Bitcoin Now the Sixth Most Valuable Currency in the World

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has risen to become the sixth most valuable currency in the world by the amount in circulation, after a series of surges saw it rise to a value over $11,000 a coin.

As a result, the total value of all Bitcoins in circulation is considerably more than the equivalent of several major currencies.

According to a report by, the current value of all Bitcoins is currently approximately $180bn. By contrast, all the UK Pound Sterling banknotes and coins in circulation currently total only $103bn, while the total value of all Canadian and Australian currency in circulation now is $59bn and $55bn respectively.

As a result, 54% of the world’s population lives in countries with in-circulation currencies lower than the total value of Bitcoin.

2017 has seen Bitcoin undergo a dramatic surge in price. At the very start of the year, the cryptocurrency was worth just under $1,000 a coin, and rose relatively steadily over the next few months to reach $3,000 in June.

However, the last few months has seen more marked growth, it hitting $5,000 for the first time in October, $8,000 in November and $10,000 in December.

If it continues its current pace of growth it will hit $15,000 within a month, which would make it the fifth most valuable currency in the world, ahead of India’s Rupee.

Climbing much higher than that, however, will be a challenge. To beat the Euro to second place, Bitcoin will need to rise to an incredible $72,300, and to knock the US Dollar off the top spot, Bitcoin will need to reach $85,160.

While there are other cryptocurrencies attracting investment, none of the others have reached the giddy heights of Bitcoin, with just Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash reaching the top 20 world currencies.

Ethereum has a current total value of $44bn, making it the 17th most valuable currency in the world, while Bitcoin Cash is at the 20th place with a current total in-circulation value of $24bn.

Lesser known cryptocurrency Ripple follows in 21st place, with a value of $10bn, making it worth more than all Swedish Krona ($9bn) and all South African Rand ($6bn).

Wanted man captured thanks to facial recognition

A Chinese man who was wanted by police for “economic crimes” – which can include anything from tax evasion to the theft of public property – was arrested at a music concert in China after facial recognition technology spotted him inside the venue.

Source: Abacus News

SpaceX president commits to city-to-city rocket travel

SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell has reiterated the company’s plans to make city-to-city travel — on Earth — using a rocket that’s designed for outer space a reality. Shotwell says the tech will be operational “within a decade, for sure.”

Source: Recode

Businessman wins battle with Google over 'right to be forgotten'

A businessman fighting for the "right to be forgotten" has won a UK High Court action against Google.. The businessman served six months’ in prison for “conspiracy to carry out surveillance”, and the judge agreed to an “appropriate delisting order".

Source: Press Gazette

UK launched cyber attack on Islamic State

The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, has revealed. The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda.

Source: BBC

Goldman Sachs consider whether curing patients is bad for business

Goldman Sachs analysts have attempted to tackle the question of whether pioneering "gene therapy" treatment will be bad for business in the long run. "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" analysts ask in a report entitled "The Genome Revolution."

Source: CNBC

Four-armed robot performing surgery in the UK

A £1.5m "robotic" surgeon, controlled using a computer console, is being used to shorten the time patients spend recovering after operations. The da Vinci Xi machine is the only one in the country being used for upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Source: BBC

Virgin Galactic rocket planes go past the speed of sound

Virgin Galactic completed its first powered flight in nearly four years when Richard Branson's space company launched its Unity spacecraft, which reached supersonic speeds before safely landing. “We’ve been working towards this moment for a long time,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in an email to Quartz.

Source: Quartz

Google employees protest being in "the business of war"

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses AI to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The letter, which is circulating inside Google, has garnered more than 3,100 signatures

Source: New York Times

Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”

MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that transcribes words that the user verbalises internally but does not actually speak aloud. The wearable device picks up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalisations — saying words “in your head” — but are undetectable to the human eye.

Source: MIT News

Drones could be used to penalise bad farming

A report by a coalition of environmental campaigners is arguing squadrons of drones should be deployed to locate and penalise farmers who let soil run off their fields. Their report says drones can help to spot bad farming, which is said to cost more than £1.2bn a year by clogging rivers and contributing to floods.

Source: BBC

Californian company unveil space hotel

Orion Span, a California company, has unveiled its Aurora Station, a commercial space station that would house a luxury hotel. The idea is to put the craft in low-earth orbit, about 200 miles up, with a stay at the hotel likely to cost $9.5 million for a 12-day trip, but you can reserve a spot now with an $80,000 deposit.

UK mobile operators pay close to £1.4bn for 5G

An auction of frequencies for the next generation of mobile phone networks has raised £1.36bn, says regulator Ofcom. Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three all won the bandwidth needed for the future 5G mobile internet services, which are not expected to be launched until 2020.

Source: BBC