Bitcoin and the blockchain are joined at the hip – so much so that a lot of people don’t distinguish between the two. Cryptocurrency and blockchain have almost become synonymous. But in fact, they are two different things, and it’s important to understand the distinction.
The blockchain is a technology. Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange or a store of value that operates on that technology. You can have a blockchain without cryptocurrency, but you can’t have cryptocurrency without a blockchain. In fact, there are a lot of other possible uses for the blockchain beyond serving as a platform for bitcoin.
Last month, we reported on troubling signs in the corporate bond market. According to Moody’s, the majority of US companies have a “speculative” credit rating. They are considered high risk. As a result, their debt is “high yield” or “junk. When you combine leveraged loans and junk bonds, the total level of “junk” debt in the US marketplace comes in at around 37%.
In a recent article, investment guru and economic analyst Jim Rickards said we may soon face a devastating wave of junk bond defaults.
The next financial collapse, already on our radar screen, will quite possibly come from junk bonds.”
The price of gold has languished in recent weeks. After falling below $1,300 in May, the yellow metal has hit 2018 lows this month. Dollar strength along with the anticipation of further Federal Reserve rate hikes have bolstered the dollar and weighed on gold.
Peter Schiff has been saying this dollar strength is merely an upward correction in a bear market. Peter’s not alone in this view. Some mainstream analysts have even acknowledged the dollar surge is likely temporary.
So what about the gold market? Should we just give up on it? Well, as we’ve pointed out, fundamentals point to an overall healthy market for the yellow metal. And we’re not alone in our thinking. An article in the Economic Times of India points out three reasons gold will likely come out of its slumber. Interestingly, we’ve touched on all three of the factors this article mentions.
Global mine production fell slightly in 2017, the first drop in mine output since 2008. In fact, gold production has generally increased every year since the 1970s. The drop in 2008 was something of an anomaly, as it occurred at the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. The recent slowdown in mine production is more concerning. In fact, many people speculate we may be at or near “peak gold.”
Rutgers University-New Brunswick researchers have developed a star-shaped gold nanoparticle that could open the door to improving storage of solar energy.
According to scientists at the university, the nanoparticle coated with a semiconductor can produce hydrogen from water over four times more efficiently than other methods. The development could boost solar energy use and possibly lead to other renewable energy developments.
It’s Friday the 13th.
Are you scared?
Well, I ain’t skeert!
South African gold output saw its biggest drop in over a year in May, falling 16.2% year-on-year. This is another sign that the one-time world leader in gold production could be running out of the yellow metal.
May’s decline came on the heels of a 5.8% drop in production in April. It was the eighth consecutive month of declining output for South African gold mines, according to Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa.
Have you ever thought about owning gold?
That may seem like a strange question. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Why everybody has at least thought about investing in gold.” But that’s apparently not true – at least not in Australia. According to a poll conducted by Australia’s leading gold bullion company, 45% of Australians have never even thought about investing in physical gold.
The fact that so many people have never even thought about investing in gold explains why 85% of Australians don’t own any of the yellow metal.