Nov 30, 2018

Why Bitcoin's fall gives the planet a breather

The Bitcoin logo. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An interesting piece in Greentech Media explains why the price decline of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies "could have a silver lining in terms of global energy consumption," at least temporarily.

Why it matters: Digital Bitcoin "mining" and transactions mean the cryptocurrency has an energy problem, even if fears that it will cook the planet are overblown.

  • The Greentech story notes that as the price of the currency rises, so does the incentive to invest in more energy-hungry equipment to mine it.
  • "I’m not entirely sure what will happen to energy consumption net-net, but it will be very interesting to see how many miners drop out of the market in this downturn," Jesse Morris of the Energy Web Foundation says in the story.

What's next: Companies are looking at ways to make cryptocurrencies more environmentally sustainable.

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Private equity returns fell behind stocks over the past decade

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. private equity returns fell just below S&P 500 returns for the 10-year period ending last June, according to a report released Monday morning by Bain & Company.

Why it matters: Private equity markets itself as beating public markets over long-term time horizons, and usually providing an illiquidity premium to boot. These new performance figures not only dent such claims, but provide fresh ammunition to critics of public pension investment in private equity funds.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.