What Doge Day Means for Crypto
Doge Day is here and it’s the biggest thing to happen to crypto since the Coinbase IPO and Bitcoin’s rise to $60,000.
Mainstream investors can be forgiven if they haven’t heard of Doge Day. It was just created by Dogecoin enthusiasts as the day traders attempt to push the price of the cryptocurrency, which trades at around 39 cents, to $1.
Dogecoin was created as a joke, but the gains are very real. Spurred by the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and regular tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to his 50 million-plus followers, Dogecoin has gone from a fraction of a cent to more than 40 cents a coin this year.
That puts the market value of all the Dogecoins out there at roughly $50 billion. That’s still a fraction of Bitcoin’s $1 trillion market value. It’s a little like the GameStop of crypto markets.
Doge Day is off to an inauspicious start, with Dogecoin down about 3% in early Tuesday trading. That makes sense, if anything can be said to make sense in the crypto markets. Financial asset prices always move in anticipation of actual events, and traders typically sell on the news.
Maybe Dogecoin can eventually hit $1, but traders probably can’t make it happen by declaring Doge Day.
Apple Is Likely to Launch New iPads Today
Apple’s “Spring Loaded” virtual event kicks off this afternoon. Wall Street expects new iPads.
- The tech giant, which is known for surprise gadget and service reveals, generally saves iPhone announcements for October or November. Bloomberg News kicked off speculation when it reported last month that the company was planning new iPad models.
- Wedbush analyst Dan Ives expects Apple’s 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models to include its new A14X chip, with the latter, higher-end one equipped with a mini-LED display.
- Beyond the iPad rumors, analysts point to speculation that Apple may introduce a product called AirTags—Bluetooth devices that could be attached to items in order to integrate and track them with Apple’s Find My app, or unveil new AirPods.
- Apple on Monday said it plans to reinstate social-media service Parler to its App Store. Apple removed Parler in January, citing concerns with content, but a revised Parler version has updated its moderation policies, Apple said.
What’s Next: Other wild card reveals floated by analysts include an update to its iOS 14 software, a refreshed Apple TV device, augmented reality features, or Mac-related upgrades.
Facebook Invites Users to the (Audio) Clubhouse
After watching from the sidelines as voice chat apps like Clubhouse and Discord took off during the pandemic, Facebook is grabbing a piece of the booming social audio space.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday that the social media giant would launch a suite of audio products, including customizable Soundbites that users can post to their feeds and podcasts they can listen to directly on the service.
- The company is also developing a feature called Live Audio Rooms, similar to those on the invite-only iPhone app Clubhouse, where people can join group audio chats. Live Audio Rooms will be open to anyone on Facebook and Messenger starting this summer.
- Clubhouse, which boasts 10 million weekly users including big names like Elon Musk, announced its latest fundraising round on Monday, valuing the service at $4 billion.
What’s Next: Facebook’s entry into the hot audio space signals that interest in live chats could outlast the pandemic. Twitter is already testing out its Clubhouse rival Spaces, while Spotify, Telegram and LinkedIn are all working on similar offerings. Billionaire Mark Cuban is developing Fireside, a “next-gen podcast platform” that will also compete with Clubhouse.
—Janet H. Cho and Anita Hamilton
U.K. Toughens Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets Ahead of Biden Climate Summit
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is poised to announce this week stricter greenhouse gas emission targets for the next 15 years, aiming at cutting carbon dioxide by 78% in 2035, compared to 1990 levels.
- Johnson will announce the new goal in the coming days, according to a Financial Times report later confirmed by several British media. If confirmed, the government’s new target would make Britain the first developed economy with such ambitious targets.
- President Biden has organized a virtual summit of 40 world leaders on climate later this week, where he is expected to announce the U.S.’s own “national determined contribution” for carbon curbs. The U.K. will host Cop26 U.N. climate talks in Glasgow in November.
- The U.K. had announced last year a target of a 68% cut of gas emissions by 2030. It accounts for 1.1% of global carbon emissions, against the U.S.’s 15% and China’s 26%.
- The International Energy Agency said in a report published Tuesday that global carbon emissions will jump 4.8% this year—the biggest increase in history—after falling 5.8% in 2020 due to the global pandemic-induced recession.
What’s Next: Johnson appears eager to ensure that the Cop26 at the end of the year will be a success. And the rise in Germany of the Green Party—which has a credible chance at winning general elections in October—is helping focus European politicians’ minds on the political impact of climate change issues.
Biden, Harris Continue to Lobby for Infrastructure Package
President Joe Biden met with a group of bipartisan lawmakers Monday to rally support for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, while addressing concerns over the cost and scope.
- “I’ve noticed everybody is for infrastructure. The question is: Who’s going to pay for it?” Biden said as the meeting began, with Sens. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) and John Hickenlooper (D., Colo.), plus Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R., Fla.) and Norma Torres (D., Ca.), among those present.
- Following the meeting, Romney told NBC News that he personally brought up using money from the last stimulus package to pay for some infrastructure projects.
- “We are not going to take it slow, and we are not going to take it one step at a time,” Vice President Kamala Harris said of the package during a visit to a community college in North Carolina Monday. “We are going to take a giant leap into the future.”
- A growing concern among Democrats is whether the $12 billion earmarked for community college upgrades, combined with Biden’s commitment to free community college and more blue-collar jobs, will hurt more expensive four-year schools already facing lower enrollment.
What’s Next: Biden said last week that he is willing to negotiate on his plan, but Democrats are prepared to use the same budget reconciliation process they employed to pass the last stimulus bill if needed. Even then, the proposal will likely need adjustments to secure the vote of every Democratic senator.
Union’s Objections to Amazon Worker Vote Sets Up Potentially Long Legal Battle
The union that failed to organize at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse formally challenged the April 9 vote, filing objections with the National Labor Relations Board that said Amazon threatened, misled and intimidated workers.
- The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said Amazon told the 5,900 Bessemer workers they could lose their jobs, wages and benefits, or that the warehouse would close if they voted to unionize, among other accusations.
- An Amazon spokeswoman said the union is misrepresenting the facts instead of accepting what employees chose. “We look forward to the next steps in the legal process,” she said, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- About 71% of workers, or 1,798 people, voted against the union, not counting challenged or voided ballots, while 738 voted in favor, according to uncertified NLRB results.
- Union supporters had hoped a victory at the Amazon plant would spur organizing efforts elsewhere. Only 10.8% of U.S. workers belong to unions, according to Labor Department data.
What’s Next: The vote could be overturned, but both sides can appeal to the NLRB, which could ultimately side with Amazon, call a new vote or order Amazon to negotiate.
—Janet H. Cho
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