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Economic statistics for the week of October 4-8, 2021
Economic statistics for the week of October 4-8, 2021 In the macroeconomic statistics coming out next week, the following indicators can be distinguished:MondayAn OPEC meeting will be published on the first day of the week, and a meeting of the Eurogroup will be held at the same time.Later, in the American session, the focus of traders' attention will be the indicator of Canada's construction permit for August. And the market's attention will also be focused on the volume of US industrial orders for August.TuesdayOn Tuesday, the Asian session will publish the volume of retail sales in Australia for September. Later, an important event will be the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest rate decision.At the European session, attention will be on the index of business activity in the Eurozone services sector for September. The release of the UK composite PMI index for September will add to trading activity. At the same time, the index of business activity in the UK services sector for September will be released.The business activity index (PMI) in the US services sector for September will be released at the US session. A little later, the ISM Purchasing Managers' index for the US non-manufacturing sector for September will be published.An important event for the oil market will be the publication of weekly crude oil reserves according to the American Petroleum Institute (API).WednesdayThe focus of the Asian session will be the decision on the interest rate of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.The European session will be opened by the publication of the volume of production orders in Germany for August. Later, the volume of retail sales of the Eurozone for August will be published.Before the US session, changes in the number of people employed in the non-agricultural sector from the US ADP for September will be released. Traditionally for the oil market, on Wednesday there will be a release of changes in US crude oil inventories for the week.On this day, Bostik, a member of the FOMC, will give a speech.ThursdayThere will be a day off in China – the Chinese markets will be closed.The European session will be opened by the publication of the unemployment rate in Switzerland for September, excluding seasonal changes. A little later there will be a release of the UK house price index from Halifax. On the same day, the volume of industrial production in Germany for August will be published.At the European session, traders' attention will focus on the minutes of the ECB monetary policy meeting.At the American session, the market will traditionally wait for a weekly change in the number of initial applications for US unemployment benefits. Later, the release of the Ivey Canadian Business Activity Index (PMI) for September will be released.FridayThe Japanese household spending index for August will be published at the Asian session. A little later, the Reserve Bank of Australia will present a financial stability report.The German trade balance for August will be released at the European session.The number of construction permits issued for September will be released at the American session. At the same time, it is planned to publish the US unemployment rate for September. The release of the Canadian unemployment rate for the same month will also add to the trading activity.The commodity market will pay attention to the weekly change in the number of active drilling rigs from Baker ...
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US market: overview and forecast for September 30. In search of a new vector of movement
US market: overview and forecast for September 30. In search of a new vector of movement The market the day beforeAt the auction on September 29, American stock exchanges showed mixed dynamics. The S&P 500 index rose by a modest 0.16% to 4,359 points. The Dow Jones gained 0.26% and the Nasdaq lost 0.24%. Protective sectors were among the growth leaders: utility companies (+1.30%), manufacturers of non-cyclical consumer goods (+0.87%) and the healthcare industry (+0.77%). Against the background of lower metal prices, the raw materials sector was under pressure (-0.39%).Company newsDollar Tree (DLTR: +16.5%) announced an increase in the share repurchase program by $1.05 billion and an expansion of the assortment in stores.Shares of Evolent Health (EVH: +7.2%) soared after Bloomberg reported a possible takeover by Walgreens (WBA: +1.3%).Lucid Group (LCID: +7.1%) announced the start of production of the Lucid Air sedan at the Arizona plant.We expectToday, global stock markets are showing positive dynamics. Nevertheless, the focus of investors' attention remains issues related to raising the debt ceiling, the adoption of incentive packages proposed by the Democrats, and the negative impact on the economy of rising energy prices and restrictions on the supply of components.It is expected that a separate bill on emergency financing will be adopted today, which will allow the work of state agencies to continue until December 3. At the same time, uncertainty around the debt ceiling increase remains. The vote in the House of Representatives on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, which was previously approved by the Senate, may be postponed to a later date due to the lack of consensus between Democrats and Republicans.Oil quotes on the eve continued the negative trend on Tuesday against the background of statistics from the US Department of Energy, and gas futures fell by almost 7%. For the week ended September 24, commercial reserves of black gold in the United States increased by 4.6 million barrels, reserves of petroleum products increased by 6.4 million. The production level continued to recover after Hurricane IDA and increased by 0.5 million barrels per day, to 11.1 million. Data on gas reserves in US storage facilities will be published today at 17:30 Moscow time. Consensus suggests an increase of 86 billion. cubic feet, which may put additional pressure on the quotes of blue fuel.Asian stock markets showed multidirectional dynamics. Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined by 0.36%, China's CSI 300 rose by 0.67%, and Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.31%. EuroStoxx 50 strengthened by 0.33%.Risk appetite is uncertain. The yield of 10-year treasuries is 1.54%. The price of Brent futures is rising to $78.3 per barrel. Gold is strengthening to $1,730 per troy ounce.In our opinion, the S&P 500 will hold the upcoming session in the range of 4350-4400 points.MacrostatisticsThe final estimate of the dynamics of US GDP for the second quarter will be published today. Consensus suggests an increase of 6.6% QoQ.The technical picture of the S&P 500 index is still below the 50-day moving average. The RSI also indicates a downward trend. If the negative market sentiment persists, the benchmark may test the local minimum level at around 4300. In the event of a breakdown of this level, the S&P 500 may continue to move to the support zone ...
