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Friday Charts: I Double Dare You To Ignore This Trend




It’s Friday in the Trend Trader Daily Nation…

And that means it’s time to embrace the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Each Friday, I’ll be showing you a simple chart to convey an important investment insight.

With one quick glance, you’ll be up to speed — and more importantly, you’ll be poised to profit.

This week, I’m picking up where we left off yesterday. I’ll be revealing a major trend taking shape in the semiconductor sector that every investor (this means you!) should be paying attention to.

Plus, I’ll share one of my favorite ways to profit from it.

So let’s get to it…

Sorry Pessimists, But This Chart Proves The Chip Boom Is Back

Nearly every indicator in the markets is heading south this week, but not this one:

The three-month growth in semiconductor equipment shipments.

This is the equipment required to make more chips. It’s at the front of the value and supply chains, and therefore, it represents the first small step required to bring about big growth.

To see what I mean, look what’s happening to the red line at the far right of this chart…

As you can see, semiconductor equipment shipments are soaring, and this surge points to boom times ahead. For chips, and for chip stocks.

A Lasting (Positive) Impact on Semiconductor Demand

And I’m all the more convinced of it after reading McKinsey & Company’s latest market analysis.

In short, the world’s most trusted consultancy expects the increase in working, studying, and communicating from home to have “a lasting [positive] impact on semiconductor demand and open new possibilities for existing products and services.”

McKinsey believes demand will increase for chips that “enable servers, connectivity, and cloud usage as online collaboration grows”…

And it believes demand will vastly increase for chips that power the technologies required to facilitate the paradigm shift in consumer behavior in a post-Covid world.

Prepare for a Profit Bonanza

This paradigm shift includes contactless solutions, which I’ve written about before…

And it includes home sensors, automated-delivery solutions, and digitizing lagging sectors such as healthcare, government, and defense.

Or as Clark Tseng, director of Industry Research and Statistics at SEMI said, “With the pandemic accelerating digitization to transform businesses and their delivery of services worldwide, we expect continued growth over the next two years.”

Translation: Prepare for a profit bonanza!

In fact, the last time this market indicator started spiking higher, back in early 2009, most chip equipment stocks doubled within a year.

That includes one of my favorites, Lam Research Corporation (LRCX), which I’ve written about before. (Hint, hint).

I double dare you to ignore this trend and miss out on the profit opportunity again.

P.S. Do you have a favorite chart or indicator you’d like me to analyze in upcoming Friday editions? If so, fire up the Pat Benatar and “hit us with your best shot” by replying directly to this email.

Ahead of the tape,
Lou Basenese
Lou Basenese




Payment Service Provider PingPong Payments Secures E-Money License in Luxembourg




PingPong Payments, a payment service provider for e-commerce sellers, announced on Wednesday it has received its authorization as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg. Founded in 2015, PingPong stated that its mission of helping global e-commerce sellers keep more profits, by beating the rates traditional banks offer.

“Today, the company serves more than 600,000 online sellers worldwide, has processed more than $10 billion in cross-border payments for e-commerce merchants to-date, and transfers more than $100 million per day for international e-commerce sellers. Global merchants around the world trust PingPong Payments to help them save on cross-border payments, VAT & supplier payments, and more.”

PingPong reported that the license enables it to offer a more flexible array of services and increase the scope of customers in the future. Speaking about the license, Ning Wang, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer at PingPong, stated:

“We are extremely proud to announce obtaining an EMI license in Luxembourg, a world-renowned fintech hub and pioneer within the EU market. This will strengthen our existing services which can support customers on different market places such as Amazon, eBay and Walmart and grant us the flexibility to broaden our business model to beyond e-commerce platforms.

Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg added:

“Today, Luxembourg is one of the leading payment and e-money hubs in the EU and I’m happy to see that it continues to grow. In this sense, I welcome that PingPong has just upgraded its Luxembourg presence with a new e-money license that will help it better serve its European customers.”


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Ziglu Claims Title as Largest Equity Crowdfunding Round of 2020 on Seedrs




Money app Ziglu says that its equity crowdfunding round is the largest offering on Seedrs for all of 2020. The securities offering closed on Seedrs this past fall.

The Fintech raised over £6 million backed by about 1250 investors. Ziglu set a low-end hurdle of £1 million and topped this target in just three hours. Ziglu raised 500% over their stated goal and now has raised £11 million in total during the year including the initial seed funding round.

Ziglu’s Chief Growth Officer, Yang Li, issued a statement in a release:

“We wanted to give our customers the opportunity to be a true part of Ziglu through ownership. We have been overwhelmed by support for the crowdfunding round, resulting in Ziglu becoming the largest equity campaign on Seedrs this year. Our vision for financial inclusion and community support translates through all our initiatives whether it’s crowdfunding, charitable giving or personal finance – providing fair and equal access to everyone – the same approach we take to crypto.”

The Fintech sector has emerged as a hot crowdfunding market in the UK  largely due to the robust startup sector as well as the ongoing digital transformation in financial services. Ziglu states that it has been classified as a “Knowledge Intensive Company” (KIC) by HMRC, enabling KIC investors to claim tax relief on investments up to the value of £2 million.

John Lake, Chief Commercial Officer at Seedrs, said that Ziglu is an exciting Fintech platform that is changing the way we handle digital and traditional currency:

“We are thrilled to see how engaged Seedrs investors have been with Ziglu’s campaign.”

Ziglu offers both traditional & digital currencies managed in a single app. The platform provides access to digital currencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, and XRP. Ziglu says it has built a bank-grade platform in the cloud from scratch that provides currency transfers and payments at competitive rates. Ziglu is authorized by the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) and is one of the first digital currency companies to be registered under the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations.

Ziglue was co-founded by Mark Hipperson the former CTO and co-founder of Starling Bank – a leading challenger bank.

While COVID initially hit the pause button on most sectors of industry, online capital formation, and Fintech in general, have experienced a pretty strong year.

Have a crowdfunding offering you’d like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!


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OurCrowd Partners with Portuguese VC Firm UnderRock Investments




OurCrowd, the world’s largest global investment crowdfunding platform, has partnered with Portuguese venture capital firm UnderRock Investments.

This most recent partnership is part of a growing number of global alliances established by OurCrowd including: Stifel brokerage and investment banking firm, United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) in Singapore, The National Australia Bank (NAB) in Australia, Reliance Private Client in India and Innogy SE in Germany.

OurCrowd will expand its footprint in the Iberian region with that arrangement with the VC. UnderRock Managing Partner Miguel Horta e Costa will direct the initiative.

“Lisbon is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Europe, with innovative startups in fintech, production planning, and artificial intelligence. The arrival of OurCrowd is a unique opportunity for value creation in the Portuguese market as a whole, whilst building ties between Israeli and Portuguese technologies,” said Horta e Costa.

OurCrowd will offer curated deals to Portuguese investors while simultaneously showcasing Portuguese startups on OurCrowd’s platform, providing startups in the region exposure to accredited investors worldwide.

OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved commented on the partnership:

“Lisbon is ranked as one of Europe’s innovation hotspots and startup hubs to watch. The city has a booming innovation scene and we look forward to investing in the latest technologies the ecosystem has to offer.”

OurCrowd adds that David Hatchwell, Chairman of EXCEM, a Madrid-based Family Group, and a leader of the Jewish community in Spain, will continue to lead OurCrowd’s Iberian operations. Hatchwell said they look forward to building upon their Spanish operations that has grown rapidly since 2017.

“The tech ecosystem in Spain and Portugal is home to a fast-growing crop of startups that are of great potential interest to OurCrowd’s 58,000 investors around the world. At the same time, we will connect local entrepreneurs and traditional industries eager to embrace new technology with strategic and research partners in Israel’s world-leading startup community. We believe everyone will enjoy the fruits of this new Mediterranean partnership,” said Hatchwell.

OurCrowd reports over $1.5 billion of committed funding, and investments in more than 220 portfolio companies and 23 venture funds. Currently, the investment platform claims approximately 60,000 accredited and institutional investors, family offices, and VC partners from over 183 countries.


