Execs Who Ran MoviePass Charged in Alleged Fraud Scheme

The two individuals who once ran MoviePass have been charged with engaging in a criminal scheme to defraud investors of Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), a publicly traded company based in Florida and New York that invested and then took over the subscription-based movie ticketing service. Ted Farnsworth, former chairman and CEO of MoviePass parent HMNY, and Mitch Lowe, former MoviePass CEO, are each charged with one count of securities fraud and three counts of wire fraud. If convicted, the Florida men face possible prison time of 20 years per count. Continue reading Execs Who Ran MoviePass Charged in Alleged Fraud Scheme

New Era Begins for Twitter as Elon Musk Acquires Company

Elon Musk took control of Twitter on Thursday, completing the historic $44 billion acquisition of the social micro-blogging platform. After some housekeeping — including carrying a sink into the company’s San Francisco headquarters for a cheeky video-op (“let that sink in!”) and firing top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal — the recalcitrant tech magnate began settling into his new role. Updating his bio to reflect his chosen title of “Chief Twit,” he tweeted off a letter assuring advertisers that Twitter will not “become a free-for-all hellscape” with no content moderation. Continue reading New Era Begins for Twitter as Elon Musk Acquires Company

Twitter Fate Still Vague After Musk Reaffirms Intent to Acquire

Delaware Chancery Court judge Kathaleen McCormick says she expects the trial in Twitter’s lawsuit against Elon Musk to continue as scheduled, beginning October 17, despite a letter his attorneys sent Twitter management saying the mercurial Tesla chief intends to go through with his proposed $44 billion acquisition if the social media company drops its lawsuit against him. In a Wednesday filing, McCormick said the court expects Twitter’s delayed deposition of Musk, scheduled for today, to proceed as planned. However, as of last night it was reported that Musk and Twitter agreed to postpone the billionaire’s deposition. Continue reading Twitter Fate Still Vague After Musk Reaffirms Intent to Acquire

Charges Made by Twitter Whistleblower Could Benefit Musk

A former Twitter security chief may be Elon Musk’s white knight in the billionaire’s effort to get out of his contract to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share ($44 billion). Peiter Zatko filed a whistleblower disclosure to Congress and federal agencies claiming Twitter not only deceived shareholders and the public by misrepresenting its bot count and security measures, but also alleging “that one or more current employees may be working for a foreign intelligence service,” according to CNN. If true, the allegations would violate a 2011 agreement between Twitter and the Federal Trade Commission. Continue reading Charges Made by Twitter Whistleblower Could Benefit Musk

Elon Musk Notifies Twitter of Plan to Cancel Acquisition Deal

Elon Musk is attempting to terminate his $44 billion deal to acquire social giant Twitter. Musk’s attorneys claimed in a regulatory filing that Twitter was in “material breach of multiple provisions” of the purchase agreement and “appears to have made false and misleading representations.” According to Twitter board chairman Bret Taylor, “The Twitter board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement.” The deal includes a $1 billion “breakup fee” and the company can hold the billionaire to his original agreement by taking him to court. Continue reading Elon Musk Notifies Twitter of Plan to Cancel Acquisition Deal

Senate Cryptocurrency Bill Could Be a Victory for Blockchain

A debate as to whether cryptocurrencies are more like commodities than securities is playing out in Washington, with Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) introducing legislation to regulate them like commodities. If passed, the bill would put digital currency under the regulatory purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a win for the crypto sector, which prefers the smaller agency. SEC chair Gary Gensler takes the position that digital assets are akin to publicly traded stock and should be regulated by the SEC.
Continue reading Senate Cryptocurrency Bill Could Be a Victory for Blockchain

Stock Volatility at Twitter and Tesla Roil Musk’s Buyout Plans

Twitter’s tumbling stock price has spectators second-guessing Elon Musk’s motives in demanding more information for the acquisition deal to proceed. The billionaire’s “best and final” offer of $54.20 per share is now looking like a rich deal for Twitter, which has been hovering at about $38 per share. The Twitter board is understandably intent on keeping the $44 billion offer and $1 billion breakup fee in place, even as Musk tweeted ““this deal cannot move forward” until he sees proof of the company’s claim that spam and bots account for less than 5 percent of users. Continue reading Stock Volatility at Twitter and Tesla Roil Musk’s Buyout Plans

