NBA Draft Prospect Jonay Porter is Also a Crypto Fanatic

One of the NBA’s latest prospects is Jontay Porter. The 18-year-old has high hopes for the future. Firstly, of course, he’s wanting to be picked in June’s draft. Secondly, he’d love to help his team, the Missouri Tigers, win the NCAA Tournament that they’re competing in. Finally, he’s hoping for a big rebound off the court – in the cryptocurrency market.

An Enterprising Young Mind

In a recent interview with the Kansas City Star, the young NBA hopeful spoke of his interest in cryptocurrency and how he himself was invested in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Tron. He told the publication about how he approached putting together his diverse crypto portfolio:

“I did my own research, obviously; that’s what you should always do if you’re investing… I’m obviously not going to put all of my money in cryptocurrency.”

He started by buying $300 worth of Bitcoin. This was followed by smaller purchases of more crypto assets using his student-athlete allowance.

Unfortunately, the Tigers’ leading rebounder was forced to cash out some of his investment. He explained to the Star how he had been bought a used SUV by his parents. Owing them the money back and with no way to pay it yet, he was forced to sell half of his crypto assets. He was, however, careful to keep some skin in the game as he’s optimistic of a rebound in the markets:

“I was kind of sad, because [the market] was about to bounce back. But my mom needed it right away.”

Missouri Tigers’ assistant coach and father of the budding basketball star turned investor, Michael Porter Sr., told the publication about his son’s inquisitive mind. He said, “he’s  always been a thinker.” Meanwhile, Lisa Porter, the teenage athlete’s mother added:

“He had the gumption to just do it… All my other kids would really debate over it.”

From a young age, Jontay had an inquisitive mind and sought ways to turn that into financial gain. In the Sixth Grade, he started dismantling, repairing, and jail-breaking his iPhones. This transformed into something of a business. He’d advertise his repair services for cracked screens and the like on CraigsList. He always made sure to undercut the local businesses offering the same services in his town.

Of course, Jontay Porter isn’t the first athlete to embrace cryptocurrency. The US Winter Olympic luge team famously declared that they’d accept Bitcoin donations for their medal challenge this year. Unfortunately, Olympic rules prohibited the team from wearing any Bitcoin branding on their official uniforms. This is a real shame too as the event was held in crypto-loving South Korea and had the whole world’s eyes upon it.

All of us at here NewsBTC are hoping that Jontay Porter is successful in his bid to make the big time as an NBA star. He’ll certainly become one of the higher-profile proponents of Bitcoin if he does. Hopefully, he won’t be shy about plugging his investment interests in his post-match press conferences too!

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Investing for future, whether it is to save for retirement or university fees for your child, is without a doubt a good idea. The major problem is navigating the sea, or better said, ocean, of investment firms, boutiques, and agencies who promise you the world, but, in the end, deliver very little except extortionate fees. You could, of course, turn to a mutual fund that will attempt to tailor your investment goals to the available investment strategies. However, once again you risk facing rather large fees which then eat into your underlying returns. At the same time, the ability to invest into other more highly specialized products, such as those offered by hedge funds, Private Equity (PE), and Venture Capital (VC), has been off-limits to many.

The team behind DarcMatter, which has already been operating for a number of years,  is now looking to combine the power of blockchain and smart contracts to create a fully operational global platform. This service will allow investors all around the world to access the alternative fund asset class in a transparent and secure fashion. Of course, this sounds like a great idea, but several questions jump to mind: does the team have the expertise to pull this off? Do they have the blockchain experience to create a token that will match the ambitions of the core team? And finally, why move into the blockchain world if their operations have been so successful?

But you needn’t worry; the team and product are first-class. The CEO is an investment banker with BNP Paribas and WestLB, has executed $10.0 Bn+ in private placement transactions and has experience on advisory boards. He is also the winner of leading entrepreneurship awards, such as Under30CEO, 30 under 30, and GOOD100, and contributes to Forbes, Huffington Post, and TheStreet. The resume of the CTO is no less impressive. He has over 14 years of software development experience and has had senior lead roles at companies including Estee Lauder and AdvisoryWorld Financial Technology. His skills are diverse, ranging from financial institution integration with SWIFT, to web development with European banks. His academic pedigree is as impressive, having received a Masters degree in Computer Science at age 20.  With these two leaders heading up an award-winning team, top-caliber investors, as well as advisor, and the fact the product has been awarded the Top FinTech platform from over 4 countries, you know you’re in good hands.

