Ethereum Classic’s ‘Irrational’ Price Tripling Bears Hallmark of Dogecoin Frenzy - CoinDesk


CoinDesk 07 May, 2021 - 04:21pm 14 views

Is crypto a bubble?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been identified as speculative bubbles by several laureates of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, central bankers, and investors. wikipedia.orgCryptocurrency bubble - Wikipedia

Analysts see speculative fever rather than informed bets on the blockchain’s future technological potential.

The dynamic might show that the just-for-fun yucks of trading the joke token dogecoin (DOGE) (which bears the hallmark of this year’s frenzy in GameStop shares on Wall Street) might be spilling over to almost-left-for-dead cryptocurrency projects from the last big bull market in 2017. 

Few professional cryptocurrency-market analysts see Ethereum Classic as possessing the disruptive potential of Ethereum or other up-and-coming blockchains like Binance Smart Chain or even Cardano. 

But to retail traders looking to bet on price-go-up, the ETC tokens might be looking pretty good, and cheap. 

“I think a lot of the interest has to do with the fact that dogecoin has moved so much and U.S. retail is looking for the next big asset,” Joshua Frank, co-founder and CEO of crypto data firm The TIE, which tracks social media interest in digital-asset markets.

At press time, ethereum classic is changing hands at $133.72, up 7.96% in the past 24 hours.

Ethereum Classic was born out of a contentious split from Ethereum in 2017, known in blockchain lingo as a “hard fork.” However, it quickly lost the support of the larger Ethereum software-developer community and has never attained a similar level of respect among industry executives and investors. The project’s market capitalization is less than one-twentieth of Ethereum’s $409 billion and it has been the victim of several 51% attacks

Yet, that hasn’t stopped ETC’s price from shooting up for eight straight days in the current bull market. For instance, the ETC price rose 47% on May 5, according to data from Coinbase and TradingView.

The ETC growth is also supported by trading activity: Trading volume for ethereum classic on Thursday surged above $10 billion on Upbit, a Korean cryptocurrency exchange, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

“It’s a crazy, irrational market now,” Ki Young Ju, the chief executive of South Korea-based blockchain data firm CryptoQuant, said. “People will learn.”

Bitcoin’s rally since the beginning of last year could be mainly attributed to institutional investors in North America. Some of them have argued that bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency (with a market capitalization of about $1.1 trillion) might work well as a hedge against inflation in the wake of trillions of dollars of coronavirus-prompted monetary stimulus from central banks around the world. 

Ethereum classic’s gains, by contrast, appear to be largely driven by retail investors in both the West and East, according to analysts. That’s similar to the driving force behind the meme-centered dogecoin. 

The TIE’s Frank says he noticed ethereum classic was trading at more than a 50% premium on U.S.-based, retail-focused crypto trading platforms including Robinhood and Coinbase, compared with prices at roughly the same time on other native cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance. 

The observation suggests rising demand for the ETC token from retail investors in the U.S.

“If institutions were behind the move, I don’t think you would have seen such a large spread in price between major exchanges with the retail-focused platforms having such a significant price premium,” Frank said.

The number of tweets about ethereum classic and bitcoin cash (BCH), a token created from a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain, has soared in the past week, another indication “a mass market” could be behind the outperformance, said Frank.

In South Korea, where ETC’s trading volume is surging on the Upbit exchange, investors behind the rally are only looking at profits in the short term, Ju said.

“There are no institutional investors in Korea,” Ju said. “Koreans are seeking cheap coins that look likely to be pumped.”

Analysts expressed concern investors would get hurt eventually by the recent speculative fervor in these lesser cryptocurrencies. After the pump comes the dump, the thinking goes. 

“Investors will get burned at some point, but this could go on for a while,” Frank said.

Thursday on Twitter, @SecretOfCrypto, who has more than 176,000 followers, tweeted that cryptocurrency markets are in a phase where ether has outperformed bitcoin and new money has started flowing into other large-cap tokens seen as having more room to spike in price.

“Memes are everywhere,” according to the tweet. “Everyone is super excited and you feel the mania in the air.”

Read full article at CoinDesk

Market Wrap: 'Ethereum Killers' Pop as ING Report Highlights Ethereum Over Bitcoin - CoinDesk

CoinDesk 07 May, 2021 - 06:00pm

Bitcoin has less than 10% of gold’s market capitalization but could continue to differentiate itself from the yellow metal and grow its piece of the total market-cap pie.

