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Thursday, December 3, 2020
A visual representation of the digital cryptocurrency bitcoin. Yu Chun Christopher Wong | S3studio | Getty Images Nearly $1 billion worth of bitcoin with potential ties to the Silk Road online black market is on the move, according to London-based blockchain analysis firm Elliptic. Silk Road was closed down by U.S. federal authorities in 2013, while its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life in prison two years later. The site, hidden away as part of the dark web, allowed people to sell drugs and other illegal goods. Elliptic, a firm that tracks the movement of dirty money in the cryptocurrency sphere, said Wednesday that it picked up on a transaction of funds believed to have originated from the site. The company said that 69,369 bitcoins — worth about $950 million today, according to CoinDesk — had been moved out of a wallet that had the fourth-highest balance of any globally. It added that an encrypted file circulating among hackers allegedly contained the passcode required to withdraw bitcoins from that wallet. "The movement of these bitcoins today … may represent Ulbricht or a Silk Road
Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. Erin Scott | Reuters A Biden campaign staffer publicly condemned Facebook over its handling of the election aftermath late Monday, claiming it is "shredding the fabric of our democracy." Bill Russo, deputy communications director for the Biden campaign, sent out a series of tweets criticizing Facebook's handling of misinformation and calls for violence related to the election. Russo specifically called out Facebook's handling of posts by Steve Bannon, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, and the news outlet Bannon previously ran, Breitbart. The criticism could be an early indication of President-elect Joe Biden's approach to the social media platform and potentially the tech industry at-large. Biden has given few hints about how he would handle the laundry list of concerns around the tech industry, which span from content moderation to antitrust issues. But the sparse comments he has given so far do not bode well for the tech industry and specifically for Facebook. "No, I've never been a fan of Facebook, as you probably know," he
Attendees at Amazon.com Inc annual cloud computing conference walk past the Amazon Web Services logo in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., November 30, 2017. Salvador Rodriguez | Reuters Amazon's cloud-computing service on Wednesday was hit with an outage that took down some websites and services. A notice on Amazon Web Services' status page said it was experiencing problems with Kinesis, its service that processes large streams of data, causing "increased error rates" for a number of websites. The outage also impacted its ability to post updates to the status page. "The Kinesis Data Streams API is currently impaired in the US-EAST-1 Region" the notice states. "We are continuing to work towards resolution." AWS did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Among the services that reported issues as a result of the outage were Amazon's smart security subsidiary Ring, Roku, software maker Autodesk, fintech lending company Affirm, Target's Shipt delivery service and the subway status site operated by New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Tribune Publishing properties the Baltimore Sun and the Chicago Tribune also reported errors. Major AWS customers including Apple, Slack and Netflix didn't appear
Elon Musk, head of Tesla, at the Tesla Gigafactory construction site in Grünheide near Berlin, September 3, 2020. Patrick Pleul | picture alliance | Getty Images Tesla stock reached an all-time high Thursday, briefly trading at $507.76 per share. The company's stock has been on a tear since the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced this week that it will include the carmaker to the benchmark index prior to trading on Monday, Dec. 21. Money managers with funds that track the S&P 500 will need to buy the stock for their portfolios. The stock is currently on track for its best week since the week ending Aug. 21, ahead of its 4-for-1 stock split on Aug. 31. Morgan Stanley also upgraded Tesla to a buy-equivalent overweight rating Wednesday, the first time in years since the company put a buy rating on the stock, sending share prices up. "Tesla is on the verge of a profound model shift from selling cars to generating high margin, recurring software and services revenue," Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas said in a note on Wednesday. The firm upped its price target to
A smartphone with the Huawei and 5G network logo is seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture taken January 29, 2020. Dado Ruvic | Reuters LONDON – British telcos could face large fines if they fail to tighten security in their networks under a new law being announced in Parliament on Tuesday. The proposed Telecommunications Security Bill is designed to improve security in the U.K's 5G and full-fiber networks. Under the bill, network operators must ensure the equipment and software used at phone mast sites and telephone exchanges meets certain standards. "This will be a significant step to protect the U.K. from hostile cyber activity by state actors or criminals," the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport said in a statement. "Over the past two years the government has attributed a range of cyber attacks to Russia and China, as well as North Korea and Iranian actors." If the bill is passed, the government said it plans to fine telecoms firms up to 10% of turnover or £100,000 ($133,000) a day if they fail to comply with the rules. Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said the
Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo is asking drivers to agree to stricter Covid-19 safety protocols, adding that it may not be able to afford continuing to pay employees in the future, especially if it has to shut down services again. Leadership from Waymo and its contractor, transportation company Transdev, sent drivers and support staff an email with updated policies Tuesday evening, asking workers to "re-sign" an agreement that lists new rules for mask wearing, unpaid quarantines and disciplinary actions such a potential termination if they're violated. "This is a difficult time for all of us, especially as we approach the holidays," Waymo leadership stated in an email titled "URGENT - COVID Safety Policy Changes" viewed by CNBC. "We urgently need your help to keep all of us safe. So, remember: strictly follow the safety procedures which we have put into place at work and encourage your co-workers to do the same." The company stated it will be hosting an all-hands meeting in the next week to discuss the details of each revised policy, which is effective immediately. It also urged employees to follow CDC Guidance on