DarcMatter Coin (DMC) will be used for a permissioned blockchain and will use systems that run natively on the NEM blockchain. DMC will be utilized to unlock and consummate the smart contracts for the investment completion through the DM Decentralized Infrastructure. By implementing blockchain and smart contracts in the alternative fund industry, the platform will enable various functionalities, such as seamless cross-border investment capabilities, documentation tracking for multi-consensus and logging, as well as additional asset classes being seamlessly distributed through the entire investor vertical. As a guide, the public sale is due to begin on May 7th, 2018 and the tier 1 private presale is sold out.


Today, under Chairman Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan, the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, & Investment held a hearing (watch it here on Youtube) entitled “Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets.” The primary focus of the hearing was to further facilitate dialogue between crypto-industry insiders and lawmakers.

Hearing: Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, & Investment

After an introduction by Chairman Huizenga, the four panellists — academic and industry insiders — read their opening remarks. The rest of the hearing saw these panellists yield questions from the subcommittee members. Members of the panel were as follows: Mike Lempres, Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Coinbase, Dr. Chris Brummer, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Robert Rosenblum of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, & Rosati, and Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research at Coin Center.

The main question at hand regarding regulation in the U.S. is who’s going to do it — the SEC or CFTC — and which laws apply. Despite speaking for over two hours, the answer to this question is still not completely clear. But that said, this was the first hearing of its kind and there are to more come: Chairman Huizenga closed the day by declaring optimistically that it was more of “a hello than a goodbye.” 

The majority of the topics discussed revolved around the regulatory parameters in place in the U.S. today, and what those need to look like moving forward to accommodate the crypto space. In discussing this issue more broadly, topics such as how to deal with ICOs, the problems surrounding state and federal agency overlap, and wallet and asset security were touched on too.

Differing Viewpoints

Despite a wide array of perspectives  — with one subcommittee member going as far as calling cryptocurrencies a “crock” and inferring that crypto-enthusiasts were just unemployed men in their pajamas sitting on couches — when the dust settled, many members seemed to have similar ideas in mind: striking a balance between oversight and the accommodation of technological innovation.

Rep. Maloney, a ranking Democrat on the subcommittee from New York, announced that she is working on a cryptocurrency oversight bill that would cover exchanges that offer trading services for digital assets. And Chairman Huizenga also announced his intention to pursue some kind of legislative action, saying: “This panel, this Congress is not going to sit by idly with a lack of protection for investors.”

The issue of exactly how to balance regulation was contended. One particular standout was Minnesota’s Rep. Tom Emmer, who said, “I find myself maybe not with my colleagues on some of this.” He went on to say: “I hear elected officials who don’t have any concept of what we’re doing here … talking about ‘we have to go in and regulate.’”

“I realize there has to be some regulation, but it’s the balance,” Emmer remarked. “And I’ve heard from the panel we have regulation in place but we just need clarity.”

Emmer’s views were closely aligned with a lot of what the panellists were expressing — arguing that more clarity is needed around the regulations in place today versus the imposition of new rules on the industry. His sentiments were mirrored by Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina, who argued that oversight in this area is something that the U.S. “has to get right.”

“Regulation in this space is something that the U.S. has to get right. Because poor or rushed policy in cryptocurrencies really threatens our reputation in finance and technology.”

Index Funds have always been pretty popular in the financial sector. They offer a lot of advantages, especially for unaccredited investors. Coinbase, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, is looking to launch such an Index Fund soon. This is a positive development for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

Why Index Funds Are a Good Thing

For those unaware, Index Funds have been around for quite some time now. Their main benefit is how they offer investment opportunities for less wealthy investors around the world. This does mean such a vehicle will be accessible to more people than just the traditional wealthy individuals. In the case of cryptocurrency, allowing more people to be exposed to these markets is only a good thing.

