Litecoin’s Mining Power Tanks to Lowest in Year Following Price Plunge – BTC Ethereum Crypto Currency Blog

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Litecoin’s Mining Power Tanks to Lowest in Year Following Price Plunge

Litecoin’s price plunge in recent months has whittled away the profitability of mining the cryptocurrency, leading to a shakeout among computer operators on the network seen as a faster and cheaper but less secure version of bitcoin. 

Prices for litecoin, created in 2011 just two years after bitcoin, have fallen to about $45, from a peak around $140 in June. And under the network’s original programming design, rewards for mining new blocks of data were slashed by 50 percent on Aug. 5, an every-four-years event known as a halving.

The combination of factors has cut the profits of mining litecoin using the popular Innosilicon A6+ computers to $1.68 per 24 hours, from $2.65 in mid-June, assuming a standard electricity cost, according to f2pool. That’s a slim margin for a machine that costs $3,000 new, according to the manufacturer’s website.

Operators using the older-model and less-powerful Antminer L3 computers are currently getting a negligible profit of just 6 or 7 cents a day, f2pool’s mining profitability calculator shows. 

So, many smaller litecoin miners are now simply choosing to drop off the network, evidenced by a decline of more than 70 percent since July in the network’s hash rate, which measures the combined computing processing power of all operators. On Nov. 30, litecoin’s hash rate touched 149.6 terahashes per second, the lowest in a year. 

“If miners are underwater, or running non-economical gear, most likely they will decommission that equipment,” said Greg Cipolaro, co-founder of the cryptocurrency analysis firm Digital Asset Research in New York. “Hash rate follows price, not the other way around.”

The new dynamic in the litecoin market offers a lesson in the emerging economics of the fast-growing cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, which relies on networks of computers to confirm and record transactions, using a combination of incentives. Key inputs include the speed and efficiency of the data-mining computers, local electricity costs and even the ambient temperature; cold climes are considered ideal because less power is needed to run cooling fans for the computers, which typically run 24 hours a day, seven days a week – that is, when it’s profitable to do so.  

Many operators on the litecoin network have been using the L3 machines, and the recent market move has “tested the shutdown price,” Steve Tsou, CEO of RRMine, a bitcoin-focused asset-management and trading platform, said in a LinkedIn message.

It’s likely that some miners in China dropped out of the market recently as the rainy season tapered off in regions where they’re relying on supplies of cheap hydropower, he said.  

Under the litecoin protocol, mining new units of the cryptocurrency automatically adjusts to become easier when the hash rate falls, a mechanism designed to lure operators back in following a sharp price drop or a cut in the rewards. 

And that’s what’s happening now: Litecoin’s mining difficulty – reassessed every 2,016 blocks, or roughly every 4 days, to keep block-production times around 2.5 minutes – is now at is lowest in a year. 

So despite the cut in the size of the reward for mining a new block, it should now be easier for operators who are still in the market to mine new blocks, helping to mitigate the damage to profits, according to Ryan Alfred, president of Digital Assets Data.

A price recovery could woo miners back into the market, as could a further easing in the difficulty of mining new blocks, Alfred said.

https://www.coindesk.com/litecoins-mining-power-tanks-to-lowest-in-year-following-price-plunge

Original Article
Author: btcethereumadmin

BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, TRX – BTC Ethereum Crypto Currency Blog

Bitcoin appears to have bottomed at $6,500 and once confirmed many cryptocurrencies could provide lucrative trading opportunities at a good risk-reward ratio.

Bitcoin price continues to trade with an advantage to bears but this does not mean investors or miners have capitulated. About 64% of the total Bitcoin mined to date has been dormant in wallets since 2018. This shows that Bitcoin hodlers do not believe in trading for short-term gains, as they anticipate much higher prices in the future. While this might be a feasible strategy for the whales, retail traders can rake up profits if they buy during periods of deep distress and sell their positions during times of euphoria.

One of the events that many hopeful investors are anticipating is Bitcoin’s block reward halving in May 2020. However, Jason Williams, co-founder at digital asset fund Morgan Creek Digital, believes that the halving will be a non-event that will not affect the price of Bitcoin. While a few analysts share Williams’ view, others believe that history will repeat itself and the price of Bitcoin will surge as the halving occurs.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

The crypto market is driven by more than just fundamentals and technical analysts currently have a variety of views and opinions about the market. DeMark Analytics CEO Tom DeMark, recently told Bloomberg that he expects Bitcoin to continue its fall with a minimum target objective of $6,308 and if panic sets in, the decline can extend to $5,294. On the other hand, popular Twitter analyst PlanB has said that Bitcoin might rally to $10,000 in before the end of December.

These differences show that every analyst has a unique style of analyzing the markets. Therefore, traders should do their own due diligence before initiating any positions. Let’s see if we spot any buy setups today?

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) has turned down from the 20-day EMA, which suggests that sellers are active at resistance levels. The bears will now try to sink and sustain the price below the support at $7,337.78. If successful, a drop to $6,840.75 and below it to $6,512.01 is likely. The downsloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the negative zone suggest that bears have the upper hand.

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

However, the pace of decline from the 20-day EMA has been gradual. This shows that the selling pressure is weakening.

