that traders can participate in a range of exciting financial markets with the knowledge that their needs are being prioritized.

    Whether a newcomer to trading or an experienced investor seeking fast execution and virtual private server access (VPS) to support automated strategies, AxiTrader is committed to delivering an unrivaled trading experience for its clients. Part of this commitment revolves around pricing transparency and competitive rates. By leveraging dependable relationships with primer brokers and globally recognized financial institutions, AxiTrader provides ample liquidity.

    This abundant liquidity is shared directly with AxiTrader clients who benefit from low spreads*. The aggregation of all this liquidity alongside rapid order matching technology which is constantly refined to reduce latency and improve execution times helps ensure a narrow bid-ask spread, even times of heightened volatility.  For clients of all shapes and sizes, this means direct access to pricing models that were formerly only available to institutional investors and traders.

    Steadfast Service and Support

    Beyond the pledge to provide transparent pricing terms to clients, AxiTrader is dedicated to ensuring a seamless trading experience with an average connection time to servers of 6 milliseconds and speedy order execution.  However, beyond performance, there is much more that goes into an organization that has been awarded the title of Most Trusted Forex Broker by the UK Forex Awards.  This is just one of the many awards conferred upon AxiTrader for its operational reliability, narrow spreads, customer support, client satisfaction, and renowned affiliate program.

    AxiTrader’s trader-centric approach has helped it expand well beyond the borders of Australia, with the broker now serving clients in over 150 countries through 4 regional offices.  A significant catalyst behind this astonishing growth is the company’s unwavering emphasis on sustaining a compliant trading environment that meets some of the most rigorous global regulatory standards.  Further enhancing AxiTrader’s credibility is oversight from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, ensuring a safe and secure experience for clients.

    On its own, trading is a challenging undertaking. Knowledge is tantamount to client success, and to this end, AxiTrader also delivers with its exceptional educational resources and market updates.  From the basics to more advanced materials, AxiTrader’s video tutorials and eBooks are both supportive and accessible thanks to their availability in 24 languages.  Additionally, weekly market reports, market analysis, technical analysis, guides and infographics round out the resources designed to give clients an extra edge.

    One of AxiTrader’s most lauded features is its renowned customer service, with company representatives standing by 24 hours a day, 5 days a week to handle client inquiries.  Apart from the ability to reach representatives by phone and email, clients can also access assistance via a live chat feature embedded directly on the website.  Moreover, social media fans can track financial markets, research, analysis and company announcements across numerous social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

    Compete Confidently In Ever-Evolving Global Markets

    Financial trading is a competitive pursuit that requires a partner dedicated to maintaining a reliable, dependable, and trustworthy investing experience. Time and again, AxiTrader has continually highlighted its loyalty to client interests.  Whether the function of operational consistency, technological prowess, cost-consciousness, or resolute customer service, AxiTrader has repeatedly proven that championing stakeholder interests pays off in more ways than one.  For clients, the results are just as evident.

     

     


    21.05.2019 | Huge Cost Savings on FX Trading with Innovative Subscription Packages




    FCA-regulated FX and CFD trading firm TIOmarkets launched onto the forex scene by offering trading subscription packages to traders. With this innovative model, traders pay a low monthly fee in exchange for zero commissions and other exclusive benefits. Subscription models versus a la carte trading With subscription services being such a big part of daily life, it’s surprising that FX firms haven’t started offering them yet. With a single monthly fee, traders enjoy increased efficiency, consistency, better cash flow management and untold potential cost savings. One estimation found that frequent traders, depending on the size of their portfolio, could spend hundreds – even thousands of dollars per month on wide spreads, extra commissions and other hidden costs. Calculate what you could save with the TIOmarkets savings calculator. Using average figures from the top 25 forex brokers, you can see how a trader that executing a conservative figure of 50 round lots per month would be paying $400 in fees – that’s at least 10 times the cost of the subscription package. Check out the savings calculator here. The TIOmarkets subscription packages eliminate extra costs from trading entirely. And to celebrate the launch of the new brand, they are offering three months’ worth of the top subscription package to the first 10,000 sign-ups for free. That’s an immediate savings of $150, plus untold other savings depending on how frequently trades are made ...the clock is ticking. Not your typical FX broker From the start, TIOmarkets has taken a no-nonsense approach. Bursting onto the scene with a controversial April Fools’ Hoax this year, the management team made it clear that it was their goal to be as transparent as possible about the costs and pitfalls of financial markets. Head of Business Development Terence Tan stated: “You have to go into trading with your eyes wide open. Trading can be risky and the markets can be volatile. These are two facts that need to be handled head-on rather than hidden in the fine print. We aren’t burying our heads in the sand and hoping that our traders don’t notice extra commissions.  We are shouting loud and clear – pay subscriptions once per month and save a tremendous amount!” You just pay one flat rate and that’s it. And for those who don't like the idea of paying monthly, TIOmarkets has a pay as you go option. For any crypto holders, they may HODL, deposit or withdraw in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or alt coins. Anyone who subscribes to the monthly or quarterly packages will also gain access to a range of premium services. TIOshield to the rescue! For when trades go wrong, TIOshield is an insurance service that allows the trader to reverse bad trades within 60 minutes in order to get their money back. Losing Trades? Get TIOreimburse! Get 50% back of your first deposit. If you are stopped out within one month of signing up to trade with TIOmarkets, they will give you 50% back of your initial deposit, no questions asked. nner Circle Webinars. Strategies and trading insights you won’t learn anywhere else, held every two weeks. FX and chill. Twice a year, exclusive events will be held for VIP Black subscribers that include luxurious getaways, relaxation and adventure-packed calendars for those who seek thrills beyond FX. A fresh approach from an experienced FX team On its website, the company notes that: “Forex trading isn’t new to us. Not at all. Our team members come from some of the world’s top brokers. We’ve been around the block. And because of our experience, we’ve seen what goes on. Sales teams pressuring traders into depositing more than they want to. Dealing rooms manipulating trades. Not to mention, tons of added charges slapped onto client accounts leading to complaints and unhappy traders.” Fully Licensed & Regulated TIOmarkets UK Ltd holds a license from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Razor-thin Spreads Their trading fees are some of the lowest you’ll find. They offer low spreads across all major, minor and exotic currency pairs. Metaquotes Platform Chosen by millions of traders around the world, the MT4 and MT5 platforms offer all the tools needed to plan and execute a successful trading strategy on the world’s financial markets. TIOmarkets Chief Marketing Officer Helen Astaniou sharply summarizes how TIOmarkets is not just your average broker. She explains: “Every single trade costs money. And expensive trading can take a toll on traders’ psychology as well as their investment size.   Why should your investment size dwindle by the sheer act of making a trade? It doesn't seem right. That's why we want to show that trading doesn't need to be and shouldn’t be expensive.  Paying once per month is a smart trading model that takes the headache and the cost out of frequent trading.” It’s time to raise your trading game Choose to trade in crypto or fiat, access premium webinars and educational content, or simply experience their innovative programs such as TIOshield & TIOreimburse. No more partner commissions eating into the profits of trading clients. So, hurry! There are only a few days left until the firm onboards their ten thousandth client, and will open its doors for trading.     ...

