|Bid||210.00 x 900|
|Ask||210.34 x 1100|
|Day's Range||208.83 - 214.24|
|52 Week Range||159.28 - 224.20|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.08|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||32.69|
|Earnings Date||Apr 21, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||248.09|
The huge surge in stocks like Tesla, Virgin Galactic and Stamps.com have brought back some trader memories of the heady days of the dot-com boom. But Robert Buckland, a global strategist at Citi, studied stock market distributions to show the market of now is not really that similar to that of the dot-com days.
Momentum investors, who are relentlessly pushing up stocks, are oblivious to the breakout in gold amid a relatively rare event. Because of that, prudent investors should pay attention. Please click here for an annotated chart of SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) a gold exchange traded fund.
The abandonment of a show as big as Mobile World Congress stings economically for the host city, mobile industry and entrepreneurs from across the globe who attend in hopes of doing deals. And it could just be the beginning.
People reveal more personal and intimate details to human-like apps and bots that can ‘sense’ emotions and concerns.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world threatened by trade wars. Sign up here. European finance chiefs arrived at a meeting of their global peers in Riyadh demanding the urgent creation of a new global tax system for the 21st century that would capture the profits of tech multinationals. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responded: it’s not that simple.New rules for taxing companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have stirred intense debate at this weekend’s Group of 20 meeting of finance chiefs. Finding a solution this year is key to maintaining a tariff truce the U.S. and Europe struck after France agreed to delay the collection of a national levy.While finance ministers from France and Germany were among those expressing confidence on Saturday that a compromise could be found in time, Mnuchin warned that he is somewhat hamstrung. “Let me emphasize: in the U.S., depending upon what the solutions are, these may require congressional approval,” he said during a discussion, sitting alongside France’s Bruno Le Maire.The pair have held tense discussions since France introduced a 3% levy last year on the digital revenue of companies that make their sales primarily online. The move was supposed to give impetus to international talks to redefine tax rules, and the government has pledged to abolish its national tax if there is agreement on such rules.The U.S. has argued the French measure discriminates against American companies, and threatened tariffs as high as 100% on $2.4 billion of French goods. Donald Trump’s government agreed to hold fire on import duties and France pushed back collecting the digital tax until the end of 2020.“One of the things we’re balancing is sticking with the fundamental issue of taxing based upon where companies are -- the more we change that to broaden this, the more we run into other issues,” Mnuchin said. He indicated Congress as a hurdle before any major changes on taxes can be agreed upon, but added “there’s a tremendous desire to get this done.”Spain, Italy and Austria also want to impose a digital service tax. Turkey, a G-20 member, introduced a 7.5% levy in December, targeting companies from Google and Facebook to Netflix Inc.“It is our collective responsibility to reach a global agreement on this issue by the end of this year,” the finance ministers of the euro area’s four largest economy said in an editorial published in European newspapers. “We now have a unique opportunity to recast the global tax system to make it fairer and more effective.”Sticking PointThe key sticking point is a U.S. proposal to make the new digital tax rules a safe-harbor regime. Doing that, the U.S. has said, would address concerns of taxpayers about mandatory departure from longstanding rules. France and others have contested that could render the rules effectively optional, which would make agreement impossible.In Riyadh, Mnuchin countered this interpretation.“What a safe harbor is -- and there’s lots of safe harbors that exist -- you pay the safe harbor as opposed to paying something else, and you get tax certainty,” he said. “People may pay a little bit more in a safe harbor knowing they have tax certainty.”Le Maire said he welcomed Mnuchin’s clarification.“We are in the process of technically assessing what it really means and what might be the consequences of such a solution,” he said. “It is fair and useful to give all the attention to this U.S. proposal.”To get agreement, Le Maire also said France would be open to a “phased” or “step-by-step” approach.German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said there’s more than a 50% chance that a deal is struck before the end of the year.“Everyone has understood that it would be bad to push the debate into the next year or the year after that,” he told reporters. “We need something that helps protect us against the race to the bottom on taxes.”The framework -- developed under the leadership of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development -- will also include a deal on a global minimum tax, which the group is close to agreeing on, according to Mnuchin.Most countries want any OECD deal to be accepted as a package: the digital service tax along with a global minimum tax. The OECD has said both reforms together could boost government tax revenues by around $100 billion.To contact the reporters on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;William Horobin in Paris at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jana Randow, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The technology industry appears to be in freak-out mode over the perceived risk of mixing with peers at large-scale events.