2022 Stock Market Summary

As we round the end of the first quarter of the new year, we are already seeing the warning play out from many Wall Street firms that the market’s rally is over. While the economy still looks good, returns will moderate. After the initial boom from countries returning to more normal levels of operation in light of the weakening effects of the pandemic, lingering effects in areas like the supply chain and other world economic issues are causing new challenges.

Bloomberg News compiles and presents the key investment themes and forecasts from dozens of financial firms in its annual report on the state of the stock market.

Inflation Concerns

Inflation is frequently cited from the board room to the bar-room this year. It’s often paired with terms like “rising” or “higher.” Rising prices are definitely a primary concern for the stock market and the rest of the financial world this year. Firms are somewhat divided on how the current inflation crisis will play out, but everyone agrees predictions are uncertain and monetary policy mistakes are more likely to occur this year.

The expectation is that policy will raise rates and that yields will rise, resulting in negative returns for fixed-income investors.

According to Goldman Sachs, part of the reason why valuations are elevated is that they’re more than the historical norm. When everything looks expensive, the expected return is less than 10%.

China and Pandemic After-Effects

Calls seem to agree, however, that pandemic threats are lessening. At the same time, the continued slowing of China’s economy has people concerned about significant risks. The word “China” was more than twice as often used. Bejing domestic policies have been unpredictable, and continued concerns about tensions surrounding Taiwan have everyone on edge. While China isn’t yet an uninvestable asset, several firms argued that it could still be a good investment.

Despite the media hype, digital assets were also not widely discussed. Cryptocurrency has a lot of potential, but it hasn’t yet been established as a reliable portfolio asset. ESG investing, however, seems to be a popular option. Specific strategies are hard to find, but it’s worth pursuing.

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Originally published on EtienneKiss-Borlase.net on March 2, 2022

2022 Stock Market Summary

Altcoins to Watch in 2022

This year has had a rocky start for cryptocurrency investors. In November, many major cryptos hit new all-time highs, then suddenly fell by around 50%. Although altcoins are expected to surge this year, it’s essential to keep in mind that they may not replicate the massive gains of 2021. Due to the current economic climate, many investors are shying away from cryptos, which could take a long time to recover.

However, there remains strong potential and long-term gains for taking many promising altcoins. Here are just a few to watch.

1. Avalanche (AVAX)

In 2021, altcoins like Avalanche gained over 3,000%. Its fast processing speeds and low fees make it an attractive alternative to Ethereum.

According to DeFi Llama, 176 projects were running on Avalanche’s network at the time of writing, and it had a total value locked of $10 billion. It’s currently in fourth place.

2. Polygon (MATIC)

Instead of building a new blockchain, Polygon is an aggregation of layer 2s that make Ethereum faster and cheaper. Despite the upgrade to Ethereum’s network, which is expected to be completed in 2023, most developers still prefer to stay on the existing network instead of migrating to a new one. Some of Ethereum’s popular projects are already using Polygon.

Although Ethereum’s upgrade may not be completed in 2023, Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin still holds that layer 2s will be useful in the future.

3. Enjin (ENJ)

Enjin is a platform that lets people create and sell NFTs — an industry that has seen rapid growth. It has a robust community, a reputation, and several proven use cases. Enjin is a project that focuses on non-fungible tokens, more commonly known as NFTs. They are digital certificates stored on the blockchain and used to purchase digital items.

The biggest threat to Enjin is the sustainability of NFTs. Although it had some surprising sales in 2021, it is still expected to see solid use cases once the hype dies down.

4. Cardano (ADA)

Due to its slow-and-steady development, Cardano has become a controversial project. Its supporters are disappointed with its approach to development, as it only released its smart contract functionality in September 2021.

So, what’s the bottom line? Looking for the next big altcoin is attractive but often a high-risk venture, as it’s prone to fraud and poor thought-out projects. While some altcoins may offer promising returns, many will fail. Instead of searching for coins that will surge in the short term, try investing in solid cryptocurrencies that will help you build wealth over time.

All cryptocurrencies are subject to risk, and it is wise to only invest in a few at a time. It avoids getting caught up in the inevitable technical issues and regulations that could affect the industry.

