Top tech stories today: January 23, 2024

Unicorns rise, Bitcoin dips, SEC-Binance clash, FTX’s $1B Grayscale sale, and more – your rapid tech briefing awaits!

1. Voice AI startup ElevenLabs gains unicorn status after latest fundraising

Voice AI startup ElevenLabs, backed by Microsoft, achieves “unicorn” status, valued at over $1 billion after raising $80 million in Series B funding. The two-year-old company focuses on AI voice creation across 29 languages, catering to various industries, and plans to enhance its AI speech classifier tool. (Euronews)

2. Bitcoin falls to $40,000, lowest level since bitcoin ETF launch

Bitcoin hits a seven-week low on Monday, dropping below $40,000 for the first time since the launch of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 11. Analysts attribute the decline to challenges competing with traditional stocks and outflows from Grayscale Investment’s bitcoin trust. (Reuters)

3. Binance, SEC face off over regulator’s crypto oversight

The SEC defends its authority over cryptocurrency assets in a court battle with Binance. Binance seeks dismissal of the SEC’s lawsuit, accusing the exchange of rule violations and fraud. The outcome may impact the SEC’s jurisdiction and clarify regulations for the crypto sector. (Reuters)

4. FTX sold about $1 bln of Grayscale’s bitcoin ETF since its approval – CoinDesk

FTX has reportedly sold around $1 billion worth of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) shares since the trust’s conversion into an exchange-traded fund (ETF). GBTC experienced over $2 billion in outflows following its ETF conversion. (Reuters)

5. Apple pays $13.7 mln Russian fine, antitrust agency says

Apple has paid a 1.2 billion roubles ($13.65 million) fine imposed by Russia’s FAS antitrust agency for alleged abuse of its dominant market position in in-app payments. Apple previously disagreed with the ruling but complied with the fine, which was transferred to Russia’s federal budget on January 19. (XM)

6. Alphabet’s X Lab trims staff, turns to outside investors for funding – Bloomberg News

Alphabet’s X Lab, known for ambitious projects like “Taara” and Waymo, is laying off staff and seeking external investors for funding. The division is restructuring to facilitate the spin-off of ventures with support from Alphabet and outside investors, focusing layoffs on support roles. (XM)

7. Panasonic puts productivity boost ahead of new EV plant in US

Panasonic’s battery unit, Panasonic Energy, led by CEO Yuki Kusumi, emphasizes prioritizing productivity over building a third North American battery plant for electric vehicles (EVs) due to cooling demand. Kusumi aims to enhance existing capacity before deciding on a new plant location. (Reuters)

8. Instagram, Facebook users to get more choices to comply with DMA

Meta Platforms, complying with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), announces increased choices for Instagram and Facebook users in Europe. Users can decide on information sharing preferences between services, ensuring compliance with DMA regulations by March 7. The goal is to create a more level playing field in the digital market and prevent anti-competitive behavior. (Reuters)

9. Global watchdog to report in October on how social media fuels bank runs

Global financial regulators, represented by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), will present findings to the G20 in October on how social media can accelerate bank deposit outflows. The FSB is examining changes in deposit dynamics, the role of social media, and the impact of new technology on withdrawals. (U.S.News)

10. Petrobras expects to buy domestic wind, solar stakes this year, CEO says

Petrobras, Brazilian oil and gas company, will buy stakes in domestic wind and solar projects to create a 2 GW renewable energy portfolio in Brazil this year. The move aligns with the company’s shift toward green energy under President Lula da Silva, deviating from the previous administration’s focus on asset sales and deep-water exploration. By 2028, Petrobras plans to invest $5.2 billion in solar and wind power. (Reuters)


Cassie Gong

Cassie is a news reporter at BTW media focusing on company profiles, interviews, podcasts, networking, sustainability, and AI. She graduated from Newcastle University, UK with a Master’s degree in Translating & Interpreting and now works in London and Hangzhou. Send tips to

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