Tech – One America News Network Your Nation. Your News. Wed, 30 Nov 2022 05:25:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tech – One America News Network 32 32 Singapore’s Temasek reviews $275 million FTX-related loss Wed, 30 Nov 2022 05:04:59 +0000 SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday that Temasek Holdings has initiated an internal review of its investment in the now-bankrupt FTX crypto exchange.

Temasek had invested about $275 million in FTX, which it said it has decided to write down after the spectacular collapse of the exchange.

The loss was “disappointing” and had caused reputational damage to Temasek, Wong said in parliament.

“The fact that other leading global institutional investors like BlackRock and Sequoia Capital also invested in FTX does not mitigate this,” he said.

Wong, who is also finance minister, said the loss does not not mean Temasek’s governance system was not working and “no amount of due diligence and monitoring can eliminate the risks altogether”.

Temasek has said its cost of investment in FTX was 0.09% of its net portfolio value of S$403 billion ($293.97 billion) as of March 31, 2022, and it currently had no direct exposure in cryptocurrencies.

($1 = 1.3709 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Chen Lin and Xinghui Kok; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)




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Brazil’s congress backs law for more crypto regulation Wed, 30 Nov 2022 03:12:07 +0000 (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress late Tuesday approved a bill that aims to boost oversight of the country’s cryptocurrency sector, after one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges collapsed earlier this month.

The proposal, which would see the sector regulated by a government-appointed federal agency, will now pass to outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro for approval.

The new rules would apply to legal entities that exchange virtual currencies for local or foreign currencies, exchange virtual assets, conduct transfers or are involved in financial services connected to issuers or vendors of virtual assets.

According to local media, the bill would force all locally active crypto providers to have a physical entity in the country, with fines and even prison sentences for those breaching the new rules.

The bill would, according to media, give companies a grace period for compliance.

The move follows this month’s collapse of Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX, which prompted investigations by Bahamian and U.S. authorities.

Before the crunch, 30-year-old founder Sam Bankman-Fried secretly moved $10 billion of customer funds to his proprietary trading firm, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Brazilian crypto advocates have backed the bill, saying it was important to establish rules in the industry. The country is one of the top 10 active markets globally for crypto, according to 2022 Chainalysis data.

(Reporting by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Bradley Perrett)


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U.S. crypto broker Genesis says it is working to avoid bankruptcy filing Wed, 30 Nov 2022 01:29:15 +0000 (Reuters) – U.S. cryptocurrency brokerage Genesis said it was seeking to avoid bankruptcy after Bloomberg news reported on Tuesday that creditors to the firm are organizing with restructuring lawyers to prevent insolvency.

Citing people with knowledge of the situation, the report said law firms Proskauer Rose and Kirkland & Ellis are being consulted by creditor groups, who are seeking to avoid a situation similar to crypto exchange FTX’s rapid descent into bankruptcy.

“Our goal is to resolve the current situation in the lending business without the need for any bankruptcy filing,” a Genesis spokesperson said.

Representatives for Proskauer and K&E did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“We’ve begun discussions with potential investors and our largest creditors and borrowers, including Gemini and DCG, to agree on a solution that shores up our lending business’ overall liquidity and addresses clients’ needs,” Genesis’ interim chief executive Derar Islim told clients in a letter seen by Reuters.

The report comes as U.S. state securities regulators are investigating Genesis Global Capital as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into the interconnectedness of crypto firms, Barron’s reported last week, citing a comment from the Alabama Securities Commission director.

Genesis has hired investment bank Moelis & Company “to evaluate the best possible asset preservation strategy and effectuate a roadmap,” the firm said in the letter.

The crypto lending arm of U.S. digital asset broker Genesis Trading suspended customer redemptions earlier this month, citing the sudden failure of FTX, where its derivatives business has approximately $175 million in locked funds, the company had said.

Venture capital company Digital Currency Group, which owns Genesis Trading and cryptocurrency asset manager Grayscale, owes $575 million to Genesis’ crypto lending arm, Digital Currency Chief Executive Barry Silbert told shareholders this month.

(Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam and additional reporting by Jaiveer Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


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Analysis-Apple supply chain data shows receding exposure to China as risks mount Wed, 30 Nov 2022 01:01:42 +0000 By Josh Horwitz

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s wide exposure to Chinese manufacturing, notable both for its low costs and rising risks, has receded since the COVID-19 pandemic began, company supply chain data shows.

With the world’s biggest iPhone factory, operated in central China by Foxconn, battling production shortfalls and labour unrest spurred largely by Beijing’s harsh virus containment policies, analysts expect the risks – and Apple’s retreat – to accelerate.

