👋 I'm the VP of Editorial Strategy here at Hacker Noon. I also make podcasts and write stories.
Has the market cap of cryptocurrencies really exceeded that of Apple? Should you have started buying shitcoins in 2013? Does Microsoft really want to acquire Discord? Do we still trust Fitbit?
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*This transcript was generated by the robot that lives inside Descript and has not yet been fully edited for human-level correctness.
David Smooke: Boom! Do we say this week on planet internet with the hacker noon editors?
Amy Tom: Yeah.
Natasha Nel: Let's dive in.
Limarc Ambalina: No vocal exercises?
[Music: That's That (Sting) - Twin Musicom on YouTube Audio Library]
DS: This week on planet internet with the hacker noon editors, we have Limarc, Natasha, and Amy, and we're going to discuss the internet and the planet. I was browsing the internet today. That's a transition! And I stumbled upon this story from the verge: Why Microsoft wants Discord.
And essentially there's been rumors circulating for a while that Microsoft is interested in buying discord for upwards of $10 billion. And this article details how it would fit into all of Microsoft's existing suites and analyzes the past of their acquisitions, in terms of how successful they've been and not been, Skype being on the failure side and get hub LinkedIn.
In the gaming space being on the more successful side with Minecraft and this really hits all of them, cause discord. Is a chat and community app with close community. So you're dealing with really social networks as a whole beyond the public stuff. So it's communications for gamers.
It's work-related conversations. It would be a massive move for Azure and Microsoft hosting. Now looking at, as the hosting battle is something they're trying to win and how well would integrate with X-Box and different discussions. And on the discord side of things, I would prefer they stay independent forever.
And it's good news for them either way. If Microsoft is going to go in the news and price their company at a really high number. So I guess my question to you guys is like, Are you buying that Microsoft is buying discord or do you think discord just, once all of these stories to just keep existing to grow the value of their company,
AT: Discord has 140 million users. That's pretty decent. Discord has raised a total of 483 million. I also love that. The second question on Google is kind of twelve-year-old use discard and the answer is no, you've got to be at least 13.
LA: That doesn't happen.
AT: Definitely have discorded with 12 year olds.
LA: So this ties into the whole Salesforce acquire Slack thing. And I'm sure like Microsoft is trying to position themselves. Similarly, discord is interesting though, because like you said, it's strongly used by gamers and it's like a Twitch streamers rely on it. And in that sense, Twitch kind of relies on it.
I feel like Twitch acquiring discord would make much more sense, but What I'm confused about is Microsoft already has their version of this, which is Microsoft teams. So I'm wondering if they're acquiring it's just to improve that portion of it. but, um, all, if they do decide to acquire them, I think that would be really smart on their part, especially like you said, X-Box is Minecraft is like going well for Microsoft, but if you look at the entire gaming industry, Microsoft's X-Box is like severely underperforming, especially compared to PlayStation.
So many people in this space think they need to do something big to change their impact on the gaming industry. That games pass is one thing, and maybe discord would be another, it would definitely be a big upsell for teams. If you look at Microsoft as a hundred million and then discord as 140, that overlap, isn't that massive.
If you want to go professional to teams, it seems like a pretty good. Fit and the end of discord. In terms of competitive balance, discord could easily go heavier on professional and discord pro is a lot more like Slack and teams. And now if you cut out their ability to make that move, because that upsells directly to teams, that's definitely gonna make Microsoft more money.
AT: What does discord have? that teams doesn't? Nothing.
LS: Teams is really bad. Have you ever tried it?
LA: Compared to Slack and even compared to discord, I just feel like the user experience is really bad.
AT: They've updated in like mid 2020 though? So it's a bit better now. And they have, as opposed to Slack too, they have video chat, which was different. But discord also has a, I believe, and discord has the ability for you to break out into multiple sessions or like different kind of rooms where teams also has that ability to. And I feel like with Microsoft teams, like their big focus is that they're pushing this whole, like work from home thing or like hybrid working so that you can meet with people who are in the office and also remote working.
So they have Different functions for like video chatting. So make it seem like everyone's in the same room and all this kind of stuff. So I just don't know what discord has that teams doesn't have at this point.
So I can definitely see it being like a acquisition just for the sake of an acquisition to like, because it's a popular platform and it would help them with their bottom line. But I don't think that the technology is going to integrate itself with teams.