If the BTC/USD pair bounces off current levels or from $6,840.75, it will signal buying on the dips. The next move above the $7,900 is likely to carry the price to the downtrend line, which will act as a stiff resistance.

However, once the bulls push the price above the downtrend line, a new uptrend is likely. We will recommend long positions if the price action signals a return of buyers.

ETH/USD

Although bulls pushed Ether (ETH) above $151.829, they could not sustain this level. This shows that buying dries up at higher levels. The altcoin can now dip to $140 and below it to $131.484. The downsloping moving averages and the RSI in negative territory indicate that the bears are in the driver’s seat.

ETH USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the ETH/USD pair turns around from the current levels and scales above the 20-day EMA. Such a move will open the doors for a rally to $197.75. We might suggest long positions above 20-day EMA. Until then, we remain in a wait and watch mode.

XRP/USD

The relief rally in XRP could not reach the 20-day EMA, which indicates that demand dries up at higher levels as the buyers are not confident that a bottom is in place. The price has again dipped to the support at $0.22. The 20-day EMA is sloping down and the RSI is in the negative zone, which increases the possibility of a drop to $0.20041. If this support cracks, the downtrend can extend to $0.18.

XRP USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the XRP/USD pair turns around from the current levels and breaks out of the overhead resistance at $0.24508. If that happens, the pair can move up to the 50-day SMA and above it to $0.31503. We will wait for the price to sustain above $0.24508 before turning bullish.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has turned down from just under the 20-day EMA. It is likely to retest the support zone at $203.36 to $192.52. With the 20-day EMA sloping down and the RSI in the negative zone, the advantage is with the bears. A break below $192.52 will resume the downtrend.

BCH USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

However, if the BCH/USD pair finds support closer to $203.36, it will signal buying on dips. If the subsequent rebound can cross above the recent high of $227.01, it will increase the possibility of a rally to $306.78. There is a minor resistance at the 50-day SMA but we expect it to be crossed.

LTC/USD

The bulls could not carry Litecoin (LTC) above the $50 to $47.1851 overhead resistance zone. Currently, the price has again dipped towards the recent lows of $42.0599. This is an important level to watch out for because if it cracks, the downtrend can extend to $36. The downsloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the negative territory indicate that the bears are in command.

LTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

However, if buying at the current levels again props up the LTC/USD pair, we anticipate another attempt by the bulls to breakout of $50. If successful, a move to the 50-day SMA and above it to $66.1486 is possible. We will wait for the price to sustain above $50 before suggesting a trade in it.

EOS/USD

EOS is facing resistance at the 20-day EMA. However, the positive thing is that the price has not turned down sharply. This suggests that the selling pressure has reduced but as long as the price remains below the 20-day EMA, the advantage will be with the bears.

EOS USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the EOS/USD pair slips below $2.6333, a retest of the critical support at $2.4001 is possible. Below this support, the decline can extend to $1.55.

On the other hand, if the price reverses direction from the current levels and breaks out of the 20-day EMA, it can move up to the 50-day SMA. On a break above the 50-day SMA, the rally can reach $3.69. We will wait for a buy setup to form before proposing a trade in it.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) is range-bound between $16.50 and $14.2555. The 20-day EMA is sloping down and the RSI is in the negative zone. This shows that bears have the upper hand. If the price slips below the support of the range, a drop to $11.30 is likely.

BNB USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

However, if the bulls defend the next dip to $14.2555, the BNB/USD pair will extend its stay inside the range. It will signal strength on a breakout of the overhead resistance at $16.50. The longer price stays inside a range, the stronger the next move will be. Therefore, we will recommend a long position after the price sustains above $16.50. Until then, we suggest traders remain on the sidelines.

BSV/USD

Bitcoin SV (BSV) turned down from $113.96 and broke below the small ascending triangle formation. This invalidates the bullish setup and increases the possibility of a retest of the minor support at $92.693.

BSV USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bulls defend the support at $92.693, the BSV/USD pair will remain range-bound for a few more days. It will signal strength on a breakout of the 50-day SMA. Nonetheless, if the bears sink the price below $92.693, a drop to $78.506 is possible. We do not find any reliable buy setups at the current level, hence, we remain neutral on the pair.

XLM/USD

As explained in the previous analysis, a weak rebound from a strong support level is a negative sign. Stellar (XLM) has again dropped down to the critical support zone of $0.056 to $0.051014. The 20-day EMA is sloping down and the RSI is in negative territory, which suggests that bears are in command.

XLM USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bears succeed in sinking the price below the support zone, the downtrend will resume. The next support to watch on the downside is $0.041748.

However, if the XLM/USD pair rebounds from the support zone and breaks above $0.059956, it will signal a likely bottom. We will wait for a reversal pattern to form before recommending a trade in it.

TRX/USD

The bulls are struggling to propel Tron (TRX) above the 20-day EMA. This shows a lack of demand at higher levels. Repeated failure to break above a resistance attracts sellers. The bears will now attempt to drag the price to the critical support at $0.0136655.