    FCA-regulated FX and CFD trading firm TIOmarkets launched onto the forex scene by offering trading subscription packages to traders. With this innovative model, traders pay a low monthly fee in exchange for zero commissions and other exclusive benefits.

    Subscription models versus a la carte trading

    With subscription services being such a big part of daily life, it’s surprising that FX firms haven’t started offering them yet. With a single monthly fee, traders enjoy increased efficiency, consistency, better cash flow management and untold potential cost savings. One estimation found that frequent traders, depending on the size of their portfolio, could spend hundreds – even thousands of dollars per month on wide spreads, extra commissions and other hidden costs.

    Calculate what you could save with the TIOmarkets savings calculator. Using average figures from the top 25 forex brokers, you can see how a trader that executing a conservative figure of 50 round lots per month would be paying $400 in fees – that’s at least 10 times the cost of the subscription package. Check out the savings calculator here.

    The TIOmarkets subscription packages eliminate extra costs from trading entirely. And to celebrate the launch of the new brand, they are offering three months’ worth of the top subscription package to the first 10,000 sign-ups for free. That’s an immediate savings of $150, plus untold other savings depending on how frequently trades are made ...the clock is ticking.

    Not your typical FX broker From the start, TIOmarkets has taken a no-nonsense approach. Bursting onto the scene with a controversial April Fools’ Hoax this year, the management team made it clear that it was their goal to be as transparent as possible about the costs and pitfalls of financial markets.

    Head of Business Development Terence Tan stated: “You have to go into trading with your eyes wide open. Trading can be risky and the markets can be volatile. These are two facts that need to be handled head-on rather than hidden in the fine print. We aren’t burying our heads in the sand and hoping that our traders don’t notice extra commissions.  We are shouting loud and clear – pay subscriptions once per month and save a tremendous amount!”

    You just pay one flat rate and that’s it. And for those who don't like the idea of paying monthly, TIOmarkets has a pay as you go option. For any crypto holders, they may HODL, deposit or withdraw in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or alt coins.

    Anyone who subscribes to the monthly or quarterly packages will also gain access to a range of premium services.

    TIOshield to the rescue!

    For when trades go wrong, TIOshield is an insurance service that allows the trader to reverse bad trades within 60 minutes in order to get their money back.

    Losing Trades? Get TIOreimburse!

    Get 50% back of your first deposit. If you are stopped out within one month of signing up to trade with TIOmarkets, they will give you 50% back of your initial deposit, no questions asked.

    nner Circle Webinars.

    Strategies and trading insights you won’t learn anywhere else, held every two weeks.

    FX and chill.

    Twice a year, exclusive events will be held for VIP Black subscribers that include luxurious getaways, relaxation and adventure-packed calendars for those who seek thrills beyond FX.

    A fresh approach from an experienced FX team

    On its website, the company notes that: “Forex trading isn’t new to us. Not at all. Our team members come from some of the world’s top brokers. We’ve been around the block.

    And because of our experience, we’ve seen what goes on. Sales teams pressuring traders into depositing more than they want to. Dealing rooms manipulating trades. Not to mention, tons of added charges slapped onto client accounts leading to complaints and unhappy traders.”

    Fully Licensed & Regulated

    TIOmarkets UK Ltd holds a license from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    Razor-thin Spreads

    Their trading fees are some of the lowest you’ll find. They offer low spreads across all major, minor and exotic currency pairs.

