Central Bank of China Pumps 300 Billion Yuan Into Financial System, Cuts Loan Rates

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://thebitcoinnews.com/central-bank-of-china-pumps-300-billion-yuan-into-financial-system-cuts-loan-rates/

The Chinese government has taken multiple steps so far to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus epidemic, including interest rate cuts and financial injections worth billions of yuan. It did it again this week, extending the monetary easing provided by the central bank. With the budget under pressure, however, there are indications that Beijing may opt for some austerity measures later this year rather than a larger fiscal stimulus.

Also read: China Is Scrubbing Cash Notes to Stop Virus Spreading so Its Government Paper Money Won’t Kill You

PBOC Cuts Interest Rates on Loans for Lenders

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected 200 billion yuan (almost $29 billion) into the country’s banking system which has been experiencing liquidity issues over the past year. On Monday, the funds were offered as one-year medium-term loans for Chinese financial institutions, according to Reuters. The central bank also cut the interest rate on the money from 3.25% to 3.15%.

Furthermore, the PBOC added another 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) through seven-day reverse repurchase agreements, Bloomberg reported. 1 trillion yuan (over $143 billion) of reverse repos were due to expire on the first day of the week but in the end the measures resulted in a net 700 billion yuan (over $100 billion) withdrawal from the markets.

Central Bank of China Pumps 300 Billion Yuan Into Financial System, Cuts Loan Rates

This week’s interest rate reduction was largely expected by observers. A similar cut in the benchmark loan prime rate, which serves to determine the price of corporate and household loans, is likely to follow later this month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the same 10-basis point decrease of the rate on 1-year loans.

These measures come in the wake of early February’s PBOC announcement that it’s going to spend 1.2 trillion yuan (over $170 billion) to support growth in the Chinese economy hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic. The outbreak has already claimed the lives of more than 1,700 people in mainland China. The funds were dedicated to the reverse repurchase operation aiming to maintain stability in the currency market.

Experts quoted in the report have expressed similar opinions about the latest intervention. According to Zhou Guannan, an analyst at Huachuang Securities Co., the rate cut was expected and the supplied funding is relatively small. Becky Liu, head of China macro strategy at Standard Chartered Plc, thinks the PBOC does not intend to lower front-end rates any further.

Stimulus Through Fiscal Spending Only Not Feasible

Beijing has so far refrained from announcing a significant increase in its stimulus measures. Quoted by Reuters, the chief economist at Founder Securities, Yan Se, predicted that the PBOC will shift its focus from short term stabilization through large fund injections via reverse repo operations, to addressing the mid to long-term financing needs of Chinese businesses.

Additional fiscal spending and measures to encourage consumption remain on the table after China vowed to meet its 2020 targets for the economy last week, according to South China Morning Post. Local governments have been reportedly allowed to issue more debt to support growth in the short run. Corporate tax cuts should ease the burden on companies.

Central Bank of China Pumps 300 Billion Yuan Into Financial System, Cuts Loan Rates

All this requires funding and the Chinese Minister of Finance, Liu Kun, believes efforts to reduce “unnecessary” government expenses must be made to fill in the widening budget gap. He discussed government plans in an article published recently in Qiushi, a magazine linked to the Communist Party of China. The minister pointed out that various external developments have intensified the downward pressure on the Chinese economy. At the same time, internal challenges such as the virus outbreak have created the need to increase fiscal revenue to cover the higher expenditures.

In 2019, China introduced the largest tax and fee reduction measures in its history, the government official remarked, amounting to over 2 trillion yuan, or more than 2% of GDP. These cuts will promote economic growth but also directly reduce fiscal revenue. Liu Kun also expects continuing pressure to increase spending, forcing the government to keep fiscal operations in a tight balance. “Under such circumstances, it is not feasible to implement a proactive fiscal policy solely by expanding the scale of fiscal expenditure,” the finance minister elaborated, indicating that Beijing is unlikely to commit to a large stimulus package as some investors have hoped.