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US market: review and forecast for September 29. Investors assess risks
US market: review and forecast for September 29. Investors assess risks The market the day beforeTrading on September 28 on American stock exchanges ended in a deep minus. The S&P 500 index dropped 2.04% to 4,353 points. The Dow Jones lost 1.63% and the Nasdaq fell 2.83%. Only the energy sector showed positive dynamics (+0.46%), despite a slight decline in oil prices. Due to the aggravation of the risks of semiconductor shortage, the IT sector fell into the outsiders (-2.98%), the company was made up of telecoms (-2.79%).Company newsAcceleron Pharma (XLRN: +2.2%) is supposedly preparing for a takeover by Merck (MRK).Kirkland Lake Gold (KL: -7.7%) has announced a merger with Agnico Eagle (AEM).Peloton Interactive (PTON: -4.6%) came under pressure due to Amazon's (AMZN) plans to release its own Halo View fitness tracker and provide a service for Halo Fitness workouts.We expectToday, global stock markets are showing moderately positive dynamics, partially offsetting yesterday's decline. However, the situation still contributes to the flight of investors from risk. The increase in US government bond yields is mainly due to a sharp increase in inflation expectations caused by rising energy prices and continued pressure on supply chains. The "hawkish" results of the September FOMC meeting also contribute to an increase in the profitability of treasuries. The growth factor gives way to the factors of reflation and economic opening. Given the large contribution of technology giants to the overall result of corporate profits and ensuring economic growth, concerns about the consequences of the rate change for the wider market are increasing. Another reason for concern is the high rate of change in the yield of treasuries: it has grown by more than 20 bps in just a few days.The uncertainty is also connected with the protracted discussion by US lawmakers of an infrastructure spending package. Serious disagreements remain between Democrats over the amount of funding and the content of the program of these reforms. Another issue on which congressmen are unable to reach a compromise is raising the national debt ceiling. Market participants are also concerned about the upcoming corporate reporting season. The dynamics of the revision of the results forecasts is weakening. There are more and more doubts that they will coincide with the expectations of the market or will be above them. The same applies to forecasts for 2022, which may turn out to be too optimistic, since they do not fully take into account the adverse impact of supply chain failures, which has already been noted by FedEx (FDX), Nike (NKE) and Costco (COST).Asian stock markets showed mostly negative dynamics following the September 29 session. China's CSI 300 fell by 1.02%, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell by 2.12%, only Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.7%. EuroStoxx 50 rose by 0.92%.Risk appetite is uncertain. The yield of 10-year treasuries is 1.52%. The price of Brent futures drops to $78.5 per barrel. Gold rose to $1,739 per troy ounce.In our opinion, the S&P 500 will hold the upcoming session in the range of 4350-4400 points.MacrostatisticsThe publication of significant macrostatistics is not scheduled for today.Technical pictureOn the eve of the S&P 500 index could not stay above the 50-day moving average. The RSI also indicates a downward trend. If the negative mood in the markets persists, the benchmark may test a local minimum at around 4,300. In case of its breakdown, the S&P 500 is able to continue moving to the support zone ...
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Economic statistics for the week of September 26 - October 3, 2021
Economic statistics for the week of September 26 - October 3, 2021 In the macroeconomic statistics coming out next week, the following indicators can be distinguished:MondayPrices for corporate services will be published in Japan. In the Eurozone, consumer lending data will be released. The Bundesbank will present a monthly report with an analysis of the current and expected state of the economy. In the US, orders for durable goods and an indicator of business activity in the industrial sector of the Federal Reserve of Dallas will be published.TuesdayThe Bank of Japan will hold a meeting of the monetary policy committee, the regulator's decision on the interest rate will become known. The National Bank of New Zealand will present an activity forecast, and the Reserve Bank will present an index of business optimism. Retail sales figures will be released in Australia. In Germany, the Gfk consumer confidence index will be published. In France, the level of consumer confidence will be known, and in Sweden-the trade balance. In the US, the housing price index, the balance of trade in goods, the Redbook retail sales indicator, the level of consumer confidence and the indicator of business activity in the manufacturing sector of Richmond will be released. The American Petroleum Institute will report on last week's oil reserves.WednesdayIn New Zealand, data on construction permits will be released. In Japan, retail sales data will be published. In the UK, the Nationwide house price index, consumer lending data and the number of approved mortgage applications will be known. In Switzerland, the KOF index of leading indicators will be released, and in Sweden – the level of consumer confidence. In Spain, consumer inflation indicators will be published, and in Italy, the producer price index will be published. In the Euro area, an indicator of sentiment in the service sector, the level of consumer confidence, an index of business optimism in industry, an indicator of sentiment in the economy and an indicator of the business climate will be released. The Swiss National Bank will present a quarterly report. In the US, the MBA mortgage lending index and pending home sales transactions will be published. The Energy Information Administration will report on commercial oil reserves in the United States last week.ThursdayIn Japan, data on industrial production, the volume of orders in the construction sector, data on the construction of houses started, the volume of foreign and Japanese investments in securities will be released. China will publish the level of business activity in the manufacturing sector and in the service sector. In Germany, the import price index, consumer inflation data and the unemployment rate will be published, and in Switzerland-the real volume of retail trade. In the UK, quarterly GDP data, the total volume of commercial investment and the balance of payments will be released. In France, the consumer price index will be known. In the Eurozone, the unemployment rate, the basic and main consumer price indices will be published. In Canada, the raw material price index will be known. The US will publish the number of initial and repeated applications for unemployment benefits, GDP data for the second quarter of 2021, the price index of personal consumption expenditures and the Chicago business activity indicator. The Energy Information Administration will report last week on natural gas reserves in the United States.FridayANZ consumer confidence indicator will be released in New Zealand. In Australia, the Commonwealth Bank index of activity in the manufacturing sector, data on mortgage loans and construction permits will be known. In Japan, the unemployment rate, the ratio of the number of vacancies and applicants, the indicator of business activity in the service sector and in the manufacturing sector and the Tankan index of large manufacturers will be released. In China, the Caixin PMI index in manufacturing will be known. Russia, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the Eurozone and the UK will publish indicators of business activity in the manufacturing sector. In Germany, retail sales data will be released, and in France, import, export indicators and the overall trade balance will be released. In the US, data on personal spending and income, construction spending, the Markit PMI index in the manufacturing sector and the University of Michigan consumer confidence indicator will be published. Baker Hughes will report last week on the number of active drilling rigs in the United States and the ...
