On this podcast I speak about some news articles which have caught my eye in the last few days:
- Tesla refusing to take Bitcoin for environmental reasons
- Musk’s tweets about Bitcoin today which sent the coin falling.
- What does this say about the future of Bitcoin? Is it still just a speculation in terms of an asset class?
- There are more digital taxes being announced. This time India has announced that non-resident Indians (NRIs) could pay more taxes if they have digital businesses.
- Portugal opening up to UK tourists. Is it time to buy airline stocks?
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To give credit to the original authors I have copied the articles below
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk implied in a Twitter exchange Sunday afternoon that the electric vehicle maker sold or may sell the rest of its bitcoin holdings, sending the price of the cryptocurrency down.
- Musk has been a big supporter of cryptocurrencies, helping rally the prices of digital coins, including bitcoin, several times in the past year.
- Bitcoin dipped around 8% in the afternoon.
- A potential sale comes just days after Musk said the company planned to hold rather than sell the bitcoin it already has.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk implied in a Twitter exchange Sunday afternoon that the electric vehicle maker sold or may sell the rest of its bitcoin holdings, sending the price of the cryptocurrency down.
Bitcoin dipped around 8% to around $44,000 per coin.
A Twitter user who goes by @CryptoWhale said, “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him…”
Musk replied, “Indeed.”
A potential sale comes just days after Musk said the company planned to hold rather than sell the bitcoin it already has and intended to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk has been a big supporter of cryptocurrencies, helping rally the prices of digital coins, including bitcoin, several times in the past year. In an SEC filing in February, Tesla revealed that it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. The company later said it registered a net gain of $101 million from sales of bitcoin during the quarter, helping to boost its net profits to a record high in the first quarter.
However, Musk seems to have reversed course in recent weeks in favor of dogecoin, the meme-inspired cryptocurrency. Tesla last week also “suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin,” out of concern over “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining.” The price of bitcoin dropped about 5% in the first minutes after Musk’s announcement.
Musk has since been hitting back on Twitter against users who are critical of his cryptocurrency stance. Influential venture investor Fred Wilson, a founding partner of Union Square Ventures, tweeted Friday: “He’s playing games. It is hard to take anyone who does that seriously. I’ve lost enormous respect for him over the last year because of it.”
Wilson added, “Deep respect for what he does with his talents. Less for what he does with his tweets.”
Musk is also pushing further into dogecoin. His aerospace venture, SpaceX, announced last week it would accept dogecoin as payment to launch “DOGE-1 mission to the Moon.” His endorsements have helped boost the price of the coin, pushing acceptance among some traders.
Crypto exchange platform Coinbase has said it would offer the digital coin in the next six-to-eight weeks. Other popular trading platforms among retail investors, Robinhood and Binance, already allow users to trade dogecoin.
Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin due to climate change concerns, its CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet.
Bitcoin fell by more than 10% after the tweet, while Tesla shares also dipped.
Tesla’s announcement in March that it would accept the cryptocurrency was met with an outcry from some environmentalists and investors.
The electric carmaker had in February revealed it had bought $1.5bn (£1bn) of the world’s biggest digital currency.
But on Thursday, it backtracked on its previous comments.
“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Mr Musk wrote.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea… but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”
He also said the electric carmaker would not sell any of its Bitcoin, and intends to use it for transactions as soon as mining shifts to using more sustainable energy.
Market analysts see the move as an attempt by Tesla to assuage the concerns of investors who are focused on climate change and sustainability.
“Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues are now a major motivation for many investors. Tesla, being a clean energy-focused company, might want to work better in the environmental area of ESG,” Julia Lee from Burman Invest told the BBC.
“But a cynic might suggest that this is just another move by Elon Musk to influence the cryptocurrency market, as he has done on so many other occasions,” she added.
Elon Musk is hardly ill-informed when it comes to both technology and the environment. When I interviewed him in 2016 he spoke passionately about Tesla’s mission to make transport sustainable in the battle against the “existential threat” of climate change.
So it is somewhat surprising that he has only just woken up to the fact that Bitcoin is not exactly a green project. Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance runs a Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. Right now, it shows that the process of mining the cryptocurrency – which involves using vast amounts of computer processing power – uses more electricity each year than Malaysia or Sweden and is closing in on the annual consumption of Egypt.
Bitcoin enthusiasts insist that mining mainly involves renewable energy – in truth, the miners focus on whatever is cheapest and in China, where many of them are based, that is often electricity generated by coal.