Big-time gainers Thursday included tokens associated with blockchain projects that aim to replicate some of the key attributes of Ethereum, mainly programmability.

In the past month, ethereum classic (ETC) has gained over 1,250%, while cardano (ADA) has jumped 238% and eos (EOS) is up 42%, according to Kraken spot data provided by charting software TradingView. 

The gains come as the giant Dutch bank ING used a recent report to throw some support behind the notion of programmable money used for decentralized finance, or DeFi. 

“The recent bull run of ETH has shed some light on competing projects to the Ethereum value proposition, which can be bundled into a category that we can call a ‘sector,” said Elie Le Rest, partner at trading firm ExoAlpha. “The crypto market tends to work on comparable principles, meaning that if a coin of a ‘sector’ has been doing great, such as ETH in the ‘layer 1 sector,’ then other coins of this same sector may follow a similar trend.”

Layer 1 refers to blockchains that can serve as the foundation for various programming languages to create applications, known as smart contracts, that perform financial functions. Ethereum is a layer 1 smart-contract blockchain; ETC, ADA, and EOS are similar. 

A Wall Street Journal article published Thursday highlights that retail investors are searching for value coins. Ethereum classic may no longer fit that bill, currently priced around $130, according to CoinDesk 20 data, but cardano priced at around $1.63 and eos at a little over $12 certainly do. 

“Interest has flowed out of bitcoin and into [altcoins] for the time being. People are looking further out the risk spectrum for returns,” noted Ciaran Neilan, an executive at crypto market maker GSR.

Bitcoin’s dominance, its share of the greater cryptocurrency market cap, is one sign of a loss of interest for the world’s oldest cryptocurrency. As of press time, BTC dominance, according to chart provider TradingView, was at around 45%, a low not seen since July 2018. 

During the last bull market, at the start of 2018, bitcoin’s dominance dumped to an all-time low of 35% as investors redeployed their bitcoin gains into alternative cryptocurrencies. 

Early this year, bitcoin dominance went as high as 72%. GSR’s Neilan said that dominance percentage will likely return. It will end how it usually does,” Neilan said. “BTC consolidates, then takes back the headlines.”

Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, hit a fresh high Thursday of $3,607 at around 17:30 UTC (12:30 p.m. ET), according to CoinDesk 20 data. The price has settled on some heavy selling, but still gained 0.28%.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) issuance of a $121 million bond on Ethereum as another sign of institutional support for the ether ecosystem. 

“I think ether has benefited from the recent Berlin upgrade,” Jean-Marc Bonnefous, managing partner at investment firm Tellurian Capital. “For once we have a new all-time high and lots of DeFi activity without a simultaneous explosion of gas [transaction] fees.” The EIB bond issuance could be another sign of institutional support for the ether ecosystem, he said.

In the ether derivatives market, ETH futures are now at $10 billion – an all-time high. More sophisticated investors are entering the market and requiring more complex instruments. In the past month, open interest in ether futures has climbed by 47% across major venues. 

“I think we’re just getting started,” Stefan Coolican, chief financial officer for investment firm Ether Capital, told CoinDesk. “The addressable market for ETH is almost infinitely larger than bitcoin.”

Read More: Ether Traders Load Up on $8K Call Options in Bet Price Will Double by July

The price of bitcoin was down Thursday, going as low as $56,586 around 08:15 UTC (3:15 a.m. ET). 

The trading range was even tighter than the day before. Thursday’s $56,586-$58,266 spot price variance was narrower than Wednesday’s $53,633-$57,356 range. BTC is below the 10-hour moving average and the 50-hour on the hourly chart, a bearish signal for market technicians. 

“We’re seeing BTC almost completely flat while ETH has pumped,” noted Andrew Tu, an executive at quant trading firm Efficient Frontier. 

“I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard from bitcoin, perhaps just a breather on its march to gold’s market cap,” Coolican said. Bitcoin’s current market capitalization is over $1 trillion, according to CoinGecko, versus gold’s more than $11 trillion. 

The correlation between the two assets, according to data aggregator Coin Metrics, is near zero, which means their prices are no longer moving in sync as they were for most of last year. In October, the metric passed 0.6. A 1 would signify perfect synchronicity.

