The market had another down day Friday, as the NASDAQ closed the week down about 1%, after a bit of a reprieve the previous week. Meanwhile, bearish headlines continue to pile up. Fidelity cut Stripe and Reddit valuations amid the tech stock downturn. Forbes and Seatgeek scrapped their SPAC plans. Tiger Global Management, has lost more than 50% of its value in 2022 including a 14.3% drop in May, according a report by CNBC. Microsoft cut earnings and revenue guidance, citing a stronger U.S. dollar. Venture capital investment is declining faster in China than anywhere else, according to data from Preqin. The pace of investing fell 44% in the first four months of the year to US$24.7 billion compared to a year earlier. Elon Musk has a “super bad feeling” about the economy and needs to cut about 10% of Tesla jobs. At the same time, tech blog, The Verge, had a candid take on Elon Musk’s recent news, in a take, which many non Tesla bulls are well familiar — Elon Musk says Tesla’s fake robot might be ready by September 30th. GM is slashing prices for the Chevy Bolt amid high demand for electric vehicles.

Sophic Client, Clear Blue Technologies (CBLU-TSXV, CBUTF-OTC, 0YA-FRA) closed a second tranche of a unit offering, for a total of $1.64 million raised. Sophic Client, Swarmio Media Holdings Inc. (SWRM-CSE, SWMIF-OTC) announced the closing of an oversubscribed private placement of common shares for proceeds of $1.16 million. Clear Blue was also recognized as #13 on the “Future 50 Fastest-Growing Sustainable Companies in Canada”. 

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

Sophic Client Clear Blue Technologies (CBLU-TSXV, CBUTF-OTC, 0YA-FRA): Second tranche of unit offering completed for a total of $1.64 million raised.

On May 30, the Company announced the closing of the second tranche of a non-brokered unit offering (the “ Offering ”) for gross proceeds of approximately $653,443. This second closing of the Offering resulted in the issuance of 3,843,782 units of the Company (each, a “ Unit ” and collectively the “Units”) at a price of C$0.17 per Unit. Each Unit consists of one common share in the capital of the Company (each, a “ Common Share ” and collectively the “ Common Shares ”) and one common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, a “ Warrant ” and collectively the “ Warrants ”). Each Warrant entitles the holder thereof to acquire one Common Share at a price of C$0.22 per Common Share for a period of 24 months from the grant date. Tranche 1 of this Unit Offering was completed and announced on April 29, 2022 for $989,834. Together the two Tranches totaled $1,643,277. https://bit.ly/3tCIMh1

Sophic Client Swarmio Media Holdings Inc. (SWRM-CSE, SWMIF-OTC) announces closing of oversubscribed private placement of common shares for proceeds of $1.16 million.

Swarmio Media Holdings Inc. announces that it has closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement of 11,661,407 common shares at a price of $0.10 per share for aggregate proceeds of $1,166,140.70. Swarmio previously announced the goal of raising $1 million in this placement. https://bit.ly/3thxgHv

Clear Blue recognized as #13 on the “Future 50 Fastest-Growing Sustainable Companies in Canada”.

You can’t connect every corner of the world to centralized power grids. Enter Clear Blue Technologies, which develops “smart” off-grid power systems, marrying solar- and wind-powered equipment with the software to remotely monitor and control it. Clear Blue’s energy-as-a-service model, mainly for lighting and telecommunications, provides sustainable, affordable power in remote areas and developing countries where grid-based connectivity is problematic or cost-prohibitive. The Toronto-based firm manages thousands of systems in 37 countries, from “smart” pathway lights in Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment region to supermarket parking-lot lighting in the United States and telecom services in sub-Saharan Africa. As telcos face growing pressure to provide universal connectivity, Clear Blue ensures consistent service and maximum uptime by giving customers a full slate of remote management controls, says CEO Miriam Tuerk. “You’d never buy or build a telecom network without those management tools, and you need to do the same thing for power.” https://bit.ly/3x9UbFM

Penny AI raises $33.9 million Series B to expand direct sales solution.

