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Show Me The Digital Currency

Daniel Chase

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It has been said if you listen closely, you can hear money talking louder than any other person in the room. For centuries, those with greater access to capital have had the privilege of sitting in the driver’s seat, while others living with less means have kowtowed to the demands of the affluent. In the year 740 B.C., long before you or I walked the Earth in search of avocado toast and AirPods, the Tang Dynasty in China introduced the first pieces of paper currency.

After they invited block printing (think stamps), the government started to print money because metal coins were far too heavy to carry compared to the featherweight nature of paper. Prior to the Tang Dynasty getting that paper, dozens of ancient civilizations used bartering systems to trade for what they needed. Ultimately, someone decided that coins and paper money held greater intrinsic value than shiny rocks or three seashells. 

In the thousands of years following the introduction of paper currency, we’ve seen a tidal shift in not only what money looks like, but how it is spent. According to an April 2017 survey, 40% of internet users in developed countries stated that they purchase items online at least “several times per month.” As we’ve seen with the rise of e-commerce sites like Amazon.com and other online shopping platforms, consumers are losing interest in buying products at brick-and-mortar locations.

Ironically enough, 70% of Americans still say they use paper money on a weekly basis, but several financial analysts believe the global economy is headed in a cashless direction. 

According to reports, Sweden, a nation lauded for being both technologically advanced and full of delicious meatballs, is expected to go completely cashless by March 2023, at which point cash will not be accepted any longer as a form of payment. Back in 2012, the six largest banks in Sweden collaborated to develop a mobile payment platform called Swish, which is now used by millions of Swedes every day. 

TechCrunch recently published a piece discussing how the Chinese government plans to implement the “Village Revitalization Strategic Plan,” which is designed to improve the efficiency and level of financial services for rural communities across the nation.

The goal, according to the set of guidelines jointly published by China’s central bank, the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Securities Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, is to “make mobile payments ubiquitous in rural China by the end of 2020. 

If we examine America’s potential to shift towards a cashless society, which could catalyze a global movement, the odds of this taking place are fairly likely. According to a 2017 survey conducted by CNBC, 50% of respondents said they carry cash with them less than half of the time when they are out, and if they do, 76% said they keep less than $50 on hand.

This trend has driven consumers to shift towards the use of debit cards. However, younger generations under the age of 18 cannot have their own checking account, so this has left a significant portion of the American population at an economic disadvantage. 

Luckily, a new mobile banking startup called Step wants to assist the next generation in understanding the value of a cashless dollar. The Company, founded by CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko, former execs from the mobile gift card platform Gyft, started Step to help the nearly 75 million children and young adults under the age of 21 in the U.S., who are burdened by having to use cash for all their purchases. 

“Step” is banking on (apologies for the pun) the youthful spirit of todays’ teenagers who are hot to buy items on Amazon.com or purchase in-app downloads on their smartphones but are too young to have a debit/credit card. Step CEO Macdonald says the market for the startup isn’t based on the “unbanked,” it’s the “pre-banked.” 

“We’re building an all-in-one banking solution that primarily focuses on teens and parents. We want it to be a teen’s first bank account. We want to be a teen’s first spending card. And we want to teach financially literacy and responsibility firsthand.”

CJ MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Step 

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Biotechnology

Biotech Stocks To Watch In June: Cara Therapeutics (CARA) & Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA)

Jon Phillip

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Among biotech companies, the competition between Cara Therapeutics Inc (CARA) and Intellia Therapeutics Inc (NTLA) has been an intriguing one. The two companies had been on the same level as far as the market cap goes during most of the year so far.

But Cara has now pulled ahead by as much as $150 million following positive data from its lead product candidate. That being said, it is also important to keep in mind that if an investor is looking at a long term investment, then the disparity in market cap between the two companies is a minor. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of Cara and Intellia.

Cara Therapeutics (CARA)

Cara Therapeutics is currently on the rise. Its lead product candidate Korsuva injection delivered highly encouraging results in its Phase 3 trial. It’s now believed that it would not be long before Cara has its first product on the market.

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It is meant for the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus. According to reports, the results were great. Another late-stage test is going to be conducted soon. The results could be announced by the end of this year. If Korsuve is approved, then it will be marketed by Fresenius Medical Care and Vifor Pharma Group.

Cara has entered joint ventures with those companies to market the product in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. An oral version of Korsuva is also in the pipeline and could prove to be another important development.

Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA)

Intellia Therapeutics (INTA) is involved in creating CRISPR gene editing therapies. It is a segment that has a lot of promise in the future. Even though the company is some years away from having anything on the market, the promise of gene editing therapy is exciting. So much so that Intellia has already found partners in big-ticket firms like Regeneron and Novartis.