What are your expectations about China’s fiscal and monetary policies in 2020? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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source: https://news.bitcoin.com/china-central-bank-stimulus-300b/

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Max Keiser Predicts $400,000 BTC on Alex Jones Show, Jones Compares Bitcoin to ‘Power of Fire’ From the Gods

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://thebitcoinnews.com/max-keiser-predicts-400000-btc-on-alex-jones-show-jones-compares-bitcoin-to-power-of-fire-from-the-gods/

The moment many conspiracy-minded bitcoin enthusiasts have been waiting for arrived yesterday when Info Wars muckraker Alex Jones compared bitcoin to a “power of fire” gifted from the gods to humankind. The bold commentary took place in the context of a Max Keiser interview, in which the Keiser Report host declared a new $400,000 target for bitcoin. The two discussed the freedom-forged properties of the permissionless money, the global economy, and the coronavirus connection.

Also Read: 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Snoop Dogg and Nas: Celebrities Who Could Be Bitcoin Millionaires

Keiser Predicts $400K Bitcoin, Jones Explains Initial Hesitance to Jump in

“I’m raising my official target for the first time in eight years,” Keiser told Jones in a February 17 video interview. “I’m raising it to $400,000.” The BTC maximalist proceeded to argue that it is not too late to get into the revolutionary money of the future, and in fact, it’s just the beginning. “So this is your new chance to make the bitcoin phenomenon work for you, Alex Jones.” Keiser clarified that the $400K target is based on the value of gold, and called bitcoin “gold 2.0.”

Max Keiser Predicts $400,000 BTC on Alex Jones Show, Jones Compares Bitcoin to ‘Power of Fire’ From the Gods

For his part, Jones claimed the reason he hasn’t gotten into bitcoin for the last decade was a lack of understanding it fully enough to promote to his audience. Interestingly, the Austin-based libertarian stopped Keiser as he called Bitcoin Cash and other non-BTC cryptos a “scam” and said:

This is your opinion, I don’t even really know who these guys are … That’s another reason I’ve stayed away from it, it’s all the fighting in the cryptocurrencies, I don’t like infighting.

On the show, Jones recounted how he reached out to Keiser for advice on getting into bitcoin, saying: “I should have gotten involved in bitcoin and things a long time ago. Now it’s settled out, will you explain it to me?” Exciting as this prospect likely is for many fans, Keiser used much of the interview time (when the two were not fighting with Nerf guns on set or playfully mocking each other) to push Bitcoin Core maximalism, so whether Jones will find a more balanced perspective remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the husky-voiced Austin conspiracy theorist cited bitcoin’s potential to bring economic freedom to the masses, emphasizing:

Things like bitcoin … It’s just like the power of fire, not just being with the gods but being given to Prometheus.

“It’s unconfiscatable,” Keiser affirmed. While in the Greek myth Prometheus was actually a Titan who stole fire from the gods to give to humans, Jones’s point is still perfectly clear: Satoshi ‘stole’ economic sovereignty from the elite classes, central banks, and regulators, and gave the possibility to everyone via bitcoin.

Max Keiser Predicts $400,000 BTC on Alex Jones Show, Jones Compares Bitcoin to ‘Power of Fire’ From the Gods

Global Debt Bubble and Coronavirus Connection

Bitcoin is “not a George Soros conspiracy, believe it or not,” Keiser ribbed Jones in one part of the interview. Though much of the airtime was spent in jest, some compelling observations were made about the nature of bitcoin and the dire state of the global economy.

Regarding the growing global debt bubble and central banks, Keiser maintained that “all of the mistakes made by the globalists or Tim Cook or Jeff Bezos or whomever are purchased from them for treasury bills and they get to wash their sins. It’s a huge money laundering operation at the central banks, and as long as the interest rates are zero, there’s no cost to them.” Connecting this observation to the effects of coronavirus, Keiser stated:

The question always with the coronavirus is: Is it gonna be more disruptive than the central banks’ ability to paper it over with more money printing. That’s the only question … The central banks have said ‘you know what, this is a disaster, this is a catastrophe, all of the supply lines are gonna be interrupted so what we need to do is we need to print more money. ‘

Max Keiser Predicts $400,000 BTC on Alex Jones Show, Jones Compares Bitcoin to ‘Power of Fire’ From the Gods

Bitcoin as Escape from Fiat Tyranny

Keiser went on to explain that though the money supplies are skyrocketing, the money is not circulating to the average person, which is distorting economic signals, and allowing governments to claim that inflation isn’t a critical issue, which is dishonest. He further noted that those closest to the supply (the central banks that create fiat money) typically buy hard assets that will go up in value such as rare artworks, while the inflated and devalued currency makes its way to the average spender at a very slow velocity.

