The founder of the insolvent crypto exchange is accused of fraud. Also: Elon Musk is $200 billion poorer and Fidelity Investments lowers the value of its own Twitter stake.
Good morning! Even during the weekend, work in the digital scene continued in many places.
The top topics:
the former FTX-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is scheduled to plead not guilty at a hearing this week. This is reported by the Wall Street Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. Bankman-Fried was charged with fraud and money laundering in early December. Caroline Ellison, former CEO of FTX trading firm Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, former chief technology officer of FTX, have already pleaded guilty to fraud and are cooperating with federal prosecutors.
Bankman-Fried spent more than a week in jail after his December 12 arrest in the Bahamas before being extradited to the United States. Meanwhile, the one-time crypto industry “prodigy” is under house arrest in his parents’ home in California after posting $250 million bail. Bankman-Fried is likely to appear in person in New York on January 3 to defend himself against the allegations against him. At the same time, the Bahamian Securities and Exchange Commission announced it had seized $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency from FTX. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg und CNBC]
on Founder Scene: Die mobility industry will not come out of its crisis mode completely in 2023 either. As in the last two years, the situation on the market is likely to remain tense. At the same time, the future is not bad, because metropolises in particular are driving the mobility revolution and are making sure that things change. There is no lack of good ideas and will, but there is a lack of money and the question of how best to use the available funds. Between the big topics of China, e-scooters and e-cars, our columnist Don Dahlmann once wrote down what will be important in 2023. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
And here are the other headlines of the night and the past few days:
Tesla– and TwitterAccording to a media report, boss Elon Musk has become significantly poorer in the past year. Though he’s said to have been the first person to own $200 billion, he’s also said to be the first to lose that much money. According to “Bloomberg” he owned around 340 billion dollars in November 2021, meanwhile this wealth is said to have shrunk to 137 billion dollars. [Mehr bei Bloomberg und Spiegel]
Fidelity Investments has the value of his stake in Elon Musks at the end of November Twitter down 56 percent to $23.5 million. This emerges from a recent publication to which the US medium “Axios” referred in a report. Fidelity was among the private investors who participated in Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October. Twitter is also being sued in San Francisco for outstanding rent payments. [Mehr bei Axios, Bloomberg und Techcrunch]
Still during Meta because of the takeover of the VR fitness developer Within is subjected to an antitrust scrutiny, the tech company goes on a shopping spree again: The Facebook parent takes over the company Luxexcel, a smart glasses company headquartered in the Netherlands. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2009, Luxexcel uses 3D printing to produce prescription lenses for eyeglasses. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]
Huawei has announced that it is no longer in “crisis mode”. US sanctions are now “normal” and the company would resume business as usual, Huawei chairman Eric Xu said in a New Year’s message to employees. The Chinese telecommunications company is now reporting renewed growth in its telecom infrastructure business. Total revenue for 2022 has also remained at a similar level year-on-year. [Mehr bei Bloomberg und Wall Street Journal]
Apple is catching up in iPhone production in China. Production of the new iPhone 14 Pro Max had come to a standstill due to the Covid-19 restrictions and sick leave. However, the product is a key part of Apple’s strategy to increase the company’s revenue. By the end of the year, however, the situation is said to have improved again. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal]
Googles new performance appraisal system has caused irritation among employees in Switzerland, according to a media report. Employees are concerned that the company could use it as an excuse for layoffs. In the meantime, Google is cutting further spending, including savings on an employee incubator and the Stadia and Pixelbook projects. A decision on possible layoffs is to be made in 2023. [Mehr bei New York Times und The Information]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: Naggers and brakemen annoyed her and she would have liked to have known about the Cheex porn platform much earlier – that was it Tijen Repairs Year. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
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Have a good start into the week and into the new year 2023!
Your Gründerszene editors