Another benefit of Index Funds is how they offer lower transactions costs, which is always a good thing. Regardless of which amount you are investing, lower costs are always a benefit. Especially when venturing into multiple assets or markets, any way of lowering costs is a positive thing. One needs to keep in mind there is always a commission cut to contend with as well. Higher costs mean you need to make more profit before actually increasing your portfolio’s net wealth.

Moreover, most Index Funds use a minimal turnover structure. This means it is a great tool to benefit long-term investors. In the world of cryptocurrencies, going the long-term route is always the best course of action. It will be interesting to see how Coinbase decides to tackle this business model exactly.

Coinbase Has Big Plans

It became evident Coinbase wants to get involved in the Index Funds market very soon. As such, the company may bring a lot more positive interest to the cryptocurrency space. Opening up this market to a lot of smaller investors will undoubtedly result in positive market traction. Right now, all cryptocurrencies are stuck in the dirt a bit as not enough fresh capital is entering the market.

Making the cryptocurrency ecosystem more appealing to investors has been a challenge. The launch of Bitcoin futures has not generated the buzz most people expected. Things are still heading in the right direction in this regard, though. Overall, the uptake of this new investment vehicle has been a lot slower than people would like it to be. With these volatile markets, it is only normal bigger investors will remain wary first and foremost.

These new Coinbase Index Funds can mean positive things for the industry as a whole. Exposing more people to this innovative form of digital money is always a double-edged sword. More investors will undoubtedly lead to more speculation as well. For now, we have to wait and see how Coinbase will move forward in this regard. The company has yet to unveil the specific details of their new venture.

Tim Draper who has been investing in future technology since the earliest days of the web said that in five years no one will be trading with fiat currency. The legendary investor and prognosticator of where technology is taking us sat down with CNBC’s Fast Money to talk about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Greatest Technological Change

Draper said the shift that is happening in technology today is bigger than the iron or bronze age. When asked how he compared the opportunities now to when he was investing in web 1.0 and 2.0 he talked about how the web transformed information. But now blockchain technology has the potential to change almost every industry including the way government works.

He sees individual governments breaking down in the future to become a group of international entities that will compete by supplying their services to citizens.

When asked to compare where blockchain development is now as compared to the way the internet was developed, he put the timeline at the early eighties for investor potential, saying “it is all just getting started.” “This is the most excited I’ve ever been as an investor, and I was right there at the beginning of the internet,” he added.

Talking about the future of currency Draper stated that in five years fiat currency will be a thing of the past. There will be no more currencies linked to specific countries.

“In five years you’re going to walk in and try to pay fiat [a government-backed currency like the U.S. dollar] for a Starbucks coffee, and the barista is going to laugh at you, because they’re going to say, ‘What is this? Are you counting out pennies? Give me shells?’

Whether Draper knows this or not, Starbucks has indicated that it may use blockchain technology for an application that will process consumer payments in cryptocurrency.

The End of Fiat Currency

When asked what he would do with a fresh dollar for investment, whether that would be for an ICO or existing currency, Draper directly talked about the dominance of Bitcoin in the future. That he saw other cryptocurrencies falling away leaving Bitcoin as the standard.

He ended by talking about the Bootcamp he is launching in April at his Draper university to encourage learning and investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “Because all of this engineering effort, all that excitement, this focus is really on bitcoin and all of the cryptos around it,”

Draper, who is known to have predicted when Bitcoin would hit the $10,000 mark almost to the day, was an early investor in Skype and Tesla. He bought and is still holding 30,000 Bitcoins from the 2014 US Marshals Service auction of assets seized from the Silk Road.

Spain looks like the latest nation to be warming up to the opportunities created by the ever-expanding blockchain industry. According to reports by Bloomberg, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party is in the process of drafting legislation governing the space. This could include tax breaks for companies and individual cryptocurrency investors, as well as a regulated framework governing initial coin offerings.

It’s hoped that by creating favourable conditions for startups in the space to flourish, the People’s Party will be able to lure some of the most cutting-edge companies to their soil. Garcia Egea, the lawmaker drafting the legislation, spoke to Bloomberg at his office in The Cortes Generales:

“The level of the digitalisation for companies will be key… We hope to get the legislation ready this year.”