Jones observed:

Because they get the first use of the money which then makes them kings.

“The people who are printing the money are treating everybody else as less than human,” Keiser added.

Should Jones’s audience take to bitcoin themselves in the interest of escaping these tyrants and central banks, an approach which leverages peer-to-peer electronic cash like BCH, and not just the “gold 2.0” of tribalist maximalism, would be key to preserving value and voting the ruling class out of power with everyday spending via bitcoin.

What are your thoughts on Jones’s comments and Keiser’s prediction? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Robert Wei, fair use.

Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely.

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source: https://news.bitcoin.com/keiser-bitcoin-price-alex-jones/

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Attempt at an unbiased summary of the IOTA attack by a non-bag holder

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/f5bw6c/attempt_at_an_unbiased_summary_of_the_iota_attack/

On February 12th the IOTA Foundation (IF) posted a status update:

February 12th 2020 – 08:55

After receiving several reports of fund theft that looked out of the ordinary in a short timeframe we decided to warn about this in Discord and on Twitter. As a precaution we ask you to keep your Trinity wallet closed for now.

25 minutes later they decide to shut down the "coordinator", blocking all "value" transactions.

February 12th 2020 – 09:20

After initial investigation we decided to turn off the Coordinator to make sure no further theft can occur until we find out the root cause of these thefts. Further investigation taking place from here on.

They then spend 5 days investigating the theft.

After about 24 hours, only about 10 people reported that they had been stolen from.

February 13th 2020 – 07:45

We've shifted the complete focus of all relevant resources of the IOTA Foundation to this investigation last night and we have been working in teams to investigate impact and cause together with the identified victims. The conclusions so far are:
– Most evidence is pointing towards seed theft, cause still unknown and under investigation
– Victims (around 10 that identified with the IOTA Foundation so far) all seem to have recently used Trinity

However, it seems by examining at the transactions that they knew were associated with the theft and were able to identify some new thefts.

February 14th 2020 – 05:45

The investigation has yielded absolutely no indication that there has been a core protocol breach of any kind. Rather, all evidence so far points to a problem with a dependency of the Trinity wallet.

The attack pattern analysis showed that the halt of the coordinator interrupted the attacker's attempts to liquidate funds on exchanges. The stolen funds have been purposely and repeatedly merged and split to obfuscate the investigation, and with the current token exchange rate as well as exchanges' KYC limits in mind. We received additional feedback from more exchanges (not all yet), confirming that none of the identified transactions has been received or liquidated. Our current assumption is that the perpetrator targeted high value accounts first, before moving on to smaller accounts and then being interrupted early by the halt of the coordinator. (Again: Hardware wallet users are not affected.)

To me, the details sound like the perpetrator was experienced and knew how to convert the tokens to a less-centralized cryptocurency without KYC/AML. It wasn't simply a crime of opportunity, but rather there was some planning.

There was a lot of speculation over whether or not the hacker was "sophisticated". Of course, he did manage to pwn IOTA's official wallet. However, the "Chairman of the Board" of IOTA wrote "Let's just say theres a lot of traces. The attacker does not seem to have been too sophisticated", on discord. link

On February 16th, IF released a new version of their wallet.

– Update: Remove exchange support (#2565)

– Update: Adjust update alerts and disable auto update (#2566)

– Fix: Allow wallet entry when nodes are not in sync (#2563)

– Update: New Crowdin translations (#2553) – Fix: Endless loading cycle (#2568)

Two interesting changes are they removed exchange support and they disabled auto updates. IF had recently integrated "Moonpay"in their wallet, which allows users to buy IOTA with their credit cards for a 4.5% fee. Moonpay appears to be affiliated with Roger Ver and Bitcoin.com but I didn't look into this too much. Purely speculation, but it seems that Moonpay may be involved in the key theft.