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Articles about financial markets

Overview of Lilium and Asana companies
Overview of Lilium and Asana companies Lilium – do not be overly optimisticLilium is a German startup that is developing an air taxi-a fully battery-powered vehicle with a vertical take-off and landing function, whose speed will reach 281 km/h at an altitude of 3 km. The flight range is 250 km, so the company aims to completely change the current situation in the field of intercity communication. The carrier's shares appeared on the market on September 15 through a deal with SPAC. It was possible to collect only $584 million instead of the expected $830 million, as 65% of the holders of SPAC shares returned securities that began trading below $10. After Lilium distributes the debts and pays all the commissions, only about $400 million will be on the balance sheet. The first launch of the product is planned for 2024. It should be a seven-seat eVTOL jet, after which a 16-seat model should appear. The number of seats distinguishes Lilium from other companies that focus more on intra-city transportation using 2-4 local vehicles. In August, Lilium entered into a strategic partnership with the leading Brazilian air carrier Azul S. A, under which it undertakes to deliver 220 aircraft worth $1 billion. In addition to partnerships with major carriers, Lilium plans to develop its own network: management expects revenue of $1.7 billion in 2026 and $3.2 billion in 2027. The shares from vehicle sales and from network management should be approximately the same – 50% each. According to preliminary calculations, each aircraft should bring partners about $5 million a year, at a cost of $2.5 million. A ticket for a flight from Philadelphia to New York will cost about $170. Buying shares of a company that will start receiving revenue only in 2026 looks too risky. Especially against the background of the failure of many other players who promised to bring revolutionary ideas to life, like Nikola Motors.Asana shares are the most overbought securities on the marketSince the beginning of the month, Asana shares have risen by more than 55%. Recall that the company is developing solutions for managing team projects, and its founder is one of the first Facebook developers – Dustin Moskowitz. The main consumers of Asana services are programmers who work on a large task, as well as sellers and marketers. Of course, the transition to remote work had an extremely positive impact on financial results. It is important to understand that the Asana product is not unique at all. There are many competitors on the market from Salesforce to Airtable, Trello and SmartSheet. At the same time, the EV/S ratio exceeds 45x – these are simply unrealistically high values, even taking into account today's huge demand for “growing” stocks. It is incredibly risky to hold ASAN shares in an environment where there is more and more talk about the overheating of the market. In the second quarter of 2021, revenue increased by 72% YoY, to $89.5 million. Even more impressive is that the rate of revenue growth has been increasing since the third quarter of 2020. For example, in the previous quarter, revenue increased by 61% YoY. The number of ”paid" customers increased by 7 thousand, to 107 thousand, while the number of users spending more than $50 thousand a year doubled and reached 598. The ARR indicator is 118%, which means that existing customers started paying 18% more than a year ago. Among users with expenses above $50 thousand, this figure is even higher – ...
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Investments by Cristiano Ronaldo: how a famous football player earned a billion
Investments by Cristiano Ronaldo: how a famous football player earned a billion Cristiano Ronaldo became the first football player in the world whose capital reached $1 billion during his career, moreover, he is the first player in all team sports who was able to earn such a sum. But in addition to Ronaldo's football career and fulfilling advertising contracts, Ronaldo is also engaged in investing in his own business, which covers various spheres of life.In this article, we propose to discuss how Ronaldo entered the list of billionaires and what investments he makes. Will it turn out that after some time Cristiano will enter the list of the richest people in the world, having succeeded not only in sports, but also in running a business?BusinessCristiano Ronaldo is a public figure, and we know that he spends his millions of royalties not only on luxury real estate and cars, but also invests money in business, which is absolutely right. After all, even the best football player in the world must retire sometime, and this does not mean that he will no longer be able to earn money.Here's what we know about his business empire. As of the summer of 2020, he officially became a billionaire. Ronaldo is the third athlete in the world after golfer Tiger Woods and boxer Floyd Mayweather, who managed to make such a fortune during his career. And at the same time, he is the first in the world to achieve this in team sports.Ronaldo's current salary is $31 million a year, which is quite good.But he became a billionaire thanks not to these fees, although they certainly affected, but at the expense of 323 million subscribers in social networks, on which the football player makes a lot of money.He has contracts with various brands, one of them is the well — known Nike. Facebook instagrammers pay for every advertising post on Instagram or Facebook, according to the terms of these contracts.The contract specifies how much each post is evaluated depending on the number of views, likes and other reactions of users of social networks. And the real price of one advertising publication is measured in tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.According to various estimates, a football player can receive about $400,000 for one such placement.There are a lot of brands that Ronaldo advertises, there is even a metallurgical company from Egypt in this list. But the main source of income is still Nike, with which a lifetime contract has been signed since 2016, on the basis of which Ronaldo will remain the face of the brand even after the end of his football career.And during the validity of the contract, the football player should receive about one billion dollars.It was income. And now let's talk about how