Mostafa Al-Mashita, vice president for trading at quant firm Efficient Frontier, says he’s ready for the return of BTC action.

“Another leg up for bitcoin is not expected anymore, which is why it’ll likely happen,” Al-Mashita told CoinDesk. 

Read More: Bitcoin Options Traders Leaning Bearish Despite Price Recovery

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mostly higher Thursday. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):

Read More: VanEck Launches ‘First of Its Kind’ Digital Assets ETF in Europe

Ethereum ETFs Are Soaring: Buy Them While They’re Hot?

Yahoo Canada Finance 07 May, 2021 - 06:00pm

Undoubtedly, Dogecoin was hilarious at first. But nobody is laughing now after the cryptocurrency’s incredible run. Some investors who told themselves they’d never get involved with such are considering initiating positions in a token that may or may not be around in 10 years from now.

If you’re keen on cryptocurrencies but are not one to gamble on meme coins like Dogecoin, you have probably got your sights set on the fresh slate of Ether and Ethereum ETFs that recently went live on the TSX Index two week ago. The Purpose Ether ETF, the CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF, and the Evolve Ether ETF have been red-hot in their few weeks of existence. I think they’re way too hot to handle right now, but for Canadians who are keen, the CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF looks to the best of the batch, as it has the lowest fees.

But should the average investor who’s tempted by the siren song of quick riches hop aboard the Ethereum bandwagon before they can give Bitcoin a run for its money?

I don’t think so. Chasing cryptocurrencies is a dangerously risky proposition and wouldn’t encourage anyone who’s not willing to lose their shirts to do it. With Bitcoin hovering around the US$50,000 to US$60,000 range, Ethereum is blasting off to new highs (recently flirting with the US$3,500 mark), enticing some Bitcoin speculators to jump ship.

The momentum has run dry in Bitcoin, and the timing of Canada’s Ether and Ethereum ETFs couldn’t have come at a better time.

Only time will tell if Ethereum can continue outperforming Bitcoin. But one thing is for sure, the firms bringing Ether and Ethereum ETFs to the markets are going to be raking in the fees amid Ethereum’s latest rally. As it continues surging to new heights, I’d urge most beginners to steer clear and look to gold, old-fashioned gold stocks if they’re looking for an alternative asset that can better hold its value in the face of a potential uptick in the rate of inflation.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently hinted that higher rates could be in the cards to prevent an overheating economy, causing the broader markets to trend lower on Tuesday. It was a bloodbath for tech stocks but a pretty good day for the precious metals.

While there’s no question that cryptocurrencies have stolen a bit of the lustre in gold and gold miners like Barrick Gold, I do think the tables will eventually turn once crypto speculators realize the full extent of what a crypto crackdown could bring forth.

If Janet Yellen can bring down the equity markets with rate hike commentary that was already partially baked in following the first quarter of inflation jitters, just imagine what could happen to Ethereum and the cryptocurrency markets if Yellen were to take steps to curb the success of Bitcoin and the like.

For me, the risks with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and everything in between is not worth the shot at a quick gain.

The post Ethereum ETFs Are Soaring: Buy Them While They’re Hot? appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

