By Aaron Pressman
August 3, 2017

(Adam Lashinsky is on vacation this week. Digital editor Andrew Nusca is filling in today.)

I am utterly fascinated by the recent, furious emergence of “Bitcoin Cash.”

For the unfamiliar, it’s a so-called fork of the original Bitcoin cryptocurrency that launched earlier this week and sent crypto-investors into a tizzy, trading the virtual coins up to hundreds of dollars each. At the time of this writing, one unit of Bitcoin Cash is valued at about $425—an impressive sum for something that’s existed for all of two and a half days.

Like a world religion, Bitcoin Cash was created from conflict—a rift in the original Bitcoin community over technical details pertaining to the structure of the digital currency’s underlying technology, the blockchain. And like a religion, the Bitcoin Cash splinter faction was immediately rejected by the establishment—in this case by Coinbase, the largest Bitcoin exchange on the planet.

You can almost picture a Bitcoin Cash enthusiast—call him Martin Luther—posting his 95-point screed to a cryptocurrency message board. “Out of love for the truth and from desire to profit from it!” he writes with zeal, punctuating the sentiment with a GIF of Aziz Ansari as the Parks and Recreation character Tom Haverford making it rain.

Bitcoin Cash’s emergence hasn’t eroded support for the original Bitcoin. Indeed, one Bitcoin is worth about $2,760 at the moment, more than its value a week and a month ago. Investors and technologists alike sense opportunity in the schism. (Look no further than the Chicago Board Options Exchange, which plans to launch its own bitcoin derivatives trading products next year, and the rabid interest in initial coin offerings, or ICOs.) Cryptocurrency, long the domain of hustlers and dealers, is growing into a legitimate enterprise. The original Bitcoin, launched in 2009, was merely the first chapter.

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To which digital currency denomination will you be faithful? For me, it’s still far too early to tell—but I’ve never been an early adopter of technology. A reformation is clearly underway in the crypto-community. Which doctrine(s) win out, well, that’s up to you to decide.

Andrew Nusca


Back of the line. On the heels of the release of the first Model 3 cars to hit the road, Tesla reported its second quarter sales more than doubled from last year to $2.8 billion and its adjusted net loss shrunk to $1.33 per share. Both figures were better than Wall Street expected. But the even better news for investors may have been the disclosure that since the Model 3 event, preorders for the cheapest Tesla yet have jumped to 1,800 a day, with a net 455,000 already in hand. Customers who make reservations now face a wait of 12 to 18 months. Tesla shares are up 6% in morning trading.

Munchies on delay. Recent hacker attacks are cutting into business and companies are paying a price. Oreo cookie maker Mondelez reported a 5% drop in quarterly sales on Wednesday and blamed shipping and invoicing delays caused by the attack of the malware program NotPetya. Merck, FedEx, and shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk have also reported disruptions caused by the program.

Get smarter. Sales of basic fitness trackers are still sliding. Garmin said sales of its simple wearables dropped 15% last quarter and Fitbit, which doesn’t sell a more advanced smartwatch yet, saw its sales plunge 40%. But Garmin’s watches, led by the Fenix 5 series, helped boost sales of its “outdoor” unit 46%. Fitbit CEO James Park tells Fortune he’s readying a watch for the holiday shopping season based on the failed Pebble platform that he bought last year. “There’s a lot of attributes to it that differentiate us from the competition out there,” Park says.

Moving in the right direction. Facebook’s diversity update showed mild improvements across the organization, but a major jump in one area: female new graduate hires in engineering. This year’s new hires are 27% female—impressive considering the fact that only 18% of computer science majors in the U.S. are women. “What you see in our numbers is a multi-year investment starting to pay off,” Lori Goler, Facebook’s vice president of people, told Fortune. “You’re not seeing a bunch of women we’ve just met for the first time.”

Leaking like a sieve. All the details of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are out thanks to phone mega-leak collector Evan Blass. Looking much like the Galaxy 8 phone but with a slightly larger 6.3-inch edge-to-edge screen, the Note 8 will have two rear cameras, 64 GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot and be capable of connecting to 4G LTE networks at up to 1 Gigabit per second speeds. There was also a video leak to Marques Brownlee of professional camera maker RED’s upcoming first phone, the Hydrogen. It will start at $1,200 and have really, really great photography features.

What’s good for the goose. Shortly after Apple was required to pull VPN apps from its Chinese app store, a similar policy hit Amazon’s cloud unit operating there. AWS’s Chinese partner, Beijing Sinnet Technology, is telling customers they must delete programs that circumvent the Great Firewall of China.

Working for a living. Back in this country, Amazon is looking for more workers and workers are lining up. Hundreds showed up at a job fair an Amazon warehouse in Fall River, Mass., and 30 were hired on the spot in the first two hours. Local recruiter Jason Roberts tells USA Today that Amazon is “insatiable when it comes to filling jobs at warehouses.”


Hacking attacks are still at the top of the news, as you can see again in today’s headlines, but it seems like the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences that just wrapped up in Las Vegas got less coverage than usual. Never fear, as Corey Nachreiner, CTO at WatchGuard Technologies, went and reported back for Geekwire on three key trends.

None are happy, of course. The first is that the world of smart, connected devices known as the Internet of things is incredibly vulnerable to attack. One group of researchers even offered a hacking toolkit they dubbed EvilSpoit to crack into any IoT device. Next, Nachreiner outlined how machine learning programs are helping hackers. Finally, everyone was talking about government attacks and the role of disinformation spread online. He concluded:

Are some government hacking operations okay, while others aren’t? Should government find and hide software vulnerabilities, or help fix them? Is voter manipulation or hacking a bad enough violation to declare war? I don’t think our government or society has answered these questions as a group yet, but they are all things we need to think about for the future. My only tip here is to make your voice heard in the debate by voting and talking part in the conversation.


The classic Sidney Lumet movie Network seems more relevant than ever in this age of ever wilder ranting and accusations of “fake news.” So it’s a good time to make it into a stage play. In early casting news, actress Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame will take Faye Dunaway’s part as ethics-blurring TV exec Diana Christensen. Bryan Cranston had been previously announced in role of losing-it-live anchorman Howard Beale. Be prepared to get mad as hell once again.

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman. Find past issues, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters.


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