Electric cars were embraced by more motorists than ever throughout 2021. A new report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows that registrations of electric vehicles in the UK rose from 108,000 in 2020 to 191,000 – a jump of more than 75 per cent, and more than a quarter of all cars registered nationwide. Additionally, the Tesla Model 3 was the UK’s second-bestselling car. The news comes despite a 40 per cent drop in car production in the British Isles, a slump largely attributed to the worldwide chip shortage that continues to affect a variety of industries.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s stock has taken a five per cent hit in the wake of reports of “phantom braking”. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it’s received more than 350 complaints of Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles rapidly decelerating while driving at speed, without warning and seemly at random.

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chair and Warren Buffett associate Charlie Munger has hit out against cryptocurrencies, comparing the crypto market to “some venereal disease”. The billionaire investor didn’t mince words when addressing Daily Journal Corporation’s annual meeting in Los Angeles, claiming the price of bitcoin “is going to zero” over the next century.

“We’ve already got a digital currency, that’s called a bank account,” he said. The GameStop affair was a particular point of contention for the 98-year-old, who described the short squeeze as “wretched excess”. He also praised China for banning cryptocurrencies: “They were right.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook is never too far from payday, but that could change if the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) gets its way. The shareholder rights group has vehemently opposed the rewarding of Cook with a US$98.7 million compensation package proposed by Apple in a proxy filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The payout comes on top of Cook’s annual salary of US$3 million, and is a significant increase from the US$14.8 million bonus he received in 2020.

“Given that CEO Cook will be eligible for retirement treatment after one year from the grant date, the retentive value of the award is limited,” ISS said as it argued the Apple boss didn’t need so much incentive to remain CEO. The tech giant countered that the stock award would be Cook’s first since stepping into the role in 2011.

Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names have become heavily involved in the business of creating processors specifically for mining cryptocurrencies, but Nvidia’s fourth-quarter 2021 results spell uncertainty for the venture. Sales of the crypto-centric processors dropped from US$105 million to just US$24 million across the quarter. The company has chalked up the dizzying loss to a volatile cryptocurrency market “including changes in the prices of cryptocurrencies or method of verifying transactions”.

Nvidia also says it expects a turnaround once the use of mining processors in minting non-fungible tokens becomes more widespread, a forecast the industry believes will rally the company’s share price by the end of the year. The turn of events hasn’t stopped Intel from joining the party – the manufacturer says its latest crypto-mining processor is 1,000 times faster than standard SHA-256 chips.

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