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Crypto ranked as riskiest business

Crypto ranked as riskiest business
Crypto ranked as riskiest business


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Handling cryptocurrencies is the riskiest of businesses, according to the world’s most powerful banking standards-setter.

As moves to regulate the market accelerate, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision released a report on Thursday calling for cryptocurrencies to carry the toughest bank capital rules of any asset.

“The growth of crypto assets and related services has the potential to raise financial stability concerns and increase risks faced by banks,” it warned, citing market and credit risk, fraud, hacking, money laundering and terrorist financing risk.

It proposed a risk weight of 1,250 per cent, in line with the toughest standards for banks’ exposures on riskier assets. That would mean banks would in effect have to hold capital equal to the exposure they face, so a $100 exposure in bitcoin would result in a minimum capital requirement of $100. The standards would also apply to assets created for decentralised finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), but potential central bank digital currencies were outside the scope of its consultation, the committee said.

Some bankers have told us they feel the Basel proposals go too far. “We’ve all seen what happens when you drive activity out of a pretty well regulated system into the wild west . . . Do the regulators want the adults to do the business, or would they want the teenagers to do the business?” said one executive involved in crypto.

The industry is under pressure from its customers to get involved. The head of State Street’s new digital division told the FT the US custody bank was seeking to keep up with customers who had increased their crypto exposure by 300 per cent in the past two to three months.

Lex says custody banks occupy one of the stodgiest corners of Wall Street as providers of back-office services, giving their entry into the wild world of cryptocurrencies an incongruous look. While custodial fees earned for crypto may not be significant, the value in servicing digital assets may come from applying blockchain technology to streamline future financial transactions.

The Internet of (Five) Things

1. SoftBank helps Klarna to $46bn valuation
Klarna has boosted its valuation by 50 per cent to $45.6bn in just three months as the buy-now, pay-later company raised fresh capital from Japan’s SoftBank. The new valuation — up from $31bn in March and $11bn last September — cements the Swedish group’s status as Europe’s most valuable private fintech company.

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#techFT brings you news, comment and analysis on the big companies, technologies and issues shaping this fastest moving of sectors from specialists based around the world. Click here to get #techFT in your inbox.

2. Altice builds big BT stake
Altice, the telecoms investor controlled by billionaire Patrick Drahi, has bought a 12.1 per cent stake in BT worth £2bn, making it the British company’s biggest shareholder. Helen Thomas comments the arrival of a hard-charging, acquisitive billionaire in the register would unsettle many CEOs. But BT boss Philip Jansen, who also counts German incumbent Deutsche Telekom as a 12 per cent shareholder, is likely to welcome the attention.

3. Amazon facing UK antitrust probe
The UK’s competition watchdog is planning a formal investigation into Amazon, mirroring a continuing investigation by the EU, according to three people familiar with the situation. The Competition and Markets Authority may focus on whether the company favours merchants that also use its logistics and delivery services. Meanwhile, Josh Chaffin has profiled Prologis, whose almost 1bn sq ft of warehouses in 19 countries are the essential nodes of electronic commerce and home to tenants including Amazon and Walmart.

Line chart of Share prices and index rebased showing Prologis's stock surges on growing switch to online retail

4. JBS paid $11m ransom
The world’s largest meat processor JBS said it paid the equivalent of $11m in ransom “to prevent any potential risk for our customers” from last week’s hack of its IT systems. Check out our Big Read on the incident, while Hannah Murphy has an explanation of how the FBI’s Trojan Shield operation exposed a criminal underworld.

5. Down and out in Chinese tech 
A new generation of workers is demanding an end to harsh conditions at China’s tech giants. Forced ranking is just one recent flashpoint that has generated scrutiny as allegations of overwork, abuse and injury have become the subject of a heated national debate, writes Yuan Yang for FT Magazine.

Forwarded from Sifted — the European start-up week

German fintech Wajve raised fresh funding from Sweden’s EQT Ventures this week, hoping to become the go-to banking app for teens. The amount raised was only €5m, but it speaks to a trend of venture capitalists looking for the next hot fintech for the Gen Z market.
Others include Quirk, a new financial adviser app for youngsters, as well as Kard, Go Henry and Mitto. One gearing up to launch in the summer is XPO, an app targeting content creators — many of whom are under 22 — with a speedy invoice-financing solution.

Elsewhere in European start-ups this week, SoftBank launched its Emerge accelerator with the aim of increasing the diversity of the founders that the firm funds; Europe’s largest digital wealth manager Scalable Capital announced that it has raised a $180m Series E funding round, making it the sixth German fintech unicorn; and Lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt has raised a mammoth $2.75bn in fresh equity.

Tech tools — OnePlus Nord CE 5G

OnePlus’s Nord CE 5G (Core Edition) is an update to its midrange phone, and at a lower price — £299 in the UK, less than half the cost of its flagship OnePlus 9. It includes a 64MP triple camera system, 16MP selfie snapper, 6.43in 90Hz screen and a 4,500mAh battery, nearly 10 per cent larger than the original Nord. The Verge also notes a new processor and the addition of a headphone jack. The phone can be pre-ordered now and becomes available over the next 10 days.

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Panasonic insists Blue Yonder deal will help it meet software challenge

Panasonic insists Blue Yonder deal will help it meet software challenge
Panasonic insists Blue Yonder deal will help it meet software challenge


Panasonic has a chequered history in acquisitions but the Japanese conglomerate insists its $7.1bn purchase of Blue Yonder is worth the steep price as it will help address its biggest weakness in software capability. 

The sense of crisis driving Panasonic’s deal is pervasive across Japanese companies, which once thrived in the era of consumer electronics hardware. But they have struggled as global demand shifted to software and with the creation of huge technology companies such as Apple and Amazon.

In March, Hitachi agreed to buy GlobalLogic, a Silicon Valley software engineering company, for $9.5bn. 

“As everything becomes digital, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate through hardware,” Yasuyuki Higuchi, a Panasonic executive who heads its connected solutions business, said in an interview. “Naturally we have a real sense of crisis and we need to have software.” 

The former chief executive of Microsoft’s Japanese business oversaw talks to acquire Blue Yonder and has sat on the board of the US supply chain software company since Panasonic first acquired a 20 per cent stake last year. 

After announcing the deal on April 23, shares in the battery supplier for Tesla fell as much as 14 per cent. Investors baulked at the high price and questioned whether the Japanese group’s management would be able to manage such a large acquisition in a different industry. 

Panasonic struggled with its two big acquisitions: the 1990 purchase of MCA, then the owner of Universal Pictures, for $6.6bn and the ¥800bn takeover of smaller rival Sanyo Electric and another subsidiary in 2011.

Analysts have also questioned the benefits of more recent deals including its $1.6bn acquisition in 2015 of Hussmann, an American manufacturer of refrigerated display cases.

“We believe Panasonic has a weak track record especially when it comes to large deals,” Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal said in a recent report.

Higuchi argues that the Blue Yonder deal breaks from the past since it is an investment in a software company with predictable and stable revenues. The US supply chain specialist, which serves 3,000 companies including Coca-Cola and Walmart, generated $1bn in sales last year, of which 67 per cent were recurring revenues.

“With such a high recurring ratio, their revenue is mostly set like a utility,” Higuchi said. “We have also managed to retain the management so the success ratio is very high.” 

Still, analysts wonder what the two companies can do better with Panasonic’s full ownership that the Japanese company could not do with a 20 per cent stake. 

Blue Yonder’s enterprise value has jumped from $5.5bn a year ago to $8.5bn even though its revenue has remained mostly flat. Operating profit margin has fallen to 1.7 per cent from 10 per cent in the past three years.

Panasonic executives want to expand Blue Yonder’s client base in Japan and combine its hardware, such as security cameras and sensors, with the US group’s software to enhance supply chain management.

Putting aside the price, Citigroup analyst Kota Ezawa said the latest acquisition addressed some of the serious challenges faced by Panasonic. 

“They need a recurring business model, a large software asset and a gateway and distribution channel to do business out of Japan, so these were all things that were required to survive competition,” Ezawa said.

“So it fills a few of the gaps, but obviously this deal is not the entire answer to how Panasonic shifts to software and subscription services.”



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IT Ministry may issue FAQs on new social media rules in 1-2 weeks

IT Ministry may issue FAQs on new social media rules in 1-2 weeks
IT Ministry may issue FAQs on new social media rules in 1-2 weeks


New Delhi: The IT Ministry is likely to issue FAQs pertaining to the new intermediary rules in the next 1-2 weeks, a source said.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) would touch upon various aspects of the new rules, including the measures, how the norms would benefit users of social media platforms, and any other clarification that stakeholders may have.

The FAQs are currently being worked on and are likely to be issued in 1-2 weeks, the source in the IT Ministry said, adding that the set of FAQs would address 10-20 questions.

The new IT rules for social media companies, which came into effect last month, mandate large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake greater due diligence and make these digital platforms more accountable and responsible for the content hosted by them.

