A Big Bitcoin Warning… and Other Tech News for Small Businesses This Week

Here are five things in tech that happened in the past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – A crypto strategist warns people of the imminent decline of the number one crypto giant, Bitcoin.

Crypto strategist Ian Harnett is warning people that Bitcoin could drop 40 percent in value, as low as $13,000. He goes on to mention that central banks are decreasing liquidity, which is causing the dramatic decline of the popular crypto currency. Last week, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points, which has been the biggest factor in the drop in digital assets. Currently, this great cryptocurrency giant has lost more than half of its value so far this year. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

Rest assured, although volatile and not for the faint of heart, digital currencies are here to stay. They are established, accepted, and moving toward more regulation that will help lessen the wide swings in their values. If you’re a small investor in these things, you know it’s the Wild West and you need to make sure you’re evaluating risk/reward. If you are a small business owner, know that digital currencies will need to be accepted and used in the not too distant future. Bitcoin’s woes aren’t going to change that.

2 – Twitter is expanding its eCommerce efforts by partnering with Shopify.

This partnership follows Twitter’s new feature of a “Product Launch” page that includes mobile stores and live shopping. To use this combined feature, merchants need to sync their Shopify account with their Twitter account, which then pushes all their products to the shop page on Twitter. This combination aims to help companies reach their target audience through social networks and help consumers with more refined products that satisfy their tastes. (Source: Techcrunch).

Why this is important for your business:

Twitter tries very hard to appeal to a broader range of small businesses, and its partnership with Shopify should help… a little. But most of the companies I know that sell online aren’t so much on Twitter as they are on other social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn.

3 – Amazon’s first fully functional robot, Proteus, is now at work in its manufacturing warehouses.

The robot, previously owned by Kiva, was designed to move around Amazon’s manufacturing centers on its own while transporting products around warehouses. Proteus’ goal is to reduce the need for workers to manually move products to help with labor shortages and increase productivity. However, Amazon says it intends to keep its human and technological resources intertwined rather than replace them all together. Amazon is currently working on AI technology that scans packages instead of workers scanning them manually. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s not just Amazon. Companies large and small are bringing robots, AI and other technologies that not only increase automation but eliminate employees at the same time. If you think we’re facing an economic downturn, it’s important to consider technologies like these to keep your overhead costs in check and limit your headcount.

4 – Google is starting to charge small businesses for email and other app usage that was previously free.

Google just announced that its free apps like Google Docs and Calendars will now charge users $6 per month before June 27. The company previously promised that its apps would remain free, as its first priority was helping businesses with organization and collaboration at work. (Source: NY Times)

Why this is important for your business:

This change will affect all organizations, but unfortunately it will disproportionately affect small businesses that have used Google apps to support their business strategies and collaborative work. Many organizations are considering moving to Microsoft, which is still cheaper than Google’s projected $200 a month over the next two years.

5 – Some US senators want to follow the example of the EU by using the same charging cables for all phones and technology.

The European Union is adopting a law that requires all wearable technology to use the same charging cable: USB Type-C.to reduce electronic waste and help consumers save money. Democratic senators are calling on the United States to adopt this practice and pressure major tech companies like Apple to make the change. (Source: Techradar)

Why this is important for your business:

Now this is a bipartisan issue that needs to be aggressively addressed in Washington! A move like this would save small businesses significant costs and reduce our headaches.

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