Bitcoin has crashed, but will it come back? Apple rumored to release a record amount of new products this year and I explain some insights into the Microsoft / Activision deal.
So the obvious talk of the town this week is the "total collapse" of the crypto market. Lots of people panic selling, and taking huge losses. This is not the first time that Bitcoin in particular has taken such a massive dive. It's happend a few times in the past, and it's always come back to a new all time high. So if you're holding, you should probably keep holding.
I'm not worried about the dip; I'm more interested in the relation between the crypto market taking a nose dive, in conjunction with the US stock market hitting a new low. We thought crypto was the antithesis of the stock market?
While we're talking about crypto, I've been asked a few times in the last week if now is a good time to buy, or if the price will keep falling. My reply is always the same; DCH, or Dollar Cost Averaging. The basic idea is that you buy the same amount of crypto / stocks etc on a regular schedule. Monthly, weekly etc and then over the long run you get an average price and you're less affected by the volatility of the price. It's a good way to invest in anything; like most things in life if you're consistent about it, you reap the rewards.
We could be in for a bumper year in the Apple space according to Mark Gurman. He's predicting a whole slew of new products, possibly an M2 chip. Personally I'm a little skeptical of Apple going all out this year. I think we'll see the same tech (M1 etc) being put into existing products, so an M1 iMac, possibly an M1 Mac Pro (that could be a beast) but I think their focus will still be on mobile devices. We'll see an iPhone 14 that possibly has no charging port, and possibly an iPad that has wireless charging.
Moving onto cars, I'm a massive fan of Resto Mods. A Resto Mod is essentially an old car variant that's been given modern treatment. So they'd take the basic shape and design on an old classic, but they rebuild it using modern parts. So you have modern power trains, gearboxes, electronics etc. The result is almost always a droolworthy, limited-run, crazy expensive car that we can only dream of. I stumbled across an Audi Quattro which has my heart racing.
The gaming world has been somewhat shook-up. Microsoft announced that it's acquired Activision for a whopping $68.7 Billion. $300 million short of turning it into a meme. But it's not as simple as just acquiring a game company.
If you take a step back and look at the last 20 years of Microsoft and Sony fighting for space in the console market, the Playstation and Xbox have been in a heated race for a long time. Microsoft made a pivotal move about a decade ago when Satya Nadella took over from Steve Balmer as CEO, who moved the company to a subscription model. For all of Microsofts history, they sold their operating systems and office products as once-off purchases. This put them in an ever lasting spiral of creating new software to sell with new laptops. The change to a subscription model also meant that piracy of the expensive products pretty much dropped right off. Adobe followed suite around the same time with it's creative cloud product.
Off the back of the the Office 365 subscription success, Microsoft applied the same to the Xbox in the form of Game Pass. The way Game Pass works, is you pay $15 per month and you have access to hundreds of games. Not everything, but more than enough to keep you busy for many lonely nights.
One of the key features of Game Pass is that Microsoft incorporate games they develop in their on launch. A good example of this is the recent launch of Forza Horizon 5. It was available on launch with Game Pass. So if you own an Xbox (or have the game pass application on your PC) you get to play new titles simply by being a subscriber.
So that's where the Activision deal gets interesting. They have titles like Call of Duty, Overwatch, World of Warcraft etc, which are some of the most popular titles in the gaming world. Currently all of them have a pay-to-play model, meaning you have to buy the game and then you can play it. But now that Microsoft have the rights to the games, what's stopping them adding this in with Game Pass?
Think of this from a consumer perspective. You can buy an Xbox Series X, or a Playstation 5; the consoles are near-as-makes-no-difference the same price. However, on the Playstation you need to spend $70-100 per game where on the Xbox you get it as part of your $15 game pass. I know which console I'm choosing.