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The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market

Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy
This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets.
The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1.
However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.

Demand for U.S. Dollars

Firstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4.

https://preview.redd.it/d4xalwdyz8p51.png?width=535&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f0556c6aa6b29016c9b135f3279e8337dfee2a6

https://preview.redd.it/wucg40kzz8p51.png?width=653&format=png&auto=webp&s=71257fec29b43e0fc0df1bf04363717e3b52478f
This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.

https://preview.redd.it/6956j6f109p51.png?width=487&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccea257a4e9524c11df25737cac961308b542b69
Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.

Source: Bloomberg
Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.

The Rise of Crypto Dollars

Due to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13.

https://preview.redd.it/3vq7v1jg09p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f11b5f5245a8c335ccc60432873e9bad2eb1e1
An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.

Institutional Developments

In addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero.
J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications.
Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19.

https://preview.redd.it/lgb1f2rw19p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=040bb0deed0499df6bf08a072fd7c4a442a826a0
These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.

Future Opportunities

There is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation. Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry.
There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish.
In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world.
Thank you.

Reference:
[1] How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia
[2] The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist
[3] Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath
[4] Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers
[5] Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS
[6] Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider
[7] McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company
[8] Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates
[9] Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC
[10] Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters
[11] Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis
[12] The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg
[13] Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com
[14] Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes
[15] New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk
[16] Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank
[17] Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan
[18] Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News
[19] Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS
[20] Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
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Hedging - Good, Bad, the Dirty

Communication is all about clarity. We communicate some piece of information, the recipient gets it. Straightforward on the face of it. Speaking about trading will typically be succinct, focused, and very clear when complete.
The ‘audience’ has as many expectations as the speaker though: one should know the context and purpose of the information they are getting to a specific discourse.
I occasionally drop into jargon or analogy. It’s a personal weakness: I assume the audience will have the appropriate context of the situation, and knowledge of the context. It’s also a habit. I was on a recorded line for a decade, and use as few a words as possible in a business situation.
My writing, not so much.
I’ve hesitated to talk much about trading, because of ‘it’. I’ve seen ‘it’ far too often…..’it’ being people using language and jargon of trading without really knowing what they are talking about.
A great example of this is around options. People can pick up the definitions, the verbiage, the ‘lingua franca’ as it were.
Problem is, they have no clue what they are talking about in the whole.
Sure, definitions are known and expounded upon. But the context/situation remains in the abstract to them. Or what they are talking about doesn’t sync with the nature and purpose of the exposure they are taking on. Like talking about that cool new skateboard you’re riding as you're sitting on a bicycle.
This isn’t conceit or hubris - it’s only what I’ve observed. Hence the backstory above.
Speaking with u/modo85 and u/TheJosh last week plugged me in again to professionals face to face, and a recent post about Constellation by a sub got me thinking about trade again. So….I’m going to tackle the most misunderstood word in trade: hedging.
I was taught in business school that a hedge is a ‘risk neutral activity’.
One can find definitions for hedging in many places, and for the most part, they’ll align. What won’t is the people using the term.
Dynegy, Enron, and other companies took on ‘hedging programs’ that were often positions of leverage. Even the word ‘hedge fund’ is a relative misnomer. Looking at some of the bomb craters left behind by a couple of them....they were either simply a ponzi or flavours of insider trading. They weren’t hedging, they were stealing.
So, what’s a hedge?
A risk neutral activity that reduces aggregate risk to a primary exposure.
A Canadian company buying a greenhouse from an American supplier in 4 easy payments over the next 2 years? Great. You’ll have to pay in USD, so, buy forwards in 6 month increments, pay CAD at the time they come due, your forex exposure is gone, and the total cost is known in advance.
The USD/CAD rate might move for or against you during that time.
But that’s the point of a hedge: replace risk with certainty.
A while ago, Westjet bought a strip of jet fuel futures, taking out physical price exposure for (a very long) 2 years. While not unheard of, it’s a pretty big move. If jet fuel prices tank, they get to eat the difference. As it happened, jet fuel prices soared, Westjet bought physical with cash and offset the futures gains against it. They enjoyed a 2 year window of serious operational cost advantage, and their share price accretion showed it.
Prescient....or lucky? That’s what business books are written about.
This example might have prompted you to think about another industry where energy is the single largest direct input cost behind headcount (hint: it's cannabis)
Constellation’s entry through the CGC buy is another example of a hedge to myself. Different nature and purpose, but a hedge nonetheless.
In my eyes, STZ sells booze. Weed will impact aggregate sales of booze, with potential to reduce it.
STZ’s buy into the industry is a hedge is to replace dislodged revenue from booze by dope: cannabis exposure will replace these lost revenues, keeping STZ whole.
A hedging program is part of a larger initiative, and plugged directly into the strategic course of the business. It has topline impact.
If you’ve noticed - the Westjet and STZ examples above are for far different underlying purposes - but they are both simply hedges.
Hedging for the retail investor might entail seeking exposure to different provinces, or different links of the value chain, or perhaps within wholesale or retail price exposures.
With hedging, you are seeking to reduce, not enhance, existing exposure.
The other takeaway is (and there is one in here): don’t use terminology and trade terms unless you know exactly what you are talking about, or what the underlying purpose of using it is. It doesn’t matter what someone notices or thinks: any professional can tell pretty quickly if someone knows what they are talking about.
What really matters is that you know what you are actually doing when you take on risk of loss to your capital.
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What Is an Investor

