Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

The government-owned post office in Liechtenstein has begun offering a cryptocurrency exchange service. Initially, the post office in the capital city of …

The government-owned post office in Liechtenstein has begun offering a cryptocurrency exchange service. Initially, the post office in the capital city of Vaduz will sell BTC, with four more cryptocurrencies planned. The service is in partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse, the operator of “the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland.”

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Post Office Selling BTC

Liechtensteinische Post AG announced on Feb. 15 that it has begun selling BTC at the counter of the post office in the capital city of Vaduz. “In search of new business opportunities, Liechtensteinische Post AG has decided to offer a new exchange [service] of cryptocurrencies in its post offices,” Friday’s announcement reads. The Post elaborated:

After an introductory phase, the offer will be extended to other post offices and the exchange of additional cryptocurrencies … It will then be possible to change bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP).

The announcement further notes that, after making a BTC purchase, customers will receive “a physical crypto wallet” which includes both the public and private keys.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

Founded in 1999, Liechtensteinische Post AG comprises nine post offices and three postal partners, according to its website. Prior to Dec. 31, 1999, the postal service of Liechtenstein, a country with approximately 38,000 people, was managed by Swiss Post, the national postal service of Switzerland which is a public company owned by the Swiss Confederation. Now Swiss Post owns 25 percent of Liechtensteinische Post and the government of Liechtenstein owns the remaining 75 percent.

Partnership With Värdex Suisse

Liechtensteinische Post explained that Swiss Post had always been in “the conventional money exchange business,” therefore “nothing is different” by adding cryptocurrencies to the existing service.

This new service is enabled through a partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse AG, a subsidiary spun off from Bitcoin Suisse AG at the end of 2017 in order to meet the growing demand for POS solutions, Liechtensteinische Post detailed.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

“Värdex is Switzerland’s largest, financially regulated blockchain and POS network operator,” the company describes itself. It is a member of the Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) and part of the Crypto Valley Zug community.

Its website also states that “Värdex Suisse is operating the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland,” listing a total of 26 locations, all of which support BTC, ETH, and LTC. According to Coinatmradar, there are 48 cryptocurrency ATMs in Switzerland. Zurich has 13 machines, the most in the country, followed by Basel with six machines and Geneva with five. Other major ATM operators in the country are Bity with six locations and Bitc with 14 locations.

What do you think of Liechtensteinische Post selling cryptocurrencies at post office counters? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Liechtensteinische Post.


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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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Cramer: Why investors can trust that Nvidia’s stock is bottoming

Investors can trust that Nvidia’s stock has bottomed following its upbeat earnings report for a few key reasons, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday after the …

Investors can trust that Nvidia’s stock has bottomed following its upbeat earnings report for a few key reasons, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday after the chipmaker’s shares gained 1.82 percent.

The first is CEO Jensen Huang’s own outlook for his industry, which he put quite simply on the post-earnings conference call: “The world needs more computing.”

“That simple statement is the main reason why I believe Nvidia can ultimately turn things around,” Cramer said on “Mad Money.”

Following several months of sharp declines in Nvidia’s shares — tied largely to a breakdown in cryptocurrency mining, a gaming slowdown in China and slower-than-expected data center build-out — Cramer could understand why investors might be wary.

Add on the fact that Nvidia’s newest graphics cards, powered by its proprietary next-generation technology called Turing architecture, haven’t yet seen monster sales because Nvidia’s customers don’t seem to need that level of processing power, and the company’s outlook did seem quite grim.

But “the biggest theme on last night’s call was that, yes, things are about to normalize, first in gaming and then in the data center,” Cramer said. “There will be no comeback of cryptocurrency mining — that’s the chief reason Nvidia’s business fell off a cliff in the first place. But anything high-powered like artificial intelligence or machine learning or autonomous driving continues to percolate, and I think Nvidia’s the leader in these markets.”

