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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Green transition could leave tns of assets stranded + Fancy a holiday in BTCity?

The green transition could see companies lose tns in stranded assets, the Wall Street Journal reports, as the shift away from fossil fuels forces write-downs of everything from pipelines to power stations. At least USD 11.8 tn of assets globally could become worthless as rules are increasingly enforced to curb emissions, according to International Renewable Energy Agency data from 2019, with the energy industry accounting for USD 3.3 tn of that.

The transition-timing tightrope: While many big emitters have made net-zero or carbon-reduction pledges, the risk of write-offs has left some dragging their feet on fulfilling the targets. “Every CEO, and every board, wants to ensure that they don’t go to the future more rapidly than is warranted,” one sustainability consultant told the WSJ. But the longer we wait to curb the effects of climate change, the greater the risk of further losses as extreme weather events destroy other assets like houses, farms and infrastructure. Meanwhile, any drastic regulatory action — such as introducing a carbon tax that wipes out the value of fossil fuel reserves — could cause a “green swan” event that leads to a financial crisis, the Bank for International Settlements, a consortium of central banks, said last year.

Visa and Amazon are squabbling over transaction fees: Visa is accusing Amazon of punishing customers with its decision to stop accepting UK-issued Visa credit cards starting next year because of the company’s high transaction fees, reported the Financial Times. The e-commerce giant will continue accepting Visa debit cards, but is also considering ending its partnership with Visa for its co-branded US card, and has offered incentives to customers to use alternative payment methods in Singapore and Australia. Visa and Mastercard charge almost identical transaction fees in the UK, one payments firm claims, while a person familiar with the negotiations says interchange fees were just one issue between the company and Amazon. Both Visa and Mastercard have been accused of doubling their fees over the past two years, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Could the future be cardless? Merchants like Amazon are pushing to renegotiate transaction fees with their newfound leverage in a market where alternative, API-powered payment methods that bypass traditional card systems take hold, the FT writes. The UK Payment Systems Regulator is looking into interchange fees, and may take action to correct any identified issues, it said this month.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- El Salvador hopes to get ahead of crypto by building the world’s first BTC City, which will be funded by BTC-backed bonds, Reuters reports. The “fully ecological” circular BTCH city would be powered by a volcano in the eastern region of La Union, President Nayib Bukele said yesterday. The city will not levy any taxes except for VAT, which will be used to finance the bonds and basic municipal services, Bukele said. The initial bonds will be issued in 2022, with crypto exchanges Mow and Bitfinex listed as bookrunners. The Central American country became the first to adopt BTC as an official currency in September.

Apple is pushing to launch its electric self-driving car as soon as 2025, Bloomberg reported. The tech giant is shifting its focus from a more conventional EV to a fully self-driving vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals, according to sources close to the matter. The much-rumored automotive project which started around 2014 is now targeting a faster release than the five-to-seven-year timeline some engineers had expected. Apple supposedly finished much of the “core work” on the car’s processor. The iPhone maker’s stock rose to a new all-time high following the news, CNBC reported, closing up 1.7% and trading at USD 160.55 per share on Friday. Apple venturing into cars would put the company in competition with the world’s most valuable automaker Tesla, and EV newcomers like Lucid Motors and Rivian, whose stocks have seen strong investor interest.

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