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MARKETS: Let’s talk about Bitcoin

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Crypto is everywhere, the marmite of the investing world.

You need to have an opinion on Crypto these days if you want to avoid being an outcast. Nobody wants to be the one being shunned at the water cooler. Not having a two-sentence quip on Crypto puts you in the same bracket as those lunatics following soccer who say, "Na, I don't really support any team; I just like to watch". These are people you can't be seen to affiliate with.

After 2017, we saw the crypto winter, where the entire space fell nearly 90%. Again, in March 2020, we saw Bitcoin lose half its value over a two-day period and most recently, we have witnessed the crypto world crash once again as Bitcoin fell from highs of $65,000 to $30,000 a coin.

There are multiple reasons for the most recent sell-off. China banned the use of cryptocurrencies for financial institutions. Other countries might be considering tighter regulation, particularly as cryptos become the currency of choice for ransomware hackers. Tesla stopped accepting Bitcoin as payment for vehicles, and Binance, a popular crypto exchange, is currently under probe by the US justice department and the IRS. All valid reasons for concern. Now investors fear that there is no telling when the selling might stop, given that there is no true intrinsic value in the crypto space.

My opinion: there are too many investors willing to buy it at a price far above $0 for this 'going to zero' argument to make sense. Not every financial asset will hold tangible intrinsic value. Take gold for instance, a 10 Trillion-dollar market built on socially constructed value; the belief that this will be worth more in the future than it is today.

My bull case for Bitcoin is probably somewhat different to the Bitcoin Ultras of the world. The Bitcoin true believers will tell you that it's more than an asset. It is the only monetary asset that survives and thrives – the cockroach in the financial nuclear winter of money printing, societal collapse and Government intrusion.

Don't get me wrong, the narrative is very compelling in a 'rage against the machine' sort of way but I fail to see any possible scenario where we all move to a decentralized world of the people, where governments politely step aside and the entire financial system as we know it dissolves.

But just because I am not entirely sold on the most bullish Bitcoin scenarios doesn't mean that I see no utility. I believe Bitcoin is a truly amazing breakthrough for the financial architecture of the world that will see more and more adaption from the institutional players in the years ahead.

You now have large investment banks like Citi Bank coming out as bullish on Bitcoin, Invesco setting up crypto custodian arms and the likes of PayPal setting up wallets. The more this happens the more you will see the real institutional money being pushed into this space. The recent market environment has function as a catalyst for change. High equity valuations and limited upside in bonds are forcing investors to look deeper into the potential of alternative asset classes such as Bitcoin.

In short, there is undoubtedly some significant regulatory hurdles ahead, and the 'Bitcoin as a currency replacement' argument still seems far-fetched to me. With that said, I believe it is a financial asset that is here to stay; continued adaption from the institutional space could well see demand run higher, but don't be fooled. Bitcoin is a speculative asset that will see mind-boggling volatility for some time to come. If you are looking to invest in the crypto space, do your research, start small and Hold on for Dear Life (H.O.D.L.)

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Documents for driving abroad in Europe

By John Healy of Healy Insurances As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area. This […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area.

This area includes all the European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You also don’t need a green card for Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland.

If you are travelling with your vehicle to the named counties you will still need to bring:

Your certificate of motor insurance
Your vehicle licencing certificate
Your driving licence
Your passport

If you are taking a company owned, hired or borrowed vehicle, you will need a letter of authorisation from the registered owner along with the vehicle licencing certificate.

It is important to check the legal requirements for the country you are driving in. Some EU countries including France will require you to carry the following items:

Reflective jackets for each occupant of the vehicle
Warning triangle
Headlamp beam deflectors
Breathalyser test
Spare bulb kit
First Aid Kit (compulsory in Austria, France and Germany)

It is advisable to have your travel insurance details, European breakdown cover details, health insurance details and your European Health Insurance card in your possession. Travel safe.

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Make your property look as appealing as possible

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Over the past few weeks we have looked at ways of spring cleaning our homes in preparation for going to the market. The […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Over the past few weeks we have looked at ways of spring cleaning our homes in preparation for going to the market. The final step and one of the most important is the kerb appeal of your home.

The exterior of your property is going to attract would-be buyers, it is a simple fact.

So let’s get it looking as well as we possibly can.

Our aim should be to make your property look as appealing as possible, to as many people as possible, ultimately leading to a higher selling price in a quicker timeframe.

Remember that first impressions last. After a long winter, things may not be looking their best in the garden but with the onset of spring and the warm sunny (hopefully) summer evenings, comes the opportunity in presenting our outdoor spaces in the best possible light.

Cut the lawns, brush the driveway, weed the flower beds, get those flower baskets and window boxes out. Lay out the patio furniture.

Do your footpaths/patio areas need a power hose?
How are the rainwater gutters – remove any debris/growth from them.

How’s the paintwork, are there any areas of peeling paint that need touching up?
Perhaps give the front door a lift with a new coat of paint.

Improving how your property looks from the outside is as important as how it feels once you’re inside, yet it often gets overlooked.

Remember our home is our most valuable asset so why not get it looking its very best. We get one chance to make that first impression so make it last, it will pay off.

For anyone considering selling their property or looking for advice on how best to prepare it for sale, contact DNG Ted Healy on 064 6639000 or killarney@dng.ie.

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