TRX USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the TRX/USD pair plummets below the support at $0.0136655, a drop to the $0.0116262 to $0.011240 support zone is possible. Conversely, if the price turns around from the current levels and breaks out of the 20-day EMA, the pair can move up to the 50-day SMA where it is again likely to face selling pressure. We will wait for the price to sustain above the 20-day EMA before turning positive.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

Original Article
Author: btcethereumadmin

Litecoin-Funded Grin Developer Challenges Mimblewimble’s Privacy Issue – BTC Ethereum Crypto Currency Blog

Following reports on Mimblewimble’s flawed privacy, a Grin developer suggested a new solution.

A Grin (GRIN) developer funded by the Litecoin Foundation has suggested a solution for fixing the “Achilles heel of Mimblewimble privacy.”

David Burkett, a developer at Mimblewimble’s (MW) privacy-centric coin Grin, started a thread on monthly updates detailing progress on both Grin’s development and the integration of MW’s privacy-focused technology into Litecoin (LTC). The developer announced the news on Twitter on Dec. 1:

“I’ll be posting monthly status updates detailing progress on the LTC MW EB (YAY acronyms). This is geared toward those interested in LTC development, but will also talk a lot about Grin++ changes, so it may be interesting to Grinners as well.”

Burkett challenges the “Achilles heel of Mimblewimble privacy”

In terms of Grin’s progress, the developer has purportedly performed the first-ever pre-broadcast MW CoinJoin that would allegedly make transactions more private by disabling broadcasting before transactions joined others in the CoinJoin block. Burkett noted that this issue is one of the most critical problems associated with MW’s privacy. He wrote:

“The Achilles heel of mimblewimble privacy though, has always been that transactions are broadcast before they’ve had a chance to be joined with other transactions. That means nodes monitoring the network can see the original input-to-output links of most transactions. Sending a transaction directly to a CoinJoin server before broadcasting is one of many different techniques we can use to combat that.”

Some researchers claim that there is no way to fix Mimblewimble’s privacy

The implementation follows a recent report claiming that MW’s privacy is “fundamentally flawed” as a developer managed to track 96% of Grin transactions before they came to CoinJoin, a block that collects all MW’s transactions to ensure their anonymity.

Published by Ivan Bogatyy at blockchain research firm Dragonfly Research, the report claims that there is no way to fix that issue for MW, and the protocol should no longer be considered as a “viable alternative to Zcash or Monero when it comes to privacy.”

Litecoin Foundation is funding Burkett’s efforts to integrate Grin’s privacy

Alongside Grin’s developments, the developer confirmed that the Litecoin Foundation will be funding his efforts to implement the MW extension block as well as to continue his work on Grin. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee announced the initiative on Oct. 30.

Burkett also noted that he has been working with Lee and Bitcoin researcher Andrew Yang (not the presidential candidate) for several months to design a Mimblewimble extension block to enable confidential transactions on Litecoin. As such, the authors published two draft Litecoin Improvement Proposals using the MW protocol on Oct. 22.

In mid-November, Grin received an anonymous 50 Bitcoin (BTC) donation to its General Fund, sparking a rumor that the donation was related to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Original Article
Author: btcethereumadmin

Digital Advertising is Broken– Lin Dai Wants to Fix It with TAP Network

Lin Dai is a self-described nerd. He started his professional career in the first dot com boom while he was a student at Carnegie Mellon. Dai built one of the first social networks for teenagers called Kiwibox Media Inc. with about two million people on the website. After taking the company public, Dai moved to New York City and lived through the dot com crash and burn. 

Dai went on to help major media companies such as Viacom and Alloy branch out into the digital advertising industry. After a few years in corporate, Dai itched to get back into the startup world and joined a mobile video social network startup called Keek, which he helped grow to 75 million users in about three years. 

Today, Dai’s primary focus is running TAP Network, a blockchain-based network that powers an ecosystem that cuts out the third-party data merchant.


What’s wrong with the current digital advertising ecosystem?

No matter how you cut it in the current digital advertising ecosystem, Facebook and Google will win 99% of the business.

Every other media brand is struggling. Media companies need ad revenue, which is under assault from Facebook. 

Part of the solution for media companies is diversification of revenue streams. A future mix of revenue could be ⅓ subscription-based products, ⅓ media advertising, and ⅓ commerce. 

What does the digital advertising landscape look like today? 

The bulk of user data is aggregated by two companies: Google and Facebook. These companies leverage that data by providing it to third parties. These third-party marketers then use that data to advertise. 

Advertising targeting runs over two sets of identities: a device ID (anything that happens on your phone they can target) and a browser ID (cookie or something that tracks you, and it doesn’t matter where you search). Your browser ID is tagged with something that advertisers can deliver advertising to. Hundreds of companies can collect your data through GPS location, different preferences you set, actions you take through browsers.

Advertising is very different today than its early days. Before it was like,  “we’re a shaving company and wanted to advertise on Men’s Health magazine!” 

Now, advertisers are just buying programmatically. They don’t necessarily even see where their ads are, nor do they need to. They can target you, who they believe to be a potential customer, wherever you’re at. That’s fine in our eyes, as long as you’re giving them permission and are being compensated. But that’s just not how it works today. Multi-billion dollar companies are middlemen that allow marketers to take advantage of this data, and it’s not in the benefit of the individual nor the marketer. 

