Are Top Athletes Richer than Top Funds Managers?

16 October 2021 | Updated: 19 October 2021

Note: This piece was first published in 2014, so some facts in it are out-of-date. However, the lesson it passes across is timeless.

“If you understand this way of thinking – that by taking smart risks you can make money over time – it will improve your willingness to take risks.” – Bruce Bower

What is the answer to the question that forms the topic of this chapter? The answer is a big NO! Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Cliff Lee, Usain Bolt, etc. Each of these stars is one of the best in their respective fields, and no doubt, they’ve achieved success and fame that billions of people can only dream of. Yet, each of them is still poor when compared to the highest paid funds managers in the world.
Are Top Athletes Richer than Top Funds Managers?If you want to know what each of the star athletes mentioned here earns, you will need to do the research yourself. On Buzz.money.cnn.com, Jesse Solomon shows a list of the ten highest paid hedge funds managers in 2013: David Tepper, Steven Cohen, John Paulson, James Simons, Kenneth Griffin, Israel Englander, Leon Cooperman, Lawrence Robbins, Dan Loebb and Paul Tudor Jones.

David Tepper earned $3.5 billion last year. In 2009, he earned some $4 billion. He’s currently worth $10 billion. David’s riches are even far more surpassed by those of some market legends like Carl Icahn ($24.5 billion) and George Soros ($26.5 billion). I don’t even want to mention the Wizard/Sage/Oracle of Omaha.

How much do you think a boxing champion like Floyd Mayweather earned? He earned $105 million, thus currently making him the highest paid athlete in the world. Nevertheless, the tenth highest paid hedge fund manager is Paul Tudor Jones who got a paycheck of $600 million in 2013. This means that Paul is more than five times richer than Floyd in terms of income last year. Paul’s net worth is $4.5 billion.
The highest paid soccer player in the world at the time of writing is Cristiano Ronaldo, with less than $100 million in total earnings per annum; yet his income is more than six times smaller than that of the tenth highest paid funds manager in the world.
Do you now see my point? The world of trading has produced many billionaires – past and present. These traders are extremely rich and the incomes of the star athletes pale into insignificance when compared to the earnings of those funds managers.

It’s true that top athletes enjoy the heavy glare of publicity and are far more popular because of myriads of fans the world over. Some professional traders aren’t famous because they trade behind their computers in the comfort of their offices. Most people don’t know them, save interested individuals who are mostly traders/investors themselves. When many football fans talk about how rich their favourite players are, they are often not aware that some professional traders are far richer than them.

With a worth of $1.1 billion, the New York Knicks are the most valuable team in NBA for 2013 (with revenue of $243 million for that year). Real Madrid is the most valuable sports team, worth $3.3 billion (with revenue of roughly $700 million per annum). However, David Tepper, who is not the richest trader in the world (only the highest paid for the year 2013) is far richer than the New York Knicks and Real Madrid combined. According to Jesse, the top 25 funds managers took home $21 billion among themselves last year.
You should congratulate yourself on being a trader, irrespective of your experiences in the markets. The richest traders didn’t become rich overnight, nor did the richest athletes, for most of them had very humble beginnings. By adjusting your trading approaches to achieve everlasting triumph and by sticking to those approaches, you’ll soon reach financial freedom (though you may not attain the list of the highest paid traders).

Another quote from Bruce Bower ends this chapter:

“Focus on making good risk/reward decisions, keeping losses small, and you will start to become profitable.”

Taken from the book “Unlock Your Potential with the Realities of Trading” 

 

 

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The United States Become Cryptocurrency Mining Epicenter Amid China Crypto Ban

14 October 2021 | Updated: 14 October 2021

The United States has become the global epicenter for cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) mining following the mass migration of miners from China due to the clampdown by the Chinese government.

The Chinese government took a hostile stance against the cryptocurrency industry to control financial risk in the region. China became the cradle of Bitcoin and crypto mining in 2009 thanks to its cheap electricity from coal and hydro plants.

