April 18, 2022
Good morning! As federal regulators puzzle over what to do about a problem like cryptocurrency, crypto companies are playing a state-by-state game that an early tech disruptor named PayPal perfected. I’m Owen Thomas, and I covered PayPal before PayPal was cool. (I know, I know… PayPal was cool once?)
The hot startup was set to go public. But regulators were threatening to shut down part of its business. A panicked CEO called for armies of lawyers to mollify bureaucrats.
It was 2002, and the company was PayPal. But that scene has replayed time and again. No need to panic: The fire drill has become a proven tactic. It’s known as the regulatory moat, and it’s one of the smarter — and sneakier — ways to cement your dominance in a constantly shifting tech environment.
A regulatory moat can fend off competitors. Look at PayPal’s history.
Cozying up to regulators isn’t just for banks and utilities anymore. Tech companies are spending a small fortune on lobbying.
Regulators should be wary of tech companies bearing draft rules. “Whatever you do, please don’t throw me across that regulatory moat!”
A regulatory moat is a smart strategy, but it can have a big downside. Inside the well-regulated castle, it’s easy to get complacent. AT&T enjoyed decades of profitable protection under the Kingsbury Commitment, a settlement that let it dominate American telephony. By the 1990s, AT&T was running ads about the future rather than building it. (Send a fax from the beach!) PayPal protected its well-regulated money-sending business, but let Square exploit a mobile niche that turned into a $70 billion business called Block today. Change, like death, bores through a castle wall.—Owen Thomas (email | twitter)
Binance's Changpeng Zhao said France is "very welcoming" toward crypto:
Simulate’s Ben Pasternak said making sure workers are productive shouldn’t be the reasonto bring people back to the office:
Coinbase’s David London said states are taking crypto rules into their own hands:
The speed at which security has been built up over the last 12 months has been a derivative benefit of what we’ve seen during the pandemic. Privacy, compliance and security are three legs of the same stool. What we’re seeing increasingly is that intersection continuing to happen. RingCentral has invested in all those elements.
A wave of tech earnings are coming this week from IBM, Tesla, Snap, AT&T and others.
Lincoln will show its EV concept on Wednesday. It’ll be Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle.The NAB Show starts on Sunday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Lester Holt, Jessica Rosenworcel and ambassadors for TikTok and Peloton are expected to attend.
Apple workers are collecting signatures to form a union at the company’s Grand Central Terminal location. If successful, it’d be the first of Apple’s retail stores to unionize.
Etsy sellers are also talking about unionization after a week protesting the platform’s transaction fee. Some are joining a Discord server to discuss organizing plans.
Twitter’s board invoked a so-called poison pillin an effort to stop Elon Musk's takeover. The plan lets shareholders buy additional shares at a cheaper price.
Researchers think Intel’s “emotion AI” tech is flawed. The classroom tool detects students’ emotions using facial expressions, but critics said it’s not possible to use facial expressions and other external factors alone to figure out how someone is feeling.
TED host Chris Anderson's interview with Elon Musk is up. They talk about space exploration, EV batteries, smart robots and Musk's various other interests.
AMC takes crypto now. Its theaters will let people buy tickets and concessions with Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, and it added support for crypto through Bitpay.
Elon Musk falsely tweeted about taking Tesla private in 2018 and knew it, a new court filing states. Tesla’s been in a legal battle with shareholders after they lost money from Musk’s tweet.
James Phillips is Stripe’s new president of financial services. Phillips most recently led Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Platform Group.
Andy Mitchell left Facebook for CLEAR, where he’ll work in partnerships. Mitchell last worked as Meta’s head of global media accounts.
Wei Zhou is the new CEO of Coins.ph. Zhou is Binance's former CFO.
Everyone applauds creativity, but a new study shows that we’re actually more resistant to it than we think.The research found that people have a bias against creativity, which can prevent us from taking a chance on projects or hiring a creative worker. The issue makes sense: Creativity means change without knowing if things will pan out, and people generally like certain outcomes. But the study found that this bias can hold us back when we’re in desperate need of invention.
At RingCentral, we’re focused on making hybrid work simpler for organizations so they can best set up, run and manage their business. We’re asking ourselves what's the benefit that we can derive, or that we can enable, that is better than the best-in-class in the industry?
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