Monday, November 26, 2018

Ohio Will Let Businesses Pay Taxes in Bitcoins

Starting this week, Ohio businesses will have a new way to pay their taxes: Bitcoin. The Wall Street Journal reports (via TechCrunch) that the state of Ohio has opened a cryptocurrency portal,, which will allow businesses to pay with the digital currency.

The WSJ says that Ohio appears to be the first state to allow people to pay with a cryptocurrency, and that the idea originated with State Treasurer Josh Mandel. The site’s FAQ cites the state’s track record with innovation and says that paying via Bitcoin is instantaneous, secure, and transparent. It also lists 23 different taxes that businesses can pay with Bitcoin, ranging from cigarette and tobacco taxes to fuel and sales taxes.

Red Dead Redemption 2 To Launch Online Version

 A month after Red Dead Redemption 2 launched, developer Rockstar has announced that the game’s online mode will start rolling out this week. The beta for Red Dead Online will actually be available  for some users.

As for what you’ll actually be doing in Red Dead Online, there’s still a lot we don’t know. Here’s how Rockstar explains it:

With the gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2 as its foundation, Red Dead Online transforms the vast and deeply detailed landscapes, cities, towns, and habitats of Red Dead Redemption 2 into a new, living online world ready to be shared by multiple players. Create and customize your character, tailor your abilities to suit your play style, and head out into a new frontier full of things to experience.

Explore this huge world solo or with friends. Form or join a posse to ride with up to seven players; gather around the fire at your camp; head out hunting or fishing; visit bustling towns; battle enemy gangs and attack their hideouts; hunt for treasure; take on missions and interact with familiar characters from across the five states; or fight against other outlaws in both spontaneous skirmishes and pitched set-piece battles; compete with other players or whole posses in open world challenges and much more.

Bitcoin Value is Falling Dramatically

Bitcoin is in the middle of price drop, reaching prices as low as $3,520 in recent days and wiping out all gains from coins purchased this year. As of press time, the price was hovering around $3,900, a roughly 40 percent drop from two weeks ago. The result is the worst price drop since April 2013, refreshing old doubts about the soundness of bitcoin as an investment vehicle.

It’s a dramatic turn from 2017, when the value passed $15,000 in the beginning of December to peak just below $20,000. After that, prices plummeted. By January of this year, it lost half of its peak value, and continued to drop. The drop has been particularly dramatic in the last couple of weeks.

The price drop is likely the result of a series of forks this year, which produced parallel currencies like Bitcoin Cash. A planned fork of Bitcoin Cash took place on November 15th, and was accompanied by considerable angst from traders ahead of time. CoinDesk notes that Bitcoin Cash and several other bitcoin forks have reported losses of more than 10 percent in a 24 hour period.

Microsoft has overtaken Apple in market cap value for the first time in eight years

Microsoft has overtaken Apple in market cap value for the first time in eight years. Microsoft briefly reached a market cap value of $812.93 billion today, followed by Apple at a market cap of $812.60 billion. It made Microsoft the world’s most valuable company, even if it was only a temporary title. Microsoft and Apple are now trading back and forth for the title.

Apple first passed Microsoft back in 2010, with The New York Times describing the moment as “the end of an era and the beginning of the next one.” While Apple’s stock has seen phenomenal growth over the past five years, culminating in a $1 trillion valuation earlier this year, investors are concerned about iPhone sales which still make up nearly 60 percent of Apple’s entire revenue. Apple has warned it may miss Wall Street estimates during the holiday quarter, and the forecast sent the stock price down. Recent reports suggest Apple has resumed iPhone X production due to weak XS sales. Apple will no longer reveal how many iPhones, iPads, and Macs it sells, making it harder for analysts to calculate exactly how well iPhone sales are going in the future.

Microsoft’s stock has also been performing well in recent years, helped by a boost in confidence from the company appointing Satya Nadella as CEO in February 2014. Nadella has refocused Microsoft on the cloud, and the software giant has made big gains against Amazon, its primary rival. Microsoft passed Google earlier this year in market cap value, and also passed Amazon last month. Microsoft has a surprisingly diverse business compared to other tech giants. Windows, Xbox, and Surface combined makes up just 36 percent of Microsoft’s entire revenue, compared to 86 percent of Google’s revenue coming from ads.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Amazon workers protest against Inhuman working conditions before Black Friday

Amazon  warehouse workers in several countries in Europe are protesting over what they claim are inhuman working conditions which treat people like robots. It’s the latest in a series of worker actions this year.
They’ve timed the latest protest for Black Friday, one of the busiest annual shopping days online as retailers slash prices and heavily promote deals to try to spark a seasonal buying rush.