Connect with us

Business

El Salvador to build cryptocurrency-fueled 'Bitcoin City' – Business News – Castanet.net

Published

 on


In a rock concert-like atmosphere, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced that his government will build an oceanside “Bitcoin City” at the base of a volcano.

Bukele used a gathering of Bitcoin enthusiasts Saturday night to launch his latest idea, much as he used a an earlier Bitcoin conference in Miami to announce in a video message that El Salvador would be the first country to make the cryptocurrency legal tender,

A bond offering would happen in 2022 entirely in Bitcoin, Bukele said, wearing his signature backwards baseball cap. And 60 days after financing was ready, construction would begin.

The city will be built near the Conchagua volcano to take advantage of geothermal energy to power both the city and Bitcoin mining — the energy-intensive solving of complex mathematical calculations day and night to verify currency transactions.

The government is already running a pilot Bitcoin mining venture at another geothermal power plant beside the Tecapa volcano.

The oceanside Conchagua volcano sits in southeastern El Salvador on the Gulf of Fonseca.

The government will provide land and infrastructure and work to attract investors.

The only tax collected there will be the value-added tax, half of which will be used to pay the municipal bonds and the rest for municipal infrastructure and maintenance. Bukele said there would be no property, income or municipal taxes and the city would have zero carbon dioxide emissions.

The city would be built with attracting foreign investment in mind. There would be residential areas, malls, restaurants and a port, Bukele said. The president talked of digital education, technology and sustainable public transportation.

“Invest here and earn all the money you want,” Bukele told the cheering crowd in English at the closing of the Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference being held in El Salvador.

Bitcoin has been legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar since Sept. 7.

The government is backing Bitcoin with a $150 million fund. To incentivize Salvadorans to use it, the government offered $30 worth of credit to those using its digital wallet.

Critics have warned that the currency’s lack of transparency could attract increased criminal activity to the country and that the digital currency’s wild swings in value would pose a risk to those holding it.

Bitcoin was originally created to operate outside government controlled financial systems and Bukele says it will help attract foreign investment to El Salvador and make it cheaper for Salvadorans living abroad to send money home to their families.

Concern among the Salvadoran opposition and outside observers has grown this year as Bukele has moved to consolidate power.

Voters gave the highly popular president’s party control of the congress earlier this year. The new lawmakers immediately replaced the members of the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court and the attorney general, leaving Bukele’s party firmly in control of the other branches of government.

The U.S. government in response said it would shift its aid away from government agencies to civil society organizations. This month, Bukele sent a proposal to congress that would require organizations receiving foreign funding to register as foreign agents.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

U.S. stock futures rise following Friday's omicron-sparked selloff – MarketWatch

Published

 on


U.S. stock futures rose late Sunday, following a steep selloff Friday sparked by fears of the global economic impact of a worrisome new strain of COVID-19.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
YM00,
+0.70%

gained about 230 points, or 0.7%, as of 9 p.m. Eastern. S&P 500 futures
ES00,
+0.92%

and Nasdaq-100 futures
NQ00,
+1.14%

also showed solid gains.

Crude oil futures also rebounded Sunday from a Friday plunge, with benchmark U.S. crude
CLF22,
+5.24%

and Brent crude
BRNF22,
+4.70%
,
the international benchmark, jumping roughly 4% higher.

On Friday, Wall Street suffered its worst day in more than a year amid growing concerns over the new omicron variant of COVID-19. The World Health Organization’s technical advisory group on Friday declared it a “variant of concern,” and a number of countries imposed flight bans from countries in southern Africa, where the variant was first discovered.

Little is known about omicron, but investors Friday braced for bad news.

Read: U.S. health officials urge caution, but not panic, over omicron variant

In a holiday-shortened session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-2.53%

slumped 905.04 points, or 2.5%, to 34,899.34, with the index logging its worst daily drop since Oct. 28, 2020, according to FactSet data. The S&P 500 
SPX,
-2.27%

 fell 106.84 points, or 2.3%, to 4,594.62, and the Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
-2.23%

 sank 353.57 points, or 2.2%, to 15,491.66.

“The pandemic and COVID variants remain one of the biggest risks to markets, and are likely to continue to inject volatility over the next year(s),” Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer and chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services, wrote in a Friday note. “It’s hard to say at this point how lasting or impactful this latest variant will be for markets.”

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Canada to Tap Maple Syrup Reserves to Combat Supply Crisis – TMZ

Published

 on


Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Canadians to get biggest drop in gasoline prices since 2009 over COVID variant fears – Yahoo Canada Finance

Published

 on


Canadians should experience the fastest drop in gasoline prices in nearly 13 years on Sunday as fears about a virulent new COVID-19 variant are expected to provide a break of 11 cents per litre at the pumps.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said the national average price could drop to about $1.32 per litre but begin to rise again midweek.

“(Sunday) represents the single largest decrease at the pumps we’ve seen going back to 2009,” he said in an interview.

Global crude oil prices plunged Friday over fears about a new COVID-19 variant called Omicron that prompted Canada to ban entry for foreign nationals who travelled through southern Africa.

The January crude oil contract fell 13.1 per cent or US$10.24 on Friday and currently stands at US$68.15 per barrel.

The decrease came as U.S. stock markets closed early Friday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Sunday and Monday are going to be the best days for Canadians to fill up, including British Columbia,” McTeague said

Even residents of flood-ravaged B.C. will save on the province’s high gasoline prices despite facing rationing because severe flooding has shut both the Trans Mountain pipeline and the province’s lone refinery.

Drivers of non-essential vehicles can only purchase up to 30 litres per visit to a gas station in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky area, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

East Coast residents won’t reap the immediate benefits of Sunday’s price drop because its regulated regional system averages price movements. That provides price predictability but blunts price discounts.

Despite the upcoming decrease, national gasoline prices have surged nearly 43 per cent in the past year as the reopening of the global economy from pandemic lockdowns prompted a recovery in crude prices.

McTeague suggested Canadians shouldn’t get too comfortable with the energy savings. He said prices are expectd to increase as OPEC and its allies, who are meeting on Monday, will likely refuse to increase production any further. Energy traders realize that Friday’s decrease was overdone and “flies in the face of fundamentals,” he added.

“My sense is that the decreases that we saw were a little exaggerated and overbought, and for that reason I think we might see a little bit more balance come back to the markets and fundamentals by Wednesday,” McTeague said.

“Unless there’s further unsettling news of greater and further lockdowns, I would expect that oil prices are probably going to recover US$3 to US$4 a barrel by Monday or Tuesday, which means by Wednesday or Thursday we could be looking at increases in the order of four or five cents a litre.”

McTeague said some gasoline savings will continue for a couple of weeks, but he foresees crude climbing back to about US$90 a barrel, which would translate into prices in Canada exceeding $1.50 per litre.

Impending carbon tax increases will further boost prices.

A tax of 2.5 cents per litre, including HST, will take effect on April 1, 2022. It will be followed in December by the clear fuel standard that will add another 18.1 cents per litre including HST, said McTeague.

Adding to the inflation pressure is the Canadian dollar which is less valuable than when it was at par the last time crude prices were around US$80. That reduces the purchasing power for all kinds of products, including energy and food.

The Canadian Automobile Association said that as of early Saturday morning, Manitoba had the lowest average pump price of $1.35/L, followed closely by Alberta at $1.377, while Newfoundland and Labrador was the highest at $1.583 with British Columbia at $1.558.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2021.

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending