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Dr. Prash @ Anarchapulco 2019

Dr. Prash has been in Acapulco, Mexico to represent Caleb and Brown at Anarchapulco 2019.

Anarchapulco is the premier event for thought leaders from all around the world, discussing the innovations that seek to disrupt the status quo and re-imagine the future as we envision it.

 

My past few days at Anarchapulco have highlighted a few key principles relevant to the Cryptocurrency space.

  1. The ‘Ancap’ movement has extended far beyond ideological anarchism and now encompasses clearly, the developer community that is putting together the building blocks of this technological revolution.
  2. While price speculation continues to dominate the news-scape, within the grassroots of the movement, it is of little concern. Instead, the main concerns remain the direction this technology will take and the breadth that it is to encompass.
  3. While Crypto companies struggle financially and on the surface there is much talk of a downturn in the market, that is barely visible within the tech community that is growing at an increasingly rapid rate with that being translated to the technology itself.
  4. As this technology is predominantly open source, it lends itself to exponential growth. as the user base continues to grow, so to will the cognitive equity poured into the ecosystem. No closed loop, centralized tech could ever compare with the rate or magnitude of IP being created daily in this space.

Look forward to my detailed review of Anarchapulco next week

– Written by Dr. Prash P

 

About Dr. Prash:

Dr. Prash is the CEO of Caleb and Brown, who are available to guide new and seasoned investors. Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

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A Broker Of The Mind – Dr Prash Puspanathan | Blockleaders

Originally published on Blockleaders

 

The Melbourne based Doctor of Psychiatry turned crypto-broker tells Blockleaders about his fascinating journey from medicine to blockchain, life as an immigrant in Australia and his hopes for the future of digital money.

It’s 9.00 am in Melbourne and it is already 40 degrees outside. Wild horses are dropping dead. Bushfires are reported in Tasmania. Somehow, professional tennis players continue to contest the Australian Open, although some matches were suspended yesterday for the safety of players and spectators. In the south of the country, exhausted Aussies bake in temperatures just shy of 50 degrees. It’s a busy time, one must presume, for medical professionals and first responders.

Deep in conversation from his – I hope – well air-conditioned office, one doctor isn’t losing his cool. Dr. Prash Puspanathan, Doctor of Psychiatry and CEO of award-winning boutique crypto brokerage Caleb & Brown, is good a person to know. How many friends can you call on to cure you of what ails your mind and your wallet? Indeed, how many financial brokers are also clinical advisers to a national psychedelic society? And while we’re asking, who knew that national psychedelic societies are a thing?

But for Prash there is a clear philosophical line that can be drawn from psychedelics to cryptocurrencies, and he is persuasive in his reasoning. Articulate and almost offensively intelligent, the soft-spoken Singapore native speaks with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel, as he guides me through a dissection of the crypto market, globalisation, immigration and, of course, the mind.

“I was a surgical trainee, but as I discovered the effect psychedelics can have on the mind, and the complexities of the mind, I became convinced that my future lay in treating the mind rather than the body. That promise of psychedelics was something I could never turn away from.

A few years ago, while I was writing a talk on the medical potential of psychedelics and as I was researching the notion of cognitive liberty, I stumbled across the idea of fiscal liberty – the belief that you should have the freedom to spend your money whichever way you want. It’s not something you consider as a problem in the developed world until you investigate it deeply.

This led me to the Bitcoin whitepaper. I got extremely involved in that paradigm, which I found ideologically similar to the psychedelic paradigm. I invested in cryptocurrencies myself and soon realised that there was a gap in the market.

…There was no safe, trusted means of obtaining large volumes of cryptocurrencies. That’s how Caleb & Brown came into being…

…But I still maintain an active interest in the medical use of psychedelics.”

Australia is not alone in categorising most psychedelic substances as Class A drugs alongside cocaine and heroin, a state of affairs which is unlikely to change any time soon. But microdosing of psychedelics in the belief that it enhances cognitive performance is creeping into corporate culture. “We are a long way away from decriminalisation. The medical cannabis wave has chartered a path and provides a use case, but it will be years before we see anything like this with psychedelics. There are so many medical, legal and regulatory hurdles to jump – even testing with psychedelics is legally problematic. But I believe that the usage of these substances to enhance performance will become more widespread on Wall Street in the coming years, as it already has in Silicon Valley.”

