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Breakfast Briefing: Trump’s Win, Uber’s Loss and UPS’s New Trucks

Uber Loses EU Case

The ride-hailing app was classified as a “service in the field of transport” by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Editor’s Remarks: The ECJ has ruled against Uber following a case it brought after being told to obey local taxi laws in Barcelona. The decision means that it is up to individual member states to decide how they wish to regulate Uber, since it is now classified as a taxi company under EU law. The company announced that although the decision will not impact its existing operations across the European bloc, which comply with local taxi laws, its expansion into new areas of the EU will be halted. Going forward, the result of the case is likely to have wider implications on the rest of the gig economy.

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Youbit Bankrupt After Hack

One of South Korea’s largest bitcoin exchanges has filed for bankruptcy after a massive hack. 

Editor’s Remarks: Yapian, the company that operates South Korea’s Youbit exchange, was the target of a cyber attack that caused it to lose 17% of its reserves. The hack, which followed another attack back in April, was the second in less than eight months, highlighting the growing pressure on cryptocurrency exchanges to ramp up their security measures. Youbit allowed users to trade bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP and has promptly stopped trading. Investors are expected to be able to draw out roughly 75% of their holdings and will be compensated for their outstanding balance once the bankruptcy procedure is complete.

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UPS Buys Tesla Trucks

UPS, the delivery company, announced that it will buy 125 Tesla semi-trucks.

Editor’s Remarks: Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s new all-electric semi-truck last month to a mixed reception. While the trucks were lauded as being a marvel of electric vehicle engineering, Tesla’s Model 3 production bottleneck left many wondering why the company has even forayed into the trucking space. Regardless, UPS has opted to pick up 125 of the state-of-the-art trucks, making it Tesla’s largest truck order to date, ahead of JB Hunt, Pepsi and Walmart. The trucks cost around $200,000 apiece and the recent raft of pre-orders should provide Musk with a much-needed cash injection.

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Coinbase Launches Bitcoin Cash

The cryptocurrency exchange had to suspend trading after just two minutes.

Editor’s Remarks: Bitcoin holders were incensed when Coinbase announced back in August that it would not support bitcoin cash after the corresponding hard fork. On Tuesday night, however, the exchange released bitcoin cash onto its platform, meaning that anyone who held bitcoin before August 20th now had a proportional holding in bitcoin cash. There were setbacks though, and Coinbase froze trading due to significant volatility in bitcoin cash just ahead of the announcement. The exchange is now investigating the matter, while bitcoin cash had climbed over 50% at the time of writing.

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Trump Passes Tax Bill

President Donald Trump has pushed through his controversial tax reform bill.

Editor’s Remarks: Trump promised tax cuts for Christmas and he delivered. After the Senate voted in favour of overhauling the US tax code, the bill was sent back to the House of Representatives, where it was passed on to the President. Republicans joined Trump at the White House after the bill was passed to celebrate their first major legislative victory. However, the likely effects of the tax reforms are being heavily scrutinised by both Democrats and the media, many among whom feel the new bill will disproportionately help the already-wealthy and large corporations.

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