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Originally publishes on EtienneKiss-Borlase.net on March 2, 2022

Altcoins to Watch in 2022

The Impact of Technological Change on Business

Technological change is the most critical issue in business. The internet, mobile phones, and computers have changed the way we work and live our lives. This blog post will discuss the impact of technological change on business for you to understand more about it.

Two-way information flows

In the industrial economy, companies controlled all the information about their products. The producers decided what to make and how much to charge for it. Customers didn’t have a choice as they were not aware of alternatives. Now, with technological change, every customer is a producer through peer-to-peer sharing of information over social media. Customers now have easy access to substitutes from around the world, which means that companies now face competition from everywhere in the world rather than locally as before. 

With two-way information flows, customers can compare themselves against other customers, which has led to a shift towards “transparency” – both around quality and price, leading to greater competition between competitors.

Rise of mass collaboration

Open-source software and collaborative online communities like Wikipedia have demonstrated the power of mass collaboration. The internet has lowered the barriers to entry and allowed small companies and individuals to compete on a more equal footing with big companies. Collaboration means that companies need workers who are more skilled, flexible, and educated than ever before.

The rapid pace of technological change

The rapid pace of technological change makes it difficult for employees to keep up with the latest developments in their field. This affects knowledge workers’ productivity as they need time to learn new skills quickly, reducing their wages. 

More tangibly, firms would replace older machines/equipment with newer ones over time, leading to a gradual increase in capital intensity resulting in a fall in labor’s share due to deflationary pressure from technology replacing labor.

Falling costs of communication and coordination

The internet has made it easier for businesses to communicate and coordinate activities at a distance with partners, suppliers, and outsourced workers from around the world. The short-run cost of searching for information across the globe has fallen massively, letting buyers do more comparison shopping. We see increased geographical specialization with cheaper communication due to a rise in comparative advantage, especially among countries/regions with different resource endowments or factor endowments. 

However, it has resulted in various social and political pressures such as outsourcing, offshoring resulting in deflationary pressure on local wages which can lead to dissatisfaction by natives who feel threatened by immigrants. This can end up further leading to negative effects such as an increase in xenophobic nationalism, etc.            

The Impact of Technological Change on Business

Why Ether is on Bitcoin’s Heels

Bitcoin has been the world’s most popular cryptocurrency for years. It is, at this point, nearly impossible to avoid hearing about bitcoin. However, other cryptocurrencies are quickly gaining ground on it – one of them being Ether. This blog post will discuss why you should pay attention to Ether and what makes it unique.

About Etherium

Ether is a cryptocurrency that serves a very different purpose than bitcoin. It’s better to think of it as fuel for a decentralized platform rather than an alternative currency. Ethereum was developed by Vitalik Buterin and went live in 2015 with about 12 million pre-mined coins (Ether). The price per coin started at $0.311 and rose to $19.42 by January 2017, making it the second-largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin (with a current market cap of over $28 billion as of December 23rd, 2017).

Ether is used to “pay” for things within Ethereum’s platform, such as transaction fees or intelligent contract execution. Ether can be bought or sold using other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies. It can also be used to “codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything.”

Ether is mined similarly to bitcoin. Ether mining uses proof-of-work, which makes it attractive for miners because there is no dedicated ASICs currently available on the market (and may never be due to the design of Ethereum). Ether is mined using graphics cards and general-purpose CPUs.

Ether can also be used as a “fuel” for other cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash (to name two examples) that run on top of Ethereum’s blockchain. These tokens get their value from the network they’re built on.

Ether is traded on multiple exchanges, including Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase (to name a few). It can be bought with fiat currencies such as USD or EUR through online wallets like Coinbase or GDAX. Ether’s popularity has been increasing steadily since it launched in 2015 – but recently, there have been some significant developments that have helped boost its profile.

Bottom Line

Ether is on bitcoin’s heels for several reasons. Still, the two most prominent are: Ethereum has been used by many companies to launch new cryptocurrencies and raise money through issuing ICOs (initial coin offerings). Ether was added as the second cryptocurrency supported by Coinbase, behind only bitcoin. These both add significant value to ether in the eyes of investors.