 

However, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, Australia has taken a far less clear position, except when it comes to taxation. Prash’s business is regulated by the qango with oversight for Australia’s anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws. “We are licensed by AUSTRAC to provide a cryptocurrency exchange service.  That’s the only licensing in place at present. The other regulators – companies registration, financial services – have been silent on the treatment of cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, the tax authorities treat cryptocurrencies as commodities, which means that tax is due whenever crypto is exchanged for a profit. The problem here is that it fails to take account of the depreciation of crypto assets. So, for example, if your crypto holdings have depreciated by 50%, the loss cannot be offset against your tax liability unless you actually sell the cryptos for a loss. More seriously, if you exchange Bitcoin for Ethereum at a profit today and the price of Ether crashes tomorrow, your tax liability is on the profit you made, even if your holdings are now worth next to nothing. I would like to see cryptos treated as regulated financial instruments, which would make them more attractive for wealth management and financial advisers. After all, making crypto investing attractive for institutional investment firms is essential for the growth of the ecosystem.”

Companies working with cryptos are met with intransigence by the banking sector, a situation that is hardly unique to Australia. “Only yesterday I read about another crypto exchange having their banking services withdrawn. And it happens quickly. If the company is lucky, it might receive a letter giving it seven day’s notice that its account will be frozen. Frustratingly, it’s impossible to get a proper explanation other than the assertion that the banks are private institutions and can do business with whomever they choose.”

Caleb and Brown offers a free crypto tax consultation to all clients. Sign up here to become a client today!

 

Prash’s native Singapore is a hotbed of blockchain activity, although, with a very pro-active State and an infrastructure struggling to keep up, Singapore presents businesses with almost a direct reversal of the issues they face in Australia. “Regulators in Singapore have certainly done a lot to push regulation forward to make the country more crypto-friendly. But there is a dichotomy, in that the regulators are very advanced, but the influx that has occurred of startups and private enterprises have been somewhat hamstrung by the banking infrastructure.”

Finding the right fiscal space for cryptos is a global problem. But whether they are securities, financial instruments, or working currencies, their potential in taking power away from banks entices Prash. “One of the main problems with the financial system now is the complete opacity of it. If anything, the crypto ecosystem allows much greater transparency on the basis of the distributed ledger technology at its heart. What fascinates me more is the question of access. We have anointed the banks with an enormous amount of power. We’ve assigned them that power and then we give them our money to hold.”

“We get on our knees and bow down to the rules they set for us about how we transact our funds. It’s a remarkably counter-intuitive notion that has become ingrained in society over time. This is where the idea of fiscal liberty should be centered…

…It’s not about hiding your money from authorities – I don’t have any problem with fair taxation. Having free access to our money without an opaque intermediary is more interesting to me.”

Prash speaks authoritatively about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and is refreshingly hyperbole-free in his analysis. There is a decentralised utopia out there for the taking, but practical steps must be taken by governments, regulators and financial services before we can hope to reach the libertarian ideal held dear by decentralisation maximalists. He tells me it is only through proper regulation and government action that institutional investment will enter the market, thereby moving the world away from the staid, outmoded banking paradigm, and allowing the value of these assets to start moving up again.

“A lot of crypto purists shy away from regulation because they see it as stepping away from the decentralised ethos they avow. But for me…

…regulation is a benign trojan horse that allows us to ease the transition from our current model to the utopian ideal that the purist dreams of.”

 

The crypto market is currently worth in the region of $150 billion, whereas there is 7 trillion in gold and $70 trillion held in high net worth individual funds run by wealth managers and financial advisors. It is difficult to imagine the crypto market moving forward without some of that money moving into the crypto space. For that to happen, regulation must happen first.

Secondly, more mainstream investment models must be created. I know a lot has been written about ETFs, but we’ve seen with gold and other commodities that the launch of ETFs can really boost the industry, and I think that can happen with cryptos. This will take time, maybe years.

Thirdly, there is the matter of custody. If we want to see greater validity and a more mature infrastructure in the space, there must be better custody solutions. A lot of work is being done, but nobody yet has a credible solution. I like to draw a distinction between custody services and custody solutions.  For a service to be a custody solution, the key element is underwriting. What happens when something goes wrong? Until there is a robust underwriting mechanism, there will be a reluctance to hold large quantities of assets with all the inherent dangers that entails.”