While this model works, we don’t really see it as being sustainable. Most of this data is collected without a user’s permission, or at least the use of it by third parties isn’t explicitly approved by users. 

The consumer is being targeted without their consent, and the intermediary is taking their commission regardless of a sale or not. 

We’re imagining a way the consumer can delegate permission to a brand, and brands can understand their “opted-in” audiences better. 

We started thinking about how we could create more value for users while also giving them ownership of their data. Part of that solution meant finding ways to collect data that is superior to what Facebook and Google are collecting. Also, we had to find a way to help make consumers aware of when their data is being arbitraged to monetized. 

The last frontier for data is finding the actionable data that does a much better job of qualifying how an individual or audience will respond in the future. For example, if I’m Dominos, I can target people who liked a photo of pizza. But, if I can target people who liked a photo of pizza who ALSO purchased something from Papa John’s in the last 10 days, I’ve got a much higher quality audience. 

The problem is getting people to willingly share that type of data. 

How is the data collected by TAP superior to what Facebook and Google are collecting?

TAP members directly opt-in their purchase data, which is far more accurate than other behavioral data such as “likes” or interests on Facebook. 

For example, if a consumer is willing to share how often and how much they spend at Domino’s every month, that’s far more accurate than if they simply “like” a photo of a pizza on Facebook. 

Also, the major differentiator is TAP obtains first-party permission from the consumer directly on collecting the purchase data, as well as directly compensates the consumer in the form of rewards points or rewards dollars from brands. This is fundamentally different from major social network and internet platforms collecting and monetizing your data without direct compensation to you.

How does a company extract monetary value out of the data collected?

Accurate purchase data allows our network of brands and merchants to cater to specific deals and rewards to the individual consumer and generate higher ROI.

For example, a customer’s purchases greatly impact the value of their data. For example. if my purchase data and history indicates I’m a heavy traveler that travels 14 times a year and spends $20,000 or more annually on hotels and airfare, major hotel groups in the TAP Network will offer up to 70% off publically available rates specifically to me next time I’m booking travel via the TAP booking engine. 

TAP Network receives a commission on the sales generated and splits the majority of the proceeds in the form of rewards to the consumer.  

Could you describe the marketplace for finding buyers for this data?

TAP doesn’t sell user data, ever. User data is secured and anonymized in the TAP system, and TAP works directly with brands and merchants who are looking to make offers to TAP rewards members that fit certain criteria or purchase patterns. 

Perhaps a major pizza chain would like to offer a bonus reward to anyone that purchases $100 or more per month on pizza, or a streaming service would like to offer everyone who hasn’t used their service yet a trial offer. The data will be leveraged anonymously for building each campaign but never sold outside of the TAP ecosystem.

What incentivizes the merchant partner to partner with TAP?

Through offering Universal rewards, TAP Network encourages rewards members to actively shop with merchant partners in the network to earn rewards points. 

Merchant partners generate additional sales from new and existing users, and can accurately measure sales revenue or frequency lift through TAP analytics.

How does TAP plan to fix the digital advertising landscape?

If your data will be touched, you should be compensated. You should have full control over who has access to your data. You can say, it’s my data and I don’t want to share it with a specific brand or person. 

We started an experiment with Hooch, a rewards app that rewarded people with free drinks. They would get one free drink per week as long as they shared their purchase data. 

We used the OpenFinance API, which allows them to connect all their credit and debit cards to us. Then, we’re able to scan their transactions and understand their purchases. For example, if you’re an active bargoer, and that data is supported by your transaction history, you’re a very valuable person to target for alcohol companies. They’ll reward you and compete for your business. 

Drinks were a clunky denomination of rewards. We decided to evolve into a full rewards program where users could accumulate rewards points for anything from a $5 coffee or a $500 hotel room. 

Rewards points is a concept many people already understand. They can easily convert $20 in TAP with vendors in the network. 

Traditional rewards programs are designed to take advantage of the consumer. For example, if you fly enough, you can accumulate enough points for free stuff. The thing is 80% of users don’t really accumulate enough points to do anything with. We want to make rewards fairer and more accessible to the consumer. You can accumulate one single currency and spend it with hundreds of brands.

Have you guys raised capital yet?

Hooch developed the TAP technology and its network, and as of its Series Seed round has raised $7.8m. We are in discussions with VCs and strategic investors about a Series A round early 2020.

Where does blockchain come into play?

An overwhelming number of consumers started sharing their data. Our hypothesis was that only 20% of our users would share their data, but about 80% of people shared it. Blockchain came into play because we wanted to secure this data responsibly. 

We wanted to allow users to delegate their data without sharing any personal information. It’s done with a token connection with the issuing bank, similar to how Mint and Acorn use similar APIs. We don’t record card numbers and names. They are not linked or traced back to you. 

You’re assigned a blockchain wallet address, your pseudo-identifier in our system. 

How do you guys make money?

We set up deals with about 250,000 merchant partners, travel, dining, hotels, retailers, eCommerce companies, etc. 