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Ethereum Competitor Tron’s Founder Justin Sun Aims to Transform Blockchain Platform into Fast, Ultra-Cost Effective DLT Network




Justin Sun, the Founder of Tron (TRX), a major platform for building blockchain-based decentralized applications (dApps), has announced that TRON is planning to “adjust the incentive mechanism of the entire network with a focus on encouraging long-term holders who stake tokens for voting.”

It’s worth noting that Sun’s major announcement has come at the time when its main competitor Ethereum (ETH), the world’s largest smart contract platform, has launched the initial phase of Ethereum 2.0, a major system-wide upgrade to Ethereum.

Sun states that his community’s goal is to “transform TRON into a fast, efficient, ultra cost-effective decentralized network centered around a well-established incentive and governance mechanism, [while] continuing to consolidate [their] advantageous position as the most important infrastructure and layer-2 network in the industry.”

Tron’s TRX tokens are trading at a little over $0.03 and have a market cap of over $2.4 billion at the time of writing. Although these numbers appear to be quite solid, Tron along with EOS, another major Ethereum competitor, have not seen significant adoption during the past few years since their mainnets went live back in 2018.

Tron and EOS (along with other second-generation blockchain platforms) have been overtaken in usage and adoption by other platforms such as Chainlink (LINK) and Polkadot (DOT). While these newer (decentralized finance) DeFi and blockchain interoperability-focused platforms aim to offer different use cases than both EOS and Tron, they’ve managed to capture a significant amount of market share that once belonged to these so-called Ethereum competitors.

Sun now claims in his open letter:

“For developers and users, the TRON network is decentralized, secure, stable, cost-efficient and fast; For SRs and staking holders, it promises generous and stable returns as well as clear incentives for long-term believers. If Bitcoin is the digital gold, it is safe to say that TRON is the digital petroleum —— which means TRON will be the economic necessity that you cannot live without in the world of cryptocurrency.”

During the past few years, Sun has been known to make numerous claims about the Tron blockchain platform’s high level of performance and its ability to scale to process a large number of transactions – which is notably something Ethereum has failed to do and is also the main reason why Ethereum 2.0 has been launched.

When the Tron project was first announced (just a few years back), many people on social media had pointed out that the Tron whitepaper had basically been plagiarized or copied almost exactly from projects like IPFS. Tron’s whitepaper only appeared to have changed a few words and replaced certain words in the IPFS paper (and other projects) with synonyms while changing the order of some of the content.

During these last few years, Sun has been involved in many different controversies. He had notably managed to book a dinner date with legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett so that he could explain how blockchain and crypto can benefit the global financial system. However, the meeting was apparently postponed when Sun claimed he had been suffering from kidney stones.

Sun went on to state in his open letter:

“Unlike many public chain projects that have flopped, this year TRON network has surpassed Ethereum to be the busiest public chain across the industry. … if Bitcoin is the foreign exchange reserve for the digital world, then TRON is the economic necessity that you cannot live without. With over 1.7 million transaction requests being processed on average every day, TRON has become the most important infrastructure and layer 2 network in the industry. My top priority, which is also the core vision of TRON, is to transform it into a fast, efficient and ultra cost-effective decentralized network centered around a well-established incentive and governance mechanism.”

Sun added:

“Going forward, all TRON SRs and voters will enjoy rewards coming from two sources: one is block rewards brought by moderate inflation with a daily pool of 5 million TRX (an equivalent of $150,000 based on a TRX price of $0.03), and the other is handling fees with a daily total of 2.4 million TRX (an equivalent of $70,000), which is subject to increases in the future. More incentives also draw more institutions on TRON. This will create a virtuous cycle for the network: more token holders participating in voting and staking means an increase in the number of tokens staked for votes, which will make TRON even more secure; an increasingly secure network and applications will in turn attract more users to the TRON ecosystem, which will drive higher incentives, attracting more holders to participate. The TRON ecosystem will thus snowball in its growth.”

Notably, Sun has made similar claims during the past few years. He had also announced earlier this year that Tron 4.0 was coming out – which was supposed to compete with Ethereum 2.0. While Tron still ranks among the top 20 crypto projects by market cap, it hasn’t really lived up to the ambitious goals, milestones, and expectations that Sun had set for the platform.


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