Cyprus Tax, Facts & Figures 2016

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published their annual Cyprus tax, facts and figures brochure for the year 2016. It is a handy document to send to friends abroad who are interested in moving to Cyprus or starting a business here.

One thing that I found ironic in this document was the example they used for personal taxation (page 7-8 in the English PDF).  The example is for someone with a monthly salary of 5,885 EUR and additional income from rent, etc – a total income of 75,620 EUR per annum.  Looking at the average salary in European Union, Cyprus shows 1,833 EUR per month in 2014 and 1,574 EUR per month in 2015.

I hope PwC predicts a huge spike in average salaries in 2016.  That would be nice …

America is full of high-earning poor people

poor rich

America is full of high-earning poor people” is an interesting article, with lots of charts and statistics, on how poor even high earning households are in America.  The problem is, of course, not unique to the United States.

The fact that the average upper-middle-class household has just $12,200 in non-pension financial wealth is disturbing. Even worse, within that group, about 25% of the higher earning population had only $3,200 in 2013. It’s no wonder one quarter of all American households couldn’t come up with $2,000 if they faced an emergency—it’s not just low earners.

Startup Metrics

The $4 billion venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is sharing some of the startup metrics that they use (part 1, part 2).  Here they are just for the overview, follow through to the blog posts for details:

  1. Bookings vs. Revenue
  2. Recurring Revenue vs. Total Revenue
  3. Gross Profit
  4. Total Contract Value vs. Annual Contract Value
  5. Life Time Value
  6. Gross Merchandise Value vs. Revenue
  7. Unearned or Deferred Revenue and Billings
  8. Customer Acquisition Cost (Blended vs. Paid, Organic vs. Inorganic)
  9. Active Users
  10. Month-on-Month Growth
  11. Churn
  12. Burn Rate
  14. Cumulative Charts vs. Growth Metics
  15. Order of Operations
  16. Total Addressable Market
  17. Annual Recurring Revenue
  18. Average Revenue Per User
  19. Gross Margins
  20. Sell-Through Rate and Inventory Turns
  21. Network Effects
  22. Virality
  23. Economies of Scale
  24. Net Promoter Score
  25. Cohort Analysis
  26. Registered Users
  27. Sources of Traffic
  28. Customer Concentration Risk

There are also some tips and tricks on charts and data presentation, like truncating the Y-axis.  Here is an example:

truncating y-axis

Overall, quite a bit of useful information for analysis of different startups.  No wonder their portfolio is so impressive!

P.S.: Love the creative approach to the domain name as well … (16 letters between A and Z in the company name Andreessen Horowitz, minus a space).

Billion dollar club

billion dollar club

The Wall Street Journal compiles a list of venture-back private companies, valued at $1 billion or more.  There’s a table with the list of 120+ companies and an interactive chart to navigate it.

Note: This chart only includes companies that are privately held, have raised money in the past four years and have at least one venture-capital firm as an investor. Excluded from this list are companies that were majority-controlled by an institutional investment firm at one point. Only valuations confirmed by VentureSource or The Journal are included, based on direct investments, not secondary deals.


iFX EXPO International 2014

iFX EXPO International 2014

About iFX EXPO

  • The largest financial B2B convention
  • Over 500 FX & Binary Brokers
  • Over 1,500 senior executive attendees
  • Over 70 exhibitors from around the world
  • Speakers from the industry’s largest firms
  • Socialize with the industry’s leading executives
  • Meet international affiliates & introducing brokers
  • Learn industry trends and new developments
  • Attend panels and lectures from leading firms

The University of Nicosia launches the Bitcoin course

The University of Cyprus launches the Bitcoin course



THE University of Nicosia (UNIC) has launched a six week, free and open enrolment online course called “Introduction to Digital Currencies”, aimed at anyone wishing to gain a greater understanding of the fundamentals of bitcoin and digital currency in general.

The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is due to start on May 15, with other sessions starting each month thereafter.

The Fifth Protocol

The Fifth Protocol

Cryptocurrencies are electronic cash, and as such, will be used by electronic agents to exchange value, verify contracts, and track identity and reputation. All of a sudden, the computing resources spent by the Bitcoin miners doesn’t seem wasted – it seems efficient, given that it can be used for congestion control and routing of other network resources.

Cryptocurrencies are an emergent property of the Internet – almost a fifth protocol in the Internet suite. If Satoshi Nakomoto did not exist, it would still be necessary to invent them. Someday, they will be used by the machines in our network, on our desk, in our garage, and in our pocket to exchange value and achieve consensus at blinding speeds, anonymously, and at minimal cost.

Central Bank of Cyprus says Bitcoin is dangerous. Really?

Mostly, I don’t really care what Central Bank of Cyprus  (CBC)thinks.  But sometimes, even I have to raise an eyebrow and say “Really?”.  So happened once again today, when I read this bit in Cyprus Mail:

The Central Bank (CBC) has said use of virtual currency bitcoin is extremely dangerous, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) said on Tuesday.

“Using any virtual money is extremely dangerous because they are not monitored by any authority, thus operating without control,” CNA said, quoting the CBC.

I can understand the dangers coming from the digital nature of Bitcoin – hackers getting control of your money, or breaking into your servers for some extra mining power.  But saying that it’s dangerous because it is not controlled by the government? That’s a bit too far.  Especially considering this year’s banking crisis in Cyprus.

In fact, if you look around for a second opinion, the Bank of America recently said that Bitcoin will be a serious competitor to cash.  The article on lists possibility of government regulation as one of the disadvantages to the new currency:

The risk of government regulation.

Bank of America says it is unlikely that the government will promote a new currency, especially one as suspect as Bitcoin. As the U.S. government is trying to figure out where Bitcoin fits into its tax and payment system, regulation of any kind would increase its transaction costs–offsetting one of its major benefits.