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Is Bitcoins energy usage negative news for Tesla?


This week in fintech

February 15 · Issue #47 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

Also: 🇳🇴 Norwegian e-krone? 💩 Reveal Bullshit ✌️ How a financial statement should look 📈 GME - Robinhood continued 🏴‍☠️ The pirate problem

⚡️ Bitcoins energy usage and Tesla
Tesla’s purchase of Bitcoin has led to frantic activity in the cryptocurrency. Extraction of Bitcoin now uses more electricity than the whole of Norway combined. Bloomberg calls Bitcoin an incredible dirty business, but gets called out on their calculations by experts in the field: “Bitcoin’s energy footprint is highly transparent, due to the accessible and highly integrated nature of the system”, but it’s harder to calculate the footprint of traditional currencies and the financial sector.
Yassine Elmandjra, a Cryptoasset analyst at ARK Invest, actually goes as far as calling Bitcoin mining a net positive for the environment:
Stephen Diehl argues otherwise: “[Euro is] actually used as an effective medium of exchange that enables millions of Europeans to live their lives. What can bitcoin do? A pitiful 7 transactions per second for some unclear speculative purpose. The ratio of utility to waste of bitcoin mining is a singularly wasteful human activity that serves only to enrich a tiny set of colluding insiders in advanced economies.”
The interesting problem that arises when Tesla invests money in Bitcoin is what does ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)-investors do? Can Tesla now exist in an ESG portfolio?. What does this mean for Google, Microsoft and Apple that has promised to be carbon neutral in a few years? Will the energy-use make them stay away from crypto-currencies forever?
🇳🇴 Norwegian e-krone?
The emergence of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and especially stable-coins, pushes central banks to look closer at central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The establishment of global private currencies (like Diem), where private actors guarantee value, is something the central banks are not overly happy about. “If digital currencies are needed, central banks should be the ones to issue them,” Agustín Carstens from Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has said. About 80% of the central banks in the world are looking at CBDC. China has already started with their Central Bank Digital Currency already in use, and Sweden has started a pilot. The central bank of Norway’s is still thinking through how the Central Bank Digital Currency should be designed. Shifter has done a deep dive in the different alternatives with the Deputy Governor of Norway’s central bank, Ida Wolden Bache.
💩 Reveal Bullshit
If there is one thing I dislike, it’s marketing speak making the text unreadable because of unnecessary jargon or company speak. This week I tried to read Nasdaq’s tech trends for 2021 and fell short for this reason. Try to read this in one go without stopping a few times: “The powerful combination of cloud, federated learning and homomorphic encryption could potentially overcome regulatory and other barriers to sharing and analyzing data for purposes such as fighting financial crime and improving market integrity”. In this case, I have a fun bookmarklet I like to run, called Bullshit.js, that reveals potential bullshit terms in a text. Try it out, it’s quite fun and might lead to better, more understandable writing!
Nasdaqs tech trends with Bullshit.js turned on
Nasdaqs tech trends with Bullshit.js turned on
✌️ How a financial statement should look
Adyen, the Dutch payment company, delivered a smoking hot financial statement last week. Both in terms of results (H2 Net revenue +28% YoY), but it also sets the mark on how a financial statement report should look. Look at this Sankey diagram to explain their total revenue in one beautiful chart:
📈 GME - Robinhood continued
If you write a newsletter that covers tech and finance, you kinda have to write about Gamestop / WSB / Robinhood Patric McCormick 
Well, we did two weeks ago, pointing to the best writing we’ve found. But what has happened since? As the GameStop stock fell in price, so did the news and the reports about it. Patric McCormick from Not Boring has written an engaging read on why the GameStop situation was inevitable given how Robinhood built and incentivized itself. Interestingly enough, he compares Robinhood to Uber and Napster when he’s writing about where Robinhood is going forward.
🏴‍☠️ The pirate problem
What do pirates have in common with GameStop and large Hedge funds? Alex Danco introduces the Pirate Problem: a riddle of how the little, disadvantaged pirates can gain leverage over the big, senior pirates. It’s a fun read on market economics, influence, and power hidden behind a pirate-riddle.
🙏 Don’t keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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