Ronaldo is trying to increase his funds. He probably does not invest in the stock market, well, or does not do it for large sums, otherwise we would know about it.By the way, $100 million invested in the S&P 500 in 2018 could give $25 million in profit, and the NASDAQ index would increase the initial amount by 56%. But the football star chose a different path — he creates his own businesses, and there are the following areas in his track record.Personal brand CR7, under which a line of perfumes, underwear, clothing and shoes is released. It is clear that Ronaldo is the face of these companies and personally advertises his own products.In addition, under the same brand, Cristiano operates his personal museum, there is a restaurant, a gym, two mobile games, but the main investment was hotels in different cities of the world, such as Paris, Madrid, New York and others.The investment amounts are impressive. So, $16 million was invested in Madrid, $44 million in Marrakech and as much as $66 million in a Paris hotel.It can be argued that the hotel business is the main bet of Ronaldo.Messi also has three hotels, but in resorts such as Ibiza. And we add that Ronaldo entered the hotel business as a 50-50 partner, but Messi owns 100% of his hotels.Ronaldo also has a separate rental business. He rents out elite aircraft.ConclusionsLet's start with the answer to the question why does Ronaldo produce clothes, buy hotels and rent luxury planes? Here he follows the first rule of the investment checklist from Warren Buffett, according to which you need to invest money in the business that you understand. It is obvious that Ronaldo, being a famous football player, constantly traveled and stayed in various hotels, while often using the services of airlines and advertising clothes. And it was in these areas of business that he decided to invest his money.But there was one extremely big puncture in Ronaldo's business strategy: all these activities were created for carefree times when the economy is growing, incomes are increasing and people are spending money on travel, clothing and air travel. But the coronacrisis broke this trend, and according to UN estimates, the tourism sector lost about $ 320 billion. And as we can see today, more than six months have passed, and the world has not returned to the usual pace of life and you can not even dream about another year.In addition, the problem of the coronavirus has led to the fact that people simply began to spend less. It was as if a veil was lifted from many people's eyes and they realized that they really needed much less in reality, and most of the spending was a tribute to the consumer economy.We don't know the statistics on Ronaldo's hotels, but the large international chain Hilton has laid off 22% of its employees, and the remaining staff are working reduced shifts or are on unpaid leave. It is obvious that the coronavirus went through Cristiano's business in a similar way.In defense of Ronaldo, it is worth saying that no one except the reptiloids had any idea about the coronacrisis. But if his business was more diverse, the same mobile applications — he was also engaged in them, then we would start the article with the words that the football star will very soon enter the top richest people in the world and will push Warren Buffett there. But it seems that this is not the case, and the further growth of Ronaldo's fortune will be associated with his sports career, and not with investments, which are now under very great threat.For those who believe that it is wrong to compare Ronaldo and Buffett, we note that although old Warren was never an outstanding athlete, and during his youth these same athletes did not have millions of royalties, but he had a father who was a politician and an entrepreneur, thanks to which, at the age of 11, little Warren bought his first shares. Back in 1941, this was a very important bonus for further development, so it is still unknown who had the best starting positions. And in fact, the moment is much more important, not how you earned money, but how you used it to increase your fortune.The essence of this article is that when you are going to invest in some industry and invest the bulk of your capital in it, you definitely need to consider a negative scenario.Ask yourself the question whether it may happen that tomorrow this product or service will be useless to anyone. And even if the answer option seems impossible, it should still be taken into account. After all, the history of 2020 clearly showed how the tourism and aviation industries at one point became unprofitable from the most promising investments. But the world has moved even more towards digitalization of everything, because online is at a distance, and, therefore, it is ...
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Wall Street analysts: existing tools for market analysis are outdated
Wall Street analysts: existing tools for market analysis are outdated The pandemic has made the situation on the stock and bond markets uncertain, according to leading expertsWall Street analysts doubt the effectiveness of market analysis tools. It is increasingly difficult for specialists to make forecasts. This is reported by the Bloomberg publishing house.As the publisher notes, the pandemic has left its mark on the situation. During the first lockdown, Wall Street analysts were faced with the unpredictability of the markets.This year, the situation is repeated. The pandemic threatens to slow down the global economic recovery again. Experts are sure that the scripts that worked before are outdated.Analysts cannot reach consensus in their opinions about the market. 12 of the 21 forecasters monitored by Bloomberg expect the S&P 500 to fall over the weekend. The difference between the highest and the lowest rating is 24%. This has only happened twice in the last 10 years.Analysts from the public sector also make allowances for uncertainty. Bank of America employees assign a 100 percent range to their 10-year yield forecast for the end of 2021.Sky-high valuations and a 100% increase in the S&P 500 index after a low during the pandemic exacerbate the difficulties faced by strategists. Analysts also say that the market is most influenced by political factors. For example, US President Joe Biden is proposing to raise taxes for large companies, and the US Federal Reserve is gradually reducing the volume of bond purchases by the end of the ...
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Is it worth investing in cryptocurrency
Is it worth investing in cryptocurrency Over the past few decades, the world has been rapidly moving from fiat money to digital money. Our settlement means are not unique metal disks with stamped portraits, and not paper rectangles with watermarks and unique numbers. Today, the means of settlement in transactions is a set of zeros and ones stored in a certain memory cell on the bank's server. At the same time, two main parameters are preserved: each digital ruble/dollar/yuan is unique and can be identified and accounted for, and there is a high level of trust in the electronic settlement system of settlement participants, since it is regulated by governments, federal systems and central banks.The emergence of blockchain technology, a decentralized continuous sequential chain of blocks with unique data in each, made it possible to create digital units that meet the requirements for monetary signs regarding the uniqueness of each unit. They are created using a special cryptographic cipher, therefore they are called a cryptocurrency. Their main difference from other digital money is that their "issuer" can be not banks authorized by the Government, but almost everyone. The question of trust in such money, and, therefore, the final acceptance of it as money or recognition of it as a big fake of our time, has been solved right before our eyes over the past few years. Many analysts say that cryptocurrency is the currency of the future. The only question is when exactly this future will come. The first Bitcoin crypto coin already has in its history periods of enchanting take-off, and no less loud falls. In this article, we will try to understand the main questions that investors need to know the answers to when making a decision to invest in cryptocurrency or not:Blockchain technology and how it is used in cryptocurrencies.Pros and cons of cryptocurrencies.Trends and prospects of cryptocurrency.Ways to invest in cryptocurrencies.How to invest in cryptocurrency on the stock market.Blockchain technology and how it is used in cryptocurrenciesBlockchain is a decentralized database that is designed to store sequentially connected blocks with a set of characteristics (version, creation date, information about previous actions in the network). A simplified example of such a structure is a metal chain in which you can not break or swap the links, you can only add one new one to it; then another, and another, ad infinitum. It is important that the links are added one by one and always have the "imprint" of the previous link, the one to which they are attached. Also, the blockchain chain can be represented as a book with the ability to add pages, but without the ability to delete or change existing ones.Movement in such a system, or calculations, occur through transactions. In this case, the transaction, despite the similarity of the terms, is not what is meant by a simple money transfer. When we make payments using a bank card, information is received from the data warehouse of one bank to the storage of another – such and such a person has enough funds in his account and is currently performing a transfer operation of a certain amount. At the same time, physical paper money confirming the possibility of such a transfer should lie in the vault of the first bank and at some point move to the vault of the second. During a transaction, a special script is executed in the blockchain system, a certain note with data is written, information is processed inside the network. As if on the last page of our book, at the moment of writing, the following information appeared sequentially: "Mike transferred to Nick 70 euro"; "John transferred to Joanna 25 cents"... Several thousand such records can be stored within one block. When the memory in a block runs out, it is closed, signed and transferred to a new block in the form of a hash or "fingerprint". A hash is a certain set of characters that carries a unique fingerprint. It is formed based on what transactions and in what quantity each block stores in itself. During each transaction, the system checks the entire sequence of hashes for their integrity and immutability. After going through the entire chain, the system returns to the final block and confirms the correctness of the data so that this block can also be closed.The chain data is stored simultaneously on a large number of individual computers and is checked by the system during transactions for identity. If someone wants to make changes to the cell by adding an additional couple of hundred coins to themselves, then the other participants of the system will not confirm such a block change, and the data will simply not be recorded. And since the number of users in these systems is several million, even if you agree with a couple of hundred of them, you will not be able to make changes. You can only change the block that is written here and now; no postings are "retroactively" possible.At any given time, hundreds, if not thousands of people participate in the process of buying and selling crypto coins. A special miner program on one of the computers analyzes the applications in the queue, processes them and writes them to the block. In order for this data to be accepted by the system, the miner sends the final decision, that is, the calculated hashes, to the network, where the result is checked and confirmed by other miners. If the calculations are accepted by the majority, the block receives a mark confirming its correctness.Since the basis of the reliability of the blockchain system is a cryptographic cipher, cryptographic keys are required for conducting transactions. These are unique sets of characters and numbers that the system will generate independently and present to any participant of the blockchain at the time of registration. Each participant has a public key and a private key. The public key allows all network participants to see data that is not private. By analogy with digital payments, this is like the number of a digital wallet or a bank account that everyone can know. In this case, the private key is similar to the password from the wallet or from the online banking system, according to which all actions are performed with the account or wallet.It is worth noting that blockchain is a technology that was created not only for use in cryptocurrencies.Cryptocurrency and transactions with it are just one of the ways to use it, but its possibilities are much wider.Read more: What are AltcoinsPros and cons of cryptocurrenciesDespite the fact that crypto coins are not coins in the literal sense of the word – they simply do not have a material embodiment, they still have "two sides of the coin". Let's start with the advantages:Anonymity. When crediting money to a bank account, any user provides the bank and all related systems with a lot of information about himself, without which the account simply will not be opened, and the money will not be credited.  