Amazon posts shortlist.
E-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) released a shortlist of potential sites for its second headquarters, which will reportedly cost around $5bn create 50,000 jobs. Among the top 20 contenders were large metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, and LA, as well as some unexpected places like Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. Amazon says one of the most important factors in its final decision will rest on the area’s ability to provide, attract, and sustain sufficient tech talent.
Cryptos endure difficult week.
This week saw Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency lose about half of its value since December before a respectable rebound yesterday. Large sell-offs shook the crypto market this week as fear of imminent regulation and a price bubble seemed to materialize. Reports have recently emerged suggesting much of this week’s loss in cryptos ended up in the hands of hackers, bringing into question the security of this massive, volatile market.
Venezuelan oil halts, inflation skyrockets.
According to Opec’s monthly report, oil output in the petroleum-rich state plummeted, dropping nearly 30% year over year in December. This precipitous drop actually aids Opec in its decision to cut global output this year, however, the unplanned drop is a microcosm of a much larger problem in Venezuela: a failing economy. The state is experiencing hyperinflation, and ended last year with an annual inflation rate of 3000%, with analysts saying 2018 may see that number rise above 30,000% on the conservative side. With a massive shortage of food, banks that can’t supply nearly enough money to support the population, and a worthless currency, Venezuela is now among the world’s worst economies.