A Reuters analysis of Apple’s supply chain data shows China’s prominence in the company’s global manufacturing is declining: In the five years to 2019, China was the primary location of 44% to 47% of its suppliers’ production sites, but that fell to 41% in 2020, and 36% in 2021.

Apple did not reply to a request for comment.

The data shows how a diversification drive by Apple and its suppliers, with investments in India and Vietnam and increased procurement from Taiwan, the United States and elsewhere, is reshaping the global supply structure, although analysts and academics say it will remain heavily exposed to China for many years to come.

“The China supply chain is not going to evaporate overnight,” said Eli Friedman, an associate professor at Cornell University who studies labour in China.

“Decoupling is just not realistic for these companies for the time being,” he said, although he expected diversification to accelerate.

The concentration of suppliers in China, the site of most production by Foxconn which accounts for 70% of iPhones made globally, has been a key feature for Apple, the world’s most profitable smartphone vendor.

But the strategy is shifting, driven not just by China’s COVID-related lockdowns and restrictions, but by rising trade and geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington that pose potential long-term risks.

Foxconn is stepping up its expansion in India, with a plan to quadruple the workforce at its iPhone factory over two years, government officials with knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this month.

J.P.Morgan expects Apple to move about 5% of iPhone 14 production to India from late this year and to make one in four iPhones in India by 2025, and estimates that about 25% of all Apple products, including Mac PCs, iPads, Apple Watches and AirPods, will be manufactured outside China by 2025 versus 5% now.

The Apple supplier data to 2021, however, shows no locations so far that stand out as substantial gainers to match China’s decline, according to the Reuters analysis.

The United States rose the most to 10.7% in 2021 from 7.2% in 2019, followed by Taiwan with an increase to 9.5% from 6.7%. India was still a relatively minor presence, rising to 1.5% from less than 1%, while Vietnam expanded to 3.7% from 2.2%.

“Vietnam and India are not China. They can’t produce at that scale, at the quality and with the turnaround time, with the reliability of infrastructure,” said Cornell University’s Friedman.

Apple’s annual data covers more than 600 locations among its top suppliers, which represent 98% of Apple’s direct spending. Apple does not disclose how much it spends with each supplier, and those on the list can change each year as different companies make the cutoff among Apple’s thousands of suppliers.

They include contract manufacturers that assemble iPhones, iPads, watches and wireless headphones, as well as suppliers of chips, glass, aluminium casings, cables, circuit boards and other components.

While Apple’s shift from China is increasingly evident, including in its own supply chain data, so too are the risks from the concentration of operations there.

The labour issues at Foxconn’s China plant are due in large part to the demands of Beijing’s COVID containment policy, which require that workers be isolated from the wider world in closed-loop systems to keep factory lines operating.

The unrest has attracted the attention of investors, who are conscious of the human rights aspects as well as production targets.

“The important thing is that the company implements these orders in a way which respects people’s rights,” said Pia Gisgard, head of sustainability and governance at Swedbank Robur, which held Apple shares worth around $1.3 billion as of end-September according to Refinitiv data.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Additional reporting by Sarah Wu in Taipei and Simon Jessop in London; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Edmund Klamann)



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Cryptoverse: Messi takes on Ronaldo in fan coin world cup Wed, 30 Nov 2022 00:30:20 +0000 By Medha Singh and Lisa Pauline Mattackal

(Reuters) – The market for fan tokens, a volatile cocktail of crypto and sport, is heating up in the desert of Qatar.

Interest in this niche breed of cryptocurrencies, typically linked to sports teams like Barcelona or Brazil, has been charged up by the soccer World Cup which began on Nov. 20.

Average daily trading volumes for these tokens have risen to around $300 million in November from $32 million the month before, according to Kaiko, a Paris-based crypto data firm.

“So we have 10-fold increase in volume which is huge for these tokens,” said research analyst Dessislava Aubert.

For some buyers, these token offer the chance to engage with their side and gain perks such as the chance to win prizes and vote on songs played at matches. For others, the tradeable coins provide a new investment opportunity.

It’s a brave investor who’d seek to divine any sensible link between erratic coin prices and real-world events, though.

The token of Lionel Messi’s Argentina side slumped 25% to $5.26 following the team’s shock defeat by Saudi Arabia in their opening World Cup game. Yet it has dropped a further 22% since the team’s subsequent victory over Mexico brought fan relief.

The coin of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal rallied 119% to $7 in the 10 days leading up to the tournament but then proceeded to lose almost half its value even though it was unbeaten and top of its group heading into its clash with Uruguay on Monday, which it won to reach the knock-out stage.

Similarly in club football, Arsenal’s token has fallen 12.5% since the start of the season to $1.68 despite their glittering run to the top of the English Premier League.

