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Bitcoin futures start with a bang as gain trips circuit breakers
Four hours after the debut of Cboe Global Markets's bitcoin futures, the contracts climbed more than 20% and triggered two trading halts designed to cool volatility. Until now, trading in bitcoin was driven mainly by individual investors who were willing to risk buying on mostly unregulated markets. The exchange imposes circuit breakers to curb volatility, halting transactions for two minutes if prices rise or fall 10%.
Bitcoin brings crypto to Wall Street
Bitcoin has landed on Wall Street, and it was welcomed by traders. Cboe Global Markets started letting people buy and sell bitcoin futures on Sunday evening. As of 20:11 New York time, contracts expiring in January were priced at $16 300, or about 4.5% higher than bitcoin itself, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Once the markets are better established, professional traders will arbitrage between the Cboe and CME futures and bitcoin itself, improving pricing efficiency, Aslam said.
Potatoes for peace: how the humble tuber stopped conflict in Europe
The introduction of potatoes and the resultant increase in productivity dramatically reduced conflict both within and between states for some two centuries, it says. The researchers, who examined 2 477 battles fought in 899 wars over a 500-year period, drew two key conclusions. The first is linked to the declining value of land on which potatoes are grown. According to the study, the value of the land on which potatoes were grown fell with advances in productivity.
'Go home' drone seeks to stop Japan overtime binge
The drone is equipped with a camera, which stores footage on an SD card. Taisei plans to start the T-Frend service in April in collaboration with drone system developer Blue Innovation and telecoms operator NTT East. T-Frend therefore serves the twin function of reducing overtime and making up for this labour shortage, the firms claimed. Every year in Japan, long working hours are blamed for dozens of deaths due to strokes, heart attacks and suicides.
Gift Guide: Obliterate your Christmas bonus on these tech gadgets
Johannesburg - With Christmas fast approaching and payday coming soon as well, what better way to blow it than on unnecessary tech gadgets to make friends and family green with envy. This year was a great year for tech with the launch of numerous new cool electronics, not to mention the falling price of older gadgets. Numerous smartphones were launched, bringing with them nostalgia and pure amazement at the advances made in mobile technology.
Trust in Danish bank's wealth manage robot
In just over half a year, Danske Bank A/S has attracted 11 500 clients to an investment service provided by a robot. Denmark's biggest financial firm now hopes the project will help it expand its wealth management operations. It targets retail clients and small businesses that normally wouldn't have the resources to work out what to do with their surplus cash. About 10 minutes later, June provides a recommendation on which of five funds to invest in, based on an algorithm.
Fitch: SA confidence rebound harder with Dlamini-Zuma
South Africa's weak business confidence is less likely to rebound if former African Union Commission chair and President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is elected as leader of the ruling African National Congress, Fitch Ratings says. It would take a lot of work from Dlamini-Zuma to bring that back, Fitch analyst Jan Friederich said in an interview in London on Friday. Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa are the front-runners to succeed Zuma as leader of the ANC at the party's elective conference that starts on December 16.
Apple to buy music recognising app Shazam
Apple is in talks to buy the popular song recognition app Shazam as the tech giant tries to compete with streaming leader Spotify, TechCrunch reported on Friday. Since its founding in 1999, Shazam has offered a high-tech solution to listeners' longtime agony over not recognising music on the radio or in bars, letting users identify songs through their phones' microphones. Shazam, which is based in London, said last year that it had reached one billion downloads on smartphones.
OUTA concerned about new Eskom board
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) says more change in the new Eskom board would have provided better hope of a turnaround in the entity. The organisation in a statement commended the two new appointments, but says it is concerned about the retention of the seven members of the interim board, particularly the three from the previous board. Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown announced the new Eskom board on Friday.
Markus Jooste: High life, big fall
This week, Jooste became the face of what has been called the largest corporate scandal to ever hit South Africa. In two days, the company lost R194bn of its value after German investigators began probing the company for accounting fraud. Jooste bought the property, on prime land worth millions of rands, and sent in a bulldozer to knock it down. In the meantime, Jooste has designed and begun building another dream house right next to the sea in Hermanus.
There's cash in that crowd
Funding, or lack thereof, is a key obstacle to getting business ideas and projects off the ground. Instead of chasing banks, venture capitalists and angel investors, more and more businesses are going the crowdfunding route. Earlier this year, Modjaji Books in Cape Town decided to publish a book celebrating South Africa's most inspiring women. Modjaji's journey is just one of the countless crowdfunding campaigns that have been conceptualised in South Africa in recent years.
Fixing the banking sector one loose bolt at a time
He looks, walks and dresses nothing like a corporate honcho who runs one of the fastest-growing mutual banks in the country. The Alberton-born reigning Absip CEO of the Year and VBS Mutual Bank CEO has earned himself a reputation as a banking mechanic. At the time there were less than 700 black CAs in the country, so we were in high demand. With the country's power outage crisis and banks being tightfisted, VBS made a killing funding Eskom suppliers with purchase orders.
Steinhoff hits junk as R282bn in value is lost
The troubles at Steinhoff have rattled the company's 130 000 employees, who fear losing their jobs. This week, Steinhoff announced that new information had come to light relating to accounting irregularities, requiring further investigation. Ratings agency Moody's reacted by downgrading Steinhoff by four notches from the last rung of investment grade to four notches into junk status. Steinhoff started out in South Africa in the 1990s, and aggressively expanded to other parts of the world, especially Europe.
Barbrook rescue plagued by fraud concerns
Creditors of Mpumalanga's Barbrook Mine have reported business rescue practitioner Rob Devereux to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), citing concerns over fraud and reckless trading. Barbrook creditors are owed more than R30 million, while Lily Mine creditors are owed R88 million. We have reported Devereux to the CIPC for his conduct - and also the directors for fraud, Koch said. The creditors want Devereux to explain why he said that no fraud or reckless trading was undertaken by Barbrook's directors.
How IDC was forced to invest in Oakbay
Alast-minute, hand-written amendment to a contract forced the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to trade R256 million for now-worthless shares in the Gupta family's Oakbay Resources and Energy at inflated prices in 2014. The revelation of this contract finally solves the mystery of why the IDC paid so much for Oakbay shares. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel announced two weeks ago that the IDC would reclaim the money - and give Oakbay back the shares.
Spazapp aims for a Cape expansion drive
Spazapp enables informal shop owners to lower their costs considerably through its bulk-buying technology and value-added services, says Strang. By the end of 2018, Spazapp would like to reach as many as 20 000 informal stores. Spazapp represents the brands of five major companies: hair products company Amka and fast-moving consumer goods companies Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Tiger Brands and Philip Morris. The entire Spazapp operation is supported by service agents called sparks, who help sign up new informal shopkeeper clients.
Steinhoff seeks to defuse accounts crisis with new committee
He will be joined by Steve Booysen, an ex-head of lender ABSA and the chair of Steinhoff's audit and risk committee. The trio is completed by Heather Sonn, a former investment banker and a Steinhoff board member for four years. Steinhoff on Friday postponed an annual meeting with bankers in London by eight days to December 19, citing a lack of financial information to discuss. Banks also are exposed to Steinhoff through loans provided to chairperson Christo Wiese's investment vehicles.

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