DS: Yeah. So if you're the decision maker of discord, you've raised 400 million, you're getting offered 10 billion for this thing. They're cashing out in the billions, like that would be this trade off. They're making understanding, like this probably isn't the best for my community, but you're talking about a real trade off would be.
What do you, what would you say? What do you guys do it.
Everybody: Yeah. Yeah.
LA: Not even thinking about it, I would do that, but I'm not sure where the right people for that, like you say, brilliant.
DS: All right. Speaking of money, that's a transition. You see that?
AT: Beautiful; seamless.
DS: All right. Here is the news of the day.
The market crap of cryptocurrencies has exceeded that of the world's most valuable company. Apple. So now all cryptocurrencies have a market cap of 2.2, four, 3 trillion, and Apple is at only 2.203 trillion. So we've done it in this sense of the, now it's true that cryptocurrencies are bigger than any one single company.
So that's obviously the news grabber there. And then of that, you're looking at Bitcoin at 1.2 trillion market cap. Still being, a good bit below Microsoft, who we were talking about earlier in some of the other top tech companies. But it is a bit of a milestone here of just are these things bigger than Apple?
Like cryptocurrency? Is it bigger than Apple in market cap today? It is yesterday. It wasn't. So that's a pretty big deal. And Apple is how. I'm on an Apple computer right now. I read in trade cryptocurrencies with my Apple phone, so they're are very connected. But if there is going to be a longterm disruptor of these top couple tech companies, it does seem like the cryptocurrencies have the potential.
And you're seeing tech leaders, from Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey. Put significant portions of their business and their personal wealth betting on cryptocurrency. I don't really know if there's a question for all this, but a nice little milestone of the day. You guys could also share a personal milestone if you want.
NN: My question is, raise your hand. If in the last week or two, somebody has asked you about investing in cryptocurrency for the first time, because of all the stuff. Hi, I'm getting a lot of that. And when you say. No, not that I like to say it's too late. I like to use phrases like the bubble has burst and just see the looks on their faces.
LA: I think half the hackathon writers just deleted their accounts.
DS: I do not think the bubble is burst. I think digital currency is just going to keep going every day until when I die, it's going to be bigger than it was the day before. Not quite that exaggerated, but it's just a, it's so much easier to move money. Like it's a isn't, wouldn't it be still nice to live in a world without credit card fees.
That's like the golden goose that keeps me publishing all these stories. I think the Bumble definitely hasn't burst yet because we're still in the infancy of blockchain and a lot of this technology, what kind of confuses me with articles like this? I don't know if anybody else has the. Same opinion does that?
LA: I don't think it's fair to compare Apple or anyone company to cryptocurrency because cryptocurrency is tons of companies. And when you like invest in cryptocurrency, you're also investing in the idea that blockchain is going to be huge and that cryptocurrency is going to overtake Fiat currency. And I feel like that idea is like much future than investing in. Is Apple gonna make better max next year?
DS: Yeah. It's it is misleading how they use market cap. Cause it's like once I hold Bitcoin, I'm part of the Mac market cap. But once I hold my iPhone, I'm not part of the market cap of Apple. Just the revenue that went in is part of the valuation of the company. But me holding the iPhone every day and using it, it changes the brand equity, but it doesn't actually change the market cap like holding Bitcoin does.
So it is also like it's a misleading comparison on a few fronts. Yeah, you just don't want it. You're comparing an industry verse one, one company. But it's still a milestone that at least the industry as a whole could be bigger than one, the largest company in the world. It's just like that is cool because Apple is many companies within its own companies.
Can you go deeper? And how many companies Apple owns it's it's an ecosystem.
LA: I bought doge coin into cryptocurrency before. But you think, sorry, say that again, Amy. You say you never put money in crypto before. Oh, money in cryptocurrency.
AT: Is it too late for me to start? You're saying no.
LA: No, definitely not. I'm intimidated.
DS: Yeah. You don't want to do much money. You don't want to risk your future. Yeah. Look at Limarc, he bought dogecoins. Where did, what price did you buy those coins?
LA: I think what is it right now? 13 cents now, I bought a month ago. What was it a month ago? One month ago.
DS: Whoa. So you have double. Ha. Nice.
All right, now let's move on to another acquisition on a hacker noon story here.
We have tight it's titled think, you know why Google acquired Fitbit. Think again done. And this is by Paris Shahid.
AT: Okay. I actually haven't read this article, but I want to guess that it's got to do with GPS.
DS: Yep. Here's the thesis Google's buying Fitbit for data, not hardware.
