Eq: Tech


We have been warning that one of the big risks for bitcoin is the threat of regulation, and today that prognostication is looking true. The cryptocurrency plunged yesterday after South Korean regulators took steps to shut down the trading of bitcoin on the country’s exchanges. The government views trading of the currency as akin to gambling. Bitcoin fell as much as a quarter in South Korea and over 13% on global exchanges. It is now trading between $12,000 and $13,000.

FINSUM: Bitcoin is an interesting asset class, but because it operates in a gray area of legality, it is fraught with extreme regulatory risk.

(New York)

The comment heard round the world seems to have been eating JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Several months ago Dimon made the much publicized comment that Bitcoin was “fraud”. The CEO is one of the most respected on Wall Street and the comments have been the bane of the cryptocurrency for some time. However, speaking at a conference yesterday, Dimon said about his statements that “I regret making them”.

FINSUM: The funny part of about this new statement is that it was accompanied by several more veiled expressions of dislike for bitcoin, such as saying he is “not interested in the subject at all”.

(San Francisco)

The tech industry seems to be at the very early stages of a crackdown by regulators. At this point the talk is mostly in media and amongst the public (a few Trump tweets aside), but the push is coming, both on the back of fake news and of anti-trust concerns. Well, there may be a much more immediate threat now. Apple may be facing a near-term regulatory crackdown as its own shareholders are calling for a study into the link between the iPhone and smartphone addiction, especially in children. Apple shareholders Jana Partners and Calstrs are calling for a study to see if the phones are addictive and what negative mental effects they may have on children. Some researchers believe the young have a serious metal health problem related to smartphones, with one academic saying “It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades”.

FINSUM: So Jana and Calstrs, who are calling for this, say it is better to deal with the issue now rather than later and that doing so will provide value to shareholders. If regulations on smartphones actually come to pass, it could change the entire industry.

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