Top Stories in Accounting and Finance
You've seen it in the news—you've read it in the papers—bitcoin is blowing up. And claiming your piece of that pie has never been simpler with Coinbase. How many people are getting their slice? An estimated 13 million customers by the end of November—giving it more customers than online stock trading heavyweights E-Trade or Charles Schwab.
— The New York Times
The new “it" thing in consumer fintech is disposable, single-use credit card numbers. Companies such as Pay with Privacy and Final are leading the way. The pitch goes like this: generate a card number, make a purchase, if that number is ever stolen, delete it and move on—there's no need to update numbers elsewhere when you're issued a new one from the bank. But credit cards already offer $0 fraud liability; will consumers use these services for added peace of mind? Outlook not so good. Final issued a statement on December 6: they're winding down operations.
— LA Times
A loan for a pair of pants. Another one for that designer watch. And another one for a hardtail mountain bike. Affirm offers installment loans to consumers on purchases ranging from bicycles to mattresses to apparel and jewelry. Co-founder and former PayPal CTO Max Levchin says they're in it to disrupt credit reporting agencies such as FICO. But is their business just promoting, exploiting, and perpetuating impulsive consumer purchases?
The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece extolling the benefits of Excel alternatives. They're now mashing on CTRL+Z hoping for an undo after the response. This follow-up takes a step back to evaluate accountants' deep-seated feelings on their go-to spreadsheet application and takes a slightly different approach at dethroning the proverbial program—Excel's fallibility. But just to be safe this holiday season, treat conversation about Excel like you would topics on religion and politics—avoid at all costs.
— The Wall Street Journal
Bitcoin is disrupting yet another industry—this time it's home heating. One crafty bitcoin miner from North Carolina has diverted the heat expelled from his bitcoin mining machine and channeled it into his home's ventilation system. Not only is he keeping warm this winter, but he's also turning a small profit—the coins earned from crunching those transactions are offsetting electricity usage. That's another win-win for the wunderkind cryptocurrency.
— Yahoo! Finance
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