Bitcoin nearly crossed $ 50,000 over the weekend, and our big read on cryptocurrency predicts a 350 percent increase over the past 12 months.

Driving the price up last week was Tesla’s discovery that $ 1.5 billion was spent on Bitcoin. Then, on Thursday, BNY Mellon – America’s oldest bank – announced it would hold and transfer cryptocurrencies for asset management customers, while Mastercard announced it would soon support “select cryptocurrencies” on its network so more businesses could accept them as payment.

However, analysts and investors say the main driver behind Bitcoin’s recent surge has been fears that the central bank’s incentives to cushion the economic damage from Covid-19 will ultimately boost inflation. The hope of its proponents is that Bitcoin will now go mainstream. “We may be facing the birth of a new asset class,” argues Duncan MacInnes, fund manager at Ruffer, a traditional, conservative British investment group that raised its eyebrows last year when it staked $ 600 million on Bitcoin.

As for his opponents, Jonathan Ford argues in Inside Business that, as a cheerleader for Bitcoin, Elon Musk is an idiocy about the environmental impact of its manufacture. Bitcoin miners are not interested in intermittent renewables, he says. Many have to run their machines around the clock and work in places with cheap coal electricity.

In her latest column, Rana Foroohar says the rise of Bitcoin can be seen as an early signal of a new world order in which the US and the dollar will play a less important role.

This is the conviction of some parts of the investor community that US monetary policy after 2008 to stabilize the markets will give way to a post-Covid monetization of rising US debt burdens. With the U.S. government selling so much debt that the dollar is depreciating in value, Bitcoin could potentially be a safe haven.

The Internet of (five) things

1. Apple also spoke to Nissan
Apple has reached out to Japan’s Nissan in the past few months to liaise with its secret autonomous car project. However, we have found that the conversations are no longer active. The discussions were not pushed to the management level after the departments about the branding of the electric vehicles of the iPhone manufacturer. Apple recently stopped talks with the South Korean company Hyundai Motor and its subsidiary Kia.

2. EU News – UK dates OK, Big Tech under French Cosh
In Brussels, the flow of data is to continue to flow freely from the EU to the UK after it has been determined that the British have ensured an adequate level of protection for personal data after Brexit. France is also pushing for upcoming EU rules on big tech to be changed to allow member states to wield more power to punish bad behavior and monitor more types of content.

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3. US begins with the arm probe
The EU is preparing an investigation, and now the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has launched an in-depth review of Nvidia’s proposed acquisition of SoftBank’s chip designer Arm, to put it at the forefront of a series of investigations around the world. Qualcomm is seen as one of the companies to complain that Arm could lose its “Swiss” status if rival Nvidia hits the deal.

4. SoftBank’s OakNorth has default settings
OakNorth, the SoftBank-backed UK lender that once boasted a perfect credit record, has suffered nearly £ 100m in defaults largely due to sour loans to property developers. In Asia, authorities are pushing for digital lenders to curb a sector that has little control in credit-hungry major economies like India and Indonesia.

5. Zynga goes high with high heels!
Zynga made a name for itself with FarmVille, which was played on Facebook on a PC, but boss Frank Gibeau explains to Patrick McGee that it is now launching new cross-platform games that can be played together on mobile devices and consoles. The latest hit is the number one iPhone app, High Heels !, in which users strut around obstacles in absurdly high platform shoes to earn awards like “Queen!”.

Tech week ahead

Monday: Australian MPs today started debating landmark laws to protect tech giants such as Google and Facebook pay for messages.

Tuesday: Palantir, The Silicon Valley-based data analytics company, which was listed last year, reports its December quarter results before opening in New York.

Wednesday: Result from China’s largest search engine provider Baidu are expected to benefit from an increase in advertising revenue on the central search platform as well as an increase in subscribers to the Netflix-like video streaming service. An increase in online traffic should give the e-commerce giant a boost Shopify. The People’s Bank of China will end a week-long test with payments in digital currencies. So far worth over 100 million digital yuan was exhibited and used in cities such as Shenzhen and Suzhou.

Thursday: A recovery in demand for semiconductor equipment should drive sales Applied materials. Two of Wall Street’s top hedge fund managers are due to testify alongside the executives of Reddit and Robin Hood at a US Congress hearing on the market upheaval associated with trading GameStop shares. Keith Gill, the dealer known as “Roaring Kitty” who turned out to be one of the main players in GameStop trading, is also due to appear.

Technical tools – LG grams

I was impressed by the incredible lightness of the LG gram laptop despite a 17-inch screen and 20 hours of battery life when I tried it in 2019. LG just announced that its 2021 gram range is now available in the UK and US. The five new models all have slim bezels, large screens with an aspect ratio of 16:10 instead of the usual 16: 9 screens. The 17-inch models are £ 1,399, the 16-inch models are £ 1,249 and the 14-inch models are £ 1,149. The keyboard and touchpad have been enlarged for easier typing. The 14-inch model weighs less than 1 kg and has a claimed battery life of 25.5 hours. From March, there will also be 2-in-1 versions with 360-degree hinges and a pin (16 “and 14”) (£ 1,599 and £ 1,499).