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Axios Future

Axios Future

This site uses cookies to enhance your reading experience. By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies.Okay1 big thing: Beating the superforecastersA former forecasting method. Photo: Topical/Hulton/Getty Four years ago, a team of researchers linked to the University of Pennsylvania wowed the U.S. intelligence community by producing a superior new way to forecast geopolitical events. They were dubbed the “superforecasters.” Now, at a time when the science of professional prognostication is sorely battered, the radical innovation arm of U.S. intelligence services is looking to best the UPenn team with a fresh big-money prize competition. What’s happening: IARPA, the research arm for the U.S. director of national intelligence, is offering $250,000 in prize money in a contest to forecast geopolitical events such as elections, disease outbreaks and economic indicators.The contestants will have access to all of IARPA’s data on the winning UPenn methodology.They can do anything they want — use a computer, or no computer, and any methodology.Over the coming eight or so months, they will be asked hundreds of closed-ended questions, such as: “How many missile test events will North Korea conduct in August 2019?” and “What will be the daily closing price of gold on June 2019 in USD?”I asked Seth Goldstein, an IARPA program manager who is running the contest, his dream outcome: “I am hoping to find the next Swiss patent clerk doing forecasting in his spare time,” he says. If you are that Einstein, go here to enter.Background: There is substantial rigor to current forecasting, but it is still more an art than a science: “It is largely practiced by an informed elite predicated on gut instinct and intuition, and a range of confirmation biases,” says Samuel Brannen, director of the Risk and Foresight Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”It’s one thing for algorithms to time market moves and execute trades faster than humans would be capable, and quite another for them to forecast the outcome of U.S.-China trade negotiations, in which the variables are nearly infinite and perhaps impossible to identify,” Brannen says.But from 2011 to 2015, IARPA ran another forecasting contest. That’s the one that was won by the UPenn team, led by social scientist Philip Tetlock. Tetlock, who had been studying forecasting methods for decades, pushed his team of some 2,000 volunteers to be open-minded, and he championed outsiders with no particular subject matter expertise. Then he culled out a small group that seemed to be preternaturally terrific prognosticators. He called them superforecasters (and in 2015 co-authored a book about the methodology called “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction”).Tetlock declined to comment for this story.Goldstein calls Tetlock’s performance the “gold standard.” But now he wants to do better. The contestants will be pitted against another team of expert forecasters randomly assigned to work with machines on prognostications. The maximum $153,000 prize can be won if a team comes in first place and performs at least 20% better than Tetlock’s team, and no one else performs at all better. “They get a really nice chunk” of money “plus all of the glory,” Goldstein says. Members of Tetlock’s group have added to their forecasting renown. Regina Joseph, a Tetlock superforecaster, built a cybersecurity forecasting training program for the Dutch National Cyber Security Centre, in addition to a tournament that launched last year and is still underway. In terms of what forecasting advances might come next, Joseph tells Axios that she would like to see “longitudinal tournaments,” in which subject matter experts are pitted against generalist elite forecasters. “So far, results suggest good forecasting skill can still beat subject matter expertise in niche areas,” she says. Go deeper: The upside of humans — a lot of themThe world buckles: Axios’ geopolitical forecast for 20192. Spinning startups out of AmazonVideo: Erica Pandey/AxiosAs they’ve boomed, Silicon Valley giants like Uber, Google and Apple have turned into startup factories. But Amazon — with a few notable exceptions in Hulu, Instacart and Flipkart — hasn’t had many cases of alums leaving to become