The primary innovation behind cryptocurrency has attracted attention from a variety of established industries. There are many who believe blockchain and distributed ledger tech could transform the way contracts are settled, as well as providing innovative new models for data storage and revolutionising transaction methods. With industries from business and finance, to health and education amongst those experimenting with blockchain, it’s clear why Spain would want them to set up shop there.

In addition, the People’s Party is also reported to be considering ICO-specific legislation. It’s hoped that regulation will make it safer and more convenient for investors and firms alike. This will further strengthen the appeal of the Iberian nation for those on the hunt for a centre of operations for a new crypto company. Garcia Egea continued:

“We want to set up Europe’s safest framework to invest in ICOs.”

Finally, Egea told the publication that the bill might include a threshold under which investments in cryptocurrency would not need to be reported.

With such progressive legislation potentially on the cards, Spain appears to be taking the initiative shown previously by the likes of Switzerland in attracting the latest wave of technology startups. The small town of Zug in the central European nation has become a hive of activity for blockchain startups. Thanks to the nation’s favourable tax legislation and private banking, all manner of cryptocurrency and distributed ledger companies have decided to call the small Swiss town home. These include payment processors Monaco, innovative exchange platform Shapeshift, and mobile Ethereum OS Status. Spain got its own Blockchain Consortium last year – If the People’s Party legislation follows the hints that one of its drafters has dropped, Spain could soon have a “CryptoValley” of their own.

One of the golden rules of investing in anything is not to sink more money into it than you can afford to lose. This has never been more important than it is with cryptocurrency. The huge price volatility and lack of historical precedent within the market makes it a potentially dangerous space for those unfamiliar with high risk investments. After the enormous run up in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seen last year, and the subsequent correction in recent weeks, a Moscow-based company known as Blockchain Fund have opened a hotline to help those dealing with large losses. RT News even suggest that swings like the movement in Bitcoin from $20,000 to $6,000 in early 2018 could prompt a spate of mass suicides.

Elena Pikhovkina, a psychologist who works on the hotline spoke with Russian news source about the initiative:

“Some people are in a panic, they don’t understand what is happening. At first everything was so good in this market, and now it has faced such changes… First of all, I will get acquainted with people in my work, listen to their stories and then give advice on how to calm down and recover. It is very important so that a person does not do anything stupid.”

Pikhovkina has learned to deal with those affected by large financial loss through first hand experience. She worked with many who lost money in 2014 when the euro and dollar rates jumped suddenly against the ruble.

There have already been reported cases of suicide occurring because of misplaced investments in the cryptocurrency space. This week, Youtube channel World Crypto Network reported of a case in which an investor had decided to take their own life following the recent price correction. In another example, a post of Reddit’s Bitcoin pages last month details the story of a 29-year-old who had sold his cryptocurrency prior to the huge price run up. According to the victim’s brother, the man in question sold or lost around 15,000 BTC just before the dramatic price increase. He told the forum:

“As the price took off in late 2013-early 2014 you could tell he was distraught over it and became increasingly withdrawn from family and friends… If I had missed out on $50M I might have killed myself too. I can’t imagine what my brother must have been feeling these past several years knowing he missed his best and easiest shot at the wealthy life he had always fantasised about.”

Recently, George Popescu, the CEO of Block X bank, told The Investor of Korea of the need for a suicide hotline to help those who’ve been affected by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He stated to the publication:

“People borrow money and invest in cryptocurrencies. If they lose it, they can get really hurt in this bitcoin craze… Maybe what we should do right now is to set up a suicide prevention lifeline to give those who hoard bitcoins a call and ask if they really know what they are doing.”


Image: PixaBay

Forbes just love to remind their readers just how much poorer they are than the subjects of their articles. It was therefore only a matter of time before they released a cryptocurrency version of their rich list. The names featured are hardly surprising. Those closely allied to the likes of Ethereum and Ripple have done well for themselves, as have the earliest investors in the space. Let’s take a look at the top ten.