Vancouver-based SaaS startup Penny AI has raised a $33.9 million (US$27 million) all-equity Series B round led by Boston venture capital firm PSG. The financing, which Penny AI classifies as oversubscribed, also saw participation from Acronym Venture Capital and ScaleUP Ventures. Osipova declined to disclose the amount of secondary capital included in the US$27 million financing. According to Penny, the new investment will be used to accelerate its platform’s expansion. Penny noted that it is developing a learning platform designed to upskill sellers and plans to offer actionable insights and data visualization tools. https://bit.ly/3NiSxsf 

Able Innovations announces $7.5 million to take the pain out of patient transfer.

The Toronto-based robotic medical device startup focuses on the problem of patient transfer—a run-of-the-mill, labour-intensive procedure that usually involves some combination of porters, nurses, and orderlies lifting a patient from point a to point b, sometimes using bed sheets or a slider board. Enter Able Innovations, which has built a robotic medical device designed to address the problem of patient transfer, called the ALTA Platform. Able Innovations has raised a total of $7.5 million in funding, including a $2 million seed round in December 2020, and a $2.5 million seed extension in March 2022, both raised via convertible note. The startup has also secured a total of $3 million in grants and non-dilutive funding over the past three years. https://bit.ly/3t8aeTw

Inossem raises $3.5 million to bolster R&D, add engineers.

Montréal-headquartered SaaS startup Inossem has raised $3.5 million in what it classifies as a pre-Series A round. The investment, which was all equity and all primary capital, came from Québec private equity firm Aisca Group.  Managing director Bing Wu told BetaKit that Inossem plans to raise a $10 million Series A round sometime this year. Founded in 2015, Inossem provides business automation solutions, targeting mid-sized markets and medium-sized Canadian businesses.  https://bit.ly/3x4TAX1 

Nasdaq to acquire Montréal ESG software provider Metrio.

Nasdaq Inc., has entered an agreement to acquire Montréal-based startup Metrio for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close by mid-June.  Nasdaq said it plans to integrate Metrio’s SaaS offering into its own suite of ESG solutions. Metrio is a provider of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data collection, analytics, and reporting services. Since its inception, Metrio claims that its corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform has helped more than 5,000 users at over 100 global companies. The startup’s ESG focus has attracted a client base that includes the likes of Air Canada, Bell, BMO, Cogeco, Desjardins, Hydro Québec, Loblaw Companies Ltd., RBC, and TMX, which owns and operates the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV). https://bit.ly/3aH0klp

Tim Hortons app tracked people illegally, Canada Watchdogs say.

Tim Hortons, the ubiquitous Canadian coffee chain owned by Restaurant Brands International, violated Canadian privacy rules by tracking its customers’ movements with its mobile app even when the app wasn’t in use, a government investigation found. The company was told Wednesday to shut off that capability after an investigation by federal and provincial authorities found that the Tim Hortons app “misled many users to believe information would only be accessed when the app was in use.”  https://bloom.bg/38GXCeW

Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

Fidelity cuts Stripe and Reddit valuations amid tech stock downturn.

Fidelity Investments lowered its valuations of some late-stage technology startups in April, including payments firm Stripe and news aggregator and online forum Reddit, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. Fidelity marked down the value of its Stripe stake by 13%, according to data compiled by the news outlet and public filings. It lowered the value of its stake in Reddit by more than a third. It also slashed the valuation for Bytedance, the owner of social media powerhouse TikTok, and Instacart, the grocery delivery company that filed to go public in May. The valuation cuts show that investor perceptions of late-stage startups have continued to sink alongside the downturn in tech stocks. The Nasdaq-100 has dropped by more than 20% in the last six months. Fidelity cut the value of Reddit shares to US$39.65 from US$61.79 each, according to Bloomberg. It slashed Stripe shares to US$32.05 each , the lowest since last March, and lowered ByteDance shares by 13% on the month, to US$128.07. The moves follow previous cuts in valuations, particularly in sectors like online delivery. Last fall, Fidelity’s Growth Company fund reduced the value of its Instacart shares by 18%, indicating a value of just under US$32 billion. Instacart later lowered its valuation to US$24 billion from US$39 billion. https://bit.ly/38N9JqO

Forbes said to ditch plans to go public via SPAC.

In another sign of a mostly shuttered market for new offerings, media company Forbes decided to call off a previous decision to take itself public via a special-purpose acquisition company, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The deal, which would have taken Forbes public at a US$630 million valuation after a merger with Hong Kong-based SPAC Magnum Opus Acquisition, is another example of a slowdown for new offerings in recent months. IPO research firm Renaissance Capital said there are no major IPOs scheduled for the holiday-shortened week, a contrast to rushes in previous years after mid-May filings. The Forbes deal’s cancellation may be announced as early as this week, the Times reported. That would shelve a planned investment from the cryptocurrency exchange Binance of $200 million into the publisher. Likely weighing on plans: past attempts by media companies to go public via SPAC merger have not gone well. Buzzfeed shares have lost 67% since their public listing in December, to US$3.60. Vice Media’s attempt to go public last year stalled when the company failed to raise additional financing, according to previous reporting from The Information. https://bit.ly/3xhI0Is

Seatgeek scraps SPAC plans, citing market volatility.

The online ticket platform Seatgeek and blank-check special acquisition company RedBall scrapped a plan to go public via a merger, the firms announced Wednesday. The deal would have valued the combined company at US$1.35 billion. Market volatility, particularly for technology stocks, sparked the reversal, the mobile ticket platform and the sports-focused SPAC, backed by Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane, said in a joint statement. Companies have been abandoning deals to go public via SPAC amid a turndown in public markets and increased regulatory scrutiny of these blank-check mergers. Media company Forbes on Wednesday called off a previous plan to take itself public via SPAC. The deal to merge with Hong Kong-based SPAC Magnum Opus Acquisition would have taken Forbes public at a US$630 million valuation. “Given current market conditions, it was mutually determined that the best option for all parties at this time is for SeatGeek to remain private,” Andy Gordon, partner at RedBird Capital said in a statement. SeatGeek’s business was pummeled after the outset of the pandemic halted live events and the  ticketed events and the New York-based company laid off about 10% of staff in April 2020. In the spring of 2021, however, pent-up demand  for in-person activities sparked firm records for single-day sales, lighting the way to a recovery. https://bit.ly/3xjLRVu

Hedge fund Tiger Global beaten up by tech selloff.

Tiger Global Management, a hedge fund run by Chase Coleman, has lost more than 50% of its value in 2022 including a 14.3% drop in May, according a report by CNBC. The losses came after Tiger Global bet on tech stocks in the first quarter including Snowflake Inc. , Sea Ltd. and Carvana Co. , CBNC reported, citing regulatory filings. Snowflake has lost 60% of its value in 2022, while Carvana is off by nearly 88% and Sea is down by 63%. The Nasdaq has lost about 22% of its value this year.  https://bit.ly/3x2Q26I 

Musk wants to cut 10% of Tesla jobs amid ‘super bad feeling’.

Elon Musk has a “super bad feeling” about the economy and needs to cut about 10% of Tesla jobs. He sent an email to executives on Thursday, which was seen by Reuters. Musk titled the email “pause all hiring worldwide.” According to Tesla’s annual SEC filing, the company employed nearly 100,000 people at the end of last year, meaning thousands of jobs could be axed. Musk’s comments come two days after he sent a memo to all Tesla employees to return to the office or resign. He titled his first email “remote work is no longer acceptble (sic)” and appeared to address it to executive staff only, according to Electrek. https://bit.ly/3xo0UNX 

Coinbase extends hiring freeze, rescinds some accepted offers.

Coinbase announced that it will extend its hiring freeze and revoke accepted offers from some candidates who haven’t started their roles yet. The third-largest crypto exchange by volume, Coinbase began to slow hiring two weeks ago, but this move is more drastic. People whose offers were rescinded will be eligible for Coinbase’s “generous severance philosophy,” on which the letter does not elaborate. Heading into 2022, Coinbase planned to triple its headcount. But in its first quarter financial results, the company said that limiting headcount could be a way to manage costs. The company reported a US$430 million loss, a bad omen for a crypto exchange that depends on trading activity for most of its revenue. https://tcrn.ch/3xdyxBG 

Microsoft cuts earnings and revenue guidance, citing a stronger U.S. dollar.

