Techmeme
January 20, 2022, 12:10 PM

Top News

Financial Times:
Sources: Meta is working on plans to let users create and sell NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, show NFTs on user profiles, and is considering an NFT marketplace  —  Facebook's parent draws up plans to allow users to create and sell non-fungible tokens, seeking to enter hype-fuelled $40bn market
Ryne Hager / Android Police:
Google launches a limited beta of Google Play Games, which brings Android games to Windows 10 and Windows 11, in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan  —  You'll need a relatively powerful computer for now.  And for once, the US isn't getting a Google thing first
Kurt Schlosser / GeekWire:
Amazon will launch Amazon Style, its first physical fashion store, in Los Angeles later this year; customers can use an app to send items to the fitting room  —  Move over books and groceries, Amazon's latest foray into physical retail is focused on fashion.
Mack DeGeurin / Gizmodo:
This summer the IRS will require users to log in via ID.me, which uses facial recognition in its authentication process, to file taxes, make payments, and more  —  Users will have to submit sensitive government documents, their social security number, credit history, and a facial scan to third-party company ID.me.
Reuters:
Russian's central bank proposes banning the trading, use, and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability  —  Russia's central bank on Thursday proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Instagram Subscriptions launches as an alpha, initially letting 10 US creators offer their followers paid access to exclusive Instagram Live videos and Stories  —  Instagram is giving creators more ways to make money with today's launch of Instagram Subscriptions.
Andrew Asmakov / Decrypt:
Crypto.com says its breach affected 483 users, resulting in unauthorized withdrawals of ~$33.84M in cryptocurrencies and cash but says users were reimbursed  —  Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has lost roughly $34 million in a recent security incident, according to a post-mortem released on Thursday.
Mark Mulligan / MIDiA Research:
Research finds the base of global music subscribers grew to 523.9M by the end of Q2 2021, up 26.4% YoY; Spotify's market share dropped from 33% to 31%  —  MIDiA's annual music subscriber market shares report is now available here (see below for more details of the report).  Here are some of the key findings.
Sean Lyngaas / CNN:
Red Cross says a cyberattack on a vendor for over 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies compromised the personal data of 515,000+ “highly vulnerable people”  —  (CNN)A cyberattack on a contractor used by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has compromised …
Emma Roth / The Verge:
AT&T begins its 5G C-band rollout in eight US metro areas, including Austin and Chicago, after delaying rollouts around airports due to safety concerns  —  The company is lighting up towers in just eight locations amidst pushback from airlines  —  AT&T is lighting up its expanded 5G service …
Mahira Dayal / The Information:
TikTok says it is testing allowing creators to charge subscriptions for their content  —  TikTok is testing the idea of allowing its creators to charge subscriptions for their content, a spokesperson told The Information.  Earlier Wednesday, rival Instagram announced it was offering paid subscriptions to a small group of influencers.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: in recent weeks, CEO Bobby Kotick suggested Activision Blizzard make an acquisition, including of trade publications like Kotaku and PC Gamer  —  After a lawsuit and a Journal report, the company's stock was falling, board members were getting anxious—and the tech giant was ready to take a gamble
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google says it will transition organizations using G Suite legacy free edition to an upgraded Google Workspace paid subscription starting on July 1  —  In 2020, G Suite became Google Workspace as part of a mass reorganization of the company's apps for the “future of work.”
Mark Bergen / Bloomberg:
Internal email: Google is creating a unit under its Labs division for blockchain and other distributed tech, led by engineering VP Shivakumar Venkataraman  —  Google is forming a group dedicated to the blockchain and related technologies under a newly appointed executive who has spent …
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:
Autograph, an agency co-founded by Tom Brady that helps celebrities get involved with NFTs, raises a $170M Series B co-led by a16z and Kleiner Perkins  —  Autograph, an NFT agency co-founded by athlete Tom Brady with a particularly deep bench of star power, has banked new funding …
Kate Park / TechCrunch:
South Korea's Greenlabs, which wants to digitize the entire value chain of agriculture space from crop production to distribution, raises a $140M Series C  —  Greenlabs, a South Korean agtech startup, announced this week it has closed a $140 million Series C led by BlueRun Ventures …
Kyle Alspach / VentureBeat:
Virtru, which offers encryption for data shared over email, SaaS apps, and more, raises a $60M Series C, bringing its total funding to $136.8M  —  Data security and privacy firm Virtru, which today announced raising a $60 million series C funding round, said that usage of its encryption platform …

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Dustin Volz / Wall Street Journal: