This Way Up for Saturday 14 October 2017

This week we learn about the Chinese bitcoin ban and find out how you can become a virtal trader with the newest cryptocurrencies. Plus a vet that is using medical marijuana on pets, a blossoming garden under the Mediterranean Sea, and we take a journey through anxiety.

China Bitcoin Ban


Photo: AFP

Along with bitcoin there's a heap of other cryptocurrencies on the market - from Ethereum to Waves, Z Cash, Ripples the list goes on.  Many of these new currencies are sold to consumers as initial coin offerings, or ICOs, and all you need is some software and you're ready to launch your own cryptocurrency to the world.

With more of these initial coin offerings hitting the market, and a growing appetite from investors, the Chinese government is clamping down on them, meanwhile in Japan, Bitcoins have been recognised as legal tender. 

Nathaniel Popper from the New York Times wrote the book 'Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money', and he's been tracking the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies in Asia.


A buyer's guide to cryptocurrencies

The real value of bitcoin and crypto currency technology - The Blockchain explained

The real value of bitcoin and crypto currency technology - The Blockchain explained Photo: (You Tube screenshot)

Tech correspondent Peter Griffin puts his money where his mouse is and tries his hand at investing in one of the many new virtual currencies on offer.

Reefer for Rover

Neapolitan Mastiff with sad face

Photo: Cultura/Simon Murrell

Vets are exploring the medical uses of a component of marijuana called cannabidiol or CBD – the non-psychoactive ingredient that doesn't induce a high like THC – and using it to treat animal anxiety, seizures and pain.

Dr Tim Shu from Vet CBD has been testing marijuana pet therapies.

Nemo's Garden - farming underwater

A set of underwater green-houses off the Italian coast could be part of an alternative farming system in the future. 

At depths of up to 10 metres, temperatures stay relatively constant and of course slugs, snails and aphids aren't a major issue for crops such as lettuce, beans and strawberries which are grown in biospheres.

Luca Gamberini's father Sergio, who runs a scuba-diving business, came up with the idea for Nemo's Garden about 5 years ago.


Why are so many of us on edge?

One in five New Zealanders suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year, according to The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

28072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Stock image illustrating loneliness, depression, isloation in men, for Insight.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Andrea Petersen - author of On Edge

Photo: Supplied

Wall Street Journal reporter Andrea Petersen was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when she was a teenager after a panic attack.

She explores the origins of anxiety, looks at many of the symptoms and some of the ways it's treated in her book On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety.

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