• Wed. Jun 22nd, 2022

“The bitcoin network is not a payment network,” says FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

ByHazel R. Lang

May 16, 2022

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It’s Monday, May 16, and I’m back, like a renegade master. I’m incredibly over-caffeinated and at a standing desk today, so for the occasion, it’s a dance desk. Because, I mean, you try to stay seated while listening this deafening rhythm.

This week, I can’t wait to leave for TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility in San Mateo to get the full story on the cars that will drive themselves and the companies that sink into our hearts – or off the nearest cliff. Get your tickets now, we still have a few available.

In other news, we particularly appreciated Lucas and Anitait is Chain reaction podcast, where they examine how crypto VCs can’t rely on loyalty spending.

Incidentally, I just re-read my TechCrunch contract, which states that no superfluous obscenity is allowed, so rest assured that this newsletter contains only strictly necessary profanity. Lots of love and sunshine and such! – haje

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • Ack — moar layoffs: Natasha and Amanda break the current restriction in startups with a roundup of layoffs over the past week, including an analysis of what happened at Section4, Carvana, Latch, DataRobot, and the hiring freezes at some of the tech stalwarts including Meta, Twitter and Uber. They did a roundup of last week too, in case you missed it. In the meantime, alexander analyzes global data from Layoffs.FYI layoff tracker.

  • Trouble in unicorn town: More on TC+, alexander consider how SaaS valuation multiples plunged further, now pointing to a single digit. As he sums it up: “A startup that sold shares last year at an ARR multiple of 50x would need to double and then double again before having a multiple similar to the current public market norm.”

  • Crypto? More like crypt-no: Anita reports how 30-year-old crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried is taking a hit on Bitcoin, saying it has no future as a payment network.

Startups and VCs

From time to time, startups raise funds for missions that make me worry about the current timeline we find ourselves in. Today’s episode on this topic comes from the office of Mr. Boucher, MBEcovering WeAre8’s crowdfunding campaign for a social media app where users get paid to watch apps. Sure, it makes sense to get money for your time, but also…just, ugh.

I loved this interview Aria made with high-flying startup (geddit…) Astra. It became the fastest company in history to reach orbit in November, six years after its founding, and its CEO says it’s aiming for daily launches sooner rather than later.

Developers, developers, developers:

5 lessons from “Star Wars” that can transform the strategies and tactics of startup managers

Picture credits: Natalia_80/Getty Images

The “Star Wars” saga is based on a narrative structure developed by Joseph Campbell, a writer and professor of literature who designed “the hero’s journey”.

Consisting of 12 stages, its archetype calls for a protagonist who leaves ordinary life after hearing the call to adventure – you can imagine why this is a popular metaphor among tech investors.

According to Touchdown Ventures President Scott Lenet, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi offered five distinct lessons for founders and investors.

For example, “‘I’ve got a bad feeling’ is a recurring joke in the franchise – nearly every main character utters the line at one point or another,” Lenet writes.

“These are also words to live by for business and startup leaders, as they are an emblem of awareness and proactivity.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can register here.)

Big Tech inc.

You might not think of “games” when you hear Hulu, but its new partnership with Xbox changes that – lauren reported that he just signed a new deal that gives U.S. Hulu subscribers three months of a PC Game Pass as part of its Friends with Benefits initiative. Amazing name aside, maybe it’s time to sweep my gaming rig (who I’m kidding; I don’t have time to play games. Too busy tweeting about coffee and my sanity slowly rotating around the drain).

After pressure from the EU, it seems that Apple could be getting closer to introducing Apple iPhone models with a USB-C port. As someone who has USB-C cables strewn around every surface, room, nook and cranny of my home, this would work wonders for me – but Apple has long resisted the pressure, so we’ll see what really happens on this front. I am on Darrell will continue to update us on the shape of the iPhone crevices.

  • Excuse me, Robot, are you my Uber? Uber Eats is drive autonomous deliveries with Serve and Motional. I just hope the robots eat their vitamins too, find love, and find time to walks in the forest.

  • I wrote this, I like it: Twitter is testing a new label “Loved by the author” which appears when the creator of a tweet likes your reply, Aisha reports.

  • Da, da, da, say goodbye to your data: A new report from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties says a real-time bidding system is “biggest data breach ever recorded.”

  • All things, all places, all the time, on a street near you: Uber unveiled a slew of new platforms and features at its global product event. New products cover Uber’s transportation and delivery services and aim to increase ridership, open up new business areas, incentivize drivers to go electric and more, Rebecca reports.



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