 

But when the dust settles, will these digital assets have any purpose other than to be held and traded?  Will we ever routinely buy skinny lattes with Bitcoin? “This is another contentious point. Roger Ver wouldn’t agree with me, but in my view, multiple cryptocurrencies can co-exist and they will each have their own value proposition. The main value of Bitcoin is in its fundamental scarcity, which gives it great potential as a store of value. Regardless of what we read about the Lightning Network, I can’t see us using Bitcoin for day to day transactions. It’s just not practicable.”

 

Prash has made Australia his home and has never felt discriminated against for his nationality or skin colour. “I moved here in 2005, and in that time I have never faced any setbacks or discrimination based on where I am from. But I think that is due to my credentials to some extent. But I can’t deny that there is a level of discrimination here.  You just have to look at our immigration and asylum policy. I spent time working as a doctor in immigration detention centres with our asylum seeker population and that was a very disheartening experience. Australia is geographically isolated, and also socio-economically independent to a large degree. It doesn’t have the same influences or pressures that are felt by countries in Europe or the Americas. The immigrant communities in Europe are often from neighbouring countries.  Here, they are from very distant states and are easier to classify as ‘aliens’. It’s interesting because each generation of Australians has repeatedly had this attitude to the next generation of immigrants.”

 

It will be for historians to analyse why this decade has seen the rise of populist, right-wing political movements across the globe. These movements espouse anti-bank and anti-government sentiments that sound similar to those voiced by some crypto believers. The political mavericks at the helm of these new parties point the finger accusingly at globalisation, condemning states and banks for choosing profit over the working men and women of Italy, the US or one of the other nations that has lurched to the right. Is the age of globalisation over, and what can that mean for blockchain, a technology unencumbered by borders?

 

“I still believe strongly that globalisation is a core tenant of what the crypto ecosystem promises us…

…We have approximations towards globalisation now and that has been facilitated by advances in technology, transportation and so on. But money is crucial as a means of establishing trust. The fact that we have these geographically divergent currencies means we have divergent means of establishing trust. That is something I would like to see changed, and cryptocurrencies can help in establishing that trust.

 

As globalisation has become more of a reality in the past fifty years, we have been faced with the reality of what that looks like. But with globalisation, you can’t pick and choose the bits that you want. If you want cheap labour, you have to cope with the fact that you will have waves of immigration and a more multicultural society. This has driven some of the backlash that we are seeing now. But globalisation can’t simply be turned off, and it will be interesting to see how we adapt to its challenges over the next ten or twenty years.”

 

My conversation with Prash ends on a cautionary note as we turn our attention to the economic outlook for the coming months and years. For Prash, a financial shock is in in the air.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens this year.  At this point, the wheels are in motion. We have been repeating the same mistakes we made in the run-up to the crash of 2008.  At some point, the house of cards will have to crumble. The last three months of 2018 were disastrous. The FTSE and Dow Jones had horrific quarters, and this is a significant indicator of where the financial system is sitting. It’s inevitable. Nobody talks about subprime mortgages anymore, but the practice of buffering our financial system still occurs. The status quo of control in the banking sector remained after the last crash and that has been prohibitive to innovation in the sector”

 

Recession comes with opportunity, however, but Prash has very little time for taking stock. “It will be a catalyst for change. If nothing else, we will be forced to examine how we do business, and that is something that excites me. For myself, I hope in the future to have more time to think.  It’s the most crucial ingredient for any academic or for anyone who wants to innovate.”

 

Dr. Prash is the CEO at Caleb and Brown, which is available to guide new and seasoned investors.

About Dr. Prash P:
Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

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A FinTech View: Financial Services Royal Commission

After almost a year, the final report from the Financial Services Royal Commission has been released and the ramifications go much deeper than just the banking and finance sector – the antagonists in this script. The Fintech sector and in that, the Crypto industry has lessons to learn from these mistakes of the past generation of finance, and to ensure that such practices are not carried forward.

Transparency

One of the key findings of the Royal Commission was the veil of opacity that the banking system has preemptively cocooned around itself. Another, was the need for this curtain to fall, not only for such disruptive and blatant monopolistic practices to cease, but also to ensure the interests of the everyday consumer were protected.

