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‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary will get paid in crypto for his new role as spokesman for Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX

kevin o'leary

Famed investor Kevin O'Leary already signed on as official spokesperson for Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange FTX. The "Shark Tank" co-host has asked to be paid in cryptocurrency, which will be managed on FTX. O'Leary once called bitcoin "rogue, " but has done a U-turn and now believes it will beat the S& P 500. Sign up now for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Famed investor Kevin O'Leary has asked to be paid in cryptocurrency for taking on a persona as official envoy and spokesman for Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX, the crypto exchange said in announcing the hiring.

The "Shark Tank" co-host also requested that the crypto be managed on the FTX platform, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

O'Leary, populary known as "Mr. Wonderful, " said many institutional investors struggle with decisions on cryptoasset investing, given the current regulatory and compliance hurdles.

"I am no different. I want to increase my crypto show but likewise serve my compliance mandates, " he said, quoted in the statement.

He entered the partnership with FTX because the exchange gather his "own rigorous standards of compliance, " he said.

O'Leary will take an equity stake in the owners and hustlers of FTX.com, FTX Trading and West Realm Shires, under a multiyear administer. As its ambassador, O'Leary is expected to promote the crypto exchange and labels are connected to it through a number of initiatives.

The investor was once not a fan of cryptocurrencies, having told CNBC in 2019 that bitcoin is a "rogue" currency. "I have no interest in make any of this crypto bullshit because it is not compliant, " he said in an interrogation at the time.

But he has made a complete U-turn since then. In June, he said he would never sell bitcoin and the digital asset constitutes up 3% of his portfolio.

"I'm not going to trade it, " he said in a "Bitcoin Magazine" podcast. "I'm going to see own it, and I anticipate it are well aware over age and probably beat the S& P 500 index."

Bitcoin was last trading around $46,383 per silver as of 4: 00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and is up 60% so far this year.

He also recently praised ether for being a deflationary asset, announcing it "ultrasound money."

Read More: A 20 -year-old crypto market-maker who hop-skip college breaks down his Reddit-inspired approach to trading - and synopsis why he sees ether shifting bitcoin as the' king cryptocurrency '

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The SEC busted a mother-son crypto Ponzi scheme that lured investors with an AI ‘supercomputer’ that promised 30% returns

People walking out of the SEC building US Securities and Exchange Commission

The SEC shuttered enterprises of a mother-son duo that defrauded investors through a Ponzi-like crypto scheme. The duet predicted up to 30% returns based on trading recommendations made by an AI "supercomputer." Instead, they misused investor money by making Ponzi-like pays. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it shut down the operations of a mother-son duo that victimized investors through a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that predicted up to 30% returns based on the trading recommendations of an artificial intelligence "supercomputer."

Since May 2018, Joy Kovar, 86, and her lad Brent Kovar, 54, grew more than $12 million from at least 277 retail investors through their Las Vegas-based firm, Profit Connect Wealth Services.

The SEC has entered an emergency action and attained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze to halt the ongoing fraud.

The duo, according to the agency, convinced investors their fund would be invested in defences and cryptocurrencies based on recommendations made by an suspect AI supercomputer. This machine, the duo said, routinely produces immense returns of up to 30% per year with monthly compounding interest.

The agency, however, discovered that more than 90% of the firm's funds came from investors. The Kovars likewise did not use any funds received to trade certificates, buy cryptocurrencies, or do any of the things they predicted their investors.

Instead, they misused investor money by transferring millions of dollars to Joy Kovar's personal bank account to pay promoters and to do Ponzi-like payments.

"The accuseds targeted investors who were looking for safe produces for their retirements and their children's educations, " Michele Wein Layne, conductor of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office, said. "Investors should be wary of individuals and houses who guarantee double-digit returns with no risk of loss."

A hearing is scheduled for July 26, 2021.

The SEC's complaint fees the Kovars with transgressing the antifraud provisions contained in insurances rules. The accusation endeavours permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.

