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Top Five: 2020 classic car anniversaries and their modern-day equivalents




Believe it or not, this week marks the middle of 2020. That’s right, we’re already half way through what must go down as one of the strangest years in recent memory.

However, while there here and now is a little unusual to put it mildly, this time-based idea got us thinking, and we dug out our Top Five classic cars celebrating their birthdays this year.

What’s more, we’ve lined them up with their modern-day production or concept successors to see how far things have come. On that topic, if you haven’t already signed up for our free Automotive Safety and Security Online event, please feel free to do that below.

Here are our Top Five picks:

#1 – Renault Clio – 30 years old

Cast your mind back to 1990… you’d be listening to songs like Madonna’s Vogue, Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins, or perhaps cranking up Sinead O’Connor’s cover of Prince’s classic Nothing Compares 2U.

As for cars, if you were lucky you might catch sight of a brand-new Honda NSX in 1990, but, if you were in Europe at the time, you’d be very likely to see plenty of new Renault Clios running around. Launched at the Paris Motor Show, the Clio replaced the ageing Renault 5.

The fifth generation Clio was recently launched, bringing with it new ADAS functions including auto city braking, and an E-TECH PHEV version. This uses a rear-mounted 1.2kWh battery to power two e-motors that supplement the ICE. It’s built on the CMF-B platform, which we covered in our EV Platform’s Top Five just last week.

#2 – Fiat Panda – 40 years old

One of designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s classics, the original Fiat Panda arrived in 1980 as a response to Fiat’s quest to create a then-modern rival to utilitarian cars like the Citroen 2CV or Renault 4.

The Panda was super simple, and launched to great success at the Geneva Motor Show of that year. It also spawned the first mass-produced electric car 10 years later. The Fiat Panda Elletra had a range of 62 miles from its 12 lead-acid batteries, powering its 9.2kW motor. A 1992 update brought a 17.7kW motor and a switch to NiCad power.

Fast forward to today, and Fiat created the excellent Centoventi concept, which appeared at the 2019 Swiss show.

Called 120 in Italian, in reference to Fiat’s 120th birthday in 2019, the car previews modular personalisation options that will be part of the next Panda’s makeup, along with modular batteries to extend the EV’s range from 62 miles up to 311 miles.

#3 – Audi Quattro – 40 years old

Sharing its birthday with the Panda, the Audi Quattro also made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 1980. Designed to take advantage of four-wheel drive being allowed for Audi’s factory rally team, the Quattro road car remained in production for 11 years.

Today, the Quattro lends its name to any Audi with any kind of four or all-wheel drive system. That includes the Audi e-tron Quattro electric SUV, launched in 2018.

The EV has a total output of 408hp, and completes the 0-62mph sprint in 5.7 seconds. The Ur-Quattro meanwhile, featured a more modest 200hp, and could reach 62mph from a standstill in 7.1 seconds.

#4 – Citroen SM – 50 years old

Winding the clock back another decade, 1970 saw the debut of not one but two new Citroens. The economy class Citroen GS slotted into the range between the 2CV and Ami, while the larger, sportier SM – complete with oleo pneumatic self-levelling suspension and swivelling headlights – was the firm’s flagship car.

Citroen no-longer competes in the premium segment, but has just launched its latest C4, which competes in the price-conscious C-segment, but comes with features that would have been seen as out of this world in 1970.

This includes an e-C4 with a 136hp electric motor, 50kWh battery, and range of just under 200 miles, Citroen’s latest infotainment and safety tech, plus the firm’s hydraulic cushion suspension and ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats to mimic the plush ride of its predecessors.

#5 – VW Type 2 – 70 years old

Last but by no means least on our list is the VW Type 2 – or the Transporter, Kombi or Bus, depending on where you’re from. Famously inspired by a converted Type 1 (Beetle) chassis that was being used to carry parts around VW’s factory, the Type 2 has become a cult classic that lives on to this day.

The Bus was especially popular in the US, where VW’s reputation has been most directly hit by the dieselgate scandal. In a move to restore some goodwill, VW announced the ID BUZZ concept, which previews a new, EV Bus, due in 2022.

Built on the firm’s MEB platform, the new van will feature a 369hp output from two e-motors that power all four wheels, and an electric range of up to 373 miles.



Mark Cuban Slams Peter Schiff: Gold is Dead, Bitcoin and Ethereum Are Today

Republished by Plato



Mark Cuban hasn’t always been the biggest fan of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, but he’s recently come around as other Shark Tank investors have.

Surprisingly, though, Cuban has come to the defense of the emerging technology, telling gold bug and vehement digital asset naysayer Peter Schiff that his precious metal is now dying as a store of value at the hands of the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Billionaire Shark Tank Investor Schools Peter Schiff On Crypto

It isn’t at all uncommon to find long-time gold bug Peter Schiff trashing cryptocurrencies ever chance he gets from his Twitter account soapbox. He’s even slammed his own son for buying Bitcoin in the past – an investment that proved dear old Dad very wrong.

Related Reading | “Wonderful” Shark Tank Investor Shifts Portion of Portfolio To Bitcoin and Ethereum

He took a recent opportunity to bash the asset class, surprised that “smart investors” on Wall Street were “dumb enough” to buy into Bitcoin and other digital assets, but was met with a sharp-tongued response from billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

Cuban blasted back at Schiff offering his “help” in explaining the charm behind the emerging technology. According to Cuban, gold is dying as a store of value, because it cannot adapt and change to address the current or future needs of society. Bitcoin and Ethereum, however, can.

bitcoin ethereum Shark Tank mark cuban

Bitcoin and Ethereum have recently turned Mark Cuban and other sharks into believers | Source: BTCUSD on

“Gold Is Dead,” And How Mark Cuban Came Around To Bitcoin And Ethereum

Mark Cuban, who knows a lot about tech revolutions starting from the ground up, says that the current use cases for crypto are just “proof-of-concept” and advances will change the asset class in the years to come. Meanwhile, gold will always stay exactly the same.

The fact that these technologies have evolved over the past several years are what have won over the Shark Tank investor and peers among his panel on the popular ABC primetime show.

Related Reading | Overheard On CNBC: If It Wasn’t For Bitcoin, Gold Would Be $3K

Cuban has recently become enamored with NFTs, Robert Herjavec is a “big believer” in the long-term future of the technology, and even Mr. Wonderful Kevin O’Leary has moved a portion of his portfolio into Bitcoin and Ethereum.

As more high wealth investors become convinced in the cryptocurrency’s staying power, the more that are moving capital into the asset class. Gold, on the other hand, is still the same asset it always has been and is always going to be, and doesn’t need any further convincing.

Rather than Peter Schiff attempting to convince investors why they shouldn’t buy crypto, perhaps he should be more focused on why they shouldn’t sell their dying store of value – gold – instead.

Featured image from Deposit Photos, Charts from


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BitMEX’s Arthur Hayes and Ben Delo negotiate surrender to U.S. authorities

Republished by Plato



The former CEO of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, is in negotiations to surrender to U.S. authorities next month concerning charges that authorities levied against four of the exchange’s executives and co-owners in October.

Transcripts of a court teleconference dated Feb. 16 indicate Hayes will surrender to the U.S. in Hawaii on April 6. Hayes and his fellow executives are accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act by the U.S. Department of Justice and  the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The transcript details the assistant U.S. attorney Jessica Greenwood’s comments to the judge presiding over the case, with Greenwood indicating she has been in talks with Hayes regarding the anticipated voluntary surrender. Hayes is currently located in Singapore, with the attorney noting Hayes hopes to continue residing abroad but will appear within the United States for proceedings should the trial go to court.

“We have discussed with counsel how to arrange for a voluntary surrender, and he has proposed appearing within the United States in Hawaii and having his initial appearance there and then,” she said, adding:

“The idea would be that he would appear initially in Hawaii, then appear before your Honor remotely, and then he would continue to reside abroad with travel to the United States for appearances as needed and, of course, if there is a trial, that he would appear within the United States for that trial in New York.”

