Techmeme
January 11, 2024, 4:15 AM

Top News

Reuters:
The US SEC approves spot bitcoin ETFs from BlackRock, Grayscale, ARK 21Shares, Bitwise, WisdomTree, Fidelity, VanEck, Invesco, Valkyrie, Hashdex, and Franklin  —  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved 11 spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, including those of Grayscale …
Jesse Hamilton / CoinDesk:
US SEC Chair Gary Gensler concedes that losing in court after rejecting Grayscale's spot bitcoin ETF left the agency with little choice but to approve such ETFs  —  The SEC chair said a court forced his hand and that the agency's decision to greenlight a spot bitcoin ETF doesn't signal support of that or any other digital asset.
Sarah Wynn / The Block:
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google reorganizes its Devices & Services teams working on the Pixel, Fitbit, and Nest; Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman are leaving Google  —  Google is reorganizing the Devices & Services teams responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit hardware.
Nico Grant / New York Times:
Sources: several hundred employees from Google's core engineering division received notices that their roles were eliminated and lost corporate access  —  The company, which has been working to trim expenses, laid off employees who worked on core engineering, the Google Assistant product and hardware such as the Pixel phone.
Louise Matsakis / Semafor:
Google lays off hundreds of staff working on Assistant and says the restructuring would help improve Assistant as the company explores integrating newer AI tech  —  Google is laying off hundreds of people working on its voice-activated Google Assistant software and eliminating a similar number …
Rachel Metz / Bloomberg:
OpenAI debuts a GPT Store for paid users to share and find custom chatbots and plans to start sharing revenue in Q1; users have already made 3M+ chatbots so far  —  The store will feature a bot leaderboard, and will eventually introduce payments.  —  OpenAI has launched an online store …
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:
Ivan Mehta / TechCrunch:
X quietly removes the ability for paying subscribers to set an NFT as a profile picture, a feature Twitter launched in January 2022 for Twitter Blue subscribers  —  On Tuesday, Elon Musk's X wrote about a grand vision for the company in 2024, which includes launching peer-to-peer payments and more AI-powered tools.
The Verge:
Twitch CEO Dan Clancy confirms plans to cut 500+ jobs, or ~35% of its staff, and says its workforce was oversized for its business' size, after March 2023 cuts  —  Twitch is laying off more than 500 employees, or around 35 percent of its staff, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy announced this morning.
Alex Weprin / The Hollywood Reporter:
Bloomberg:
Sources: OpenAI is in talks with CNN and Fox Corp. to license their text, video, and image content; Time “is in discussions with OpenAI” about a content deal  —  - Startup has said it's in discussions with dozens of publishers  — Negotiations come as OpenAI faces New York Times lawsuit
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Netflix says its ad tier has 23M+ MAUs globally, up from 15M+ in November 2023, and 85% of customers on the ad tier are streaming for over 2 hours per day  —  Netflix is seeing strong growth of its advertising-based plan, having recently eclipsed 23 million global monthly active users, president of advertising Amy Reinhard said.
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
The US ITC files its opposition to Apple's motion for the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 sales ban to remain paused for the duration of the company's appeal  —  The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today formally opposed Apple's motion for the Apple Watch sales ban to remain paused for the duration of Apple's appeal.
Hannah Miller / Bloomberg:
PitchBook: VC investment in the crypto industry totaled $9.5B in 2023, less than a third of 2022; CryptoSlam says NFT sales fell 63% to $8.7B in 2023  —  A disastrous 2023 for crypto startups hasn't dissuaded true believers.  —  Cryptocurrency startups had a brutal 2023 …
More: PYMNTS.com
John Timmer / Ars Technica:
Harvard spinout QuEra, a quantum computing startup, plans to release an error-corrected quantum computer with 10,000 physical and 100 logical qubits by 2026  —  Company builds on recent demonstration of error-tracking in similar hardware.  —  On Tuesday, the quantum computing startup Quera laid …

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