When you make a purchase with them, it’s either tracked with a digital link or detected from the card. We can detect the wallet personally. Those partners pay TAP Network for driving that sale. About 50% of what we receive is converted into TAP Coin ( a stablecoin pegged to USD) and deposited into the user’s wallet. 

We wanted to build a project for the mass consumer, so their rewards have to be easily converted to something tangible they can use rather than some obscure confusing token. 

If you’re a consumer, you’d download the Hooch app and link any number of debit and credit cards. The app starts detecting purchases. If you go to one of our partner merchants, let’s say Starbucks, we detect a transaction is made with that partner. Once the transaction is verified, the TAP Network receives a commission from that partner. Then, part of that commission is deposited into a user’s wallet. 

**Editor’s note: The link included is an affiliate link that gets you $5 in TAP. **

On the merchant side, it’s all about owning the relationship with your customer. In the early Facebook days, Facebook would tell someone like Pepsi to bring their audience on the Facebook platform because they can do a lot of cool stuff like target them in different ways and learn so much more about them. Years later, they flipped the script. They changed their algorithm so companies could only reach a small % of their own audience and would have to pay Facebook to reach the rest. It’s one of the biggest corporate bait and switches ever. 

Merchant partners are incentivized to build their own direct channels with their customer data. 

What’s the future hold for TAP?

We have a plan to reach 30 million users over the next two years. 

We’re doing that by working with existing enterprises such as major media and entertainment companies to license and label our technology in their own name.

Every new digital advertising dollar that comes into the market, Facebook and Google take about 94 cents of it. Major companies are fighting over 6 cents of every dollar because the data Facebook and Google provide is very actionable. 

We want to go to these companies and tell them we have a way to have their consumers send their data directly to them. They can white-label a rewards program in their own name within 60-90 days, which would take them maybe 2 years to build out internally. 

We have our first white-label launch mid-November so that’s really exciting. It’s a company in the entertainment industry with 10m+ users. We want to scale to tens of millions of users very quickly. 

We want to help usher in the second wave of consumers and do our part in bringing blockchain to the masses. 

Thanks, Lin!

This article is Originally posted on CoinCentral.com
Author: Alex Moskov

Is Arsenal’s New Coach Freddie Ljungberg the next ‘B-rate’ Ole Gunnar Solskjær?

  • Unai Emery leaves Arsenal after 18 months – nearly two decades less than his predecessor.
  • Arsenal has gone for seven games without a win.
  • The North London soccer club has appointed Freddie Ljungberg to serve as the interim head coach.

After seven winless games, Unai Emery has been booted out of Arsenal as the head coach. This comes 18 months since he was hired to replace Arsene Wenger who had served as manager for over two decades.

Unai Emery,
Unai Emery never looked comfortable as Arsenal’s manager and was finally put out of his misery. | Source: Shutterstock.com

Following the sacking, a decision announced by Arsenal’s America-owner Josh Kroenke, the club now risks making the same mistake as rivals Manchester United.

The London-based soccer club has appointed Freddie Ljungberg as the interim head coach. Ljungberg, a former player who was part of the ‘Arsenal Invincibles’ that went undefeated in the 2003-04 season, had been Emery’s assistant before the ouster.

[embedded content]

Did Arsenal just appoint a B-rate manager to succeed Unai Emery?

Like the Old Trafford club, Arsenal has appointed a former player from a golden era hoping for magical success. In the case of Manchester United, they brought in ex-player Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s initial successes as Manchester United’s interim manager is long-forgotten now as the club’s permanent manager. | Source: Shutterstock.com

Initially, Solskjær impressed but all that is now forgotten as the team struggles to remain in the top half in the English Premier League table. Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan even recently branded Solskjær a ‘B-rate’ manager. It could soon be Ljungberg’s turn to face the winter of discontent.

For one, Freddie Ljungberg is untried and untested at the highest level. His only prominent experience in this department has involved coaching minors. A short stint as an assistant coach at Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg ended with him alongside others getting fired.

Will Arsenal make Freddie Ljungberg permanent?

At the highest level, Ljungberg possesses no actual coaching experience, making him an even bigger gamble than Solskjær. The Manchester United manager’s coaching career started more than a decade ago. Ljungberg’s, on the other hand, is only less than four years old. The former Arsenal player’s first managerial role was in 2016 when he coached the Under-15 Arsenal team.

There is no coach or manager with the experience and clout worthy of Arsenal’s ambitions just lying around idly waiting for a call. This means that Arsenal may have to wait. A soccer club, however, can only live with uncertainty for only too long. In such situations, soccer clubs have tended to end up making hasty decisions and Arsenal might be no exception as they struggle in the post-Wenger era.

‘Search for replacement underway’

Perhaps in an attempt at reassurance, the club has promised said that the ‘search for a new head coach is underway’. But we have seen this before where a caretaker manager takes the reins, gets a stroke of beginner’s luck and then a club makes his position permanent. Weeks later, the decision proves unwise but the owners refuse to swallow their pride and admit the error.

For a club known for financial austerity, one just hopes that the North London club doesn’t come to view Unai Emery’s interim replacement as a sort of a Black Friday deal, given that he obviously can’t command the same figure as tried and tested coaches that have already been speculated upon as potential Arsenal managers.

