Tech & Tonic: The new talent magnet, a crypto summer and Uber woes

Pocket the profits - ‘crypto spring’ is now a thing! (image by Worldspectrum)

Pocket the profits - ‘crypto spring’ is now a thing! (image by Worldspectrum)

News story of the week: Growth sparks top tech talent exodus to Onfido

Whether you’re an early adopter or wearing a tin foil hat somewhere in the woods, the rise of facial recognition is inevitably going to become a part of your everyday life if it isn’t already. Using your face as your password is a concept no longer confined to 1990s sci-fi movies - #facts.

For that, we partly have biometric software developers Onfido to thank. In the first quarter of this year, the company announced 137% growth and a string of enviable new C-suite appointments.

It seems Onfido’s three founders (Oxford grads and mates to boot) are living the UK version of a Zuckerberg-esque dream. The difference between Facebook’s early talent roster and Onfido’s, however, is vast. CEO Husayn Kassai told Biometric Update: “(The)..ability to recruit top talent away from tech giants is filling our sails”. Clearly Kassai believes that if you’ve got it, you should flaunt it! The “tech giants” in question include Amazon, Spotify, Salesforce and ForgeRock - now, that’s an office party we’d like to crash!

Comment piece of the week: ‘Is the crypto winter over?’

Bitcoin bravehearts and stablecoin sycophants everywhere, a day dawns - take heart! After having spent the last six months or so defending the use of digital over fiat, the crypto community has received several bits of encouraging news which suggest, according to FundStrat Global’s Thomas Lee, that: “Crypto spring has begun…” and, to avoid any confusion, “Bottom line, the evidence is strong that crypto winter is over.”

In his piece for City AM, Lee cites developments such as the adoption of crypto as a national currency in Venezuela and the fact that Facebook has teased plans to introduce its own crypto currency, a move very-much in alignment with its habit of sticking a big ‘F’ on everything that competes for the attention of its users. The acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram and the introduction of in-Messenger phone calls are just a few examples of this.

After Lee’s clarity, the only question we have now, is about where to buy those royal blue half-shoes sported by Scrooge McDuck as we dive into our vault of coins for the last time, before stashing them in our e-wallet..?

Number of the week: $62.2bn signals disappointment

In the much-ridiculed Uber IPO, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated the obvious to staff in an internal note on Monday: “Obviously our stock did not trade as well as we had hoped post-IPO…”.

The day after that fateful memo, Quartz reported: “As of the market close on May 13, the company had a market capitalization of $62.2 billon (sic).” Not very up-Lyfting news for some!

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