(New York)

A short while ago JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon made a comment heard all around the cryptocurrency world, and well beyond—that bitcoin was fraud. Well that comment is turning into a movement as BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has banded with Dimon in saying that governments around the world need to “crush” bitcoin. Dimon and Fink say that the only real utility for the currency is to skirt the law for illicit activities. Dimon’s comments are well known, but Fink adds that the price of bitcoin is an “index of money laundering”.

FINSUM: Bitcoin may be used for a lot of illicit activity at the moment (who knows to what extent), but one thing Dimon and Fink are wrong about is the direction of it. Cryptocurrencies are not going away.


The development of Whole Foods under Amazon has already been fascinating to watch. The company has slashed prices of key items and is accelerating a price war in the grocery business. However, for a vision of what is to come, look no further than Amazon’s own new book stores. Based on Amazon’s new stores, it seems like that in the future customers will find prices for items by scanning them with their phones. Prices would fluctuate depending on if you are a Prime member or have other coupons etc. The tactic allows Amazon to use its pricing algorithms in-store, give customers access to reviews, and track the movement and browsing habits of shoppers.

FINSUM: While we think this is a brilliant tactic for Amazon, we believe it would be a risky bet in a grocery store. Shoppers probably go to supermarkets 20 times for every visit to a bookstore, so the inconvenience of having to scan every item to see a price might hurt the shopping experience.

(San Francisco)

Bloomberg ran a fascinating and insightful article today about the future of driverless cars. It focused on a rather mundane, but crucially important, technical aspect of the class of cars. That fact is that all the lasers and sensors it takes to run an autonomous car use huge amounts of energy, equivalent to running 100 computers in your trunk at once. What that means is that at least the first class of driverless cars will not be able to be fully electric, but will still need to rely on fossil fuel for energy.

FINSUM: There is a chance that the whole electric car movement might not really take off until driverless cars come out. In that case, there would be a much longer horizon for decent oil demand.

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