Why is the company so sure? First, data centers aren’t that economically sensitive, so Nvidia sees building projects “coming back online” sooner rather than later, the “Mad Money” host said.

It also sees “the explosion in popularity of Fortnite and other free multiplayer games, which translates into more demand for their graphics processors. Remember, given that these games are free, the company believes there’ll be far more players,” Cramer said. “They see Dell, HP [and] Lenovo picking up the next-generation Turing platform. Well, that’s the big three. They see no further slowdown in China because it’s a growth economy. And it’s now been over a year since the crypto crash began, so they’ve had enough time to work through the excess inventory.”

And while he admitted that “that’s a lot of bottoms to call at once,” Cramer had one chief reason why he was on board with Nvidia’s bullishness.

“Why should we believe them? Simple, because Nvidia is not a cellphone semiconductor company. It’s not a supplier to Apple,” he said. “Its product cycles are unique, with only AMD really being comparable, and AMD pretty much called the bottom, too, hence the parallel rally in their stocks.”

So, as investors decide whether they want in, Cramer asked them to remember the CEO’s succinct remark that “the world needs more computing.”

“We know Nvidia’s right about the driving need for more computing power,” he argued. “That’s why I think the stock can rebound, but I also think you need to be careful not to be too enthusiastic. There’s no need to rush here now, something that the people, by the way, who bought Nvidia at $162 this morning found out as the stock gave back much of its gains and closed at $157.”

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NVIDIA’s Q4 Report: 24% Lower Sales, Earnings Cut in Half

Semiconductor veteran NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) reported fourth-quarter results for fiscal year 2019 on Thursday evening. The designer of graphics …

Semiconductor veteran NVIDIA(NASDAQ:NVDA) reported fourth-quarter results for fiscal year 2019 on Thursday evening. The designer of graphics processors and other high-speed number-crunching chips took a dramatic revenue haircut, driven by low sales of gaming products over the holiday season. The company is also suffering a hangover from the previous year’s cryptocurrency mining trend, which has faded quickly in recent months.

NVIDIA’s fourth-quarter results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q4 2019

Q4 2018

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$2.21 billion

$2.91 billion

(24%)

Net income

$567 million

$1.12 billion

(49%)

GAAP earnings per share (diluted)

$0.92

$1.78

(48%)

Data source: NVIDIA.

What happened with NVIDIA this quarter?

  • The results seen above stopped far short of management’s guidance for the fourth quarter. Sales had been expected to fall roughly 7% to $2.7 billion and GAAP earnings were aimed at approximately $1.16 per share.
  • Data center products saw sales rising 12% year over year, and automotive computing solutions recorded 23% growth. Professional visualization revenues also rose 15% higher.
  • The gaming segment suffered 45% lower sales due to weak sales of graphics cards for the gaming market plus declining shipping volumes of NVIDIA-powered Nintendo(NASDAQOTH:NTDOY)Switch gaming consoles. This core division accounted for 45% of NVIDIA’s total revenues in the fourth quarter, down from 55% in the third quarter and 60% in the year-ago period.
  • NVIDIA argues that cryptocurrency mining sales fall under its OEM and intellectual property segment, where sales fell 36% year over year to $116 million. It’s probably fair to assume that some of last year’s gaming cards were put to use in crypto-mining operations, since the company has no way of knowing exactly how buyers are using their NVIDIA-powered cards.
A 3-D rendering of Nvidia's corporate logo in shades of green.

Image source: NVIDIA.

What management had to say

In a conference call with financial analysts, CFO Colette Kress outlined the driving factors behind NVIDIA’s plunging gaming product sales.

First, post-crypto inventory of GPUs in the channel caused us to reduce shipments in order to allow access channel inventory to sell through. We expect channel inventories to normalize in Q1, in line with the one- to two-quarter timeline we had outlined on our previous earnings call.

Second, deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, particularly in China, impacted consumer demand for our GPUs.