When making calculations, the banking structure analyzes a lot of information about us: passport data, registration address, family composition, sources of our income, the presence of debts… We provide this data ourselves by signing an agreement on the processing of personal data. Then our data gets into the database, and leaks often occur from there. In addition, a number of bank employees have access to the database, which is not pleasant for everyone. There is no such thing in cryptocurrency. All that is known about the participant of the chain is the digits of its public key. No personal data is transferred anywhere, and it is not requested; there is simply no need for them. This quality of the crypt is very valuable in our age, when information has become the "oil of the 21st century".No intermediaries in transactions. Since all data changes are made programmatically, no bank employees, employees of depositories and other "third parties" are required in the process. Unlike, say, bank transfers: when transferring money, the client should not blindly rely on the quality of the banking system and the integrity of all participants; it does not take a long time for the process itself (with bank transfers, sometimes the crediting period is 3-5 working days due to verification procedures). You do not need to open additional accounts for transfers to other countries; calculations in cryptocurrency have no boundaries.The impossibility of falsification and theft. The simultaneous storage of data on many computers in different parts of the world and the transparency of exchange operations makes it impossible for any forgeries, as well as transfers without confirmation by all participants. Moreover, the more participants are involved in the process, the more reliable the system becomes; such a "snake biting its tail": the more reliable the coin, the more users it attracts, the more reliable it becomes.The issue limit. There are two limiters here. The first, simple, is set by the author of the coin, and can be changed only by agreement of the majority of network participants. For example, Bitcoin has an issue limit of 21 million units. This information is also contained in the block data. But there are coins without a preset limit. For example, the currently popular Ethereum does not have a certain release limit. However, for any crypto coin, there is a release limit associated with the computing power of the network. As follows from the process of adding blocks to the chain described above (and the appearance of a new volume of coins is carried out in the same way), it takes quite a lot of energy and a certain period of time. As the chain grows, each subsequent block takes longer and more difficult to form. By the way, this aspect indirectly affects the increase in the value of coins with a large number of participants. In addition, for the "extraction" of each subsequent coin, a higher computing power of the equipment is required, which means that the financial costs for its acquisition are higher.Decentralization. The process of the emergence of cryptocurrencies is not regulated by any banks, reserve systems or governments. Even the creators themselves cannot control this process. A lot of people included in the chain issue and manage the movement of crypto coins. In such a situation, it is impossible to introduce restrictions on the distribution of coins. The absence of a single central data custodian (for example, a central server in a bank) also excludes a situation in which one accident will disable the entire payment system.But crypto also has its drawbacksThe absence of "responsible persons" and the possibility of insurance. When opening a bank deposit, you can insure it. If your funds in the bank account are attacked by intruders, the banking security system will be responsible for your funds. This is impossible with cryptocurrency. De-personification of stored data automatically makes it impossible to recover digital keys; if the owner of the key (and the cryptocurrency) did not hide the key carefully enough, or, on the contrary, too carefully and eventually lost it himself, it is impossible to restore the key.All coins belonging to this owner will automatically disappear from circulation. It is also impossible to cancel transactions carried out by scammers who have gained access to the private key. Full responsibility for the safety of funds lies only with the owner.High volatility. The chart below shows the four most popular cryptocurrencies in comparison with the S&P 500 index. The exchange rate of each of the currencies is influenced by a lot of factors that do not matter for the rates of major currencies or, for example, securities ("What affects the value of shares"). A new company or even the smallest state that has announced the possibility of settlements in a particular cryptocurrency raises quotes up with the speed of a rocket. Negative news drops them down with the same speed. We can say that the main factor of any money – the degree of trust in it by those who actually use it-is being formed right now, before our eyes. The statements of media personalities, authors of literary bestsellers, financial gurus-everything affects the change of course. One of the most popular "crypto trolls" has recently become Elon Musk. As a result of one of his tweets in January of this year, the exchange rate of the coin jumped by almost 20%.A few months after Tesla promised to start accepting tokens as payment, the company abruptly abandoned this idea. Elon Musk wrote about this decision on his page in mid-May, and this brought down the bitcoin exchange rate by 15%.Lack of a legal basis. This is probably the "weakest point" of all cryptocurrencies. At the moment, there are a number of positive facts: in Germany, bitcoins are recognized as a settlement currency, in Japan, Bitcoin is a legal tender with a purchase tax. Switzerland is subject to the same rules for cryptocurrencies as for foreign currencies, and this country is one of the most favorable jurisdictions for Bitcoin startups. The Singapore authorities consider cryptocurrency as a cross between an exchange-traded asset and ordinary money; crypto coins can be exchanged for goods and services, activities with them are taxed on a par with investment instruments. Cryptocurrency has also been legalized in the United States; as follows from the conclusion of the Supreme Court of 2016, "Bitcoin is money in the literal sense of this term.". It would seem that global trends support the development of the crypto market. But recent events in China have shown the fragility of the current position of “people's” money. By one legislative act, the Chinese government banned banks and financial organizations from dealing with cryptocurrency, citing its high volatility and unpredictability, and therefore a danger to large financial structures. Negative statements were made at the beginning of 2021 from other governments, including the United States and Canada. The instability and inability to influence the exchange rate of digital coins cause concern for the safety of the well-being of people investing in them. There was talk of creating internal crypto coins at the state level. If this happens, there is a high probability of banning the "people's" crypt at all levels in support of the "state" crypt.Read more: Blockchain technology: how it works and where it is usedCryptocurrency trends and prospectsAt the moment, cryptocurrencies obey the standard laws of the market and are regulated by the simple impact of supply and demand on them. The number of participants in the crypto market has long exceeded the limit of a million people, so this market cannot simply disappear in the near future. Looking at what is happening now in this market, we can identify the main trends for the near future:Increase in the number of users. With the increase in the number of manufacturers accepting bitcoin and altcoins as a means of payment, the number of users who are ready to try the new currency both as a settlement tool and as an investment option, at least in small, cautious volumes, is