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Brexit Bitcoin boom! UK can lead world in cryptocurrency – new report outlines plan

A new report said the UK Government should assist the City of London in offering “crypto-assets” for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum. The study suggested the UK government and regulators should leverage Brexit and capitalise on the opportunities arising from the rapid growth of crypto-assets. The analysts urged the City of London financial centre to become a world leader in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) as it is currently viewed as a high-growth, high-potential sector.

However, analysts fear the UK Treasury could “inadvertently squash good ideas” regarding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies before they can thrive.

The study found Brexit poses a “valuable opportunity” for UK policymakers to get ahead of global rivals, including the EU, in regulating crypto-assets.

Referring to the growth of cryptocurrency sector, financial industry lobby group TheCityUK said the UK government should use its “new trade policy as a vehicle” to position itself at the forefront of finance’s “next generation of technological developments”.

Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer at TheCityUK, said: “There is a fierce global race underway to see which applications of DLT and crypto assets will win out.

READ MORE: Elon Musk makes dramatic U-TURN on cryptocurrency

“Its regulatory FinTech sandboxes, for example, have been copied around the world.

“Now we need to show similar vision and nimbleness in our regulatory approach to crypto assets.”

A report called “Cryptoassets: Shaping UK regulation for innovation and global leadership” urged UK policymakers to urges capitalise on the UK’s newly acquired regulatory freedom and steal the lead from its global competitors when it comes to the cryptocurrency sector.

However, the report said the UK “must act quickly if it is to set a global gold standard in crypto-assets and DLT regulation”.

The report added: “Many other jurisdictions have recognised the opportunities presented by crypto-assets and related technologies.

“These other jurisdictions are moving to set their own agendas.

“The UK should be considered in its response, it must act as quickly as possible if it is to remain at the forefront of innovation while also providing certainty and addressing any new, unregulated risks.

“The UK should show ambition and have the confidence to set out its own internationally compatible gold standard.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

'Flight £20 -Covid test £100' Simon Calder outlines full travel costs facing holidaymakers

Speaking from Portugal, travel expert Simon Calder warned Britons coronavirus testing could be more expensive than flights out of the UK. He said his flight to the Azores “cost £25” but the test “cost £100”. His comments come as he gave travel advice to those desperate to get away from the UK into the sun this summer. But he warned of the mounting paperwork involved with travelling during Covid, even in countries being listed on the ‘green list’ which means you do not have to quarantine on arrival or return.
Calder told the show: “We had this silly situation where Friday afternoon the Portuguese said ok Brits you can come in but by the way if you are booked on Monday’s fight you better get your act together because we are going to need a negative PCR test.

“So I was running around at the weekend down at Heathrow because they guaranteed that they would get the results back to me.”

The travel journalist added: “And the flight cost £25, the test cost £100.

“There is something gone wrong there.”

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Mr Calder also warned Brits that the paperwork for holidays must not be underestimated.

He said: “The only cloud on the horizon is that for going back, I have got to start getting all the forms in place.

“Tests before departure, book a test before arrival, fill in a passenger locator form.

“I’ve been to the Soviet Union and honestly it was a lot easier than just coming back into my own country after this!”

READ MORE: Holiday in Portugal: Rules Britons need to follow when on holiday

Portugal has been listed as a ‘green list’ destination for Brits meaning you do not need to quarantine on arrival or return from holiday – which makes it a desirable option for British holidaymakers who want to escape the UK for a break.

But the country has some of the strictest Covid restrictions, similar to Spain and Italy.

Masks and face coverings are mandatory indoors and outdoors, on public transport and UK holidaymakers are subject to the local rules.

Punters must also wear a mask when entering or leaving the beach in Portugal – if they don’t follow these rules they face a massive €1,000 fine.

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Other green list countries include Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.

Foreign travel reopened on May 17 along with other restrictions being lifted in the UK, such as indoor hospitality and an end to the overnight stay ban.

And a huge 20 flights from the UK landed in Faro, Portugal on Monday morning bringing sun chasing Britons into the country for a much-needed holiday.

Countries labelled as ‘amber’ and ‘red’ on the UK Government’s traffic light system’ remain virtually off-limits for Britons as they are countries with high covid rates.

Travellers to red list countries have to quarantine in government-provided hotels at a cost of around £1,750 per head – covering food, accommodation, transport, and testing.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Putin outlines national priorities to restart economy & raise living standards as Russia emerges from Covid crisis

Author RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

The Russian government took unprecedented measures to support the economy through the coronavirus pandemic, saving five million jobs, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday in his annual address to the Federal Assembly.

According to Putin, the government will continue promoting private investment to support the creation of new jobs. He has instructed the government to develop a program of additional measures to support small and medium-sized businesses. The proposals on “tax incentives, affordable loans, expansion of product sales, including through purchases from large state-owned companies,” should be submitted within a month.

He added that last year’s decision to halve insurance premiums for small and medium-sized enterprises from 30% to 15% is not subject to revision. “To support the creation of new jobs, the government will support and encourage entrepreneurial initiative, stimulate private initiative,” Putin said, adding that the commercial sector’s profits are expected to be at a record high this year, despite all the problems brought on by the coronavirus crisis.
Also on rt.com IMF improves Russia’s economic growth outlook for this year
Keeping inflation in Russia within the established parameters is an “extremely important task,” the president said. “The government and the Central Bank should continue to pursue a responsible financial policy and ensure macroeconomic stability… I proceed from the fact that it will certainly be solved.”

The Russian president added that another major goal for the government is to ensure the growth of real incomes for the population. He urged to focus on “Restoring and guaranteeing its further growth, and achieving tangible changes in the fight against poverty.”
Also on rt.com Putin wants to cut poverty in Russia by half in next decade
Among other things, Putin also talked about the need to remove excessive restrictions in the field of foreign exchange controls for non-resource exporters.

“It is necessary to significantly simplify the conditions for the work of non-resource exporters. We need to remove all excessive restrictions in the field of currency controls for these exporters. This is one of the problems. This procedure should start working from July.” He added that all amendments to the legislation should be adopted as quickly as possible during the spring session.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Valtteri Bottas outlines Lewis Hamilton title plans as Finn looks to take Brit's F1 crown

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he “absolutely believes” he can win the Formula One 2021 world title, and has spent the winter months working on a “step by step” plan to make it happen.
Mental health is something that has not always been talked about enough within life, and especially in sport, and Formula One is no different.

However, now is a time that people can be more honest about their mindset, and Bottas is no different in that sense, knowing the psychological battles in F1 never just remain on track.

Speaking at the Mercedes car launch, the Finn admitted this winter, he’s taken a step back, with a plan to come back mentally happier in a bid to beat Hamilton this season.

“It’s important to switch off, and it’s important to disconnect. Many times when you step out from the sport for let’s say a couple of weeks, you start processing things, and you realise things when you see the big picture,” he said.

“An example was last year. There were races I couldn’t affect, but there were many races that I could’ve done a better job.

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“Still from my side, the big thing is consistency. Many times I perform at the level I want to, but then there’s times that for some reason I don’t, and I feel like I couldn’t get 100 per cent out of myself and the team around me.

“I think I’ve realised that a lot of that is the mental side of things.”

Bottas goes head-to-head with Hamilton once again this season, in his fifth for the championship-winning team Mercedes, however he has yet to beat the seven-time world champion to the title, a driver who has been alongside the Finn since he joined in 2017.

Bottas has won two races in Austria and Russia, but he struggled for any consistency alongside Hamilton, who picked up 11 wins in 17 races.

“Although Lewis has won the titles, [whilst we have been] team mates over the years I’ve been with the team, I’m going into the new year starting afresh with this edge,” he said.

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“Absolutely I believe I can fight for the title and that’s of course my goal for the season. That’s my target, but it’s a long way until that and we need to take it really step by step.

Bottas says he has learnt a lot from his time in Formula One already, especially over the last few seasons, working hard to perfect his driving style, and technique – whilst also getting a grasp on the Pirelli tyres in his bid to beat Hamilton.

But when asked about how he’s approaching the season, in which could be his final with the Mercedes outfit, the Finn said he’d had a lot to think about over the past few months.

He continued: “I think a lot of the work and focus this season is the mental side of things, and trying to be mentally at my best at the Grand Prix, and trying to find the right way of approaching every single Grand Prix weekend, to try and find more often the, let’s say, flow, state and in that way the consistency of there season.

“Some of my years in Formula One, definitely I put too much pressure on myself; there’s been times where I’ve taken too much pressure from the outside and there’s been also vice versa,” he said, “that there has not been maybe enough pressure from my side. It’s all about finding that balance and playing with that,” he continued. 

“And the only thing to do to let the team know, in terms of how they’re pressuring you, is to discuss about things. Same for myself, I need to be honest with everything and try to find a good way and have a happy head for every single Grand Prix.

“But that’s the tricky part, that’s the same thing in every sport: there’s not been an athlete ever, who’s been completely 100% of their performance capacity in every single event they’ve done, but I have to get there more often.”

And when asked about how he’s been working on his mental health, the Finn opted to keep some things to himself.

He added: “It’s my private matter and I also don’t want to share all the techniques, etcetera. But as I said before it’s something I have had more focus on over the winter and will focus on more over the season.

“If I need help I will use more professional help. If not, then I use the mirror!” he replied.

Bottas is out of contract at the end of this season, with all to prove at Mercedes to keep his seat in the future.

It could also be his last chance to beat Hamilton on track, with the seven-time world champion opting for just a one-year deal too, and with the likes of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes junior driver and current Williams driver George Russell waiting in the wings, Bottas has a lot to contend with this year to snatch the title.