The transparency that blockchain-technology based systems bring is at the core of the ideological movement that birthed the Cryptocurrency industry and as such, this is a move that is inline with the Crypto ecosystem.

Fintech companies have been the hardest hit by de-banking practices and un-competitive industry acquisitions and greater accountability for such actions will only lead to a greater benefit for the Fintech industry as a whole. As a follow on effect, easing of banking pressures as well as a more equitable competitive landscape spells a more favourable investing landscape for the end-consumer. You.

 

Reputation

Lack of accountability is an accusation that has been levelled at the finance sector but here in the Crypto sector, we are already seeing that mistake being repeated. ICOs that raised capital only to deliver no product, have jeopardised the reputation of, and the ethics within, the wider Crypto industry. As a result of the unregulated marketplace, many of these projects have not been held accountable to their investors. Despite persistent attempts by ASIC in to limit the damage, many investors have still been negatively affected.

In particular, being that the industry is so immature, this type of recklessness will especially hamper wider growth and adoption of digital currencies. It is as yet early times and without such paradigms being set practice, we have the opportunity as an industry to ensure change is afoot for the future.

The Royal Commission is a watershed moment for Australia and one would hope that change, henceforth is inevitable. That being said, the underlying sentiment is true of the rest of the world as well. This change, which should be driven by an aim to make the banking industry more agile, lean and open, should see greater incorporation of Fintech into existing outmoded systems and practice models.

– Written by Dr. Prash P

About Dr. Prash:

Dr. Prash is the CEO of Caleb and Brown, who are available to guide new and seasoned investors. Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

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Samsung Could be ‘Bigger for Bitcoin than Bakkt’ | Micky.com.au

Originally published on Micky

A high-profile cryptocurrency analyst says Samsung’s next mobile phone could have a bigger impact on Bitcoin than Bakkt or an exchange traded fund (ETF). Joseph Young, a cryptocurrency and fintech expert with 95,000 Twitter followers, made the claim as supposedly leaked images revealed the new Samsung Galaxy S10 has support for cryptocurrencies.

“If Samsung integrates crypto to Galaxy S10, I think it may have a bigger impact than ETF and Bakkt combined,” Mr Young said.

“Partially because no one really knows what kind of exposure (an) ETF / Bakkt will bring … while millions of people use Samsung phones daily.”

(https://btcmanager.com/leaked-photos-suggest-samsung-s10-to-feature-crypto-wallet)

Dr Prash P., the CEO of leading Australian cryptocurrency broker Caleb and Brown, agrees that a Samsung Bitcoin wallet would be significant for the cryptocurrency industry.

“Mainstream validation is what the industry is screaming out for and thus far we have sought this out predominantly in the form of acceptance by the financial incumbents,” Dr Prash said.

“However, to gain this validation via a major player in the global technology sphere – that has chosen to do so out of its own agency and not because of a market created by the traditional financial market – is tremendous validation.

“On a more practical note, the ease of crypto support inbuilt into mobile phone tech will definitely be a boon for adoption due to the ease of use this promises.”

Unconfirmed Rumour

(https://micky.com.au/bitcoin-property-australian-sellers-accepting-crypto-despite-volatility)

In December of 2018, rumours began to emerge that Samsung was releasing a cryptocurrency wallet with its newest phone.

News website Sammobile said “we can confirm that the company is indeed developing one and that it may be launched with the Galaxy S10.” 

According to Sammobile, the cryptocurrency service would essentially have two parts. One would be a cold wallet for saving cryptocurrency, public and private keys as well as signing private keys for cryptocurrency transactions, while the other would be a wallet for transfers, viewing account information and transaction history.

Micky has so far been unable to find any proof the wallets have been developed, and blockchain news website Cointelegraph has previously said Samsung dismissed the reports as “rumour and speculation.”

“(The) suggestion was swiftly refuted by Samsung in private correspondence with Cointelegraph,” the website said.

It quoted Samsung as saying:

“Unfortunately we are unable to provide any information as the below is rumour and speculation.”

Samsung does, however, have three blockchain-related trademark requests that appear on the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) website.

They are titled ‘Blockchain KeyStore,’ ‘Blockchain KeyBox’ and ‘Blockchain Core.’