The United States Constitute 35.4% of Global Hash Rate

At the end of August, the United States accounted for 35.4% of the global hash rate, according to a Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance study published yesterday. This figure represents a >100% increase from the number recorded in April.

That said, China’s aim to rid itself of crypto activities has yielded significant results for the region, following the intensification of curbing efforts by Beijing since May 2021. According to recent data from Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance researchers, the Asian nation’s share of crypto mining has dropped to zero. For context, this figure touched 75% in September 2019. As of April this year, this figure had plummeted to 46%.

While illegal mining operations might still occur in China today, private (legal) mining activities have migrated to other friendlier jurisdictions, like the United States. Also, recent spikes in hash rate from Ireland and Germany likely got triggered by miners using VPNs or proxy servers, according to Cambridge researchers.

With more miners finding settlements in friendlier countries with cheap electricity, cryptocurrencies are on the verge of reclaiming precious highs. At press time, Bitcoin is roughly 12% from its $65,000 ATH, while Ethereum (ETH/USD) is only 15% from its $4,370 all-time high.

 

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Venezuela to Enable Cryptocurrency Payments for Airline Tickets

13 October 2021 | Updated: 13 October 2021

Cryptocurrency has achieved yet another small victory as the Simón Bolivar International Airport of Venezuela, alias Maiquetía, plans to allow customers to pay for airline tickets with digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Dash, and Petro.

Commenting on the latest development, the Director of the airport, Freddy Borges, noted that Venezuela’s crypto regulatory Sunacrip would organize the initiative:

“We will activate a button that is for payment of cryptocurrencies in the airport platforms and commercial activities, in coordination with Sunacrip.”

With the recent boom in the influx of Russian and European tourists into tourist hotspots in Venezuela, Borges noted that the new initiative would enable travelers to visit more parts of the South American nation and strengthen its economy. The undertaking will also force the Maiquetía Airport to up its standards. The Director noted that:

“Just as Russian passengers arrived in Margarita, they will also come to La Guaira, through Conviasa, so we must advance in these new economic and technological systems that can be accessed.”

Maiquetía International Airport is the largest airport in the country and the main gateway into Venezuela. It is located northwest of the capital Caracas and handles both domestic and international flights.

Venezuela has Strong Affinity for Cryptocurrency

Despite operating under a dictatorship, Venezuela—to the surprise of many—adopts a friendly stance on cryptocurrency. The financial situation the country finds itself in has forced it to develop a good affinity for Bitcoin and other digital assets. With that, it becomes less of a mystery why Latin American countries lead the world in terms of crypto adoption.

In 2020, Burger King Venezuela allowed customers in Caracas, the country’s capital, to pay for their meals with crypto, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, Dash, and Tether.

This action opened the doors for order food franchises like Pizza Hut to allow diners to settle their bills with digital assets, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Binance Coin, and more. Subsequently, the crypto payment offer became available in all Pizza Hut spots in Maracay, Maracaibo, and Barquisimeto.

 

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Bitcoin Mining Firm to Build Mega Farm in Argentina

12 October 2021 | Updated: 12 October 2021

Nasdaq-listed Bitfarms, a Bitcoin mining company, announced last week that it has initiated the creation of a “mega Bitcoin mining farm” in Argentina. Bitfarm noted that the facility would have the capacity to power thousands of miners using electricity obtained through a contract with a private power company.

The facility will deliver over 210 megawatts of infrastructure capacity for the company, which reports claims has the mining power of 1.4 exahash per second (EH/s) as of September.

Commenting on the development, CEO of Bitfarms Emiliano Grodzki noted that:

“Our new high-production facility in Argentina, which is expected to accommodate over 55,000 miners upon completion, will greatly expand our capacity and global footprint.”

The CEO asserted that this farm would help the company realize its goal of 8 EH/s by the end of 2021.

Argentina Could Become Bitcoin Mining Haven

Grodzki noted that the firm chose Argentina because the farm will get constructed in warehouses inside the power company, making it an exceptional location for Bitfarms. The mining company signed an eight-year, 210 MW deal with the private power company at significantly low prices. The CEO of Bitfarms explained that:

“The Argentina facility is planned to produce Bitcoin using power at the attractive rate of just US 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, substantially reducing our already low cost of mining Bitcoin.”

That said, the facility is currently under construction with Argentinian construction company Proyectos y Obras Americanas S.A. (‘PROA’), which lays the groundwork for the electrical structure required.

Argentina has become one of the most sought-after locations for situating mining facilities thanks to its abundant and cheap energy in certain regions. Bitfarm has tapped into this opportunity and chose a reason with plentiful energy production capacity and low demand. Analysts predict that other mining firms could follow in Bitfarms’ footsteps soon.

 

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Bitcoin Will Become Legal Tender in Five Countries Next Year: Bitmex CEO

11 October 2021 | Updated: 11 October 2021

CEO of behemoth cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex Alex Hoeptner has made some brow-raising predictions for Bitcoin adoption. The Bitmex executive recently stated that:

“My prediction is that by the end of next year, we’ll have at least five countries that accept bitcoin as legal tender. All of them will be developing countries. Here’s why I think developing countries will jump into crypto in 2022.”

Hoeptner defended his prediction by offering three factors that could drive the adoption of BTC in developing countries.

Hoeptner’s Reasons for Bitcoin Adoption as Legal Tender by Nations

The first factor is remittance. The CEO noted that remittances constituted 23% of El Salvador’s GDP in 2020.

Referencing data from the World Bank, the Bitmex executive noted that low and middle-income countries receive 75% of the total global remittance. Hoeptner argued that: “This money has got to find a way home somehow. But the current system of remittances – led by money service providers like Western Union – is ripping people off by charging them an average of 10%, just to send money home the next business day.”

Alex Hoeptner’s second factor for Bitcoin adoption by countries is inflation. He illustrated that as inflation across the globe taps significant highs, people have become more disgruntled and seek alternatives to fiat currencies amid the inflation crises. He explained that: “As inflation climbed well above 15% this year in Turkey, crypto adoption surged. Turkey responded by quickly banning the use of crypto for goods and services, but inflation is now at 19.25%.”

Hoeptner added that:

“Bitcoin fixes this, with its capped supply of 21 million. And developed countries – and or their people – are noticing.”

Finally, the CEO’s third factor is politics. Hoeptner argued that many politicians or rulers across the globe “are skilled and savvy, and have an interest in positioning themselves as progressive, populist, and new age thinkers.”

He argued that: “Over the next year, and as El Salvador works out the kinks in its rollout, savvy politicians will be thinking of how they can take a similar path, and how it might benefit both them and their constituents.” The executive elaborated that:

“What El Salvador did is take the first leap of faith, making similar moves by other countries much easier to consider.”

However, the CEO warned that: “Any failings by these leaders in the implementation phase may hurt wider adoption of cryptocurrencies in general. That’s the dangerous dilemma that lies ahead.”

 

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China Crypto Ban: 20 Crypto-Related Businesses to Relocate Abroad

10 October 2021 | Updated: 10 October 2021

According to recent reports, over 20 crypto-related businesses in China have noted that they will cease operations amid the inhospitable crypto environment in China.

The Chinese government’s inimical stance on the cryptocurrency industry is not a new development, as the government made sure to remind investors at every opportunity. In late September, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced that all trading and mining of cryptocurrency in the Asian nation had become illegal within the Chinese borders. The central bank also prohibited the creation of crypto exchanges in the country.

Following this announcement, China Securities Journal revealed that 20 crypto entities would halt all operations and services in China and move abroad.

Also, behemoth exchange Huobi recently announced that it would no longer allow the registration of new users from the region. Subsequently, Huobi pool—one of the largest BTC mining pools in the world—moved over $4 billion in BTC from miners alone. Reports show that this was the largest inflow of funds since December 2017.

Meanwhile, the second-largest ETH mining pool across the globe, Sparkpool, recently announced that it had suspended access to new users in Mainland China and abandoned all its services in the region on September 30.