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department has sought outside legal help to bolster its antitrust investigations of large technology platforms, according to two people familiar with the matter, in a sign that the government may be preparing a lawsuit against one or more of the companies.The department approached at least one law firm about working on the government’s behalf, said the people. That firm -- Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick PLLC -- declined to take on the assignment because of a conflict, according to one of the people, who asked not to be named because the investigation is confidential.The agency has opened investigations into Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc., following a July announcement of a broad probe into whether tech platforms are stifling competition. It wasn’t clear which case the department was seeking help for, or whether it will ultimately go through with hiring an outside firm.The move, however, may be a sign the Justice Department is preparing for litigation against the tech companies. Attorney General William Barr said in December that the probe was moving “very quickly” and that he wanted to complete it some time this year.A nationwide coalition of states is also investigating the companies and is working with the Justice Department.The Justice Department declined to comment. Michael Kellogg, one of the founding partners of Kellogg Hansen, where Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch once worked, didn’t respond to a request seeking comment.Earlier: DOJ Plans ‘Expeditious’ Antitrust Probe Into Big Tech PracticesWhile the hiring of outside lawyers is rare, it’s not unheard of. The department in the past has turned to private counsel to take on high-profile litigation, most notably when it hired David Boies to spearhead the landmark antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. two decades ago.In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission similarly hired a top Washington litigator, Beth Wilkinson, then a partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, to help with its antitrust investigation of Google. The agency ultimately closed that investigation without taking action.An outside firm would enhance the department’s resources if it decided to sue. Litigation against one of the tech giants could be a monumental, years-long undertaking. The Justice Department’s case against Microsoft started in 1998 and ended in 2002, when a court approved a settlement.To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paula DwyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Social media giants Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are marshaling resources to stop the flow of fake news and "deepfakes" for the 2020 election. Or else.
Facebook, Google owner Alphabet, and Amazon will be affected by these new restrictions set out today by the European Commission to restrict the use of artificial intelligence and data.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed at $323.62 on Wednesday, up 1.45% on the day. The stock's total gain so far in 2020 is 8%. Over the past year, it's up 84%. Apple stock seems invincible, even shrugging off slumping iPhone sales.Source: dennizn / Shutterstock.com The coronavirus from China? A warning that it would miss revenue guidance because of the outbreak shaved 3% off AAPL, but it quickly bounced back.Many analysts remain bullish on Apple going into 2020, but there are those who feel Apple stock is due for a correction.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Apple Stock Just Keeps on IncreasingWhen you look at the news and trends in the world of consumer technology, it seems as though Apple should be feeling some pain. However, Apple's stock performance certainly doesn't reflect that. * 7 Lessons Businesses Can Learn From the Girl Scouts Sales of the iPhone -- the product that dominates the company's revenue and almost single-handedly drove over a decade of record stock growth -- are slowing. They peaked in 2017 and smartphone sales are declining worldwide.The new Apple TV+ subscription video streaming service hasn't been getting a warm reception. The U.S. and China have spent much of the past two years engaged in a trade war. Developers sued Apple over the company's cut from lucrative App Store sales, and then last fall the App Store faced the prospect of antitrust investigations.Despite all of those issues, Apple has increased in value by 84% over the past year. In comparison, both Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are up about 30% over the past 12 months. Is It Time for a Correction?While the overall performance of Apple stock shows surging growth over the past 12 years (since the iPhone was released), Apple has experienced significant corrections. There have been two of note in the past five years.In the fall of 2018, with global smartphone sales slumping, the new iPhone XS series was not selling in numbers the company was expecting for. That kicked off a correction that gained speed when Apple