    Metaquotes Platform

    Chosen by millions of traders around the world, the MT4 and MT5 platforms offer all the tools needed to plan and execute a successful trading strategy on the world’s financial markets.

    TIOmarkets Chief Marketing Officer Helen Astaniou sharply summarizes how TIOmarkets is not just your average broker. She explains:

    Every single trade costs money. And expensive trading can take a toll on traders’ psychology as well as their investment size.  

    Why should your investment size dwindle by the sheer act of making a trade? It doesn't seem right. That's why we want to show that trading doesn't need to be and shouldn’t be expensive.  Paying once per month is a smart trading model that takes the headache and the cost out of frequent trading.”

    It’s time to raise your trading game

    Choose to trade in crypto or fiat, access premium webinars and educational content, or simply experience their innovative programs such as TIOshield & TIOreimburse. No more partner commissions eating into the profits of trading clients.

    So, hurry! There are only a few days left until the firm onboards their ten thousandth client, and will open its doors for trading.

     

     


    21.05.2019 | Cosmic black eye? Massive punch from dwarf planet may explain why our moon is so weird




    The far side of the moon is weirder than we previously thought and new research indicates that, in the distant past, the moon could have faced off against an unknown object in a massive collision that changed its face. On the near side that faces Earth, we can see large dark areas of volcanic basalt dotting the lunar landscape. Meanwhile, on the dark side, thanks to the Soviet probe Luna 3 which orbited the Moon in 1959, we know that surface is riddled with thousands upon thousands of craters. While many might posit that the Earth has simply protected the near side from aeons of meteorite impacts, new research suggests that the real answer may not be so simple (the Earth is too far from the moon to provide enough anti-meteor defense anyway). Analysis of data from 2012 reveals that the dark side of the moon has an extra-thick crust (some 20km or 12.5 miles deep) which contains a 10km thick layer of magnesium and iron enriched material not found on the near side. Previous theories suggested our moon may actually have been formed when two smaller moons merged. Another popular theory is that a particularly large asteroid, known as a planemo, slammed into the moon, and this latest research indicates this might be the real reason our satellite looks so odd. Researchers, led by astrophysicist Meng Hua Zhu of the Macau University of Science and Technology, ran computer simulations of 360 impact scenarios to see if they could recreate the moon’s particularly unusual asymmetry and, in one of the tests, involving an object 780km (480-mile) in diameter, they managed just that. This object, roughly a quarter of the moon’s size, would had to have packed quite a punch, travelling at some 22,500kph (14,000mph). A slightly smaller object, 720km across and travelling at 24,500kph, could also have done the trick but in both cases the effects would be the same: a massive, dusty impact which would dramatically reshape the moon forevermore, shifting its crust and creating a five to 20km deep crust of previously foreign material. Quite the black eye. The estimated time this celestial smash might have taken place would had to have been early enough in the solar system’s life for the Moon to have still been warm inside, allowing it to settle back into a rounded shape, erasing the giant impact crater in the process. “This is a paper that will be very provocative,”said planetary scientist Steve Hauck of Case Western Reserve University. The research was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.     ...

    The far side of the moon is weirder than we previously thought and new research indicates that, in the distant past, the moon could have faced off against an unknown object in a massive collision that changed its face.

    On the near side that faces Earth, we can see large dark areas of volcanic basalt dotting the lunar landscape. Meanwhile, on the dark side, thanks to the Soviet probe Luna 3 which orbited the Moon in 1959, we know that surface is riddled with thousands upon thousands of craters.

    While many might posit that the Earth has simply protected the near side from aeons of meteorite impacts, new research suggests that the real answer may not be so simple (the Earth is too far from the moon to provide enough anti-meteor defense anyway).

    Analysis of data from 2012 reveals that the dark side of the moon has an extra-thick crust (some 20km or 12.5 miles deep) which contains a 10km thick layer of magnesium and iron enriched material not found on the near side.

    Previous theories suggested our moon may actually have been formed when two smaller moons merged.

    Another popular theory is that a particularly large asteroid, known as a planemo, slammed into the moon, and this latest research indicates this might be the real reason our satellite looks so odd.

    Researchers, led by astrophysicist Meng Hua Zhu of the Macau University of Science and Technology, ran computer simulations of 360 impact scenarios to see if they could recreate the moon’s particularly unusual asymmetry and, in one of the tests, involving an object 780km (480-mile) in diameter, they managed just that.

    This object, roughly a quarter of the moon’s size, would had to have packed quite a punch, travelling at some 22,500kph (14,000mph). A slightly smaller object, 720km across and travelling at 24,500kph, could also have done the trick but in both cases the effects would be the same: a massive, dusty impact which would dramatically reshape the moon forevermore, shifting its crust and creating a five to 20km deep crust of previously foreign material. Quite the black eye.

    The estimated time this celestial smash might have taken place would had to have been early enough in the solar system’s life for the Moon to have still been warm inside, allowing it to settle back into a rounded shape, erasing the giant impact crater in the process.

