There’s a lot of ground to cover in today’s Friday mailbag. Privacy… Cryptocurrencies… Precious metals…
But before we get to that, one of your fellow readers thinks we’re just a bunch of hypocrites. And Daily Cut editor Chris Lowe responds…
Reader question: I think you guys are freaky, paranoid, conspiracy theorists. How can you say “less government,” then turn around and ask the government to look into these things?
– Marybeth U. (Legacy Research member)
Chris’ answer: Long-time readers know we’re not fans of Big Government here at Legacy. But as Bill Bonner Letter co-author Dan Denning wrote, when companies become monopolies, you’re no longer dealing with a free market… and you’re going to get the attention of legislators. Here’s Dan:
You could argue that these companies deserve their market positions. They make products that people find useful. If someone wants to beat them, go for it. That’s how the free market works.
But a monopoly situation is no longer a free market. And politicians on both sides of the aisle smell blood in the water with Big Tech. I guarantee you that these companies will be at the center of the political debate during this year’s midterm elections.
That’s important not only in terms of what it means for the future of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but also because of what it means for the stock market.
Value investor Chris Mayer, who heads up Bonner Private Portfolio, explained it like this:
The returns for the S&P 500 are highly correlated with the fortunes of these tech giants – meaning they’re moving in the same direction.
Right now, these companies are setting the tone for the entire stock market. It’s hard to imagine seeing a sell-off in these names… and it not affecting the rest of the market.
Readers should keep a close eye on them. They could be the trigger for the next downturn.
So regardless of how we feel about the government’s involvement in this issue, we think it should be on your radar.
And now… Your fellow readers want solutions to one of the biggest dangers we’ve been warning about…
Reader question: When I read your Daily Cut about “Going Dark,” I did not see any recommendations about a good free email service provider. Do you have any suggestions?
– Stephen W. (Legacy Research member)
Reader question: If your organization is truly interested in our privacy and secrecy, why don’t you pool your monies and provide an alternate site to Google, so all the conservatives will have an option?
I have been looking for an alternate to my Gmail and search engines. What is available? There are millions who would instantly change to a conservative service.
– Robert G. (Legacy Research member)
There won’t be a Legacy search engine or email platform, but we do have some other good alternatives for you.
Going back to Dan, here’s what he suggested in our issue titled “Your Guide to ‘Going Dark’ Online”…
Dan’s answer: The way to stop Google – and the NSA – tracking every web search you type and every webpage you visit is to ditch Google search and the Google Chrome web browser. DuckDuckGo won’t track you like Google does. And it offers a decent search service.
There’s also the Epic Privacy Browser. It works just like Chrome, except it doesn’t store data on you. You can also try StartPage for a search engine that doesn’t track and store your search queries. Firefox is the least intrusive of your browser options (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer).
And here is Teeka Tiwari, who heads up our Palm Beach Letter advisory…
Teeka’s answer: The first step I urge your readers to take right now to protect their privacy online is to move to an email account with “end-to-end” encryption. The one I use is called ProtonMail – out of Switzerland. It was developed by guys at MIT and the largest particle physics lab in the world, the CERN research facility in Switzerland.
What do I mean by “end-to-end” encryption?
It means your private data is encrypted at all steps – when it’s sent and when it’s stored. Even the guys at ProtonMail can’t read what you’ve written. That makes it much more secure from prying eyes.
And by the way, ProtonMail’s commitment to privacy is absolute. If you lose your password, to keep your data private, ProtonMail will completely erase your account. And you won’t be able to get it back.
Moving on, an interesting question about two assets that couldn’t be more different… or more similar…
Reader question: Dear Sirs, I was wondering if you can give an update on what is happening with the crypto/blockchain universe for precious metals.
I heard that Sprott is working on a crypto coin for silver and other precious metals? Can you give us some info on this new development?
– Don L. (Legacy Research member)
No one at Legacy is more plugged into the precious metals markets than Dave Forest at our International Speculator advisory. Here’s his response…
Dave’s answer: I know of a bunch of gold-backed coins that are in the works. Some of my friends are working on one.
They’re working on a coin where the proceeds of the initial coin offering (ICO) would be invested in mining projects. The production of gold (and other metals) from the mines would then go into storage and would back the value of the coins.
It’s still at quite an early and conceptual stage, but they’re getting a good reception from potential initial financiers.
Dave isn’t the only one following this story. Here’s Nick Giambruno, who heads up The Casey Report…
Nick’s answer: There will never be a gold-backed crypto that can completely stand in for gold. There is simply no substitute for owning physical gold that you can readily hold in your hand.
But owning large amounts of physical gold presents its own challenges. It’s hard to store securely, move long distances, and break down into smaller amounts. A gold-backed crypto can help address these drawbacks.
That said, any gold-backed crypto will have some counterparty risk. Physical gold in your direct possession does not.
There are already a handful of cryptocurrencies that are redeemable for gold. They allow users to instantly send small or large amounts of gold to anyone in the world – reliably and without interference.
And as the best ones emerge, I think it’s going to be one of the biggest developments in the crypto space.
That’s all for this week. But before we sign off, I’ll make one last mention of the Legacy Investment Summit. We’re closing ticket sales this Sunday.
So, if you want to ask the team at Legacy your questions in person… rather than ask them here in the Friday mailbag… you’ve only got two days left to secure your spot in Bermuda.
James Wells, Director
P.S. As always, keep your questions coming at [email protected]. Then tune back in next Friday for the answers.