Money

What Facebook's Libra coin means for privacy

Facebook announced Libra in June after months of speculation and since then, it’s faced nothing but backlash and questions from regulators and the public over its plans. Libra is a cryptocurrency that is being launched by Facebook as an attempt to re-invent Bitcoin — a similar, but older type of currency. The main differences are that Libra will be much faster to confirm transactions, have lower fees and that it will be backed by multiple currencies — allowing it to maintain a stable value, whereas Bitcoin’s value can fluctuate greatly.

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WeWork revealed the extremely complicated way it's set up in its IPO

WeWork revealed the extremely complicated way it's set up in its IPO

Yesterday The We Company filed its S-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and it details the unnecessarily complicated way that the company is organised. In brief, the company is invested in co-working spaces, private schools and housing through its WeWork, WeGrow and WeLive subsidiaries. The We Company owns and leases numerous properties that it then opens up to people who purchase a membership — in total, the company has more than 790 offices located in over 35 countries, according to its own website. It’s not shy with splurging on spaces, having spent $850 million in 2017 to buy the Lord & Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in NYC from Hudson’s Bay.

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Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra, explained

Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra, explained

This week Facebook finally took the wraps off Libra, its new cryptocurrency, that will allow users to buy things online, send money with minimal fees and eventually, interact with offline businesses. It’s a digital cryptocurrency, but unlike Bitcoin, it can’t be mined and will remain at relatively the same value — making it prime to be used as a currency in countries where banks aren’t common.

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The SEC is suing Kik over its crypto ICO

Kik Interactive is being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its 2017 initial coin offering that raised $100 million in what the agency says is unregistered securities. $55 million was raised from US investors, according to the SEC statement released this week, which alleges that the one trillion tokens sold count as a security and therefore, should have been registered with the government.

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The downfall of WOW Air is really going to harm Iceland

The downfall of WOW Air is really going to harm Iceland

Iceland-based WOW Air went suddenly bankrupt at the end of March, leaving thousands of passengers stranded throughout the world. But now we’re seeing how much the airline’s shutdown has impacted Iceland’s economy. The central bank in Iceland has announced that the previously predicted 1.8 percent increase in the economy will now be a 0.4 percent decrease, stating that the “deterioration in the outlook is due primarily to a contraction in tourism,” alongside a decrease in marine product exports.

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Companies are rushing to donate money to Notre-Dame rebuild efforts

Companies are rushing to donate money to Notre-Dame rebuild efforts

Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring in from companies around the world to rebuild the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, after French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the cathedral within five years. The donations—which have totalled nearly a billion dollars—are raising questions from charities and politicians, who are wondering if tax breaks are the main reason why so much is being donated, Reuters explains.

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With IPOs in 2019, losses are the new normal

With IPOs in 2019, losses are the new normal

If there’s anything to learn from IPO’s in 2019—from Lyft and Uber’s already released S-1 filings to rumours that Pinterest and Postmates will go public—it’s that it is looking to be a big year for money-losing tech companies. Losses are the new normal for companies going public, reports the Wall Street Journal, with 83 percent of IPOs in the US happening within the first three quarters of 2018 losing money in the prior 12 months.

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Amazon's cashless stores might not remain cashless for much longer

Amazon's cashless stores might not remain cashless for much longer

Not everybody is happy that stores are beginning to ban cash payments, Amazon is now discovering as it works to accept cash at its previously cashless Amazon Go stores. The stores began popping up a year ago — allowing people to purchase snacks, pre-made meals and other assorted goods without interacting with anybody — but now legislation and backlash is catching up with the company.

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Airbnb is going all-in on the war against cities

Airbnb is going all-in on the war against cities

“Read my lips, we want to pay taxes,” said Chris Lehane to the US Conference of Mayors in 2016 on behalf of Airbnb. The home-sharing service has since shouted the declaration from everywhere it can — press releases, emails and billboards, begging mayors to let the company collect millions in unpaid hotel taxes on behalf of cities.

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Facebook makes more money off users in the US and Canada than Europeans

Facebook makes more money off users in the US and Canada than Europeans

According to Facebook’s Q4 earnings report, a user in the United States or Canada is much more valuable than one in Europe, Asia-Pacific or a user from anywhere else in the world. It’s no surprise that the company is able to make so much money off users — during this quarter, it made nearly $35 per North American user, but only $11 for European users and $3 for users in Asia and the Pacific region. But that should be no surprise, given the large amount of data that the company collects on you, including location, age, school, lines of credit and TV show preference.

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Sports stadiums should be funded by leagues, not cities

Sports stadiums should be funded by leagues, not cities

Cities in the United States have spent more than $4.091 billion on sports stadiums since 1997, often finding themselves paying for the majority of the construction cost — including $300 million for CenturyLink Field in Seattle, $619.6 million for the Lucas Oil Stadium and $455 for the Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The public has footed more than half the bill for 11 of the 17 stadiums to open in the time period, according to a CBS Minnesota document, which details the cost of the venues and the cost to both the public and private sector.

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The Bitcoin bubble has finally popped

The Bitcoin bubble has finally popped

With every economic boom comes the theory that a crash is impossible — a bubble, as most call it — that leads most people to believe that it’s permanent. In October, 1929, economist Irving Fisher wrote in The New York Times that stocks had “reached what looks like a permanently high plateau", only days before the beginning of the Great Depression. Most recently in 2017, John McAfee wrote on Twitter that “those of you in the old school who believe this is a bubble simply have not understood the new mathematics of the Blockchain”, while the value of Bitcoin now hovers at less than $4,000 USD.

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When it seems like things can't get worse for MoviePass, they do

Just last October, Helios and Matheson — the parent company of MoviePass, a movie subscription service that initially let users see unlimited movies for $9.95 per month — was celebrating a 52-week high stock price of $38.86. People loved the service and it was expecting to have five million subscribers by the end of 2018, hitting three million in June. The concept of MoviePass — unlimited movies at a set price each month — disrupted the movie industry, sparking the launch of AMC’s Stubs A-List, Cinemark Movie Club and Sinemia.

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US shoppers are expected to spend more than ever this holiday season, hitting $1 trillion

US shoppers are expected to spend more than ever this holiday season, hitting $1 trillion

In the US customers could spend more than $1 trillion during the holiday season, according to market research firm eMarketer, the first time retail sales have surpassed this amount.This will be a 5.8 percent increase from 2017 when consumers spent a total of 947.55 million between 1 Nov. and 31 Dec. The lowest unemployment rates since 1970, steady incomes and higher consumer confidence are being credited for this hike in spending — and because retailers won’t be passing on price increases due to Donald Trump’s tariffs until next year, this means spending will remain strong.

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The least sexy thing about Victoria's Secret is its insensitivity

The least sexy thing about Victoria's Secret is its insensitivity

The Victoria’s Secret televised runway show has been the biggest and most successful event the company has put on since it began in 1995 — with people watching it for the star-studded performances, spectacle of supermodels dressed as “angels”, or for the small intimates being strutted down the runway.However, the company is struggling under pressure from millennial-oriented brands like ThirdLove and American Eagle’s Aerie division and in July, announced that due to weak sales, it would have to extend its semi-annual sale by two weeks and offer higher discounts. It’s also closing 20 stores that are suffering from poor sales and has seen its stock drop from an all-time high of $99.41 on December 4, 2015 to an average of $30.

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Forget Black Friday — Single's Day is the biggest shopping event in the world

Forget Black Friday — Single's Day is the biggest shopping event in the world

When midnight hit on 11 November, the world’s biggest shopping event began — not Black Friday as some people might rightly assume, but Single’s Day, a Chinese shopping extravaganza. Started in 1993 as a day for university students to celebrate being single, it was then soon promoted by Alibaba’s Tmall service, transforming into a massive 20-day shopping festival.

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The economics of how low-budget airlines are so inexpensive

The economics of how low-budget airlines are so inexpensive

It seems incredible how cheap plane tickets can be on so-called low-cost airlines — $35 for a week in Barcelona, Budapest or Milan, $153 to Moscow or $437 to New York City. These airlines, usually based in Europe, can offer vastly lower prices than their competitors by slashing costs at every possible turn, while still making a healthy profit in the process. Low-cost airlines are dangerous for traditional companies that have been around for a long time because, by simply setting up a route along the same path as them, they force fares to drop which cuts into profits of the larger airline.

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Netflix is dominating the media streaming industry, as evident from its latest financials

Netflix is dominating the media streaming industry, as evident from its latest financials

During its Q3 report Netflix announced that it not only crushed, but obliterated investor’s estimates for the number of subscribers it would add this quarter, adding nearly 7 million new subscribers during the period. This number is higher than the company itself expected and brings the total number of subscribers the company has to more than 137 million, according to official documents. The company needed to beat estimates this quarter to keep Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney’s highly-anticipated streaming service, which is set to launch by the end of 2019 at bay. Netflix failed to meet its Q2 subscriber estimates of 1.23 million domestically and 5.11 internationally, adding only 670,000 and 4.47 million respectively, and needed to make up for the missed targets.

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Without permission, MoviePass is signing customers up for its new plans in its latest move against its userbase

Cinema movie ticketing startup MoviePass isn’t actually dead yet, but there’s been signs for the last few months that it was fighting to stay afloat, from shutting down overnight because of a lack of funding to nuking its unlimited plan and being hit with a shareholder lawsuit over fraud. According to The Verge, the company is now sending emails to a “select test group” of customers who didn’t opt-in to the limited three movie per month plan that it forced users onto, saying that unless users opted out of the service — something they’d already done to cancel their membership — it would be reactivating their plan on a special unlimited plan and charging them $9.95 per month.

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The economics of Nike's Air Jordan product line, explained

The economics of Nike's Air Jordan product line, explained

The Air Jordan line started in 1984 when basketball player Michael Jordan signed a deal with Nike to launch a lineup of shoes, offering him $250,000 to be associated with the brand. Though Adidas offered him double that amount of money, he stuck with Nike — they had offered him a percentage of the revenue of the shoes and promised that if he didn’t earn $3 million in the first 3 years of the partnership, he could exit the deal. This series of shoes is a main driver in Nike’s massive profits, and it’s clear that the deal is still paying off for both parties more than three decades later. Nike reporting sales of the Jordan brand separately for the first time in 2016, growing by 18 percent to $2.8 billion during that year.

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