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What’s driving the S&P 500, NIO and XRP?

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While the global economy struggles with the fallout of Covid-19, financial markets are showing signs of recovery and this means there are opportunities for investors. So, for those with an optimistic outlook, we are taking a look at what is driving the S&P 500, NIO and XRP.

S&P 500

The S&P 500, the index tracking the largest listed US companies, is making headlines as it is poised to hit a new all-time high, moving past the 3,386 it set back in February. The index launched in 1957 and even though there have been some rocky periods since, it is remarkably creeping towards new territory in the same year as Covid-19. In a few months it has been able to recover from a trough of 2,287 on 23 March.

But why? Many analysts have pointed to this recovery being fuelled by a select few tech giants (Apple, Alphabet, Amazon etc), which are powering the whole index upwards because of their size, even though some other constituents are having a much more difficult time. There is no doubt these companies have had a good 2020, as even though the coronavirus has disrupted both business and everyday life for billions around the world, the demand for tech products and services has been unparalleled.

For example, with nearly entire populations living under lockdown, the use of Amazon’s home delivery and entertainment services has skyrocketed. Amazon’s share price has rallied to the point that the company’s owner (Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world), saw $10bn added to his net worth in one day.

Even though the picture may be less rosy for other sectors and the wider US economy, some equity investors are taking confidence from this rally and analysts at Goldman Sachs believe the S&P 500 could even close around 3,600 by the end of the year. However, there is still the US election to face before then…

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NIO

To buy a single share in Tesla would set an investor back over $1,700, based on today’s market price, signalling the company’s hold on the growing electronic vehicle market, which is gathering momentum.

Fortunately, there are other electronic vehicle manufacturers and, of them, Chinese company NIO is attracting a huge amount of interest. In fact, analysts Piper Sandler recently called it the ‘Tesla of China’. While it can be easy to get carried away about companies in new areas of tech, NIO is already growing and is well located to capitalise on China’s growing interest in electric vehicles. NIO has a healthy balance sheet and is experiencing strong demand for its vehicles, reporting a surge in deliveries in the second quarter to 10,331 (nearly triple the same quarter in 2019).

NIO is anticipating further growth and registered a US ADR in 2019 to raise more capital. This year, its US dollar share price rallied from $3.71 on 2 January to $13.63 on 17 August. NIO hasn’t (yet) stated an intention to do battle with Tesla in its key markets, but the Chinese firm is extremely well-placed in its homeland for future growth.

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XRP

XRP is crypto firm Ripple’s coin and there is a definitive number in circulation — 100 billion tokens to be precise — and while investors are spoilt for choice when it comes to the cryptocurrencies, demand for XRP has proven robust. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse recently revealed that since launch in October 2018 around $2bn has been processed around the world in XRP coins.

Ripple attributes the popularity of XRP to its use in cross border payments. The firm accepts fiat currency (pounds, dollars, euros – anything that has been legitimised by a government) with the equivalent in XRP then being sent to a corresponding exchange in another country before being converted back to actual money again. As the world has been forced to become more digital in the past few months, reliance on XRP has accelerated and the value has responded. On 14 February, XRP had a price of $0.32 and by 15 March this had fallen to $0.14. However, it has since climbed back up in price and as of 17 August is priced at $0.31.

Ripple is building on this success and is introducing a new app that would allow for more messaging between XRP users, with a ledger being integrated into mainstream messaging apps. A step like this could help break down the barriers some people have to access cryptos and embracing a new digital world.

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 Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/2020/08/21/whats-driving-the-sp-500-nio-and-xrp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=whats-driving-the-sp-500-nio-and-xrp

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Ripple Plans To Cash Out 33% Of Its MoneyGram Stake With A Significant Profit

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  • The San Francisco-based payment protocol has filed a document on Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It reads that Ripple Labs has entered into an agreement with MoneyGram, which entitles Ripple to sell up to 4,000,000 shares of common stock.
  • Ripple’s option to sell these shares will expire “upon the earliest of March 31st, 2021, the time at which the maximum amount shall have been sold, or the occurrence of certain other customary events affecting the issuer.” 
  • CryptoPotato reported last year that Ripple and MoneyGram announced a strategic partnership. The initial term of the agreement was for two years. Ripple had agreed to provide a capital commitment amounting to $50 million in exchange for equity through the two-year period.
  • As per the SEC filing, Ripple owns 6.22 million shares of the giant money transfer company (or 8.6% of shares outstanding). However, the blockchain company has a warrant to buy up to another 5.95 million shares, amounting to a total equity position of 12.2 million shares or 17% of MoneyGram’s shares outstanding).
  • With the initial investment in 2019, Ripple purchased the MoneyGram shares at 4.10 per stock, which was a significant premium to the market price. 
  • Nevertheless, MoneyGram’s stocks (MGI) have surged in 2020, closing Friday’s session at $7.42. As such, Ripple can cash out with an 80% profit, despite the initial premium.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ripple-plans-to-cash-out-33-of-its-moneygram-stake-with-a-significant-profit/

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South Korea To Postpone Previously Planned Crypto Income Tax

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Lawmakers in Korea are planning to postpone a recently considered tax on crypto assets profits. Reports say the tax rule delay will be about three months – instead of October 2021, January 2022.