Under the rules, significant social media intermediaries — those with over 50 lakh users — are required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel have to be residents in India. Further, social media companies are required to take down flagged content within 36 hours and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for issues such as nudity and pornography.

Earlier this month, the government had given one last chance to Twitter to comply with the new rules and had issued a stern warning that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act.

Twitter recently lost its ‘safe harbour’ shield in India over non-compliance with IT rules and failure to appoint key personnel mandated under the new guidelines, despite repeated reminders, and the platform is now liable for users posting any unlawful content.

The IT Ministry had questioned Twitter over not providing information about the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the rules. Also, the resident grievance officer and nodal contact person nominated by the company is not an employee of Twitter Inc in India as prescribed in the rules, the ministry had earlier flagged.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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Xiaomi offers 'last day' discount of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2,000 on Mi Watch Revolve. Details here

Xiaomi offers 'last day' discount of  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2,000 on Mi Watch Revolve. Details here
Xiaomi offers 'last day' discount of  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2,000 on Mi Watch Revolve. Details here


Xiaomi India will soon launch the Mi Watch Revolve Active on Tuesday. Ahead of the launch, the company has slashed the price of Mi Watch Revolve. Xiaomi has announced a new price of 7,999 which is 2,000 lesser than the launch price of the smartwatch.

The Chinese company made the announcement of the price cut via its official Twitter handle. The most recent tweet stated, “Last day to grab this unbelievable offer on the #MiWatchRevolve. Now keep a check on your health around the clock. “

Xiaomi has not confirmed if the Watch Revolve will stop selling from Tuesday or just go back to the old selling price of 9,999.

The Mi Watch Revolve comes with a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 454×454 and a strap width of 22mm.

In terms of sensors, the watch gets

  • PPG Heart Rate Sensor
  • Three-Axis Acceleration Sensor
  • Gyroscope
  • Geomagnetic Sensor
  • Baraceptor
  • Ambient Light Sensor

For connectivity, the watch gets GPS, GLONASS and Bluetooth 5.0 BLE.

The Mi Watch Revolve comes with a 420 mAh battery which provides a standby time of up to 2 weeks, according to the company. The run time with GPS on is 20 hrs.

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Mushihimesama review: Bullet shooter gets an addictive Nintendo Switch makeover

Mushihimesama review: Bullet shooter gets an addictive Nintendo Switch makeover
Mushihimesama review: Bullet shooter gets an addictive Nintendo Switch makeover


This vertical scrolling bullet-ridden colourful shooter is great fun and dead hard on the Nintendo Switch.

It’s a re-release, having originally hit the arcades way back in 2004 which was later ported to both the PS2 and Xbox 360 as well as PC in 2015.

Developer Cave has decided it might have legs again on Nintendo’s handheld and it feels surprisingly fresh as a daisy on the console.

Where the likes of Resogun have since trodden, Mushihimesama shows it really was ahead of its time with regards to the bullet-shooter and easily holds its own still against more modern takes of the genre.

Set in a beautiful fantasy world, the story revolves around a Japanese manga-style princess called Reco who protects her village from a plague in a world inhabited by gigantic insects known as Koju.



Mushihimesama review: Bullet shooter gets an addictive Nintendo Switch makeover
The game is good addictive fun on the Nintendo handheld

You ride Reco’s trusty sidekick, a beetle named Kiniro, across five gorgeously colourful stages filled with huge insectoid enemies to the heart of the Koju forest.

From the first second it’s frantic as you fire off endless bullets ahead of you as the game throws ever more difficult beasties your way, each pummelling your position with a colour-filled bombardment of their own weapon discharges.

The result is a screen packed full of vibrancy and danger as you become adept at dashing Kiniro left and right, up and down, avoiding the onslaught from swarms of enemies while also trying to kill off every critter scrolling down the screen towards you.

As the levels pass you come face-to-face with regular Boss fights against supersized insects who rain hellfire down on your position while you chip slowly away at their health bar with upgraded guns and lobbed bombs.

It’s frantic, unforgiving and incredibly addictive as you die and jump straight back in for more punishment.

And when you do crack a level, it’s fist-pumping stuff and the reward is incredibly gratifying.



There are plenty of options despite its age
There are plenty of options despite its age



The screen can become a vibrant mess of colourful bullets
The screen can become a vibrant mess of colourful bullets

There are five stages in total, including a lush forest, a blazing desert, and a solemn cave.

And there are three different game modes and difficulty levels to choose from, including a “Novice” mode, which is great for beginners, and “Ultra” mode, which will make even the most experienced shooter fans scream in frustration.