Unai Emery
The decision to sack Unai Emery was announced on Arsenal’s website | Source: Arsenal.com

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

3 Reasons Why Shorting McDonald’s (MCD) Stock Now Is a Bad Idea

  • A slew of negative developments that includes missing third quarter estimates and the firing of the CEO are giving investors ammunition to short McDonald’s.
  • Technical analysis of the shorter and longer time frames reveal that the fast food giant is likely to bounce.
  • McDonald’s is also aggressively repurchasing shares, which increases the odds of shorts getting liquidated.

Many investors are bearish on McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), and understandably so. The fast food chain missed key estimates in its third quarter earnings report. On top of that, the company’s board recently fired its CEO Steve Easterbrook for dating a fellow employee. Having a consensual relationship with an employee is a violation of company policy. Lastly, McDonald’s appears to be losing bullish steam as the shares are down by over 11% from the all-time high of $221.93.

The series of unfortunate events for the fast food giant is driving investor sentiment. It appears that retail traders are so bearish on the stock that even a partially deflating Ronald McDonald balloon is seen as a short signal.

short MCD
Ronald McDonald is not having a good day. | Source: Twitter

Nevertheless, shorting McDonald’s at current levels is not a good idea. Here are three reasons why.

1. McDonald’s Is Ripe for a Bounce

McDonald’s lost all bullish momentum after it broke down from a textbook head and shoulders top in October. This led to a waterfall event that saw the equity drop to as low as $187.55 on Nov. 4. At that point, bulls were able to stop the bleeding. They managed to hold support of $188.

Trader Hidden Pivots closely followed the action. He sees a possible bounce on the horizon after MCD negated the bearish continuation pennant.

MCD daily chart
MCD showing signs of strength after being under bear control for over two months. | Source: Twitter

2. McDonald’s Looks Bullish in the Longer Time Frame

Shorting a stock that’s macro bullish can quickly backfire. This is especially true if technical indicators are flashing close to oversold readings. These are the signals that I am seeing in McDonald’s.

The weekly chart of McDonald’s shows bullish tendencies
The weekly chart of McDonald’s shows bullish tendencies. | Source: TradingView

The weekly chart tells me that MCD is trading within an ascending channel, which is a bullish pattern. In addition, the stock is sitting very close to the uptrend support while indicators say that MCD is undervalued. This long-term technical picture tells me that the equity is more likely to resume its uptrend than breach a support that has been driving prices higher since 2015.

Thus, it might be a fool’s errand to short the stock at current levels.

3. McDonald’s Stock Buyback Royalty

McDonald’s is one of the companies that invests heavily in stock repurchases. In the last three years, the fast food giant has scored an average buyback ratio of 5.7 out of 6.5. To put that in perspective, MCD’s three-year average buyback ratio is higher than 95% of the 228 companies in the restaurant business.

MCD is at the top of its stock repurchase game
MCD is at the top of its stock repurchase game. | Source: Gurufocus

The numbers add up. Marketrealist reports that in the last three years, McDonald’s spent $25 billion to reward shareholders in the form of stock buybacks and dividends. In the first three quarters of 2019, the company has bought back over $3.53 billion worth of shares.

If you plan on shorting the stock, know that you are going against a company that’s aggressively buying back shares. Would you be willing to make that bet?

Shares of McDonald’s may be down big from the all-time high but shorting at current levels may not be a wise move. Signals tell me that the stock is more likely to bounce now than to continue descending.

Disclaimer: The above should not be considered trading advice from CCN. The writer does not own McDonald’s (MDC) shares.

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

Crypto Exchange Admits ‘Missing’ CEO Has User Funds Access Amid Exit Scam Fears

  • IDAX’s many problems continue to stroke suspicion.
  • The exchange finally admits “the truth”.
  • Is this all a cover-up for an exit scam?

In a story reminiscent of the QuadrigaCX scandal, crypto exchange platform, IDAX Global, has no idea where its CEO is, plus, he holds the exchange’s private keys…

Oh boy, it’s been a pretty lousy week for crypto exchanges; first Upbit reveals a $50 million hack, and now it turns out that IDAX might be in trouble as well.

IDAX: The Story So Far

These past few weeks haven’t been kind to IDAX. An ongoing crusade against the exchange has been forming. Angry users citing worsening withdrawal issues have continued to demand a response.  On November 24, they finally got one. IDAX blamed the problems on increased withdrawal requests, stating:

The channel that causes the withdrawal of the mainstream currency is in a congested state.

Then, on the very same day, the firm shut down opperations in China.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, the IDAX Token (IT) went kaput, literally falling to zero.

crypto IDAX exit scam
User quips about a potential IDAX exit scam | Source: Twitter

Understandably speculation of an exit scam was starting to engulf the exchange. Rumors circulated of the CEO, Lei Guorong, allegedly doing a runner. Citing sources close to the CEO, Chinese crypto media highlighted that user funds might have been appropriated by Guorong:

Assets may be lost and the CEO hid. Among the employees nobody knows about his whereabouts except the boss’s confidant connecting through external channels.

The Truth or a Cover-Up?

Now thanks to the pressure placed by its scorned investors, IDAX has finally admitted the alleged truth. The CEO is gone and with access to the exchange’s cold wallets.