announced it would no longer break out unit sales for iPhones. By the time the panic was over Apple had lost one third of its value in three months. The most recent example took place last May. When tensions ramped up between the U.S. and China, there was concern that Apple products (most of which are made in China) would be slapped with tariffs. Apple's sales in the Chinese market could also take a hit. That correction knocked 17% off Apple's value during May. It has been on a run since then, and some analysts are worried that it's due for another correction.In an e-mail to InvestorPlace, Craig M. Thompson, ChFC and President of Asset Solutions had this to say:From a technical perspective, APPL stock is in a strong uptrend. However, it is because the advance has been so strong that the stock looks to not posses a good risk/reward tradeoff. The stock is overbought and at a level that has historically signalled an imminent correction.While the investment analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal have Apple as a consensus "buy," the optimism isn't unanimous. Of the 41 analysts on record, 14 have AAPL as a "hold," with a "sell" and two "underweight" ratings in the mix. The average 12-month price target of $329.58 has under 2% upside. Even the most bullish price target of the group is $400 -- for 24% upside. The Bottom Line on Apple StockIf you were considering an AAPL purchase, now doesn't look like the time to do it. If nothing else, the company may have shaken off the effect of a warning about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its business, but in May it will have to deliver the actual numbers. And that could be the trigger to what some see as an overdue correction.What does Mr. Thompson recommend?If you are a current investor, it would be advisable to set a logical stop to lock in profits should the stock fall. If considering investing in AAPL as a new position, you may be better served by either waiting for the stock to correct or, better yet, look for other stocks that are not overextended.As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Buy Increasing Their Dividends in 2020 * 5 Tech Stocks Vying to Win the AR/VR Race * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness The post Is Apple Stock Due for a Correction? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Because I want what is best for my readers, I am going to share my thoughts at the risk of sounding repetitive. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock is a better long than short.Source: TY Lim / Shutterstock.com Wall Street traders can be a fickle bunch. Just look at how they reacted to Facebook's most recent earnings report. They sold it down hard in spite of the company delivering strong results. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), on the other hand, spiked hard on similar growth results. At the time I shared a write-up suggesting that the reaction to sell FB stock was wrong. That marked the very bottom of the tizzy and a 8% rally ensued. This is not to say that I am a genius, because that is never my goal. However, logic prevailed where emotions failed investors.It is human of us to fear missing out on the way up and to panic on the way down. That is why it is best for investors to use charts and identify the levels that matter. Knowing where support and resistances levels lie allows us to control our emotions. These levels are also important when it comes to timing investments and managing risk. Then, when a stock falls 7% purely on headlines, there is less chance of panic and emotion-driven action. Selling Facebook on its earnings dip was a mistake. Those who sold missed out on a healthy rally or incurred unnecessary losses.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe long-term thesis on FB stock remains bullish. Facebook is firing on all cylinders and has an incredible marketing reach. We can all see the potential of its main platform, which has almost 2.5 billion active users. Furthermore, the company recently announced that WhatsApp also has over 2 billion active users. Count me in as one of those -- I am on the app all day, every day. * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Buy Increasing Their Dividends in 2020 Clearly if markets are higher in the future, so is FB stock. Shorting it here is the same as betting that the stock market will correct. This one is headed higher with time. Ignore the ExpertsWe do not need the experts to tell us what a stock is worth. Average investors are better off using simple logic to develop a thesis. As soon as Facebook's privacy issues broke -- on news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal -- experts concluded that the stock was doomed. That turned out to be false, as investors and users didn't seem to care. Then, experts spent months fear-mongering as new European privacy laws were enacted.Facts are facts. And facts won't change unless the situation changes. For now, Facebook has average revenue per user of $8.52. With almost 2.5 billion users that is undeniable momentum. It would take massive disruptions across all of its platforms to derail the company. Until then, FB is a cash-generating machine. How to Trade FB StockSource: Charts by TradingView The earnings failure candle marks the top to beat. When that happens, it would invite momentum buyers, which will cause a spike. Until then, the short-term supports are around $208 per share. This is the pivot from last July, and to an extent, the October 2018 top. These are short-term levels that matter for the more active traders.A break below $201 per share could carry momentum in that direction. But as long as FB stock is above $175, the long-term buyers are in charge.Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Join his live chat room for free here. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Buy Increasing Their Dividends in 2020 * 5 Tech Stocks Vying to Win the AR/VR Race * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness The post Don't Be a Hater: Facebook Stock Still Looks Great Long Term appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When it comes to advertising revenue, Alphabet Inc.’s Google continues to dominate Facebook Inc. as the place to spend digital marketing money — except for political campaigns, where Donald Trump’s triumph showed the power of social media. Google still has a dog in the election fight, however. According to a report from Bloomberg News, Trump bought the coveted space atop YouTube’s homepage for the days leading up to his November showdown for a second presidential term, ensuring that he’ll be featured prominently. This isn’t new; Barack Obama did something similar ahead of his election-day battle with Mitt Romney in 2012.Alphabet brought in $135 billion of total ad revenue last year through its Google platforms, almost double Facebook’s $70 billion. That ratio flips when it comes to political advertising. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that Facebook took in $67 million in total ad spending by U.S. presidential candidates, double the $32 million that went to Google as of Nov. 14. Figures published just this month and collated by eMarketer — which also track advertising related to federal, state and local politics, including elections and lobbying — put the digital divide in that broader metric at a 3-to-1 ratio in favor of Facebook. Facebook’s powerful role in politics was highlighted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the consulting firm harvested data from the social media platform and used it for targeted campaign ads, helping Trump win election in 2016. YouTube.com is the world’s second-most popular website behind Google.com, according to rankings from Alex Internet Inc.(1) Yet it accounted for only 9.4% of Alphabet’s revenue last year, with most of the company’s money coming from search-engine advertising. Expect the video platform’s contribution to rise in 2020, however, as candidates take to online video to target voters directly while still holding their attention long enough to watch a video in ways that Facebook cannot. Leading the spending is Michael Bloomberg, who is using his own money to seek the Democratic presidential nomination rather than procuring donations. (Disclaimer: Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.) Bloomberg spent $48 million on Facebook between Jan. 1, 2019, and Feb. 19 this year, almost double the $25 million for Trump during the same period, according to data from the social media company. What’s interesting, though, is that Alphabet isn’t so far behind in drawing presidential campaign dollars. Bloomberg spent $42 million on Google, YouTube and partner properties between May 30, 2018, and Feb. 18, 2020, ahead of Trump, whose campaign teams have spent around $18.1 million, according to data published by Alphabet.(2) This election campaign is shaping up to be the most expensive ever. Presidential candidates have already put together more than $1.18 billion — led by Trump and Bloomberg — with the primary season only just beginning, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, war chests for the 2016 campaign totaled $1.5 billion, with Hillary Clinton and Trump between them accounting for 60%, data from CRP show.While Facebook’s strength, and a key cause of criticism, is the ability for advertisers to dive deep into audience preferences and political leanings, Google’s platform isn’t entirely useless in terms of targeting. For example, the campaign of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is competing for the Democratic nomination, took out ads focused on audiences in 10 specific Nevada zip codes ahead of the state’s primary Saturday, according to Google data for the week of Feb. 15.Senator Bernie Sanders, who ranks second in Democrat spending across the two platforms, deployed ads aimed at specific Iowa zip codes ahead of his neck-and-neck finish with Buttigieg in the Feb. 3 caucus. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is fourth in terms of outlays, and Bloomberg have also targeted ZIP codes. The steady flow of advertising videos uploaded to YouTube by candidates shows that they see value in spending money on Google’s video platform. So while Facebook may have earned top spot for campaign dollars, Trump’s big election day purchase shows that YouTube is still in the race.(1) Alex Internet has been a division of Amazon.com Inc. since 1999(2) I count this spending across two organizations: Trump Make America Great Again Committee ($12.69m) and Donald J. Trump for President Inc. ($5.45m). A third, Conservative Buzz LLC, spent $4.76m mostly to promote TrumpTo contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Walmart talked about the increased use of technology to create a personalized shopping experience during its investor community event.
Another question, 75 years after the bombing of Dresden: was it necessity or atrocity? Europe’s own answer to the Silk Road is evoked in this journey tracing the trade of the honey-coloured fossilised tree resin.