Why Ether is on Bitcoin’s Heels

The Various Blockchain Technologies to Know

There has been a surge in the number of enterprises starting their blockchain technologies after the success of Bitcoin. By 2022, it is expected that 60% of CIOs will launch their blockchain projects. Although the technology behind the blockchain network is the same, the end product is driven by the expected user experience. There are four types of blockchain technologies each one having features that solve a specific set of problems. 

The efficiency of blockchain technology has improved a lot in the last decade. For instance, the first-generation blockchain had numerous problems such as scalability and efficiency. This article will discuss the different types of blockchain technologies.

Public Blockchain

This was the first-generation blockchain technology. Its features allow any user with an internet connection to join the network and do transactions. For public blockchain to work, the transactions must be validated by the participating nodes. A public blockchain becomes nonfunctional if the peers required to solve transactions through participation are not available. The advantage of using this type of blockchain technology is that it does not require intermediaries, which means that anyone can join the network.

Private Blockchain

A private blockchain works in a restricted network or a closed environment. In this type of blockchain technology, permission to join the network is granted by the organization in control of the network. Most organizations prefer to use a private blockchain because it only grants permission to join the network to selected participants. A private blockchain provides its users with similar features as a public blockchain. The only difference between the two networks is that you need to get permission to join a private blockchain while a public blockchain has no joining restrictions.

Consortium Blockchain

A consortium blockchain is best described as a blockchain that combines the features of a public and a private blockchain. This type of blockchain technology allows organizations to make some of their aspects private while others remain public. Preset nodes are used to control consensus procedures in this type of network.

Hybrid Blockchain

Although there are some differences, a hybrid blockchain works in a similar minor to a consortium blockchain. The only difference between these two blockchain technologies is that different organizations can use a decentralized network to collaborate in a hybrid blockchain. The major benefit of using this type of network is that it offers huge scalability compared to other types of blockchain technologies.

The Various Blockchain Technologies to Know

7 Countries That Don’t Accept Cryptocurrency

Being a cryptocurrency enthusiast can be hard. Some people don’t know what it is, and there are places that flat out won’t accept it as payment for goods or services. It might seem like an uphill battle to convince some of these countries to start accepting crypto payments, but the following list should give you hope. These seven countries have either banned cryptocurrencies outright or refuse them as a form of legal tender.

1) Bolivia

Bolivian President Evo Morales has been vocal about his opposition to digital currencies, saying they’re a “ploy and financial manipulation.” The Bolivians are particularly worried that cryptocurrencies might be used as tools for laundering money or evading taxes. They’ve even gone so far as to ban Bitcoin mining in the country.

2) Ecuador

Ecuador is another country that has seen the downside of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Its central bank banned them in July 2014 but reversed its decision a few months later after realizing how difficult this would be to enforce. Nowadays, there are some places you can spend digital currencies within Ecuador, such as BitBolete for shopping and BitPagos for hotels.

3) Iceland

Iceland has some of the most expensive electricity globally, which is why so many cryptocurrency miners have set up shop there. However, this obsession with mining has caused one Bitcoin to cost around $20,000 more than it does elsewhere. These inflated prices prompted Icelandic officials to consider a ban on virtual currencies as early as April 2018.

4) Vietnam

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc took a hard line on cryptocurrencies in June 2018, saying they’re illegal. While it’s unclear whether he meant the ban is temporary or permanent, his statement definitely didn’t help promote the country’s widespread adoption of digital currencies.

5) Kyrgyzstan

If you’re looking to make investments in Kyrgyzstan, avoid putting any money into cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency exchanges are banned within the country as of July 2018. The government justified its decision by saying that digital currencies lack a legal entity and pose risks for investors and citizens alike.

6) Colombia

There are still some businesses in Colombia that accept cryptocurrency payments. However, the central bank of Columbia has repeatedly warned its citizens about their dangers and risks—and even went so far as to ban Bitcoin mining within the country back in early 2018. It’s unclear whether this will remain a permanent ban or if there is any hope for Colombians to make crypto investments.

