November 27, 2017
By Jeff Francis - November 27, 2017 (bitcoinist.com)
Derided by most financial analysts for years, Bitcoin has surged dramatically in 2017 and now has a higher market capitalization than most corporations, such as Disney, Mastercard, Boeing, IBM, and McDonalds.
One measure of financial worth for a person is computing the sum total of the monetary value of everything they own. In the high-flying world of finance and huge corporations, this is done by figuring out what is called market capitalization, which is a fancy term for the market value of a company’s outstanding shares. For many financial analysts, it must be galling to acknowledge that Bitcoin now has a higher market capitalization than most major corporations.
For those lucky enough to have bought Bitcoin at the start of the year, the current price of Bitcoin is a very good thing indeed. Bitcoin had been worth roughly $800 at the end of 2016, but it recently broke $9,000 and now sits at $9,700.
So, what does that roughly $10,000 per Bitcoin translate into when figuring out the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization? The full worth of Bitcoin now sits at a staggering $160 billion USD. While this total does not put Bitcoin into the Top Ten companies with the largest capitalization, it does put them at number 35 in the entire world.
That sound you hear is the gnashing of teeth by many financial speculators and analysts that have denigrated Bitcoin for a long time. (They’re probably scrambling on how to get some digital currency as part of their investment portfolio now.) While Bitcoin’s market capitalization is not as big as Apple ($873 billion), Alphabet (Google – $715.8 billion), Microsoft ($640 billion), or Amazon ($531 billion), it’s still larger than many companies you’re likely very familiar with.
So, which major corporations have a smaller market capitalization than Bitcoin? Here’s a sampling for you to savor:
Mastercard ($158 billion)
Pepsico ($156.8 billion)
Boeing ($152.5 billion)
Disney ($151 billion)
IBM ($143 billion)
3M ($137 billion)
McDonalds ($135 billion)
Nvidia ($124 billion)
Nike ($96 billion)
Electronic Arts ($33 billion)
Target ($30 billion)
It does appear that some financial analysts are still wrapping their heads around the rise of Bitcoin. A senior market analyst at ETX Capital, Neil Wilson, said this after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced it would launch Bitcoin futures in December:
"The legitimacy this gives bitcoin as a tradeable asset is very important. The market cap of bitcoin now exceeds that of IBM, Disney [or] McDonald’s".
But he also added:
"But for traditionalists, it’s hard to fathom. Rather than a commodity or currency, bitcoin is like owning stock in a company that will only ever issue 21m shares and never pay a penny in dividends.
The only way it has value is if the next guy is willing to pay you more for it – the greater fool. With no intrinsic value to bitcoin, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a giant speculative bubble".
Still, there’s no denying the madcap ride that Bitcoin has been on in 2017. Who would have thought a few years ago that Bitcoin would have a greater worth than companies like IBM, Boeing, Disney, or Mastercard?
Images courtesy of PxHere, Flickr, and Vimeo PRO.
November 04, 2017
By Rebecca Campbell - November 05, 2017 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)
American agricultural conglomerate Cargill is testing the blockchain to track and trace the origin of turkey products produced by family farms.
Cargill’s Honeysuckle White brand is to employ the technology to enable consumers to know exactly where their turkey’s are coming from. At select markets, consumers can enter or text an on-package code at HoneysuckleWhite.com, according to Meat Poultry. Consumers can then view the farm’s location by state and county, read up on the farm’s story, see photos and read a message from the farmer.
With consumer confidence in food low, Cargill is keen to improve on this through the blockchain, giving buyers the option of seeing how their food is produced and where it comes from.
In a statement, Deborah Socha, Honeysuckle White brand manager, said:
Honeysuckle White brand is the first and only major turkey brand to pilot a blockchain-based solution for traceable turkey.
This isn’t the first time that the distributed ledger has been used to track and trace a foods origin.
Last October, Walmart partnered with IBM to put pork on the blockchain, a nation which has experienced a number of food scandals in the past. Other notable efforts to track the origin of food include an Arkansas livestock farmers cooperative that is employing the technology to trace its meat through the supply chain, a Taiwanese e-commerce platform using the Ethereum blockchain for food safety, and the Japanese government, which is utilizing a NEM-based blockchain to track wild game meat.
These are just a few instances, but highlight the growing importance of the blockchain and its use within the food industry. With more consumers keen to know where the food they are eating is coming from the distributed ledger provides the ideal answer.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
October 28, 2017
By Jon Buck - October 28, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)
Sergio Ermotti, the CEO of Swiss banking giant UBS, told CNBC that he believes Blockchain technology will “likely reshape” the way that banks do business. UBS is already heavily invested in the new technology, partnering in the Batavia project with IBM, Bank of Montreal, and others.
The statement does not come as a surprise, as companies and institutions have been rushing into the Blockchain space in order to increase efficiency and decrease costs. According to Ermotti:
"Our strategy there is very simple. We try to initiate and get as many other financial institutions and clients into teams like trade finance with other banks and IBM was a successful venture…[allowing banks to] operate and transact at a cheaper, more efficient level.”
Hot on Blockchain, not Bitcoin
Though excited about the possibilities that Blockchain technology holds for the banking sector, the CEO was ambivalent toward Bitcoin. However, rather than taking a hardline anti-Bitcoin stance like his JP Morgan Chase counterpart, Ermotti simply dismissed Bitcoin, saying:
"Not necessarily cryptocurrencies, I think that needs to be defined, but I believe there is a future for blockchain technology, and technology will play a big role in changing and reshaping our industry."
October 04, 2017
By William Suberg - October 04, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)
IBM has joined United Bank of Switzerland Group to work on a Blockchain trade platform with major global banks.
The future product, dubbed Batavia, would “help banks and their clients automate the trade finance process, which remains highly manual and paper-based,” Reuters reports Wednesday.
The guiding parties have already involved the likes of Germany’s Commerzbank and Erste Group Bank, as well as Bank of Montreal and CaixaBank.
It is a further Blockchain investment for IBM, which has seen considerable success in the field since it unveiled its IBM Blockchain product earlier this year.
“Trade finance is a perfect use case because there are so many participants in a trade ecosystem especially when you talk of global trade,” Reuters quotes Marie Wieck, a general manager at IBM Blockchain as saying.
“Digitizing and creating a level of trust is a perfect accelerator (for business).”
Batavia’s remit remains fairly vague at this initial stage but should focus on error reduction by giving all trade finance parties an identical self-updating ledger to replace manual in-house record-keeping.
A pilot is expected to take place in the Q1 of 2018.
IBM’s various Blockchain efforts meanwhile have earnt its pole position in a survey this month, which named the corporation as the top enterprise provider after it took 43 percent of the vote.
Microsoft came a distant second, with another 20 percent of respondents favoring its Blockchain solutions.