Intellia is expected to file for FDA approval for the clinical study into its lead product NLTA-2001 in 2020. It is meant for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis, an uncommon genetic disease. Studies into the products have proven to be promising so far. The company is also working on a product to treat myeloid leukemia.

Now when it comes to choosing between Cara and Intellia, experts believe that the former could a better company. It’s already on the verge of having an approved product on the market. Intellia, on the other hand, is likely to be some years away from winning approval.

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Featured

4 Security Penny Stocks To Watch

A. Lawrence

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As Threats Arise, Security Stocks Take Center Stage In 2019

With the Federal Reserve’s meeting coming, the general market is bracing for anything. Meanwhile, penny stocks are continuing to climb at absurd rates. Trading penny stocks as of late has brought many investors fruitful profits and they look to continue this trend. Here are some security penny stocks to watch for the remainder of June 2019:

Security Penny Stock #1
Liberty Defense Holdings (SCAN.V)
Market Cap: $46.404M

Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. (SCAN.V) is a security company looking to take the industry into the next century. Liberty’s HEXWAVE product is a 3-dimensional scanning device that can detect weapons and threats of any kind. The product can do this both with speed and discretion ensuring privacy for citizens.

Liberty signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the soccer team FC Bayern München to beta test HEXWAVE in their arena. They join an ever-growing list of places that have signed MOU’s to beta test Liberty’s product. This MOU expands its ability to comply with and test the market requirements for their product internationally.

“The reception to our HEXWAVE product has been fantastic and we are excited about working alongside FC Bayern Munich, a team that is a household name in both Europe and North America, […] Our ability to deploy in both indoor and outdoor settings, with covert and overt applications, sets us apart and has also been driving increasing interest from the market.” 

Bill Riker, CEO of Liberty

Security Penny Stock #2
Magal Security Systems (MAGS)
Market Cap: $101.371M

Magal Security Systems Ltd. (MAGS) provides security solutions both online and physical. Some services provided include identifying potential security problems, integrating new systems, and custom designs for any type of security needs.

Recently, Magal received a $5.5 million contract for its advanced perimeter intrusion detection system. The system prevents people from illegally crossing border fences and walls.

Dror Sharon, CEO of Magal, stated, “Magal is a world leader in perimeter intrusion technologies. Our growing wins of orders such as this – providing sensors for active international borders, is due to the decades of experience that we have in providing systems that have more than proven themselves in-the-field.”


Security Penny Stock #3
Rekor Systems (REKR)
Market Cap: $27.502M

Rekor Systems Inc. (REKR) is a company that has developed surveillance technology to enhance public safety, banking, and traffic management. Primarily, the company takes their advanced software, which utilizes machine learning and upgrades IP cameras to the next level. This reduces the cost when collecting highway tolls and helps manage traffic congestion.

REKR stock chart

Throughout June, Rekor Systems has been gaining recognition and application across the US. On June 3rd Rekor obtained a contract to start deploying its Mobile LBR-2 vehicle recognition systems. After this deployment on the 3rd, the LPR-2 system North Carolina law enforcement placed an order. On June 12th, Colorado highway authorities chose Rekor’s cloud system called NUMERUS to read enhance their license plate reading.


Security Penny Stock #4
BIO-key International (BKYI)
Market Cap: $18.03M

BIO-key International Inc. (BKYI) is a security technologies company that is pushing past the limits of fingerprint scanning. BIO-key provides a plethora of finger scanning products that provide security for your computer, hard drive, and the government. They have a partnership with Microsoft to develop biometric sign-in for Windows 10.

The company recently announced that a foreign defense ministry ordered more BIO-key deployment for secure access to Microsoft applications.

“We were delighted that such a capable and prestigious technology team determined that BIO-key met their security and scalability requirements and have now made follow-on investments to grow their user base.  Defense Ministries are constant targets of cyber-attacks, and we are glad to help them step up authentication to the highest assurance with NIST-verified accuracy and FIPS compliance.”

Jim Sullivan, SVP of BIO

security stocks
Disclaimer: Pursuant to an agreement between MIDAM VENTURES, LLC and Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. Midam was hired for a period from 04/15/2018 – 5/15/2019 to publicly disseminate information about Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter now extended through June 21, 2019. We were paid $350,000 (CASH) for & were paid “0” shares of restricted common shares. We may buy or sell additional shares of Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information. FULL DISCLAIMER HERE

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Stock Price Pre Market Update – June 19, 2019

Joe Samuel

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Big Investments Are Signaling The Green Light For A ‘Hot Market’ With Cancer-Fighting Stocks

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