Techmeme
January 20, 2022, 3:50 PM

Top News

Financial Times:
Sources: Meta plans to let users create and sell NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, display 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
Salvador Rodriguez / Wall Street Journal:
Twitter will let iOS users of its Blue subscription service use NFTs as their profile pictures  —  Service will be available to some users of the company's Blue subscriber service  —  Twitter Inc. will start allowing some users to use nonfungible tokens as their profile pictures …
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai / VICE:
Several services that rely on OpenSea's APIs, including Twitter and MetaMask, are having trouble displaying NFTs as the marketplace suffers a “database outage”  —  A Thursday outage interfered with the ability of MetaMask, which depends on OpenSea, to automatically display new NFTs.
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Sources: Google's AR headset could launch in 2024, powered by a custom processor, resembling ski goggles, and no need for an external power connection  —  Meta may be the loudest company building AR and VR hardware.  Microsoft has HoloLens.  Apple is working on something, too.  But don't count out Google.
Kurt Schlosser / GeekWire:
Amazon Style, the company's first physical fashion store, will launch in LA later this year, with an app that lets shoppers send items to the fitting room  —  Move over books and groceries, Amazon's latest foray into physical retail is focused on fashion.  —  The e-commerce giant announced Thursday …
John Paczkowski / BuzzFeed News:
Apple names longtime company spokesperson Kristin Huguet as VP of worldwide communications, replacing Stella Low, who is leaving after joining Apple in May 2021  —  Apple has tapped a new head of PR: longtime company spokesperson Kristin Huguet.  She'll replace Stella Low …
Andrew Asmakov / Decrypt:
Crypto.com says its breach affected 483 users, resulting in unauthorized cryptocurrencies withdrawals worth ~$33.84M, and all users were reimbursed the same day  —  Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has lost roughly $34 million in a recent security incident, according to a post-mortem released on Thursday.
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  —  You will have to submit sensitive government documents, your Social Security number, credit history, and a face scan to ID.me, a third-party company.
Miles Kruppa / Financial Times:
Sources: by March, a16z plans to raise $3.5B for its latest cryptocurrency fund and up to $1B for a fund focused on seed investments in digital asset startups  —  Planned fundraising illustrates how Silicon Valley firms are fuelling boom in cryptocurrency start-ups
Reuters:
Russia's central bank proposes banning cryptocurrency use and mining, citing threats to financial stability, citizens' wellbeing, and monetary sovereignty  —  Russia's central bank on Thursday proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory …
Ryne Hager / Android Police:
Google launches a limited beta of Google Play Games for PC, 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
Lydia Moynihan / New York Post:
Sources: TikTok ousted its marketing chief Nick Tran for “going rogue” with plans like TikTok Kitchen, NFTs by Lil Nas X and others, and TikTok Resumes  —  TikTok's marketing chief has been ousted after blindsiding top management with a series of increasingly bizarre campaigns, The Post has learned.
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:
The Senate Judiciary votes 16-6 to advance the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would stop platforms from favoring their products over rivals'  —  The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-6 Thursday to advance a major tech competition bill, which some experts consider lawmakers' best shot …
Mahira Dayal / The Information:
TikTok says it is testing letting creators 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.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Eric Newcomer / Newcomer:
Profile of Hemant Taneja, who became the sole managing partner of General Catalyst in 2021, as the firm raises a seed, venture, and growth fund totaling $4.6B  —  General Catalyst's idealist investor Hemant Taneja is quietly running the firm  —  Hemant Taneja somehow finds time to be an idealist and an operator.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Prophecy, which lets data engineers build workflows by switching between a visual interface and a code editor, raises a $25M Series A led by Insight Partners  —  Prophecy, a low-code platform for data engineering, today announced that it has raised a $25 million Series A round led by Insight Partners.
Mark Mulligan / MIDiA Research:
Research: global music subscribers hit 523.9M in Q2 2021, up 26.4% YoY; Spotify had 31% market share; Apple Music, 15%; Amazon Music, 13%, and YouTube Music, 8%  —  MIDiA's annual music subscriber market shares report is now available here (see below for more details of the report).
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 …
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

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Dustin Volz / Wall Street Journal: