Directions (1-5): Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:
“FEDERAL Reserve deeply split. Renegade group of board members to create separate American dollar.” Such a headline seems highly (1) ______, but this in essence is what is happening in the land of Bitcoin, a digital currency. On August 15th two of its main developers released a (2)______ version of the software that powers the currency. With no easy way to resolve feuds, some are warning that this “fork” could result in a full-blown schism.
The dispute is predictably (3)_________. The bone of contention is the size of a “block”, the name given to the batches into which Bitcoin transactions are (4) ______ before they are processed. Satoshi Nakamoto, the crypto-buff who created the currency before disappearing from view in 2011, limited the block size to one megabyte. That is enough to handle about 300,000 transactions per day—suitable for a currency used mainly by geeks, as Bitcoin once was, but (5) _________ near enough to satisfy the growth aspirations of its boosters. Conventional payment systems like Visa and MasterCard can process tens of thousands of payments per second if needed.
- A) plausible
- A) assisting
- A) overlapped
B) more obvious
- A) assembled
- A) all of them
Directions (6-10): Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:
IT WAS only a decade or so ago that Scotland was hit by the “Great Drain Robbery”, the disappearance of 50 manhole covers in Fife. It gave an (6) _______ of the emergence of a new era in commodity markets, spurred by insatiable demand from China. Scrap-metal prices—and so scrap-metal thefts—soared. Africa was over-run by Chinese engineers; Australia elected a Mandarin-speaking prime minister; and emerging markets from Argentina to Zambia relished the (7) _______ values of their farmland and mines. The boom was fanned by a weak American dollar, the currency in which most stuff that comes out of the ground is priced.
The gears have now gone into reverse. A (8) ______ dollar has hammered commodity prices: many have recently fallen below their levels of a decade ago. That is a fate not shared by other tradeable assets: not since the late 1990s have commodity prices been so weak compared with shares. The American economy is strengthening, but by no means enough to (9) _________ thieves to filch bronze bells from Chinese temples to send as scrap to the United States. The (10) ______ of its recovery is dwarfed by slowing demand in China, which still consumes about half the world’s metals such as iron, aluminium, and zinc.
- A) story
- A) rising
- A) latent
- A) accounting
- A) impact