also increasing;Tightening of regulation of the cryptocurrency market by states. Similar bills are being prepared now in many countries, including those who were leaders in the adoption of cryptocurrency as a means of payment: Canada, the United States, Switzerland;An increase in the number of cryptocurrencies, the development of "young" cryptocoins and the expansion of infrastructure opportunities due to competition. Technologies in the modern world are developing at an insane speed. Blockchain technology is no different from the rest; and already today, the system on which the "old man" Bitcoin was founded and continues to develop is significantly inferior to the newly emerging coins in terms of security, transparency and infrastructure convenience. This situation, coupled with a large number of coins on the crypto market, will sooner or later lead to increased competition between systems and, consequently, to the modernization and expansion of the capabilities of the systems themselves, as well as to a decrease in the level of transaction fees.Ways to invest in cryptocurrenciesIt is possible to invest in the crypto market both directly, by buying cryptocoins directly, and indirectly in various ways: by purchasing ETFs (ETF funds), buying futures contracts for Bitcoin, or by purchasing shares of companies related to cryptocurrencies. Both direct and indirect investments have their advantages and disadvantages.Read more: What are futures: types, features, advantages and risksThe advantages of direct investment include the following:By buying Bitcoin or another crypto coin, an investor acquires a kind of currency that has solvency in the market. In other words, having a cryptocoin in your wallet, in a number of countries you can purchase goods or pay for services with these units, without exchanging them for fiat money;As an object of investment, most of the cryptocoins, especially if you choose the most popular ones for investment, have high liquidity. Even if there is no possibility of direct payment for goods and services, you can exchange the crypt and get electronic money into your wallet in a very short time;Given the high volatility of cryptocoins, a good entry point can provide an investor with a very high level of income. In this case, it is important not to miss the right exit point for fixing this income.Among the disadvantages of directly buying cryptocurrency as an investment, the following should be noted:The low level of the possibility of forecasts. Given the large number of factors affecting the crypt, it is very difficult to assess the probability of a coin rising and falling; the risk level is close to the banal casino;The possibility of losing all invested funds. If the world governments still come to the conclusion about the rejection of the "people's currency" as a settlement tool and decide to ban it as a financial settlement tool, there are risks that all the funds invested by investors will turn into zero;The complexity of choosing an investment cryptocoin. Bitcoin and Ethereum, due to their high popularity, are approaching the limit of their possible profitability. Those who did not have time to buy them at the start, now they can no longer count on serious profits. Other, less popular coins still retain this possibility. However, it is very, very difficult to understand this variety and guess which of them will "work";The need to enter specialized exchanges to buy an asset and create special wallets for storing it. A high level of digital security is required to ensure the safety of;Among the disadvantages of directly buying cryptocurrency as an investment, the following should be noted:The low level of the possibility of forecasts. Given the large number of factors affecting the crypt, it is very difficult to assess the probability of a coin rising and falling; the risk level is close to the banal casino;The possibility of losing all invested funds. If the world governments still come to the conclusion about the rejection of the "people's currency" as a settlement tool and decide to ban it as a financial settlement tool, there are risks that all the funds invested by investors will turn into zero;The complexity of choosing an investment crypto coin. Bitcoin and Ethereum, due to their high popularity, are approaching the limit of their possible profitability. Those who did not have time to buy them at the start, now they can no longer count on serious profits. Other, less popular coins still retain this possibility. However, it is very, very difficult to understand this variety and guess which of them will "work";The need to enter specialized exchanges to buy an asset and create special wallets for storing it. A high level of digital security is required to ensure the safety of;The presence of a spread between the purchase price and the sale price and the commission for the purchase. To make a profit, you need to wait for the sale price for the volume available in the wallet to exceed both of these cost factors.Investments in ETFs, ETP and ETN on bitcoin have the following advantages:The volatility of such funds is somewhat lower than the volatility of the coin itself. Diversification of assets within funds somewhat smooths out price fluctuations;When buying fund units, the investor avoids the issues of purchasing and storing cryptocoins, issues of spreads and commissions. The only additional expenditure component in this case will be the commission of the fund itself. For different funds, the commission is from 0.4 to 2.5%;A number of funds (but not all) have insurance against risks.Read more: Exchange Trade Funds (ETF)Unfortunately, there are more disadvantages:All traded funds are quite young, and most of them appeared on the markets only a year or two ago, so they do not have historical returns, based on which it would be possible to assess their investment prospects;At the time of writing, there are only four ETF funds for cryptocurrency on the world markets; the remaining funds are of the ETN type. ETN funds, having similarities with ETFs, have a different internal essence; they are not backed by physical assets, and are debt obligations issued by a large bank or other financial institution. In the event of an ETF bankruptcy, the fund's management has the opportunity to sell off assets and return some of the funds to investors; in the event of an ETN bankruptcy, the investor completely loses his investments;A number of funds, in addition to the management fee, take a premium for profitability, sometimes reaching 20%;The composition of the funds is not determined by the investor. When buying shares of the fund, it is necessary, along with assets in which there is a desire to invest, to acquire other assets in which there may be great doubts.How to invest in cryptocurrency on the stock marketAnother type of indirect investment in cryptocurrency is the purchase of shares of companies related to cryptocurrency. This type is devoid of the disadvantages of direct investment, since the procedures for buying and storing shares are long-established and understandable, and the volatility of stock prices of companies associated with the crypto market is not as high as that of the cryptocurrency itself, since these companies are engaged in the production of products and services of various types, and therefore are to some extent stabilized by these additional goods and services. Shares can be selected point-by-point, and no additional commissions are required for their purchase. Therefore, there are also no disadvantages of investments that