7) Bangladesh

In early 2018, Bangladeshi officials declared that trading or holding cryptocurrencies were considered illegal within the country. The decision came after a man in Bangladesh tried to use cryptocurrency as payment for ransom money. While there’s no indication that this ban will be lifted anytime soon, some speculate it might change if other countries start accepting crypto payments.

7 Countries That Don’t Accept Cryptocurrency

4 Tips for Strengthening Your NFT Assets

NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are a new digital asset that can be used in various ways. They are often traded on the Ethereum blockchain, and they have many uses. NFT assets are unique because each one is different from all others like it. This means that you cannot simply copy someone else’s token to make your own. We will discuss four tips to strengthen your NFT assets and increase their value.

1) Stake Your Tokens

One way to increase the value of your NFT assets is simply by staking them. Staking means locking up several tokens for a period of time to receive some reward from whatever dApp or platform issued those tokens. This method works best with games, such as Cryptokitties, that have a built-in staking system.

The more tokens you stake and the longer they are locked up for, the higher your rewards will be when it is time to release them from their lockup period. If you do not need many NFTs to play, try this strategy with smaller amounts. The current reward system for Cryptokitties is fairly simple and can be found on their website.

2) Take Advantage of Airdrops

Airdrops are a common way that blockchain projects spread their name or promote new features. They give users tokens for free after completing some task, such as staking certain amounts on the network. If you have been holding NFTs from an ICO, you should definitely consider taking part in an airdrop. There are two benefits of taking part in this type of NFT promotion plan; you receive new tokens from the project, and your current tokens may appreciate because more people will learn about them as they take advantage of free coins.

3) Be Patient

This is especially true in the case of initial coin offerings (ICOs). The market for NFTs and crypto-assets can be very volatile, which means that you may not see your investment grow right away. If you hold several hundred or even thousands of tokens, it could take months before they appreciate enough to make it worth selling. Many projects do not even release tokens for months or years after the ICO. This means that you can wait and accrue value over time without having to worry about a sudden price drop.

4) Watch the Markets

Another way to increase your NFT investment success is by watching market prices. Many exchanges, such as Coinbase or Binance, offer mobile applications that allow you easily check current token values while on the go. This can help keep you up-to-date with the latest changes and trends in the industry so that you can take advantage of them. If you are looking to sell some NFTs, watching market prices is a great way to find the best time and maximize your value.

4 Tips for Strengthening Your NFT Assets

How to Cut Crypto Taxes

The following are nine ways you can use to cut crypto taxes in some situations:

  1. Hold Gains Longer: Holding short-term gains until they turn into long-term gains might be one technique you can use. Capital gains rates change based on the length you hold a particular cryptocurrency. Patience can pay off if you hold crypto for a minimum of a year before selling since you might get a lower tax rate.
  2. Use Capital Losses to Offset Your Gains: There are limits to this particular technique, but you might be able to subtract losses you suffer on your crypto assets if you sold them during the same year you generated taxable gains via cryptocurrencies or even other investments appreciating in their value.
  3. Sell During Low-Income Years: If you have a low-income year, then consider selling it, so you get tax relief on both short- and long-term capital gains. Moving into a lower bracket or just staying low keeps your income tax rate lower, so take advantage of it.
  4. Minimize Your Taxable Income: Scour the entire tax code for any credits or deductions you can use to minimize your taxable income. Expensive medical procedures might be one, as are contributions to certain 401(k) and IRA plans. Charity donations and health savings accounts also usually qualify.
  5. Use a Self-Directed IRA: Some Individual Retirement Accounts can be self-directed for particular investment angles, and cryptocurrency is one of them. An SDIRA can be tax-free or just tax-deferred based on its particular creation, and that might let you enjoy lower tax rates at the time of distribution.
  6. Give Family Members Assets: The IRS allows you an annual gift, per family member, of as much as $15,000 without any tax consequences. Recipients might earn such a low income that they pay no taxes for appreciated property if they sell it. They might also just pay fewer taxes than if you sold it yourself.
  7. Make Charitable Donations: This isn’t the aforementioned tactic of cash donations for tax deductions. Rather, you can donate appreciated cryptocurrency to a charity. You’ll avoid capital gains tax but also possibly get serious tax deductions to claim on your annual tax return.
  8. Move to a New State: State-level income taxes can be a double whammy on top of federal taxes. However, there are certain states that have no income taxes. Keep more of your cryptocurrency gains by living in a state with no or low taxes on investment gains.
  9. Bequeath Things to Your Estate: This one can be risky, given volatile cryptocurrencies can be over time, especially if you have a lot of years left.
How to Cut Crypto Taxes

Cryptocurrency Scams to Watch Out For

People should watch out for these four cryptocurrency scams.