This scam isn't the Kovars first brush with approvals. In March 2009, the SEC filed a civil injunctive act against Tampa-based Sky Way Global, an internet service provider and claimed anti-terrorism company. The company's superintendents are Brent, his father, Glenn Kovar, 75 at the time, and James Kent.

Cryptocurrency fraud intrigues have been on the rise as digital resources income vogue, and fraudsters have become creative in the ways they gyp people.

Some specimen included sham cryptocurrency domain registrations, blockchain victimizes, overseas investment plans, and felons impersonating Elon Musk.

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45% of teens think they know more about crypto than their parents – and social media got them hooked, study finds

using smartphone texting social media in city

A Wells Fargo examine goes to show that 45% of teens think they know more about crypto than their parents. The study found that over a third of teens learn lessons finance from social media. On social media programmes like TikTok, so-called' finfluencers' explain stocks, crypto and investing. See more stories on Insider's business page.

Teenagers have a reputation for securely speculating they know way more than their parents. In situations of cryptocurrencies, nearly half of them say they know more about these digital assets than Mom and Dad, and any interest they have in finance has been thanks to social media, a Wells Fargo survey published earlier this week spotted.

Traditionally, mothers have usually passed on business knowledge and expertise about coin and vesting to their children. The cross-examine proved virtually two out of three teenagers, or 57% of those polled, still agree this applies, although this dynamic is shifting when it comes to cryptocurrency.

The Wells Fargo Parent-Teen Study on investing included 318 teens between the ages of 13 and 17, and 304 parent education teens "whos doing" 13 to 17.

The survey presented 50% of mothers said their teen knew more about bitcoin than they did, while a same percentage - 45% - of teens felt their knowledge of crypto surfaced that of their parents. The examination also determined teen sons were more likely to say they know more than their parents about bitcoin than girls. 58% of boys polled said this was the case, while simply 33% of girls surveyed agreed, Wells Fargo said.

In some cases this has even contributed significantly to mothers taking investment advice from their children - 19 time aged Adam Mlamali, who has invested in stocks and has crypto holdings, for example regularly presents his mother monetary opinion - including telling her when to sell her bitcoin.

He believes that his mom envisioning him take risks and collect revenues as a result manufactured her want to get involved, he told Insider. "She likes it when I justify my analysis to her and will then consider if she would like to invest and how much." Adam told Insider.

Cryptocurrencies are especially favourite topics on social media - where 35% of teenages say they get at least some of their business education. Parents seem to be unaware of this - only 12% said their children learnt about finance online in the Wells Fargo study.

TikToks that are called with #bitcoin have 3.6 billion views on the social media programme and #crypto renders 3.4 billion views. On a broader scale, #fintok, which is the financial niche on TikTok, boasts 357.3 million sounds and #stocktok, where TikTokers talk about their top furnish pickings and financings, has 1.2 billion makes.

So-called' finfluencers ', many of whom have over 100,000 partisans, use social media stages like TikTok to talk about their own investment policies and wanders, share their top furnish pickings and supply monetary education. Video names array from "3 furnishes that they are able to doubled in 2021 " over "How to turn $ 100 into $7,000 in crypto" to "3 steps to start investing" and "Taking out$ from a Roth IRA". Not all' finfluencers' are qualified fiscal professionals or have formal investment education.

Social media's ability to move sells also appears interesting to teens - 45% of those canvassed indicated by the social media conducted GameStop saga that stimulated chaos on markets earlier in the year got them robbed on finance.

Reddit's WallStreetBets page, where much of the GameStop short squeeze began, has over 10 million representatives. It too play a key role in the accelerate proliferation of dogecoin and is currently driving the AMC Entertainment craze - retail traders had organised themselves online, investing in the company's furnish and soaring it's stock premium.

"Social media has a profound influence on our younger contemporaries. Those contemporaries grew up with social media and often trust many of the pulpits more than their parents do, " Mariana Martinez, their own families dynamics consultant with Holes Fargo's Wealth& Investment Management group, said.

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US stocks trade higher as reopening optimism returns following week of losses

Stock Market

US capitals transactions higher as reopening hope returns following week of loss. Bitcoin recovered moderately from a immoral weekend selloff, but is still roughly 50% lower from April's all-time high. Golden premiums climbed, buoyed by the rout in cryptocurrencies. See more narratives on Insider's business sheet.

