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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Mercedes-Benz's Plan for Surviving the Auto Revolution

The company that invented the automobile is getting ready for a world where batteries, sharing, and robots rule.
Source: Wired

Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan joins the speakers at TechCrunch’s first blockchain event

Boom, boom, boom! We’re announcing another big name for our upcoming blockchain event in Zug, Switzerland, on July 6 after Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan joined the line-up.

The event — TC: Sessions Blockchain — will be TechCrunch’s first show dedicated to blockchain, it takes place in the world’s “Crypto Valley” and we’ll be joined by a host of top names. Some of those include Ethereum creator Vitalik ButerinRoham Gharegozlou, the founder of smash-hit blockchain game CryptoKittiesBrian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, and OmiseGo CEO Jun Hasegawa.

Don’t miss it! Tickets are priced at 495 Swiss Francs — or around $500 — and they’re available from the event website here.

Fresh from announcing Buterin’s participation, we’re excited to host Srinivasan, who is another massively-respected thinker and visionary in the blockchain space.

Srinivasan became the first-ever CEO at Coinbase, the U.S. crypto giant that is now reportedly valued as high as $8 billion, in April after it bought Earn.com, where he had been CEO, in a deal priced at over $100 million.

Beyond the day job, Srinivasan is a board member at influential VC firm Andreessen Horowitz — which is planning its first dedicated crypto fund — and he holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. He previously founded genetic testing company Counsyl, and occasionally teaches at Stanford.

TechCrunch will sit down for a one-on-one interview with Srinivasan, a long-time blockchain advocate in Silicon Valley, to discuss a multitude of topics, some of which may include his plans for Coinbase, the blockchain talent war, blockchain adoption among Silicon Valley’s tech community, how he turned Earn.com around from a debt-plagued business into a Coinbase acquisition and more.

One thing we do know is he is charged with bringing more innovation to Coinbase, a company that only trades four cryptocurrencies — so he is keeping a keen eye on what is happening on the blockchain space.

“There’s a lot of amazing stuff happening,” he said in a recent interview with TechCrunch. “Atomic swaps, sharding, plasma, proof of stake, etc, and a big part of my job will be to take all of that stuff, and rank it based on whether we can use it to create new products for our users.”

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, pictured below at TechCrunch Disrupt London in 2014, called Srinavasan “one of the most respected technologists in the crypto field and… one of the technology industry’s few true originalists.”

Blockchain is the most disruptive new technology in technology today, and we’re excited to host our first show that is solely dedicated to the blockchain. The event takes place in the Swiss city of Zug — widely known as “Crypto Valley” due to its sizable number of crypto companies and a progressive approach to regulation — and it will bring together top figures from the blockchain space, developer community and business and startup worlds.

Other prominent speakers confirmed for the July 6 event include:

  • Roham Gharegozlou, the founder of smash-hit blockchain game CryptoKitties
  • Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project
  • Leanne Kemp, founder and CEO of Everledger
  • Jun Hasegawa, CEO and founder of Omise and OmiseGo
  • Mona El Isa, CEO and co-founder of Melonport
  • Colin Hanna, associate at Balderton Capital
  • Galia Benartzi, co-founder and head of Business Development at Bancor
  • Gert Sylvest, co-founder of Tradeshift and GM of Tradeshift Frontiers

You can get your hands on tickets now — they’re priced at 495 Swiss Francs, or around $500 — from the event website here.


If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, please contact us via this link.

Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.


Source: TechCrunch

Avengers: Infinity War: What did and didn't work video – CNET

The biggest Marvel movie is not perfect, but then again few things are. Be warned: Spoilers are ahead!
Source: CNET

Google Doodle honors 'Prince of Mathematicians' Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss – CNET

The German child prodigy became one of the greatest mathematicians in history.
Source: CNET

Baidu brings group of PE firms into its financial services business via $1.9B investment

Baidu has turned to the financial industry to bolster its consumer finance business. The Chinese search giant confirmed that it has sold a majority share in its Financial Services Group (FSG) business to a consortium of private equity firms in a deal worth $1.9 billion.

The business is in the consumer finance space and its services include credit and wealth management. Its competition, beyond traditional financial businesses, includes digital efforts from the likes of Tencent and Alibaba.

The deal — which had been speculated at the end of last year — sees FSG renamed to Du Xiaoman. The group of investors is led by TPG and The Carlyle Group, and it will pay around $1.06 billion for a majority stake. A further $840 million will be given to Du Xiaoman.

Following the transaction, Baidu will own 42 percent of the business, which will operate independently. Guang Zhu, who had been Baidu senior VP and GM of FSG, will become Du Xiaoman CEO.

It’s fairly common for China’s tech giants to incubate business which, when ready, are they spun out to raise capital from segment-specific investors. Indeed, JD.com — Tencent’s e-commerce partner — brought in a range of investors when it granted its financial services division independence via a spin-out two years ago.

Alibaba itself has long-courted investors for Ant Financial, its affiliate division that runs its Alipay mobile money business, its digital banking arm and other financial services. Ant was valued at $60 billion when it raised over $3 billion in 2016 and now the business — which is reportedly closing in on an IPO — is said to be raising as much as $10 billion more at a valuation that could hit $100 billion.

Outside of finance, Baidu’s iQiyi video streaming unit operates independently of the business in a similar model to Du Xiaoman. iQiyi raised over $1.5 billion from a clutch of private equity firms in 2017, before going on to list on the Nasdaq this past March. That’s very much the blueprint in this strategy.

“This transaction marks another milestone for Baidu to incubate new businesses with large opportunities and strong synergies with Baidu’s core business, on the heels of iQiyi’s public listing,” Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu, added in a statement.

But Baidu has also offloaded businesses that it deemed to be fringe. In food delivery for example, a space where it was out-manoeuvered by the competition, it sold its Waimai business to Ele.me, and then later sold its Ele.me shares to Alibaba when the e-commerce firm moved for a full buyout.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla driver caught sitting in the passenger seat with autopilot on – Roadshow

Now he’s banned from driving for 18 months. The irony.
Source: CNET

Artificial womb could grow mammoth-elephant hybrid, researchers say – CNET

Researchers say “resurrected” woolly mammoth genes could help save modern day elephants from extinction, and they want to grow a hybrid in a lab to prove it.
Source: CNET

'Westworld' Recap, Season 2 Episode 2: The Façade Is Crumbling

The second episode of Season 2 of ‘Westworld’ finally shows the places beyond the parks.
Source: Wired

Facebook expands downvote button to some users in Australia, New Zealand – CNET

It’s not quite a dislike button, but Facebook’s downvote button, which it first began trialling in February, is rolling out to more people.
Source: CNET

Westworld gives us the reunion we craved, but still no answers – CNET

Do you know where you are in the new episode of Westworld? I sure don’t. Spoilers ahead for episode two, of course.
Source: CNET

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