(A screen shot from the EUIPO website, showing the application for the “Blockchain KeyStore” trade mark)

 

Dr. Prash is the CEO at Caleb and Brown, which is available to guide new and seasoned investors.

About Dr. Prash P:
Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

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CBOE Pulls VanEck Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Filing

Yesterday the SEC announced that CBOE had pulled its filing for an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to list shares of the VanEck Solid X Bitcoin Trust. While the announcement initially raised concerns from the Crypto community, an interview with CNBC later that day, the CEO of VanEck clarified that the withdrawal was a temporary measure. The Trump administration’s government shutdown has significantly affected the SEC’s manpower and resources. Therefore, the lack of resources could, justifiably, lead to a poor decision.

Ever since the Winkelvoss twins filed an ETF application that was rejected by the SEC in early 2017, numerous contenders have sought approval for the first Bitcoin futures index. The Crypto community has watched these applications with keen interest, as a means to establishing both credibility and mainstream adoption.

Why is a Bitcoin ETF Important?

There is an estimated USD $70 trillion held by institutional investors globally. Without a trusted, regulated platform to facilitate investment, these funds remain largely inaccessible to the Bitcoin and wider Crypto market. The start of 2019 which has been pockmarked by the hack of the Cryptopia Exchange and news of KYC data leaked from major Crypto exchanges which has only reinforced the need for more mature infrastructure.

It is worth considering that for all its influence, the SEC is only one regulatory body in one market. As other countries start advancing their own regulation, focus may shift away from the SEC to guide the regulatory landscape. The listing of the Amun Crypto Basket ETP on the SIX Swiss Exchange last year has seen the highest traded volumes of any exchange-traded product, and is perhaps the first validation of this.

2019 will likely see further volatility within the regulatory landscape for Cryptocurrencies. In addition, the ETF story is likely to remain one of the main protagonists. Industry analysts suggest that it may yet be too early for the SEC to push an ETF application through. How an ETF plays out globally will be a telling sign of sentiment from both the financial and regulatory powers.

Dr Prash – CEO Caleb & Brown

Image source: Fortune
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The Crypto Investor Is Changing | Micky.com.au

Originally published in Micky

Statistics show professional investors are coming to crypto by Dr. Prash P, CEO Caleb and Brown

Over the past twelve months, my cryptocurrency brokerage service, Caleb and Brown, has seen a notable shift in the type of client entering the crypto market.

The stratospheric highs of January 2017 saw a huge influx of speculative investors, including many who were making their first notable investment. These investors were reacting to hype driven by friends and family, as well as the media, which enthusiastically reported about the rise of cryptocurrencies as a financial force that could not be ignored.

The shift

Reporting in recent times has turned. The last six months has seen repeated public tolling of the death knell for cryptocurrencies, and the market has not put up any credible resistance either, with a slow (by crypto standards at least) decline across the last nine months.

There have been spikes of short lived volatility, but that has only served as a distraction while the general trend has continued.

The decline of the ICO wave, which likely artificially inflated the Crypto market in early 2018, has seen Bitcoin’s market dominance rise from as low as 32%, back to above 50%.

New investors

With this backdrop though, it has been curious to see a new, more risk averse investor start to appear.

Superannuation and pension funds, investments via trust structures and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) have taken over from individual accounts as the majority of new clients of our brokerage in the last six months.

A snapshot of our investing population suggests that these new investors are investing in Bitcoin as a long term hold rather than seeking rapid turn-around gains like their speculative counterparts did.

This is exactly what we saw in 2014 – euphoria led to new investors which developed into
fundamental believers as the price corrected.

Follow the money

Financial markets are not isolated systems, and a look at the greater financial markets reveals some interesting current trends.

Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 7% for the year, and the NASDAQ Composite Index is down 18% in the last 3 months. The UK’s FTSE 100 is facing a 12% loss for the year, its worst in a decade. Back in Australia, the ASX 200 fell almost 7% this year, losing investors $120 Billion.

Meanwhile in crypto land, markets experienced a late Christmas rally with BTC bouncing back from a December low of US$3200 to rise to more than US$4200 in the last week before settling to about US$3800. Whether this will be sustained is too early to tell but it does raise some interesting hypotheses, not all new.