US broths sell higher on Monday as reopening optimism returned following the second straight week of losses.

"A brace of financial data the coming week on a wide variety of economic indicators wander from manufacturing, dwelling premiums, personal income, and consumer confidence will provide plenty of information on the health of the American economy for investors to contemplate, " John Stoltzfus from Oppenheimer Holdings said in a indicate on Monday.

Adding to the optimism, daily coronavirus illness in the US have fallen to their lowest in roughly 11 months, discovering continued progress in battling the pandemic.

The benchmark 10 -year Treasury note slipped by -0. 017% to 1.615% Monday comparison with Friday's 1.629%.

On Friday, US furnishes closed mixed. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, despite finishing lower, managed to end a four-week losing streak, gaining exactly more than 0.1% for the five-day period.

Optimism towards an improving US economy increased following the Thursday release of the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index. The April LEI data showed a 17% year-over-year improvement , as well as a 1.6% month-over-month improvement.

Here's where US indicators stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Monday 😛 TAGENDS& P 500: 4,179.28, up 0.56% Dow Jones industrial median: 34,351.92, up 0.42%( 144.08 moments) Nasdaq composite: 13,557.50, up 0.71%

Bitcoin regained its loss, rising by 13.31% to $$ 38,417 as of Monday morning - but is still roughly 50% lower from April's all-time high.

HSBC chief Noel Quinn on Monday said that his bank has no schemes of kick-starting a cryptocurrency desk nor offering these to purchasers, Reuters first reported. The CEO of Europe's largest bank quoth the volatility of cryptocurrencies as the reason, as well as a lack of transparency around digital assets.

"Given the volatility, we are not into bitcoin as an resource class, if our buyers want to be there then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an resource class within our prosperity administration business, " Quinn said.

Meanwhile, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz told Goldman Sachs in a recent interview that dogecoin is a temporary fad that's likely to lose momentum because institutions aren't investing in it.

Novogratz is bullish on cryptocurrencies in general but is less provoked about dogecoin, unlike billionaire Mark Cuban.

Oil prices descended. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.29%, to $64.40 per cask. Brent crude, oil's international mark, clambered 1.32%, to $67.32 per barrel.

Gold rose 0.4%, to $1,881.83 per ounce, buoyed by an immense selloff in cryptocurrencies. The precious metal, according to Sophie Griffiths, an consultant at Oanda, is on track to book increases of over 6% across May in its best monthly concert since December.

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Crypto-Focussed, Phil Ivey-Fronted Virtue Poker Ready for Real-Money Launch in May

It's been a long superhighway from conception to perfection for the cryptocurrency-based online poker site Virtue Poker, with Phil Ivey still in place as its contributing spokesplayer, and a pending real-money launch slated for next month.

Phil Ivey Virtue Poker

For three and a half times, Phil Ivey has promoted an online poker area that didn't actually exist. That will soon change with Virtue Poker's schemed May launch.( Persona: Twitter/ PhilIvey)

Poker Hall of Famer Ivey has been the face of the blockchain poker campaign since his own" Ivey League" endeavor closed its entrances in 2017.

Virtue's announcement of the meant May launch came on Monday amid an investment-themed press release in which Virtue's corporate mother, ConsenSys, declared that it had successfully completed its latest funding round, fostering an additional$ 5 million in investment capital.

One of the site's major selling pitches is that it will be a decentralized online poker programme: musicians will fund their own bankroll pocketbooks independently and will retain control over whatever virtual funds are not actually in play at a payed table or in a tournament, removing any potential threat of corporate theft from the site's coffers.

Virtue's latest presser likewise proclaimed that it was the first such site to be licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. The MGA has been perhaps the world's most proactive online-gambling regulator to pursue blockchain-based gambling opportunities.

“After years of consultation, in person assembles, and exertion,[ we] can proudly say we are the only licensed blockchain located poker employment in the market ," CEO Ryan Gittleson said." By are concerned with regulators to become a licensed online gamble fellowship, Virtue Poker now has legitimacy to crossover and compete for customers from bequest providers to return blockchain located gambling mainstream.”

