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  1. Cryptocurrencies are a different issue from blockchain technology generally. The reasons to use them are: 1. It cuts out the commercial banks as intermediaries, saving on transaction fees. 2. It cuts out the central banks as issuers of currency, which avoids the debasement suffered by fiat currencies. 3. Transactions are difficult to track. 4. Transactions are irreversible, which is good for merchants accepting payments. Other claimed advantages are not so certain: 5. Cryptos are more secure in some ways but introduce other security problems of their own. 6. Cryptos avoid currency conversion fees, but since there are many cryptocurrencies, converting between them may become an issue. 7. Transactions are claimed to be very quick, even internationally, but this has not held up. Bitcoin has become quite slow. The main drawbacks are: 8. Prices are volatile compared with fiat currencies. This is particularly an issue for merchants wanting to price their goods, but there are services providers starting to appear that will guarantee an exchange rate for a given period. 9. We don't yet know whether cryptos will scale to high transaction volumes. Bitcoin transactions are currenctly a tiny fraction of the volume handled by Visa, for example, and already Bitcoin has become slow. 10. There may be hidden bugs or exploits that could completely kill off a cryptocurrency. 11. There are many cryptos and likely many more to come. We don't know which ones will succeed. 12. Cryptos such as Bitcoin that use decentralised mining are effectively under the control of those miners. Mining mostly happens in countries with cheap electricity. This leads to those countries effectively having considerable influence over the currency. Over 90% of Bitcoin transactions happen in China because electricity is cheap there. If China were to ban Bitcoin the effect would be substantial. 13. Governments may come to regard cryptos as a threat to their own fiat currencies and their ability to debase them. In the same way that governments are making war on cash, cryptos could be next. The pretext will be that cryptos are used for criminal purposes. Cryptos could be banned or regulated so tightly they become useless.
  2. It is nearly impossible to predict the price of gold accurately, particularly on a short timescale. Technical analysts are fond of drawing lines on charts and saying this pattern indicates such and such, but patterns can usually only be recognised after the event. Such analysts tend to say that *if* the price goes up and breaks this resistance level it will continue to go up, and *if* the price goes down and breaks this support level it will continue to go down, and *if* it does neither then it will remain within a channel. Of course this is of no use whatsoever because all possibilities have been covered. It just amounts to saying the price will rise, fall, or stay about the same, which we knew already. Fundamental analysts identify considerations such as rising demand, falling production, rising interest rates, rising inflation, investor risk appetite, geopolitical uncertainty. These have the benefit of being tangible causes of price movements, but they are of little use in timing price moves. Maybe gold is undervalued by all kinds of measures, but who is to say it cannot remain undervalued for a long time or go down even further? The best thing to do with gold itself is treat it as insurance rather than as a speculative investment. Own as much as you reckon it would be helpful to have in the event of a financial collapse and hope you never have to use it.
  3. Jaxx, like Mycelium and others, is a soft (or hot) wallet. It consists of software running on your computer or smart phone. As such it is vulnerable to being attacked over your network link. Also, if you catch some kind of keystroke/screenshot logger, your keys could be compromised. But if you transfer your keys to a hardware (or cold) wallet such as Trezor or Ledger Nano and ensure they are removed from your soft wallet, they are highly secure. Printing the keys out is also good, provided you keep the printout in a safe place. Again, you need to delete them from your soft wallet once you have done this.
  4. The important thing with exchanges is not to leave your BTC there once you have bought it. Always transfer it to a key pair that you have created yourself on a wallet. Once there you can secure it further by moving the keys to a hardware wallet or printing them out. If you don't do this, you are vulnerable to the exchange being hacked or a rogue employee helping themselves to your BTC. It would be like going into a shop, buying some stuff, then asking if they can keep it for you in storage. If they are burgled, or have an untrustworthy employee, you will lose your stuff. It is always better to take it off the exchange, even if it means an extra transaction fee.
  5. Congratulations to anyone holding Integra (CVE:ICG) Double kudos to Taylor Dart at Seeking Alpha https://seekingalpha.com/article/4015607-2-gold-juniors-ripe-takeovers for picking this and Mariana as likely takeover targets last October.
  6. Anyone else think it is odd that gold is going down while bitcoin has risen to an all-time high? Is this just a long-term trend in bitcoin price resulting from the fact that it is still a new currency and its ownership is widening? Or is it that there are no leveraged instruments for shorting bitcoin?
  7. If the price goes down, don't fret, just keep buying and benefit from cost averaging. As to why the price is going down: large volumes of sales contracts continue to be made on the futures market, which is where the price is recorded. For what it's worth, the gap between this paper price and the physical price in Shanghai is particularly high at the moment, and has been for about 10 days or so. Large gaps create an arbitrage opportunity, so they do not usually stay large for long.
