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Bezos’s Phone Hacked By Saudi Crown Prince, Report Says

US-SPACE-AWARD-BEZOS

Topline: Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018, the Guardian reported Tuesday, raising questions over who the Saudis were monitoring in connection to slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and how the National Enquirer obtained Bezos’s private texts that exposed an extramarital affair last year.

  • Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Guardian reported that a malicious video file sent from Mohammed bin Salman to Bezos on WhatsApp was responsible for the hack.
  • Large amounts of data were taken from Bezos’s phone within hours of the infected file being sent.
  • The two men were having a seemingly friendly conversation before that, the Guardian reported, though it is unclear what they were talking about or why they were in communication with each other.
  • It is also unclear where the information taken from Bezos’s phone went or how it was used, but it undermines previous claims made by the Saudis that they weren’t surveilling Bezos and others connected to Khashoggi, who was killed inside a Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey last year apparently because he wrote columns critical of the Saudi government. The CIA has since concluded that bin Salman personally ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, which he has denied.
  • The Guardian’s reporting also supports claims made by Bezos’s head of security, Gavin de Becker, who wrote in a March 2019 Daily Beast story that the Saudis had access to Bezos’s private data. He also alleged that the Saudis provided the initial tip about Bezos’s affair to the National Enquirer, which then published Bezos’s intimate text messages and photos.
  • A spokesperson for Bezos did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

Chief critic: The Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. dismissed the Guardian’s reporting. “Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd. We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out,” the embassy tweeted.

Key background: Forbes and independent researchers have found that Saudi Arabia has used a hacking tool created by Israeli firm NSO Group to spy on human rights workers, journalists and activists. It is ultimately unclear if bin Salman used NSO Group’s technology on Bezos, though the Israeli company was sued by Facebook in October for exploiting a WhatsApp vulnerability to inject malicious code into target phones.

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I’m a San Francisco-based reporter covering breaking news at Forbes. Previously, I’ve reported for USA Today, Business Insider, The San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Inside. I studied journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was an editor at The Daily Orange, the university’s independent student newspaper. Follow me on Twitter @rachsandl or shoot me an email rsandler@forbes.com.

Source: Bezos’s Phone Hacked By Saudi Crown Prince, Report Says

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Is This The Beginning Of Amazon’s Meltdown?

Dystopia

When Amazon’s executives heard the news, they couldn’t believe it.

Last November, the world’s largest sporting goods company, Nike, announced it was leaving Amazon. It would yank all its products from Amazon.com and sell them exclusively on its online store.

Nike is the biggest retailer to break up with Amazon, but it’s not the first. From mom-and-pop stores to retail giants, more than one million businesses are ditching Amazon and selling online independently.

As I’ll explain in a moment, this is the beginning of the biggest disruption in retail since Amazon’s inception. And there’s one little-known stock driving it “behind the scenes.”

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The good news is this megatrend is still in the very early stages. It’s off the radar of many investors, which gives us a chance to cash in big time. But first, let me clue you in on what’s going on here.

For a Long Time, Retailers Depended on Amazon to Sell Online

As we all know, Amazon is king of online shopping. It runs the world’s biggest online store, which makes up more than half of online sales in the US.

What you may not know is that most of the stuff listed on Amazon.com are not products of Amazon. They come from other retailers known as “third-party sellers.” For a fee, Amazon has granted them permission to put their stuff on its “shelves.”

In 2007, only 26% of products sold on Amazon were from third-party sellers. Today, more than 53% of all Amazon products are from third-party sellers, according to Statista.

For a long time, Amazon has served as the online “storefront” for most retailers. But that’s quietly changing.

One Retailer After Another Is Leaving Amazon

Nike is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s a growing pack of retailers breaking ties with Amazon and launching their own online stores.

Take Birkenstock, one of the world’s most iconic footwear brands. In 2017, the company left Amazon altogether. It also issued a strict order to several thousand of its retail partners to pull all Birkenstock products from Amazon.

You also may be familiar with these brands:

  • Vans – one of America’s most iconic urban footwear and apparel companies
  • Ralph Lauren – another iconic American fashion lifestyle brand
  • Rolex… the biggest high-end watch company
  • Louis Vuitton, a French luxury fashion brand
  • Patagonia and North Face – some of the biggest outdoor clothing, footwear, and equipment brands

While you could find their products on Amazon listed by resellers—most of which are generic and dated models or knock-offs—none of these brands sell directly on Amazon.

These are just a few of many retail giants that ditched Amazon. There are a million more small retailers bypassing Amazon and selling stuff online independently.

Image result for amazon big size gif advertisementsAmazon Had the Upper Hand Against Retailers

Until very recently, the idea of a small or medium-size business competing with Amazon online was a joke. Because Amazon has it all.

In a few clicks, you can order stuff from thousands of retailers, and get it delivered to your doorstep the same day. For free! If you are short of cash, Amazon will give you credit. If you are not happy with your order, you take the package to the nearest UPS store and get a refund almost instantly.

To keep all this running smoothly, Amazon plows billions of dollars into its store. It operates more than 150 million square feet of warehouse space. Tens of thousands of its trucks and vans roam across the country. It even owns its own fleet of ocean freighters and cargo aircraft!

Who can match that? For years, going up against Amazon was suicide for a retailer. The only option for 99.99% of retailers was to partner with Amazon to sell their stuff on Amazon’s store.

Anyone Can Be Amazon Right Now

This may surprise you, but today any mom-and-pop store can run an online store as good as Amazon’s. Thanks to a new breed of tech companies, now you can easily farm out every step of the online store process—from shipping to returns and even one-day delivery.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • You can build an online store with Shopify (SHOP)
  • run guided advertising campaigns with Facebook or Instagram
  • handle payments with Stripe
  • give credit with Affirm
  • store your inventory and fulfill orders with ShipBob
  • Handle returns with Returnly
  • Even provide Amazon’s famous same-day delivery with DarkStore

All of them are charging either a small monthly fee or a little commission off sales. That means anyone with a couple hundred bucks can sell stuff online as effectively as Amazon.

A massive disruption is blowing in right before our very eyes. Just like the internet liberated retailers from brick-and-mortar stores, these companies are freeing them from Amazon’s clutches.

Shopify Is King of This Megatrend

If you’ve been reading me, you know that I recommended Shopify (SHOP) a month ago. Since then, it jumped 30%.

In short, Shopify helps you sell your products online on your own website. Just like Nike, Birkenstock, and other big-name retailers do.

For as little as $29/month, Shopify sets you up with a full-fledged custom online store. It can even hold your inventory in its warehouses and ship your products.

Since Shopify operates “behind the scenes,” you probably haven’t come across it when shopping online. But it’s already the world’s second-largest online shopping company.

It powers over 1,000,000 independent online stores. And get this, one in three Americans buy from a Shopify-powered store—without even realizing it.

Shopify Could Hand You a Double, but Be Careful

Since Shopify went public, it has been growing by leaps and bounds. In 2015, it had just 240,000 merchants, selling $7.7 billion worth of products through Shopify. Since then, it has grown into a million+ merchants grinding out 50+ billion in yearly sales.

As I said back in November, if Shopify keeps up this growth, I see it doubling by 2022. There’s one catch, though.

The stock has soared over 1,000% in just four years, and 30% more since I recommended it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the stock took a breather somewhere down the line. For this reason, I recommend keeping the position in this stock small enough that a double-digit drop wouldn’t hurt you.

Written with the assistance of Dainius Runkevičius.

Get my report “The Great Disruptors: 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money”. These stocks will hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here.

Check out my website.

I’m a professional investor and the chief analyst at RiskHedge, a disruption research firm. My team and I hunt for under-the-radar “disruptive” companies that are changing the world and making investors rich in the process. Get my latest analysis at RiskHedge.com.

Source: Is This The Beginning Of Amazon’s Meltdown?

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DashNex PowerTech Without Amazon Cloud-Based Technology In High Converting eCommerce Store

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On DashNex Pages platform, you can launch any kind of mobile responsive, lightning-fast website, including, but not limited to:

  • Local business website
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  • Webinar registration website
  • And many more…

Never worry about the SIZE. Focus on results. Whether it’s a single lead generation page or a 100+ page website, we got you covered – host unlimited HTML pages on any of your websites. Whether it’s an affiliate link underneath your video on YouTube or a link you want to track with your social media post, our redirect feature will take care of that.

Expecting 10,000 or 100,000 visitors in a single day? Want to run a high profile sweepstake campaign with thousands of leads? Awesome! That’s what DashNex Pages is designed for. Without a doubt, a sweepstake is one of the most effective lead generation and brand awareness campaigns that you can run for your business. Don’t wait for a second – go ahead and launch it today!

Typical lead generation campaign involves some form of a gift – a PDF, an eBook, software, video, audio or sometimes even an entire training program. Just drag & drop your files in your campaign funnel and we will automatically deliver them to your leads.

Dashnex Power Tech platforms are built on Amazon Cloud infrastructure, so you don’t need to worry about the technical side at all. Your website and store will be using the best hosting systems in the world, with automatic backups and maintenance and 99.5% uptime.