The software giant said in a securities filing Thursday that it now expects fiscal fourth-quarter sales of between US$51.94 billion and US$52.74 billion, down from its prior guidance of US$52.4 billion to US$53.2 billion. The quarter ends June 30. Microsoft shares fell 2.6% in early trading to US$265.31. They are down around 21% year to date. Economic weakness in other parts of the world has helped propel the U.S. dollar to multidecade highs against its trading partners, which comes as U.S. inflation is at or near its highest level in nearly 40 years. The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the currency against a basket of others, is up more than 6% so far this year and hit its highest level since 2002 last month. The greenback’s climb has sent the euro, British pound and Japanese yen tumbling. https://on.wsj.com/3mgXk1m 

VC investment in China declines faster than in the U.S.

Venture capital investment is declining faster in China than anywhere else, according to data from Preqin. The pace of investing fell 44% in the first four months of the year to US$24.7 billion compared to a year earlier, according to Bloomberg. That fall is about twice as fast as the decline in the U.S. and four times faster than the global drop. Top performing China VC funds had some of the biggest gains in the industry until last summer as the country appeared to have avoided the worst of the global Covid-19 pandemic. But that has changed as the country has locked down major cities to stop fast-spreading Omicron. https://bit.ly/3NijJaH

Xiaomi-linked firms pause IPO plans amid regulators’ scrutiny.

Chinese tech startups that have ties to smartphone maker Xiaomi are facing scrutiny from Chinese regulators, and some of them have paused their planned initial public offerings, the Financial Times reported. The Xiaomi-linked firms that have put their IPO plans on hold include smart mattress maker 8H, smart lighting company Yeelight and software maker Shanghai Sunmi Technology, according to the FT. The moves came after Chinese regulators questioned those companies about their relationships with Xiaomi. Over the years, Xiaomi has invested in many tech startups and described them as “ecosystem companies.” The questions from regulators come after China’s government last year stepped up its anti-monopoly campaign, especially in the tech sector. The country’s market regulator last year slapped internet giants such as Alibaba and Meituan with antitrust fines. https://bit.ly/3x5VB43

Didi is said to draw China FAW’s interest in buying stake.

State-owned automaker China FAW Group Co. is considering acquiring a significant stake in the troubled ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. The Chinese carmaker has reached out to Didi’s top executives and expressed its interest in becoming a major shareholder in the firm, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. FAW pledged to help Didi resolve issues related to data security, paving the way for a Hong Kong listing, the people said. Discussions are at an early stage and might not lead to any transaction, the people said. Representatives for Didi and FAW didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Shares of Didi jumped almost 10% in premarket trading in New York after the Bloomberg News report. Didi became a symbol of China’s crackdown on technology companies after the ride-hailing firm proceeded with its US$4.4 billion US IPO despite Beijing’s objections, erasing more than US$70 billion in market value since China placed it under a cybersecurity probe. FAW is unlikely to be the only firm interested in getting a stake in Didi. Shouqi Group — part of the influential Beijing Tourism Group, and other companies based in Beijing were looking at a stake in the ride-hailing firm, Bloomberg News reported last September. https://bloom.bg/3NX0HGW

China smartphone demand weakens amid covid resurgence.

Smartphone shipments in China fell 34% in April from a year ago to 17.7 million units, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology showed this week. For the first four months of the year, shipments declined by 30% to about 86 million units, said the academy, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. In late April, Apple warned that the resurgence of Covid-19 in China threatens to hinder sales by as much as US$8 billion this quarter. This month, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. said its January-March smartphone revenue declined 11% from the same period a year earlier and partly blamed China’s logistics crunches, closed stores and component shortages that stemmed from the country’s rigid Covid-control policies. Semiconductor Manufacturing International China’s biggest contract semiconductor maker and a producer of smartphone chips said this month that it now expects global smartphone makers to produce at least 200 million fewer units of smartphones in 2022 compared with industry forecasts. https://on.wsj.com/3PQyWBh

Binance’s venture capital arm secures US$500 million to invest in Web3 projects like DeFi, NFTs, and the metaverse.

Binance’s venture capital arm closed a US$500 million investment fund to develop Web3 and blockchain projects. Binance Labs will use the cash to invest in areas like DeFi, NFTs, gaming, and the metaverse. Binance said the funds will be invested in incubation, early-stage venture, and late-stage growth. Binance said Wednesday its venture capital arm closed a US$500 million investment fund for a range of new projects. The influx of cash arrives as crypto markets remain turbulent. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is down more than 50% from its all-time high of US$69,000 seen in November 2021. https://bit.ly/3Neb1u5

Emerging Technologies

Elon Musk says Tesla’s fake robot might be ready by September 30th.

In a tweet that is definitely not meant to distract from the news that he’s planning on laying off about 10 percent of his workforce, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he was shifting the company’s “AI Day” event from August to September in anticipation of being able to show off a “working” Optimus prototype. You’ll recall that Optimus is the name given to the humanoid robot that Musk said will take on the repetitive, boring tasks that humans are loath to do. The robot was revealed during Tesla’s last AI day in August 2021, and as with all things Musk, it’s difficult to parse the reality from the smokescreen of bullshit he tends to throw out. After promising to reveal a working prototype sometime in 2022, the evening was capped by a person in a spandex robot costume taking the stage and doing an extremely awkward dance. Tesla’s history is littered with fanciful ideas that never panned out, like a solar-powered Supercharger network, battery swapping, robotic snake-style chargers, city-to-city rocket travel, or a self-driving car you could summon from across the country. Musk is very good at generating headlines, especially when there’s bad news from which to distract. His move to buy Twitter is slowly unraveling, with federal regulators examining whether he broke the rules when he initially bought a 9 percent stake in the company. And lest we forget, Tesla is still under investigation for the tendency of its vehicles to crash into parked emergency vehicles while using the same AI software that will supposedly power this robot. https://bit.ly/38OeYGX

Elon Musk: Starlink 2.0 will be ‘almost an order of magnitude more capable’.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed new information about the company’s next-generation Starlink “Gen2” satellites, stating they will be four times heavier than the current model during an interview with YouTuber Tim Dodd, also known as Everyday Astronaut. Large batches of the next-gen satellite — SpaceX typically launches about 50 current-gen satellites at a time — will likely require the power of the company’s upcoming Starship launch vehicle to reach orbit. Musk explained that the next-generation satellite will measure roughly 23 ft (7 m), weigh roughly 1.25 tons (roughly 2,750 lb), and will be “almost an order of magnitude more capable” than current “Starlink 1” satellites. But Musk didn’t specify whether he was referring to bandwidth or throughput. With Starlink 1.0 estimated to have a total bandwidth of 18 Gbps, that means the next-gen satellites could add up to 160 Gbps to the constellation. The SpaceX CEO also said “Starlink 2.0” would be roughly four times heavier than V1.5 and just under five times heavier than V1.0. Starship is estimated to have the capacity to loft payloads of 150 tons to low-Earth orbit, the launch vehicle will carry 110 to 120 satellites, with each weighing roughly 1,250 kilograms, according to a Teslarati report. Musk confirmed this in his interview, saying each one will weigh “about one and a quarter tons”. As a point of reference, Starlink V1.0 weighs roughly 260 kilograms. https://bit.ly/3x9rvNi

Apple’s VR headset unlikely to be announced at WWDC 2022.

Rumors about Apple’s mixed reality headset have been gaining traction in recent months, but the company’s plans on when this device will be announced remain unclear. Despite recent references to Apple’s new “realityOS” platform, the official announcement of the headset still seems a long way off – at least that’s what analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says. One of the reasons Kuo doesn’t believe Apple will show a preview of its new Apple mixed reality headset in June is that it would give competitors enough time to copy the product’s features. As reported earlier this week, the trademark “realityOS” has been registered in multiple countries by a company associated with Apple. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that Apple has recently demoed its upcoming AR/VR headset to its board of directors – which is a sign that the product is close to being announced. https://bit.ly/3zaJw0m 

New type of 3D printing uses sound waves to build up objects.

3D printing typically involves depositing layers of molten plastic, laser-melting powdered metal, or using UV light to harden gelatinous resin. A new technique takes yet another approach, however, by utilizing sound waves. Developed by a team of scientists at Canada’s Concordia University, the technology is known as direct sound printing (DSP). In the current version of the technique, a transducer is used to send focused pulses of ultrasound through the sides of a chamber, into liquid polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) resin contained within. Doing so produces ultrasonic fields, which cause rapidly oscillating microscopic bubbles to temporarily form at specific points in the resin. https://bit.ly/3mx7jA9

Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting

PlayStation VR2 mass production to start H2 2022.