You also get to pick from three attack type bugs to fight back, each with different combinations of move speed and shot patterns.

The S-Power attack type favours high mobility, with powerful shots fired straight ahead.

W-Power fires shots more widely, but has the slowest movement capabilities of the three.

Or you can enjoy a medium speed with M-Power while firing shots in a cone that widens farther out from the character.

The much needed but sparse bombs you carry clear the screen of shots when it’s getting too much while providing temporary invincibility, and equippable attack options offer forward-facing lasers and side guns to help clean up enemies passing by.



The game is nearly 20 years old but still feels fresh to play
The game is nearly 20 years old but still feels fresh to play

For such an old game it still plays incredibly fast and with precision on the Joycon controllers.

The graphics, while clearly retro, are impressively colourful on the screen.

And while it is a one-trick pony of a game, it’s addictiveness and easy pick-up means you will find yourself drifting back occasionally for that ‘one more go’ moment.

However, it is limited compared to modern games. And five levels really isn’t enough when you compare it to the length of the big Nintendo releases of today like Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey.

If you like bullet shooters, this retro classic is a must buy for this bargain price. But those gamers who want a more sprawling epic would be wise to save their cash for a fresher video game.

Verdict 4/5





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Facebook announces new audio features, including Clubhouse-like audio rooms

Facebook announces new audio features, including Clubhouse-like audio rooms
Facebook announces new audio features, including Clubhouse-like audio rooms


Audio-based social media platforms, Clubhouse and Twitter’s Spaces, officially have competition from the world’s largest social network now. After announcing a plethora of audio-based features earlier this year, Facebook officially embarked on its journey in the space this weekend. The company launched Live Audio Rooms, a feature that seems to copy Clubhouse completely, and is only available in the United States (US) for now.

The company said it expects Live Audio Rooms to be available to everyone on Facebook by “the summer”. “We’ll test Live Audio Rooms in Groups, making it available to the 1.8 billion people using Groups every month and the tens of millions of active communities on Facebook,” the company said in a blog post. “As part of this initial rollout — and because we know communities aren’t built just in Groups — we’ll also bring Live Audio Rooms to public figures so they can host conversations with other public figures, experts and fans,” the company added.

Bit Live Audio Rooms is one of a host of audio-based features Facebook announced on June 19. The company also introduced podcasts to its platform, putting it in competition with firms like Spotify, Apple, and even India’s Gaana in a way. The company said that over 170 million people follow podcast pages on Facebook, and the platform will allow them to listen to podcasts directly through its app “in the next few months”. Earlier reports have said that Facebook may be partnering with Spotify, to tap into the streaming platform’s large podcast library.

Lastly, while podcasts and live audio rooms emulate existing platforms and services, Facebook is also building tools for influencers to take advantage of audio on its platform(s). The company added a whole suite of audio creation tools, which it claims are “powerful enough for the pros”. This includes speech-to-text, voice morphing and artificial intelligence-driven noise cancellation while recording. The company also has a feature called Soundbites, which is meant for short-form audio clips, which essentially takes on Twitter’s recent voice tweets feature.

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Cyberpunk 2077 returns to PlayStation Store, but with a disclaimer. Details here

Cyberpunk 2077 returns to PlayStation Store, but with a disclaimer. Details here
Cyberpunk 2077 returns to PlayStation Store, but with a disclaimer. Details here


CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 was removed from PlayStation Store back in the month of December. The gaming studio and PlayStation have announced the game is officially back on the shelves after multiple fixes and feature updates.

The official Twitter handle of Cyberpunk 2077 stated, “You can play the game on PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 5. Additionally, a free next gen upgrade will be available for all owners of the PS4 version of Cyberpunk 2077 in the second half of 2021.”

PlayStation from its official Twitter handle stated, “Cyberpunk 2077 is now available at PlayStation Store. Work on the PS4 version continues, with fixes and updates to be released throughout the year: https://play.st/3xFRCtB For the best experience on PlayStation, playing on PS4 Pro or PS5 consoles is recommended.”

Despite the relaunch on PlayStation, the game comes with a warning for PS4 users. The disclaimer states, “users continue to experience performance issues with this game. Purchase for use on PS4 systems is not recommended. For the best Cyberpunk experience on PlayStation, play on PS4 Pro and PS5 systems.”

The role-playing game was announced in May 2012 but it was finally launched after repeated delays in Decemeber 2021. Due to the long waiting period and the success of another CD Projekt game, The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077 managed to build a lot of hype.

After the launch, the game was found to be loaded with bugs. With increasing complaints, both Sony and Microsoft decided to take the title off their respective console stores.

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