founders, Erica writes.Now Amazon is promoting entrepreneurship — even offering funding — and encouraging employees to start companies, but only if they are in service of the e-commerce giant.What’s happening: Amazon is paying employees $10,000 plus three months of pay to quit and start small businesses that deliver Amazon packages.”We’re looking to add hundreds more new businesses this year,” an Amazon spokesperson tells Axios.Although the incentives are only available to Amazon employees, anyone is welcome to apply to start a delivery business for the behemoth, the company says. Milton Collier, a freight broker in Atlanta, tells AP he has 120 employees and 50 vans that deliver Amazon boxes every day.A flurry of small businesses that exist solely to serve Amazon’s shipping ambitions will make the giant’s logistics arm even stronger. As we’ve reported, the company is already turning into a formidable competitor for UPS and FedEx.The bottom line: Amazon is creating an ecosystem distinct from its Big Tech brethren.The bulk of companies that are spun out of Uber, Google and others are unrelated to those firms’ core businesses, but Amazon wants to fuel the creation of startups that help make it stronger.While many Amazon managers and executives tend to stay with the company long term, dozens who have left have gone on to start retail consultancies that advise merchants who sell on … Amazon.Go deeper: Amazon’s delivery army (Axios)3. The esports boomEsports fans. Photo: Daniel Reinhardt/dpa/GettyA new infographic from the Visual Capitalist charts the precipitous rise of esports and the resulting tangled web of sponsorships, syndications and events, Kaveh writes.Since 2017, the gaming industry has been more than double the size of the music and film industries.It’s projected to hit $1.8 billion by 2020 — more than twice 2018 revenues.The global audience for esports is projected to grow past 450 million people this year.Go deeper: Esports, the new social square (Axios)Mailbox: The shaving giantsNew Hampshire, circa 1950. Photo: Orlando/Three Lions/GettyWe received several reactions to Erica’s story last week about shaving startups.In a series of tweets, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers wrote:”This article is as vivid an example as I have seen of the need for an overhaul of US antitrust. If this can be happening in shaving industry, problems may be pervasive even outside technology.The interesting question is how much of the problem is failed enforcement of existing law and how much is that existing law needs to be altered. I suspect the former.You do not have to have a broad new theory of antitrust to be appalled by these developments. They look terrible for consumer welfare.”And Eric Tischler of Silver Spring, Maryland, wrote: “As a former Mach III devotee, I can tell you that the six-blade Dollar Shave Club head is legit.”4. Worthy of your timeChart: Lazaro Gamio/AxiosHow to talk capitalism to millennials (Edward Glaeser — City Journal) The ever-rising flack-to-hack ratio (Courtenay Brown — Axios)Why Amazon bought PillPack (Christina Farr — CNBC)A troubled coding boot camp in Appalachia (Campbell Robertson — NYT)How did Danielle Steel write 179 books? (Samantha Leach — Glamour)5. 1 fun thing: Falling robotsPhoto: Courtesy Squishy RoboticsA new breed of small, bouncy robots are meant to rain down over disaster sites, gathering vital data from where they fall to help rescue missions in uncertain terrain.Kaveh writes: Originally designed for a NASA mission on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, these squishy robots — designed by a Berkeley company called, well, Squishy Robotics — pack tons of sensors into the size of a softball.Far from the humanoid and dog-like robots of Boston Dynamics, these bots are protected by a web of cables and rods that can absorb the shock of hitting the ground after falling hundreds of feet.Once there, they can shimmy around and even climb over small obstacles to figure out what’s going on nearby.Go deeper: The robot that can be dropped from a helicopter (TechCrunch)
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$25,000 Bitcoin Price Next for Perma-Bull Lee after Ringing Crypto Winter Dead

$25,000 Bitcoin Price Next for Perma-Bull Lee after Ringing Crypto Winter Dead