IDAX conveyed news of Guorong’s disappearance via an “urgent announcement”: 

IDAX Global CEO have gone missing with unknown cause and IDAX Global staffs were out of touch with IDAX Global CEO. For this reason, access to Cold wallet which is stored almost all cryptocurrency balances on IDAX has been restricted so in effect, deposit/withdrawal service cannot be provided.

This statement will likely not allay many fears, especially given the shady way in which the exchange has conducted itself over the past few months. For now, at least, it’s a case of he-said-she-said.

This comes after yet another crypto exchange scandal as Upbit users are still reeling from the exchange’s recent $50 hack. On November 27, Upbit announced the loss of 342,000 ETH following the exploitation of Upbit’s hot wallets.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Dow Futures Slide Rings a Black Friday for the Stock Market

  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are swimming in the red this Black Friday.
  • The stock market might have a bad day today if there is no clarity regarding a U.S.-China trade deal.
  • Black Friday sales numbers are expected to be weaker than last year, and this could spark more panic.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are in the red Friday morning as the U.S.-China trade war continues to rage on. President Donald Trump’s move of supporting Hong Kong protests by signing a controversial bill into law took a heavy toll on the stock market yesterday.

The effects of that decision are spilling over into Black Friday morning as Trump’s latest move could invite the wrath of Beijing and derail a potential trade deal that was reportedly very close to being signed.

BBC reports that China is reportedly miffed with Trump’s action of signing the bill into law as it will embolden the protesters in Hong Kong and disturb the country’s domestic affairs. But Beijing might not let Trump’s decision get in the way of a potential trade deal as China is all set to face another round of tariffs on Dec. 15. The stock market will be hoping that Beijing doesn’t nix the trade deal, and that will be critical to where the Dow Jones ends the week.

Dow futures swim in red amid rising U.S.-China trade tensions

Dow futures are down 62 points, or 0.22 percent, to 28,087 points at 5.29 am ET. Dow futures plunged early in pre-market today as they were hovering at 28,045 points at 3.17 am ET. It appears that the chance of Beijing not walking away from the trade deal to avoid the next round of duties has given the stock market some hope.

chart showing dow jones futures.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are swimming in the red this Black Friday, indicating a bad day lies ahead for the stock market. | Source: Yahoo! Finance

Futures on the S&P 500 are also down 0.21 percent, while Nasdaq Composite futures are down 0.28 percent.

A Black Friday ahead for the stock market

On a day when all eyes should be on Black Friday retail sales numbers, the stock market and the Dow will be desperately looking for signs of a trade deal. The BBC report adds that China’s anger with the U.S. over supporting the Hong Kong protests is nothing more than posturing.

Beijing might be more than willing to sign a deal to revive China’s flagging economy. But it remains to be seen if Chinese negotiators will give in easily as they can leverage the fact that American soybean farmers are eagerly waiting for a “phase one” deal to be signed before the availability of South American crops in 2020.

Soybeans from Brazil and Argentina are expected to hit the market in February next year. If a trade deal is not in place, American farmers could lose out and their stocks might remain unsold. Beijing could use this to its advantage to counter Trump’s decision of supporting Hong Kong protests.

In such a scenario, the Dow and the stock market will take a hit as further negotiations could push back the trade deal that the two sides are close to agreeing upon.

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Meanwhile, Black Friday sales numbers are expected to decide the course of the Dow and the stock market for the ongoing holiday shopping season. The bad news is that Black Friday sales this year are expected to drop to $87 billion from $90 billion a year ago.

That’s despite the fact that there’s expected to be a jump of 12 percent in the number of Americans that are expected to take part in today’s sales. This indicates that Americans are going to remain tight-fisted this holiday season thanks to the ongoing economic uncertainty and the potential of a recession. The anticipated decline in Black Friday sales can also be attributed to the four straight months of decline in the Consumer Confidence Index.

In all, the Dow and the stock market could plunge once again today as there are a ton of headwinds to ensure a sad end to the week.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

#TulsiMediaBlackout Explodes on Twitter: Real or Excuse for Dismal Poll Numbers?

  • Tulsi Gabbard supporters and detractors sparred on social media over the weekend on the hashtag #TulsiMediaBlackout
  • Her critics say her campaign is astroturf, and most of her supporters are actually “Russian bots” unleashed by the Kremlin.
  • Her supporters say the media is ignoring her because she’d actually shake up the status quo. Are they right?

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Starting late Friday night and building to a crescendo Saturday, #TulsiMediaBlackout is trending on Twitter.

The hashtag refers to claims by supporters of Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard that the media is sweeping her presidential campaign under the rug.

tulsi media blackout tweet
Source: Twitter

Tweets on the trend appear to be an even mix of Gabbard supporters and Democrats saying there are no Gabbard supporters.

Their theory is that even the trend #TulsiMediaBlackout is the product of “Russian bots” and a Kremlin conspiracy.

tulsi media blackout russian bots
Source: Twitter
russian interference tulsi gabbard tweet
Source: Twitter

This line of attack echoes comments about Tulsi Gabbard that Hillary Clinton made on a podcast last month. One of Tulsi’s supporters fired back.

