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Bitcoin and the State of Retirement Reports Today

After looking through many studies showing the state of retirement in America today, there seems to be much room for improvement.

The National Institute on Retirement Security came out with some rather concerning statistics in their report released earlier this year, specifically that two-thirds of working millennials have nothing saved for retirement. Meanwhile, according to a Vanguard retirement study, the average account balance of nearly $104,000 was misleading because of a small number of large accounts skewing the average higher, while the median is much lower, at $26,000. And the 18th annual Transamerica Retirement Survey revealed that while 62% of workers are confident that they will be able to retire with a comfortable lifestyle, as many as 56% believe that they have not yet fully recovered financially from the Great Recession and as many as a third expect that they will see a decrease in their standard of living during retirement.

It’s time to expand the retirement savings toolkit and look at additional options, with a focus on portfolio diversification.

Millennials and Retirement: Already Falling Short. From the National Institute on Retirement Security.

Benefits of Portfolio Diversification

Many experts in the financial sector advocate for portfolio diversification as a means of boosting return on investment while also minimizing risk. “For a variety of reasons, people do not understand the value of having a broadly diversified portfolio,” said Barry Ritholtz. “Perhaps they think it shows a lack of corporate loyalty to their employer…But every worker who gets company stock also gets a salary from that same employer. That is a very intense concentration of financial risk. For those workers, diversifying their company stock into broad indexes is a prudent approach.”Furthermore, decentralized assets such as Bitcoin and gold, which are removed from the stock market or any particular currency, act as a hedge against inflation, as well as any political, social, or economic unrest.  And according to research done by Ark Invest and Coinbase, Bitcoin is “the only asset that maintains consistently low correlations with every other asset,” making it a strong choice as an alternative asset in a diversified retirement portfolio.

How Bitcoin IRA Works, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency platform, allows customers to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for their retirement accounts and store them in a BitGo digital wallet, the leader in multi-signature encryption technology. In 2017 alone, the company processed over $300 million in investments. To learn more about how to diversify your retirement portfolio with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, give one of our IRA specialists a call today at 877-936-7175.


Solar-Paneled Mining: The Future of Bitcoin?

In recent months, the crypto space has gone through a lot of interesting changes and defied expectations.

For starters, the regulatory sector and the decentralized technology sector, once viewed as at odds with each other, have been in fact been working together cooperatively to create a more compliant and transparent financial landscape. This has has been demonstrated by CFTC Chairman J. Cristopher Giancarlo’s “do no harm” approach towards regulating crypto, Nasdaq and Gemini’s SMARTS market surveillance technology partnership, among other announcements.

And, on a separate crypto news front, there’s another unlikely partnership between two sectors that appears to be thriving: the solar industry and the world of bitcoin mining.

William Shatner Works With Solar Alliance to tackle Crypto Mining Sustainability

Solar Alliance, a Canadian solar energy company, announced that it acquired a 165,000 square-foot warehouse in Illinois to build a solar paneled array and rent space to bitcoin miners.

“Blockchain technologies, and cryptocurrencies specifically, are at the cutting edge of a new distributed technology infrastructure,” said actor William Shatner, also a spokesperson for Solar Alliance. “Utilizing solar arrays to power [mining operations] makes social and economic sense.”

The World of Bitcoin Mining Today

New research into energy consumption reveals that, by the end of the year, cryptocurrency could account for 0.5 percent of the world’s energy demand, roughly the same amount consumed by Austria.  For crypto enthusiasts concerned about climate change, the massive energy consumption behind Bitcoin mining has been a difficult concept to reconcile with. However, this recent news from Solar Alliance may indicate that Bitcoin mining, as we know it, will change.

“The acquisition of the Murphysboro warehouse facility and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) represent Solar Alliance’s strategic entry into tenanting and supplying low-cost power to the cryptocurrency mining sector,” said Chairman and CEO Jason Bak. “The demand from cryptocurrency mining operations for competitively priced power is immense and we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of that demand.”

A Maturing Crypto Landscape

While 2017 was the year that Bitcoin experienced unprecedented growth, 2018 is shaping up to be the year that the crypto space is officially growing up. While crypto used to be a largely unregulated space, 2018 has focused heavily on crypto compliance, between the SEC’s increased regulation of crypto trading platforms to companies like Chainalysis raising impressive funding to help Bitcoin-based businesses protect themselves against fraud.

In addition to increased regulation, 2018 has also marked a year devoted to deepening understanding around blockchain technology, from the NYCEDC announcing big plans to expand educational efforts in this sector to Facebook launching a new team dedicated to blockchain research.

In my opinion, the advancement in solar-paneled bitcoin mining is another example of progress and maturation in the crypto industry. Just as the regulatory sector is making an extensive effort to weed out the bad actors in the crypto world, solar-paneled mining is addressing the the industry’s inherent environmental concerns. It’s encouraging to see different organizations and sectors tackling crypto’s issues as it scales from an industry with growing pains into an industry all grown up, with an emphasis on being more compliant, transparent, and environmentally conscious than ever before.


Bitcoin and Ether are Not Securities

At Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit: Crypto on June 14, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Director William Hinman announced that Bitcoin and Ether would not be considered securities. “Based on my understanding of the present state of ether, the Ethereum network, and its decentralized structure, current offers of sales of ether are not securities transactions,” Hinman said. “And, as with bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in ether would seem to add little value.”

In turn, innovators in the decentralized technology space are committed to working with regulators to promote a more compliant crypto landscape than ever before. Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys, a major Ethereum application company, expressed gratitude for the SEC’s decision and said “Ether and other next generation consumer utility tokens will continue evolving the web towards networks that are more fair, secure, and evenly distributed.”

