Vanguard Chief Economist Joe Davis has been a long-time Bitcoin skeptic, writing on Vanguard's website last February that he would not be surprised to see the value of the crypto coin fall to zero. Now his post has been reprinted, this time as a paid-for post on ETF.com, giving the view renewed currency in the digital echo chamber. “The investment case for cryptocurrencies is weak,” he writes. “Unlike stocks and bonds, currencies generate no cash flows such as interest payments or dividends that can explain their prices.” Instead, crypto prices depend more on speculation about their eventual adoption and use. “The speculation creates volatility that, ironically, undermines their value as a currency,” he writes. While Davis is bearish on cryptocurrencies, he does see value in the underlying blockchain technology. “We’ll likely see blockchain adopted by governments and enterprises for specific purposes in the coming decades,” he writes. “As innovation quickens and competition increases, the majority of networks (and their associated cryptocurrencies) may be rendered obsolete,” much like tulip bulbs in 17th century Holland.
The Society of Actuaries’ Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Risks published an annual report called Post-Retirement Experiences of Individuals 85+ Years Old and while most findings aren’t surprising, one survey result might be, even to advisors. When participants were asked how big an impact certain events had on finances in the last five years, one category finished neck and neck with medical expenses: rising utility costs. For retirees that were at least 85 years old, 23 percent said utility costs had a “major impact” on their finances, compared to 19 percent for medical costs, the headline expense in retirement that wealth managers and others say workers need to save more for.
One at-home cryptocurrency miner has used the heat given off by his mining circuitry to run hot water into his bathtub, reports Motherboard. The miner, who goes by the name “Lee” and reportedly works in IT in Alabama, said he could even imagine a mining system heating a swimming pool. If left running all day, the test mining system he designed heated the water in his tub to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, “dangerously hot” for a bath, he said. Today’s cryptocurrency miners are using application specific integrated circuits to “mine” for digital paydirt, a process that consumes large amounts of electricity. By doubling his mining operation as a water heater, Lee was able to cut his heating bill and increase the profit margin on his mining operation with the cost savings.