This is a $2 billion acquisition. And you can read through it a lot of concern customers. Even in the opening announcement, they announced that Fitbit will be using. Let's see what let's see if their statement was here. Yeah.
Well, The results about if they're using the data for advertising customers seem to not believe they wouldn't and to billions, a lot to pay for a company. And I don't think their margins were great and their competition was increasing in the wearable space. They're selling above their share price while they still can, would be more of my opinion on it.
And it's it's one, the, all these big sales, you're like, you feel good for the founders and the team, but it's also it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. And then there's a. Information about how to delete your Fitbit from health, which who knows if that's been taken over already.
But how are you guys feeling about Fitbit by Google?
NN: So I actually was looking to buy a Fitbit just before this article was published on hacker noon and noticed that they had gone on special in the Netherlands everywhere. There was suddenly a discount on buying a Fitbit. So it definitely impacts on the perceived value.
And I didn't buy a Fitbit but not because of data more because of feeling that I should probably rather get an Apple watch? So it wasn't really about the data at all for me.
AT: I've owned an Apple watch and a Fitbit before now I have a Fitbit. I'm not very concerned about Google tracking my data also because I share my Google location with Google at all times. Partially. Actually no solely because I listened to this other podcasts about true crime, where the woman was found because she had her Google location sharing on. So I always do that now in case I ever disappear, then someone can find me and catch me my killers.
LS: Don't worry.
AT: Excellent. Thank you. You can somebody assigned Liam Neeson after me, please.
But I am not concerned about the data really. I think. But I do think that a lot of people do have Fitbits and a Fitbit is something that you wear at all times pretty much. Whereas like a phone potentially, you leave it at home, potentially you leave it on your desk or whatever, and you walk around, but a Fitbit is with you at all times.
So location data, I think will quote unquote improve depending on what your stance was on that. But I think there, they will get a lot more location data from consumers.
LA: And I think I buy it for sure. Like one of the biggest news for me last year was why Facebook made the second Oculus quest a hundred dollars cheaper than the first one.
And it all came down to, if you're paying less for something or if you're not paying for something, you're the product. And I definitely think it's true. Like I think they'll definitely see if they, when they acquire Fitbit, I'm sure it is for the data, but I think the idea of. Who cares if they're tracking your data?
No one person believes it's a big deal that they're tracking my personal data. The idea is more like, are we as an insight society going to just now accept that big corporations are owning the world's data. And I think that's what the movement is against. Obviously I don't care if Google knows that I like video game advertisements, but I think it's more the idea that we're just giving up in this sense.
NN: what is it being used for? To sway elections. Yeah. Yeah. We should probably care a lot more than we do.
AT: I think I look at it from the perspective of yeah, I don't care if Google is going to serve me an ad for something that I've been looking at. And a lot of times that's helpful, but in terms of the bigger humanitarian issues of internet and data privacy, you're totally right Natasha. Are they swaying elections with this information or are they using it to. Oppress a certain group of people or whatever the issue might be. I think that's a larger concern as a whole that I like to push under the rug.
NN: Yeah. Same.
DS: It's easier to not think about. Human rights organizations become more involved with the control of data and the rights of data. And like looking at like the climate accord, there's like big international agreements for climate and production, but limited international effective agreements for data and data rights and data control.
And it's if you want to deal with getting your data back from Fitbit and not to Google, you're dealing directly with the corporation and or if things hit the fan, you're dealing with your government. And so I think if there's something that I would expect there to be more international data advocation and international rights around data control that, hopefully it would be better, but it's going to be so much work to for these companies.
That's like just data control. Like it's so much easier when they can just set the terms and then do it and they let everything work that way.
AT: But that's why we have GDPR and what's the California one CCPA so that we can protect consumers against where a data is being stored. But GDPR was like a huge one because any kind of data that relates to any person in the EU, regardless of where the data is being stored has to be protected.
That's a huge one for that Google. And a lot of other big companies had to pivot around what was that in 2017 or whatever. And now people are thinking more along the lines of data security, I think. So it should be interesting. Hopefully that continues along and GDPR expands to data collected from wearable technology.
I know that they just released something that was for voice searches, which I thought was interesting. So they're expanding their regulation. Oh, in what way? For voice searches, there was a hacker noon article that I edited of GDPR voice search. So they are expanding it to include searches that come from your Google home or something like that.