Ming-Chi Kuo is a TF International Securities analyst mostly known for predicting Apple products & moves over a year in advance using his supply chain sources. In April he released a report detailing the apparent resolution and production target for Meta’s upcoming Project Cambria headset. In a Tweet posted today Kuo claims “the assembler and several component providers” of PSVR 2 will start mass production in H2 2022 and ship 1.5 million units. Based on this, Kuo speculates Sony would be ready to launch in Q1 2023, assuming enough launch titles are available. Last month Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, Tweeted that both Apple and Sony’s VR products were delayed to 2023. Young told us Sony will only have a very limited supply by year’s end, so any serious launch would have to happen in 2023. https://bit.ly/3wZpl2A

Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

Foxconn confirms ransomware attack disrupted operations at Mexico factory.

Smartphone manufacturing giant Foxconn has confirmed that a ransomware attack in late May disrupted operations at one of its Mexico-based production plants. The affected production plant is Foxconn Baja California, located in the city of Tijuana at the border with California, which specializes in the production of medical devices, consumer electronics and industrial operations.  Foxconn declined to say whether any data was accessed as a result of the attack, nor did it provide any information on who was responsible. However, the operators of the LockBit — a prominent ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation — have claimed responsibility for the May 31 attack and is threatening to leak data stolen from Foxconn unless a ransom is paid by June 11. https://tcrn.ch/3x4NNQe

Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Square launching Tap to Pay on iPhone support.

Square announced that it is signing on to support Apple’s new Tap to Pay on iPhone feature. The feature, which was announced by Apple in February, allows businesses to use an iPhone to accept contactless payments without the need for any additional hardware. With support in the Square Point of Sale application, Square merchants will be able to turn their iPhone into contactless payment terminals — and Square will still get to keep these merchants in its ecosystem. Tap to Pay on iPhone works by the merchant prompting the customer to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay with Apple Pay, their contactless credit or debit card, or another digital wallet near the merchant’s iPhone. The payment then will be securely completed using NFC technology. https://bit.ly/3taLF8w 

Affirm teams up with Stripe as the BNPL wars intensify.

Two fintech giants are partnering up. Affirm is making its buy now, pay later technology available to businesses that use Stripe’s payments tech. This means that a whole slew of companies that were not previously able to offer their customers the option to pay in installments, now can. The deal is significant for Affirm because Stripe, which was valued at US$95 billion last year, has “millions” of customers. It processes hundreds of billions of dollars each year for “every size of business — from startups to Fortune 500s.” And this gives Affirm an opportunity to generate more revenue as it makes money in part on interest fees. Affirm’s stock has taken a huge hit in the last year — along with most other tech companies — and , was trading at just under US$30. That’s significantly lower than its 52-week high of US$176.65, and means that the company is now valued at about US$8.5 billion. Still, the company’s last earnings report beat expectations, with Affirm noting that its active merchants in its fiscal third quarter grew by more than 16x year-over-year (to 207,000) and that active consumers grew by 137% year-over-year (to 12.7 million). https://tcrn.ch/3z9lylU

Goldman Sachs in talks with FTX for crypto derivative offerings. Goldman Sachs is in talks with crypto exchange FTX to expand its derivatives offerings, Barron’s reported. The news comes as FTX seeks a license modification from the CFTC that would allow it to play the role of middleman for leveraged derivatives trading. The report comes as FTX seeks a license modification from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a source told Barron’s. The new license would allow FTX to play the role of middleman for leveraged derivatives trading. Usually, brokerages — like Goldman Sachs — play the intermediary role, or so-called “Future Commission Merchants” (FCM). FTX has previously argued that an integrated brokerage model would help make the market more stable, though the US has barred most crypto exchanges from offering leveraged trading. https://bit.ly/3zdapk9 

New York Senate passes moratorium to ban carbon-based crypto mining.

The New York Senate has passed a bill that bans crypto mining operations that use carbon-based fuel to power their facilities. The bill specifically is targeting proof-of-work mining, which is one of the two most popular mechanisms cryptocurrencies use to verify new transactions on the blockchain and make new tokens, but it uses a lot of energy to validate blockchain transactions. Some of the most popular proof-of-work tokens include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. The alternative, proof-of-stake, is when cryptocurrencies — like ETH2.0 or Avalanche — use staking to achieve the same thing for less energy and it is thought to be more efficient for scaling than proof-of-work. The bill is an attempt by lawmakers to impede the state’s carbon footprint and “mitigate the current and future effects of climate change,” according to the bill. https://tcrn.ch/3aFMtM9

Solana tumbles as its blockchain network suffers its 2nd outage in a month.

