China restricts bitcoin mining and trading

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China has further reduced the potential of bitcoin by tightening restrictions on cryptocurrency mining and ordering banks to block crypto-related transactions. The news pushed the price of bitcoin down 10% to a two-week low today.

China’s central bank has warned several of its largest state-owned banks and Jack Ma’s Alipay to “investigate and identify” bank accounts facilitating cryptocurrency exchanges and block all related transactions, our office reports. from Beijing.

He had appealed to the Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank and ICBC, among others, to discuss “the provision of services for speculation in cryptocurrency transactions.” The regulator wants financial groups to identify and block all transfers to accounts held by cryptocurrency exchanges and other offshore intermediaries. The central bank is orienting citizens towards using its own digital currency, which it has started testing in large-scale pilot projects.

“Bitcoin trading in China will continue but become less liquid and spreads will increase,” said Leo Weese, co-founder of the Hong Kong Bitcoin Association. “People will limit themselves to chatting with their friends and the friends of trusted friends. “

Elsewhere, officials at all of China’s mining hubs have tracked Inner Mongolia and released new measures targeting bitcoin creators. Sichuan, a hydropower-rich province in southwest China, has ordered the 26 largest local mines to cease operations while an investigation is underway. Sichuan was seen as a place of last resort for mining operations expelled from provinces that depend on coal-fired power plants for electricity.

Meanwhile, the central banker overseeing the European Union’s development of a digital euro spoke to the Financial Times about its benefits. Fabio Panetta, a board member of the European Central Bank, told us it would strengthen consumer privacy and protect the eurozone from the “threat” of competing cryptocurrencies that could undermine the bloc’s monetary sovereignty.

The Internet of (five) things

1. The German regulator launches the Apple probe
The German antitrust watchdog has launched an investigation into whether Apple has established market dominance through its “digital ecosystem,” making it the fourth U.S. tech giant the agency has targeted this year. The Federal Cartel Office said on Monday it would examine whether Apple exerts market dominance through its integration of hardware products with digital services such as the App Store, iCloud or Apple Music. Meanwhile, EU digital and competition policy chief Margrethe Vestager has dismissed the idea that her upcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA) would only target US tech companies.

Daily Bulletin

#techFT brings you news, commentary and analysis on the big companies, technologies and issues shaping this fast-paced industry from specialists around the world. Click here to receive #techFT in your inbox.

2. Tech investor says UK is still in the 19th century
According to James Anderson, co-manager of Baillie Gifford’s Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, a ‘deep illness’ in UK capital markets has stifled the growth of local tech entrepreneurs and left London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 looking like a clue from the 19th century. His first bets on Facebook, Amazon and Tesla made him one of the most successful investors in the world.

3. Volvo and Northvolt will build a gigafactory
Volvo Cars and Northvolt will form a joint venture to build a massive new battery factory in Europe and develop power cells for the premium Swedish automaker and its all-electric sister brand Polestar. Northvolt, the great European battery prospect founded by former Tesla executives, is backed by investors such as Volkswagen and Goldman Sachs and valued at around $ 12 billion.

4. Malaysian mobile mega-merger
Malaysian Axiata and Norwegian Telenor have agreed to merge their mobile operations in the Southeast Asian country, creating a $ 12 billion entity that will seek to capture growing demand for digital services. The deal, announced on Monday, comes two years after the couple abandoned plans to merge regional operations in a deal that would have created Southeast Asia’s largest telecommunications operator.

5. Ackman Spac invests in music catalogs
A blank check company backed by hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman will buy a 10 percent stake in Taylor Swift’s label Universal Music Group for $ 4 billion. The deal is the first of its kind for a special acquisition company and comes as the value of music catalogs skyrockets.

Upcoming tech week

Monday: Activision Blizzard faces a controversial vote on its chief executive’s $ 155 million salary after delaying the showdown in what critics say was an effort to avoid an embarrassing reprimand.

Tuesday: AmazonThe two-day Prime balances are coming to an end.

Wednesday: New UK £ 50 banknote enters circulation and features Alain turing, one of the UK’s greatest scientists, on his birthday. Son of Masayoshi, SoftBank President and CEO, will address the company’s annual meeting amid growing calls for share buybacks after the company reported net income of $ 45 billion for the year as of March 31 .

Thursday: Microsoft unveils its “next generation Windows” at an event presented by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and product manager Panos Panay.

Friday: Days after an independent investigation revealed that Toshiba executives agreed with Japan’s Ministry of Commerce to pressure shareholders over their votes at last year’s general meeting, investors will meet again to elect a new board of 11 directors .

Technical tools – Angell e-bike

The Angell electric bike has momentum, which seems appropriate given its design and French origins. It’s sleek, stylish and one of the lightest bikes in its class, weighing 15.9kg. I was able to test it recently and savored the ramp-up of its three assisted settings – the battery-saving Fly Eco, a standard Fly Dry mode and a Fly Fast for maximum assistance. The handlebars have built-in buttons that switch between these power modes and turn the left and right turn signals on and off as well as the front and rear lights. A central cockpit display connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and displays speed, battery life, time, distance, weather, and power settings.

I had some issues with the battery, which slips on a rear rack and sometimes disconnects while driving, unless I keep the key in it so that it is fully locked. If you leave the battery in the back for a few days while charging, the cockpit center console may lose its own charge and reduce assisted movements. I would also prefer a central smartphone holder rather than having both an Angell app and the console screen. Like other smart electric bikes, the Angel has the ability to send an SMS fall alert to a chosen contact, as well as automatic locking, motion detection and geolocation functions. This is another over £ 2,000 e-bike, costing £ 2,600, compared to the new Cowboy 4 at £ 2,290.

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