He argued that Tulsi’s platform sets her further apart from the policies of Donald Trump than the rest of the Democratic field.

tulsi gabbard supporter tweet tulsimediablackout
Source: Twitter

Another pointed out that the Russian interference conspiracy theory is full of holes. There is no credible evidence of a Tulsi Gabbard connection to Russia.

If there were, how could she pass the vetting process to be DNC Vice Chair? Or serve on the House Armed Services Committee?

no tulsi gabbard russia connection tweet
Source: Twitter

Is there really a #TulsiMediaBlackout?

Tulsi Gabbard has consistently polled in the single digits throughout the 2020 Democratic Primary. So far, her numbers have trailed behind the three front runners– Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.

But she does hold a solid place in the middle of a crowded pack of contenders. And it turns out the corporate press doesn’t cover Gabbard in fair proportion to her poll, search, and social media numbers.

In June a study of the available data from Spectrym, the Vanderbilt News Archive, and Google confirmed a #TulsiMediaBlackout.

Tulsi Gabbard ranked 14th by corporate media mentions, despite ranking 8th in terms of Google search interest.

A self-described “Tulsicrat” crunched the numbers, but you can check them for yourself. And before anyone suggests this individual is a Russian bot, they have been on Twitter since December 2014.

In September an Axios study of the polling and media coverage data also found Tulsi Gabbard under-indexes in corporate media mentions. Despite polling in ninth at the time, Gabbard ranked 13 in online corporate media mentions, and 14 in cable news mentions.

Gabbard has also received the seventh most tweets during the most recent Democratic debate at the time. And the gap between media coverage and Tulsi Gabbard’s popularity may be widening.

At the end of October, a national survey by Suffolk/USA Today found Gabbard leading Sen. Kamala Harris by one point.

That same week a CNN poll found Gabbard leading Sen. Kamala Harris by two points in New Hampshire, and Cory Booker by three.

Gabbard also led Beto O’Rourke by three points in the CNN poll, a candidate the September Axios study found over-indexes in corporate media coverage.

Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign gathered strength in the following two weeks. A YouGov/Hofstra University poll conducted in the middle of November placed her solidly fourth behind the three top-tier candidates.

Confirming a #TulsiMediaBlackout, 64% of respondents to a Quinnipiac poll released Nov. 18 said they “haven’t heard enough” about Gabbard to form a positive or negative opinion about her campaign.

The Tulsi Gabbard Smear Machine

Studies have found the establishment press has done more than merely snub Gabbard. When it does cover her, its coverage is overly negative.

In May, non-profit media researcher Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) said that reports on Tulsi Gabbard’s non-interventionist foreign policy platform “primarily use it to negatively characterize” her campaign.

After Tulsi Gabbard announced her presidential campaign earlier this year, NBC News published a hit piece claiming that Russian automatons were stirring up support for her campaign.

It was quickly followed by a bombshell revelation that NBC based its report on data from a firm that had already been caught faking Russian social media support for Roy Moore in the 2017 Alabama Senate election.

This shows a major lapse in editorial judgement at NBC News, to use such an ironically discredited source to build a political narrative against Tulsi Gabbard. Maybe #TulsiMediaBias will start trending next.

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

New Snap of PlayStation 5 Dev Kit Appears Online

  • New image of PlayStation 5 dev kit appears online.
  • Offers first look at PS5 controller.
  • Unlikely to be the final retail design.

We’ve known what the PlayStation 5 dev kit looks like for a few months now.

Late summer spawned patent documents registered by Sony before an in-the-flesh image found its way onto the internet in mid-October. The image wasn’t what you’d call well-framed and didn’t give us a good look at the overall design of the unit.

PlayStation 5 Dev Kit & First Look at Controller

Today, a Twitter user sporting the handle ‘The Drunk Cat’ posted a much clearer picture of the PlayStation 5 dev kit alongside what appears to be our first look at the console’s haptic feedback controller.

New Snap of PlayStation 5 Dev Kit Appears Online
Source: Twitter

Sadly, the snap captures the controller from the side. The blurred angle makes it hard to pick out any noticeable differences from the existing DualShock 4 – other than it appears heftier and the thumb sticks slightly raised.

The eagle-eyed among you may notice the PS4 and PS4 Pro dev kits nestled behind the significantly larger PS5 kits.

Not the Final Retail Design, Probably

Before anyone jumps the gun and calls foul on a design reminiscent of what the future was expected to look like in the 1950s, we can almost guarantee the final retail product won’t look anything like the dev kit.

Dev kits very rarely resemble those of the actual shipped consumer product. Sony doesn’t design them for their visual merits. They are functional prototypes for studios to develop games in time for the launch of the console proper.

Of course, that doesn’t distract from what is one hideous piece of technology. The emphasis on broad vents and the V shape suggest sufficient cooling stands as a priority for Sony.

It will be interesting to see how this translates into the final product. My only hope is that the PlayStation 5 doesn’t sound like a concord taking off as the PlayStation 4 so often does.

As always, keep your salt shaker at the ready. Neither Sony nor anyone resembling an official source has confirmed the unit is real. We can’t discount that this may turn out to be an elaborate troll.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.