What Is an Investor
investor
Neither a speculator (who chooses about high-risk for high wages) nor a gambler (who wants to the chance of overall reduction for outside of percentage benefits) however one that whose primary targets are worth of their authentic expenditure (the primary), a stable cash flow, along with capital appreciation. See investment.
Investors can additionally embrace various current marketplace plans. Exotic traders tend to get and maintain numerous current industry indicators and could maximize their allocation burdens into specific strength categories centered on regulations like contemporary Portfolio principle ‘s (MPT) mean-variance optimization.
The others might be stock-pickers who make investments by the first examination of business financial statements and financial ratios.
What does it mean The Parabolic Curve Pattern Strategy
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An investor, an average of, is manufactured differently by an individual dealer. An investor places richesse to make utilize of to get long term profit, though a broker attempts to build short term earnings by purchasing and selling stocks within and more.
Investors usually create returns by leveraging capital since equity or debt investments. Equity investments involve possession bets in the shape of firm stock that can pay gains as well as funding profits.
Financial debt investments could function loans long to new folks or businesses, or even at the buying bonds issued by authorities or firms that cover attention within the sort of vouchers.
Realtors are associations like commercial businesses or mutual funds which make investments in shares as well as different financial tools and also build large portfolios.
Many times, they can collect and swim money by several large shareholders (businesses or individuals ) as a way to shoot more significant investments.
As a result, the institutional traders frequently have much-increased industry strength and sway compared to retail traders.
One case of the is the”worth” traders that want to buy stocks using very lower share costs relative for their publication price.
The others Might Want to speculate long term in”growth” Shares That Might Be losing cash Right Now however indeed are increasing quickly and maintain guarantee for your long run, A large selection of investment vehicles exist for example (although not confined by ) shares, bonds, commodities, mutual capital, exchange-traded finances (ETFs), options, stocks, forex currency, silver, gold, retirement ideas along with property estate.
Investors usually do the fundamental or technical investigation to find out favorable investment chances, and also generally want to lessen risk while maximizing yields. Investors aren’t just a regular group.
They’ve varying hazard tolerances, funding, fashions, choices, and period frames. For example, many traders might favor incredibly low-risk investments that’ll cause traditional profits, like certificates of deposits plus specified bond solutions.
Other shareholders, on the other hand, tend to be more prone to undertake additional hazard to generate more significant earnings. These traders could put money into monies, rising stocks or markets.

Types of investors

There are two types of investors,
  1. Retail investor
  2. Institutional investor

1)Retail investor

  • Folks gaming in games of probability.
  • Individual Traders (such as trusts concerning folks, and also umbrella businesses formed by 2 or more even more to pool investment funds)
  • Collectors of art, antiques, and also other items of significance
  • Angel Traders (people and bands )
  • Sweat equity investor

2)Institutional investor

  • Investors could even be labelled depending on their fashions. Inside this regard, a significant distinguishing invest or psych attribute is hazard frame of mind.
  • Investment funding along with with private-equity funding, that function as expenditure decision collectives concerning an individual, employers, retirement programs, insurance policy policies coverage reservations, or alternative capital.
  • Businesses which create trades, either directly or through a property lender
  • Expenditure frees, such as property investment expects
  • Mutual funds, hedge Finances, along with alternative capital, ownership of that Might or Might not be openly traded(these Cash generally pool cash increased out of their owner-subscribers to Put Money into securities) Sovereign riches funding

Role of the financier

Financier is. Particular financier paths require licenses and degrees for example partnership capitalists, hedge-fund supervisors, believe in finance supervisors, accountants, stock brokers, monetary advisors, or even perhaps people treasurers.
Particular investing about the opposite side doesn’t have requirements and also can be ready to accept all with the way of this stock-market or from the method of mouth-watering asks to get your own money.
Even a financier”is likely to undoubtedly be a more technical financial contributor from the feeling it has encounter in liquidating the kind of agency it’s committing to”.
Even a financier is an individual whose chief job is facilitating or straight supplying investments into up-and-coming or recognized firms and businesses, usually involving significant amounts of cash plus generally involving personal equity and also venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, corporate fund, investment banking, or even broad asset direction.
Even a financier earns money using this technique when their investment has been reimbursed with attention, from a portion of their provider’s equity given in their mind specified from the business bargain, or even perhaps a financier could earn money utilising commission, overall functionality, and direction service charges.
Even a financier may foster the achievement of the business by permitting the company to benefit from their financier’s standing. Competent and the capable that the financier will be the higher the financier should have the ability to donate towards the victory of this thing that is funded, and also the benefit that the financier will undoubtedly reap. The definition of, financier, is French, also derives out of the fund or even cost. (original post)
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