How Bitcoin and a Crypto Exchange Became Part of Ukraine’s War Effort
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,599,192 (-0.51%)       Melbourne $986,501 (-0.24%)       Brisbane $938,846 (+0.04%)       Adelaide $864,470 (+0.79%)       Perth $822,991 (-0.13%)       Hobart $755,620 (-0.26%)       Darwin $665,693 (-0.13%)       Canberra $994,740 (+0.67%)       National $1,027,820 (-0.13%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $746,448 (+0.19%)       Melbourne $495,247 (+0.53%)       Brisbane $534,081 (+1.16%)       Adelaide $409,697 (-2.19%)       Perth $437,258 (+0.97%)       Hobart $531,961 (+0.68%)       Darwin $367,399 (0%)       Canberra $499,766 (0%)       National $525,746 (+0.31%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,586 (+169)       Melbourne 15,093 (+456)       Brisbane 7,795 (+246)       Adelaide 2,488 (+77)       Perth 6,274 (+65)       Hobart 1,315 (+13)       Darwin 255 (+4)       Canberra 1,037 (+17)       National 44,843 (+1,047)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,675 (+47)       Melbourne 7,961 (+171)       Brisbane 1,636 (+24)       Adelaide 462 (+20)       Perth 1,749 (+2)       Hobart 206 (+4)       Darwin 384 (+2)       Canberra 914 (+19)       National 21,987 (+289)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $770 (-$10)       Melbourne $590 (-$5)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $595 (-$5)       Perth $650 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $700 ($0)       National $654 (-$3)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $730 (+$10)       Melbourne $580 ($0)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $470 ($0)       Perth $600 ($0)       Hobart $460 (-$10)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $560 (-$5)       National $583 (+$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,253 (-65)       Melbourne 5,429 (+1)       Brisbane 3,933 (-4)       Adelaide 1,178 (+17)       Perth 1,685 ($0)       Hobart 393 (+25)       Darwin 144 (+6)       Canberra 575 (-22)       National 18,590 (-42)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,894 (-176)       Melbourne 4,572 (-79)       Brisbane 1,991 (+1)       Adelaide 377 (+6)       Perth 590 (+3)       Hobart 152 (+6)       Darwin 266 (+10)       Canberra 525 (+8)       National 15,367 (-221)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.50% (↓)       Melbourne 3.11% (↓)       Brisbane 3.43% (↓)       Adelaide 3.58% (↓)     Perth 4.11% (↑)      Hobart 3.78% (↑)      Darwin 5.47% (↑)        Canberra 3.66% (↓)       National 3.31% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.09% (↑)        Melbourne 6.09% (↓)       Brisbane 6.04% (↓)     Adelaide 5.97% (↑)        Perth 7.14% (↓)       Hobart 4.50% (↓)       Darwin 7.78% (↓)       Canberra 5.83% (↓)       National 5.76% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)        National 0.9% (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 28.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.7 (↓)       Brisbane 31.0 (↓)       Adelaide 25.4 (↓)       Perth 34.0 (↓)       Hobart 34.8 (↓)       Darwin 35.1 (↓)       Canberra 28.5 (↓)       National 31.0 (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 25.8 (↓)       Melbourne 30.2 (↓)       Brisbane 27.6 (↓)       Adelaide 21.8 (↓)       Perth 37.8 (↓)       Hobart 25.2 (↓)       Darwin 24.8 (↓)       Canberra 41.1 (↓)       National 29.3 (↓)           
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How Bitcoin and a Crypto Exchange Became Part of Ukraine’s War Effort

Kuna, Ukraine’s largest crypto exchange, has emerged as central hub for the country’s efforts to raise funds via cryptocurrencies.

By Paul Vigna
Fri, Mar 4, 2022 10:45amGrey Clock 3 min

The founder of Ukraine’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Kuna, has been sleeping only a few hours a day since Russia invaded his country.

Trading of cryptocurrencies on Kuna has jumped since the war began. The surge is, in part, a consequence of strict capital controls implemented by the Ukrainian central bank: limits on ATM withdrawals, restrictions on the country’s official electronic-currency system and suspension of the foreign-exchange market. But cryptocurrency and Kuna are also providing a vehicle for outsiders to donate to Ukraine, raising funds for the government and relief efforts.

Michael Chobanian is operating Kuna from the western part of Ukraine after leaving Kyiv. He said he had moved his staff and the exchange’s infrastructure outside the country before the invasion. Mr. Chobanian spoke to The Wall Street Journal via recorded messages to save time. At the moment, everything is being done in an ad-hoc fashion.

“That’s the reality I have to live in,” Mr. Chobanian said.

The Ukrainian government and private aid groups have raised about $51 million in crypto from more than 89,000 donations since the invasion started last week, according to the analytics firm Elliptic. Most of that has been coordinated by Mr. Chobanian and Kuna.

On Kuna’s landing page for a fund it set up to accept donations, it says: “Let’s stop the war. Let there be peace. In crypto we trust, for Ukraine we pray.”

The crypto donations have helped finance military equipment, medical supplies and other goods, Elliptic said.