Internet stocks have been off to a great start in 2020. All thanks in part to increased ad spending, and higher user growth.In fact, advertising and marketing spending could explode to nearly $390 billion in 2020 alone. Even the World Advertising and Research Center has said ad spending will increase 6% this year to $656 billion, with more than half going towards digital advertising for the first time.Big viral events like the 2020 Olympics and the U.S. presidential election should give a boost to related stocks as well through sponsorships. With such growth in store, it only makes sense to look at the companies benefiting from it.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Failing Tech Stocks to Disconnect From Now So, let's take a look at three of the best internet stocks out there. Top Internet Stocks in 2020: Facebook (FB)Source: TY Lim / Shutterstock.com Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) slipped in late January 2020 after reporting rising costs, and a narrowing operating margin. All after beating on the top and bottom lines with earnings per share (EPS) of $2.56, as compared to $2.53 expectations on sales of $21.08 billion, as compared to estimates for $20.89 billion.However, FB stock is just beginning to recover.Granted, the company does expect further deceleration of revenue growth, as noted by CFO Dave Wehner. At the same time, however, FB is seeing monumental user growth with a current base of 2.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs) -- up 2% from the third quarter of 2019. FB is also monetizing its private messaging apps, and testing direct ads and click-to-messaging ads.Furthermore, analysts remain bullish on the FB stock as well. Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein notes that, "user growth and engagement remain strong, and focus on SMB advertisers should drive continued higher monetization." With that, he increased his target price for FB stock from $230 to $265.Overall, Facebook is a great option for investors looking to grab one of the great internet stocks for 2020. Twitter (TWTR)Source: Sattalat phukkum / Shutterstock.com After toppling over in late 2019 on technical issues and bugs that weighed on revenue growth, shares of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) are pushing higher once again.In fact, year-to-date, shares are up nearly 22% and running on user data. While TWTR did miss estimates, other key numbers gave investors reason to cheer. For one, TWTR showed it had more users at the end of 2019 than many expected. Two, the company also showed revenue growth was again accelerating.EPS of 25 cents missed estimates calling for 29 cents. However, sales ballooned to $1.01 billion as compared to expectations for $996.7 million. Even better, the company's monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) exploded to 152 million as compared to estimates for 147.5 million users.Moreover, analysts are bullish, including Lightshed Partners' Richard Greenfield -- who initiated a "buy" rating on the stock with a $45 price target:"Revenue growth typically trails user growth, as it takes time for advertisers to revalue the reach of a platform," Greenfield wrote. "In Twitter's most lucrative market, the U.S., it is growing users at a far faster rate than Facebook (FB) and Snapchat (SNAP), albeit the base is still a fraction of those two companies. We believe this creates the ability to reaccelerate revenue growth meaningfully as Twitter moves through 2020." * 3 Bank Stocks to Buy As the Market Trends Higher Collectively, TWTR is another member of the great internet stocks in 2020. Amazon (AMZN)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com No list of top internet stocks is complete without Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).The AMZN stock continues to be an absolute beast. Since the year began, shares are up another 16% with no signs of turning lower; All thanks to a big earnings beat at the end of January. EPS of $6.47 was well above expectations for $4.03 per share, while revenue of $87.44 billion was above expectations for $86.02 billion.Furthermore, Amazon Web Services came in at $9.95 billion, as compared to estimates for $9.81 billion. Then, it gave upbeat guidance and said revenue could fall between $69 billion and $73 billion for Q1 2020.So, no wonder Morgan Stanley just added AMZN to its "fresh money buys" list, noting earnings and forecasts were "very strong" and not just "better than expected." Analyst Brian Nowak says AMZN stock could continue to climb on the heels of investments in its one-day shopping, which is " accelerating share gains even faster than expected."That said, Amazon is clearly continuing to thrive in a number of areas -- which makes it one of the best choices investors could make when looking to add internet stocks to their portfolio.As of this writing, Ian Cooper did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Failing Tech Stocks to Disconnect From Now * 5 Ideal Dividend Stocks for New Investors * 4 Stocks to Buy No Matter Who Wins the 2020 Election The post The Top 3 Internet Stocks Surging in 2020 appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Bitcoin is back, sort of. The original cryptocurrency hasn’t regained the lofty highs of its bubble peak in late 2017, but it has climbed back up to about $10,000:Predictions that Bitcoin would collapse have not borne fruit. Despite its bubbles and crashes, the cryptocurrency is now a semi-permanent feature of the global financial landscape.What it is not, however, is a generally accepted currency. Although many retailers now accept Bitcoin, the overwhelming majority of day-to-day payments are done in regular old fiat currency. The mere fact that the dollar price of Bitcoin remains an important metric indicates that Bitcoin’s