GoodRx signage on the outside of the Nasdaq on the day of its IPO, September 23, 2020. Source: GoodRx Shares of GoodRx, a company that finds users prescription drugs at a discount, plunged 14% Tuesday after Amazon announced its biggest move yet into the pharmacy space. The e-commerce giant revealed Amazon Pharmacy before the bell on Tuesday, which will allow customers in the United States to order prescription medications for home delivery. Amazon Prime members will get free delivery. The announcement also spooked investors in traditional pharmacy giants. Shares of CVS and Walgreens were down more than 7% and 8%, respectively, while Rite Aid's stock dropped 13%. Amazon shares were up more than 1%. Doctors will be able to send prescription requests directly to Amazon Pharmacy. Patients can also request to transfer their prescriptions from an existing retailer, like Rite Aid or CVS. GoodRx, meanwhile, offers users a free list of discount cards and coupons to cut down costs of their prescription medication. The company collects fees from the pharmacy benefits managers it works with. Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures as he arrives to visit the construction site of the future US electric car giant Tesla, on September 03, 2020 in Gruenheide near Berlin. Odd Andersen | AFP | Getty Images LONDON — Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has suggested that his firm could launch a new hatchback model in Europe in the future. Tesla currently sells two SUVs in the Model Y and Model X, as well as the Model S executive saloon and the Model 3 sedan. It doesn't, however, sell any vehicles that are similar in size to say a Volkswagen Golf, a Ford Fiesta, or a Mini Cooper. "Possibly in Europe it would make sense to do, I guess, a compact car, perhaps a hatchback or something like that," Musk said Tuesday at a virtual conference on batteries hosted by the German government, according to Reuters. "In the U.S., the cars tend to be bigger for personal taste reasons," he said. "In Europe, (they) tend to be smaller," added Musk, who leapfrogged Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world's second-richest person this week. Musk also told the
The mobile-messaging application WhatsApp is displayed on an Apple iPhone Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images SINGAPORE — Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp will let users in India send money through the app starting Friday, as long as they have a bank account and debit card in India. India is one of the largest markets for WhatsApp with more than 400 million users. WhatsApp said in a blog post that it is working with five major banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India — the largest public lender in the country — and Jio Payments Bank. The new feature is available on the latest version of WhatsApp on Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store. It was designed using the United Payments Interface (UPI), an infrastructure created by the country's top payments processor, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Mobile apps built on the UPI infrastructure can access multiple bank accounts in a secure manner and merge services like making digital payments and peer-to-peer money transfer in real time. UPI is one of the most dominant methods of digital payments
studioEAST | Getty Images LONDON — Bitcoin has plunged by close to $3,000 in less than 24 hours after hitting highs not seen since the end of 2017. The price of bitcoin was trading at $19,374 at 1:45 p.m. London time Wednesday when it began its slide. The losses accelerated overnight, with the price falling from $18,824 at 2 a.m. Thursday to $16,857 by 9 a.m., according to data from industry site CoinDesk. Bitcoin has been on a tear in 2020, skyrocketing over 150% in a jump crypto enthusiasts have credited to unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus in response to the Covid-19 crisis, as well as interest from big-name investors such as Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller. The latest tumble comes as many predicted the cryptocurrency would soon hit an all-time high of $20,000. Antoni Trenchev, a managing partner and co-founder of Nexo, which bills itself as the world's biggest crypto lender, said he expects bitcoin to rally well into the $20,000s and beyond. "Long term I don't see anything derailing Bitcoin's irrevocable rise higher," said Trenchev. "That doesn't mean we won't have pullbacks along the way.
Tesla surged past a $500 billion market cap on Tuesday after trading opened and its stock price surpassed $527.48 per share. Shares of Tesla were trading at $540.40, up more than 3%, when markets opened. The company has been on a tear this year, with its stock price increasing more than fivefold. While the mark is largely symbolic, it underscores CEO Elon Musk's push for growth. Tesla became the first $100 billion publicly listed U.S. carmaker in January. In October, Tesla reported its fifth consecutive quarter of profit on third-quarter revenue of $8.77 billion. The company also reported earlier that month it delivered 139,300 vehicles during the third quarter, a record for the carmaker.  Tesla is set to join the S&P 500 before trading on Monday, Dec. 21, a move that pushed the shares higher earlier this month since money managers with funds that track the S&P 500 will need to buy the stock for their portfolios. Morgan Stanley also upgraded Tesla to a buy-equivalent overweight rating last week, the first time in years since the company put a buy rating on the stock. This week's stock jump also pushed Musk to overtake Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates as the world's second richest person,
Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. Aly Song | Reuters E-commerce marketplace Wish filed its IPO prospectus Friday, and gave investors who may be concerned about an overreliance on China plenty of reasons to be skeptical. Wish, founded in 2010, is an online marketplace that features a variety of discounted goods, ranging from cheap homewares and apparel to electronics and toys. The app offers a slew of products for just a few dollars as a way to target low- to middle-income consumers with more affordable options than they can find on other sites, including Amazon. The company, valued by private investors at $11.2 billion, is able to keep prices low, in part, by sourcing most of its products from sellers in China. Wish doesn't break down what portion of its more than 500,000 sellers hail from the region, but Marketplace Pulse previously estimated that 94% are based in China, with the remaining 6% coming from the U.S., U.K., Canada and India. "We initially grew our platform focusing on merchants