Fast forward to today, IF released their remediation plan.

Basically, if you used their official wallet since December 17th, 2019 then your seed might be compromised. However, they say that the attack didn't really start until January 25th, so the Dec 17th date is out of an abundance of caution.

Here's the IF remediation plan from status.iota.org:

February 17th 2020 – 05:47

Here is a short overview of the attack remediation plan and the next steps going forward. Essentially the remediation plan involves three steps:
As announced yesterday, we have released an updated version of Trinity which allows you to check your balance and transactions. Please download this newest version of Trinity here and install it over your old version: https://github.com/iotaledger/trinity-wallet/releases/tag/desktop-1.4.1
When you download the new version, MAKE SURE TO CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD AND STORE IT IN A PASSWORD MANAGER. If you have used the same password also for other services or websites, we strongly recommend you change it there, too, as a precaution.
By upgrading to this new version of Trinity, you will remove the vulnerability from your wallet and render the hacker incapable of accessing your wallet if s/he has not already done so.
In the upcoming days, we will release a seed migration tool that will allow users to transfer their tokens to a safe seed. We strongly recommend that ALL users who have opened any version of Trinity (Desktop or Mobile) since the 17th of December 2019 utilize the tool and migrate their tokens to a new, safe seed during the soon-to-be-announced migration period BEFORE the coordinator is re-started. More information on the tool and how to use it will be provided when the tool is published.
By migrating your tokens to new, safe seeds prior to the re-start of the coordinator, you will render the attacker incapable of making unauthorized transfers of your tokens if s/he has not already done so.
*Note: our current information indicates that the hack started on or around 25 January 2020 and that only Trinity Desktop users’ seeds were potentially compromised. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are nevertheless recommending that ALL users (not only desktop users) who are concerned about possible token loss should migrate their tokens to a new seed.
*Note: Ledger Nano users do not need to use the migration tool but a password change is still strongly recommended.
Our current information indicates that only a limited number of bundles were successfully transferred by the attacker out of the true owners’ wallets. We have notified all exchanges of all compromised bundles we are aware of so as to prevent any further movement of any stolen tokens. We therefore anticipate that in the majority of cases, Steps 1 and 2 will be sufficient to protect most users’ tokens.
To address the minority of cases in which unauthorized token transfers were made out of users’ wallets, a third step is needed. We will perform a global snapshot of the network that will, pending community validation, enable us to bring stolen tokens back to the affected users. More information on the process as well as the consequences for all affected users will be provided soon.
Assuming the snapshot is successfully validated by the IOTA community (node operators), we will implement a KYC procedure involving a third party that will enable all users who had their tokens stolen to reclaim them. The same procedure will also be required for certain cases in which the migration tool is used fraudulently or incorrectly. More information on this process will follow shortly.
After the migration process, we will restart the coordinator and resume normal operations on the network. An update on the timeline will be released in the upcoming days.
We will publish detailed instructions on the steps users should take as soon as the remediation tools and processes are ready. For now, please make sure to download the new Trinity version to change your password and check your balance.
We would also like to ask any affected users from the United States to come forward and DM our team, as your cooperation could assist us with ongoing law enforcement investigations.
Thank you all for your patience. We will continue to update you on all important steps along the way and will do our best to make the transition as easy and smooth as possible.

So yea, if you got your tokens stolen, they will return them to you after you submit KYC/AML to the IOTA Foundation, assuming that "node operators" agree to roll back the theft.

Hopefully users didn't reuse the same seed for another cryptocurrency because they won't be able to roll those back.

It sounds like they're working with the FBI (or US law enforcement) on this which is a bit surprising. I'm skeptical that they have really identified the perpetrator — a common attack is to steal developer Github credentials which could be what happened here. But again, that's purely speculation.

Please don't repost this on your for-profit crypto news site without attributing to me 😉

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