    “This is a paper that will be very provocative,”said planetary scientist Steve Hauck of Case Western Reserve University. The research was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

     

     


    21.05.2019 | Huawei CEO says companys own OS will run Android apps - reports




    Huawei CEO Richard Yu has reportedly said that his firm will roll out its own operating system that will support Android apps, potentially blunting the effect of the US’ recent blacklisting of the Chinese company. According to reports from Chinese sites Caijing and Phoenix Network Technology, Yu, who heads Huawei’s Consumer Business Group told a WeChat group that the company’s own operating system may be ready as soon as this fall or by next spring at the latest. Yu said that the operating system will be compatible with all android apps and may even improve their performance. Yu said that the Chinese communications giant had been working on such an operating system since 2012. While Huawei’s own OS may have been in development for five years, a swift release date is crucial for the tech firm, which recently overtook Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer. Following accusations of spying for the Chinese government, US President Donald Trump issued an order barring US firms from supplying Huawei with parts or technology. Although Huawei was granted a 90-day grace period to continue doing business with US firms, the order will see the company lose access to Google’s apps and services thereafter, and forbid if from using Intel and Qualcomm chips in its devices. Huawei has denied the accusations of spying, and company founder and overall CEO Ren Zhengfei said on Saturday that the company had been “preparing for this” for a long time. The crackdown on Huawei comes amid a two-year trade war between Washington and Beijing, and a panic in the US over the alleged security dangers of Chinese technology. The US Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday issued a memo to the tech industry warning that Chinese-made drones may be transmitting their users’ data to Chinese intelligence agencies.     ...

    Huawei CEO Richard Yu has reportedly said that his firm will roll out its own operating system that will support Android apps, potentially blunting the effect of the US’ recent blacklisting of the Chinese company.

    According to reports from Chinese sites Caijing and Phoenix Network Technology, Yu, who heads Huawei’s Consumer Business Group told a WeChat group that the company’s own operating system may be ready as soon as this fall or by next spring at the latest. Yu said that the operating system will be compatible with all android apps and may even improve their performance.

    Yu said that the Chinese communications giant had been working on such an operating system since 2012.

    While Huawei’s own OS may have been in development for five years, a swift release date is crucial for the tech firm, which recently overtook Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer. Following accusations of spying for the Chinese government, US President Donald Trump issued an order barring US firms from supplying Huawei with parts or technology.

    Although Huawei was granted a 90-day grace period to continue doing business with US firms, the order will see the company lose access to Google’s apps and services thereafter, and forbid if from using Intel and Qualcomm chips in its devices.

    Huawei has denied the accusations of spying, and company founder and overall CEO Ren Zhengfei said on Saturday that the company had been “preparing for this” for a long time.

    The crackdown on Huawei comes amid a two-year trade war between Washington and Beijing, and a panic in the US over the alleged security dangers of Chinese technology. The US Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday issued a memo to the tech industry warning that Chinese-made drones may be transmitting their users’ data to Chinese intelligence agencies.

     

     


    21.05.2019 | U.S. eases curbs on Huawei; founder says clampdown underestimates Chinese firm




    View photos   A woman looks at her phone as she walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files By Brenda Goh and Karen Freifeld SHANGHAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States has temporarily eased trade restrictions on China's Huawei to minimize disruption for its customers, a move the founder of the world's largest telecoms equipment maker said meant little because it was already prepared for U.S. action. The U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei Technologies from buying U.S. goods last week, a major escalation in the trade war between the world's two top economies, saying the firm was involved in activities contrary to national security. The two countries increased import tariffs on each other's goods over the past two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said China had reneged on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations. On Monday, the Commerce Department granted Huawei a license to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19 to maintain existing telecoms networks and provide software updates to Huawei smartphones, a move intended to give telecom operators that rely on Huawei time to make other arrangements. Huawei is still prohibited from buying American-made hardware and software to make new products without further, hard-to-obtain licenses. Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei on Tuesday told Chinese state media that the reprieve bore little meaning for the company as it had been making preparations for such a scenario. "The U.S. government's actions at the moment underestimate our capabilities," Ren said in an interview with CCTV, according to a transcript published by the Chinese state broadcaster.   The temporary license suggests changes to Huawei's supply chain may have immediate, far-reaching and unintended consequences for its customers. The Commerce Department said it will evaluate whether to extend the license period beyond 90 days.   CURRENCY FIRMS China's yuan firmed versus the dollar on Tuesday as news of the reprieve eased some worries that trade tensions would be further inflamed and inflict deeper losses on the currency. Beijing has struck an increasingly defiant tone as the trade war has escalated, saying it will take measures to safeguard the interests of its companies, but has not said whether or how it may retaliate over the U.S. action against Huawei. President Xi Jinping's Monday visit to a rare-earth company in southern China sparked speculation that the sector could be the next front in the trade war, driving up shares in Chinese rare-earth related firms on Tuesday. China produced 80% of rare-earths, a group of 17 chemical elements used in electronics, imported by the United States in 2017. "Given the Huawei decision, I feel they (China) have no choice but to retaliate, for face sake," Cliff Tan, head of East Asian research at MUFG Bank in Hong Kong, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on Tuesday. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, at a media briefing, rebuffed Trump's claim that his tariffs were causing companies to move production away from China, saying foreign investors remain enthusiastic about the country.   GOOGLE SUSPENSION Huawei is currently on the receiving end of a U.S. government accusation that it engaged in bank fraud to obtain embargoed U.S. goods and services in Iran and move money via the international banking system. Huawei has pleaded not guilty. The trade blacklist has added to its woes, following which Alphabet Inc's Google suspended some business with Huawei, Reuters reported on Sunday citing a person familiar with the matter, raising worries about the Chinese firm's smartphones that run on Google's Android operating system. Monday's temporary license is likely to allow companies such as Google to continue providing service and support, including software updates or patches, to Huawei smartphones that were available to the public on or before May 16. "Keeping phones up to date and secure is in everyone's best interests and this temporary license allows us to continue to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days," a Google spokesperson told CNBC in an email on Tuesday. The license also allows Huawei to engage in the development of standards for fifth-generation (5G) telecom networks.   APPLE PRAISE Ren put up a brave front on Tuesday, reiterating claims that the restrictions will not hurt Huawei's prospects and that no other company will be able to catch up with Huawei in 5G technology in the next two to three years.   ...

