đź’° Bitcoin, un-ransomed

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_Fastly's content (un)delivery moment [Pauline St. Denis/Corbis/VCG via GettyImages]_

Fastly's content (un)delivery moment Pauline St. Denis/Corbis/VCG via GettyImages

Dow Jones
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Bitcoin
$32,815 (+0.10%)

Hey Snackers,

We knew that Crocs was trending in 2020, but we never thought this day would come: Crocs collabed with Balenciaga on heels. Say hello to "Stiletto Crocs."

Markets barely budged, while crypto prices slumped. About that...

BTC
1. Crypto prices drop after US officials recover $2.3M in Bitcoin ransom

Bite your coin... and your nails. Bitcoin fell to its lowest level in months yesterday — its crypto buddies Ether and Dogecoin fell, too. The dip happened after US officials recovered $2.3M in crypto that was paid as ransom to the Colonial Pipeline hackers. ICYMI: the US' largest fuel pipeline got hacked last month. Colonial paid the hackers $4.4M in Bitcoin to reclaim its systems.

  • Bye bye, Bitcoin: Investigators accessed the password for one of the hackers’ Bitcoin wallets, and managed to seize more than half of the ransom.
  • Hello, Feds: The $$$ was recovered by the newly launched Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, which was created as part of the government's response to surging cyberattacks.

Bitcoin for hostage... The ransomware surge has been putting a negative spotlight on Bitcoin. One cyber expert called BTC the "oxygen that fuels this ransomware fire." Now, the US government is getting involved as hackers are increasingly targeting critical infrastructure. Experts believe Russia is funding this "ransomware plague."

  • This month, Earth's largest meat producer got hit. And Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that bad actors are likely trying to shut down the US power grid "as we speak."
THE TAKEAWAY

The Feds pulled back the curtain... Hackers who hijack computer systems demand payment in BTC, because it's hard to trace — but yesterday's ransom recovery proved it's not impossible. It's a big win for the government, because ransomware is rarely recovered. But it may have raised concerns over the security and anonymity of Bitcoin. Another potential reason behind the crypto drop: fear that a regulatory clampdown is coming for the crypto space.

Down

503 Service Unavailable... The internet had a bad day. Dozens of websites, including the NYT and the UK government's portal, went dark for nearly an hour yesterday. Reddit's and Amazon's sites were also affected. Blame an internal glitch at cloud-service provider Fastly.

  • Fastly is a "stoxygen" company... You don't see it, but it's kind of everywhere. Companies use it to speed up their webpages and get things to your screen faster (hence, Fastly).
  • Fastly hosts content (think: news articles) and delivers them to your screen from a server near you, reducing the time it takes for info to reach users.

Fastly was down... but its stock wasn't. Fastly shares jumped 11% yesterday (awkward), despite the outage. Shares of rival content delivery networks, like Cloudflare and Akamai, were also up.

THE TAKEAWAY

Investors noticed the flattering details... within the not-so-flattering headlines. The outage highlighted how many of the world’s websites rely on Fastly and other content delivery networks. While reading the outage news, investors may have noticed that Fastly has 336 enterprise clients — including big names like Amazon, NYT, Stripe, Shopify, and even a government. The bad news generated some big buzz for Fastly.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • eBillz: The Senate approved a $250B bill to boost government spending on tech R&D. The bipartisan goal: keep the US competitive against China.
  • Shh: A trove of secret IRS files reportedly reveals how the uber-wealthy avoid income taxes.
  • Macro: The US is driving the global economic recovery — but the US recovery could partly depend on other countries' recoveries.
  • Money: Economic barriers for Black women set the US economy back by $500B over the past six decades, according to a new report.
  • Oh: Buzzy electric truck startup Lordstown Motors says it doesn’t have cash to start commercial production.
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Wednesday
  • Earnings expected from GameStop and Campbell Soup

Authors of this Snacks own: Bitcoin and shares of Amazon and Shopify

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