Business

Stablecoins: these cryptocurrencies threaten the financial system, but no one is getting to grips with them

Safe as houses? iQoncept Jean-Philippe Serbera, Sheffield Hallam University Cryptocurrencies have had an exceptional year, reaching a combined value of more than US$3 trillion (£2.2 trillion) for the first time in November. The market seems to have benefited from the public having time on their hands during pandemic lockdowns. Also, large investment funds and banks have stepped in, not least …

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Ethereum: the transformation that could see it overtake bitcoin

The crypto wars are hotting up. Wit Olszewski Daniel Broby, University of Strathclyde The world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency, ether, has been touching all-time highs in price ahead of a major upgrade of its underlying platform, ethereum. Ether is currently worth in aggregate just shy of US$500 billion (£363 billion). That’s still slightly less than half that of the biggest …

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These five countries are conduits for the world’s biggest tax havens

Tax sheltering is not just the domain of exotic Caribbean isles. Major world powers, including the United Kingdom, play a critical and previously undisclosed role in global tax avoidance. CORPNET, CC BY-NC-SA Javier Garcia-Bernardo, University of Amsterdam; Eelke Heemskerk, University of Amsterdam; Frank Takes, Leiden University, and Jan Fichtner, University of Amsterdam First came the Panama Papers, then the BahamasLeaks, …

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The supply chain crisis has a silver lining – container ships should be decarbonised faster

Stavros Karamperidis, University of Plymouth Several months ago, I warned that the crisis in container ships could jeopardise Christmas by leaving retailers without enough goods on their shelves. Since then, there have been similar fears all over the media, not only due to shipping problems but also shortages of lorry drivers and unavailable products. As we approach November, the worst …

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Pandora papers: ‘it’s time to pursue lawyers and accountants who enable tax evasion’ – offshore tax expert Q&A

What’s inside the box? delcarmat/Shutterstock Ronen Palan, City, University of London Many of the world’s richest and most powerful people are in the spotlight once more for using secretive tax havens and corporate structures to hide wealth and avoid paying taxes. The Pandora papers is the third in a series of huge leaks of documents to the media following the …

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CGI influencers: when the ‘people’ we follow on social media aren’t human

Shanvood/Shutterstock Francesca Sobande, Cardiff University Social media influencers – people famous primarily for posting content online – are often accused of presenting artificial versions of their lives. But one group in particular is blurring the line between real and fake. Created by tech-savvy teams using computer-generated imagery, CGI or virtual influencers look and act like real people, but are in …

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Hybrid working: how to make it a success

A pre-pandemic London commute. Shutterstock/Lance Bellers Daniel Wheatley, University of Birmingham Flexibility has become a key element in the world of work. Even before the pandemic hit, many jobs were designed to provide greater choice about how, when and where they could be done. Now the notion of “hybrid working”, which combines time working from home and time in physical …

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China is on course to build the best cars in the world

Tom Stacey, Anglia Ruskin University Europeans and other western nations have dominated automotive excellence for over a century. Whether it is the satisfying thud of the door closing on a Volkswagen from Wolfsburg, or the beauty of a Ferrari from Modena, these brands are iconic – and very lucrative for their manufacturers. When we think of reliability, the Germans, and …

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4 ways that volunteering can be good for you

Volunteering to pitch in during Breast Cancer Awareness Week may have also helped these Bethune-Cookman University students. Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Jennifer A. Jones, University of Florida More than 77 million Americans volunteer a total of 6.9 billion hours a year doing everything from fighting fires to raising funds for cancer research. These efforts help others and …

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