El Salvador will give every adult citizen $30 in bitcoin, provided they download and register the government’s cryptocurrency app, known as Chivo, according to President Nayib Bukele.
The nation’s 39-year-old president made the announcement late Thursday during a televised presentation where he tried to explain what will happen when El Salvador starts treating bitcoin as legal tender after Bukele’s so-called “Bitcoin Law” takes effect on September 7.
“What we are doing is encouraging the use of bitcoin and encouraging the use of this system, which is going to generate the multiplication of money in the economy,” President Bukele said on Thursday according to a machine translation of his speech from Spanish to English.
A big dose of fiscal support for the US economy will be withdrawn this week as more than 7.5m people lose pandemic-era jobless benefits, testing the strength of the economic recovery amid a resurgence of Covid-19. The expiration of extra federal unemployment payments highlights a shift in America’s policy response to the coronavirus crisis — away from emergency measures to support the labour market in favour of long-term changes to the safety net backed by US president Joe Biden. But the transition comes at an awkward time for the US economy and the Biden administration, with job growth slowing in August in response to the spike in coronavirus infections tied to the Delta variant, and fears rising of a more protracted slowdown if the pandemic does not abate.
Major crypto tokens are trading at their highest level since May. Bitcoin was changing hands at more than $50,000 on Sept. 4, an increase of 20% from a month ago, according to CoinDesk data. Ethereum has risen around 40% to more than $3,900 during that span.
The hard part is explaining why prices are so high. Crypto assets tend to be highly volatile, with prices that pingpong around on the latest speculation. Here are some developments that may have given the popular digital tokens a recent boost.
Saudi Arabia slashed the official selling prices (OSPs) for its oil exports to Asia in October more than expected in a move seen as the world’s largest crude exporter trying to keep and boost its market share while Asian fuel demand is recovering from a dip in recent weeks.
Saudi Aramco lowered its OSPs for the Asian markets for all the grades it sells. The cuts, the first in three months, range from $1.00 to $1.30 a barrel. Arab Light, the flagship crude grade of the Kingdom, will be selling in Asia at a $1.70 a barrel premium over the Oman/Dubai benchmark in October, after a massive $1.30 cut from the September price of $3.00 above Oman/Dubai, off which Middle Eastern exporters price their crude bound for Asia.
Sri Lankan government officials on Wednesday raided private warehouses to seize thousands of tonnes of sugar, a day after a state of emergency was declared over food shortages caused by a currency crisis.
A military officer put in charge of efforts to bolster food stocks said at least 13,000 tonnes of white and brown sugar were found in the raids.
“The objective is to prevent hoarding,” Major General Senarath Niwunhella, who was named commissioner general of essential services on Tuesday, told AFP.
The storms, floods, heat, and fires that have ravaged the US in 2021 have made the ongoing climate crisis feel especially acute for citizens across the country. And the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report indicates the escalating risks the world faces as the climate warms. In such a grim future scenario, where will be as safe and habitable as today?
Researchers looked at multiple factors from sea level rise to heat to assess the least risky place to live in the US as the climate warms. Nowhere will escape climate change unscathed. Yet one region emerged well ahead of the rest: the northeastern US.
A coalition of environmental groups called on Tuesday for this year’s climate summit to be postponed, arguing that too little has been done to ensure the safety of participants amid the continuing threat from COVID-19.
The Climate Action Network, which includes more than 1,500 organizations in 130 countries, said there is a risk that many government delegates, civil society campaigners and journalists from developing countries may be unable to attend because of travel restrictions. The UN climate conference, known as COP26, is scheduled for early November in Scotland.
“Our concern is that those countries most deeply affected by the climate crisis and those countries suffering from the lack of support by rich nations in providing vaccines will be left out of the talks and conspicuous in their absence at COP26,’’ said Tasneem Essop, the network’s executive director. “There has always been an inherent power imbalance within the UN climate talks and this is now compounded by the health crisis.’’
Increasingly, vaccination is no longer a matter of choice. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of workplaces and schools are instituting COVID-19 vaccine mandates, with more expected following formal FDA licensure of the vaccines. But mandating people and their children who have consciously chosen not to get vaccinated — a group that tends to be younger, less educated, Republican, non-white and uninsured — is a recipe for creating new and deeper fractures within our society, the kind of fractures we may profoundly regret in hindsight.