By J. Ferguson and M. Ferrandi Posted February 24, 2022
In the fourth and final instalment of our series introducing crypto, we explore a couple trends that offer a hint at how this technology may shape our world in the future.
NFTs During 2021 there was a significant increase in the number of articles about “Non-Fungible Tokens” or “NFTs.” But what is an NFT? A “fungible” item is one of many identical items. In the crypto context, Bitcoins are fungible because they can be replaced or exchanged with an identical one of the same value. On the other hand, an NFT transforms digital content into a unique asset which is linked to the blockchain, electronically “signed” by its creator, and ready for trade.
The uniqueness and tradability of NFTs has created real uses in the worlds of art and collectibles, often with stunning results. For example, in March 2021, the auction house Christie’s caused a stir when it sold an NFT created by the artist “Beeple” for an astounding $69 million.
By J. Ferguson and M. Ferrandi Posted February 15, 2022
Needless to say, nothing is perfect and in the world of cryptocurrency and digital assets this is especially true. We have identified a few of the risks and potential downsides; however, this is by no means an exhaustive list!
1. VOLATILITY One of the key characteristics of crypto has been extreme price volatility. The price change in Ether from Feb. 2021 – Feb. 2022 Illustrates this volatility well:
By J. Ferguson and M. Ferrandi Posted February 8, 2022
Much like the need to learn a new language when living in a distant land, understanding this new vocabulary is important in navigating the world of crypto. Here are some key terms necessary to understand this brave new world:
1. Bitcoin: the first digital currency. Bitcoins are created through a process called “mining” (see below). As of this post, approximately 19 million bitcoins have been mined. According to the formula for creating bitcoin, around 21 million bitcoins will ever be in existence, ensuring a scarce and stable supply.
2. Blockchain: a shared public ledger in which data is transferred between computers, recorded, and stored securely in “blocks.” These records cannot be edited or deleted. Bitcoin relies on blockchain technology to maintain a secure and decentralized record of its transactions. However, recording cryptocurrency transactions is not the only potential application for blockchain technology. Source: The ABCs of Bitcoin (cifinancial.com)
But what exactly is crypto? And why should we care about it? Having previously been considered too volatile, or too “faddish”, crypto has been recognized by many established companies, financial institutions, and governments as a valid means of exchange (payment). Crypto has also gained increasing acceptance within the professional investment community as an asset to be considered when constructing a diversified portfolio.
Over the next four weeks we will post information outlining how crypto has developed, common crypto terminology, its risks, and potential downsides, as well as real world applications that include “NFTs.”
Billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have initiated a successful campaign called the Giving Pledge (givingpledge.org) to convince the super wealthy to ultimately give at least half their net worth to charitable causes. As of March 2013, 105 billionaires have signed on. Very Impressive.
On a more humble scale, most of us are in the process of filing our 2013 taxes and, as part of that annual ordeal, completing the T1 Charitable Donations Schedule, or paper-clipped our past year’s donation receipts for our tax preparer to deal with. If you are like most Canadians, those receipts probably reflect a potpourri of philanthropy: the campaign of a co-worker’s child, the knock-on-the-door solicitations, the emails from previously-supported charities, and perhaps monthly commitments paid directly from your bank account or credit card.
Advisory services provided by CI Assante Wealth Management (“Assante”) are offered through Assante Capital Management Ltd., a registered investment dealer, and Assante Financial Management Ltd., a registered mutual fund dealer. Insurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. Wealth planning services may be provided by an accredited Assante advisor or through CI Assante Private Client, a division of CI Private Counsel LP, or a non-affiliated third party.
Assante Capital Management Ltd. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Assante Financial Management Ltd. is a member of the Mutual und Dealers Association of Canada and MFDA Investor Protection Corporation (excluding Quebec).