From Bitcoin to Net Neutrality: Fortune’s 10 Most-Read Tech Stories in 2017
After all of the Trump tweets, Uber controversies, and endless stream of cyberattacks, it might seem like 2017 has been the longest year ever. But, in fact, it will still measure just 365 days when all is said and done.
2017 has been a pivotal year for the tech world, from bitcoin’s rollicking ride to engineer Susan Fowler‘s blog post shining a light on gender inequality and the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in the industry well before the watershed of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. Pivoting to video hasn’t worked out well for many media brands that attempted to do so, and tech’s biggest names (see: Facebook, Google, and Twitter) increasingly find themselves in hot water with the federal government over actions (or lack thereof) for events that took place the year prior (see: the 2016 presidential election).
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There were a few surprises here and there, including some fluffy news stories that might have served as pleasant distractions in the moment. (Apparently everyone was really captivated by Sarahah…for a hot minute.)
Before we predict just how valuable (or not) bitcoin will be in 2018, here’s a glance back at the most-read tech stories on Fortune.com over the last 12 months:
Popular with U.S. teenagers and in a growing number of other countries, Sarahah is obviously not the first mobile app to catch fire after quickly gaining widespread popularity among young users. (Remember similar anonymous apps like Yik Yak, Secret, and After School?)
Over the course of seven years, bitcoin’s value has multiplied 879,999 times over since 2010. If an investor had decided to spend five dollars back then on about 2,000 bitcoins, that stake would be worth $4.4 million today.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, is revered for his visionary ideas: a mass-market electric car, a private space transport company, a mode of regional transportation that relies on vacuum-sealed tubes.
Notice something curious about the statements made by Google and Comcast? They’re remarkably similar. Both companies say they reject blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization for Internet users. Their disagreement is over how to enforce it.
Most people who are enthusiastic about cryptocurrency appear to agree that Bitcoin and its newer rival Ethereum have staying power, though they may be more bullish on one versus the other.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss—the brothers who tried and failed to gain control of Facebook after alleging that it had been appropriated from them—have rebounded big-time.
With digital currency Bitcoin taking the spotlight in 2017, it’s hard to remember the other cryptocurrencies that have been growing in its shadow. An increasingly-prominent example: Litecoin.
Many artists fight tooth and nail to prevent nude pictures of themselves from being posted online. Australian singer-songwriter Sia, when faced with the threat of paparazzi selling those images to the highest bidder, took matters into her own hands.
They posted memes about rape and dead children and the Holocaust. They joked that hanging a Mexican child should be called “pinata time.” And now Harvard has decided it doesn’t want them anymore.