😎 Apple Joins the Metaverse with Vision Pro Headset
This week, Apple unveiled the highly anticipated “Vision Pro” VR headset at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This marks the tech giant's first major product launch since the Apple Watch in 2015. After the conference, Apple shares dipped as much as 3%, but ended the week down only ~1%.
While the Vision Pro is Apple's first foray into the headset market, it is not their first experiment with this technology. Apple has steadily developed its AR capabilities since acquiring the German augment-reality company Metaio in 2015.
Just days after Vision Pro announcement, Apple also confirmed the acquisition of Mira, an AR headset startup known for its contracts with the U.S. Air Force and Navy. The timing of the Vision Pro's announcement and the acquisition of Mira comes right on the heels of Meta's release of its new Quest 3 VR headset.
Meta's CEO, Marc Zuckerberg, responded to the Vision Pro announcement by contrasting the two companies' visions. Zuckerberg highlighted Meta's focus on social and active experiences, implying that Apple's vision is more isolated. Zuckerberg also acknowledged that Apple's Vision Pro and Meta's Quest 3 cater to different markets due to their significant price difference. Meta’s shares are down 2% this week after the Apple announcement.
“I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this.”
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🪙 SEC Cracks Down on Binance and Coinbase
This week, The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed lawsuits against two major cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Binance. The news caused both Coinbase stock ($COIN) and Binance’s native crypto token ($BNB) to plummet over 15% this week with TechCrunch calling it 'cryptos red wedding’
The SEC accused Coinbase of running an unregistered securities exchange and alleged that Binance and its founder engaged in deceptive practices, including misusing customer funds, and falsely portraying their US platform as a separate entity, to evade securities laws.
The lawsuit emphasizes the need for clearer regulation in the rapidly evolving crypto industry. Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, commented on this news:
Regarding the SEC complaint against us today, we're proud to represent the industry in court to finally get some clarity around crypto rules.
1. The SEC reviewed our business and allowed us to become a public company in 2021.
2. There is no path to "come in and… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
— Brian Armstrong 🛡️ (@brian_armstrong)
Jun 6, 2023
These lawsuits are a huge shot against the crypto space, which has operated in a regulatory grey zone. SEC chair Gensler believes most cryptocurrencies are securities and that current laws give his agency the power to regulate them, and the sites and apps on which they are bought and sold.
By design, crypto is supposed to operate outside of the traditional financial system so these events mark an existential fight for these companies.
🇨🇦 Bank of Canada Hikes Interest Rates... Again
On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate to 4.75%, marking the first rate increase since January. The decision comes as the inflation ticked higher last month after declining for nine consecutive months.
The rate hike takes the bank's benchmark to its highest level since 2001. The hikes are expected to have an impact on variable-rate mortgage holders, leading to increased mortgage costs. Canada's big banks have already raised their prime lending rates in response to the central bank's decision.
Earlier this year, the Bank of Canada paused its aggressive rate-hiking cycle, hoping that the tightening measures would be sufficient to control inflation. However, the resilient Canadian economy, continued hiring, increased consumer spending, and overall growth have challenged the central bank's expectations.
🎙 Top Discussions This Week
🗞️ What else you might’ve missed:
General Motors ($GM) is joining Tesla’s EV charging network.
Netflix ($NFLX) U.S. sign-ups rise by most in over 4 years.
Adobe ($ADBE) announces generate AI model for enterprise customers.
Robinhood ($HOOD) removed 3 cryptocurrencies from platform following SEC crackdown.
Gamestop ($GME) announced the firing of their CEO, missed earnings estimates, and skipped earnings call.