cooperating with an S.E.C. inquiry, after a short seller accused it of misleading investors about its business prospects.

Crypto Mom,” she’s been raising the profile of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology since being appointed an S.E.C. commissioner in 2018. On “Blockchain Policy Matters,” an online show by the Blockchain Association, a trade group, Ms. Peirce described her hopes for innovation and regulation of the crypto world. DealBook got a preview of the show, which posts today.

bitcoin E.T.F.s have begun trading in Canada.

She welcomes Gary Gensler, the blockchain professor, as the agency’s next chief. President Biden’s pick to lead the S.E.C. has lectured on cryptocurrency and blockchain at M.I.T. since 2018. Ms. Peirce said she was “hopeful” that he will help the agency think “in a more sophisticated way.” She added that Mr. Gensler has “more inclination to regulate” than she does, but that she believes he’ can provide the regulatory clarity on crypto she has sought.

Blockchain technology could address the issues raised by meme-stock mania. That includes “concerns around settlement times, tracking where shares are, and who owns what shares when,” Ms. Pierce said. Distributed ledger technology like blockchain could eliminate common failure points in the financial system, rather than centralizing them, Ms. Peirce said, adding: “I hope that a lot of that innovation happens in the private sector as opposed to us taking it over as a securities regulator.”


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A Push to End Germany’s Status as ‘Paradise for Patent Trolls’

BERLIN—Germany has long been a magnet for global patent litigation, ensnaring companies like Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Now a coalition of German blue-chip firms and foreign multinationals, including big U.S. tech firms, is pushing legislation that would lessen the country’s appeal for those seeking to assert their intellectual property.

Germany’s main patent courts, in Munich, Mannheim and Düsseldorf, systematically order injunctions, or temporary sales bans, for products subject to patent suits. That makes them attractive legal venues for patent holders.

Key targets of the legislation are so-called nonpracticing entities, or NPEs, which amass portfolios of patents that they license instead of using them in their own products. Critics call them patent trolls.

The proposed rules aim to make it harder for a plaintiff to win an injunction. The initiative has split Germany’s typically unified business community, pitting some of the country’s biggest patent users against its biggest patent holders.

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Nasdaq futures slide 2% on inflation jitters

FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the Nasdaq market site in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – Futures tracking the Nasdaq index sank 2% on Monday as the passage of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package by the U.S. Senate lifted bond yields, sparked inflation concerns and pressured richly valued technology stocks.

Wall Street’s main indexes had staged a late-session rally on Friday as a much better-than-expected jobs report boosted optimism around a faster economic rebound, but market sentiment soured on Monday on fears that rising inflation would result in a sudden tapering of monetary stimulus.

Inflation worries were also fueled by a jump in Brent crude prices to above $70 per barrel, the highest since the COVID-19 pandemic began, following reports of attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities. [O/R]

The Nasdaq has now fallen for three straight weeks, with the yield-sensitive grouping of FAANG plus Tesla and Microsoft stocks losing $760 billion in value since Feb. 16.

At 4:51 a.m. ET, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 246.75 points, or 1.95%, Dow e-minis were down 89 points, or 0.28%, and S&P 500 e-minis were down 30.5 points, or 0.79%.

Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Inc, Netflix Inc, Alphabet Inc, Tesla and Microsoft lost another 2% to 5% in early deals.

The yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries stood near a 13-month high at 1.594%, while Wall Street’s fear gauge jumped nearly 3 points and was on course for its biggest one-day rise this month.

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YouTube Removes Myanmar Military Channels

YouTube said on Friday that it had cut five television channels run by Myanmar’s military from its platform, the latest in a string of moves by American internet giants to pare back the military’s online footprint since it seized power in a coup last month.

The company — a unit of Alphabet, which also owns Google — said in a statement that it had removed the channels and videos based on its community guidelines, though it did not specify what rules the military had broken. The blocked channels included the government-run Myanmar Radio and Television and the military-owned Myawaddy Media, both of which broadcast news, sports, military propaganda and martial anthems.

The removal came at the end of the bloodiest week of protests since the military overthrew Myanmar’s fragile democratic government on Feb. 1. On Wednesday, more than 30 people were killed as the security forces used increasingly brutal means to crush anti-coup protests. At least one person, a 20-year-old man who was shot in the neck, was killed during a protest on Friday in the city of Mandalay.

Myanmar’s post-coup politics have also played out digitally. Protesters have used social media sites to plot demonstrations, to spread memes denouncing the generals’ power grab and to share videos of police and military violence.

stormed telecom data centers and blocked social media sites. At times, it has cut off internet access entirely. When they can get online, many people in the country have turned to specialized software to get around the blocks and log onto sites like Facebook.

In the weeks since the coup, internet companies have slowly beefed up controls aimed at the military. Last week, Facebook said it would block all military pages from its site and cut advertising by military-owned businesses, in one of its most direct interventions in a country’s politics to date.

YouTube’s takedown appeared to stop short of Facebook’s broader ban. A YouTube spokesperson did not respond to questions about whether Alphabet would take further action against the military, like cutting off its businesses’ access to ads, as Facebook did. YouTube’s move was previously reported by Reuters.

The coup and the ensuing protests have put American internet firms in an increasingly familiar, if uncomfortable, position as political arbiters in fights over democracy and human rights far from their home. Nationalist leaders around the world, from the Philippines to India to the United States, have used Facebook and other platforms to spread disinformation and incite violence.

Myanmar had already become a test case for dealing with some of the internet’s most dangerous excesses. Facebook, for example, has faced intense criticism over how the military has used the platform to promote hatred toward Myanmar’s Rohingya minority, the victims of an ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the military.

social media monitoring team under military command, according to tech experts in Myanmar.

Since then, internet companies have sought to show that they were alert to the military’s tactics. During campaigning before national elections in Myanmar last year, Alphabet took down two YouTube channels that it said it were linked to influence operations supporting the party that was formed by the former military junta. After the elections, the company took down 34 more YouTube channels connected to the military. In the last few months, it cut another 20 such channels and 160 videos for violating policies related to hate speech, harassment and violent content, among other infractions.

Despite the blocks, activists in Myanmar complain that the tech companies are still slow to pull down disinformation and violent content. The official pages of several of the television channels taken down by YouTube had already been blocked by Facebook. And since Facebook’s wider ban on military pages, a number of replacement pages appear to have sprouted up to replace those that were removed.

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