DINNER PARTY INTEL...
The topics you have to be able to discuss this week
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.