The New Crypto Income Tax Rule To Wait Until January 2022

According to a recent media report, the South Korean congress plans to put off the recently considered cryptocurrency income tax rule. A planning and finance committee of the National Assembly has issued a report, which proposes the necessity of implementing the crypto income tax rule from at least 2022.

A few months ago, in July, a report stated that South Korea’s Minister of Finance and Economy believes that the country should come up with a tax on cryptocurrency trading and investing. Back then, he added that South Korea has been in discussion with other countries about introducing a new digital law.

In July 2020, the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance amended its tax code, where it included the plan for charging residents a 20% tax on gains from cryptocurrency trading, which are worth more than 2.5 million Korean won (about $2,000).

Lawmakers in the National Assembly are to approve the Government’s plan, which was to carry into effect the cryptocurrency income tax rule from October 2021.

Reason For The Delay – Time Is Tight

As per the media report, the reason for the postponement of the crypto tax law is based on some concerns, raised by local crypto exchanges. They have claimed the lack of time to build their proper tax reporting system and infrastructure, needful for the process to begin.

The so-called “Specific Financial Information Act” would be enforced from March next year, so crypto exchanges have to complete the necessary reporting system by September 2021 for verifying their real names of deposit withdrawal accounts.

As CryptoPotato reported, South Korea announced the planning of the crypto income tax in June this year. The Asian country went through some different views on how and whether it should tax profits from cryptocurrency. Firstly, at the beginning of 2020, the Ministry of Economy and Finance did not consider that digital asset trading gains as taxable income. A month later, another local report said the Ministry believes that the nation could start label cryptocurrency trading profits as “other income.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/south-korea-to-postpone-previously-planned-crypto-income-tax/

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Bitcoin and Crypto Worth $4 Billion Seized From PlusToken Ponzi Group

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Chinese authorities seized around $4 billion worth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from the notorious crypto Ponzi group PlusToken. This comes after the Chinese police arrested the core team running the scheme in July.

Around $4 Billion Worth Of Bitcoin And Crypto Assets Seized

According to CryptoPotato’s previous report on the PlusToken saga, the crypto shysters (27 key operators) were arrested by the Chinese police in July earlier this year. Along with them, the police also arrested 82 other members.

Now according to the latest reports, Chinese authorities have confiscated close to $4 billion worth of bitcoin and cryptocurrency holdings from PlusToken operators. Estimates say that they duped much more than this amount by beguiling investors.

Cryptocurrencies collected from users as a joining fee were valued at at least 14.8 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) as of June 2019…

The document released by the ruling court also mentioned the details of the seized crypto stash: 94,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 487 million XRP, 79,581 BCH, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 6 billion Doge, and 213,724 USDT.

On a rough calculation, the value works out to be a little over $4 billion. As per the court’s observations:

The platform had no actual operations or functions. The accused used the digital assets for expenses including paying employees, and sold some of them to buy properties and luxury cars for themselves or relatives.

Also, a few organizers of the PlusToken scam hid and transferred bitcoin and crypto-assets worth about 150 million yuan (~$23 million) at the time. This resulted in some losses, according to the document.

The Scam Story Continues With COVID-19 And DeFi

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the cryptocurrency space is scam-laced. The modus operandi of scammers has changed, though. The onset of COVID-19 scammers motivated them to milk the pandemic and fleece unsuspecting investors dry.

Perpetrators used various methods, such as impersonating popular health and charity organizations. Despite the visible differences in terms of content and requests, the online robbers asked for payments to be made in bitcoin.

Apart from the above, the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s hottest space (read DeFi) too has become a breeding ground for innumerable scams and Ponzi schemes. As per a recent report, an anonymous DeFi user reportedly lost around $140,000 worth of Uniswap UNI tokens to a yield farming scam.

The above wannabe yield farmer intended to leverage the yield farming hype by putting some of his UNI tokens in UniCats, a new DeFi scheme (like many others). UniCats allowed investors to farm its MEOW tokens, after which they can withdraw their tokens.

But, things didn’t go as planned as malicious codes in the project’s contract allowed the fraudulent developers to withdraw the victim’s UNI tokens. This theft was possible because of an earlier approval grant by Doe for the project to spend an unlimited number of UNI tokens.

The rogue devs made away with 36,000 UNI tokens in two rounds bringing the rogue actor’s loot to about $140,000.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-and-cryptocurrency-worth-4-billion-seized-from-top-crypto-ponzi-group/

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