To make matters worse, the Chinese government has seized numerous mining equipment and sites across its provinces and continues to do so amid the mass exodus of miners from China.

Bitcoin Stronger Despite China Ban

That said, Bitcoin has resisted the FUD waves and increased in value despite the doubling down of restrictive actions by the Chinese government. At press time, BTC trades at over 27% since the latest PBoC crypto ban.

Also, famous whistleblower Edward Snowden recently asserted that the Chinese restrictions only made Bitcoin stronger.

Additionally, Katie Huan—a Partner at Venture Capital Firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)—called on American financial regulators to capitalize on the adoption opportunity. She noted that:

“This is an opportunity for the United States because we should be doing the exact opposite in my mind in this realm of what China is doing.”

 

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Russia Lawmakers Seek Regulatory Framework for Crypto, Deem Industry Dangerous

7 October 2021 | Updated: 7 October 2021

According to new reports, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, State Duma, described cryptocurrency as a “dangerous financial tool” for private investors. That said, the government arm recently announced plans to implement a regulatory framework around trading cryptos.

Commenting on the matter, Anatoly Aksakov—Head of the Duma Committee on the Financial Market—argued that while cryptocurrencies produce significant profits for some investors, they can pose significant risks to their users. For this reason, Russian lawmakers plan to implement specific rules to the industry, arguing that:

“Digital assets are the topic of our close attention, and here we will look at how to maximally protect our citizens when investing in digital currencies and digital assets because there is a new tool, and it is quite difficult for an unskilled investor.

We certainly need to provide specific legislation to protect a non-professional investor from ill-considered investments in digital currencies.”

However, a top executive at the Institute of Applied Economic Research, Alexander Abramov, has criticized the intended move by the lawmakers. Abramov opined that digital assets have provided numerous benefits for the Western markets in recent years. He also argued that cryptocurrencies have become a solid competition to centralized government monetary projects, which explains the inhibition by governments.

Recently, founder of Alor Group Anatoly Gavrilenko noted that even if authorities placed a ban on cryptos, the public would always find ways to acquire and use them, stating that:

“Cryptocurrency is a certain symbol of freedom; financial freedom, it is a signal to all regulators that there is no need to bring people into a corner. People will always come up with something that will force them to bypass the bans.”

Apex Bank in Russia Against Crypto

Nonetheless, Russia’s central bank has expressed its displeasure with the asset class. In June, Chief of Russia’s Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina asserted that “investing in crypto is more dangerous than any other strategy.” She added that:

“Speculative crypto assets are surely the most dangerous strategies of all. The Central Bank never gives advice, where to invest, but in this particular case – here [one] should definitely not [invest].”

With all this, speculators worry that the Russian government could adopt an unfriendly stance on crypto soon.

 

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Brazil to Approve Bitcoin as Regulated Currency Soon: Federal Deputy

6 October 2021 | Updated: 6 October 2021

According to a Brazil federal deputy, Aureo Ribeiro, Bitcoin (BTC) could soon become a recognized currency for payments in Brazil. Ribeiro noted that the potential approval of Bill 2.303/15, which focuses on cryptocurrency regulation, will create new uses for crypto holders, including purchasing houses, cars, and other products.

These comments come following the approval of the Brazilian “Bitcoin Law” for presentation in the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies, following a protracted developmental period. Ribeiro asserted that this drafted law could serve as a template for other countries exploring ways to regulate digital assets due to its innovative nature. The federal deputy added that:

“We debated a few years there to arrive at a text that recognizes this asset…which will be regulated by a government agency, because we will work with the Central Bank and the CVM, depending on how this asset will be recognized, such as real estate value or currency of daily use.”

Fighting Ponzi Schemes in the Brazil Crypto Space

Ribeiro also expressed his optimism about the potential advantages of this law in protecting citizens from Ponzi schemes in the crypto sector. Over the years, numerous Brazilians have fallen victims to several crypto scams, with the authorities claiming down on several promoters of alleged Ponzi schemes in 2021.

