May 25, 2022
Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol
Good morning! As the World Economic Forum unfolds in Davos, the hot topic of conversation is cryptocurrency. Even as coin values plunge, the promise of crypto looms large — though perhaps not for skeptical bankers. I’m Owen Thomas, and my Davos dream is to be at a piano bar scream-singing rock anthems with Randi Zuckerberg.
For something worthless, considerable fortunes are being spent to tout cryptocurrencies to the world’s elite right now. The World Economic Forum annual meeting, which ends tomorrow, has been dominated by two camps: central bankers, the classic Davos Man types, grumbling that crypto can’t possibly be worth anything; and the new arrivals from cryptoland, venturing into the belly of the beast to make the argument for digital assets. The cryptopians are certainly outmarketing the traditionalists: You can’t stumble out of a panel to buy a döner kebab in Davos Platz without seeing a “wen lambo” billboard with a rocket ship emoji.
It feels like a strange time to make the case for crypto. And yet there’s the crypto smart set, mingling with bankers in the Swiss Shangri-La.
If this is crypto winter, why the thaw? Maybe this is the Saint Martin’s summer of crypto.
Obsessing about crypto prices is the wrong way to think about things, anyway. “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot,” Oscar Wilde said. (Bet he never had his parachain bridge hacked!)
The crypto entrepreneurs parading around Davos have one thing over the central bankers, which is a dream. Why should crypto be different from any other tech sector? The whole point is to feel good about changing the world and get mad stacks of dollars trying. A cynical banker negging crypto may be someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
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Nick Tornow is joining Robloxas vice president of Engineering for the company’s developer team. Tornow is yet another fleeing Twitter employee: he was most recently the company’s platform lead.
Kakul Srivastava is the new CEO of Splice of Splice, the online music marketplace. Srivastava was head of Adobe’s Creative Cloud business. Splice founder and current CEO Steve Martocci will become the executive chairman and chief strategy officer of the company.
Tech companies just made a bold climate commitment, with Microsoft, Alphabet and Salesforce among a coalition of companies promising to buy everything from green steel to carbon dioxide removal in an attempt to clean up the climate.
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Here's how Amazon built Glow, its kid-focused video calling projector.
A Bored Ape NFT was set to star in a high-profile animated series, but the show’s protagonist may have gone MIA. Actor and producer Seth Green’s NFTs, including a Bored Ape named Fred Simian, were stolen in a phishing scam. Fred was to be the star of Green’s new series.
Now, the fate of the show is up in the air: The NFT went back on the market, where it was sold to a Twitter user for more than $200,000, stripping Green of his rights to the IP. Green has said he wants to resolve the situation with the buyer outside of court, but the bizarre situation highlights a legal issue that could truly only happen in 2022: If someone buys a stolen NFT, who owns the intellectual property?Green is still hopeful, tweeting Tuesday: “We can prove the promise of ape community.”
To counter the rise in phishing attempts in collaborative working tools, Google is expanding its proven AI-powered phishing protections to Google Workspace. You are automatically alerted if the doc you’re working in contains a suspicious link, and are taken back to safety.
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