Crypto as a hedge

It has long been proposed that cryptocurrencies, as a non-correlated asset class, could prove a useful hedge against traditional financial market risk in the way Gold or Fine Art have acted in the past.

A late price rally could indicate a shift of value from traditional financial markets, bringing
some credibility to this idea. While this idea requires a significant financial downturn to be really tested, there are some changes in the demography of new investors to our brokerage which could also hint at change.

The last three months have seen an unprecedented increase in what we may generously term as savvy investors. Financial advisors, stockbrokers and venture capitalists investing into their personal portfolios now make up more than five per cent of Caleb & Brown’s client base, up from two per cent during our last audit in September. Equally their average initial capital investment is more than three times our client average.

Higher disposable incomes in this demographic could account for this increase, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the financial incumbents, traditionally thought to be shy of this emerging asset class, are seeing it as a viable investment alternative.

What’s next?

Baron Rothschild famously said, “Buy when there’s blood on the streets, even if it’s your own blood”. If it is this blood that the money-people are sniffing and hunting down leading them to enter the crypto market, then it bodes well for this trend to continue.

2019 looks to be an altogether different proposition for Crypto markets than 2018, with a very different outlook, market position and general sentiment.

While that sentiment globally remains cautious, the gradual shift we are noticing in investor trends fills me with confidence that the market is moving in the right direction, albeit gradually.

Dr. Prash is the CEO at Caleb and Brown, which is available to guide new and seasoned investors.

About Dr. Prash P:
Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

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Custody Seen as Crypto’s Next Major Battleground

Report published by Waters Technology

Dr. Prash, CEO Caleb and Brown contributes to “Custody Seen as Crypto’s Next Major Battleground” By Wei-Shen Wong – Waters Technology.

 
Although institutional interest in cryptocurrency trading has grown, the development of the custody space, in particular, is crucial for its next phase of evolution.

Custody Seen as Crypto’s Next Major Battleground

To Prash Puspanathan, founder and CEO at Caleb and Brown, an Australian-based boutique consultancy firm providing cryptocurrency services, the two primary barriers that impede greater institutional investment are a lack of regulatory oversight and trust.

“It is the latter of these factors, trust, where technology can play a huge part in cementing. The lack of a comprehensive, secure and trusted custodial solution for digital assets which allows institutional investors who need to be considerably more risk-averse to be assured that their assets will not disappear off the balance sheet due to security factors out of their control needs to be addressed. And it is being addressed,” he says.

This is through the development of innovative solutions for secure custody from multi-signature wallets, to sharded private keys, to analog thumb-printing of hardware wallets, combined with secure vault storage.

“However, it is only when we achieve dependable underwriting of these assets that we will be able to justifiably state that a custodial solution worthy of institutional reputational risk exists,” Prash says.

The lack of a comprehensive, secure and trusted custodial solution for digital assets… needs to be addressed. And it is being addressed — Prash Puspanathan, Caleb & Brown.

Access the FULL REPORT – here

Dr. Prash is the CEO at Caleb and Brown is available to guide new and seasoned investors.

About Dr. Prash P:
Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

Image source: Waters Technology

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Cryptocurrency Market Insights – Q3 2018

Report published by CoinJar

Dr. Prash, CEO Caleb and Brown contributes to Cryptocurrency Market Insights Q3 2018 brought to you by CoinJar.

 
Summary: The last quarter proved wild for short-term speculative investors with BTC at $8,356 on June 30 rising to $11,709 on July 25th and tumbling to $9,284 by September 30th. Based on those prices if you had held BTC for the quarter you would have seen gains of 11.10%. Comparatively, if you had entered the bull run in September 2017 at $6,581 returns would be in excess of 39%

Market Volume – What are your current estimates on AUD or Australia market volumes (inclusive of OTC)? What changes have you seen in the last 12 months?
This is a difficult approximation to make, as the OTC market is largely opaque. And this is particularly relevant as we are seeing a shift towards greater volume being put through the OTC desks in preference over exchanges. This is likely a combination of continuing fluctuating confidence in exchanges as well as the investing population calling out for a more secure and reliable process.

Price – What (if any) price indication are you currently providing clients?

Where do you view price direction for the next 3 v 12 months? Where do you think sentiment sits across the market (bullish or bearish)? 60-day price volatility on Bitcoin is down to just 4%, which we haven’t seen for two years, since October 2016. Significantly lower than the 42% peak in February this year.

