Future of Finance

By Quartz | Exploring the "new normal" in global finance

Bitcoin lost $3 billion in market value in 40 minutes

Bitcoin is back to its volatile old self. The cryptocurrency’s price plunged more than 20% in three hours of trading today (Jan. 5), a dramatic correction that occurred within minutes of its nearly hitting an all-time high.<p>The crash was so swift that at one point Bitcoin lost more than $3 billion …

Cryptocurrency

Bewildering pain and desperate hope mark two months of demonetisation in India

It’s been a testing two months for Indians.<p>Forced into long queues at ATMs and banks since Nov. 08, when Narendra Modi invalidated 86% of the country’s cash in circulation, the past two months have been nothing short of a nightmare for the country. Yet, most have braved the inconveniences for the …

Economics

Bitcoin’s bull run faces one gigantic question mark heading into 2017

Bitcoin is within touching distance of its all-time high, having more than doubled its value for the year. Traders are now bullish about an extended rally that could see it surpass its $1,165 peak, achieved in November 2013. But if history does repeat itself, crypto traders would do well to …

Bitcoin

Almost 70% of Goldman Sachs’ employees are under the age of 35

The baby boom generation—people now aged between 52 and 70—is being gradually pushed out of the workforce by layoffs, buyouts, and forced early retirements even as they try to work longer to make up for retirement losses during the financial crisis. But is any employer getting rid of them faster …

Goldman Sachs

The last of New York’s commodity trading pits are closing for good on Dec. 30

Starting in the late 19th century, commodities traders and brokers crammed each day into New York City’s trading pits, shouting, and signaling their way to a deal. They bought and sold contracts for raw materials and agricultural products like butter, sugar, cotton, cocoa beans, copper, and oil.<p>But …

Financial Markets

The underpinnings of bitcoin’s bull run look way more solid this time

It’s déjà vu for bitcoin believers. Three years ago, in the dying months of 2013, the cryptocurrency took off on a historic bull run that would push its price to an all-time high of nearly $1,200. Bitcoin is approaching those highs again now, hitting $968 in trading today.<p>Take a look at this …

Bitcoin

West Africa now has its own digital currency

<i>Correction: The original version of this story referred to the West African eCFA using blockchain-based technology. It does not.</i><p>Senegal will soon begin using a digital currency in 2017. It’s another opportunity for financial technology (fintech) to help emerging markets leapfrog traditional banking …

FinTech

The SEC accused a software developer of fraud for behaving like a software developer

One of the great workplace revolutions of the last few decades has been the realization that an employee’s productivity shouldn’t be measured by the amount of time spent at their desk. But government agencies have been a bit slower to recognize this sea change.<p>So much so that the inspector general …

Fraud

Snapdeal is now delivering cash to people in India so they can avoid ATM lines

Snapdeal, one of the biggest e-commerce companies in India, is now delivering a new product: cash.<p>More than a month after Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes were scrapped in a bid to combat corruption and terrorism, the demand for physical money remains high. People are still lining up outside ATMs for …

FinTech

Bitcoin’s price is surging again, but there’s another measure that really shows its value

The value of a single bitcoin has skyrocketed this year, and hit $874 today (Dec. 22). It’s not the highest price ever for bitcoin, which traded at $1,165 in November 2013. But with the 2016 rally, the cryptocurrency has achieved a different but related milestone: The value of all bitcoin in …

Finance

Kenyan banks are closing in on what they think will be the perfect M-Pesa disruptor

Early next year, Kenyan banks are expected to unveil a digital and mobile money transfer platform to rival M-Pesa’s longstanding dominance as the scramble for cashless payments intensifies.<p>The plan started about four years ago when banks, in a rare display of unity, discussed establishing a system …

FinTech

A maverick hedge fund billionaire thinks Trump will ignite the US economy’s “animal spirits”

Business under Trump should thrive like never before, says Ray Dalio, the billionaire chairman of the world’s biggest hedge fund firm.<p>Trump’s cabinet of former executives and dealmakers could spark economic growth well beyond what could be expected from tax cuts and new spending priorities alone, …

Financial Markets

The race to fix Nigeria’s payments problem just received a big boost

Making online transactions is a process taken for granted as one of the natural offshoots of deeper internet penetration. But, in Nigeria, things haven’t been so straightforward. With several issues including a distrustful and skeptical public plus a lack of early-stage innovation by banks, online …

West Africa

Barclays is prepared to fire 7,000 low-volume trading clients

In a world where we’re conditioned to believe the customer is always right, it’s jarring to hear of a company dumping clients. But commerce is a two-way street, and when corporations don’t profit from a relationship, they’ll find a way to escape.<p>Barclays is warning 7,000 of its lowest-volume …

