FirstFT: EU should ban power-intensive crypto mining mode, says regulator
Hello. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Sign up for our Asia, Europe/Africa or Americas edition to get it delivered straight to your inbox every weekday morning
A top EU financial regulator has renewed calls for a block-wide ‘ban’ on the main form of bitcoin mining and has sounded the alarm over the growing proportion of renewable energy going into the minting of cryptocurrencies.
Erik Thedéen, vice-president of the European Securities and Markets Authority, told the Financial Times that bitcoin mining has become a “national problem” for his native Sweden, and warned that cryptocurrencies pose a risk to achieving the climate change goals in the Paris agreement.
Thedéen said European regulators should consider banning a mining method known as “proof of work” and instead push the industry towards the less energy-intensive “proof of stake” model to reduce mining. mains energy.
Bitcoin and ether, the two largest cryptocurrencies by volume, rely on a proof-of-work model, which requires all participants in the blockchain’s digital ledger to verify transactions. Miners, who use sprawling data centers filled with fast computers to solve intricate puzzles, are rewarded for recording transactions with newly minted coins.
This requires much more energy than the proof-of-stake model, where the number of parties signing transactions is much smaller.
Five other stories in the news
1. Goldman Sachs chief warns of ‘wage inflation everywhere’ David Solomon told the FT that “there is no doubt that inflationary pressures around pay have had an impact” as a sharp increase in spending hit the Wall Street bank’s fourth quarter profits. Goldman reported net income of $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $4.36 billion a year ago.
2. Bundesbank warns German lenders of soaring property prices German banks are becoming complacent about the risk of borrower default and the potential for higher interest rates, central bank vice president Claudia Buch told the FT, adding that banks emerged relatively unscathed from the crisis. coronaviruses and overly optimistic.
3. The Cabinet forced the BBC’s licensing fees down Chancellor Rishi Sunak led a cabinet pushback against calls by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries to scrap BBC licensing fees from 2027. UK government insiders said Sunak argued that there had been no proper cabinet discussion of whether the license fee should be replaced before Dorries announced the funding tightening.
4. Average UK earnings are falling despite labor shortages The UK labor shortage worsened at the end of 2021, with vacancies hitting a record high, but average earnings started to fall as inflation outpaced wage growth. Official data on Tuesday showed unemployment fell to 4.1% in the three months to November, 0.1 percentage point above its pre-pandemic rate.
5. Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard for $75 billion Microsoft has agreed to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard in the tech company’s biggest ever deal. Microsoft said the acquisition, which will pay Activision shareholders a 45% premium over last week’s closing price, will fuel its move into the metaverse amid a rush to digital entertainment dominance.
Summary of coronavirus
Boris Johnson will embark on a fight for political survival on Wednesday announcing a lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in England as Tory MPs claimed they were close to triggering a vote of no confidence.
A third of American companies surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in hong kong said they struggled to move into leadership positions, another sign of the impact of strict travel restrictions on businesses.
The city will also slaughter more than 1,000 hamsters and quarantine 150 pet store visitors on suspicion of animal-to-human transmission.
Humanitarian efforts to help Tonga after a volcanic eruption have been complicated by the South Pacific nation’s determination to keep its number of confirmed Covid-19 cases to one.
Countries with high exposure to Omicron variant report record high admissions of children to hospital, although health experts point out that serious cases in young people are rare.
The day ahead
US bank profits Morgan Stanley and Bank of America will release their fourth quarter results today. Further updates are expected from BHP Billiton, Procter & Gamble, ASML, Burberry and Alcoa.
EU Presidency Emmanuel Macron will address the European Parliament after France takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Ukrainian tensions Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after talks last week between Washington, Moscow and NATO reached an ‘impasse’.
UK economic data UK inflation is expected to hit a 30-year high when December data is released as upward cost pressures are felt across the economy.
What else we read
Facebook patents reveal how it plans to profit from the metaverse Pupil movements, body poses and frowns are among the flickers of human expression that Meta wants to reap in building its Metaverse, according to an FT analysis of dozens of patents, a company analyst said. compared to a “global human cloning program”. .
What we know about Evergrande’s ‘black box’ restructuring The crisis of Evergrande, the world’s most indebted real estate company, hit a major milestone in December when it officially defaulted after months of late payments. But the rest of the saga could take years to unfold.
Cities on screen Monuments are never part of the story, especially in London, a city too gigantic and chaotic to be summed up in a postcard. London’s most evocative films don’t just offer a physical panorama, writes Danny Leigh: they add up to a snapshot of the soul of the city.
Gen Z patriots are fueling China’s jewelry boom Young, patriotic and affluent members of Gen Z are leading substantial pandemic growth in jewelry retail sales, with their willingness to spend big on national brands and “Chinese chic” pieces fueling the jewelry industry. $69 billion.
Business leaders need to play a better political role Like it or not, business leaders are powerful actors in our fragile democratic politics, and they must play this role in a decent and responsible way, writes Martin Wolf.
Now that the headlines from last year’s COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow have faded, you might think attention to the planetary havoc has drifted. That’s not the case in the publishing world, where 2022 has started with an absorbing crop of environmental books on everything from the polar vortex to veganism and, of course, global warming.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget you can add FirstFT to myFT. You can also choose to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning on the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to [email protected]
Newsletters recommended for you
EuropeExpress — Your essential guide to what matters in Europe today. register here
The week ahead — Start each week with an overview of what’s on the agenda. register here