    View photos
     
    A woman looks at her phone as she walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files

    By Brenda Goh and Karen Freifeld

    SHANGHAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States has temporarily eased trade restrictions on China's Huawei to minimize disruption for its customers, a move the founder of the world's largest telecoms equipment maker said meant little because it was already prepared for U.S. action.

    The U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei Technologies from buying U.S. goods last week, a major escalation in the trade war between the world's two top economies, saying the firm was involved in activities contrary to national security.

    The two countries increased import tariffs on each other's goods over the past two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said China had reneged on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations.

    On Monday, the Commerce Department granted Huawei a license to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19 to maintain existing telecoms networks and provide software updates to Huawei smartphones, a move intended to give telecom operators that rely on Huawei time to make other arrangements.

    Huawei is still prohibited from buying American-made hardware and software to make new products without further, hard-to-obtain licenses.

    Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei on Tuesday told Chinese state media that the reprieve bore little meaning for the company as it had been making preparations for such a scenario.

    "The U.S. government's actions at the moment underestimate our capabilities," Ren said in an interview with CCTV, according to a transcript published by the Chinese state broadcaster.

     

    The temporary license suggests changes to Huawei's supply chain may have immediate, far-reaching and unintended consequences for its customers.

    The Commerce Department said it will evaluate whether to extend the license period beyond 90 days.

     

    CURRENCY FIRMS

    China's yuan firmed versus the dollar on Tuesday as news of the reprieve eased some worries that trade tensions would be further inflamed and inflict deeper losses on the currency.

    Beijing has struck an increasingly defiant tone as the trade war has escalated, saying it will take measures to safeguard the interests of its companies, but has not said whether or how it may retaliate over the U.S. action against Huawei.

    President Xi Jinping's Monday visit to a rare-earth company in southern China sparked speculation that the sector could be the next front in the trade war, driving up shares in Chinese rare-earth related firms on Tuesday.

    China produced 80% of rare-earths, a group of 17 chemical elements used in electronics, imported by the United States in 2017.

    "Given the Huawei decision, I feel they (China) have no choice but to retaliate, for face sake," Cliff Tan, head of East Asian research at MUFG Bank in Hong Kong, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on Tuesday.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, at a media briefing, rebuffed Trump's claim that his tariffs were causing companies to move production away from China, saying foreign investors remain enthusiastic about the country.

     

    GOOGLE SUSPENSION

    Huawei is currently on the receiving end of a U.S. government accusation that it engaged in bank fraud to obtain embargoed U.S. goods and services in Iran and move money via the international banking system. Huawei has pleaded not guilty.

    The trade blacklist has added to its woes, following which Alphabet Inc's Google suspended some business with Huawei, Reuters reported on Sunday citing a person familiar with the matter, raising worries about the Chinese firm's smartphones that run on Google's Android operating system.

    Monday's temporary license is likely to allow companies such as Google to continue providing service and support, including software updates or patches, to Huawei smartphones that were available to the public on or before May 16.

    "Keeping phones up to date and secure is in everyone's best interests and this temporary license allows us to continue to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days," a Google spokesperson told CNBC in an email on Tuesday.

    The license also allows Huawei to engage in the development of standards for fifth-generation (5G) telecom networks.

     

    APPLE PRAISE

    Ren put up a brave front on Tuesday, reiterating claims that the restrictions will not hurt Huawei's prospects and that no other company will be able to catch up with Huawei in 5G technology in the next two to three years.

     