Volatility – How do you view market volatility at present? How would you compare that to 12 months ago?

Bitcoin is very much a social phenomenon, which tends to be a trending topic as families and friends gather over the holidays in Q4 each year. As a 3 month estimate, we anticipate that there’s a good chance of reaching $7400 USD, while the 12-month price direction is less clear as general sentiment is still bearish.

OTC – How do you see this market currently? Who are the major participants? How has it changed in the last 12 months?

OTC changed from very crypto-savvy people who used OTC to achieve better pricing and access to liquidity to a range of demographics who are now using OTC for better customer service and assurance around exit strategies.

Industry – How do you see the next 12 months within the industry?

What trends are you noticing in particular around products & application development? What’s your personal sentiment on this space? We are anticipating that a lot of the pain points in the industry will start to get solved, particularly around custody, and that will subsequently enable further developments in the regulated financial sectors.

Business & Products – How has your business changed in the last 12 months? I.e. have you introduced specific new products or changes to current products, how much was that influenced by the market?

We have seen extraordinary client number growth, including a large number of international clients. A key service offering we are seeing greater demand for us is Crypto Tax Consultancy due to greater recognition of the need to be compliant with the ATO’s directions on Crypto trades as Capital Gain events.

Download the FULL REPORT – here

Dr. Prash is the CEO at Caleb and Brown is available to guide new and seasoned investors.

About Dr. Prash P:
Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

Image source: CoinJar

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ASIC Tightening Regulation On ICOs

Originally published in Dynamics Business

ASIC tightening regulation on ICOs is a positive move for the industry by Dr. Prash P, CEO Caleb and Brown

ASIC recently announced that it has shut down several Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) for misleading or deceptive statements in their marketing and operation of unlicensed managed investment schemes. This once again casts the spotlight on the unregulated nature of the Cryptocurrency industry and the need for investor protection.

Dr. Prash @ Real Big Things.
Dr. Prash P CEO, Caleb and Brown on Dynamic Business.

Cryptocurrencies and, by association with the larger category of digital assets that they enable and are often confused with, continue to be viewed with suspicion by much of the mainstream public. This is despite, or in some cases as a result of, their explosion into the public consciousness in the last year. The reasons for this are varied.

The early association with nefarious activity has probably cast the darkest and most dogged shadow, one which continues to plague its legacy despite that being increasingly a historical issue. A 2018 Bloomberg report states that criminal activity accounts for only 10% of Bitcoin transactions. In contrast, a study by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC in 2009 estimated that criminal activity amounted to 3.6% of Global GDP with 1.6 Trillion USD of that being laundered. It is worth noting that the entire market capital of all Cryptocurrencies currently is only about $200 Billion USD.

The very rapid rise in Cryptocurrency prices at the end of 2017 and then a very dramatic slump which has persisted across 2018 raised new concerns. That 75% drop in the total market capital compared to its peak at the start of the year, catalysed by speculative investors panic selling or exiting the market after making quick gains, had significant ramifications for confidence in the industry. Investors who got in at the crest of the wave made huge losses, the dramatic dip intensified talk of the industry being a “bubble” and the financial services industry saw further reason to shy away. Those in the industry though, will point to the fact that it was speculative investment and not the underlying technology that should be held culpable and the small market capitalisation which makes it so vulnerable to volatility. In addition, this industry remains very much in its infancy and as such lacking the solid foundations which would allow for a quick bounce back. For context, on the 26th of July this year, Facebook lost $119 Billion USD in a single day without similar rhetoric following it.

And then there have been scams capitalising on the anonymity the industry offers, hacks preying on the infancy of the infrastructure built around the technology, and the murmurings of market manipulation. All issues of concern but again not deficits of the technology itself but of the ecosystem building itself around it.

However, a more pertinent and relevant reason for oversight of this space has been the rampant and long unregulated rise of the ICO phenomenon. Initial Coin Offerings, the Cryptocurrency equivalent of Initial Public Offerings, grew in prominence in 2017 as projects raised huge sums of money based in some cases on little more than a whitepaper and an idea. The unregulated nature of this market reduced the impedance to capital rising by allowing crowd sourcing of capital as well as allowing it to ride on the coat-tails of a technology that showed the promise to revolutionise the way industries and business would operate.