Ultimately, I believe that the SEC’s announcement is a big win for the crypto industry as a whole, as it helps resolve some of the regulatory uncertainty that many experts, such as Tom Lee, believe is contributing to market stagnation.

Many crypto enthusiasts, who were initially drawn to the formerly unregulated sector because of its decentralization and anonymity, feared that the increase in regulatory measures would infringe upon all they valued about crypto in the first place. But with time, it’s becoming clearer that the regulators and the decentralized technology sector in fact have a respectful, productive, and cooperative relationship, and are committed to working together to make the financial landscape more compliant than before. Let’s take a closer look.

CFTC “Do No Harm” Approach Set a Positive Precedent

Back in February of this year, Chairman of the CFTC J. Christopher Giancarlo set a precedent for a productive relationship between regulators and the decentralized technology sector when he advocated for a “do no harm” approach. “I believe that ‘do no harm’ is the right overarching approach for distributed ledger technology…With the proper balance of sound, regulatory oversight, and private sector innovation, new technologies will allow American markets to evolve in responsible ways and continue to grow our economy and increase prosperity,” Giancarlo said.

While this balanced sentiment may have seemed unrealistic to skeptics in the crypto space when it was first announced, I believe there has been continual cooperation between regulators and many crypto-based businesses and decentralized technology companies ever since.

Gemini Launches Nasdaq’s Market Surveillance Technology

In April, Nasdaq and cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced that Gemini would be leveraging Nasdaq’s SMARTS market surveillance technology to monitor its marketplace. “Since launch, Gemini has aggressively pursued comprehensive compliance and surveillance programs, which we believe betters our exchange and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole,” said  CEO of Gemini Tyler Winklevoss.

In fact, Nasdaq has proven to be just one of many financial institutions that has demonstrated interest in working alongside the crypto space. Hires General Counsel and Senior Compliance Officer, the world’s largest and most secure cryptocurrency IRA platform that allows customers to purchase Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, appointed by Maryann Bullion as its General Counsel and Senior Compliance Officer in March. “We are focused on providing unparalleled products for our clients that not only adhere to the most secure measures, but also uphold the most stringent compliance guidelines,” said Camilo Concha, CEO and co-founder.

“I strongly believe in the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology and the opportunity it presents for investors within a retirement account,” said Bullion. “I am excited to work with the executive team to streamline the compliance framework and to provide the safest and most efficient products and processes for its customers.”

To learn more about how you can diversify your retirement portfolio with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, give a call today at 877-936-7175.

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Why Increased Regulation in the Crypto Space Is a Good Thing

In the wake of crypto’s newfound popularity, traditional regulators have begun to take notice and are proactively implementing safeguards to protect investors. Meanwhile, private companies have also stepped up to protect consumers from misleading advertising.

Those who liked the “Wild West” days of crypto may balk at the new constraints, but in the big picture, this increased regulation from traditional parties can be seen largely as something positive, as it is indicative of the currencies’ staying power and path to mainstream adoption.

Here’s a quick look at what’s happened recently, and more insights into why these events predict good things for cryptocurrency.

SEC Requires Exchanges to Register

In early March 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement that said all exchanges that trade digital assets which are considered securities must register with the regulator. “Many platforms refer to themselves as exchanges, which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange,” the SEC wrote, providing context surrounding the increased regulation.

Ultimately, requiring that each exchange register with the SEC provides a necessary layer of oversight that will protect investors from illegitimate platforms or scammy ICOs, which is particularly important in light of several major hacks reported over the course of the last year. While the increased regulations have likely contributed to Bitcoin’s market dip in the past month, these new initiatives are in the consumer’s best interest for the long term.

Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission CFTC Christopher Giancarlo proposed an approach to regulating cryptocurrencies that strikes a balance between providing necessary oversight while recognizing the promise and possibility of new innovations. “I believe that ‘do no harm’ is the right overarching approach for distributed ledger technology…With the proper balance of sound policy, regulatory oversight, and private sector innovation, new technologies will allow American markets to evolve in responsible ways and continue to grow our economy and increase prosperity,” Giancarlo said.

Financial Stability Board Announces No New Regulations

In March, the Financial Stability Board, a global organization that oversees international regulations for G-20 economies, announced that “crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time.” This announcement offered reassurance for both the crypto and non-crypto community alike at the national level, and reinstated the fact that cryptocurrencies are very much a part of the national conversation.

Social Media and Search Engines Limit Crypto Ads

In January 2018, Facebook announced it would no longer allow ads promoting cryptocurrency or ICOs. Rob Leathern, one of Facebook’s ad directors, said that the policy was intentionally broad while the Facebook team works to implement better internal processes to detect deceptive advertisements. In March, Google announced a similar ban that will go into effect in June of 2018. Ultimately, these crackdowns will also provide necessary protections for consumers navigating the space.

“We applaud the efforts being made by Google and Facebook. These consumer protection measures will weed out fly-by-night companies, illegitimate ICOs and scams. As a result, users will easily navigate through legitimate companies like without the noise or confusion of unscrupulous companies,” said Chief Operating Officer Chris Kline. Hired a Compliance Officer to Streamline Regulation Processes, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency IRA company that allows customers to purchase Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies for their retirement accounts, is committed to honoring all compliance and regulatory initiatives. In fact, the company recently appointed Maryann Bullion as its General Counsel and Senior Compliance Officer. “At we are very much encouraged by the regulators’ involvement setting standards for protecting consumers in the cryptocurrency space and by ensuring a safe and sound financial services industry,” Bullion said.

To learn more about how can help you meet your retirement goals, give one of our IRA specialists a call today at 877-936-7175.

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