    21.05.2019 | BlockShow Gives a Whole New Meaning to EuroTrip for Blockchain




    Home News Finance BlockShow Gives a Whole New Meaning to ‘EuroTrip’ for Blockchain BlockShow Gives a Whole New Meaning to ‘EuroTrip’ for Blockchain Andrew Rossow, Esq. May 25, 2018 Education, Finance, Market Analysis Image courtesy of cointelegraph.com Europe has played host to many blockchain events, most notably BlockShow. Its biggest event yet, BlockShow Europe 2018, is right around the corner and making its way to Berlin. As the team prepared for the main conference on May 28 and 29, the road trip around Europe inspired them to dive a bit deeper into the European blockchain space to better understand what motivates this community to keep creating, developing, and accelerating concepts that many countries are welcoming with open arms. This was a huge study of new blockchain and crypto startups. On their ‘EuroTrip’, the team looked at 48 countries around Europe, focusing on three main criteria: ICO regulation, payment regulation, and crypto’s tax strucutre. Without further ado, let’s meet the contenders. Switzerland Switzerland coming in at number one is no surprise, as it has become a mecca of sorts for the community. Its progressive views on blockchain tech and positive regulatory dynamics allow new and innovative startups to hatch, resulting in Zug, Switzerland often being referred to as “Crypto Valley.” On February 16, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published a set of guidelines for applying existing financial market legislation to the regulation of initial coin offerings. FINMA CEO Mark Branson believes these guidelines can provide utility to the blockchain space. In order to assess future ICOs and determine which laws apply, FINMA says it will separate ICO tokens into three categories: payment tokens, utility tokens, and asset tokens. Although FINMA considers asset tokens securities, the regulation of securities in Switzerland is often not as onerous as it is in most other jurisdictions. Under the Swiss Stock Exchange Act, the book-entry and offering of self-issued uncertified securities is largely unregulated. Under the Code of Obligations, the only formal requirement is to keep a book detailing the number and denomination of the uncertified securities issued and the creditors. It has become a common practice for crypto companies to hold the funds raised in a foundation. Due to the relative legal certainty in Switzerland and low tax burden, Swiss foundations are often used for this purpose. Payment Tokens However, when it comes to regulating payments, the country’s authorities may charge as much as CHF 200, though it’s payable in bitcoins. Payment tokens are a separate class of tokens under Swiss regulations. For instance, FINMA considers Ethereum a payment token. One might argue that holding Ethereum’s tokens gives access to the platform’s utility, but those categories aren’t mutually exclusive. Based on this definition, payment tokens clearly do not qualify as taxable securities under the Swiff Stamp Transfer Tax (SSTT) test. An SSTT liability arises if a Swiss securities dealer acts as an intermediary or counterparty in the transfer in a form other than a gift of taxable securities and no exemption applies. The tax rate ranges from 7.5 to 30 base points. Typical SSTT dealers are Swiss banks, traders, broker/dealers, asset managers, and Swiss companies holding CHF 10 million taxable securities (e.g., shares of subsidiaries) as assets. Asset Tokens that are standardized and suitable for mass trading tend to be classified as share-like or bond-like financial instruments for Swiss tax purposes; therefore, they could be classified as taxable securities (“Qualifying Tokens”) according to the FTA. Standardized and tradeable utility tokens – and consequently Hybrid Tokens – that include elements of asset tokens might also classify as share-like or bond-like instruments for Swiss tax purposes. Thus, it is not excluded that such tokens could classify as taxable securities for SSTT purposes.  Denmark While Denmark doesn’t yet have a regulatory framework, the Danish FSA is actively working with crypto projects, analyzing them on a case-by-case basis. The Danish FSA remarked on the difficulty of producing regulation for these new technologies and processes. The Danish regulatory forces are willing to open a dialogue on ICOs, and they understand the variety that exists. While not all digital currencies and assets are able to be regulated equally, for the time being, these analyses will be performed on a case-by-case basis. The FSA is in the process of starting up a financial sandbox, inviting startups to work together with regulatory forces in order to develop comprehensive models for compliance and provide regulatory guidance for young companies. But at the end of the day, Denmark does not currently recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender, as they possess no “issuer” and thus are exempt from regulation, and one of its largest banks recently announced a ban on the trading of such assets.  Portugal Portugal’s parliament recently began discussing the possible regulation of ICOs, which seems to be quite favorable. However, the country doesn’t regulate cryptocurrencies as a legitimate payment method because there doesn’t seem to be any benefits such as the ability to pay taxes with bitcoins. United Kingdom The United Kingdom comes in at number four on this list due to the lack of crypto governance from the nation’s Financial Conduct Authority. The UK also boasts the first trade body made up of crypto companies that are trying to stay ahead of potential regulation by forming a self-regulating cryptocurrency organization. Finland Finland also finds its way into the top ten due in part to the fact that virtual currencies are exempt from VAT. The Finnish Central Board of Taxes recently declared that exchanges were providing “banking services”. The commission rates charged by exchanges were, therefore, in accordance with the EU VAT Directive and exempt from VAT (Value-Added Tax). Netherlands and Belarus The Netherlands and Belarus both have some potential issues surrounding crypto, but they have enough positives to make the list. The Netherlands is currently experimenting with its own cryptocurrency, DNB, but there could be issues affecting adoption. Recently, advisement from the Dutch Finance Minister encouraged the Dutch Senate to do further research into the field before adopting any cryptocurrencies. Belarus makes the list as it is not taxing cryptocurrencies until at least 2023. After 2023, however, taxation laws will be revisited. * Cryptocurrency is still very young in the grand scheme of things, and time will tell which countries adapt and which push back, but BlockShow’s list gives a great look into the European countries that are trying to innovate and understand the growing crypto sphere. For information on the remaining countries on the list, have a look here. Image(s): Shutterstock.com   ...

    BlockShow Gives a Whole New Meaning to ‘EuroTrip’ for Blockchain

    Image courtesy of cointelegraph.com

    Europe has played host to many blockchain events, most notably BlockShow. Its biggest event yet, BlockShow Europe 2018, is right around the corner and making its way to Berlin. As the team prepared for the main conference on May 28 and 29, the road trip around Europe inspired them to dive a bit deeper into the European blockchain space to better understand what motivates this community to keep creating, developing, and accelerating concepts that many countries are welcoming with open arms. This was a huge study of new blockchain and crypto startups.

