Crypto keeps bouncing back

This time it was surely all over. As inflation started to rise towards a 40-year high, as central banks started raising interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, and as the monetary printing presses finally stopped running, the cryptocurrencies crashed.  What a crash it was. Bitcoin, the best-known crypto, fell all the way from $61,000 last November to less than $19,000 in June, a spectacular drop of more than two thirds. Ethereum, Solana and other, frailer ‘coins’ – as well as the even flimsier digital collectors’ items known as NFTs – all tanked. This appeared finally to confirm what the doubters had said all along. Cryptocurrencies

Bad news, Governor: the wage-rise spiral is already raging

I’ve had the opportunity recently to take part in wage-rise discussions for several small entities in which I’m involved. The conversation has been much the same everywhere. ‘How about we offer them 3 per cent?’ ‘But that’s less than current inflation and they didn’t have a rise when they were on furlough last year.’ ‘So how about 5 per cent?’ ‘Safer to say 7, but they’d still be worse off than before the pandemic. And they’ll get 10 per cent or better if they move anywhere else.’ All of which was perfectly confirmed by official figures this week: annual pay settlements running at 3.7 per cent but (because so many

Will our future lives be like a video game?

A few years ago, the software company Owlchemy Labs released a computer game called Job Simulator. Its premise was simple. Players find themselves in a future world, roughly 30 years from now, in which super-efficient robots have snaffled up all the jobs. No longer needed for work, humans entertain themselves instead by donning virtual reality headsets and reenacting ‘the glory days’ — simulating what it was once like to be an office clerk, chef, or shopkeeper. The gameplay, therefore, consists entirely of, well, yeah… carrying out endless mundane tasks: virtual photocopying, virtual cooking, virtual newspaper sales. Job Simulator is pretty tongue-in-cheek, crammed full of dry, self-referential jokes. In the game,

Are Bored Apes racist?

A plague of apes has spread across social media. Wherever you look, blank simian faces stare back at you. Their features? Sickening. Their prices? Equally so. The apes have brought in more than $1 billion (£750 million) in sales. Eminem, Mark Cuban and Shaquille O’Neal are just some of the famous names who own an ape. Where have they come from? What do they mean? How can we get rid of them? The Bored Ape Yacht Club sells NFTs. In essence, an NFT — which stands for ‘non-fungible token’ — is a unique piece of data stored on a blockchain, a digital ledger, which can be associated with a work of

Less than one hour left: The Spectator’s Brexit butterfly cover as an NFT

There is less than one hour remaining on the sale, and the current highest bid is 4 WETH / $18,000. Those interested in making a bid can click here. Last month we ran an article about digital art and non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) and since then we’ve had readers asking: what about The Spectator’s Brexit butterfly? In almost two centuries of our publication’s history, this is perhaps the best-known of all our covers: ‘Out, and into the world’ with our endorsement of Brexit. The phrase was reprised from our 1975 cover when we were one of only two publications to back Brexit in that referendum (the other was the Morning Star) and