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Tech on the Ballot

Tech on the Ballot
May 12, 2022

The Daily Stack is a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform. Read our previous insights.
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I received an interesting email from Coinbase today, urging me to ask my New York State lawmakers to vote against banning crypto mining in the Empire state. The Coinbase email is the first I’m hearing about the potential ban, but it got me thinking: are tech and politics the two-headed beast of our times? Today, we look at several examples of the intersection of tech and politics.

Crypto Mining vs. New York State
Mining is a competitive process to create long, complex, and unique identifiers to add to the blockchain. But mining uses huge amounts of energy. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest coin types, utilize power that is equivalent to the entire power usage of Indonesia. This large use is why New York State Assembly’s Conservation Committee voted to establish a moratorium on mining (S.6486D) and why Coinbase was trying to get me to act this morning.

On Tuesday, the Biden administration received a strongly-worded letter from various NGOs requesting a similarly hard stance on the proof-of-work process, citing environmental impact, siphoning of taxpayer resources, and electricity price hikes.

Startup Valuations and The Fed
We’re presently experiencing the worst tech sell-off since the 2008 recession. As companies get revalued on the public markets, private companies have to readjust their spending habits. The tech industry isn’t immune to economic uncertainty. Higher interest rates, inflation, and rising costs due to pandemic-related supply chain problems are all factors contributing to technology’s downturn. For a more in-depth look at this issue, read up on the discounted cash flow model.

The FCC and Net Neutrality
Net neutrality is defined as “the idea that Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon should treat all content flowing through their cables and cell towers equally.” For instance, the FCC went after Apple after finding it blocked users from using Skype on their phones. After legislative protections were passed during the Bush and Obama administrations, those protections were lost during the Trump years. Now, President Biden’s nominee for the FCC, who favors net neutrality, is facing an uphill battle to confirm her appointment.

Check out our previous articles on antitrust lawsuitsprivacy blocking, and discrimination legislation.

Google unveils AI to fight discrimination
Google's keynote revealed new technology for a more equitable future.
[Fast Company]
Governments brace for a Musk internet
With respect to his intentions to reduce content moderation, Musk is facing governmental opposition.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
612 Companies | 274 Funding Activities | 183 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

BlueWind Medical raises $64MM from Convatec

Medical Devices • Round B • Park City, UT

OHouse raises $182MM from Softbank

E-Commerce • Round D • Seoul, South Korea

Paymob raises $50MM from PayPal Ventures 

Payment Processing • Round B • Cairo, Egypt

Byrd raises $56MM from Cambridge Capital

Logistics • Round C • Vienna, Austria  

Osmind raises $40MM from DFJ 

Mental Health • Round B • San Jose, CA

Certn raises $50MM from B Capital Group

Platform • Round B • Victoria, Canada

Abnormal Security raises $210MM from Insight 

Cyber Security • Round C • San Francisco, CA   

Hugging Face raises $100MM from Lux

Software Development • Round C  • Brooklyn, NY

RGo Robotics raises $20MM from MoreTech

Robotics • Round A • Cambridge, MA

Arcadia raises $200MM from JP Morgan

CleanTech • Equity • Washington, DC

Pfizer announces acquisition of Biohaven

Biopharmaceuticals •  Acquisition • New Haven, CT

Thomson Reuters acquires ThoughtTrace

Analytics • Acquisition • Houston, TX  



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