    On their ‘EuroTrip’, the team looked at 48 countries around Europe, focusing on three main criteria: ICO regulation, payment regulation, and crypto’s tax strucutre.

    Without further ado, let’s meet the contenders.

    Switzerland

    Switzerland coming in at number one is no surprise, as it has become a mecca of sorts for the community. Its progressive views on blockchain tech and positive regulatory dynamics allow new and innovative startups to hatch, resulting in Zug, Switzerland often being referred to as Crypto Valley.”

    On February 16, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published a set of guidelines for applying existing financial market legislation to the regulation of initial coin offerings. FINMA CEO Mark Branson believes these guidelines can provide utility to the blockchain space. In order to assess future ICOs and determine which laws apply, FINMA says it will separate ICO tokens into three categories: payment tokens, utility tokens, and asset tokens.

    Although FINMA considers asset tokens securities, the regulation of securities in Switzerland is often not as onerous as it is in most other jurisdictions. Under the Swiss Stock Exchange Act, the book-entry and offering of self-issued uncertified securities is largely unregulated. Under the Code of Obligations, the only formal requirement is to keep a book detailing the number and denomination of the uncertified securities issued and the creditors.

    It has become a common practice for crypto companies to hold the funds raised in a foundation. Due to the relative legal certainty in Switzerland and low tax burden, Swiss foundations are often used for this purpose.

    Payment Tokens

    However, when it comes to regulating payments, the country’s authorities may charge as much as CHF 200, though it’s payable in bitcoins. Payment tokens are a separate class of tokens under Swiss regulations. For instance, FINMA considers Ethereum a payment token. One might argue that holding Ethereum’s tokens gives access to the platform’s utility, but those categories aren’t mutually exclusive. Based on this definition, payment tokens clearly do not qualify as taxable securities under the Swiff Stamp Transfer Tax (SSTT) test.

    An SSTT liability arises if a Swiss securities dealer acts as an intermediary or counterparty in the transfer in a form other than a gift of taxable securities and no exemption applies.

    The tax rate ranges from 7.5 to 30 base points. Typical SSTT dealers are Swiss banks, traders, broker/dealers, asset managers, and Swiss companies holding CHF 10 million taxable securities (e.g., shares of subsidiaries) as assets.

    Asset Tokens that are standardized and suitable for mass trading tend to be classified as share-like or bond-like financial instruments for Swiss tax purposes; therefore, they could be classified as taxable securities (“Qualifying Tokens”) according to the FTA.

    Standardized and tradeable utility tokens – and consequently Hybrid Tokens – that include elements of asset tokens might also classify as share-like or bond-like instruments for Swiss tax purposes. Thus, it is not excluded that such tokens could classify as taxable securities for SSTT purposes. 

    Denmark

    While Denmark doesn’t yet have a regulatory framework, the Danish FSA is actively working with crypto projects, analyzing them on a case-by-case basis.

    The Danish FSA remarked on the difficulty of producing regulation for these new technologies and processes. The Danish regulatory forces are willing to open a dialogue on ICOs, and they understand the variety that exists. While not all digital currencies and assets are able to be regulated equally, for the time being, these analyses will be performed on a case-by-case basis. The FSA is in the process of starting up a financial sandbox, inviting startups to work together with regulatory forces in order to develop comprehensive models for compliance and provide regulatory guidance for young companies.

    But at the end of the day, Denmark does not currently recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender, as they possess no “issuer” and thus are exempt from regulation, and one of its largest banks recently announced a ban on the trading of such assets. 

    Portugal

    Portugal’s parliament recently began discussing the possible regulation of ICOs, which seems to be quite favorable. However, the country doesn’t regulate cryptocurrencies as a legitimate payment method because there doesn’t seem to be any benefits such as the ability to pay taxes with bitcoins.

    United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom comes in at number four on this list due to the lack of crypto governance from the nation’s Financial Conduct AuthorityThe UK also boasts the first trade body made up of crypto companies that are trying to stay ahead of potential regulation by forming a self-regulating cryptocurrency organization.

    Finland

    Finland also finds its way into the top ten due in part to the fact that virtual currencies are exempt from VAT. The Finnish Central Board of Taxes recently declared that exchanges were providing “banking services”. The commission rates charged by exchanges were, therefore, in accordance with the EU VAT Directive and exempt from VAT (Value-Added Tax).

    Netherlands and Belarus

    The Netherlands and Belarus both have some potential issues surrounding crypto, but they have enough positives to make the list.

    The Netherlands is currently experimenting with its own cryptocurrency, DNB, but there could be issues affecting adoption. Recently, advisement from the Dutch Finance Minister encouraged the Dutch Senate to do further research into the field before adopting any cryptocurrencies.

    Belarus makes the list as it is not taxing cryptocurrencies until at least 2023. After 2023, however, taxation laws will be revisited.

    *

    Cryptocurrency is still very young in the grand scheme of things, and time will tell which countries adapt and which push back, but BlockShow’s list gives a great look into the European countries that are trying to innovate and understand the growing crypto sphere.

    For information on the remaining countries on the list, have a look here.