10. Mike Novogratz, CEO Galaxy Digital

You probably know Mike Novogratz from our reportage of his seemingly endless bullish comments about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The former billionaire left his Fortress Investment Group in 2015 to focus on cryptocurrency. He’s since built up an estimated crypto net worth of $700 million to $1 billion dollars. Talk about the comeback kid!


9.  Brock Pierce, Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, Advisor at Block.One

Brock was one of the first big pioneers of digital currency. He’s been responsible for funding dozens of startups in the space. These have included Mastercoin, Coinbase, and Ethereum. The former child actor now claims that he’s willing to donate $1 billion to a decentralised autonomous community run on the blockchain. His savvy invesetment strategy has helped the 37 year old amass an estimated crypto net worth of $700 million to $1 billion.


8. Anthony Di Iorio, Cofounded Ethereum, Founded Jaxx and Decentral

This 43 year old investor has manager is currently worth an estimated $750 million to $1 billion in crypto assets alone. He was influential in the founding of the Ethereum blockchain platform that supports the second largest cryptocurrency, Ether. Di Iorio’s investment strategy is simple: Look for promising new ideas and jump ship with the gains after a period of parabolic growth. Easy, huh?


7. Matthew Roszak, Cofounder of Bloq, Founder of Tally Capital

Roszak attributes his success in the cryptocurrency space to timing. Namely, he was in very early. The 45 year old investor learned about Bitcoin in 2011 and was savvy enough to get involved in the first wave of Initial Coin Offerings. It’s even reported that he gave Richard Branson and Bill Clinton their first Bitcoins. Roszak is estimated to be worth $900 million to $1 billion in crypto wealth alone.


6. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase

Shock horror. The CEO of Coinbase made the list of the richest folk involved in cryptocurrency. Whilst many of his peers were busy buying up a new asset class, Armstrong was selling them means to prospect with. Coinbase are one of the most well-known companies in the entire space and the first entry point into cryptocurrency for many. Today it’s estimated his digital currency net worth is between $900 million and $1 billion.


5. Matthew Mellon, Investor

With an estimated cryptocurrency net worth of $900 million to $1 billion, Mellon certainly has played his cards right. The 54 year old investor saw an opportunity early in Ripple and bought up their token, XRP, despite warnings from friends and family. It’s clearly paid off for him.


4. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Cofounders Winklevoss Capital

Yeah, they might be two people but be honest, have you ever seen a news story with one and not the other? Together, the Winklevoss Twins’ combined cryptocurrency net worth is estimated at between $900 million and $1.1 billion. The pair invested early in Bitcoin and simply held it. Since then, they’ve set up the New York-based exchange, Gemini. In a space rife with scandal and security breaches, Gemini is something of a trusted entity in cryptocurrency, so much so that the Chicago Board Options Exchange use their price index to settle their recently launched futures contracts.


3. Changpeng Zhao, CEO Binance

Binance came out of nowhere less than seven months ago and under Zhao’s leadership have grown into the largest cryptocurrency exchange on the planet. Zhao, known more colloquially as “CZ”, has dodged regulatory pressures by moving his companies to three different territories in its short existence. CZ has an impressive estimated crypto net worth of $1.1 to $2 billion.


2. Joseph Lubin, Cofounder of Ethereum, Founder of ConsenSys

This former Goldman Sachs executive helped fund the blockchain platform Ethereum, as well as founding ConsenSys. The latter today employs over 600 people and spans an impressive 28 countries. ConsenSys have helped launch many companies and their tokens. They’re also used for consulting services for global giants such as Microsoft. Lubin is estimated to be worth in the range of $1 to $5 billion.


1. Chris Larsen, Cofounder of Ripple

Sitting atop the cryptocurrency rich list is non other than the cofounder of Ripple, Chris Larsen. This is largely due to the dubious initial distribution of XRP. Larsen himself owns 5.2 billion XRP. Despite (or perhaps because of) the wider cryptocurrency community’s general condemnation of Ripple, they’ve found their niche facilitating international payments for banks. It’s estimated that Larsen’s crypto assets are worth between $7.5 and $8 billion.


Image: PixaBay



Anything goes in the cryptoland, so much so that an altcoin created as a parody has just reached a billion dollar market capacity. Dogecoin was created in 2013, its mascot is a Japanese Shiba Inu dog made popular by an internet meme dating back eight years.