Fake websites

Investors buy bitcoin by using a cryptocurrency exchange. There are scammers out there who try to replicate these websites as much as possible. They create imposter websites with the same colors and fonts. The website address may just be one letter off from the original. Scammers collect login information when an unsuspecting user enters his username and password. The scammers can now access the investor’s real account and withdraw funds. The whole process can be instantaneous. Scammers can bypass two-factor authentication by creating a prompt on the imposter website. The prompt will ask the victim to enter the passcode sent to his phone from the real cryptocurrency exchange. Therefore, investors should carefully check every letter of a website address when they want to use a cryptocurrency exchange.

Emails

In addition, scammers try to steal people’s cryptocurrency by sending malicious emails. The emails may have an attachment. When a user clicks on the link, a virus will begin to download on his computer. The virus may freeze the user’s computer and demand payment in bitcoin. The virus may also keep track of every letter the victim enters on his keyboard. This is how scammers can eventually learn people’s login information for every website.

Fake mobile apps

Scammers also try to target people on their mobile phones. They create apps that look and feel like the apps of legitimate companies. The apps may have the same logo and user interface. Scammers collect passwords when people try to log in using their real information.

Hype

Anyone can create a cryptocurrency. There are numerous tutorials online, so people can simply pick one tutorial and follow the instructions. Naturally, some cryptocurrencies have greedy founders. They may own a significant portion of the cryptocurrency’s total volume. Scammers create hype around their coins by spamming message boards all over the internet. They will pretend to be someone else. The price will go up when other people buy the cryptocurrency. The founder will then cash out by selling his stake. As a result, the price will plummet. Average investors will get hurt. People can avoid this scenario by only investing in the most popular cryptocurrencies.

Overall, investors must be careful when buying cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency Scams to Watch Out For

The Future of NFTs

To understand what the future of NFTs is or what the future holds for them, it is better to understand what NFTs are.

What is NFT?

Non-fungible data or NFT is a unique set of data or information stored on a digital ledger. This combination is also called a blockchain. The blockchain aids the data in being interchangeable and makes it unique through genuine certification.

Hence, the owner is provided with the proof of ownership and has copyrights too.

Storing any data on the NFTs, whether photos, information, videos, barcodes, digital files, etc.

The Future of NFTs

A powerful profit-sharing earnings.

In upcoming years, NFT can become a real, genuine, and potent profit-sharing system. For brands looking forward to flourishing in e-commerce specifically, NFT can be an excellent source of profit earning for them. In addition, NFT can make the profit-sharing process more accessible and reliable for both the customers and companies both.

In addition, artists and companies use NFT to gain profits directly every time it increases in value.

A Great Source of Development For Websites

The process of development never stops, especially the cycle which is linked through e-commerce. As day by day people tend to explore and get to know things better. NFT is an extension of a development system, just like the development observed in the internet browsers.

It will be a completely changing development process for the brands in e-commerce, such as fashion and clothing.

Reliable Transaction Process: Safety

NFT is incredibly potent in ensuring safety for the customers. As the whole transaction process is recorded on a blockchain, hence there are rare chances of fraud. Moreover, the information cannot be altered in any case allowing NFT to convert the value of money into tokens.

The NFT craze may seem like it is temporary to many because of the extreme speculation in the short term. But it is essential to note that NFT’s provide value in several ways, and it will find use in various markets over the near term. From real estate to art, authenticity, transparency, and recordability add real value overall. The fact that they are easily accessible and simple to implement, making them a force for innovation over the next few years.

The Future of NFTs