Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

1. Hack harms bitcoin

The price of bitcoin fell sharply this week after South Korean exchange Coinrail — regarded as something of a small player in the cryptocurrency world — was hacked. The attack spooked investors, causing a 10% drop, which sent bitcoin to two-month lows. Other digital currencies also recorded losses: ripple, ethereum and bitcoin cash fell more than 11%.

The person behind the hack stole about US$40m, though about 80% of that has been frozen by police in South Korea.

2. Musk’s fiery start

Elon Musk delivered 1,000 flamethrowers to customers, the first batch of his stunt to fund The Boring Company, a transportation venture that hopes to dig tunnels to ease traffic congestion. The company sold 20,000 units — $10m worth — in five days. Officially called "Not-a-Flamethrower" for legal reasons, the devices were first handed to buyers at a party in California, where they could also be tested — by roasting marshmallows, for example.

People, however, can’t be expected to stop there. One user set her artificial lawn on fire after using the device to cook steak and popcorn.

3. Chinese snub Trump

Chinese car investors are sending money to Europe rather than the US because of intense US scrutiny of their deals under the Trump administration, Reuters reports. Merger & acquisition bankers, lawyers and consultants told the news agency the number of mandates from Chinese clients to make investments in Europe was increasing, while those for the US sector were declining.

The Trump administration’s committee on foreign investment in the US has blocked 12 Chinese deals since January 2017, or nearly half of the 27 transactions it has reviewed. The fate of nine more is still undecided.