Weekly Digest July 18–24

Minecraft, 3AC, Google and more. Let's dive in.

Minecraft Bans NFTs

Mojang Studios, owned by Microsoft, announced in a blog post on Wednesday that NFTs are not only unsupported but are banned from the platform. The post explains how NFTs could potentially cause more harm than good as they can promote a culture of exclusivity and profiteering. The article also cites the difficulties of relying on a third party or external source for asset management and fulfillment, which Minecraft has no control over. The company plans to monitor the technology and potentially re-evaluate its decision in the future.

3AC’s Yacht

Three Arrows Capital restructuring firm has brought to light how the founders were using (or, more importantly, misusing) the fund’s assets. Con-founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies made a $50 million yacht down payment on a yacht, which would reportedly be “larger than any yacht owned by even Singapore’s richest billionaires.” Zhu also purchased two luxury bungalows in Singapore for between $28.5 million and $48.8 million, indicating that the co-founders may have been using company funds for personal purchases.

Snap Shares Plunge

Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat, had its shares fall over 25% on Thursday after disappointing earnings results. The company generated $1.11 billion of revenue, short of the expected $1.14 billion prediction. However, Snap’s global daily active users were a reported 347 million, an increase of 2.8 million over the prediction. Co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy signed new employment contracts that will grant them only $1 in salary per year and no equity, which hopes to illustrate their dedication to the company and its success.

SpaceX Mattel

The toy manufacturer will release its first wave of SpaceX branded products as early as 2023. The deal is a multi-year agreement to produce toys, such as Mattel Matchbox die-cast cars, inspired by SpaceX rockets and vehicles. Mattel has previously manufactured NASA-branded Hot Wheels cars and die-cast space exploration vehicles, but none have been produced for a private space flight company so far.

Google AR Glasses

In an attempt to (somewhat) revive the company’s failed Glass project, Google will begin testing a new version of AR glasses in public. These prototypes are allegedly equipped with advanced navigational features and software that will significantly improve daily commuting. The post also describes the glasses as having real-time transcription and translation functionality. However, no finalized images of the product have been released and where they will be seen is still largely unknown.

BeReal Hits #1 on Top Charts

A new take on the social media scene has reached the top of the Free Apps chart in the Apple App Store. BeReal is a photo-sharing app that forces users to post spontaneous, authentic content free of most forms of editing and manipulation. With over 20 million total downloads and 25% of its users based in the US, the service has seen explosive growth in the past few months.

Fun fact: Microsoft purchased Mojang Studios (aka Minecraft) for $2.5 billion in 2014.

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