Recode Daily: Bitcoin officially meets Wall Street

Plus, the day-to-day life of Trump in the White House, the last of the long-distance drivers, and the Word of the Year is …

After a manic run-up last week, bitcoin trading officially began on Wall Street last night, giving speculators a chance to bet on the value of the cryptocurrency through a listed and regulated entity. Prices soared, and Cboe’s website crashed. Last week, the crazy spike in bitcoin value made Coinbase the most-downloaded app on Apple’s U.S. app store. The volatile virtual currency’s meteoric price rise (and sudden falls) have raised worries that it could collapse soon, but analysts don’t think it could hurt broader financial markets. The futures are cash-settled contracts based on the auction price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars on the Gemini Exchange, owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Here’s a video primer. [Saqib Iqbal Ahmed / Reuters]

The New York Times’ White House reporting team has a vivid close-up look at what it’s like to be President Trump in the White House — which involves watching TV for four to eight hours a day. Structured like an oral biography, with observations from more than 60 advisers and associates, we witness Trump through a typically embattled day — restless in bed, flipping between CNN and Fox, grabbing for his iPhone for his morning tweetstorm, sometimes wandering to the Treaty Room still in his sleepwear and marveling over his new power: “I can invite anyone for dinner, and they will come!” [The New York Times]

We may be seeing the last generation of long-distance truckers. And taxi drivers. And shuttle bus drivers. Autonomous technology could make the livelihood of millions who drive for a living obsolete. Here’s a thoughtful look ahead at how self-driving vehicles — including cars and trucks — may positively affect the economy by creating new jobs and opportunities. [Carolyn Said / San Francisco Chronicle]

A couple of standouts from The New Yorker’s chewy “World Changers” double issue: The tiny post-Soviet nation of Estonia has become the wired-up e_Estonia, the world’s most ambitious project in transforming a country into a digital society. And the magazine goes deep on Meitu, a company whose photo-editing apps — which smooth out skin, exaggerate features, brighten eyes— are installed on more than a billion phones, transforming the selfie-face of China.

Here’s a fascinating brief history of sexism in the tech industry — which is as old as the tech industry itself. Women filled computer-programming jobs in the U.S. and U.K. after World War II, but as government and business professionalized programming, men pushed women out of the jobs, and the decline of female coders began. All six of the first programmers of America’s first digital computer, Eniac, were women. But Princeton University, which had one of the earliest and most-respected coding programs, didn’t admit women at the time, and an intensely male “hero” culture of programming was fostered. [Christopher Mims / The Wall Street Journal]


Recode presents …

“Donald Trump is Deep Throat” (Live in Oakland).

Recode’s Kara Swisher talks with Crooked Media’s Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor and Dan Pfeiffer, appearing as a guest on a live taping of their podcast, Pod Save America, in Oakland, Calif. The group talks about the regulatory challenges facing tech companies today, the future of jobs and how Facebook has defended itself in the wake of mounting evidence that Russian agents used its platform to manipulate voters during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Plus: When are left-leaning techies going to get politically organized?


Top stories from Recode

The new Star Wars might not suck, says Twitter.

“The Last Jedi” premiered this weekend, and the attendees took to Twitter to rave about it.

The startup that was supposed to help Best Buy offer gadget rentals has shut down.

Lumoid is closing its doors after four and a half years.

Andy Rubin has returned to his company weeks after he took leave amid allegations of inappropriate behavior.

He’s back at Essential, his smartphone startup.

Twitter’s M&A boss Jessica Verrilli is leaving the company.

By Twitter standards, Verrilli has been around a lifetime.

This is cool

Word of the Year choices are rolling in: “Complicit” seems to be leading the 2017 pack so far, trailed by “intersex” and “totality”; here are some other contenders.


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People are mortgaging their houses to buy Bitcoin

Bitcoin is sitting at $ 16,674 at the time of writing, after rocketing from $ 1,000 to more than $ 19,000 in the course of this year. Those types of eye-catching numbers (and the resulting media hype) are bound to draw the interest of casual folk. But,…
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Bitcoin heads to Wall Street as CBOE launches futures


Bitcoin finally arrived on Wall Street with the launch of the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) futures for the cryptocurrency on Sunday. Within hours of the exchange kicking off trading for Bitcoin futures at 6PM ET, they soared by 25 percent – triggering a five-minute trading halt that’s similar to a pause in trading stocks when prices rise or fall drastically. The launch also caused CBOE’s site to crash, due to a massive surge in traffic. Things soon returned to normal, and trading of the new futures, which use the XBT ticker symbol, continued. Due to heavy traffic on our…

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First US bitcoin futures start trading at 6PM Eastern

Bitcoin is one step closer to becoming a part of the mainstream financial world. Cboe is launching the first US bitcoin futures exchange at 6PM Eastern, giving speculators a chance to bet on the value of the cryptocurrency through a listed (XBT), re…
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