When he announced his grand cryptocurrency plans back in February – and made Tesla’s chief financial officer “Master of Coin” – Elon Musk sparked a surge in the value of Bitcoin and the adoration of its fanatical devotees. Now with the price falling the chatrooms are full of the angry and disappointed – many of them sporting the glowing eyes Bitcoin avatar – accusing their former hero of betrayal.
A move which was hailed as signalling that Bitcoin was going mainstream has ended up showing just how volatile – and downright flaky – the whole cryptocurrency scene can be.
Last month, Tesla announced profits for the first three months of the year were $438m, up from $16m last year, boosted by sales of Bitcoin and environmental credits.
Mr Musk has been one of the world’s most high profile proponents of cryptocurrencies, often tweeting about Bitcoin and the once-obscure digital currency Dogecoin.
His tweets in recent months helped to turn Dogecoin, which was started as a social media joke, into the world’s fourth-biggest cryptocurrency.
What are the climate concerns around Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is created by miners using high-powered computers to compete against each other to solve complex mathematical puzzles.
It is an energy-intensive process that often relies on electricity generated with fossil fuels, particularly coal.
The dominance of Chinese Bitcoin miners and lack of motivation to switch from cheap fossil fuels to more expensive renewable energy sources could mean there are few quick solutions to the emissions concerns over Bitcoin.
China accounts for more than 75% of Bitcoin mining around the world, according to recent research.
The cryptocurrency’s carbon footprint is as large as one of China’s 10 largest cities, the study found.
That is because those Bitcoin miners tend to use electricity produced with fossil fuels, primarily coal, for most of the year, only shifting to renewable energy, mostly hydropower, during the rainy summer months.
Non-resident Indians (NRIs) undertaking transactions with Indian parties will trigger taxability under the domestic law in India even if they do not have physical presence in the country and operate digitised businesses.
The central board of direct taxes (CBDT) has notified new rules for operation of business by NRIs under which any transaction over Rs2 crore (approx $27,100) in respect of any goods, services or property carried out by them with any person in India including provision of download of data or software in India, will attract tax in India.
The provisions of ‘significant economic presence’ (SEP) that becomes the base for taxability of NRIs in India will also apply if the number of users with whom systematic and continuous business activities are solicited (or who are engaged in interactions) exceeds 300,000.
The provisions of of SEP were introduced in the legislation in 2018 with an intent to tax NRIs operating digitised businesses which function without a physical presence. It meant that SEP of an NRI in India shall constitute a ‘business connection’ in India.
These provisions were further amended vide Finance Act, 2020 which defined SEP as transaction in respect of any goods, services or property carried out by an NRI with any person in India including provision of download of data or software in India, if the aggregate of payments arising from such transaction or transactions during the year exceeds a threshold or systematic and continuous soliciting of business activities or engaging in interaction with a defined number of users in India.
The new provisions are applicable with effect from financial year 2021-22 (FY21-22). . It had become fully functional now with CBDT notifying the thresholds for triggering SEP and consequently tax liability in India. According to PwC(PricewaterhouseCoopers), the Central government has now made it clear that economic presence in India by NRIs is not limited only to the physical presence in India but also includes a virtual establishment. But NRIs could offset the taxability under these provisions by exploring taking relief under Double taxation avoidance agreements.
Portugal will allow tourist flights from European Union countries with low infection rates and from the UK, but passengers must show a negative coronavirus test on arrival, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
The announcement came a day after the Portuguese tourism authority gave the green light to UK tourists to enter the country from Monday. read more
In a statement, it said the ban will be lifted on European countries with less than 500 cases of infections per 100,000 people.
Tourists from Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are also allowed to start flying to Portugal.
Visitors will have to show proof of a negative test taken up to 72 hours before a flight and airlines will be fined between 500 euros ($607) and 2,000 euros for each passenger who boards without presenting proof of a negative test.
Portugal currently only allows essential flights for professional, study, family reunion, health or humanitarian reasons.
Travellers from countries where 500 or more cases per 100,000 people have been reported over a 14-day period can only enter Portugal if they have a valid reason, such as for work or healthcare. Arrivals must then quarantine for 14 days.
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In the article below, taken from my online Quora answers, I spoke about:
- Is 45000 GBP a sufficient salary for an family expat of three to live comfortably in London?
- What is the best and worse of British culture, including from a financial perspective and attitudes to success?
- Is Korea more expat friendly than China?
- What is it like to emigrate to many countries in your life?
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