Tahoe Talk: ’Coin crowding’ is here; 2020 fire still smoldering; Unemployment jumps (Listen)


– “Coin Crowding” has arrived — and it’s not just a Bitcoin trend. Crypto “mainstreamification” has reached a level that goes far beyond just Bitcoin. 14% of the US population now invests in cryptocurrency, and American crypto owners could double in 2021. This year, Bitcoin has nearly 2X’d in value – and altcoins have seen even bigger rallies: Ethereum is up ~400%, and Dogecoin has soared 13,000%. According to a Gemini survey: two-thirds of US adults who don’t own crypto are “crypto curious.”

– Officials from California’s Sequoia National Park made a disturbing discovery while conducting a survey to determine the effects of the 2020 Castle Fire … a giant sequoia in the area known as Board Camp Grove was found still smoldering and emitting smoke months after historic wildfires devastated the region last August. The Castle Fire, which was ignited by a lightning strike last summer ended up burning down 270-plus square miles of land before it was contained in December.

– CA Gov. Newsom, who is facing a recall election later this year, announced a plan to send almost $12 billion dollars back to taxpayers. If approved, California would give $600 checks to workers who earn up to $75,000 annually, with $500 bonuses for tax filers with dependents and undocumented families. That’s about 80% of the state’s workers and two-thirds of all residents would benefit from the plan. He also unrolled a slew of other funding proposals:

•$5.2 billion in federal funding to help low-income renters stay housed.

•$2 billion to help Californians pay overdue water and utility bills.

•$1 billion in college grants to help employees whose jobs have been decimated by the pandemic find better work.

– The COVID-19 pandemic has done what more than a century of past plagues, recessions, crime waves, droughts and earthquakes couldn’t. It shrank California’s population by 182,083 people in 2020. That’s the first time that annual statistic has come with a minus sign since data collection started in 1900. Just 0.4% in case you are trying to do the math in your head.

– After falling for nearly 12 months straight, the US unemployment rate unexpectedly jumped to 6.1% in April. 266K jobs were added last month — economists were expecting 1M (womp). Millions of Americans are unemployed, but companies in industries like construction, manufacturing, and restaurants still can’t find enough people to hire. Potentially holding workers back: child-care burdens, COVID fears, and boosted unemployment benefits

– Just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. and 12% overall have opted in to app tracking after updating their phones to Apple’s new iOS 14.5, which introduced new privacy features. That is exactly what companies like Facebook were worried about.

– Colonial Pipeline, a major system that delivers roughly 45% of fuel consumed on the East Coast was hit with a ransomware attack and halted all operations to deal with the threat. This breach underscores the vulnerabilities of crucial infrastructure, not just banks and IT. Biden is expected to issue an executive order to bolster security of federal and private systems in the next few week.

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