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Major players in the big data and analytics services market are IBM Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, SAP SE, TIBCO Software Inc. , Teradata Corporation, Amazon Web Services, SAS Institute Inc.New York, May 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- announces the release of the report "Big Data and Analytics Services Global Market Report 2021: COVID 19 Growth And Change to 2030" - , Tableau Corporation and Alteryx.The global big data and analytics services market is expected grow from $73.26 billion in 2020 to $76.1 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%. The growth is mainly due to the companies resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal while recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $117.19 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 11%.The big data and analytics services market consists of sales and related services that are used in customer analytics, supply chain analytics, marketing analytics, spatial analytics, transportation analytics, risk and credit analytics. Big data analytics services examine vast volumes of data to uncover hidden trends, similarities and other insights and allow companies to analyse and optimize their data to find new opportunities.The increasing growth of integration of internet of things in daily lives is a key factor driving the growth of the big data and analytics services market.When organizations take a hold of the data for the purpose of research, IoT serves as a major source for that data and this is the point where the position of big data in IoT comes into the picture.IoT devices produce a huge amount of unstructured data, which are stored in the big data network and this data largely depends on 3V factors such as volume, velocity and variety.About 44 trillion gigabytes of data is expected to be generated by the Internet of Things by year 2020.With the increasing number of connected devices, by 2020, more than 10 billion sensors and computers will be connected to the Internet. Therefore, increasing growth of internet of things is expected to drive the growth of the big data and analytics services market.The issues with integration of information collected from various data sources is a key factor hampering the growth of the big data and analytics services market.Big Data Integration integrates data from a variety of sources and software formats and offers a converted and coherent view of the collected data to the consumers.Data from a wide variety of sources use different priorities and rates and can be easily de-synchronized from the source system.For instance, many companies collect data from various sources such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and specific types of data stored in different formats.However, such data variability could not be enabled by a single integration platform, everything must be homogenized for accurate and efficient analysis. Therefore, issues with integration of information collected from various data sources is expected to limit the growth of the big data and analytics services market.The big data and analytics services market covered in this report is segmented by deployment mode into on-premise, cloud, others and by application into customer analytics, supply chain analytics, marketing analytics, pricing analytics, spatial analytics, workforce analytics, risk & credit analytics, transportation analytics., others.The continuous intelligence is a key trend in the big data and analytics services market.Continuous intelligence is a device that has combined real-time analytics with business operations, it makes use of historical and current knowledge to improve decision-making or to help make decisions.It leverages a variety of technologies such as optimization, business rule management, event stream processing, augmented analytics, and machine learning.Many companies should leverage continuous intelligence to achieve (or retain) a competitive advantage throughout 2020.Also, Gartner expects that by 2022 more than 50 per cent of the modern business structure will use continuous intelligence that uses real-time context data to improve decisions.In January 2019, Alibaba Group, a China-based company, specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology acquired Data Artisans for $103M.Through this acquisition Data Artisans business reached new horizons with its open source technology, including moves to expand to new areas that have not explored in the past.Data Artisans, a Berlin-based start-up that provides distributed systems and large-scale data streaming services for enterprises.Read the full report: ReportlinkerReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need - instantly, in one place.__________________________ CONTACT: Clare: US: (339)-368-6001 Intl: +1 339-368-6001

