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Bitcoin looks more like gold than a currency

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Mumbai :In the seven months since Bitcoin’s price peaked, it has fallen by about two-thirds. But it’s still almost three times more valuable than it was a year ago:
So what does the future hold for the world’s first and still most famous cryptocurrency? I see three basic scenarios:
No. 1. Bitcoin Triumph: Bitcoin replaces the dollar (and probably other fiat currencies as well) as the economy’s main unit of exchange. People buy pizzas, finance their mortgages and pay their rent in Bitcoin.
No. 2. Bitcoin as Gold: Fiat currency remains the main unit of exchange everywhere except in a few extremely dysfunctional economies like Venezuela’s. But Bitcoin’s market capitalization remains substantial, and it rises in value over time, occasionally experiencing large bubbles and crashes.
No. 3. Bitcoin Bust: Bitcoin is abandoned, crashing relative to the dollar and never being useful as a payment method for daily necessities.
One can observe which of these scenarios the world is moving toward by keeping track of two prices: the exchange rate of Bitcoin against the dollar (pictured above), and the dollar inflation rate, which measures the exchange rate of the dollar against a basket of goods and services. If Bitcoin’s price plunges and approaches zero, it’s a clear sign the third scenario is underway. If the dollar crashes against both Bitcoin and real goods and services — that is, if Bitcoin and inflation both go to the moon — it indicates that Bitcoin Triumph is happening. And if Bitcoin rises against the dollar but inflation stays low, it means the middle scenario, Bitcoin as Gold, is in effect.
I have long believed in the middle scenario. Since the total number of Bitcoins that can be created is finite, the currency is inherently deflationary, meaning it has a positive expected return, like gold. Finance theory implies that an asset with a high expected rate of return should also be volatile, which makes it not very useful as money. No one wants to see the value of their paycheck get cut in half between payday and grocery day. But it also seems unlikely that interest in Bitcoin will ever die out, especially given its usefulness in the black-market economy. So my prediction is that Bitcoin will stick around, experiencing repeated bubbles and busts, but slowly gaining in value. That is why I personally still own some Bitcoin.
So far, the Bitcoin as Gold scenario has been borne out by the data. As pictured above, Bitcoin has risen in price even after taking the recent bubble into account. But inflation has been low and steady, showing that people are not abandoning fiat currency either:
So far, this looks very much like gold, which has risen in value despite experiencing a bubble and bust in the early 2010s:
But Bitcoin is only superficially similar to gold. There are powerful arguments for the Bitcoin Bust scenario, in which the cryptocurrency is abandoned. One such argument is made by University of Chicago Booth School of Business economist Eric Budish in a new working paper entitled “The Economic Limits of Bitcoin and the Blockchain.”


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Sensex sheds 298.82 to close at 38,811; Nifty shrinks to 11,650

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Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex erased early gains to end 299 points lower Thursday as investors booked profits after stocks soared to record highs after BJP’s strong showing in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sensex and NSE Nifty went on to record highs even as Lok Sabha election results showed that PM Modi-led NDA leading on over 300 seats. However after the euphoria during the morning session, Sensex shed 298.82 to close at 38,811 and Nifty shrank to 11,650 on the closing bell.

During the day, the Sensex hit the 40,000 mark while the Nifty crossed the 12,000-level for the first time ever. However, the indices succumbed to profit booking towards the fag-end of the session.

 

The 30-share Sensex tumbled 298.82 points, or 0.76 per cent, to close at 38,811.39. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 80.85 points, or 0.69 per cent, lower at 11,657.05.

IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 5.23 per cent, followed by Hero MotoCorp, Coal India, Yes Bank, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, HCL Tech, L&T, Kotak Bank and Bharti Airtel, rising up to 1.56 per cent. On the other hand, Vedanta, ITC, Tata Motors, HDFC twins, Bajaj Finance, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, TCS, ONGC and Infosys fell up to 5.53 per cent.

Riding on a massive Modi wave sweeping through most parts of India, the BJP was set to return to power Thursday as it led in 298 seats while the Congress trailed far behind with 52, according to trends released by the Election Commission for all 542 seats that went to polls.

“Markets were initially enthused to see the election results falling in line with the exit polls. However, the run up to the D-day was so sharp that it turned out to be a sell on news phenomenon,” said Devang Mehta, Head – Equity Advisory, Centrum Wealth Management.

Participants would now be keen to know the future course of action for bringing the economy back on track, solution to the liquidity situation, the union budget, onset and progress of monsoon in June and most importantly the earnings trajectory, he added.

According to traders, weak cues from other global markets and a depreciating rupee also weighed on investor sentiment. The rupee depreciated 37 paise to 70.04 against the US dollar in afternoon trade. Globally, bourses in Asia ended in the red.

Indices in Europe were also trading on a negative note in early deals. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading 1.79 per cent lower at USD 69.72 per barrel.

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Silver up on increased offtake; gold steady

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New Delhi: Silver prices rallied by Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg in the national capital on Thursday, while gold held steady, according to the All India Sarafa Association.

Traders said silver prices rose on pick-up in offtake by industrial units and coin makers at the local spot market. Globally, spot gold was trading marginally higher at USD 1,276 an ounce, while silver was slightly up at USD 14.53 an ounce in New York.

In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity dropped by Rs 10 each to Rs 32,670 per ten 10 gram and Rs 32,500 per 10 gram. Sovereign gold, however, held steady at Rs 26,500 per eight gram.

 

Silver ready surged Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg, while weekly-based delivery fell by Rs 66 to Rs 36,234 per kg. Silver coins held flat at Rs 79,000 for buying and Rs 80,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

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India PC mkt declines 8.3 per cent to 2.15 mn units in Jan-Mar qarter

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New Delhi: Personal Computer (PC) shipment in India fell by 8.3 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2019 to 2.15 million units, registering a year-on-year decline for the third consecutive quarter, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Besides, big commercial deals, market remained weak due to weak consumer demand, high inventory from previous quarters, and supply issues for Intel chips.

Shipments in the consumer segment saw a 26.5 per cent dip in the said quarter compared to the year-ago period. The commercial PC market saw a total shipment of 1.35 million units in the said quarter, a growth of 7.3 per cent over last year.

 

“The announcement of central elections on March 10, 2019 resulted in the model code of conduct coming into immediate effect further resulting in a delay in execution of government projects and impacting the commercial segment,” IDC said in a statement.

However, IDC expects the overall PC market in India to witness a growth in the second quarter. The commercial market is expected to pick up post new government formation in May, while the consumer market is expected to pick up largely driven by back to school campaign by vendors and online sales.

HP maintained its leadership position with an overall market share of 28.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, followed by Dell (25.9 per cent), Lenovo (25.2 per cent) and Acer (11.7 per cent).

The notebook PC (laptop) category accounted for 61.4 per cent of the shipment and witnessed a 9.8 per cent year-on-year decline.

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