central value is as a speculative asset, rather than its usefulness as a medium of exchange.It’s fairly obvious why. Because of Bitcoin’s price volatility, people don’t want to hang onto it for very long. No one wants to get their paycheck only to find that it has halved in value by the time it comes to buy groceries. Also, optimists who think Bitcoin’s value will continue to go up on average over time will be reluctant to part with it in exchange for something ephemeral like a pizza; better to hang onto the BTC and buy pizza with depreciating dollars instead. (Disclosure: I still own a small amount of Bitcoin.)In fact, these two reasons are just different sides of the same coin: Basic finance theory says that in a reasonably efficient market, high expected returns come at the expense of high volatility. An asset like Bitcoin, or the U.S. dollar, can be a good investment or can be good for buying stuff, but unless the economy is deeply dysfunctional, it can’t be both.Some economists, however, are thinking about how this situation might change, and whether Bitcoin — or some alternative cryptocurrency — might actually replace fiat money as the standard means of payment. This has big policy implications, because if it did become real money, cryptocurrency could interfere with central banks’ ability to manage the economy and the price level. It also matters for crypto investors’ wallets.One possibility is that nothing needs to be done, and eventually Bitcoin will settle into a new low-volatility equilibrium, making it more suitable as a means of payment. Economists Michael Choi and Guillaume Rocheteau have made a model in which this happens. The problem is that the model sees Bitcoin competing with other commodity-like forms of money, such as gold or other cryptocurrencies. Their result relies on the idea that liquid assets will always be in short supply. In reality, Bitcoin is competing against fiat currencies that can be produced more or less costlessly.A more plausible prediction comes from economists Jonathan Chiu and Thorsten Koeppl. Like other economists who have theorized about Bitcoin, they view cryptocurrency’s fundamental challenge as that of preventing double-spending — in other words, verifying electronically that someone really has the money when they make a payment. This issue of digital trust, after all, is the problem Bitcoin was designed to solve.Chiu and Koeppl suggest that to become useful as a form of money, a cryptocurrency should be inflationary. The people who verify Bitcoin transactions, called miners, are now compensated for their usage of computing power by being awarded new Bitcoins, but the rewards are decreasing over time. One of the basic ideas of Bitcoin, which stems partly from the hard-money beliefs of its creators, is that the cryptocurrency should be deflationary — that its supply should be limited, and its value should increase over time due to increasing scarcity. This means that eventually, miners will have to be rewarded with transaction fees instead of new Bitcoins.Chiu and Koeppl say this is a bad idea. Transaction fees, they note, are levied on a small population — that is, whoever is doing the transaction. To make it worth the miners’ while, the fees must be very high, which discourages people from transacting in Bitcoin. If miners are instead paid with inflation, the cost gets spread out among everyone who owns Bitcoin. Also, transaction fees make a double-spending attack more potentially lucrative, because creating a fake transaction would also save money on the fee. Thus, they recommend sticking with the inflation method of payment, and letting cryptocurrency depreciate over time like the U.S. dollar does.This could be exactly what cryptocurrency needs in order to turn into real money. Negative expected returns — essentially, a low and stable inflation target — would make Bitcoin less attractive as a long-term investment. Instead of hoarding it, people would be fine getting rid of it in exchange for pizza. The currency’s value might then stabilize, as speculation decreased.Abandoning the dream of deflationary digital gold might be hard for Bitcoin’s adherents to accept. But other cryptocurrencies, such as ZCash, Monero, Dash or Facebook Inc.’s Libra might step in to fill the gap. Of course, they would still have to overcome the technical problem of being able to handle large transaction volumes as cheaply and easily as a credit card company, but Chiu and Koeppl are confident that this is possible.So ironically, cryptocurrency might only become a currency if it acts more like the U.S. dollar, with a low but predictable inflation target.To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stacey Shick at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- In the immediate run up to the U.S. presidential election and on Election Day, the homepage of YouTube is set to advertise just one candidate: Donald Trump.The president’s re-election campaign purchased the coveted advertising space atop the country’s most-visited video website for early November, said two people with knowledge of the transaction. The deal ensures Trump will be featured prominently in the key days when voters across the country prepare to head to the polls Nov. 3.While the bulk of digital ad spending typically focuses on targeting specific messages to certain audiences, the top spot on YouTube is more akin to a Super Bowl TV ad. About three-quarters of U.S. adults say they use YouTube, exceeding the reach of even Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center.Ads on the YouTube masthead—as the video on the top of the homepage is known—generally run for an entire day. The exact duration of Trump’s ad buy and financial details were unclear, but estimates for the space range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $1 