“Facebook isn’t in control of its own destiny.”
— Brian Wieser, president of business intelligence at GroupM, on the leverage that Apple has over Facebook. Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have increasingly been at odds, most recently over a new privacy feature Apple launched this week that gives users more control over how apps (like Facebook’s) can track them.
Blockchain for the long term
Amid the recent cryptocurrency frenzy, many people wonder whether it’s time to buy Bitcoin or mint an NFT and whether it’s too late to get rich quick. The Ethiopian government is also getting into blockchain in a big way — but it’s thinking longer term. Today, along with the software company IOHK, it launched the world’s biggest blockchain deployment to date, the partners say, involving five million students.
“We believe blockchain offers a key opportunity to end digital exclusion and widen access to higher education and employment,” Getahun Mekuria, Ethiopia’s education minister, said in a statement about the project hosted on the IOHK-backed, open-source Cardano platform. The project, which DealBook is first to report, will give students tools, identifications and access to a unified records system that allows rural and indigent young people to have the same system as others.
What’s Cardano? Charles Hoskinson, IOHK’s co-founder, is among the founders of Ethereum, the second-most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. He left in 2014 with a mission to bolster crypto’s intellectual underpinnings and advance blockchain’s reach around the world, emphasizing things like security and governance. IOHK does work for institutions, backs academic research on blockchain and supports the Cardano platform, the issuer of the sixth-most valuable cryptocurrency, ADA. Cardano’s critics say the platform’s valuation is mystifying because development has been sluggish. Hoskinson described his approach to DealBook by citing the axiom “To go fast, go slow.”
The resistance to the resistance
Basecamp, a company that makes productivity software, said yesterday that it had “made some internal changes,” including a ban on talking about politics at work. “Every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant,” Jason Fried, Basecamp’s C.E.O., wrote in a blog post. “You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target.”