DIN­NER PARTY IN­TEL...

The top­ics you have to be able to dis­cuss this week

Financial Mail - - BETWEEN THE CHAINS BY SIKONATHI MANTSHANTSHA -

1. Bankers feel threat­ened

News site Coingeek.com claims global banks are try­ing to sully the rep­u­ta­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies to re­store the “nor­mal sta­tus quo of eco­nomics”. It says bit­coin could be un­der threat be­cause the bank­ing sec­tor — which is feel­ing threat­ened by changes in the sec­tor — is ped­dling fake news.

The price of an­other cryp­tocur­rency, ethereum, has al­ready fallen dra­mat­i­cally, fol­low­ing a se­ries of news ar­ti­cles. A news story in June falsely claimed ethereum co­founder Vi­ta­lik Bu­terin had died in a car crash.

“Ramp­ing up mil­i­tary hys­te­ria in such con­di­tions is sense­less . . . It could lead to a global, plan­e­tary catas­tro­phe and a huge loss of hu­man life. There is no other way to solve the North Korean nu­clear is­sue, save that of peace­ful di­a­logue.” Vladimir Putin, Rus­sian pres­i­dent

2. Happy meal re­de­fined

Fast food con­sumers in China can now pay for their din­ner by flash­ing a smile. Alibaba’s Ant Fi­nan­cial and KFC in Hangzhou have teamed up to in­tro­duce a “smile to pay” ser­vice. Af­ter plac­ing their or­der, pa­trons smile at a KFC self­serve screen and a 3D cam­era will scan their face to ver­ify their iden­tify.

The plan is part of Alibaba’s e-com­merce vi­sion. It re­cently launched a cash­less store, and it op­er­ates 10 stores in Shang­hai which are struc­tured around the use of a mo­bile app.

3. Bid­ding oil (a grad­ual) good­bye

Den­mark, a world leader in wind en­ergy pro­duc­tion, plans to sell its last oil com­pany. But the Nordic na­tion will still rely on oil to fund its tran­si­tion to clean en­ergy for quite a while longer. Ship­ping firm AP Moller-maersk is sell­ing its oil and gas divi­sion — once con­sid­ered a strate­gic as­set — to To­tal for Us$7.45bn. Three months ago Dan­ish firm Dong En­ergy sold its oil busi­ness for $1.3bn.

Den­mark has pledged to com­pletely wean it­self off fos­sil fu­els by 2050.

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