BentrioTM meets primary efficacy endpoint in clinical evaluation in allergic rhinitisClinically relevant and significant reduction in nasal symptomsSuperior efficacy ratings by patients and clinicians Pre-submission meeting with FDA supports 510(k) regulatory pathway Hamilton, Bermuda, May 7, 2021 – Auris Medical Holding Ltd. (NASDAQ: EARS), a clinical-stage company dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs in neurotology, rhinology and allergy and CNS disorders, and its affiliate Altamira Medica Ltd. today announced additional details on the outcomes from the clinical investigation of its BentrioTM nasal spray in allergic rhinitis and provided an update on the regulatory pathway in the US for the intended use in allergy. BentrioTM effectively alleviates allergy symptoms in clinical pollen challenge BentrioTM was tested in an open-label randomized cross-over trial in 36 patients with allergic rhinitis to grass pollen. Study participants were administered a single dose of BentrioTM nasal spray or a comparator product prior to controlled pollen exposure for four hours in an allergen challenge chamber. The challenge was repeated with the alternate treatment following a wash-out period. The study demonstrated a rapid onset and long durability of Bentrio’s protective effect, established substantial equivalence to the marketed comparator with superior efficacy ratings by patients and clinicians, and showed good tolerability. Under treatment with BentrioTM, participants reported a mean increase in the Total Nasal Symptom Score (TNSS; averaged over 4 hours in 20 minute intervals) of 4.75 points, which was 1.11 points and thus significantly below TNSS levels when exposed to pollen without nasal spray protection (ANCOVA least square means; 95% confidence interval, CI: -1.61 to -0.61). A 1-point reduction in the TNSS is considered clinically relevant. 31.4% of study participants rated the efficacy of BentrioTM as “good” or “very good”, while study investigators provided such rating for 45.7% of participants. Under treatment with the comparator product, a powder spray based on hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HMPC), the TNSS increased on average by 5.14 points, which was 0.71 points lower than when unprotected (CI: -1.21 to -0.21). 14.3% of study participants rated the efficacy of the comparator as “good” or “very good”, while study investigators provided such rating for 25.0% of participants. BentrioTM showed significantly lower increases in the TNSS than HPMC especially during the early phase of pollen exposure, reaching clinical relevance and suggesting a rapid onset of action. As previously announced, BentrioTM met the primary endpoint of substantial equivalence in the change of TNSS relative to HPMC, which serves as a predicate device for the planned 510(k) submission to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Final analyses show a difference of 0.4 points in favor of BentrioTM (CI -0.89 to 0.10), confirming non-inferiority. Proof of substantial equivalence to the predicate device is a key requirement for market clearance in the US under the 510(k) regulatory pathway. In addition, the study provided further evidence for the favorable safety profile of BentrioTM; with the exception of one case, all study participants rated the tolerability favorably. Pre-submission meeting with FDA On May 6, 2021, Altamira Medica met with the FDA for a pre-submission meeting relating to a 510(k) pre-market notification application. The Company expects to request regulatory clearance for BentrioTM for the intended use in allergy under the 510(k) pathway. During the meeting, the Company obtained important information needed to help finalize the submission package. Importantly, the Agency indicated that the design of the pollen challenge study appeared appropriate to support the planned 510(k) submission. “We are very delighted to have reached further important milestones with our BentrioTM program”, commented Thomas Meyer, Auris Medical’s founder, Chairman and CEO. “We are very delighted by the positive outcomes from the pollen chamber study, where BentrioTM provided rapid and effective protection for four hours of challenging allergen exposure. In addition, we very much appreciated the FDA’s feedback during the pre-submission meeting and feel well positioned to advance the preparations for a 510(k) submission. At the same time, we are on track to meet the essential requirements for marketing the product in Europe under the CE mark shortly. We intend to launch the commercialization of BentrioTM in selected European countries towards the end of June 2021 through various on- and offline distribution channels. Launch preparations are in full swing.” About BentrioTM BentrioTM (AM-301) is a drug-free nasal spray for personal protection against airborne viruses and allergens. Upon application into the nose, BentrioTM forms a protective gel layer on the nasal mucosa. This thin film is designed to prevent the contact of viruses or allergens with cells; in addition, the composition serves to bind such particles and help with their discharge and to humidify the nasal mucosa. Together, this is designed to reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract viral infections and promote alleviation of allergic symptoms. About Auris Medical Auris Medical is a clinical-stage company dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs in neurotology, rhinology and allergy and CNS disorders. The Company is focused on the development of intranasal betahistine for the treatment of vertigo (AM-125, in Phase 2) and for the prevention of antipsychotic-induced weight gain and somnolence (AM-201, post Phase 1b). Through its affiliate Altamira Medica, the Company is developing a nasal spray for protection against airborne viruses and allergens BentrioTM (AM-301). In addition, Auris Medical has two Phase 3 programs under development: Sonsuvi® (AM-111) for acute inner ear hearing loss and Keyzilen® (AM-101) for acute inner ear tinnitus. The Company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda with its main operations in Basel, Switzerland. The shares of Auris Medical Holding Ltd. trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “EARS.” Forward-looking Statements This press release may contain statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical facts and may include statements that address future operating, financial or business performance or Auris Medical’s strategies or expectations. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may”, “might”, “will”, “should”, “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “projects”, “potential”, “outlook” or “continue”, or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the approval and timing of commercialization of AM-301, Auris Medical’s need for and ability to raise substantial additional funding to continue the development of its product candidates, the timing and conduct of clinical trials of Auris Medical’s product candidates, the clinical utility of Auris Medical’s product candidates, the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals, Auris Medical’s intellectual property position and Auris Medical’s financial position, including the impact of any future acquisitions, dispositions, partnerships, license transactions or changes to Auris Medical’s capital structure, including future securities offerings. These risks and uncertainties also include, but are not limited to, those described under the caption “Risk Factors” in Auris Medical’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2020, and in Auris Medical's other filings with the SEC, which are available free of charge on the Securities Exchange Commission's website at: Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated. All forward-looking statements and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Auris Medical or to persons acting on behalf of Auris Medical are expressly qualified in their entirety by reference to these risks and uncertainties. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Auris Medical does not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable law. Investor contact:

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - May 7, 2021) - 3iQ Corp. ("3iQ"), the largest digital asset manager in Canada with more than C$3.5 billion in Assets Under Management ("AUM"), is pleased to announce the 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF (the "ETF") has surpassed C$1 billion in AUM."Reaching $1 billion in only three weeks speaks to the enormous market demand for bitcoin," said Fred Pye, Chairman & CEO of 3iQ. "The pace of its growth is yet ...

