Quick Bytes – May 25th: U.S. Justice Dept. Investigates Bitcoin Spoofing
A look at the most interesting startup and business-related news stories of the week.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating spoofing and wash trading on the cryptocurrency market. In spoofing, a trader submits a spate of orders and then cancels them once prices move in a desired direction. Wash trades involve a cheater trading with themselves to give a false impression of market demand that lures other to dive in too. Unsurprisingly, there’s very little monitoring of manipulation in this market, compared to traditional stock markets. At this stage, it’s unclear how successful they will be at using technology to monitor such a fragmented market and whether they will be able to impose sanctions that work to offset cheating.
The Full Story
The Justice Department has opened a criminal probe into whether traders are manipulating the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, dramatically ratcheting up U.S. scrutiny of red-hot markets that critics say are rife with misconduct, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The investigation is focused on illegal practices that can influence prices — such as spoofing, or flooding the market with fake orders to trick other traders into buying or selling, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the review is private. Federal prosecutors are working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a financial regulator that oversees derivatives tied to Bitcoin, the people said. Read the Full Article Here
McKinsey Skills Report Out
The automation of jobs is a hot topic at the moment and the McKinsey Institute has been deeply invested in researching this in recent times. Their latest report out this month models skill shifts from automation and AI going forward to 2030. All of their previous models have seen growth in technological skills but they found that this will rapidly accelerate from 2016-2030. They estimate that social and emotional skills will also experience a similar growth, whereas there will be much less need for basic cognitive skills, as well as manual labour.
The Full Story
Skill shifts have accompanied the introduction of new technologies in the workplace since at least the Industrial Revolution, but adoption of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will mark an acceleration over the shifts of even the recent past. The need for some skills, such as technological as well as social and emotional skills, will rise, even as the demand for others, including physical and manual skills, will fall. These changes will require workers everywhere to deepen their existing skill sets or acquire new ones. Companies, too, will need to rethink how work is organized within their organizations.
This briefing, part of our ongoing research on the impact of technology on the economy, business, and society, quantifies time spent on 25 core workplace skills today and in the future for five European countries—France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom—and the United States and examines the implications of those shifts. Read the Full Article Here
Payment App Industry Explained
AliPay and WeChat dominate consumer payment apps in China, with such a foothold that banks don’t get a look in. In America, many consumer payment systems rely on banks, who inevitably take a cut. We’re seeing the emergence of different payment systems and wallets that threaten this system – from PayPal Holdings Inc., Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google – and are trying to replicate the success in China. This article gives a great visual breakdown of payments systems in the U.S. compared to China – and where these disruptions are starting to occur.
The Full Story
Wandering the streets of Shanghai to admire the architecture, the head of one of the largest U.S. consumer banks recently found himself surrounded by a gaggle of teenagers.
Entranced by their phones, they hardly made way for the banker. The teens were messaging, shopping and sending money back and forth, all without cash. Instead, they were using Alipay and WeChat.
The scary thing for the American: Banks never got a cut.
The future of consumer payments may not be designed in New York or London but in China. There, money flows mainly through a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking—all run by two of the world’s most valuable companies. That contrasts with the U.S., where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments. Western bankers and credit-card executives who travel to China keep returning with the same anxiety: Payments can happen cheaply and easily without them. Read the Full Article Here
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