are typical for cryptocurrency ETFs in this type of investment.A precise selection of high-quality assets allows a competent investor, on the one hand, to invest in such a highly interesting market as cryptocurrencies, and on the other, a careful choice of specific stocks will allow avoiding the huge risks associated with the world of tokenized money.Coinbase (COIN)Coinbase Global is one of the leading providers of complex financial infrastructure and technologies for the crypto market, and at the time of writing, it owns one of the first crypto platforms created that allow customers to store their savings in a wide range of crypto assets – more than 50 types of crypto coins. The company is the leader in trading volumes among American exchanges that trade crypto: $3.33 billion worth of cryptocurrency is sold and bought on Coinbase per day. The platform ranks eighth among the world's cryptocurrency exchanges. This is the first cryptocurrency exchange traded on the stock market. Coinbase was founded in 2012, went public on April 14 of this year with a share price of $ 250; in a short time, the price soared by 70% to$ 429, and then fell to the level of $ 228 per share and remains approximately at this level for several months. Meanwhile, the company's financial indicators are excellent. In the first quarter of 2021, the exchange's revenue soared 9.5 times compared to the same quarter last year — from $190 million to $1.8 billion. The result exceeded the entire revenue of Coinbase for 2020 ($1.14 billion). Net profit was $730-800 million, which is also much higher than earnings for the whole of 2020 ($322 million). In the first quarter of 2021 alone, Coinbase attracted 13 million users. Despite the fact that the company currently has 56 million customers in total. Monthly users  that is, those who performed at least one operation during the month were 6.1 million people in the first quarter, twice as many as in the previous quarter (2.8 million). The P/E multiplier is about 9 times higher than the average for the sector, but at the same time the PEG is only 0.6, which indicates not overheated growth.Read more: The history of the Coinbase exchangeSquare (SQ)Square is an American company of the technology sector, founded in 2009 and developing equipment and software for receiving and processing electronic payments. The company was one of the first to actively develop and implement specialized applications for payments and cryptocurrency trading. By the end of 2020, more than half of the company's revenue was generated from the direction of cryptocurrencies. This company earns both on the growth of cryptocurrency prices, when a large number of investors buy it, and on the fall, when many sell their assets. The company's financial indicators are growing from quarter to quarter. Similar to the previous company, the P/E of the shares is quite high and is 309, which is about 8.8 times higher than the average for the sector, but the growth of the shares is provided by a more rapid growth in revenue and profit, as a result of which the PEG multiplier of 0.7 indicates a non-overheated growth in the share price.Advanced Micro Device (AMD)Advanced Micro Devices is engaged in the development, production and sale of microprocessors, chipsets, chipset motherboards, discrete and integrated graphics processors, etc. In particular, it produces a line of high-performance video cards that are designed directly for mining cryptocurrencies. The company has been operating since 1969. The production of products is completely carried out by third-party contractors located in different countries of the world. The growth in the number of cryptocurrency miners, among other things, affects a significant increase in the demand for the company's products; its chips and video cards. At the time of writing, the company holds a 29% share of the video card market. The company's financial indicators are steadily growing. The P/E multiplier corresponds to the market value.PayPal Holding Company (PYPL)PayPal Holdings is an American company that manages a worldwide online payment system. PayPal Holdings operates almost all over the world, the operation of the payment system allows customers to send, receive and store funds in 25 currencies of the world. PayPal Holdings competes with all forms of payment: cash and checks; payment platforms for electronic, mobile and e-commerce; blockchain technologies and digital currencies. The competitive advantages of PayPal are the global scale of its activities, the ability to make uninterrupted transactions in different markets and in different networks, the reliability of the system and data security, the ease of integration into mobile applications and operating systems. The payment system provided access to cryptocurrency back in November 2020, and in April of this year, the Checkout with Crypto Service was launched, allowing users to pay with cryptocurrency around the world. Now it is possible to convert bitcoins, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoins into fiat currencies for making purchases without a commission from the company, as well as without paying for storing cryptomonets. At the same time, the company itself has existed since 2002 and has long held a strong position on the stock market. The stable growth of indicators, which cannot be affected even by serious crises, speaks for itself.From the point of view of investment valuation, the company is valued significantly more expensive than the average sector level. However, in the current situation, this should be regarded as a persistent expectation of participants for a significant increase in revenue and profit of the company.ConclusionNewly emerging technologies in the stock market cause a stir among investors. Each novelty that has attracted enough attention and received a credit of trust from market participants can soar high in a short time and create a couple of dozen new millionaires and billionaires. At the same time, a reasonable investor is far from the "casino principle" and understands that creating a serious state and preserving it requires deliberate steps and investments in truly promising technologies for a long period.Observing the newly appeared and so far extremely unstable cryptocurrency in its trend, for the current day it seems that the safest investments are in those instruments that will grow both on the wave of rising interest in the crypt, and during periods of recession and "sell-off". These are shares of companies that are somehow connected with the crypto market, but thanks to the wide diversification of activities, they are able to maintain their financial stability even in the event of a failure of the "crypto idea".In addition, the crypto market is an area that is already at the stage of overheating, so there is a risk that investments in this area in the short term will not bring investors super profits similar to those received by investors who became owners of cryptocurrency a year or more ago. However, this is not the only area that opens up wide opportunities for investors. But the list of industries that can radically change our lives tomorrow is far from being limited to those considered. In addition, we must always remember that the prospects of the industry does not directly determine the prospects of all the companies that form it. The investment value of a company is determined, in addition to the activity profile, by fundamental factors that can be identified only on the basis of an in-depth ...
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