1,417 on Wednesday after rising more than 60 per cent in a week. Another cryptocurrency, Ripple’s XRP, briefly deposed ether from second place in the list after a surge in price last week, but it has since fallen sharply. Smaller cryptocurrencies have risen as speculators ethereum all time high price moved money away from bitcoin in the hope of similarly astronomical returns. Investors who invested money in bitcoin at the start of 2017 saw 15-fold returns by the end of the year.

Ether’s ascent has come despite concerns being raised about the technology behind the ethereum network. The cryptocurrency was removed from Bittrex, a major coin exchange, over the weekend after a glitch caused transaction costs to spike. While bitcoin uses blockchain technology for one application – to transfer online payments directly between users – ethereum has a wider range of potential uses. Spotify traded publically for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The deadline to award a contract to make blue British passports after Brexit has been extended by two weeks following a request by bidder De La Rue. The move comes after anger at the announcement British passports would be produced by Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto when De La Rue’s contract ends in July. The British firm said Gemalto was chosen only because it undercut the competition, but the UK company also admitted that it was not the cheapest choice in the tendering process. Phillip Rasmussen, finance chief of technology company IQE, was killed in an accident while on holiday over the weekend.

The company confirmed the 47 year old man had died while cycling in Menorca. A 25-year-old American man was arrested on suspicion of drink driving, after failing a roadside breath test. 4m off of Flybe’s revenues due to flight cancellations, airport closures and delays, according to the budget airline’s estimates. Flybe said it cancelled 994 flights in the three months to 31 March, compared to 372 in the same period last year. Such applications of blockchains have the potential to dramatically reduce the time spent on administering a broad range of contracts. On Wednesday, ether joined bitcoin in being demanded by cybercriminals as a method of payment to stop a ransomware attack. A new variant of the HC7 ransomware, which hijacks victims’ computers or networks and blocks access to them until a payment is made, is thought to be the first such virus to demand ether.

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