In today’s Recap, Marcello talks about a way of payment using an implant placed inside your hand; Bitcoin is now legal tender in the Central African Republic; More analysts are predicting a food shortage in 2023.
The Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin as its official currency, thus following El Salvador’s as the 2nd country to do so. Bitcoin was made legal tender after lawmakers voted unanimously to pass the bill legalizing the world’s largest cryptocurrency & other cryptos, according to the chief of staff of President Faustin-Archange Touadera. Bitcoin can now be used alongside the regional Central African CFA franc, a currency governed by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) used by 5 other nations.
More analysts are predicting a food shortage in 2023 based on what’s going on with Russia & Ukraine, because those 2 countries alone produce some 30% of the global wheat crop. Poor weather conditions in the United States, following Australia & Brazil both having experienced bad planting seasons, is only exacerbating the supply chain. Inflation is going to accelerate, with price hikes in foodstuffs only in the early stages at present.
Attempting to slow down the economy & subdue inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve has already raised interest rates by 25 basis points & is expected to raise rates by 50 basis points at each of its next 2 meetings in May & June with even more hikes forecast for the year. If in response to market conditions equity or housing prices drop by some 50%, it will be the ultimate destruction of wealth generated by 2 generations, because of this loss in asset accumulation.
Brazil’s Senate passes the country’s 1st bill governing cryptocurrencies this week, setting the stage for the creation of a regulatory framework for the country’s crypto industry. Still must be approved by the Chamber of Deputies & then signed off by President Bolsonaro to become law. Likely to occur by the end of 2022. The country’s executive branch will be responsible for formulating rules for crypto-assets & could either create a new regulator or delegate its power to the Securities & Exchange Commission or the Central Bank.
Europe could be pushed into recession if Russia’s gas squeeze widens, after Gazprom cut off flows to Bulgaria & Poland. Gas accounts for about 25% of the EU’s energy generation, & Russia typically supplies near 40% of the bloc’s natural gas imports. Europe faces concurrent economic shocks from the war in Ukraine & a surge in food & energy prices exacerbated by the conflict, which has raised concerns about stagflation meaning low economic growth & high inflation.
The Philippine capital Manila & several other coastal Asian cities are sinking almost 7X faster than the average sea level rise, says a study that calls for strict regulatory measures to reduce groundwater extraction, identified as a major cause for land subsidence, thus increasing the likelihood of flooding. Since 1993, sea level rise has been happening at a rate of around 3 millimeters per year, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, has decided to construct a $20.5B oil refinery & fertilizer complex in southern Nigeria, on a plot of swampland near 50% the size of Manhattan. He is employing the services of Devakumar Edwin, who helped him transform a small trading company into an industrial empire spanning the continent. Edwin had previously navigated some of the world’s most difficult business environments to build Dangote’s textile factories, flour mills, food plants & cement firms.
Elon Musk sold around $4B worth of Tesla; Eurozone inflation has hit a new record high; Russia’s gas is halted until agreement of payment in rubles; The world’s oldest person has died in Japan at the age 119.