Afternoon Coffee: Paying Employees in Bitcoin, Next Phase of Brexit Talks Begin

A Japanese company will start paying part of its employees’ salaries in bitcoin in February to get a better understanding of how the digital currency works, the Guardian reports. GMO Internet will offer the payments to around 4,000 workers and a cap of around $890 a month.

Brexit Talks

European Union leaders agreed Friday to proceed with the next round of Brexit talks, a positive sign after months of uncertainty, the New York Times reports. The second phase of the talks will largely focus on trade, initially on a transitional agreement covering the period immediately after Britain leaves the bloc.

Vanilla Crisis

Sky-high demand for vanilla beans has sent prices soaring over the last few years, and increasing crime at the key source of the crop is only making matters worse, the Wall Street Journal reports. This year alone, US vanilla imports jumped to $402.4 million through October, from $232.8 million during the same period in 2016.

Oil Supply

And finally, an energy update: Oil production will continue to grow faster than expected until late 2018, according to the Financial Times, as US shale oil producers have continued to boost output as prices have risen.

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