1. The mine boggles ...

The bitcoin network uses as much electricity as Ireland (3.1GW) and is set to consume 0.5% of the world’s electric energy by the end of this year. The Digiconomist blog, which hosts the bitcoin energy consumption index, says this will take it to 8.2GW, or as much as Austria’s consumption.

The demand comes from the computing power required to mine bitcoin, which involved trillions of calculations and requires manufacturing hardware and cooling fans.

2. Italy unravelling

A political crisis in Italy is causing a sell-off on European markets. Bank of Italy governor Ignazio Visco says Italy is "a few short steps away" from losing the "asset of trust".

Rome faces the prospect of new elections. Visco is critical of the two populist parties that are leading in opinion polls and which recently questioned Italy’s EU membership. The sell-off in Italian bonds deepened.

3. A vote for youth

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari wants to reduce age limits in political office, which could make it easier for younger candidates to run in the 2019 election. The government has been pressured by youth groups to adopt the legislation, saying young people are politically marginalised.

The bill reduces the minimum age for presidential candidates from 40 to 35, and senators and state governors from 35 to 30.

Buhari (75) has had a number of health- related scares since coming into office, but plans to run for a second term next year.