US Real Estate Crisis: Home Sales Plunge to 9-Year Low, Mortgage Delinquencies to Soar Past Great Recession Level

The US real estate market is facing a crisis as unemployment soars amid the coronavirus pandemic. Home sales have plunged to a nine-year low and a record-high number of homeowners are defaulting on their mortgage payments. The impact of the real estate crisis is also seen in rental and commercial real estate markets.
The economic crisis, coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns, and record-high unemployment have severely affected the real estate market. Existing home sales, which make up about 90% of all U.S. home sales, plunged 17.8% month-on-month in April, an equivalent of 17.2% slump year-on-year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The percentage decline was the largest since July 2010. The annualized figure of 4.33 million units represents the slowest sales rate since September 2011.
The numbers are based on closed sales of contracts signed in late February and March. The April drop in closings is the largest one-month decline since July 2010, during the subprime mortgage crisis when the homebuyer tax credit expired. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, was quoted by CNBC as saying:
Certainly with the lock-down occurring from mid-March, and given the shakiness from the stock market in February, that hurt pending contracts, so now we are seeing an almost 20% decline in existing homes sales.
In addition, the supply of homes for sale fell 19.7% annually in April to 1.47 million units. Noting that this is “the lowest April inventory figure ever,” the news outlet conveyed, “Not only did potential sellers decide not to list their homes, as job losses mounted and the economy shut down, but some sellers already on the market pulled their listings.”

The inventory drop pushed home prices to a new nominal high. The median price of an existing home sold in April rose 7.4% from a year earlier to $286,800. “Price appreciation in the 7% range is unhealthy,” Yun explained, adding that the only way for the price growth to slow down is to “get more listings and also more home construction.”

John McAfee Announces Privacy Coin – Airdrop Today

2020 has been a turbulent year for the cryptocurrency market, but it has established the resilience of blockchain technology. Despite a single-day market plunge that battered the entire market valuation with a 50% drop, the following rapid uptick in Bitcoin price has led it to outperform the S&P500 index by a large margin.
Such a milestone has made way for significant opportunity as crypto’s Store of Value narrative expands its appeal to a new market, and cryptocurrency headlines are already sparking with famous personalities seeking to learn more about the technology.

John McAfee has announced a new privacy coin called GHOST. However, the coin won’t be distributed through an initial coin offering, nor through an initial exchange offering. Given the poor performance of past token sales, as highlighted by the grim IEO stats, novel token distribution mechanisms are on the rise. Alternatives, like Dynamic Coin Offerings, designed by blockchain software developer and consultancy DAO Maker, are making waves for their proposal of a token sale where buyers are given downside protection.

A Lot of Binance Exmployees Opt to be Paid in Crypto Rather Than Fiat: CEO

Although CZ elected not to disclose the exact percentage of employees that do, his response is another example of changing workplace culture.
What’s more, during these unusual times, we have seen an acceleration of other workplace changes, including the rise of work from home, and the subsequent growth in video meeting software as a result.
With that, there’s little doubt that digital transformation is taking place in the business world. That being so, is remuneration in crypto a natural extension of this?

Digital Transformation in the Workplace

The current pandemic situation is forcing us to reconsider day to day life. The primary message coming from authorities has been social distancing and the avoidance of large crowds.
While the debate rages on as to whether this is an effective tool to counteract the problem, one thing’s for sure, schooling and the workplace have undergone extreme changes as a result of this advice.
Turning to digital solutions has done a lot to offset the disruption. In fact, the situation has compelled many firms to assess their entire infrastructure.
Futurist and technology advisor, Bernard Marr states that companies are being forced to reconsider the way they operate, warning that those who fail to roll with it will be at a competitive disadvantage.
“Those companies able to use technology well to keep going and rethink their business model for the future by fast-tracking digital transformation will be ones ahead of their competition.”
As expected, the transition to remote working is being led by technology firms. In a company-wide email, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey said a review of the situation indicates working from home has not adversely affected the business. That being so, he is happy for all employees to do so.
“The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”
And Twitter isn’t the only firm that sees the sense in doing this. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have all come out with similar if less extreme policies for their employees.
As such, fears over a Silicone Valley exodus are likely to spell trouble ahead for commercial real estate in general.
Coupled with a loss in confidence in fiat currencies, it’s only a matter of time before paying employees in crypto becomes a part of this adjustment.