Greenwood also revealed that BitMEX co-owner Ben Delo intends to surrender in New York by the end of the month. However, she noted they are currently working with the FBI and Border Patrol to obtain immigration authorization allowing him to travel to the United States, despite Delo currently being subject to a U.K. travel ban.

The attorney also stated that while fellow co-owner Greg Dwyer has declined to surrender, extradition proceedings have been initiated to bring him back from Bermuda.

“With respect to the remaining three defendants, […] we’ve been in contact with counsel discussing the possibility of appearing. They’ve all made representations about for when and how they’ll appear,” Greenwood said. However, she added:

“We have no guarantees at this point that any of those things will happen.”

BitMEX CTO, Samuel Reed, was arrested in Massachusetts as the charges were being levied against BitMEX in October. Reed was released from custody after a $5 million bond was paid that same month, with Reed agreeing to comply with sentencing proceedings.

In response to the hearing, the judge determined it wasn’t “reasonably possible” for a motion and trial schedule to be established. The judge scheduled a follow-up conference for May.

Last month, Hayes broke months of silence to post an article to BitMEX’s official blog calling for a boycott of legacy finance in response to trading platforms shutting down trade amid the GameStop pump engineered by subreddit, r/WallStreetBets.


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‘I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit’: Banksy art burned and tokenized

Republished by Plato



An original artwork by anonymous British street artist Banksy has been burned and turned into a nonfungible token. The NFT will be auctioned next week on the blockchain-based Rarible platform, where users can create and purchase rare tokenized artworks.

The original Banksy in question is a satirical piece entitled “Morons,” which depicts buyers at an art auction bidding on a piece emblazoned with the words “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.” The piece received certification from Pest Control — the only body authorized to authenticate original Banksy artworks.

“Morons” was sold at Christie’s auction house in London in late 2019, where it fetched $32,500 from an anonymous, independent buyer.

The burning of the piece took place at an unknown location in Brooklyn, New York, and was livestreamed via the recently created Twitter account BurntBanksy. The burning was reportedly carried out by a group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts in association with executives from the blockchain project Injective Labs.

The tokenization of the authenticated piece took place without input from the pseudonymous Banksy. However, other prominent artists have seen fit to dip their toes into the crypto world of late, as witnessed recently when famed British artist Damien Hirst announced he would accept bids for his work in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

The NFT market became an industry unto itself toward the end of 2020, as almost $9 million in token sales was recorded in December 2020 alone. But that was just a sign of things to come, as NFT sales exploded moving into 2021, helped by the validation of several high-profile celebrities such as YouTuber Logan Paul and entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

On Sunday, acclaimed Canadian musician and artist Grimes launched an NFT collection titled “WarNymph”, which went on to sell for a collective $5.8 million. The NBA recently embarked on a joint venture with CryptoKitties creator Dapper Labs to launch NBA Top Shot — an NBA-themed digital token marketplace that has reportedly generated $230 million in sales since launch.

The “Morons” piece is not the first Banksy to be destroyed on purpose. In 2018, Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” automatically self-destructed shortly after selling for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s. The artist later revealed that he had installed an automatic shredder in the painting’s frame in case it ever went to auction. In an ironic twist of fate, the destroyed Banksy is now thought to be more valuable than the original piece ever was.

The “Morons” NFT will be auctioned on Rarible on Tuesday next week. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to charity. The successful bidder will be entitled to receive the certificate of authentication from Pest Control; however, this too will be burned if it is not claimed within two weeks of the sale.

In an art industry fraught with fakes and forgeries, “Morons” may now be the most authentic, most secure Banksy piece in the world. Once logged on the blockchain, the possibility of it being forged, altered or manipulated in any way is close to zero.

Given Banksy’s rejection of the bloated, materialistic art world, what would he think of the current mania surrounding NFTs? Keep an eye on your local graffiti spots. The answer may be forthcoming.


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