Much of that promise remains valid. The technology underpinning many of these ICO projects, as well as the innovations they bring to the fore, are likely to continue to develop and cement their place in the future. The capital raise model pioneered by ICOs, based on decentralisation and the efficiency of smart contracts will likely evolve into a model that the future of business will be built on.

However, the potential of these technologies and innovations are likely to be curtailed by rogue projects without appropriate investor protections and/or individuals seeking to capitalise on the promise of the industry to raise capital for unvalidated ventures. This would be damaging to market sentiment to an extent that it would hamper the growth of the industry.

The industry then, rather than view the greater scrutiny by ASIC with pessimism, should instead welcome the move as a means of separating the wheat from the chaff, with a long term view towards increased legitimacy within a young, growing movement. These are but the early steps on the long road towards assimilation with, and adoption by, the greater financial services industry.

Dr. Prash is the CEO at Caleb and Brown is available to guide new and seasoned investors.

About Dr. Prash P:
Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

Image source: Dynamic Business

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Reconsidering The Environmental Impact Of Cryptocurrencies

Originally published in Dynamics Business

Reconsidering The Environmental Impact Of Cryptocurrencies by Dr. Prash P, CEO Caleb and Brown

The speculative market’s obsession with the dollar value of Bitcoin and its Cryptocurrency cousins has acted as an unfortunately effective smokescreen; One that has obscured the fact that beyond being just an emerging asset class, Cryptocurrencies are, at their core, an emerging technology.

And as with any emerging technology that finds value propositions beyond its most obvious initial purpose, so too does it pose potential issues of concern not readily solved in the present paradigm. One of the more glaring of the latter is that of the energy demands of the technology.

That the technology underlying Cryptocurrencies has a tremendous energy appetite is undeniable. Cryptocurrency mining ( the process underpinning numerous blockchains ) requires enormous computational power and electricity. According to Diginomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, Bitcoin itself has an estimated annual electricity consumption of over 73TWh, roughly the energy consumption of Austria. While these numbers may sound alarming, it is worth noting that as the price, market capital and adoption of the industry increase and Cryptocurrency mining becomes more profitable and appealing, this figure looks set to rise.

Image courtesy Dynamic Business

So what does this mean for an industry that has built itself on Libertarian principles but looks to flout the environmentalist persuasions of the liberal Left?

The pessimist’s view would be, as it appears on face value, that this industry is non-sustainable; that these energy demands make for an industry that goes against the view of the future that most progressive thinkers and policymakers aspire towards. Surely, advocating for a technology that looks to drive a positive feedback loop of energy usage driving adoption which incentivises for greater energy use is incompatible with the Futurist’s aim for a greater balance in humanity’s consumption demands.

Conversely and perhaps controversially, I offer an optimistic alternative viewpoint.

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study, perhaps the most comprehensive study into renewable energy projections in the United States, has revealed that the U.S. has the capacity to generate 80% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050. This is not to suggest that it is on track to, for it most certainly isn’t if current energy policies were to hold; Rather that we possess both the technological, intellectual and functional capacity to achieve this if the policy were to align and enable this.

Without treading into the murky waters of conspiracy theory, questions as to why this misalignment exist often point towards the lack of incentives towards this new direction. More pertinently, they point towards the financial incentives inherent in maintaining the status quo and the influence of this on policy.

So if the technology, know-how, and capacity to drive a renewable energy future are waiting in the wings, could Cryptocurrencies and the significant economic benefit that awaits anyone who manages to create a sustainable pipeline that drives this forward, be the incentivising factor necessary to power this change?

Could a Bitcoin be the metaphorical pot of gold at the end of the sustainable energy rainbow?

The reality will, naturally, sit somewhere between these two viewpoints, each on polar ends of the dispositional spectrum.

Regardless, as we look past the dollar value of this market, this will likely emerge as a discussion of considerable significance in the future of this industry.

As the smoke clears.

Dr. Prash is the CEO at Caleb and Brown is available to guide new and seasoned investors.

About Dr. Prash P:
Prash is considered a thought leader in the philosophical and existential implications of this emerging technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

connect with us

Call Dr. Prash on +61 1800 849 149  or Contact Us to discuss further.

Image source: Mashable