Happy Thursday, TTN readers! Crypto and Cars dominate this weeks news. I’m on with Mark Starling, Seth, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: DOJ arrests and recovers part of $4.5 billion crypto scam, Alfa Romeo creates car crypto, and car companies look to subscriptions for next cash grab. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.
Earlier. A NYC couple was nabbed by the Feds after stealing $4.5 billion of BitCoin from the Bitfinex exchange in 2016. Yes, that was 6 years ago and yes, this is another instance of the Fed tracking down thieves and criminals who tried to duck authorities by hiding their transactions in BitCoin’s blockchain. Manhattanites, Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, tried to launder the money using a twisty and winding path of crypto transactions that wound up in bank accounts they control. DOJ has already recovered $3.6 billion of the funds. Amazing.
Year after year, it seems we as consumers own less and less. Imagine buying a brand new car and having to pay a subscription in order to use heated seats. Or automatic high beams, or cruise control. Well, car companies are theorizing using a subscription model to increase revenues by forcing consumers to pay for features every month. Tesla and others have toyed with this idea by offering things like self-drive and media features as downloadable content that must be activated with additional fees. I think this is wrong. I come from an ownership era where things are tangible, but I can see newer generations paying for things that came standard.
Now that crypto is rebounding, now’s the time for new crypto news. Earlier this week, Alfa Romeo announced it will ship its Tonale SUV with an NFT. For something. An NFT is a non-fungible token that can act as a one-of-a-kind digital certificate. Alfa Romeo thinks embedding the car with an NFT will increase its resale value. The Tonale is the first car to ship with an NFT and will embed service history, performance, and other car care indicators on the blockchain. This information could help improve resale value. You’ll be able to order the Tonale in fourth quarter this year, in time to pick it up early 2023.