Greensill Capital's UK business had $17.7 billion in assets under management at March 8, of which $3.7 billion has been collected as of April 16, its administrators Grant Thornton said on Friday. The supply chain finance firm, which lent money to firms by buying their invoices at a discount, collapsed in March 2021 after insurers pulled their cover. The administrators proposed in a statement that the administration would end with the voluntary liquidation or dissolution of Greensill Capital UK and Greensill Capital Management UK, after a sale attempt fell through earlier this year.

The U.S. economy added disappointing 266K jobs in April even as states relaxed business restrictions and vaccinations increased. Unemployment rose to 6.1%.

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Firsthand Capital Management collected $33.8M in fees over nearly ten-year period during which the SVVC stock price declined 78%.Rawleigh Ralls, a professional investor/portfolio manager and long-time stockholder of SVVC, owns approximately 3.7% of SVVC common stock.MR. RALLS URGES SVVC STOCKHOLDERS TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF PROPOSAL 3, SEEKING TO TERMINATE THE INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS BETWEEN SVVC AND FIRSTHAND CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, AT SVVC’S MAY 25TH ANNUAL MEETING. BOULDER, Colo. and SAN JOSE, Calif., May 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rawleigh Ralls, a long-term investor and beneficial owner of 3.7% of Firsthand Technology Value Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: SVVC), today announced his strong and urgent support of a binding proposal to terminate the investment advisory and management agreements between SVVC and Firsthand Capital Management, Inc., which is being submitted for consideration by stockholders at the Fund’s 2021 Annual Meeting on May 25, 2021. Mr. Ralls has been a stockholder of SVVC since 2013 and currently owns 3.7% of SVVC’s outstanding common stock. He is an experienced board member and a successful investor/portfolio manager, who has founded several investment funds.Mr. Ralls has known Kevin Landis, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of SVVC, for over 7 years and serves on the board of IntraOp Medical, one of SVVC’s portfolio companies. Over the past ten years Mr. Landis has had ample opportunity to prove his competence in managing the Fund’s investment portfolio, but the results clearly demonstrate that he has failed in this role.Mr. Ralls is voting AGAINST the election of both board members up for re-election, Mr. Burglin and Mr. Yee, because he holds the board responsible for SVVC’s performance and not acting to change the Fund’s management structure and advisory relationship.Mr. Ralls is urging all SVVC stockholders to SUPPORT a BINDING proposal to TERMINATE the investment advisory and management agreements between Firsthand Technology Value Fund, Inc. and Firsthand Capital Management, Inc. If the investment advisory and management agreements with Firsthand Capital Management are terminated, Mr. Ralls will work with other stockholders and the current or a newly appointed board of SVVC to maximize the value of the current portfolio.Mr. Ralls is available to speak with any stockholder who would like a more detailed description of his experience with Mr. Landis and Firsthand Capital Management and why he believes Mr. Landis and Firsthand Capital Management are unqualified to continue in their current roles. He is also interested in sharing his ideas on how to help SVVC realize its potential while reducing fees and expenses. Mr. Ralls can be reached via email at The following are Mr. Ralls observations based on his investment experience and facts from SVVC’s public filings: 1.SVVC’s performance has been abysmal and is even more alarming given that it occurred during one of the biggest bull markets in recent history. 