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SNAP Stock Closes 5.86% Up on Thursday, Snapchat Hits 500M Monthly Active Users (MAU)

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In the past 52 weeks, Snap stock ranged between $16.51 and $73.59 according to market analytics provided by MarketWatch.

Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) stock closed Thursday trading at $57.07, up 5.86% from the day’s opening value. During the pre-market trading session, Snap stock was up approximately 0.23%. The spike in the social media giant stock was attributed to several announcements made during the 2021 Snap Partner Summit held on Thursday.

One of the announcements that caught investors’ attention was that the company recorded 500 million monthly active users (MAU), a huge milestone. Additionally, the company announced new features that will allow online retailers to use its platform more in the future.

The company is reportedly morphing in response to Apple Inc‘s (NASDAQ: AAPL) quest to change its ecosystem’s privacy approach on iOS 14.5. Notably, the company unveiled a new feature dubbed Connected Lenses that allow people in different locations to interact with the same virtual lenses.

Snap Stock and Future Market Prospects

During the event, the company launched a cool feature that allows people to use their camera on the app to scan and analyze the content. Typically, this means that one is now capable of scanning a photo and the app will automatically redirect them to the best recommendations of where to shop for a similar outfit.

“We’re excited about the power of our camera platform to bring Snapchatters together with the businesses they care about in meaningful ways,” said Snap’s global AR product lead Carolina Arguelles Navas. “And, now more than ever, our community is eager to experience and try on, engage with, and learn about new products, from home.”

According to the company, this new feature has already garnered over 170 million users. The company continues to reinvent the internet wheel, particularly with the help of augmented reality. The company noted that it is working to enable API integrations with businesses that make lenses smarter and much easier to use.

The company has recorded amazing growth in the past few years, putting in mind it turned down a multi-billion acquisition by Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). Since going public back in 2017, the social media platform has survived many accusations, some alleged to be propagandas orchestrated by its rivals.

The company has a reported market valuation of approximately $82.13 billion with 1.27 billion outstanding shares. In the past 52 weeks, Snap stock ranged between $16.51 and $73.59 according to market analytics provided by MarketWatch.

After coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, the company was poised to significantly benefit from more active users. As the pandemic gripped the global economy, Snap stock rallied to new highs. According to metrics provided by MarketWatch, Snap stock has added approximately 222.98%, and 13.98% during the past twelve months and year to date respectively.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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Bitcoin Mining Stocks Jump 49% in Less Than One Month after Poor Figures Recorded in May

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Bitcoin mining stocks have performed much better than Bitcoin has in the last one year. These stocks are rising despite China’s crackdown.

The three largest Bitcoin mining stocks are rising, following crashes seen across these companies’ valuations last month. These stocks have pulled in considerable weight over the last month, regardless of souring Bitcoin mining sentiments palpable across different geographic regions.

According to a recent report, the three companies include Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ: RIOT), Canaan Inc (NASDAQ: CAN), and Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ: MARA). Since May 21, Riot Blockchain has jumped 63% from $2.08 billion to $3.4 billion. Marathon also increased by 55% to its current $2.98 billion valuation. All three companies have increased an average of 49% in less than a month.

While these increases may spell progress for the crypto sector, extreme volatility may also be a concern. Between February and April, bitcoin mining firms maintained significant market caps after rising considerably. However, the month of April and early May saw some reversal. Again, by the end of May, their stocks began to rise. The instability is also more seen with a company like Riot Blockchain. Last year, RIOT had a valuation of less than $200 million. By February this year, the company’s market cap had hit $6.12 billion.

Bitcoin Mining Stocks and BTC

At the moment, Bitcoin mining stocks are considerably more promising than the asset itself. Over the past 12 months, stock prices for Riot Blockchain, Hive, Marathon, and Canaan have brought mouth-watering returns to holders. Marathon, which has spiked the highest, comes at 3,119%. In the same timeframe, Bitcoin has increased by an impressive but still much lower 334%.

Recently, China renewed its fight against Bitcoin mining and has come down heavy on operators. Last week, China’s Xinjiang province ordered all Bitcoin miners to immediately suspend operations. The Changji Prefecture Government in the province also sent a circular to subordinate government arms in the Zhundong Economic Technological development park. Specifically, the circular required the park to completely discontinue all mining and other undertakings related to crypto. This is considered a big blow on the country’s crypto clime as the park is considered a major hub.

Back in March, the Inner Mongolia region of Northern China also made a similar move. Its decision was said to be an effort to reduce energy consumption. Basically, Inner Mongolia was supporting energy efficiency demands set by Beijing. Regardless, many crypto community members suggest that the energy efficiency reasons are a ruse to hamper Bitcoin’s growth in the country.

The general effect of the mining ban is significant. Since the ban, large mining pools with Chinese clients have lost a significant chunk of their hash rates. According to BTC.com data, mining pools such as AntPool, BTC.com, Poolin, and F2Pool lost between 11% and 30% of their hash rates within 24 hours of the announcement. Binance and Huobi pools also lost 10% in the same time frame. However, pools outside China, including Foundry USA and Slushpool saw little to no changes.

