A new virtual currency launched yesterday aims to rival industry leader Bitcoin by pegging its value to hard oil assets, a first in the rapidly growing digital money sector. The currency called “bilur” and created by London-based financial services company R Fintech uses the technology pioneered by Bitcoin, while trying to offer an alternative for those weary of the wild fluctuations that have plagued digital currencies. The name "bilur" is the Basque language word for "chain", a nod to blockchain technology, the company said.
In Switzerland, frontier workers are 317,821, up 2.8% compared with the same period in 2016, down 0.2% on the previous quarter. Workers from borders increased in Ticino by 0.5% over the last three months of 2016. In the first quarter, the frontiers registered by the Federal Statistical Office were 64'670, up by 3.6 % in a year. The most significant growth, by 6.5% (1,908) was recorded by primary sector, although the largest number of jobs are in the service sector with a 4.1% increase and 207,830 people, followed by the secondary, slightly up 0.3% and 108'082 people occupied in the branch.
Swisscom reports revenues of CHF 2.83 billion for the first quarter of this year, down by 1.9 percent compared with the same period in 2016. The revenue decrease is caused by strong pressure on prices and increasing market saturation. In Q1 Swisscom revenue from telecommunications services fell by CHF 37 million (-2.2%). Around 50 percent of this decrease in revenue was the result of a decline in subscribers in fixed-line telephony, while the other 50 percent was due to price reductions, including roaming, and a decline in corporate business.
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Scientists supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) have produced novel electrolytes for rechargeable sodium and magnesium batteries. The research group's objective was to develop alternatives to lithium-ion technology. The recent research, led by Arndt Remhof of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Empa, is said to have demonstrated the potential of sodium and magnesium and his team has produced experimental battery components based on these metals.
During Obama's presidency, the US energy industry was hit strongly by environmental protection measures. Now, oil and gas industry is expected to surge forward. Do you share this point of view or not? In your opinion, will Trump's regulations help the US become more energy independent? At the moment, it is hard to say whether the energy industry is really going to surge forward thanks to Trump's regulations. Still, with relatively low oil prices, the industry is not going to receive more money regardless of any regulations the President might implement. What I mean is that the government can still make these rules easier for the companies, but it will not change the investment significantly. Overall, the new regulations implementation might be positive, but it is still not a game changer. Furthermore, I suppose that there is no need for the President to relax the environmental regulations because the industry is already capable of meeting higher environmental standards.
Swiss students require Erasmus: the youth arms of several political parties are petitioning the government to resume negotiations for Switzerland to rejoin the student exchange programme. When Switzerland was compelled to suspend negotiations to join Erasmus+ after voting to place limits on immigration from the European Union in a 2014 referendum, it established a replacement, the Swiss-European Mobility Programme, within six weeks. It was successful in the majority of cases. In fact, Switzerland’s incoming and outgoing student mobility increased between 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Greece has reached a preliminary deal with its creditors that should pave the way for long-awaited debt relief talks, the Greek finance minister said Tuesday. “The negotiations are concluded,” Euclid Tsakalotos told reporters, according to state agency ANA. After overnight talks, Tsakalotos said a “preliminary technical agreement” had been achieved ahead of a May 22 meeting of eurozone finance ministers, which is required to approve the deal. Talks on the deal, which includes labour and energy reforms as well as pension cuts and tax rises, had dragged on for half a year mainly due to a rift between the European Union and the International Monetary Fund over fiscal targets.
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