That said, digital assets remain an obscure sector in Brazil, and authorities have a limited scope in regulating crypto companies. Ribeiro stressed that with this law, the government intends to:

“Separate the wheat from the chaff, create regulations so that you can trade, know where you are buying, know who you are dealing with.”

Finally, the federal deputy revealed that the Law project had received support from the government and has gotten discussed with Arthur Lira, president of the Chamber of Deputies. Ribeiro believes that the law will get approved with time.

 

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Digital Currency is Beneficial for the Global Economy: BIS Report

30 September 2021 | Updated: 30 September 2021

A new report published by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and a group of central banks assert that digital currency can foster faster settlements and cheaper transfers.

About two weeks ago, the head of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, Benoît Cœuré, asserted that central banks must pick up the mandate and develop Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies (CBDC). Cœuré opined that a digital currency Economy already exists and that central banks are lagging considering that “CBDCs will take years to be rolled out.”

Following these comments from the bank executive, the BIS, in collaboration with four central banks from the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, China, and Thailand, has initiated a digital currency experiment.

After producing and testing a prototype dubbed the “multiple central bank digital currency bridge project (mBridge),” the group published some interesting findings. Bénédicte Nolens, the head of the Hong Kong center of BIS Innovation Hub, explained that digital currencies can become more effective for the banking industry and would uplift the economy in general.

In a statement published on Monday, Nolens noted that: “Enabling faster and cheaper cross-border wholesale payments, including to jurisdictions that don’t benefit from a vibrant correspondent banking system, would be positive for trade and economic development.”

The bank revealed that the developers launched the mBridge prototype on Ethereum’s Hyperledger Besu blockchain.

Digital Currency Transaction on DLT 50% More Efficient than Normal Cross-Border Payments System

According to tests, distributed ledger technology (DLT) slashes the cost of cross-border transactions by 50%, and settlements get completed in seconds.

Meanwhile, the group has turned its attention to legal issues and jurisdictional hurdles in developing a “production-ready digital currency solution.” Interestingly, the mBridge project comes amid the looming launch of the digital Yuan, which is near completion.

The mBridge collaboration first got initiated by the Bank of Thailand and Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority under the alias “Project Inthanon-LionRock.”

 

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Infrastructure Bill: US Congress to Vote on Passage Thursday

27 September 2021 | Updated: 27 September 2021

The US Congress will vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is confident a ruling will pass.

According to the letter released by the Speaker’s office yesterday, a four-day debate will take place before the final legislation, which will help fund roads, bridges, schools, and many other infrastructural projects get voted on. The letter, published by Reuters, noted that:

“Tomorrow, September 27, we will begin debate on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework on the Floor of the House and vote on it on Thursday, September 30, the day on which the surface transportation authorization expires.”

A critical part of the bill for the cryptocurrency industry in the past that mandates tax reporting for all entities loosely connected to the crypto industry.

The bill, which passed the House in early August, used the word “broker” to define crypto organizations and companies like software developers, node validators, stakers, miners, hardware manufacturers, and wallet providers.

That said, if this bill passes without a chance to the definitive wording, the entities mentioned above will have to report transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which aspires to expand the crypto tax base to raise an additional $28 billion in revenue to fund infrastructure projects.

Lawmakers Argue that Current Infrastructure Bill Could Disrupt US Crypto Community

Several US legislators, including Anna Eshoo, Cynthia Lummis, Ron Wyden, and Pat Toomey, have lobbied House, maintaining that the bracket terminology is too broad and could stifle innovation in the sector.

On August 12, Rep. Anna Eshoo wrote a letter to Pelosi, stating that: “In the decentralized system of cryptocurrencies, these individuals and entities do not know who the buyers and sellers are and would be unable to comply with the broker requirements.”

The US crypto industry will suffer a far-reaching setback, and future innovations will get studied should the proposed bill pass as it is.

With some lawmakers insisting that the bill get held back until a more concise measure is ready, there are echoes of a possible additional postponement. However, with the US Treasury running out of money due to stimulus measures and a possible debt default by the US government, many expect the bill to pass expediently regardless of the potential impact on the US crypto industry.

 

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