By CCN: Fundstrat CEO Tom Lee says the ‘crypto winter’ is finally over, offering 13 solid reasons to back up his claim. According to the bitcoin perma-bull, there’s nothing but blue sky between here and his $25,000 price prediction.If he’s right, then bitcoin has bottomed for this cycle and we have now entered a bull market. Lee’s 13 signs touched on everything from technical analysis, Wall Street involvement, bitcoin metrics, and generally positive sentiment.After a disturbing pullback to ~$6,200, #Bitcoin back >$8,000 further cementing positive trend intact.As we said a few weeks ago, Consensus 2019 @coindesk was to prove whether crypto winter is over……confirmed pic.twitter.com/M8ni4g2YvX— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 19, 2019Bitcoin’s “disturbing pullback” to $6,200 just a blipLee said that bitcoin’s recent flash crash to $6,200, which was triggered by a huge sell order on Bitstamp, was a blip. And the subsequent rebound to $8,000 strengthened the case that bulls were back in control of the market.Tom Lee believes bitcoin has bottomed at $3,200 and begun the road to recovery. Source: CoinMarketCapAs Lee points out in his 13 reasons, negative news stories no longer seem to dent the market. Citing recent events that ought to have shaken the markets, he said:“Stable market reaction to controversy around Bitfinex/Tether and NY Attorney General’s court order alleging undisclosed transfer from Tether’s reserves to Bitfinex in order to cover up mishandled funds.”Lee: Consensus 2019 confirms the end of crypto winterLee said the final proof of bitcoin’s rebound lies with the Consensus conference. The event, run by Coindesk, is often cited as a catalyst for price action, known as the “Consensus Pump.”The bitcoin price rallied to a ten-month high of $8,000 as the conference kicked off. It was the catalyst Lee needed to confirm that crypto winter is finally over.Bitcoin transactions surge and accumulation beginsAmong the other reasons for Lee’s conclusion is the volume of bitcoin transactions. He wrote that on January 23rd:“On-chain transactions per day turn positive YoY, the first time since January 2018 (consistently).”#bitcoin transactions reaching ath’s again🚀 pic.twitter.com/YMfQIQir1C— Sakura ¥ (@carryyen) March 28, 2019He also pointed to volume on over the counter (OTC) markets, hinting that brokers were reporting 60 – 70 percent increase in new client activity. At the same time, wealthy investors were accumulating bitcoin, not just on OTC markets, but in Grayscale’s flagship Bitcoin Investment Trust.It’s in the charts…Additionally, Lee points to a slew of technical analysis that confirms bitcoin’s upward trends. The most significant of which is the so-called “golden cross” when bitcoin’s 50-day moving average crossed the 200-day moving average. It historically indicates a bull market, not just in crypto, but in financial markets generally.Ladies & Gents… The Golden Cross!Bitcoin’s 50-day moving average (gold) crossing above her 200-day moving average (blue). 📈This is yet another sign that we’re back in a🐂market. 🚀🌛 pic.twitter.com/VK1PSsOYIB— Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan) April 23, 2019Lee also cites his own firm’s Bitcoin Misery Index which ticked back up to 2017 levels.Bitcoin price to soar to $25,000?With crypto winter finally over, Lee may double down on his $25,000 bitcoin price prediction. The perma-bull originally predicted that bitcoin would hit the milestone by the end of 2018. Even when it failed to materialize, he remained optimistic, saying $25,000 is a fair price for bitcoin.“Strangely, I just think that’s a good, fair value for bitcoin, but the timing of that’s going to be difficult. Bitcoin has had 70 percent pullbacks four times already in its 10-year history, and it has recovered to new all-time highs every time. So to me, it’s resilient.”At what price will see FOMO from those who gloated about 90% crash in $BTC?Military term, SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess).My SWAG is $10,000 is price that causes FOMO from those who saw #bitcoin as dead forever. POLL: At what price do we see FOMO?— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 12, 2019For now, the psychological barrier remains at $10,000. According to a Twitter poll conducted by Lee, his followers believe this is the price at which new investors will FOMO into cryptocurrencies. 