Wall Street Begins Dabbling in Crypto While Some Hang Back

Wall Street is warming up to cryptocurrencies. Large banks and other financial institutions have been staffing departments ready to serve clients’ blockchain needs. Hedge funds and professional investment outfits led the way, with many mutual funds and pension managers now following along, lest they be perceived as out of touch. Some say the involvement of traditional investment sectors could add some stability to the often-volatile crypto markets, whose ongoing viability is hardly assured. Although Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong thinks it is, predicting that at least one billion people will have tried crypto within a decade. Continue reading Wall Street Begins Dabbling in Crypto While Some Hang Back

Twitter Accepts Musk’s $44 Billion Offer to Acquire Company

Twitter’s board has accepted billionaire Elon Musk’s offer to purchase the social media company for $44 billion, a financial value that reflects his April 14th offer of $54.20 per share. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, who earlier revealed a desire to make Twitter a private company. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.” Continue reading Twitter Accepts Musk’s $44 Billion Offer to Acquire Company

Elon Musk Makes ‘Best and Final’ $43B Offer to Buy Twitter

Less than two weeks after announcing he had built up a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter (and more recently turning down an offer to join its board of directors), billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Elon Musk has made a cash offer of $54.20 a share to purchase the popular social networking service, valuing the company at about $43 billion. “Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” Musk wrote in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor disclosed in an SEC filing. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder. Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.” Continue reading Elon Musk Makes ‘Best and Final’ $43B Offer to Buy Twitter

Twitter Will Begin Testing a Controversial Edit Button Feature

Subscribers to the premium Twitter Blue will soon be able to test an edit feature, according to Twitter, which says a tweet edit button has for years been its most-requested UI update. Speculation that the feature would be added has run rampant since Elon Musk, a vocal proponent, announced his significant investment in the company. Following news that Musk will join its board, Twitter revealed that it has been working on such a feature since last year and testing will begin in the coming months. However, the feature is somewhat controversial. Continue reading Twitter Will Begin Testing a Controversial Edit Button Feature

Biden Orders Roadmap for Responsible Crypto Development

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies enjoyed an 8 percent jump in value Wednesday following President Joe Biden’s signing of a six-part executive order designed to protect U.S. consumers, investors and businesses, foster global financial stability and mitigate the national security risks presented by the illicit use of digital assets. The Executive Order also seeks to reinforce U.S. leadership in the global financial system, promote a more equitable financial system and encourage technological development and responsible use of digital assets. Perhaps most surprisingly, the order also prioritizes exploring a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Continue reading Biden Orders Roadmap for Responsible Crypto Development

Lawmakers Troubled About Rampant Sale of Consumer Data

When it comes to vacuuming-up consumer data, there is no distinction between that which is “personally identifiable” and that which is not, according to recent media reports. Data collection firms are reportedly hiding behind a false notion of privacy in order to keep Congress on track to allow the industry to police itself. This would enable the companies to continue mining personal information and selling it, whether to those trying to influence election outcomes, pharmaceutical firms trying to boost sales or insurance companies sniffing around for preexisting conditions. Continue reading Lawmakers Troubled About Rampant Sale of Consumer Data

Investors Plan Changes for Vote at Meta Shareholder Meeting

Meta Platforms shareholders are pressing for changes that address allegations of harm caused by its social platforms, which include Facebook and Instagram, as well as overall governance reforms. An investor group that includes the New York State Common Retirement Fund and Illinois State Treasurer filed eight resolutions to be considered at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, which is expected to be held in May. The proposals include board oversight in reducing harmful content, analysis of the company’s metaverse investment and a review of audit and risk committee, according to public reports. Continue reading Investors Plan Changes for Vote at Meta Shareholder Meeting

Lawmakers Grapple with Crypto Regulation at Finance Hearing

Congress continues to grapple with ways to provide government oversight for the cryptocurrency industry, which has exploded from $500 billion in 2020 to nearly $3 trillion today, according to CoinMarketCap. House Financial Services Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-California) called out crypto’s lack of accountability, saying its markets have no “centralized regulatory framework, leaving investments in the digital-asset space vulnerable to fraud, manipulation and abuse.” Those testifying on behalf of virtual currency argued it speeds financial transactions, can save money, and makes a new asset class accessible to people around the world. Continue reading Lawmakers Grapple with Crypto Regulation at Finance Hearing