million a day.YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, lets advertisers target users based on a variety of factors, though it recently limited those options for political content. The Trump campaign bought the digital real estate nationwide, one of the people familiar with the deal said, both of whom asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.YouTube declined to comment on the deal but said it’s common for political advertisers to purchase masthead ads. After buying an ad, candidates can choose to surrender the space or restrict it to certain regions, a spokeswoman for the company said. “In the past, campaigns, PACs, and other political groups have run various types of ads leading up to Election Day,” she wrote in an email. “All advertisers follow the same process and are welcome to purchase the masthead space as long as their ads comply with our policies.” A spokesman for the Trump campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.The move is likely to reinforce a feeling among many political analysts that Trump’s embrace of digital advertising gives him a distinct advantage over his Democratic rivals. The Trump campaign could spend as much as $500 million on digital ads and strategies, Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager, has said.In 2012, President Barack Obama’s campaign bought the YouTube masthead for Election Day before Mitt Romney had even secured the Republican nomination, according to Teddy Goff, Obama’s former digital director. “This gets to a structural problem inherent in having a contested primary against an incumbent,” said Goff, now co-founder of Precision Strategies, a consulting and marketing firm. Trump and Hillary Clinton each ran masthead ads at various times in 2016. Trump spent more money online that year than Clinton and continues to outspend most Democratic rivals now. A major exception is Michael Bloomberg, whose campaign has spent $36.9 million on Google ads, according to statistics released by Google. That’s double what Trump has spent with the company. Both Trump and Bloomberg ran YouTube masthead ads last year. (Bloomberg is the founder and owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive officer of YouTube, said in an interview with “60 Minutes” aired in December that some of Trump’s ads were rejected for violating company policies. The news program reported that more than 300 video ads submitted by the Trump campaign were taken down by Google and YouTube.Many digital ads are bought and sold through automated systems, but that wasn’t an option for Trump’s Election Day purchase. To reserve space this far in advance, advertisers must work directly with Google sales representatives.Online political advertising in the current election cycle will total $1.34 billion, more than double the levels of the last presidential election, according to EMarketer. The research firm estimates that digital spending will account for 19% of all political advertising. Facebook Inc. is the favorite platform of political campaigns, and its lenient policies have been a subject of controversy. The social network allows politicians to make false claims in their ads, whereas Google does not. Facebook offers far more granularity for campaigns to target people who fit a specific profile.After Google limited campaigns’ abilities to use demographic targeting last November, some at the company have debated going further. Google has bristled at repeated accusations of political bias, particularly from Trump and other Republicans. One potential policy discussed inside Google was to disallow masthead ads on Election Day in favor of a nonpartisan banner reminding Americans to vote, said a person with knowledge of the deliberations. Ultimately, Google decided to keep its standard practice in place.(Updates with YouTube CEO’s comments in the 10th paragraph.)To contact the authors of this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at email@example.comJoshua Brustein in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at email@example.com, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The voice recordings would be used for improving Facebook's speech recognition technology, as first reported by The Verge. Users of Facebook's Viewpoints app, aimed at the social media giant's marketing research efforts, would be able to record their audios under the "pronunciations" tab and get paid. The rewards-like policies offer a way out for Facebook and other internet giants like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), (NASDAQ: GOOG), Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), all of which have faced criticism for data protection on their platforms.
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The Facebook-led digital currency project Libra has announced that ecommerce group Shopify will join its ranks, its first new recruit since a wave of big technology and finance companies quit the initiative over regulatory concerns. Shopify will contribute $10m to become part of the Libra initiative — which is billed as an attempt to use blockchain technology to enable swift, low-cost international payments online — and sit on the board that oversees its development. “As a member of the Libra Association, we will work collectively to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere,” Shopify said in a blog post.
Facebook is offering to pay its users for personal information including recordings of their own voice, in a rare example of internet companies directly compensating people for collecting their data. The recordings, made through its new market research app Viewpoints, will help to train the speech recognition system that powers Facebook’s Portal devices, which rival Amazon’s Echo speakers and its Alexa virtual assistant.