Last year’s plunge of cryptocurrencies, the collapse of FTX, and the evaporation of a couple trillion dollars in value, left many people—myself included—wondering what was left in the wreckage. Is this really a revolutionary new technology that will change the way the world does business and finance? Or is it mainly a tool for speculators and scofflaws? US regulators have gone on the attack, with the CFTC suing Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and the SEC sending a Wells Notice to Coinbase, the number two exchange.
Is there a pony in there somewhere? At Fortune, we’re still looking. Today, we are launching a new list, the Fortune Crypto 40, that identifies the companies doing the best work with blockchain. The list recognizes that “the industry, which was once defined by crypto trading, is now much broader,” says our seasoned Crypto Editor Jeff John Roberts, who has been covering crypto for nearly a decade. “We honor a wide range of industries, from VC firms to NFT shops to data companies to decentralized protocols, which have created major enterprises around blockchain technology.”
The new list is based on a rigorous methodology, looking at an array of metrics and a survey of financial executives. It pinpoints eight different categories and chooses the top five companies and entities operating in each. You can find the list this morning here. We think it demonstrates that there is indeed interesting work going on in crypto and blockchain technology that will change the business world in many ways. One example: how NFTs are remaking the music industry.
Spoiler alert: Binance is not at the top of any of these lists. If you want to understand one reason why, take a look at Shawn Tully’s analysis of the Binance business model here. And to understand the forces that shaped Binance’s founder and CEO, read this profile of Changpeng “CZ” Zhao by Roberts and Yvonne Lau.
More news below.
Due to the increase in remote work, remote layoffs have become more common. Many companies now prefer to inform their employees about layoffs from a distance. This method offers benefits such as privacy, confidentiality, and comfort for those affected, allowing them to process the news in a recognized manner. Although in-person layoffs were considered the norm for a long time, the situation has evolved, and according to Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, remote layoffs may be the better option. Fortune
Take your time, EY
The SEC has given EY more time to resolve issues related to an exam-cheating scandal that led to a $100 million fine and allegations of misleading US regulators. Originally, EY was ordered to complete an independent investigation by January 2023 into why its US leaders failed to disclose evidence from a whistleblower that employees were sharing answers on professional tests. This process is still ongoing, and the SEC has given the independent consultants more time to complete their review. Financial Times
Next stop: Shanghai
Tesla plans to open a factory in Shanghai that will produce Megapack energy products, in addition to its California factory output. The Shanghai plant is expected to begin production in Q2 2024 and will initially manufacture 10,000 Megapack units annually, providing approximately 40 gigawatt hours of energy storage. Reuters
AROUND THE WATERCOOLER
How Binance turned regular people who plug crypto into millionaires: Inside its 26,000-person influencer army by Alexandra Sternlicht and Shawn Tully
Advanced AI like ChatGPT, DALL-E, and voice-cloning tech is already raising big fears for the 2024 election by Jeremy Kahn
Elon Musk says he’s ‘dumb way more often than I’d like to be’ as Tesla strategy questioned by Steve Molman
You don’t need your own private jet to fly private-ish by Adam Erase
Elon Musk changes NPR’s Twitter label to ‘Government Funded Media’ after ‘US state-affiliated media’ draws heavy criticism by Steve Molman
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by Jackson Fordyce.
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