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23 February 2018

Business

23 February 2018

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BP is predicting a seismic shift in global energy, while Africa is eyeing its own euro-style currency. Here is our rundown of the five most exciting ideas coming out of the business world this week:

 

The end of the oil era?

Oil production is expected to peak by 2040 as electric car use continues to rise. That is according to BP, which this week released its annual Energy Outlook report. The petrol giant predicted that 15 percent of cars on the road will be electric in two decades’ time. BP believes that kind of changing technology, and the new policies that come with it, mean a global shift in energy use is upon us. “As the world learns to do more with less, demand for energy will be met by the most diverse fuels mix we have ever seen,” said group chief economist Spencer Dale. 

Venezuela goes crypto:

With Venezuela mired in economic crisis, its government has turned to one of the world’s hottest financial markets for help. President Nicolas Maduro this week officially launched the country’s cryptocurrency, the Petro. The currency went on sale at an initial value set at $60, based on the price of a barrel of Venezuelan oil. Its pre-sale, which runs until March 19, garnered the government $735 million in “intent to buy” offers within just the first 20 hours, according to Maduro. “We have taken a giant step into the 21st century,” he said in a televised address. “We are on the world’s technological vanguard.”

West Africa’s euro:

Venezuela is not the only country making waves in the currency world. The eco, a proposed single currency among several West African states, has been in the works for nearly two decades, but a number of governments have failed to meet the criteria necessary to implement it. Now Ghana wants to take the lead, and is hoping to introduce the eco by 2020. This week Ghanaian President Nana Akuffo-Addo said the currency will help to remove trade barriers and boost the standard of living in the region. “We have had challenges along the way towards [implementing a single currency],” he said at the opening of a special presidential task force on the eco in Accra. “Nonetheless, we remain determined to have a single currency.”

Keeping tabs on your taps:

When it comes to the world’s most popular frothy beverage, every drop counts. Nobody understands this better than US startup BruVue, which has developed technology that tracks beer pours. Users simply attach the company’s sensor to their bar taps, link it to a smartphone and watch as BruVue monitors the inventory to cut down on waste and theft. It’s a solution everyone in the beer industry can get behind, and this week BruVue announced it had won Heineken’s Innovators Brewhouse Challenge and secured $1 million in seed funding. “We will use this round of funding and our momentum to extend the reach of our system to global connectivity in 2018, helping the beverage industry around the world,” said CEO Christopher Lorkowski.

London flats made easier:

Few real estate markets are as treacherous as London’s. As housing prices continue to soar, renting is becoming the reality for an increasingly large segment of the UK’s most populous city. To make the process of finding a flat as stress-free and simple as possible, British startup Homie has launched a concierge-style service that helps users “find, view and agree on the homes they want in as little as three days.” And just like the London housing market, Homie is taking off. This week the company announced it had snagged $4 million in fresh seed funding. “We want to thank everyone who has believed in us so far,” Homie said when announcing the news. “We’re changing housing forever.”

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