Phil Ivey's frontman role continues

Ivey, the 10 -time WSOP bracelet winner, is still a key promotional part of the Virtue Poker. He also owns a stake in the startup and is among an increasing number of prominent pros to dive headfirst into the crypto-gambling scene.

“I’ve been working with the Virtue Poker team for nearly three years, watching them build a next generation poker platform, ” Ivey said. “Using a blockchain based structure generates a more secure and globally accessible remittance organization. I’m agitated to continue my partnership with the Virtue Poker team and work to bring the programme to poker parishes worldwide.”

Back in 2017, Virtue Poker announced its partnership with Ivey, in a character that's remained largely unchanged since. The website too had two other well-known pros, Brian Rast and Dan Colman, as part of the startup. Colman remains part of the Virtue Poker lineup, but Rast has since been substituted by Matt Berkey as an advisor and site representative.

Virtue Poker's long road to marketplace

Virtue Poker has traveled a roundabout course as it nears its official start. Founder Joe Lubin caused Virtue Poker back in 2016 as part of his ConsenSys family of Ethereum-supported business jeopardizes, but the project has had to weather changing market conditions and a hectic arena of struggled online-poker and online-gambling startups -- virtually all of which have flunked -- while creating a secure platform that also pleas to online players.

Competition comes from existing online-poker corporations as well. Many sites founded on traditional fiat monies( e.g .: the US dollar) often now volunteer virtual monies as alternative sediment/ withdrawal methods, and a few cases, such as the Bodog family of symbols, actively peculiarity such cryptocurrency directs. It's hard for any brand-new musician to gain ground against established competition.

Virtue Poker will too face the same sort of regulatory pressure that online-poker places must direct. Virtue has already announced a large number of countries where its services will not be available. The roll includes most of western and northern Europe, along with Australia, the United Country, and various other jurisdictions.

Nonetheless, the project remains on track to at last go live, with its statement detailing how an upcoming" mainnet propel" will allow real-money action to begin. That's the technical term for being able to write musicians' Ethereum monies/ withdrawals to the blockchain, which acts as a world-wide online tracking mechanism.

Virtue's promotional acts are gaining impetu. The website has been running giveaway affairs since early this year, and the launch will be accompanied by an exhibition tournament involving Ivey, Lubin, and others.

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Afriex raises $1.2M seed to scale its payments and remittances platform across Africa

Sending money from the U.S. to Nigeria can be a painstaking process. For remittance platforms like Western Union, it will cost a carry cost and make between one to five business dates for coin transmit from a U.S. debit card to enter a Nigerian bank account.

Crypto remittance stages are rising to the challenge of correcting these cross-border payment issues by reducing time and costs. Only yesterday, we talked about Flux, a Nigerian fintech solving this problem in the present YC W2 021 quantity. Today, another YC-backed startup, Afriex -- but from the Summer 2020 batch -- is raising a $1.2 million grain round.

The company founded by Tope Alabi and John Obirije in 2019 provides instant, zero-fee movements to Africans at home and in the diaspora. It allows users to deposit cash on the app, cast coin to a bank account or another user, and withdraw fund to a connected bank or debit card.

Like other crypto remittance stages, Afriex has built its business on stablecoins -- cryptocurrency backed by the dollar. In essence, the company buys cryptocurrency in one country and sells it in another to offer better exchange rates. This is in contrast to better-known platforms like Western Union and Wise that use traditional banking systems.

Last year while the startup graduated from YC, it claimed to be processing about $500,000 per month in busines fees and is applicable in over 30 countries. At the time, Afriex was only present in Nigeria and the U.S. But having started actions in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, Afriex claims to be processing millions of dollars each month. On the following website, though, Afriex states that customers can only send money to and from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Canada, and the U.S.

With the new financing, the Lagos and San Francisco-based startup is looking to scale up by growing the team and expanding to other markets.