While activists, politicians and even terrorist groups have used cryptocurrencies to raise funds in recent years, it has never been done by a national government, said Tom Robinson, the co-founder of Elliptic.

The amounts aren’t large compared with other funding sources—the Biden administration proposed sending $6.4 billion in aid and Ukraine raised $270 million in bonds on Tuesday to help fund its war efforts—but it shows that crypto has a role to play, he said.

“It demonstrates that money can be raised directly from individuals around the world, for humanitarian aid, or to directly fund a war,” said Mr. Robinson.

Leaning on technology isn’t out of character for the Ukrainian government, which has been trying to boost its economy with the technology industry in recent years. The country launched an official government-based system of electronic money and created a Ministry of Digital Transformation. It was that ministry that asked Kuna to start the crypto fundraising effort, Mr. Chobanian said.

“Cash is useless because it’s physical,” Mr. Chobanian said. Carrying cash is also dangerous in a war zone, he said.

Most people, he said, are using credit cards or IBAN, the international bank account number system used by banks. Cryptocurrencies work well for large payments and international payments, Mr. Chobanian said.

Crypto transfers are especially fast compared with traditional methods. Transactions settle in about 10 minutes for bitcoin, for example, after which the money is transferred. What that means in practice is that the money being donated is available almost immediately.

Kuna converts crypto into other digital currencies or fiat currencies for bank accounts. Some of the supply companies for which Kuna is brokering the purchases, Mr. Chobanian said, are accepting payments directly in crypto. In some cases, they have walked the companies through the steps to do so.

“Because a lot of companies want to help us more than make money, they start accepting crypto for us,” Mr. Chobanian said.

The donation fund accepts a range of cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, ether, tether, litecoin, dogecoin and about 20 others. Gavin Wood, the founder of one blockchain-based platform called Polkadot, tweeted that he would donate $5 million if they set up a Polkadot address. Mr. Chobanian did a few hours later. Mr. Wood made the donation.

The Ukrainian government alone has raised $31.5 million in crypto donations and spent $17 million of it so far, according to an update Wednesday Mr. Chobanian shared on his Twitter account.

Ukrainian and U.S. officials have voiced concerns that Russians could use cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions. Over the weekend, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked crypto exchanges to block Russian users, something none of the exchanges agreed to do. So far there hasn’t been evidence supporting a large-scale Russian effort to avoid sanctions using cryptocurrencies.



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The Great Wealth Transfer: How rich millennials will invest the billions coming their way

The younger generation will bring a different mindset to how and where their newfound wealth is invested

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 2 min

There is an enormous global wealth transfer in its beginning stages, whereby one of the largest generations in history – the baby boomers – will pass on their wealth to their millennial children. Knight Frank’s global research report, The Wealth Report 2024, estimates the wealth transfer set to take place over the next two decades in the United States alone will amount to US$90 trillion.

But it’s not just the size of the wealth transfer that is significant. It will also deliver billions of dollars in private capital into the hands of investors with a very different mindset.

Seismic change

Wealth managers say the young and rich have a higher social and environmental consciousness than older generations. After growing up in a world where economic inequality is rife and climate change has caused massive environmental damage, they are seeing their inherited wealth as a means of doing good.

Ben Whattam, co-founder of the Modern Affluence Exchange, describes it as a “seismic change”.

“Since World War II, Western economies have been driven by an overt focus on economic prosperity,” he says. “This has come at the expense of environmental prosperity and has arguably imposed social costs. The next generation is poised to inherit huge sums, and all the research we have commissioned confirms that they value societal and environmental wellbeing alongside economic gain and are unlikely to continue the relentless pursuit of growth at all costs.”

Investing with purpose

Mr Whattam said 66% of millennials wanted to invest with a purpose compared to 49% of Gen Xers. “Climate change is the number one concern for Gen Z and whether they’re rich or just affluent, they see it as their generational responsibility to fix what has been broken by their elders.”

Mike Pickett, director of Cazenove Capital, said millennial investors were less inclined to let a wealth manager make all the decisions.

“Overall, … there is a sense of the next generation wanting to be involved and engaged in the process of how their wealth is managed – for a firm to invest their money with them instead of for them,” he said.

Mr Pickett said another significant difference between millennials and older clients was their view on residential property investment. While property has generated immense wealth for baby boomers, particularly in Australia, younger investors did not necessarily see it as the best path.

“In particular, the low interest rate environment and impressive growth in house prices of the past 15 years is unlikely to be repeated in the next 15,” he said. “I also think there is some evidence that Gen Z may be happier to rent property or lease assets such as cars, and to adopt subscription-led lifestyles.”

Impact investing is a rising trend around the world, with more young entrepreneurs and activist investors proactively campaigning for change in the older companies they are invested in. Millennials are taking note of Gen X examples of entrepreneurs trying to force change. In 2022,  Australian billionaire tech mogul and major AGL shareholder, Mike Cannon-Brookes tried to buy the company so he could shut down its coal operations and turn it into a renewable energy giant. He described his takeover bid as “the world’s biggest decarbonisation project”.

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