    Image(s): Shutterstock.com

     


    21.05.2019 | Millennials Will Never Recover From 2008 Financial Crisis, Student Loans Worsen the Issue




    Home News Finance Millennials Will Never Recover From 2008 Financial Crisis, Student Loans Worsen the Issue Millennials Will Never Recover From 2008 Financial Crisis, Student Loans Worsen the Issue Joseph Young May 27, 2018 Finance, News According to a study released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis entitled “A Lost Generation”, millennials will never be able to recover from the Great Recession and the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed stated that families headed by someone born in the 1980s have net worths that are 34 percent lower than expected. The report read: We found that typical families headed by someone born in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were significantly below their wealth benchmark levels in 2016—by about 11, 18 and 34 percent, respectively. Despite also having suffered wealth losses during the recession, typical families headed by someone born in the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s were slightly above their age-specific wealth benchmarks in 2016. Student Loans are Worsening the Crisis Unlike mortgages or real estate loans that are based on an asset that appreciates in value over time, student loans are based on a hypothetical and an assumption that the recipient of the student loan can achieve financial stability by securing a stable career. However, this is not always the case. In fact, in countries like South Korea and the US, it has become increasingly difficult for university graduates with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt to obtain $4,000 to $5,000 per month jobs. Several studies in South Korea have placed the probability of university graduates being hired by major companies at 10 percent. Given that most student loans, if an entire bachelor’s degree is covered, range from $50,000 to $400,000, it takes on average 5.5 years to pay back one’s student loan, assuming 50 percent of their fixed salary or monthly income can be saved. Although possible, using 50 percent of one’s income to pay back student loans is unrealistic, and consequently, the majority of individuals don’t finish paying back their student loans until they’re in their 40s. The St. Louis Fed noted: Even by 2016, fewer than 45 percent of 1980s families were homeowners. The predominant type of debt they owe is non-mortgage debt, including student loans, auto loans and credit card debt. Because none of these types of debt finance assets that have appreciated rapidly during the last few years—such as stocks and real estate—they have received no leveraged wealth boost like that enjoyed by older cohorts. The Real Problem The real issue isn’t with the student loan system itself, as with the support of the government, banks often provide student loans at either no or low interest rates. The problem involves the opportunity cost of earning university degrees that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just to obtain jobs that pay thousands of dollars on a monthly basis. If a bachelor’s degree is analyzed as an investment, it costs somewhere in the range of $50,000 to $400,000, based on the region and the standard of the university. An initial investment of $200,000 on average without a guaranteed return due to its abundance and a likely return of $4,000 to $5,000 per month is quite poor. Decades ago, university degrees were scarce because the majority of individuals could not afford the degrees, and as such, companies scrambled to recruit candidates with strong educational backgrounds. The trend has changed drastically over the past few years, and companies have started to look for candidates with internships and experience.   ...

    Millennials Will Never Recover From 2008 Financial Crisis, Student Loans Worsen the Issue

    According to a study released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis entitled “A Lost Generation”, millennials will never be able to recover from the Great Recession and the 2008 financial crisis.

    The Fed stated that families headed by someone born in the 1980s have net worths that are 34 percent lower than expected. The report read:

    We found that typical families headed by someone born in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were significantly below their wealth benchmark levels in 2016—by about 11, 18 and 34 percent, respectively. Despite also having suffered wealth losses during the recession, typical families headed by someone born in the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s were slightly above their age-specific wealth benchmarks in 2016.

    Student Loans are Worsening the Crisis

    Unlike mortgages or real estate loans that are based on an asset that appreciates in value over time, student loans are based on a hypothetical and an assumption that the recipient of the student loan can achieve financial stability by securing a stable career.

    However, this is not always the case. In fact, in countries like South Korea and the US, it has become increasingly difficult for university graduates with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt to obtain $4,000 to $5,000 per month jobs. Several studies in South Korea have placed the probability of university graduates being hired by major companies at 10 percent.

    Given that most student loans, if an entire bachelor’s degree is covered, range from $50,000 to $400,000, it takes on average 5.5 years to pay back one’s student loan, assuming 50 percent of their fixed salary or monthly income can be saved. Although possible, using 50 percent of one’s income to pay back student loans is unrealistic, and consequently, the majority of individuals don’t finish paying back their student loans until they’re in their 40s.

    The St. Louis Fed noted:

    Even by 2016, fewer than 45 percent of 1980s families were homeowners. The predominant type of debt they owe is non-mortgage debt, including student loans, auto loans and credit card debt. Because none of these types of debt finance assets that have appreciated rapidly during the last few years—such as stocks and real estate—they have received no leveraged wealth boost like that enjoyed by older cohorts.

    The Real Problem

    The real issue isn’t with the student loan system itself, as with the support of the government, banks often provide student loans at either no or low interest rates.

    The problem involves the opportunity cost of earning university degrees that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just to obtain jobs that pay thousands of dollars on a monthly basis.

    If a bachelor’s degree is analyzed as an investment, it costs somewhere in the range of $50,000 to $400,000, based on the region and the standard of the university. An initial investment of $200,000 on average without a guaranteed return due to its abundance and a likely return of $4,000 to $5,000 per month is quite poor.

    Decades ago, university degrees were scarce because the majority of individuals could not afford the degrees, and as such, companies scrambled to recruit candidates with strong educational backgrounds. The trend has changed drastically over the past few years, and companies have started to look for candidates with internships and experience.

     


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