Visa Approves New DeFi-Enabled Crypto Card in EU and UK

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) aren’t really easy to spend in day-to-day life, mainly because retailers prefer to stay away from crypto’s volatility. In order to build a bridge between traditional finance and emergent assets like Bitcoin, a Swiss crypto startup called Eidoo has introduced a new Visa crypto debit card that uses regulated stablecoins for crypto-to-fiat conversion.
The so-called Eidoo Card has been approved for operation by payment giant Visa. Announcing the news on May 25, Eidoo told Cointelegraph that its new card will enable 40 million Visa merchants to accept crypto-derived fiat currencies, including the British pound (GBP) and euro (EUR).
Eidoo CEO Thomas Bertani said that this latest approval by Visa is part of Eidoo’s partnership with Contis, a principal member of Visa Europe and a holder of a U,K. e-money license. Bertani said Visa has approved the entire flow of Contis-led card issuance as well as crypto-to-fiat conversion involving regulated stablecoins issued by Moneyfold, a U.K.-based financial services firm focused on fiat-pegged stablecoins.
This means Contis acts as the issuer of the Eidoo Card, similar to how other crypto cards like Monolith operate. In the meantime, Moneyfold’s Ethereum-based stablecoins, Moneyfold Euro and Moneyfold GBP, are planned to unlock a higher degree of decentralization and transparency in the process of converting between crypto and fiat.
Bertani explained the process:
“People have a given crypto token, they sell it for the stablecoin via DeFi DEXes like Uniswap. Then the regulated stablecoin obtained from there is topped up with a 1:1 exchange rate (1 Moneyfold EUR = 1 EUR) on the crypto card when the payment occurs.”
Nikola Tchouparov, co-founder and CEO at Moneyfold, emphasized the unique stablecoin-based nature of Eidoo's crypto debit card. “It will be the first time the backend of a crypto card is done via stablecoins and DEXes,” Tchouparov said.
In order to preorder an Eidoo Card, users need to stake or burn Eidoo’s native EDO token. Depending on the plan, an Eidoo Card requires that the user to burn 100 EDO tokens or stake 25,000. As of press time, EDO is trading at $0.26 according to data from Coin360. Bertani says that users have already pre-ordered more than 2,700 cards, with more than 3 million EDO tokens staked to date.

Delta Crypto Exchange to Expand Into Indian Market With New Funding

Crypto derivatives exchange Delta Exchange has announced a new injection of funding from blockchain investor CoinFund, aiming to provide strategic resources for both parties in their focus to expand in India.
According to the announcement, New York-based firm CoinFund looks forward to implementing its first venture investment in India following the recent lifting of the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on banks serving crypto-related firms.

Big opportunities in the Indian crypto derivatives market

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Alex Felix, managing partner of CoinFund, said:
“The crypto market opportunity in India is big! The combination of the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate RBI’s ban on crypto, increasing local interest, and Bitcoin’s momentum have primed the market for imminent explosive growth.”
“India is a hotbed for innovation and there hasn’t been a domestic sandbox for crypto innovation until the supreme court invalidated the RBI ban earlier this year," Felix said. "It has always been a country with a rich history of talent contribution to blockchain despite there not being as much activity domestically. Now it is time for India itself to take off.”
Pankaj Balani, co-founder and CEO of Delta Exchange, stated that India is a “huge untapped” market, not only for crypto spot markets but also for the crypto derivatives segment.
On the biggest hurdles in the Indian market, according to Balani, is that the national crypto markets face “a lack of players offering a reliable fiat to crypto bridge” on the spot side:
“This is partly because many banks are still reluctant to offer banking services to crypto companies. Things are changing rapidly though given the growing demand from customers and with the positive news flow such as JPM opening banking services to Coinbase and Gemini.”

Crypto entrepreneurs seek clarity 

Indeed, some in the Indian cryptocurrency space have taken proactive measures regarding the lack of certainty vis-a-vis banking services for crypto-related business. 
Earlier today, Coitnelegraph reported that the Reserve Bank of India reiterated that there was no ban on providing banking services for such firms, after an exec at local crypto exchange filed a freedom of information request.