Financial Markets

Bitcoin doesn’t care what Silicon Valley thinks—it’s trading at a 34-month high

There’s been plenty of news to keep bitcoin down this year, from plunging venture capital investment to rising skepticism about blockchain technology’s viability in the marketplace. Yet the cryptocurrency is trading at its highest levels since its insane bull run of 2013.<p>Today, bitcoin hit $788.49, …

Finance

A rule tasking US financial advisers to act in their clients’ best interest could (thankfully) be repealed by Trump

The Trump presidency will no doubt be full of surprises. And it looks like one of the first could be the rollback of a provision meant to improve the quality of the professional financial advice given to American investors.<p>Starting in April 2017, all US financial advisers must abide by the …

Finance

Bitcoin is approaching new highs for the year because of India’s demonetization

India’s cash crunch is sending one currency soaring.<p>Since prime minister Narendra Modi pulled Rs500 and Rs1000 notes from circulation on Nov. 8 in a bid to fight corruption and terrorism, the weekly volume of bitcoin trading in India has nearly doubled from prior levels.<p>The increased trading has …

India

JPMorgan is taking a $200 million hit after its new credit card went overboard with the rewards

JPMorgan Chase’s coveted new credit card is putting a dent in the company’s profits.<p>CEO Jamie Dimon told investors at a conference on Dec. 6 the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which was released this summer, will lower the company’s profit by $200 million to $300 million in the fourth quarter, according …

Money

Portland will vote on taxing corporations where CEOs make 100 times more than employees

The dream is still alive in Portland.<p>While leftists across the US are licking their wounds after November’s election, progressives in the gently mocked city in Oregon have a plan to stick it to the man. On Dec. 8, the city council will vote on adding a surtax for companies that pay their CEOs 100 …

Justice

In Silicon Valley, savvy founders are networking all around town by driving for Uber and Lyft

The first thing Jason Coleman did when he finally decided to start Yarden, the urban gardening business he had dreamt about, was to drive 40 hours per week for Lyft, shuttling passengers between Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley.<p>The connections just rolled in. Coleman says he met …

Silicon Valley

Britain’s mint is trying to make gold act more like bitcoin

Blockchain technology is about to come full circle. The technical ideas that allow bitcoin, designed as a form of digital gold, to operate will soon be used by the UK’s government-owned Royal Mint in a new gold-trading system.<p>The 1,000-year-old Royal Mint is working with CME Group—the world’s …

Bitcoin

Bitcoin and blockchain seem more and more like solutions looking for a problem

The bitcoin and blockchain world is in a bit of an investment slump.<p>Venture money flowing into startups working on cryptocurrencies or the technical principles underpinning them, generally known as blockchain technology, is getting harder to come by, according to data from trade publication …

Bitcoin

Mobile innovation will help 2 billion more people get access to healthcare and education

From music to movies, from banking to buying food, mobile phones have revolutionized the way we access the world today. But for low-income consumers in emerging markets, the full potential of mobile financial services is yet to be unlocked, a new report suggests.<p>Despite the growth in smartphone …

Emerging Markets

Big banks are more excited about Donald Trump than any other president in almost 100 years

In the final few weeks of the US presidential campaign, Donald Trump warned that his rival, Hillary Clinton, “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty.” Out on the trail, he suggested everyone from Goldman Sachs to the Federal Reserve were in on a …

Republicans

Saving money isn’t the only thing you need to do to prepare for retirement

Most people don’t realize until it’s too late, but the hardest thing about saving for retirement is deciding what to do after you quit working. Retirees must figure out how much they can spend, leaving enough to cover health expenses for the rest of their lives (and their partner’s), however long …

Retirement

China’s central bank is hiring blockchain experts to help it kill off cash

China’s central bank is hiring blockchain experts to help it develop its own digital currency, according to a recruitment ad (in Mandarin) published by the bank on Nov. 9.<p>The central bank has been working to create and issue a digital currency for years in order to replace cash, the bank’s …

China

One week of demonetization in India: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Just seven days in, and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s massive demonetization drive has snowballed into an unprecedented financial emergency in Asia’s third-largest economy.<p>On Nov. 8, Modi announced that all notes in denominations of Rs500 ($7.40) and Rs1,000 ($14.70) would be illegal in the …

India

Miserable Wells Fargo employees say they’ve been denied bathroom breaks

The ouster of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf was supposed to signal that the scandals plaguing the bank were winding down. But the company, which was fined $185 million by US regulators for opening more than 2 million bank or credit card accounts without the consent of its customers, can’t seem to …

Wells Fargo

An elegant math trick borrowed from the business world helps you find cash you didn’t know you had

An arcane budgeting trick from the 1970s is making a comeback with big companies, and its lessons can be transferred to your personal spending.<p>The unifying idea of the budgeting scheme, known as zero-based budgeting, is to allocate funding for the future based on what has worked in the immediate …

Money