The broader crypto market malaise is partly to blame for price drops, according to researchers who said the flighty assets were wilting as investors shunned risk.

The overall market cap for fan coins jumped to $401 million on the opening weekend of the World Cup, from $256 million about 10 days earlier, according to data from CoinGecko, but it has since fallen back below $300 million.

Siddharth Jaiswal, founder and CEO of Sportzchain, which mainly issues tokens for the Asian market, said people shouldn’t buy the coins primarily to make money.

“The cherry on the cake is that it’s a tool, available on the blockchain that can be easily traded in the future, so there is a financial connotation attached to it,” he added.

“But the first perception should never be that you’re buying the fan token from a profit-generating standpoint.”


Socios, which is promoted by Messi, is the biggest player in this slice of the crypto industry. It facilitates trading of most fan coins, describing buying such tokens as joining a loyalty scheme with exclusive benefits and prizes.

Some of the world’s biggest football clubs have launched tokens supported by Socios including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid, as well as the Portuguese and Argentinian national teams, with market caps of tokens ranging from about $7 million to $21 million.

Trading volumes for the Socios-linked token Chilliz, which users buy in order to trade with their team tokens, hit a seven-month high in early November ahead of the World Cup but have since retreated 40% from that peak.

When looking at the breakdown of trading in the Chilliz token by fiat currency, the Korean won dominates with its total fiat volume exceeding 87% in early November followed by Turkey’s lira, according to data from Kaiko.

The growth spurt in fan tokens comes at a time of tumult in the crypto market, which is reeling from the collapse of major exchange FTX earlier this month. Bitcoin is brooding near two-year lows at around $16,245.

While the FTX fiasco has raised serious questions about the lack of regulation in digital assets, fan coins – which some issuers say fall under the utility token category – remain a grey area.

“Tokens which do not offer sufficient utility could face some regulatory scrutiny, because this would infer that the token is an investment into the club,” said Marcus Sotiriou, analyst at digital asset broker GlobalBlock.

“However, if the token offers exclusive benefits and focuses on the utility it provides to its fans, then I do not think there will be regulatory issues.”

Socios said it believed in regulation to give fans trust and transparency.

In August, Britain’s advertising watchdog upheld a ruling against Arsenal over two adverts about fan tokens posted on the club’s website and Facebook that it deemed were misleading and irresponsible, although the club denied this.

Markus Thielen, head of research at digital assets platform Matrixport, said interest in these tokens among soccer fans could be short-lived.

“Companies and teams that are selling those tokens must now offer more value at regular intervals, otherwise users will lose interest after the World Cup quite quickly,”

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Pravin Char)



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Twitter not safer under Elon Musk, says former head of trust and safety Wed, 30 Nov 2022 00:13:43 +0000 By Sheila Dang and Katie Paul

(Reuters) – Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth on Tuesday said the social media company was not safer under new owner Elon Musk, warning in his first interview since resigning this month that the company no longer had enough staff for safety work.

Roth had tweeted after Musk’s takeover that by some measures, Twitter safety had improved under the billionaire’s ownership.

Asked in an interview at the Knight Foundation conference on Tuesday whether he still felt that way, Roth said: “No.”

Roth was a Twitter veteran who helped steer the social media platform through several watershed decisions, including the move to permanently suspend its most famous user, former U.S. President Donald Trump, last year.

His departure further rattled advertisers, many of whom backed away from Twitter after Musk laid off half of the staff, including many involved with content moderation.

Before Musk assumed the helm at Twitter, about 2,200 people globally were focused on content moderation work, said Roth. He said he did not know the number after the acquisition because the corporate directory had been turned off.

Twitter under Musk began to stray from its adherence to written and publicly available policies toward content decisions made unilaterally by Musk, which Roth cited as a reason for his resignation.

“One of my limits was if Twitter starts being ruled by dictatorial edict rather than by policy … there’s no longer a need for me in my role, doing what I do,” he said.

The revamp of the Twitter Blue premium subscription, which would allow users to pay for a verified checkmark on their account, launched despite warnings and advice from the trust and safety team, Roth said.

The launch was quickly beset by spammers impersonating major public companies such as Eli Lilly, Nestle and Lockheed Martin.

Roth also said Tuesday that Twitter erred in restricting the dissemination of a New York Post article that made claims about then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son shortly before the 2020 presidential election.

But he defended Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Trump for risk of further incitement of violence after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“We saw the clearest possible example of what it looked like for things to move from online to off,” Roth said. “We saw people dead in the Capitol.”

Musk tweeted on Nov. 19 that Trump’s account would be reinstated after a slim majority voted in favor of the move in a surprise Twitter poll.

(Reporting by Katie Paul and Sheila Dang; Editing by Mark Porter and Stephen Coates)


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