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Coinbase bought 3 traditional securities firms, and will soon be a regulated SEC-licensed brokerage. The Hustle Fri, Jun 8 Brought to you by MVMT… bring the HEAT this summer. DON’T MISS OUT: Pre-sale for our “Almost World Famous” tee ends...
By: Wes Schlagenhauf
June 8, 2018
Coinbase bought 3 traditional securities firms, and will soon be a regulated SEC-licensed brokerage.
Coinbase puts on Big-Coin pants for the SEC as crypto platforms race toward regulation
Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the US, just bought 3 traditional securities dealers to use their licenses and become a fully regulated SEC-licensed brokerage.
Coinbase and big crypto competitors like Circle are racing to get regulated -- both to appease recently unleashed watchdogs and also to attract institutional investors that have deep pockets, but strict rules.
With great regulation comes great profitability
The acquisition puts Coinbase under the strict supervision of the SEC, which recently appointed a dedicated crypto-tamer named Valerie Szczepanik. Previously, Coinbase was regulated only by a hodgepodge of local authorities -- meaning it could essentially do whatever it wanted.
So why would the world’s largest crypto platforms want more oversight? The answer is in the ICO.
ICOs, those bizarre love children of Kickstarters and IPOs, have already raised more than $9B this year. Since the SEC labeled these new coins securities, the only way for Big Crypto to get a slice of this growing pie -- without arousing federal fury -- is to play by the rules.
Now Coinbase has a license to Coin
Currently, Coinbase -- which has 20m customers in 33 countries -- only lists 4 coins (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Litecoin) for exchange on its platform.
But the company’s acquisition of 3 SEC-approved brokerages gives it all the licenses it needs to add any number of new coins to its exchange.
Plus, in addition to allowing crypto companies to list more coins, SEC-recognized licenses will also enable them to offer more services -- and expand into the multibillion-dollar world of institutional finance.
Battle of the brokerages
So, to continue to benefit from the crypto community and take Wall Street’s cash, crypto companies are racing to put on their suits and ties.
Coinbase is doing it by acquiring existing brokerage licenses -- while competitor Circle announced earlier this week it would apply for them directly.
As the race to regulation heats up, Coinbase (which has traded $150B worth of coins on its platform already) has a lead on the competition thanks to its high volume of trades -- and expand-at-all-costs M&A strategy.
They grow up so fast
Starship Technologies takes delivery robots to the streets with $25m in fresh funding
Finally, robots that somewhat resemble R2-D2.
Starship Technologies has raised $25m to bring autonomous delivery bots to the mainstream streets sooner than later.
These 6-wheeled delivery robots can carry items like groceries or packages within a 2-mile radius of a store or restaurant, and have been deployed in 8 locations in the US and Europe thus far.
And they just hired a new CEO
The London-based startup was set up in 2014 by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. But now Heinla, who has been Starship’s CEO since the beginning, is switching roles to make way for ex-Airbnb vet, Lex Bayer.
With the new funding, the company plans to scale up from hundreds to more than 1k robots sometime next year, as it looks to expand its operations from 2 campuses to 20.
Speaking of expansion...
Starship was the first out of the gate to bring autonomous delivery vehicles to market, but has since opened the door for other competition after their $17m funding round led by Daimler in 2017.
Nuro raised a whopping $92m at the beginning of the year, and a new company called Boxbot recently raised $7.5m, along with a permit to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver.
Reorg at Ronald’s: McDonald’s looks to eliminate ‘layers’ as it plans corporate job cuts
As the burger chain struggles to turn around its US business, McDonald’s Corp. announced their plans for a new round of layoffs to keep shrinkin’ that corporate structure.
According to McDonald’s US prez, Chris Kempczinski, the company is restructuring offices nationwide, reducing the number of “layers” between field consultants and Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook from “8 to 6” (it’s not clear yet how many people make up each of these “layers”).
Cuttin’ the fluff off the top of the McFlurry
Kempczinski says the changes will help the golden arches become more agile as Ronnie McDonnie modernizes its business model and cuts administrative expenses by $500m before the end of 2019.
People are eating healthier these days (or at least, less dollar menu-y), which means companies like McDonald’s are flushing (cash) faster that their customers after a Big Mac Meal.
According to McDonald’s own research, only 20% of young Americans have ever even tasted a Big Mac (which could factor into their sales falling 1.3% in Q4 last year).
McDonald’s lost 500m US orders in 5 years
Like all fast food, Mickey D’s is struggling to find ways to lure customers, and more importantly, to get them to spend money once they do (despite, $22.8B in sales last year).
One attempt at modernization are self-order kiosks, which they’re adding to 1k stores a quarter over the next 9, after learning that people spend more money with kiosks than they do giving their order to human people.
With a new e-commerce ticketing feature, Snapchat copies its own copycat
Snapchat announced a partnership with SeatGeek to allow in-app ticket-buying -- an e-commerce feature that eerily resembles Instagram’s, a rival Snap has often accused of plagiarism.
Snap’s been toying with new features for months to address declining revenue -- but this new direct sales option is the sharpest departure from Snap’s anti-ad philosophy yet.
“Kudos… but…” -- Instagram
Snapchat, the first social company to feature temporary videos, was peeved when Instagram rolled out a direct ripoff of its story function -- but Instagram showed no remorse.
“Kudos to Snapchat for being the first to Stories, but it’s a format and it’s going to be adopted widely,” said Kevin Weil, Instagram’s VP of product.
At least they were polite about it...
Nothing in social media is certain but ads and hacks-es
After swiping Snapchat’s signature feature, Instagram added features to enable sales. Snap resisted these e-commerce features to prioritize creativity over commerce -- you know, for the love of the Snap.
But after falling $30m short of revenue goals last year, Snap’s Captain Spiegel was ready to invite SeatGeek over for a nice steak dinner.
Snap has since rolled out in-app features to sell everything from Jordans to concert seats to copy Instagram -- which still snaps up twice as many in-app purchases as the ’Chat.