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Bitcoin Selloff Accelerates as Credit-Card Issuers Extend Ban

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Bitcoin declined for a fifth day, breaking below $7,500 and leading other digital tokens lower, as Lloyds Banking Group Plc joined a growing number of big credit-card issuers halting purchases of cryptocurrencies on their cards.

The biggest digital currency sank as much as 16 percent to $7,175 as of 10:28 a.m. in New York, according to composite Bloomberg pricing. It has erased more than 60 percent of its value from a record high $19,511 in December. Rival coins also retreated on Monday, with Ripple losing as much as 14 percent and Ethereum and Litecoin also weaker.

Bitcoin’s longest run of losses since Christmas day has coincided with investors exiting risky assets across the board, with stocks globally retreating in the wake of a slump in U.S. markets Friday. Bitcoin so far seems to be struggling to live up to any comparison with gold as a store of value, which is an argument made by some of its supporters. Bullion edged higher as other safe havens — the yen, Swiss franc and European bonds — also gained.

With Bitcoin the network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes through the use of cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment. Research produced by the University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.

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Most people aren’t willing to spend more than $20 on streaming services

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The growing number of options for consuming entertainment has led to more people than expected cutting the cord and clamoring for what initially were seen as cheaper alternatives to traditional TV.

However, the fragmentation of streaming TV offerings in what’s been called the era of peak TV has raised questions about when is it too costly to subscribe to a significant number of services to build out a satisfying collection of content.

Netflix is an American entertainment company founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph on August 29, 1997, in Scotts Valley, California. It specializes in and provides streaming media and video-on-demand online and DVD by mail. In 2013, Netflix expanded into film and television production as well as online distribution. It is headquartered in Los Gatos, California.

Netflix’s initial business model included DVD sales and rental, although Hastings jettisoned DVD sales about a year after Netflix’s founding to focus on the DVD rental by mail business. In 2007, Netflix expanded its business with the introduction of streaming media, while retaining the DVD and Blu-ray Disc rental service. The company expanded internationally, with streaming made available to Canada in 2010 and continued growing its streaming service from there; by January 2016, Netflix services operated in over 190 countries.

Netflix entered the content-production industry in 2013, debuting its first series, House of Cards. It has greatly expanded the production of both film and television series since then, offering “Netflix Original” content through its online library of films and television. Netflix released an estimated 126 original series or films in 2016, more than any other network or cable channel.

As of January 2018, Netflix had 117.58 million paying subscribers worldwide, including 54.75 million in the United States. Their efforts to produce new content, secure the rights for additional content, and diversify through 190 countries has resulted in the company racking up billions in long term debt: $21.9 billion as of September 2017, up from $16.8 billion from the same time the previous year.

Netflix’s headquarters are in 100 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, California, United States. They also have other offices in the Netherlands, Brazil, India, Japan and South Korea.

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Why Netflix’s surprise ‘Cloverfield Paradox’ release could be a game-changer

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Plenty of movies and TV shows rolled out first-look trailers during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast. But only Netflix Inc. teased something that viewers could watch just hours later.

Netflix NFLX, -1.34%   debuted a trailer for “The Cloverfield Paradox” at the end of the first quarter. And then came the bombshell: The movie would drop Sunday night, right after the game ended.

The news came as a complete surprise. Fans had not seen any teasers or production photos from the film, which until very recently was known by another name — “God Particle.”

The Cloverfield Paradox is a 2018 American science fiction horror film directed by Julius Onah, written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, and produced by J. J. Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions. It is the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise, following 2008’s Cloverfield and 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane.

The film stars Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, John Ortiz, David Oyelowo, and Zhang Ziyi, and follows an international group of astronauts aboard a space station who, after using a particle accelerator to try to solve Earth’s energy crisis, must find a way home after accidentally traveling to an alternate dimension.

Under distribution by Paramount Pictures, the film had been in development since 2012, and initially had been named God Particle at that time, without being connected to the Cloverfield series.

Since then, the film was confirmed to be the third film of the series, but its release had been postponed repeatedly, until its surprise trailer during Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, with its release on Netflix occurring the same day, immediately after the game, within two hours of the first trailer. The film received negative reviews from critics, who called it an “unholy mess” and criticized the writing and editing.

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Apple has $163 billion to burn, and Tim Cook plans to spend it

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Apple Inc. left things vague last month when it announced a plan to invest money from its sizable cash balance into the U.S. economy, but the company was more direct about its plans Thursday — it’s going to spend more than $160 billion of its own money.

“Our current net cash position is $163 billion, and given the increased financial and operational flexibility from the access to our foreign cash, we are targeting to become approximately net-cash neutral over time,” Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said on the company’s earnings call.

As the market for personal computers increased, Apple’s computers saw diminishing sales due to lower-priced products from competitors, in particular those offered with the Microsoft Windows operating system.

More executive job shuffles happened at Apple until then-CEO Gil Amelio in 1997 decided to buy NeXT to bring Jobs back. Jobs regained position as CEO, and began a process to rebuild Apple’s status, which included opening Apple’s own retail stores in 2001, making numerous acquisitions of software companies to create a portfolio of software titles, and changing some of the hardware used in its computers.

It again saw success and returned to profitability. In January 2007, Jobs announced that Apple Computer, Inc. would be renamed Apple Inc. to reflect its shifted focus toward consumer electronics. He also announced the iPhone, which saw critical acclaim and significant financial success. In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO due to health complications, and Tim Cook became the new CEO. Two months later, Jobs died, marking the end of an era for the company.

Apple is the world’s largest information technology company by revenue and the world’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung. In February 2015, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over US$700 billion. The company employs 123,000 full-time employees as of September 2017 and maintains 499 retail stores in 22 countries as of December 2017. It operates the iTunes Store, which is the world’s largest music retailer. As of January 2016, more than one billion Apple products are actively in use worldwide.

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