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Tired of Being Sidelined by 'Another Boy's Club,' Women Are Demanding Their Piece of the Crypto Pie

Hi, welcome to your Weekend!

Is there a cryptocurrency linked to schadenfreude? Because you can bet its price would have skyrocketed this week on the news of Meta suffering the biggest wipeout in U.S. corporate history, losing $230 billion in market value in a single day.

It’s a safe bet that no tech company in history has built up the ill will that Meta (né Facebook) has in its nearly two decades of existence.  And yet, as our founder Jessica writes in her column The Takeaway, it’s still "a cash machine" and likely will stay that way for quite a while. 

I’m not one to rejoice in the pain of others, even others who, you know, kind of deserve it. Instead, I ended the week on a lighter note, checking out comedian Tig Notaro’s tour stop in Oakland, where we purified ourselves with laughter. You can’t exist on schadenfreude alone.


The big read

‘The Boys Are Getting Loaded Rich.’ Now Women-Led Crypto Groups Demand Their Turn

Record dollars are flowing into cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin inflows reached a record $6.4 billion in November—but the industry’s gender and racial gaps remain pervasive. Of the 121 founders leading top crypto companies like Coinbase and Dapper Labs, just five are women. Now, an assortment of female-led crypto collectives are trying to change the narrative. Meet the star-studded group of women (including Mila Kunis, Tyra Banks and Barbara Bush) who are working to democratize tech’s latest boy’s club. 


The takeaway

Death of a Duopoly

Once upon a time, Jessica writes, there were two companies that sucked up every dollar of digital ad spending that marketers could bear. Investors, reporters, consumers and regulators began to consider these two companies one and the same: As Facebook rose, so did Google. But after Meta’s stock market cataclysm this week, our thinking about the duopoly is due for a change. 


SOCIAL STUDIES

‘Oozing, Dripping, Melting, Stretching’: The Art and Science Behind TikTok’s Viral Food Videos

Who could forget the internet-famous feta pasta, pancake cereal, and salmon bowl? Aside from their sheer popularity on TikTok, these dishes have more in common than one might surmise. In fact, there is a distinct formula behind making a TikTok food video go viral. Ingredients include a hardy helping of ASMR, a dash of structural transformation and a dollop of nostalgia. Ironically, the only characteristic absent from the recipe may be taste. 


parentverse

Dear Parentverse: My Four-Year-Old Trusts Amazon’s Alexa More Than Me

In this week’s Parentverse column, Emily Dreyfuss advises one parent whose young daughter cross-checks every fact with her smart assistant, and another whose son describes himself as a “Doomer” and his parent as a “Boomer” (even though the parent is Gen X!), prompting some understandable generational confusion.  



Reading: Influencers getting paid to study 

When the pandemic shut down libraries, the academically-inclined were left stranded. But never count a nerd out: the smartest of the bunch found a way to monetize their isolation. For Business Insider España, Lucas Gª Alcalde and Nathan Rennolds write about the newest Twitch trend, where influencers stream themselves studying. While the money from viewer donations is pretty good—one streamer claims she makes up to $1,700 a month—the influencers insist they’re in it for the camaraderie: “I receive a lot of messages telling me: 'Angela, thank you so much, you’ve helped me motivate myself.” 


Listening: Mitski’s new album, Laurel Hell

Singer-songwriter Mitski abruptly left social media in 2019, but in the years since, her songs have skyrocketed in popularity on the platforms she ditched. Now, ironically, Mitski is one of today’s most “online” artists, with tracks from her 2018 album “Be the Cowboy” becoming TikTok mainstays (see the 459,000 videos featuring “Nobody”). It’s a near-certainty that her new album Laurel Hell will resonate with the online video masses, given its synthy, hook-filled, and, well, vibey sound. If you want to know what the cool kids on TikTok are listening to, look no further. 


Noticing: An $11.7 million gold cube in Central Park 

What could possibly be more infused with meaning in the year of our Lord 2022 than a 24-karat gold cube, sitting in the middle of Central Park, protected by its own security detail? German artist Niclas Castello’s ingenious promotion for a forthcoming cryptocurrency, Castello Coin (CAST), is a 410-pound art installation that, according to a gallerist, “can be seen as a sort of communiqué between an emerging 21st-century cultural ecosystem based on crypto and the ancient world where gold reigned supreme.” More symbolism: The cube is actually hollow. Also, it’s not as large as it first appears (see this photograph of a presumably average-sized Castello towering over the cube). Anyone have a chisel we can borrow?


Makes You Think

 

The first ever relatable Kanye West statement: “DO NOT ASK ME TO DO A F***ING NFT.”


Until next Weekend, thanks for reading!

—Jon

Weekend Editor, The Information


Jon Steinberg is the Weekend Editor at The Information. He is a former editor-in-chief of San Francisco magazine and senior editor at New York magazine, where his work won many National Magazine Awards.
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