So they're saying that with Google home or whatever kind of system you have in your house, it will it can continue to record when you're not using it, or you could be saying sensitive information out loud that it picks up. So GDPR has now expanded its regulation to include things that encapsulate voice searches.
DS: The last article I wanted to talk about today it's a, follow-up from a 2017 article. It's called mastering shitcoin part to the poor man's guide to getting rich. And this is Dan by Daniel Jeffrey's on hacker noon and all over the internet. As it is, it runs through the article.
It's like 2017 was wild people thought Bitcoin hitting 20,000 was crazy, and the real, the crazier part was really the ICO's and just hey, you're using gains on Ethereum to invest in a hundred other Ethereum projects and every other early Ethereum person invest too. So again, it kinda got a little bit of house of cards, Z with the ICO's, but as you read through this article and you look at his portfolio, it's like, it did pretty good.
He talks about what traders were thinking at the time, and I liked that he does this and read Not enough pieces do, as they look retroactively, he does his lead. And then he comes into the big losers who did I think was going to be big in 2017. Now three years later, it hasn't really proved.
If you're in crypto, you'll see some old old familiar names that maybe you haven't seen in a minute of different dead or dying or, life support projects. And then it's looking at the winners and looking at some other ones that, they're looking into the three-year cycle.
Tezos. Ethereum, EOS, Bitcoin, all do very well. And then as two big pieces of advice here weigh your portfolio more heavily and bigger coins and keep smaller bets in the smaller coins. And I think this is assigned to a more mature market. Of Bitcoin is a more known asset than it was three years ago.
And the theory. So if you look at betting on crypto, his advice is bet bigger on the heavy ones and then take flyers. And then when you're taking flyers, it's big piece of advice is buy after the crash. Wait for them to look at a project you believe in, wait for it to decline and then buy it and then try and get in there.
Is his advice. So pretty cool article. And in general, I just think the phrase shit coins is like pretty funny. Or, there's some government coins that I would probably put close to shit coins too, but really it's just a, it has grown in the crypto space. And so what do you all think is shit coins today?
LA: Out of curiosity, which is which shitcoin that he invested in did the best, or like which ones did the best that were like shit coins in 2017, but became pretty big now.
DS: So he definitely had Tezos on there. Here we go. BTC ZX, T mob, DCR, E O S thread. The one, the other point he brings up with the theory I'm here that is definitely worth talking about is the NFT use case.
I'm quoting him here, arguably the first real use case for crypto outside of just using it as a medium of transaction speculation. It's actually using the technology to itemize and reprint an issue and mint. So trying to really using the technology to document scarcity. And being provable that this is scarce and using that for something other than transaction speculation, which is also a pretty depressing statement that we've come this far and transaction and speculation are still, transactions should be the primary use case.
That's where it's like, can it replace cash, credit cars and everything else, and store of value and all that. Yeah theory. Um, I have mixed feelings on cause that ecosystem, I feel like it got so much media and press so early and no one was using the dApps and it was like, Oh, this is a decentralized application with a thousand users. It's You mean a website, like a thousand people use it? I don't know. Yeah.
LA: I feel like his advice for investing in shit coins is similar advice to any other stocks though. Like when I first started investing in don't take any investment advice for me obviously, but. I was doing the method of, okay, I'm going to try to find the next Netflix and invest in these things, but then you don't really get any gratification like immediately.
And if you're doing that, you're investing in like the long run. And what do, you said, place your big bets on the big ones. That's exactly what I did. And that's exactly what works like. Once you started investing, you'll find that obviously you invest in Facebook and invest in Twitter. You invest in Uber and you'll find that those will grow in the short run.
And all of those small bets you've made, none of them are growing, but you have to realize that they are small bets and you can expect them to grow immediately. So it probably depends on like how patient you are and like your philosophy as an investor yourself.
DS: I did have one other one to point out of this line just really got to me like Binance is an exchange, but they issued a token currency and here's the second. And it's from an investment of 2,500 would have turned into $2.5 million in 2020. It's if you run the exchange and you issue your own currency on the exchange, isn't it a lot easier to be successful. So I guess the other one that I get thinking about, why did Binance do well? Why did Cardera Cardona do well? Like. Why is Flo doing well, looking at the partnerships of these companies and the strategic position of Binance, if they want to issue a token, how valuable that could be, how many built in competitive demand, advantages and buyers they have versus another one? yeah, that also just stands out a little bit in the story.
NN: Those are the three things we needed to get. Okay. All right, everybody. Good job.
LA: Natasha. You weren't recording this
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