  8. I bought some last August, and some more in January of this year. Now to find the next good candidate. I've recently seen these tipped: CVE:ADZ Adamera CVE:AGB Atlantic Gold TSE:AUG Auryn Resources TSE:ETG Entree Gold TSE:SBB Sabina (This is not a recommendation. DYOR)
  9. Congratulations to anyone holding Mariana (LON:MARL). Up 55% following a takeover bid. Kudos to Taylor Dart at SeekingAlpha for picking it as a likely takeover target last October.
  10. P/E is only one measure of value. You need to bear in mind the following: 1. A lot of investors just want safe dividends. They can no longer get these from high rated bonds, because bond yields are low and look set to stay low, at least in real terms. But they can get dividends from stocks. Many blue chip stocks pay 3% or more in dividends, and as long as they can maintain these dividends these stocks are not overpriced. We are now in a mad world where conservative investors have been chased out of bonds and into stocks and are buying them for yield. 2. P/E ratios cannot appropriately be compared with historical values, because QE has fundamentally shifted any point of comparison. A whole lot of money is chasing after stocks and bonds that never used to exist. 3. In recent years, many companies have exploited the low interest rates to borrow money for share buy-backs. This has reduced the shares in circulation and pushed up prices. 4. In Japan, the central bank is buying stocks, meaning that prices cannot fall, unless there is a systemic financial collapse. Central banks in the USA, UK or Europe might follow suit, printing money and buying stocks to prop up the market prices. Governments over time show a tendency for increased intervention and interference in economic affairs, so I wouldn't find this development surprising. 5. Stock prices can only fall if many investors take their money out of the stock market; but if they do, where does it go? Bonds are already overpriced. Cash held at bank is asking for trouble: the banks are not that safe. Real estate might be OK if you know where and what to buy, but much of that is overpriced as well. Precious metals should be an attractive option, but so far the market has been ignoring them. So, stocks remain a default option for money that has nowhere better to go.
  11. Top five holdings of various ETFs as of April 2017: GDX Barrick; Newmont Mining; Newcrest Mining; Goldcorp; Franco Nevada. SGDM Randgold Resources; Agnico Eagle; Newmont Mining; Goldcorp; Barrick. AUCP Barrick; Newmont Mining; Randgold Resources; Newcrest Mining; Goldcorp. TGLDX Franco-Nevada; Pan American Silver; Detour Gold; Agnico Eagle; Torex Gold. EPGFX Franco-Nevada; Agnico Eagle; Goldcorp; Royal Gold; Osisko Gold Royalties. GDXJ Kirkland Lake; Silver Standard; Regis Resources; Torex Gold; Osisko Gold Royalties. SGDJ Alamos Gold; Oceanagold; Iamgold; Endeavour Mining; Osisko Gold Royalties. SILJ Pan American Silver; First Majestic Silver; Coeur Mining; Silvercorp Metal; Hocschild Mining.
  12. The $20/ozT rise in gold price over the last week has set up a nice battle between the bulls and bears. The physical price in Shanghai briefly touched $1300 on Friday. If the price holds at this level or rises for another week, the momentum traders will come in and drive it up further. If geopolitical events calm down, it may well return to $1260 or lower. I would far rather be on the long side. In two recent interviews with King World News, Andrew McGuire has said that shortage of supply of physical gold has reached the point where there is serious competition for buyers and availability of the physical has started to determine the price. If he's right, we should see higher prices later this year.
  13. Confiscating silver would be difficult because there is so much of it; also, it is bulky and not highly valuable for its size or weight. Imposing CGT on Britannias is possible, though I doubt it would bring in much tax revenue. Gold is another matter. The government could impose VAT on it - it is something of an anomaly that there is no VAT. CGT could be imposed on Britannias and sovereigns. If there was a large increase in its price, there could be a windfall tax. Confiscation is unlikely, but a possibility would be a law restricting the amount of gold a person is permitted to own. From 1966 to 1979 it was illegal for UK citizens to own more than four gold coins. These days there are lots more ways to own gold, so a simple restriction on coins would be useless, but some kind of limit by mass would be possible. Holding gold outside the UK is another option, e.g. through an account with a company like GoldMoney or Bullion Vault, or through Perth Mint certificates. A mix of this and some physical coins is not a bad idea. If the government goes broke and wants your money, they are more likely to raid your bank account or nationalise pension schemes. It is far easier to do and there is more money to be had from it. Private ownership of gold is fairly small by comparison.
  14. According to the review of Degiro: *** Your securities can be loaned to third parties *** - this would raise alarm bells for me. You can opt for a segregated account, but this is more expensive. Also Degiro does not handle ISA accounts.
  15. Audio only interview with Rick Rule. One of the most knowledgeable and level-headed people in the precious metals business.