Beware the Bitcoin bonanza

Bloomberg

It was a bruising week for investors, and Bitcoin fans got sucked into the maelstrom. The world’s largest Bitcoin fund sold off, raising questions about the cryptocurrency’s efficacy as a hedge against inflation, a key argument among proponents of its stunning rally. Bill Gates warned that unless you’re as rich as Elon Musk, you shouldn’t touch it. JPMorgan, however, recommended adding up to 1% of your portfolio with digital currencies. And Cathie Wood, speaking at the Bloomberg Crypto Summit, sees trillions of dollars of market cap potential for Bitcoin. For anyone still wary, you could try shares in Coinbase—its owner now ranks among the world’s mega-rich. But while the financial world jousted over currency, the pandemic continued to inflict tragedy everywhere despite more vaccines on the way: this week, the world surpassed 2.5 million confirmed deaths from the coronavirus. 

What youll want to read this weekend

A former mining executive said he used to fly the world carrying a bag full of cash to secure deals. Bloomberg reports on the secretive world of commodity traders, and there are more juicy details in The World for Sale, a book by Bloomberg reporters Javier Blas and Jack Farchy.

Australia became the world’s first nation to pass a law forcing Facebook and Google to pay publishers for news content—a move set to unleash more regulatory action against companies that are at least partially responsible for the financial plight of newspapers. But in the end it may be a small price for Silicon Valley’s titans to pay to cement their influence over the media industry.

New York’s 24/7 subway is part of the city’s identity, but is it time to consider whether it’s really necessary? Bloomberg CityLab breaks down the $105 billion cost of a high-speed rail project linking Boston and New York. And United Airlines has your back if you want to get real close to the Colorado slopes.

A next-generation Acela train

Photographer: The Washington Post

Rich Asian families are pouring millions of dollars into impact investing, while an influx of cash-rich Hong Kong buyers has failed to rescue London’s ailing luxury property market. Interested? First find out how much wealth you need to join the richest 1%.

As for the almost 1%, Bentley’s new Flying Spur is practically pious. For a more affordable indulgence, Jordan and Yeezy sneakers are becoming a bona fide asset class.

Instagram posts by sneaker resellers.

Photographer: West.Coast.Streetwear/Instagram and @510Kicks/Instagram

What you’ll need to know next week

What youll want to read in Bloomberg Green

Hazards Grow as U.S. Churns Out More Garbage

Increasing waste, full landfills and shuttered recycling programs mean more U.S. cities are paying to send their trash out-of-state. And more companies are profiting from America’s growing waste problem—at 4.9 pounds of trash per person per day, the U.S. is the most wasteful country on the planet—and leaving more and more local communities to face the environmental consequences.

The Defiance County Landfill in Defiance, Ohio

Photographer: Ty Wright

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