2.As illustrated in SVVC’s recent Form 10-K, a $10,000 investment in SVVC stock at its inception on April 18, 2011 would be down 78% in value and worth just $2,190 on December 31, 2020, while investments in the broader markets like the SP500 and Nasdaq are up 350-500% over the same period. According to data, venture capital fund returns are even higher. 3.Yet according to SVVC’s annual 10-K filings, Mr. Landis’ company, Firsthand Capital Management, has been paid over $33.8M in advisory fees over the last 10 years, while the Fund has suffered losses of well over $100M in total assets from its peak in 2014. 4.Mr. Landis’ investment selection and stewardship has been dreadful with an intolerable number of his substantial investments resulting in “ZEROS.” Below are a few examples: InvestmentTotal InvestmentInvestment DurationYear Written Down to Zero QMAT$20.7M~7 years2019 Telepathy$7.95M~ 5 years2019 Aliphcom$10.1M~ 4 years2017 VuFine$5M~ 4 years2019 Total$43.75M 5.The current portfolio holdings performance has also been dismal. Below are the top portfolio positions using year-end valuations vs. total invested capital as of December 31, 2020 (Form 10-K). Pivotal Systems – Initial investment in 2012, total invested by SVVC ~$3.6mm, current value $22.5mm, UP 625%.IntraOp Medical – Initial investment of $26mm in 2013, total invested by SVVC ~$50mm, current value $25mm, DOWN $25mm, or 50% from initial investment, approximately 8 years ago.WrightSpeed – Initial investment $6mm in 2013, total invested ~$36mm, current value $23mm, DOWN $13mm, or 36% from initial investment almost 8 years ago.Revasum – Initial investment 2016, total invested by SVVC ~$13.5mm, current value $12.6mm, DOWN 6.6% over the investment period.Hera Systems – Initial investment of $2mm in 2015, total invested by SVVC ~$11.2mm, current value $3.6mm, DOWN $7.6mm, or 68% from initial investment.SVXR – Initial (and total) investment $4.1mm in 2016 by SVVC, current value $5.38mm, UP 32%.Silicon Genesis – Initial investment $2.4mm in 2011, total investment by SVVC of $8.4mm, current value $1.33mm, DOWN 84% from initial investment. The only real winner in the current portfolio, Pivotal Systems, looks to have been Firsthand’s ‘source of funds’ over the last year or longer. Mr. Landis has been selling this winner so he can re-invest in the portfolio’s losers. One year ago, the Fund owned 45M shares of Pivotal Systems vs. the 31M shares owned as of December 31, 2020. Mr. Landis has a long history of selling his winners to prop up his losers (the portfolio once included FB, NFLX, NUTX, ROKU, TWTR and WKDY). In summary, the portfolio’s long-term results strongly confirm that Mr. Landis and his firm’s management contract should be terminated. The the current board should easily be able to manage the portfolio in the interim while seeking an alternative management solution, and Mr. Ralls is willing to volunteer his time, resources and experience to assist with this process at no cost to SVVC stockholders. Mr. Ralls has over 30 years experience in the investment community, including an eight-year career at Goldman Sachs and as co-founder of two investment funds, Precept Capital Management and Lacuna Capital LLC. He is currently a director on six company boards, including one public (Tucows, Inc. Nasdaq: TCX) and five private companies in the software and technology space. Mr. Ralls has been on numerous other company boards, raised considerable investment capital and advised many public and private company management teams. Mr. Ralls graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1984 and received an MBA from Southern Methodist University. IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS COMMUNICATIONThis press release is being issued pursuant to Rule 14a-2(b)(1) promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This is not a solicitation of authority to vote your proxy. I am not asking for your proxy card and will not accept proxy cards if sent. The cost of this communication is being borne entirely by Rawleigh Ralls. Contact:Rawleigh

Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. ("AWH" or the "Company") (CSE: AAWH.U), a multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis operator, today announced that the Underwriters (as defined below) of its previously announced initial public offering of Class A common stock (the "Offering") have fully exercised and closed their option to purchase an additional 1,500,000 shares of Class A common stock at the Offering price of US$8.00 per share for additional gross proceeds to the Company of US$12,000,000. After giving effect to the full exercise of the over-allotment option, the total number of shares sold by AWH in the Offering increased to 11,500,000 shares and gross proceeds increased to US$92,000,000.

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A joke cryptocurrency has risen more than 26,000% in the last six months, outpacing nearly every other investment

CNBC 07 May, 2021 - 04:42pm

Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency branded after a viral dog meme from years ago, hit a new all-time high Friday afternoon. It now has a market capitalization of about $92 billion following a six-month climb of more than 26,000 percent.

Over that same time period, the S&P was up 19 percent, while crypto rivals bitcoin and ether were up 286 percent and 698 percent, respectively, according to CoinMarketCap. And stock market darling Tesla? It is up 56 percent since November.

"The joke is on Wall Street this time," said Mati Greenspan, portfolio manager and founder of Quantum Economics. "What you have is a situation where teens on TikTok are outperforming even the smartest suits by thousands of percentage points." 

In 2013, software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer launched the satirical cryptocurrency as a way to make fun of bitcoin and the many other cryptocurrencies boasting grand plans to take over the world. 

They called it dogecoin – pronounced "doje coin" with a soft "g" sound – after the once-popular "doge" shiba inu meme. Its purpose? To be a faster but "fun" alternative to bitcoin.

"The appeal of dogecoin has always been its honesty," Galaxy's researchers Alex Thorn and Karim Helmy explained in a note to clients on May 4. "Unlike many other cryptocurrency projects...there's no grand vision, no pronouncements about how dogecoin will change the world."

In addition, while bitcoin has a capped supply of 21 million coins, there is currently no limit to the number of dogecoins that can be created. 

"One of the value propositions of bitcoin is digital scarcity; that there will only be 21 million," said Greenspan. "There is no such hard cap [with dogecoin], and it has a really crazy inflation schedule."

It isn't totally clear when or why dogecoin captured the heart of Elon Musk. 

The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO has spent years talking up the token. 

Musk's tweets with sometimes oblique references to dogecoin often send it to new record-high prices. These posts have also helped drive retail investor interest.

"You have this one guy who is sort of like the cult leader," said Asheesh Birla, a general manager at Ripple, which manages an alternative cryptocurrency used for payments.

Musk, however, isn't alone in his celebrity endorsement of the animal-branded token. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg and Kiss bassist Gene Simmons have all publicly rallied behind dogecoin. Even beef jerky brand Slim Jim is getting in on the action.

Its price surge this week, attributed by one analyst to Elon Musk's upcoming "Saturday Night Live" appearance on May 8, even managed to briefly crash Robinhood's trading app.

But there is more to dogecoin's record price run than just celebrity backing.

Market conditions have also been right. Multiple rounds of stimulus checks have meant people have more money on hand to spend. Apps like Robinhood have made it easier than ever for the casual investor to make a bet on stocks, turning day-trading into a pandemic pastime.  

There is also the enduring sentiment to "stick it" to the establishment. 

"Dogecoin is like this kind of big F-U to the system," said Avi Felman, Head of Trading at BlockTower Capital. "It's like, 'Yeah, this thing can have value, too. And I'm just going to buy it, because I'm going to buy it.'"

Experts say the dynamic is reminiscent of the GameStop trading frenzy from earlier this year.

"Elon is basically pushing up this message of, 'Why can't dogecoin have value?'" said Felman. "It's part of the GameStop boom. People like these narratives. They like these stories. They like these jokes. And dogecoin just captured the mind and imagination of every single retail investor."

The rise of commission-free trading through online brokerage apps like Robinhood also made it easier than ever to buy into crypto. 

"You have a rabid online community," Birla said of the fanbase of doge evangelists. "You have Twitter and Reddit, where they're all sort of congregating and thinking about how to pump dogecoin."

The question of whether dogecoin holds value is debatable.

At the moment, there are very few use cases for the token. Though more merchants are starting to accept dogecoin as a method of payment, it is nowhere near the level of adoption necessary to be used as any sort of actual currency substitute. 

"These days it's all one big marketing ploy," said Mike Bucella, BlockTower Capital general partner.

Unlike rival cryptocurrencies such as ethereum, which let programmers build applications on their platform to do things like lend and borrow money, there isn't much anyone can do with dogecoin.

Dogecoin isn't really a reliable store of wealth either, given that this typically requires a certain degree of long-term faith in the coin and the blockchain upon which it's been built. 

"If you look at the dogecoin protocol itself, I don't even know if there's anyone over the last several years who has added new functionality or code to it," said Birla. "Dogecoin doesn't really have a development team behind it."

Given these limitations, the run-up in dogecoin appears to be purely speculative. Dogecoin has value because other people believe that it has value. And because they believe that someone else is willing to buy it from them at a higher price.

"We see dogecoin rising in price as a factor of low liquidity and extreme growth in the network," explained Greenspan. "Once the network does reach critical mass, I don't think that type of growth is sustainable." 

But all is not lost for the future of dogecoin. 

"The real value is in today's meme-driven culture, and doge represents the network value of memetics, which may prove to be enormous," explained Bucella. "If at some point, the doge community decides to implement a burn or new supply mechanism, via a protocol hard fork, then this value will have a higher likelihood of being retained long-term."

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