The dog it seems has broken off its leash after being largely left behind last year as other altcoins too center stage. Defying its creator’s belief, DOGE has risen 900% in the past six weeks from $0.001 to its current high of $0.01. What is more astounding is that it has surpassed the billion dollar market capacity which puts it just behind Russian crypto platform Waves in the market cap charts. Over $120 million has been traded in DOGE in the past 24 hours according to Coinmarketcap.

Jackson Palmer, the founder of the cryptocurrency who left the team in 2015, is concerned;

“The fact that most conversations happening in the media and between peers focus on the investment potential is worrying, as it draws attention away from the underlying technology and goals this movement was based on. I have a lot of faith in the Dogecoin Core development team to keep the software stable and secure, but I think it says a lot about the state of the cryptocurrency space in general that a currency with a dog on it which hasn’t released a software update in over 2 years has a $1B+ market cap.”

Current Dogecoin developer Patrick Lodder was equally surprised and told Coindesk;

“To me, this proves that we don’t need shiny features or a ton of innovation and even with a conservative – and in my own case completely distracted – development team for a boom,”

The sentiment was shared by another developer on the team, Max Keller;

“It’s a little scary when you work on software that powers a billion dollar network. This is quite the responsibility. And also one of the main reasons why we are so reluctant to just slap any ‘innovative’ tech into the reference client. Still, I am proud of what we achieved and thankful to be part of such a great community.”

Dogecoin does not really have a grand purpose aside from being a simple internet currency. Its appeal could just be its low cost. There is a psychological barrier to overcome when a single digital coin such as Bitcoin is worth $15,000, new traders would be more comfortable owning several thousand smaller altcoins than a fraction of a Bitcoin. Digital assets trading house Octagon Strategy managing director Dave Chapman told CNBC;

“The two most well-known cryptocurrencies (i.e. bitcoin and ethereum) are considered too expensive for most new entrants. Despite being able to purchase a fraction of each, there is a real psychological barrier around owning something in its entirety,”

DOGE is currently traded the most on Bittrex and Poloniex which have 23% and 20% of the volume respectively.

When most people think about high-tech innovation, the former Soviet bloc is probably one of the last places on Earth that springs to mind. However, Belarus is making efforts to change that. Thanks to a progressive piece of legislation that was signed into law last Thursday, President Alexander Lukashenko is hoping that the brightest minds and most innovative companies from the fintech and blockchain space will choose to call his nation home.

The law legalises cryptocurrency transactions amongst other provisions. It’s hoped that these will drive private sector growth in a State that has been burdened with an overbearing bureaucracy that was left behind after the fall of the communist regime in the early 1990s. By liberalising the economy, it’s thought that the nation will be able to attract greater levels of foreign investment. In somewhat poetic language, Lukashenko spoke of his plans to create an environment suitable for technological innovation earlier this month:

“All smart and intelligent people know what stability and order are… They’re all trying to reach that shore. We’re prepared to arrange a dock and even a harbour.”

The presidential decree will make it legal for citizens to participate in initial coin offerings, as well as for companies planning them to run their operations from Belarus. It will also legalise all cryptocurrency transactions, as well as giving those making them a tax break for the next five years.

In addition, provision is being made to allow companies relief from the often-confusing Belarusian legal system. Instead, they will partially be governed by English law. Denis Aleinikov, a partner at a Minsk-based law firm and main author of the law, spoke to Reuters about the hurdles foreign companies encountered, prior to the change in legislation:

“We regularly faced legal problems. When a Western company buys a Belarusian company they try to structure the deal outside Belarus… Investors don’t want to deal with Belarusian legislation.”

It’s hoped that the decree will provide a haven for fintech companies who are often trying to innovate in unsure legal climates around the world. The security provided by a friendly legislative will surely prompt greater innovation. This will be mutually beneficial to the companies, their employees, the industry at large, and the government of Belarus. Anton Myakishev of Microsoft Belarus elaborated:

“It gives the industry the possibility to make a leap forward in its development and allows foreign capital the possibility to come to Belarus and work in comfortable conditions.”