February 3, 2023

This week, the tech industry continued to watch the Elon Musk-Twitter saga unfold. In its latest development, the platform’s new CEO organized an online auction to sell surplus furniture from Twitter’s headquarters.

On the crypto side, Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested and charged with eight criminal counts, including but not limited to bank fraud and money laundering. Amidst the FTX fiasco, Binance experienced $8.7 billion USD in crypto withdrawals as worried traders withdraw their funds. Apps have meanwhile received a whole series of updates. Instagram rolled out a messaging feature called Notes, and TikTok started testing full-screen videos.

Below, HYPEBEAST has rounded up the best tech stories of the week so you can stay on top of industry trends.

TikTok has been trialling full-screen horizontal videos

TikTok may be much more like YouTube in the near future. The video app tests videos that appear horizontally and full size on your screen, TechCrunch reported. A few users in a beta group already have access to the feature, which appears as a “Full Size” button, which allows them to increase the video size.

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison

Notorious FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12. A few days later, SBF appeared in court and faced eight criminal charges, including bank fraud, money laundering and illegal contributions to political campaigns.

Prosecutors allege that the founder concealed information from investors while using their money to buy luxury properties in the Bahamas. If found guilty, SBF faces up to 115 years in prison, said Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for US prosecutors.

Binance had $8.7 billion USD in crypto withdrawals last week

After the FTX fiasco, crypto trading platform Binance was hit by a massive surge in withdrawals. Between December 6 and December 13, approximately $8.7 billion USD was taken off the platform, of which $3 billion was taken in just 24 hours. Despite this, Binance received $5.1 billion USD in inflows and reported on Twitter that the outflow figures simply represented “business as usual”.

Elon Musk sells furniture from Twitter headquarters

Elon Musk has organized an online auction to sell “surplus office belongings,” essentially furniture from Twitter’s headquarters. It seems that after the company’s spate of layoffs, Twitter’s headquarters has been left with a plethora of redundant chairs and desks. In addition to sculptures of the iconic Twitter bird logo, the auction will feature Eames-designed chairs, desks, espresso machines and refrigerators. Heritage Global Partners will host the sale, which begins January 17. Potential buyers should note that they must personally go to Twitter headquarters in San Francisco to pick up their goods.

Instagram rolls out short text messages called ‘Notes’

Instagram has a new tool called Notes, a convenient way for users to leave messages for their friends without having to send individual DMs. Similar to an Instagram story, a note pops up 24 hours a day and appears at the top of users’ inboxes. Users can compile the list of who can access their notes from followers who follow them back or people on their close friends list.

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