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How Secure are Bitcoins?

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How Secure are Bitcoins?

How Secure are Bitcoins?

 

It should go without saying that you should treat bitcoins like the money in your bank account. Cryptocurrencies become more popular day-by-day, and thieves have definitely been paying attention. In the last five years, over $500 million of bitcoins have been stolen.

How is this done? For starters, 22% of all financial malware attacks target bitcoins. Over 12 exchanges (including Mt. Gox) have been hacked and there are more than 140 viruses out there that target bitcoins as well. On the upside, these threats also present new market opportunities for cryptocurrency related protection services.

Famous venture capitalist and Bitcoin proponent, Fred Wilson, believes that digital currencies will have to be more secure to gain mainstream adoption. This means exchanges and wallets are going to have to be better. Entrepreneurs around the world are trying to figure this out right now, and many of their new services could – in the process – also disrupt the financial system as we know it.

 

Original infographic from: Who Is Hosting This?

 

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Silver Series: Perfect Storm for Silver (Part 2 of 3)

In the second part of the Silver Series, we show that the supply and demand fundamentals are potentially shaping up for a perfect storm in silver prices.

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Silver Series Part 2

The Silver Series: A Perfect Storm for Silver (Part 2 of 3)

In Part 1 of the Silver Series we showed how precious metals can be a safe haven during times of volatility in a debt-laden era.

Today’s infographic is Part Two of the Silver Series, and it comes to us from Endeavour Silver, outlining some of the key supply and demand indicators that precede a coming gold-silver cycle in which the price of silver could move upwards.

Silver Fundamentals

Silver is produced primarily as a by-product in the mining of non-precious metals, and there is currently a dwindling supply of silver as a result of low base metal prices.

However, silver is more than just a precious metal and a safe haven investment. Its industrial uses also create a significant demand on silver stocks.

As the production of green technologies such as solar cells and EVs quickly escalates, upward pressure is being placed on the price of silver, indicating the potential start of a new gold-silver cycle in the market.

Investment Demand

Just like gold, silver has functioned as a form of money for centuries, and its role as a store of value and hedge against monetary inflation endures.

Currency debasement is not new. Governments throughout history have “printed” money while silver’s value has held more constant over time.

In today’s age, the average investor does not own physical silver. Rather, they invest in financial instruments that track the performance of the physical commodity itself, such as silver exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Until recently, ETF investment in precious metals has been relatively flat, but there has been a surge in the price of silver. Meanwhile, demand for silver-backed financial products have increased the demand for physical silver and could continue to do so.

Industrial Demand

Silver is also helping to power the green revolution.

The precious metal is the best natural conductor of electricity and heat, and it plays an important role in the production of solar-powered energy. A silver paste is used in photovoltaic solar cells which collects electrons and creates electricity. Silver then helps conduct the electricity out of the cell. Without silver, solar cells would not be as efficient.

As investments and the green revolution demand more and more silver, where is the metal coming from?

A Perfect Storm for Silver: Supply Crunch

The bulk of silver production comes as a by-product of other metal mines, such as zinc, copper, or gold mines.

Since silver is not the primary metal emerging from some of these mines, it faces supply crunches when other metal prices are low.

Silver supply is falling for three reasons:

  1. Declining mine production due to low base metal prices
  2. Declining silver mine capacity
  3. Declining reserves of silver

The demand for silver is rising and the few companies that produce silver could shine.

Don’t miss another part of the Silver Series by connecting with Visual Capitalist.

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How Much Oil is in an Electric Vehicle?

It is counterintuitive, but electric vehicles are not possible without oil – these petrochemicals bring down the weight of cars to make EVs possible.

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How Much Oil is in an Electric Vehicle?

When most people think about oil and natural gas, the first thing that comes to mind is the gas in the tank of their car. But there is actually much more to oil’s role, than meets the eye…

Oil, along with natural gas, has hundreds of different uses in a modern vehicle through petrochemicals.

Today’s infographic comes to us from American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers, and covers why oil is a critical material in making the EV revolution possible.

Pliable Properties

It turns out the many everyday materials we rely on from synthetic rubber to plastics to lubricants all come from petrochemicals.

The use of various polymers and plastics has several advantages for manufacturers and consumers:

  1. Lightweight
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Plentiful
  4. Easy to Shape
  5. Durable
  6. Flame Retardant

Today, plastics can make up to 50% of a vehicle’s volume but only 10% of its weight. These plastics can be as strong as steel, but light enough to save on fuel and still maintain structural integrity.

This was not always the case, as oil’s use has evolved and grown over time.

Not Your Granddaddy’s Caddy

Plastics were not always a critical material in auto manufacturing industry, but over time plastics such as polypropylene and polyurethane became indispensable in the production of cars.

Rolls Royce was one of the first car manufacturers to boast about the use of plastics in its car interior. Over time, plastics have evolved into a critical material for reducing the overall weight of vehicles, allowing for more power and conveniences.

Timeline:

  • 1916
    Rolls Royce uses phenol formaldehyde resin in its car interiors
  • 1941
    Henry Ford experiments with an “all-plastic” car
  • 1960
    About 20 lbs. of plastics is used in the average car
  • 1970
    Manufacturers begin using plastic for interior decorations
  • 1980
    Headlights, bumpers, fenders and tailgates become plastic
  • 2000
    Engineered polymers first appear in semi-structural parts of the vehicle
  • Present
    The average car uses over 1000 plastic parts

Electric Dreams: Petrochemicals for EV Innovation

Plastics and other materials made using petrochemicals make vehicles more efficient by reducing a vehicle’s weight, and this comes at a very reasonable cost.

For every 10% in weight reduction, the fuel economy of a car improves roughly 5% to 7%. EV’s need to achieve weight reductions because the battery packs that power them can weigh over 1000 lbs, requiring more power.

Today, plastics and polymers are used for hundreds of individual parts in an electric vehicle.

Oil and the EV Future

Oil is most known as a source of fuel, but petrochemicals also have many other useful physical properties.

In fact, petrochemicals will play a critical role in the mass adoption of electric vehicles by reducing their weight and improving their ranges and efficiency. In According to IHS Chemical, the average car will use 775 lbs of plastic by 2020.

Although it seems counterintuitive, petrochemicals derived from oil and natural gas make the major advancements by today’s EVs possible – and the continued use of petrochemicals will mean that both EVS and traditional vehicles will become even lighter, faster, and more efficient.

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