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18 May 2018

Business

18 May 2018

A new smartphone is aiming to fit all your cryptocurrency needs, while the US gambling industry is set for a major windfall. Here is our rundown of the five most exciting ideas coming out of the business world this week:

The crypto-phone:

HTC stole the show at this week’s Consensus blockchain conference in New York by announcing it was producing a ‘blockchain smartphone,’ called the Exodus. The idea is to create a mobile device dedicated to cryptocurrency. That means offering security and support for the hottest form of cash on the internet. The Exodus will support cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherum, as well as a universal wallet and decentralized apps. HTC even has plans to create a blockchain network so that Exodus users can trade their cryptocurrency.

Giving back to their people:

Food delivery company Deliveroo announced two bold moves this week: their 2,000 full-time employees will receive a total $13.4m in shares. While the program will not extend to their riders, they will at least receive a generous insurance that is unrivaled in the on-demand economy, covering medical expenses and loss of income in case of accidents. Deliveroo is valued at US$2 billion and is now operating in 12 countries around the world.

Alter your genome:

The idea of using technology to alter the human genome and all the possibilities that come with it have long been an exciting topic of discussion in the scientific community. So far, there has been little in the way of practical results, but that may be about to change. A group of scientists from Harvard announced this week that they were launching Beam Therapeutics. The company will employ a new type of gene altering technology that they say can be used to target an array of genetic mutations that cause diseases – many of which have long been difficult to treat using traditional methods. In coordination with the launch, Beam announced it had raised a whopping $87 million in Series A financing. It seems investors are lining up to get in on the chance to take the scientific medicine to places it’s never been before.

A new gambling paradise:

Many sports fans around the world have jumped at the chance to place a friendly wager or two on their favorite game. For people in the United States, that privilege has largely been limited to those enjoying a trip to Las Vegas, but a decision this week by the Supreme Court has turned US sports betting law on its head. The body struck down a federal ban on the practice, meaning each state can now pass legislation to legalize sports gambling. The ruling has left betting companies scrambling to get their foot in the door for what is sure to be a wildly lucrative new industry, and state governments can expect millions in extra tax revenue to fill their coffers.

The future of sound:

As technology advances, the way we capture sound is increasingly advancing. Microphones these days are capable of picking up audio nuances we could only dream of a generation ago, but it comes with a catch. More complicated means more moving parts, which means high-end microphones are often quite susceptible to wear and tear. However US startup Vesper has the solution – one so innovative that they announced $23 million in new funding this week. The firm uses piezoelectric technology to create a flexible microphone that is waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. The latest round of investment, which includes big hitters like the Amazon Alexa Fund and Bose, brings Vesper’s total funding to a cool $40 million.

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