Softbank angles for discount on Uber valuation

A report out of Bloomberg says today that Softbank is leveraging Uber's bad press for a discount on the company's valuation as it looks to invest more than $6 billion. 

In the last round, Uber was valued at $69 billion but Softbank's investment would put it at a 30 percent discount, or $48 billion. It's entirely possible the deal will still fall through, especially if existing investors balk, but Uber may also be cornered here: it'll need a cash injection of this size pretty soon regardless.

I mentioned previously that the Softbank talks seemed uncomfortable at best, so this almost certainly was to be expected. Regardless, it's one of the largest purchases of a stake in any company and will be worth a mint when Uber goes public.

If anything, the most interesting part about this is how it could change Uber the company by allowing early employees to cash out and leave, rather than stick around and wait out going public. 

If executed well, it could be a great opportunity to remove long-standing employees and ultimately extricate some toxicity from the firm's ranks.

Bitcoin looks set to break $10,000 today

Say what you will about Bitcoin, but it's on a roll today: after rallying up more than $1,000 in a matter of days the cryptocurrency looks set to crack $10,000 for the first time today across worldwide exchanges.

Bitcoin is seeing a huge amount of interest and a surge mostly due to mainstream investors paying attention: even banks. As The New York Times points out today, even the biggest fans are shocked by how high the currency has gone in recent weeks.

On Reddit, users are hyped for it cracking $10,000 but many plan to 'get out' when the magic number is reached (which often proves to be difficult) or before the US government tries to criminalize digital currencies. 

One popular thread this morning titled "this is officially madness, I am going to prepare myself for a large correction" as it rises faster than any stock seen in the past with no sign of a serious correction.

It's unclear what will happen next at $10K: I expect a lot of people will try to sell Bitcoin which is very likely to result in a large dip as the earliest -- and largest -- holders of the currency get out. 

$10K is a psychological milestone for many people, particularly those who have been 'in' for a long time and are likely to become millionaires essentially overnight. But, of course, Bitcoin is different -- every time someone swears it's a ponzi scheme and it'll never hit some target, it does.

I guess that's the fun of Bitcoin: nobody really knows, and nobody really understands what could happen -- it might be $20K next week, or it might correct down to $3. The biggest question in my mind: if Bitcoin can rise so meteorically, can it fall just as fast?

Tab Dump™

Tumblr's founder steps down from Yahoo
I mean, after you cash out and sell your company to a place like Yahoo would you stick around? Oh right, David Karp got something like $81 million in exchange for sticking around for four years (which ran out... now).

WeWork to acquire Meetup is a great little website that seems to go unnoticed most of the time -- and now it's been acquired by WeWork. If there's any smart acquisition it's this one, which should be a great draw for bringing new people into WeWork's spaces.

Laptops might be bad for lectures or meetings
A great column from The New York times on mounting evidence that laptops are bad for meetings, lectures and other situations where communicating information is important. It appears that students learn less when they're using laptops as they'll pay less attention (it's true for me, at least).