Crypto Meltdown Renewing Regulatory Interest on Capitol Hill

The FTX crash and ensuing fallout has fueled efforts by Congress and federal regulators to rein in the cryptocurrency business, which caused massive investment losses this past year. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) are among those leading the charge to put consumer safeguards in place. McHenry in January became chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Legislators are also calling for robust enforcement of existing laws, which the crypto industry has been resisting. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said Congress needs the resources “to be an effective cop on the beat.” Continue reading Crypto Meltdown Renewing Regulatory Interest on Capitol Hill

CES: Show Floor Reveals the Ups and Downs of Tech Trends

Connection, collaboration, and cooperation are three words that underscore almost everything we saw during four days at CES 2023. We anticipated this would not be a show of breakthrough innovations. Instead, we expected innovative ways to use recent advances. In broad categories, AR, haptics, and AI were much in evidence. Interesting light field displays and curved screens caught our eye. There were fewer cars but way more commercial vehicles and components driving “software-defined mobility.” TVs were secondary to connected ecosystems in Samsung and LG’s displays, while creators took center stage for Sony, Canon, and Nikon. Clear across the show, innovation may come from startups but to scale it takes giants. Continue reading CES: Show Floor Reveals the Ups and Downs of Tech Trends

CES: Crypto Leaders Weigh Benefits of Wallets, Self-Custody

CoinDesk managing editor Toby Bochan, who moderated a CES panel on “How to Keep Control of Your Crypto” noted the industry is in a “crypto winter” in the aftermath of the FTX meltdown. Panelists pinpointed crypto wallets and other self-custody technology to create trust and ease-of-use for wary customers. Bitski head of product Jasmine Xu noted that newbies face unfamiliar phraseology and uncertainty about the security of their crypto assets. Exchanges are intimidating and untrustworthy for many considering crypto. Xu’s company stores keys in a digital wallet, she said, to “give consumers the safety they need.” Continue reading CES: Crypto Leaders Weigh Benefits of Wallets, Self-Custody

Cryptocurrency Implosion Continues with BlockFi Bankruptcy

The fallout from cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s implosion continues, as BlockFi becomes the latest crypto lender to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in the wake of similar moves by Voyager and Celsius. BlockFi, which was to have been acquired by FTX, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey indicating more than 100,000 creditors, and liabilities combined with assets that range from $1 billion to $10 billion. An outstanding loan to Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt American division FTX US for $275 million was among the liabilities. Continue reading Cryptocurrency Implosion Continues with BlockFi Bankruptcy

Tech Spots Are the Talk of Super Bowl, from Crypto to Quest

One team was crowned champion at Super Bowl 56, but all the advertisers were winners, with an average of 112.3 million total viewers tuning in across TV and streaming. Typically the most-watched television event in the U.S., the Super Bowl is an opportunity for deep-pocketed advertisers to make an impression on consumers. This year, the post-game spot talk was all about tech. Returning sponsors Amazon, E-Trade, T-Mobile and Verizon were joined by big game debutantes, including four crypto firms, Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten, Meta Platforms’ first national commercial for Meta Quest 2, and several electric vehicle ads. Continue reading Tech Spots Are the Talk of Super Bowl, from Crypto to Quest

Lens Fest: Snap Reveals New Augmented Reality Possibilities

During Snap’s annual Lens Fest event, the company introduced new features and upcoming changes to its Lens Studio creation suite. Snap touted updates involving the integration of outside media and data in addition to a collection of new augmented reality features intended for future glasses, including its own AR-enabled Spectacles. Creators will be able to add audio clips and licensed music to Snapchat Lenses. The company is working on delivering real-time data such as weather info from AccuWeather and cryptocurrency prices from FTX. Developers will also have the ability to embed links inside Lenses and send Snapchatters to different websites. Continue reading Lens Fest: Snap Reveals New Augmented Reality Possibilities