Solana fell 10% Wednesday after reports of an outage on its blockchain network. Solana asked validators on its blockchain to restart the network to remedy the issue. The blockchain had not produced new blocks for five hours, triggering all of its applications to shutdown, according to the Block.The cryptocurrency was changing hands at US$41 per coin at presstime. The outage is the second in a month for Solana, which often promotes itself as a high-performance network meant to complete speedy transactions and rival the Ethereum network. Solana suffered similar turbulence on May 1, when its network remained down for roughly seven hours. https://bit.ly/3GIrcxa


GM is slashing prices for the Chevy Bolt amid high demand for electric vehicles.

General Motors is slashing prices for the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV amid high demand for electric vehicles. While other automakers are jacking up EV prices to account for rising commodity costs, GM says it wants to send the message that “affordability has always been a priority for these vehicles.” ​​Under the new pricing scheme, 2023 Bolt EVs with the 1LT trim will start at US$26,595, which includes dealer freight charges. That’s down from the 2022 price of US$32,495, reflecting an 18 percent drop. But since the release of the Tesla Model 3 in 2018, Bolt sales have been anemic. And a recent recall of 2017–2019 model year Bolts related to a flawed battery that left the vehicle prone to fires hasn’t helped either. When the Bolt was first introduced, the automaker was still eligible for the federal government’s US$7,500 tax credit, which effectively made the Bolt a US$30,000 vehicle. But in 2019, GM sold its 200,000th EV in the US, triggering a phase out of the tax credit. Now, the company is no longer eligible for the credit, and efforts to revise the incentive have stalled in Congress. Battery prices have been declining for years, but some experts are predicting that a sharp increase in battery minerals over the next few years could lead to a rise in cell costs by as much as 20 percent. https://bit.ly/3zfL2OQ


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The Company’s Material or the information provided in the Material shall not in any form constitute as an offer or solicitation to anyone in the United States of America or any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such a solicitation. If you choose to access Sophic’s website and/or have signed up to receive the Company’s monthly newsletter or any other Material, you acknowledge that the information in the Material is intended for use by persons resident in Canada only. Sophic is not an investment advisor nor does it maintain any registrations as such, and Material provided by Sophic shall not be used to make investment decisions. Information provided in the Company’s Material is often opinionated and should be considered for information purposes only. No stock exchange or securities regulatory authority anywhere has approved or disapproved of the information contained herein. There is no express or implied solicitation to buy or sell securities. Sophic and/or its principals and employees may have positions in the stocks mentioned in the Company’s Material and may trade in the stocks mentioned in the Material. Do not consider buying or selling any stock without conducting your own due diligence and/or without obtaining independent investment advice from a qualified and registered investment advisor. The Company has not independently verified any of the data from third party sources referred to in the Material, including information provided by Sophic clients that are the subject of the report, or ascertained the underlying assumptions relied upon by such sources. The Company does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information or for any failure by any such other persons to disclose events which may have occurred or may affect the significance or accuracy of any such information. The Material may contain forward looking information. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “potential,” “possible,” “projects,” “plans,” and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions or results “will,” “may,” “could,” or “should” occur or be achieved or their negatives or other comparable words and include, without limitation, statements regarding, projected revenue, income or earnings or other results of operations, strategy, plans, objectives, goals and targets, plans to increase market share or with respect to anticipated performance compared to competitors, product development and adoption by potential customers. These statements relate to future events and future performance. Forward-looking statements are based on opinions and assumptions as of the date made, and are subject to a variety of risks and other factors that could cause actual events/results to differ materially from these forward looking statements. There can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct; these statements are no guarantee of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Sophic provides no assurance as to future results, performance, or achievements and no representations are made that actual results achieved will be as indicated in the forward looking information. Nothing herein can be assumed or predicted, and you are strongly encouraged to learn more and seek independent advice before relying on any information presented.