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From NFTs to meme stocks: How to think about the crazy future of money

From NFTs to meme stocks: How to think about the crazy future of money

Good morning! This Sunday, here's your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from what's next for Coinbase to how the FBI cracked a shooter's iPhone.

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Best of Protocol

For Big Tech whistleblowers, there's no such thing as 'moving on,' by Issie Lapowsky

  • So much of tech's reckoning is a result of employees speaking out publicly about what's going on. Those people are all over the news for a while … and then what? Issie's story about what happens next, and why life never goes back to normal, is an important one.

Coinbase COO: 'The ship has sailed in crypto. It's here to stay,' by Ben Pimentel

  • Coinbase made a lot of people a lot of money this week. But the company's already thinking about what's next: an acquisition spree, new features to help it be more than just "a place to buy Bitcoin" and a lot of bets on the crypto future. Also: Don't miss Tomio Geron's story on what's next for the crypto industry as a whole.

Weibo is 'treating the incels like the royal family,' by Shen Lu

  • Meet the Red Vs: The nationalist influencers who are not just present on social platforms in China but are actively promoted and enabled by apps like Weibo. As censorship and nationalism mix in the country, a vicious new discourse has become the dominant one.

Why did Microsoft spend $19.7 billion to purchase Nuance? The answer may lie beyond health care, by Joe Williams

  • Microsoft needed a tool to break into hard-to-crack industries. Nuance needed a way to take what it had built for health care — a specific, powerful, deep voice assistant — and push it into other industries. If it works out, this $19.7 billion acquisition could be a perfect match. It could also be an expensive failure.

Caavo built a universal TV remote. Now, it wants to help you stay in touch with Grandma, by Janko Roettgers

  • How's that for a pivot? This is partly a story about what to do when a pandemic basically crushes your supply chain, partly a story about what happens when you double down on all the weirdest ways people use your product and partly a story about why it's both important and hard to build tech for seniors. I just hope the universal remote isn't gone yet.


CLEAR is working to help you connect your vaccine to your Health Pass. You will soon be able to create a digital vaccination record in the free CLEAR app. Download the app and get ready.

Learn more


Join Protocol's Joe Williams for a conversation about security in digital transformations with CrowdStrike's George Kurtz at #CollisionConf on April 20. Learn more


Best of Everything Else

There's nothing to do except gamble — New York Magazine

  • Send this story to everyone who asks you what in the world is going on with NFTs, dogecoin and meme stocks. The answer is simultaneously weird and totally reasonable: The internet has sent everyone's risk tolerance through the roof, "doing the responsible thing" no longer really works and all money is basically pretend anyway so what's the difference? Embrace the chaos, my friends.

Racist computer engineering words: 'Master,' 'slave' and the fight over offensive terms — The New York Times

  • What do coding terms like "master" and "slave" and "blacklist" really refer to? That has become a complicated question over the last year, and has caused many debates between those calling for more neutral language and those who either want to roll their eyes or scream in frustration. (Also, the IETF has the best consensus-measuring system I've ever heard of: humming!)

The FBI wanted to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. It turned to a little-known Australian firm — The Washington Post

  • This has been a lingering mystery for years now: How did the FBI get into a shooter's iPhone after Apple refused to help? Even Apple apparently didn't know. It became a big argument over backdoors, letting good guys in, letting bad guys in and the future of encryption. But then a tiny company called Azimuth Security made all that discussion irrelevant.


  • The hot new app of the week: An open-source take on Calendly, which you can adapt to your team's own scheduling needs. If you run a big team and need a weekend project, this might be a good place to start tinkering.

Can Clubhouse keep the party going? — The Verge

  • Clubhouse is all in on building an influencer business, and being an app full of creators. But as some of the app's early adopters are finding, the rules of the Clubhouse road aren't at all clear yet. As Clubhouse grows, it's going to have to figure out how to be fun, weird, huge and monetizable all at the same time. It won't be easy. Plus, it's not easy to talk all day!

How Facebook let fake engagement distort global politics: a whistleblower's account — The Guardian

  • This whole series, called "The Facebook loophole," is worth taking some time to read this weekend. It looks at all the ways Facebook's rules can be bent and ignored by powerful people all over the world, and at why Facebook seems to willingly ignore those problems unless they're in a few profitable countries.


CLEAR is working to help you connect your vaccine to your Health Pass. You will soon be able to create a digital vaccination record in the free CLEAR app. Download the app and get ready.

Learn more


Join Protocol's Tomio Geron for a discussion on the future of commerce with Whatnot's Grant LaFontaine and a16z's Connie Chan at #CollisionConf on April 21. Learn more


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Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to, or our tips line, Enjoy your day; see you tomorrow.

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