Pan-African VC firm Launch Africa preceded the seed round. Other investors include Y Combinator, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Future Africa, Brightstone VC, Processus Capital, Uncommon Ventures, A$ AP Capital, Precursor Ventures, and Ivernet Holdings. Angel investors like Russell Smith, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon, Furqan Rydhan, and Andrea Vaccari also took part.

The SoftBank Opportunity Fund, an owned subsidiary of the SoftBank Group, targets founders of color in the U.S. moving early-stage startups. Since launching in June 2020, it invests in 22 startups and Afriex seems to be the only one catering to a adjust of users in the US and another continent.

SoftBank opens $100 M+ Opportunity Growth Fund to invest in benefactors of shade

This is due to Alabi's upbringing as an immigrant child who has had a mix of both natures. It was difficult to send money to Nigeria and its own experience as a blockchain make at Consensys stimulated him realize he could solve a problem.

“We would go back home every two years and even then, I would always take note of what was missing and what could be enhanced. I would find myself having to pay for foreign expenses with coin that was sitting in a US bank account, ” said Alabi. “Traditional remittance business were so gradual and costly that I knew I could do it better with crypto. Remittance is the best and most important use case for crypto. Our goal is to build the world's largest remittance firm, starting with emerging markets.”

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Crypto social network BitClout arrives with a bevy of high profile investors, and skeptics

While much of the recent wave of relentless hype around NFTs — or non-fungible tokens — has been most visibly manifested in high-dollar art auctions or digital trading cards sales, there’s also been a relentless string of chatter among bullish investors who see a future that ties the tokens to the future of social media and creator monetization.

Much of the most spirited conversations have centered on a pre-launch project called BitClout, a social crypto-exchange where users can buy and sell tokens based on people’s reputations. The app, which launches out of private beta tomorrow morning, has already courted plenty of controversy inside the crypto community, but it’s also amassed quite a war chest as investors pump tens of millions into its proprietary currency.

Early backers of the platform’s BitClout currency include a who’s who of Silicon Valley investors including Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, the startup’s founder tells TechCrunch. Other investors include Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Winklevoss Capital and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. A report in Decrypt notes that a single wallet connected to BitClout has received more than $165 million worth of Bitcoin deposits suggesting that huge sums have already poured into the network ahead of its public launch.

BitClout falls into an exploding category of crypto companies that are focusing on tokenized versions of social currency. Others working on building out these individual tokens include Roll and Rally, which aim to allow creators to directly monetize their internet presence and allow their fans to bet on them. Users who believe in a budding artist can invest in their social currency and could earn returns as the creator became more famous and their coins accrued more value.

Why Terry Crews is launching a social currency

“If you look at people’s existing relationships with social media companies, it’s this very adversarial thing where all the content they produce is not really theirs but it belongs to the corporation that doesn’t share the monetization with them,” BitClout’s founder, who refers to themselves pseudonymously as “diamondhands,” tells TechCrunch. (There’s been some speculation on their identity as a former founder in the cryptocurrency space, but in a call with TechCrunch, they would not confirm their identity.)

The BitClout platform revolves around the BitClout currency. At the moment users can deposit Bitcoin into the platform which is instantly converted to BitClout tokens and can then be spent on individual creators inside the network. When a creator gets more popular as more users buy their coin, it gets more expensive to buy denominations of their coin. Creators can also opt in to receive a certain percentage of transactions deposited into their own BitClout wallets so that they continue to benefit from their own success.

The company’s biggest point of controversy hinges on what has been opt-in and what has been opt-out for the early group of accounts on the platform. Most other social currency offerings are strictly opt-in. Users come to the platform in search of a way to create tokens that allow them to monetize a fanbase and build a social fabric across multiple platforms. The thought being that if the platforms own the audience then you are at their mercy.

BitClout has taken an aggressive growth strategy here, turning that model on its head. The startup has pre-populated the BitClout network with 15,000 accounts after scraping information from popular public Twitter profiles. This means that BitClout users can buy shares of Kim Kardashian’s social coin or Elon Musk’s without those individuals ever having signed up for a profile or agreeing to it. This hasn’t been well-received by all of those who unwittingly had accounts set up on their behalf including many crypto-savvy users who got scooped up in the initial wave of seeding.

