Wrap up: the latest in technology...

By WILLIAM XIE | March 9, 2017

Bitcoins Hit Gold

Bitcoins are a relatively new currency, originating in 2009. The coins are digitally traded providing anonymity and the absence of regulations. The Bitcoin isn’t backed by any tangible institution or market, leaving the confidence in its value to its perceived value. The small market size for the Bitcoin yields greater volatility of the currency.

In mid-2015, the bitcoin saw a dramatic drop in value, about $200 a unit. Since then, its value has gradually increased. This Thursday, the Bitcoin has exceeded the value of an ounce of gold. The market closed with the Bitcoin valued at $1,268 and an ounce of gold closed at $1,233. This increase in value may indicate the current growing stability of the digital currency.

Amazon’s $150 Million Typo

Amazon attributed a simple typo to the temporary collapse of major websites and services earlier this week. Amazon offers cloud computing services such as the Amazon Web Service (AWS) which serves about 150,000 websites.

While trying to debug the servers, an engineer entered an incorrect command and removed a large set of the server. Many sites hosted by the AWS remained offline, specifically those in the Northern Virginia region. The outage cost companies in the S&P 500 index $150 million, according to Cyence Inc.

Snapchat’s Stock Continues to Increase

Snap, the parent company of the popular social messaging app Snapchat, saw soaring stock prices after its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Investors valued the stock to be $17 per share. Snap’s stock was up 44 percent over its initial public offering (IPO) price.

On Friday, the stock jumped higher than $29 per share with a high market value of around $40 billion. On the same day, NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snap’s IPO which increased 11 percent for the day.

U.S. to Suspend Fast Processing of Visas for Skilled Workers

Influenced by the Trump administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced on Friday that it will suspend the H-1B visa which allows U.S. companies to employ foreign graduate level workers. The premium processing of visas for skilled workers will take effect on April 3 for up to six months.

The expedited visa takes only 15 days for approval compared to the regular process which takes months. The removal of the H-1B will hit the tech companies of the U.S. the hardest, since they commonly hire foreign workers through this service.

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