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JPMorgan Tries Fear-Mongering in Attempt to Sabotage Bitcoin Price Rally

JPMorgan Tries Fear-Mongering in Attempt to Sabotage Bitcoin Price Rally

JPMorgan Tries Fear-Mongering in Attempt to Sabotage Rowdy Bitcoin Price RallyJPMorgan strategists are warning investors that bitcoin, in its current value, is overpriced. | Source: ShutterstockBy CCN: JPMorgan doesn’t love bitcoin. The bank – the United States’ biggest financial institution by assets – has been historically pessimistic about the flagship cryptocurrency, so just when bitcoin prices started going through the roof, it decided to crash the party with a dire warning.#Bitcoin prices diverge from intrinsic value, carrying echoes of late 2017, JPM says. pic.twitter.com/DImDoSMv8L— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) May 17, 2019JPMorgan makes yet another effort to sabotage bitcoinThe crypto winter gave JPMorgan’s bitcoin bears reason to cheer earlier this year. The Wall Street firm’s analysts were bandying about a $1,260 bitcoin price target in January, warning HOLDers that they should prepare for more pain in case the crypto winter continued.Bitcoin’s impressive price rally has made those analysts eat their words as the digital currency is now trading over $7,900. But JPMorgan says that the current bitcoin price is reminiscent of 2017’s boom-bust pattern when the cryptocurrency’s market price had surged ahead of its intrinsic value and then crashed spectacularly.JPMorgan strategists wrote in a note (via Bloomberg):Over the past few days, the actual price has moved sharply over marginal cost. The divergence between actual and intrinsic values carries some echoes of the spike higher in late 2017, and at the time this divergence was resolved mostly by a reduction in actual prices.The note tells us that JPMorgan is trying to rain in on bitcoin’s parade, giving bears fodder by telling them that bitcoin’s current price doesn’t reflect its true value. But there’s a flaw in the JPMorgan has arrived at the “intrinsic value” of bitcoin.Don’t get carried away by JPMorgan’s fearmongeringJPMorgan has arrived at bitcoin’s intrinsic value by treating the digital currency as a commodity. The Wall Street firm estimated the cost of “producing” a bitcoin using variables such as electricity expenses, hardware efficiency, and electricity expense.But it seems like JPMorgan forgot that the current bitcoin price rally has a lot more legs than the last one, and it doesn’t make sense to value it based on the cost of mining. That’s because bitcoin is proving to be a solid alternative investment at a time when the stock market is in turmoil, thanks to the US-China trade war.In a period where: —political tensions escalate between US and China, —global equity markets fall sharply—VIX largest spike in many months—global yield curves flatten/invert#bitcoin has RISEN and >$6,000Crypto showing its value as an uncorrelated asset.— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 9, 2019As it turns out, the Chinese are dumping their currency in favor of bitcoin to escape the yuan’s painful decline.Meanwhile, institutional investors are piling into bitcoin as the digital asset is believed to be better than gold as a safe-haven investment. Asset management firm Morgan Creek Digital’s CEO, Mark Yusko, estimates that the price of bitcoin could reach as high as $500,000 if the cryptocurrency is valued like gold:So if we get the amount of value in total Bitcoin market value or network value equal to gold, that’d be about $7.4 trillion divided by 21 million coins, although there aren’t really 21 million left, and you get around $400,000 a coin, maybe $500,000 a coin. Now, when does that happen? It’s probably over a decade or maybe even more.A survey carried out by Fidelity Digital Assets has found out that almost half of the institutional investors that it had surveyed see a place for digital assets like bitcoin in their portfolios.We asked: what do institutions really think about #digitalassets? https://t.co/3Lq5h5ITbT— Fidelity Digital Assets (@DigitalAssets) May 2, 2019So, JPMorgan’s claim that the price will crash just because it is trading above the intrinsic value, which has been arrived at by calculating mining costs, is nothing but a farce.It’s ‘Worth Nothing’: Jamie Dimon Takes Another Shot at Bitcoin https://t.co/junawpXqNa— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) September 22, 2017But bitcoin has proved that it has value because of its real-world use cases. So don’t be surprised to see JPMorgan’s famed analysts eating their words once again when the price shoots higher.Click here for a real-time bitcoin price rally. About The AuthorHarsh ChauhanHarsh Singh Chauhan has a wealth of experience evaluating publicly-traded companies across several verticals, including technology, oil and gas, retail, and consumer goods. He is a syndicated author whose articles have been published on reputed online platforms across the U.S., Europe, and India since 2011.This article was edited by Samburaj Das.
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