The startup’s founder says that this effort was largely an effort to prevent handle squatting and user impersonation but he believes that as the platform opens, a sizable pre-purchase of creator coins reserved for the owners of these accounts will entice those users to verify their handles to claim the funds.

Perhaps BitClout’s most eyebrow raising quirk is that the platform is launching with a way to invest into the platform and convert bitcoin into BitClout, but at launch there’s no way to cash out funds. The project’s founder says that it’s only a matter of time before this is resolved, and points to Coinbase and the Winkelvoss twin’s status as coin holders as a sign of future exchange support to come, but the company has no specifics to share at launch.

While the founders and investors behind the project see a bright future for social currencies on the blockchain, many in the decentralized community have been less impressed with BitClout’s early efforts to achieve viral adoption among creators in a permission-less manner.

“BitClout will make a great case study on how badly crypto projects can mess up incentive engineering when they try to monetize social networks.” Jay Graber, a decentralized platform researcher involved in Twitter’s bluesky effort, said in a tweet. “Trust and reputation are key, and if you create a sketchy platform and mess with people’s reputations without their consent it is not going to go well.”

If BitClout comes out of the gate and manages to convert enough of its pre-seeded early adopter list that there is value in joining its closed ecosystem version of a social token then it may have strong early momentum in an explosive new space that many creators are finding valuable. The concepts explored by others in the social currency space are sound, but this particular execution of it is a high-risk one. The network launches tomorrow morning so we’ll see soon enough.

If the question is #bitclout the answer is yes.

— Jordan Belfort (@wolfofwallst) March 20, 2021

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Bitcoin drops from record-high of nearly $50,000 after a week of increased attention on Wall Street

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Bitcoin fell from its record high of virtually $50,000 on Monday after a week-long flurry of increased attention.The token traded around 1.6% lower at $47,845 after affecting its latest all-time high-pitched of $49,716 on Sunday.Rising rates and market reign will lead to increased regulatory investigation, one crypto expert said.Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Bitcoin slithered on Monday from its latest all-time high-pitched as investors made profit from its record-breaking rally last week.

The digital asset plunged 1.6% to $47,845, after posting a record of $49,716 on Sunday. Meanwhile, ethereum declined 0.6% to $1,789.

Bitcoin lured more attention on Wall Street last week as a tumult of revises propagandized the clue to the near- $50,000 recognize.

Tesla announced a $1.5 billion bitcoin asset, Mastercard is preparing to open its network to crypto, Bank of New York Mellon plans to start transacting bitcoin for its clients, and an investing arm of Morgan Stanley said it's considering a stake in bitcoin.

"Bitcoin is increasingly going mainstream and the vote of confidence by major companies could have positive effects on the cryptocurrency that will last far beyond the knee-jerk reactions seen in the past week, " said Milan Cutkovic, grocery reporter at AxiCorp.

Read more: Deutsche Bank says 'the time is now' to get optimistic on the aerospace sector and handpicks 7 assets to buy - including one with an upside of over 40%

Combining growing institutional demand with ultra-low interest rates, bitcoin could touch further highs during the first quarter of 2021.

One analyst thinks it could shoot higher than $ 50,000 this week. But that may require another financial institution to announce it will furnish crypto custodial services for their affluent private purchasers, said Jeffrey Halley, a elderly sell psychoanalyst at OANDA.

"I prefer to concentrate on fundamentals although with cryptos, " Halley said, adding that he can't buy a chocolate exercising cryptocurrency with an animal's face on it. "Therefore, I shall wait for Elon Musk's Twitter account to tell me what to do, because nothing is more fundamental than that, and it is always right."

But with increasing reign and appreciate, comes increasing regulatory scrutiny.

"Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will come under the spotlight from watchdogs like never before and this can be expected to create volatility in the market, " said Nigel Green, CEO and founder of investing firm deVere Group.

Read more: Tom Finke recounts how he went from running a $345 billion money administrator to joining in the SPAC boom as a sponsor - and shares 3 characteristics investors should look for in an ideal blank-check company

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