And third, sales of certain high-end GPUs using our new Turing architecture, including the GeForce RTX 2080 and 2070, were lower than we expected for the launch of a new architecture.

Kress noted that the new cards provide a “revolutionary leap in performance and innovation” over the products that came before, but NVIDIA’s potential customers appear to be waiting for lower chip prices or more widespread implementation of the new technologies in actual games.

Looking ahead

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, NVIDIA sees revenues falling roughly 31% year over year, landing near $2.20 billion. Working through the company’s guidance for gross margins, operating expenses, and tax rates at the midpoint of each range, the first quarter’s GAAP earnings should stop in the neighborhood of $0.32 per diluted share, some 84% below the year-ago period’s result.

For the full fiscal year, management expects revenues to stay roughly flat or slightly below the $11.7 billion NVIDIA collected in 2019. Q1 is seen as the bottom of the ongoing inventory correction for gaming products, amplified by the faded interest in cryptocurrency mining that still was in full swing in the year-ago quarter.

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NVIDIA (NVDA) Stock: Prepare for Range-Bound Trading Ahead

By Gene Munster. Shares of NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) are trading up 3%, as final results for Jan-19 were in-line with the disappointing …

By Gene Munster

Shares of NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) are trading up 3%, as final results for Jan-19 were in-line with the disappointing pre-announcement. While we are believers in the Nvidia story and expect the company to be one of the more notable winners from the long-term growth trends of gaming, AI/datacenter, and autonomous vehicles, we believe that there remains risk to FY20 guidance. We expect shares to be range bound in the coming months, as investors will likely trim Q4 revenue expectations.

Why Nvidia’s FY20 guidance is still too high

Nvidia’s trouble began in the October quarter with the slowdown of crypto. In the previous eight quarters, revenue growth had ranged between 35% and 65%, ending at 40% in Jul-19 quarter. In the three subsequent difficult quarters (two recently reported and one just guided), revenue will be down on average 12% y/y per quarter. The concern for investors on tonight’s call was the slope of the rebound in revenue growth beginning in Apr-20. Specifically, investors are finding the company’s guidance of ending the year with revenue in-line or slightly below the previous year as overly optimistic. While the company did not give quarterly guidance, we believe it implies that revenue will be down 30% in Q1, down 10% in Q2, up 10% in Q3, and up 35% in Q4. This translates to overall revenue for FY20 to be down 2% y/y. The key question: is a 35% y/y growth exiting FY20 realistic? Our belief is that it is not realistic because it is similar to the growth rates during the crypto-boom. We think a revenue growth rate of 20% is more appropriate and sustainable through FY21. Beyond FY21, we expect a sustained growth rate of 15% for the next several years.

Recap of what happened in January

The cause of the miss was primarily related to three factors: 1) China macro, 2) lower consumer demand for the new high-end Turing architecture GPUs, and 3) datacenter customers in this segment have shifted towards a more cautious approach to datacenter upgrades.

Nvidia still needs to clean up existing channel inventory of mid-range Pascal graphics cards. The company initially lowered Jan-19 guidance due to excess channel inventory of these products, as it failed to understand the positive impact that cryptocurrency mining had on the segment. With the stark decline in cryptocurrency mining, sales of these products dropped, and the channels were stuck with high inventory levels. Nvidia confirmed on the call that it expects channel inventory to be cleaned up by the end of the Apr-20 quarter.

When it comes to Nvidia’s new Turing architecture GPUs, the company needs more game developers to incorporate ray tracing and DLSS technologies into their games before we expect to see higher sales. While these technologies are foundational and offer a meaningful step forward in computer graphics, there isn’t a big incentive for consumers to upgrade to the latest architecture due to the lack of available content.

Disclaimer: We actively write about the themes in which we invest or may invest: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics. From time to time, we may write about companies that are in our portfolio. As managers of the portfolio, we may earn carried interest, management fees or other compensation from such portfolio.

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