David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Security analysis of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges

    Thanks to a subscriber for this article which may be of interest. Here is a section:

    This table shows that out of the 140 exchanges we analyzed less than 40% of them are using headers like the Strict-Transport-Security header or the X-XSS-Protection header. 20% expose server information which isn’t a security vulnerability in itself but that clearly shows the low level of security best practices implemented. And 26% of them use frontend libraries with known vulnerabilities. Only 2% implemented a Content-Security-Policy that, if done well, can offer powerful protection against clickjacking or XSS….

    We can do better.

    Our analysis isn’t saying that these exchanges have blatant vulnerabilities. But I’m questioning whether they implemented deeper security controls and protections if they didn’t implement basic security best practices that only take a few minutes (or seconds with Sqreen) to implement.

    After taking the volume that these platforms handled in the last 24h, I wanted to see if there was a correlation between volume traded and security.

    The answer is clearly no. There’s no correlation between transaction volume and security maturity.

    The 10 biggest crypto exchanges have an average grade of 3.8 out of a maximum of 10 and a median of 4.5.

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    Japan Scandal Gives Fresh Boost to Yen Bulls Eyeing 100 Mark

    This article by Masaki Kondo and David Finnerty for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Governor Haruhiko Kuroda made it clear last week the current stimulus program will remain in place for a while. There’s concern that any move past 100 could prompt a policy response if it’s deemed to hurt attempts to reflate the economy. However, his remarks on March 2 that the bank will start thinking about a stimulus exit in fiscal 2019 have at least increased market speculation over the timing of a possible normalization.

    Kuroda’s mention of an exit was meant to prime markets for an eventual withdrawal, says Daisuke Uno, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. in Tokyo. “Given the reduction in bond purchases, the BOJ is already laying ground for an exit. It just isn’t saying so.”


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    Bigger U.S. Auctions in Shorter Time Seen Boosting Yields

    This note by Brian Chappatta for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Bond traders have to contend with both larger auction sizes and a condensed schedule when the U.S. Treasury sells $28 billion of three-year notes and $21 billion of 10-year notes on March 12. To JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists, that combination signals a weak reception. Last month’s offerings, the first since 2009 to increase in size, priced at yields higher than the market was indicating heading into the sales. The 3- and 10-year auctions are usually spaced out over two days, but when they came on the same day in December, yields also missed higher.

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    There's No Accounting for Tesla Bondholders' Tolerance

    This article by Liam Denning for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    There's more to be found off the balance sheet, too. According to Tesla's annual filing, which dropped a couple of weeks ago, it's potentially on the hook for an estimated $8.5 billion of contracted purchases over the next three years alone. Most of this relates to batteries coming from Panasonic Corp. and emphasizes the importance of Model 3 production catching up with the vast ambitions set ahead of it.

    That fixed-income investors are fine with this is, of course, a function of their primary defense; namely, Tesla's gravity-defying stock price. The potential for an eighth equity sale to refill company coffers serves to salve any wounds inflicted by slipping Model 3 targets or senior managers sipping away. In early trading on Friday morning, the shares were down less than 1 percent.

    What might cause the market's confidence to crack? It's impossible to say, though the Model 3's woes represent the most acute threat. We are now just over three weeks away from the March 31 deadline to get weekly production up to 2,500; a target that's been reset several times already. Bloomberg's own tracker estimates the current rate at less than 700.

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    How a Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit Scrambles the Calculus for Key Players

    This article by Jonathan Cheng in Seoul and Alastair Gale for the Wall Street Journal may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    President Donald Trump’s decision to accept a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un caught the world off guard.

    In agreeing to sit down with North Korea’s third-generation leader, Mr. Trump has boosted the stature of Mr. Kim—a man he has ridiculed as “Little Rocket Man” and threatened with “fire and fury”—with a surprise diplomatic opening that left some allies wrong-footed.

    For Mr. Kim, who is half the age of Mr. Trump, just getting a summit meeting with the U.S. president is a big win. Neither his father nor his grandfather succeeded in getting a face-to-face meeting with a sitting U.S. president.

    Mr. Trump’s move represents a victory for South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, who has pleaded with the U.S. to tone down its rhetoric and worked assiduously to get negotiations off the ground, and others who have pushed for engagement and diplomacy.

    Other U.S. allies and some veteran negotiators, however, expressed concern that while a summit meeting could lead to a breakthrough in what has been a protracted standoff, it is a risky move that could lead to ill-considered concessions to Pyongyang.

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    Saudi Oil Minister Says Aramco IPO Could Be Delayed to 2019

    This article by Annmarie Hordern, Glen Carey and Grant Smith for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Saudi Arabia’s energy minister hinted the initial public offering of the state oil company Aramco could be delayed until 2019, pushing back a central plank of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to modernize the economy.

    Khalid Al-Falih also said the IPO, potentially the largest ever, would be “anchored” by a listing on Saudi Arabia’s local exchange and any international listing would be announced in due course, if at all.

    “Between December 31st and January 1st there is no value lost for the kingdom,” Al-Falih said in an interview in London.

    “So, I don’t see this artificial deadline that you refer to as being significant.”

    Until recently, Saudi officials insisted the IPO was “on track, on time” for 2018, but two months into the year that deadline is looking harder to meet. Still, Al-Falih, who also serves as Aramco’s chairman, insisted the company had made all the necessary preparations for a share sale of the world’s largest oil producer.

    "The only certain thing about the Saudi Aramco IPO is that a) it will happen, b) the anchor market will be the Tadawul exchange in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Falih said. “We have created the framework -- fiscal and otherwise regulatory -- for Saudi Aramco to be listed this year. The actual timing will be announced when we feel that the conditions for the success of that listing are in place.”

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    Draghi Says Euro-Area Turnaround Warrants Policy Dial-Back

    This article by Piotr Skolimowski for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The European Central Bank unexpectedly dropped a pledge to ramp up bond buying if the economy deteriorates, saying the turnaround in the outlook has given it to confidence to change a key part of its monetary-policy guidance.

    In what the ECB President Mario Draghi said was a unanimous decision, policy makers in Frankfurt surprised investors by ending an easing bias on quantitative easing, effectively a conditional promise to increase debt purchases in “size and/or duration” if needed. But he said downside risks remain, and added rising trade protectionism to the list of threats.

    “These are unlikely contingencies now, the ones that would suggest that we would activate this easing bias,” Draghi said Thursday. The language “was introduced in 2016 -- think about how different the situation was at that time.”

    The revision coincided with an upgrade to the ECB’s outlook for 2018. At the same time, Draghi emphasized that, currently scheduled to run at a monthly pace of 30 billion euros ($37

    billion) until at least the end of September, will continue until inflation is solidly back on track toward its goal.

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    Autodesk's results

    This note from Bloomberg research may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Autodesk continues to show steady progress in shifting to a subscription model, which has boosted its recurring sales. Subscriber additions continued to be aided by its discounting and other promotions for converting legacy license users to subscription offerings. The company has bundled its products to boost annual recurring revenue (ARR) and average revenue per subscriber (ARPS). While upsell of subscription products to its maintenance subscribers is aiding sales momentum, new cloud products are unlikely to be a growth driver in the near term.

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