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Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.



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US Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Antitrust Bills That May Reform Top Tech Giants

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Apart from the two bills focused on Amazon and Apple, the other three include the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act, Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act and Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act. 

House lawmakers have released bipartisan antitrust that may affect tech giants like Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), and Google LLC(NASDAQ: GOOGL). The bills came after the four tech companies were investigated over antitrust issues. At the time, the result of the investigation revealed that the tech companies hold monopoly power. In conclusion, the panel said antitrust laws needs review to address competition challenges in the digital space. 

New Bills May Affect Dominant Tech Companies

Now, these bills, which consist of five packages, are to challenge dominant platforms over mergers. Also, the five package bills will prohibit the companies from owning businesses that show obvious conflicts of interest. 

Two of the bills focus on Amazon and Apple. These tech firms own marketplaces that include their personal products and apps, which compete with other merchants or developers that utilize and rely on their marketplaces to offer services to consumers. These tech companies create platforms for other businesses and then compete with the same businesses that they provide marketplace services to. The two bills are the Platform Anti-Monopoly Act, which has been renamed the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, and the Ending Platform Monopolies Act. The former was sponsored by the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust Chairman Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. Vice-Chair Pramilia Jayapal sponsored the latter. 

Earlier this week, the CEO of the Chamber of Progress, Adam Kovacevich, commented on these two bills. Kovacevich said that the approval of the bills would result in consumers losing out on over a dozen popular features. The CEO noted that rules against discrimination would disallow Google from providing results on the most popular results for businesses in users’ locations. Also, Amazon will no longer offer Prime free shipping. At the same time, the conflict of interest and non-discrimination provisions will stop Facebook users from easily cross-posting to Instagram. In addition, Apple will not continue its Find My apps pre-install that helps users locate lost items conveniently.

Before the signing of these bills into law by the president, the Senate must first approve it. Before then, the bills will need to gain support from the Judiciary Committee. 

Antitrust Bills

Apart from the two bills focused on Amazon and Apple, the other three include the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act, Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act and Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act. 

The Platform Competition and Opportunity Act will make dominant platforms involved in mergers prove that their actions comply with the law. Eventually, dominant tech companies will reduce their acquisitions. As for the proposed ACCESS bill, these tech firms would order dominant platforms to maintain stipulated standards of data portability and interoperability. As such, consumers will find it easier to transfer their data to other platforms. The Merger Filing Fee Modernization bills seek to raise funds for the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. 

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Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.



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Didi Set to Make US Stock Market Debut, Files for IPO

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Anticipated to be one of the biggest tech IPOs of 2021, Didi IPO could fetch the company a $100 billion valuation while raising $10 billion.

Didi Chuxing, founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei, filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) under its formal name Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc. It has become a market leader in the mobility technology industry in a short time, having acquired its biggest competitor, Uber’s China unit, in 2016. In return, Uber now has a 12.8% stake in Didi. Other high-profile investors include tech giants SoftBank Group Corp with a 21.5% stake in the company, and Tencent Holdings Ltd, which holds 6.8% of the company. Despite constant competition in the ride-hailing industry, Didi has managed to stay dominant through its continuous expansion in providing related services using top-notch technology.

Like other industries disrupted by the pandemic, Didi, too, suffered huge losses estimated at $1.6 billion for 2020. Its net profit contracted by almost 10% between 2019 and 2020, thanks to the pandemic that reduced passengers and affected business across countries. However, the first quarter of 2021 brought good news as it saw an astounding 107% growth and doubling of revenue, earning a profit of $30 million. Like major tech startups, Didi has seen losses in its 8 years of existence, however, it still reins the country’s ride-hailing industry.

Didi Chuxing has its operations in 15 countries across Africa, South America, Asia and Europe, including China, although a vast customer base comprises the Chinese population. In addition to providing app-based transportation facilities, Didi also offers food delivery, financial and automobile services. The Beijing based company has also worked in partnership with BYD Co. Ltd., a Chinese automobile manufacturer, to develop electric cars, specifically engineered for their ride-hailing business. Not just that, the company has also been a part of the strategic partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group to design, develop and manufacture autonomous electric vehicles.

In the Founder’s Letter submitted alongside the filing, CEO Cheng owned the company’s mistakes and failings, notably the rape and deaths of two female passengers and the plight of drivers who face unfair treatment. The letter mentions the solutions adopted to overcome the shortcomings that include redesigning over 200 app features, installation of safety-enhancing mechanisms and devices and the establishment of a SWAT Team that would respond to all safety incidents on a real-time basis.

With such a revaluation and improvement of existing services, Didi is all set to take advantage of the vast investment market in the US With the Covid effects diminishing and the universal rollout of vaccinations, the ride-hailing services have already hit the market like never before and Didi plans to make the most of it through the strategic use of its IPO proceeds. More than a quarter will go towards developing technological competencies while an equal share will be put on international expansion efforts. Roughly 20% of the proceeds will be used to develop new offerings, and the rest will be put to use for corporate activities.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are chosen as the lead underwriters for the IPO.

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