Billy Bambrough
Contributor
i
Crypto & Blockchain
I write about how bitcoin, crypto, and fintech are changing the world.

The bitcoin price went into freefall this morning, despite good news for bitcoin adoption from the growing Lightning Network, as investors get cold feet ahead of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision expected later this month on whether to grant approval for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) — something the SEC has previously rejected due to fears around bitcoin’s wild price swings and price manipulation.

Bitcoin fell by some $500, or 5%, in just a matter of minutes, according to CoinDesk data, and taking the bitcoin price under the psychological $7,000 mark.

The sharp fall in bitcoin price comes after unconfirmed reports from Business Insider that U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs is ditching plans to open a desk for trading cryptocurrencies due to the murky regulatory landscape.

cryptocurrencies
The bitcoin price took a sharp turn lower this morning, dragging most other major cryptocurrencies with it.COINDESK

In response, the bank released a statement: “We have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,” it said.

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The online game “Fortnite” has become a smash hit.

Days after “Fortnite” said it would launch an Android app but circumvent Alphabet Inc.’s app store, Google found a major security flaw in the Android version of the game and publicly exposed both the flaw and a request to keep it quiet.

The flaw has since been repaired by Tencent Holdings Inc. TCEHY, +2.16%  -backed Epic Games Inc., which asked Alphabet GOOGL, +1.28% GOOG, +1.27% not to disclose the information for 90 days. Google engineers refused and published the details of the exploit Friday — a week later — as well as the exchange with Epic’s developers.

When app makers circumvent the Alphabet-owned Google Play Store — or Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +0.31%  similar app store — they avoid paying a 30% fee on sales made through their apps, but they do not receive some services included in the fee. “Fortnite” is the most high-profile instance of a developer publicly avoiding the Play Store while launching an Android app, but Friday’s security disclosure is now the most high-profile demonstration of the risks associated with that strategy.

AndroidCentral first reported the news late Friday.

Epic Chief Executive Tim Sweeney has praised open platforms like Android and even said he doesn’t take issue with digital stores for console games. But Google’s control over Android is another story, he has said, because he believes Google isn’t making the same amount of effort to market titles to consumers: So if Epic can avoid it, why not do so?

Don’t miss: How ‘Fortnite’ cracked the code to become the most successful free videogame ever

Instead of offering the app in Google’s Play Store, Epic offered it only as a direct download from the internet. After it was publicly posted on Aug. 9, Google researchers tested it and found the flaw, a serious one that would let any app on an Android phone download and run software without a user knowing.

Epic fixed the bug about a day after learning about it, or six days after “Fornite” officially launched on Android. Users who downloaded the installer for “Fortnite” have likely already received an automatic fix Epic rolled out, but it’s unclear how many people downloaded the flawed Android app or if hackers had made use of the exploit. The Google security team also included a proof-of-concept video demonstrating how people could exploit the bug.

See also: ‘Fortnite’ more important than cryptocurrency to large companies during earnings season

“Fortnite” may need the Android app to re-energize the hugely lucrative free-to-play game. “Fortnite” sales grew at a slower rate in July compared to the prior month, according to research published this week by SuperData, despite the launch of a new season. The free-to-play battle royale game became an outsize success in recent months, and has raked in millions of dollars a month on cosmetic upgrades and subscription sales.

Google and Epic did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment Friday afternoon.

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On Wednesday, December 5, The Walt Disney Family Museum will offer FREE admission in honor of Walt’s birthday. To commemorate this special occasion, we will host a number of exciting activities throughout the day that highlight Walt’s life, work, and legacy. Happy Birthday, Walt!
On Wednesday, December 5, The Walt Disney Family Museum will offer FREE admission in honor of Walt’s birthday. To commemorate this special occasion, we will host a number of exciting activities throughout the day that highlight Walt’s life, work, and legacy. Happy Birthday, Walt! Read More


President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are playing quite the game of geopolitical will-they-or-won’t-they.

On July 19, Trump told National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to the White House in the fall for a follow-up to this month’s now-infamous meeting in Helsinki. Putin played coy: He neither accepted nor declined the invitation right away; instead, he let five days go by, then had his aides suggest instead that maybe the two leaders could meet on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina in November.

It was basically the diplomatic equivalent of, “I don’t think I can do dinner, but maybe I’ll run into you at the party on Saturday!”

Shortly after Putin’s non-rejection rejection, Bolton quickly backtracked, announcing that actually, Trump didn’t even want Putin to come to Washington right now — he’d rather wait until after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation concludes.

Which brings us to Friday — on which Putin said, in front of a meeting of leaders of developing economies at Johannesburg, that while he’d totally love to come to Washington to meet with Trump, how about Trump just come to Moscow instead?

Say what you will about the brutal Russian dictator, the man certainly knows how to troll with the best of ’em.

But experts say there’s more than just trolling at work here: “It’s just another power play by Putin,” Rachel Rizzo, a European security expert at the Center for a New American Security think tank, told me. Read More

Juul

 

 

There is money to be made on our vices. So why do so many investors refuse to make it?

That’s an age-old question thrown into sharp relief this summer as Juul, the e-cigarette company that teenagers are gaga for these days, raises a round of financing that values the company on the same par with names like Lyft or Snap. There is perhaps no better market than one we are addicted to, but puritanical Silicon Valley typically refrains from industries that call upon our taste for sin.

So that means not to expect to see a marquee venture capital firm behind a new marketplace to organize the Adderall industry, even if there is surely a better way to connect dealers and buyers. Or behind a new technology to muffle the blast of a pistol, even if tens of millions of firearms are sold each year. Or behind a new innovation in how we experience pornography, even though the virtual reality platforms that firms’ portfolio companies build could very well revamp an estimated $100 billion industry worldwide. Read More

Chat Software

Stewart Butterfield’s startup will subsume Atlassian’s corporate chat tools to take on Microsoft. Click Here

Atlassian Corp.is selling its corporate chat software to rival 

Slack Technologies Inc.and taking a small stake in the startup, as they face greater competition from 

Microsoft Corp.Click Here

 

 

Click Here