Source: Get This Copy and Paste Simple Online Business Tech

Amazon Almost Killed Target. Then, Target Did the Impossible

In 2017, everyone was laughing at Target.

Sales had continued to slide. Stores were in disrepair. And company leaders were struggling to adapt to the changing behavior of consumers–many of whom were shopping more and more with online retailers like Amazon.

As fellow retailers Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Gap collectively shuttered hundreds of stores because of similar struggles, analysts said Target should do the same.

But Target executives, led by CEO Brian Cornell, had a different idea. The key to revitalizing Target, they said, was to go on the offensive.

So, in March 2017, Target made a huge announcement: It planned to invest over $7 billion in a turnaround strategy that would include:

  • remodeling existing stores (and opening smaller ones in urban areas);
  • introducing new, private label brands; and,
  • enhancing its digital shopping experience.

Wall Street thought the plan was a disaster. On the day of the announcement, Target suffered its largest stock plunge in almost a decade.

But fast-forward to today, and Target is thriving. First-quarter results for 2019 beat analysts’ expectations. The store’s private-label lines are exploding. And as comparable store sales continue to rise, the stock price is trading at an all-time high.

How did Target do it?

A close look at the company’s brilliant turnaround strategy reveals some major lessons for businesses of any size.

Here are some highlights:

Think long term.

When Target announced its turnaround plan, Cornell expected backlash. He knew investors would hate the idea of stuttering profits for the foreseeable future.

But he held fast to his plan. “We’re investing in our business with a long-term view of years and decades, not months and quarters,” Cornell said at the time.

Cornell knew this reset was necessary because so many Target stores had fallen into disrepair over the years. And while the company was making efforts in e-commerce, it simply didn’t have the infrastructure to deliver.

Contrast that with today. Target has remodeled hundreds of stores, and it has built a hundred “mini-stores” in urban areas like New York and on college campuses (with plans to open dozens more of these every year for the foreseeable future). The company also invested heavily in its e-commerce operations to great benefit. (More on this in a minute.)

By focusing on the long-term health of the company instead of short-term financial performance, Cornell took a page out of Jeff Bezos’s playbook–and it clearly worked.

Leverage your strengths.

Target’s e-commerce infrastructure needed a complete revamp. But could the company really compete with Amazon and Walmart, which were years ahead of the curve?

It could–by doing things a little differently.

Target execs knew that as popular as e-commerce has become, the majority of retail shopping still takes place in physical stores–especially when it comes to clothing.

So Target chose to focus on a model that would maximize its strengths. Known as “ship-to-store,” Target’s e-commerce platform turns physical stores into mini warehouses for online customers. That makes it possible for customers to order a product online, and then pick it up in a store on the same day.

Ship-to-store reduces Target’s shipping and handling costs, and takes advantage of already existing space in physical stores. And if a customer decides to do some shopping while already there at Target, the benefit is two-fold.

Fill a gap.

Consumers had once affectionately referred to Target as “Tarzhay,” an ode to products and style that were affordable yet a step above those offered by competitors like Walmart. Over time, though, Target had created too many labels that were clear misses.

“Tarzhay” had lost its cachet.

But nobody had stepped up to fill that gap of stylish, exclusive clothing for lower prices. So, in an effort to rebuild its reputation, Target doubled down on its exclusive brands. The company has launched 20 private-label lines over the past three years, including brands for modern furniture, kids’ clothes, electronics, and home goods.

The investment paid off: Six of Target’s private-labels each do more than a billion dollars in annual sales. These labels, together with other brands sold exclusively at Target,  contribute nearly a third of the company’s overall revenue (and an even greater percentage of profits).

In addition, Target has worked hard to fill gaps left by unsuccessful competitors. For example, when stores like Toys “R” Us and the Sports Authority went bankrupt, Target saw this as opportunity: market share begging to be gobbled up.

Yes, Target has definitely gotten its groove back. It did so by bucking analysts’ advice, and instead returning to basics:

Thinking long-term. Leveraging strengths. Filling gaps.

I guess Target got the last laugh after all.

By: Justin Bariso Author, EQ Applied

Source: Amazon Almost Killed Target. Then, Target Did the Impossible

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Target is one of the biggest retailers in America, but nowadays even the biggest retailers like Sears and Toys R Us have gone bankrupt with the rise of Amazon. This video describes how Target not only survived Amazon, but beat Amazon in the online e-commerce space. Sources: https://bit.ly/2Itw7EE https://bit.ly/2QVZ9k4 https://cnb.cx/31eIAoj Music: Song: SKANDR – Blue Lemonade (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music promoted by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/iV1ca6K9VBM Song: KSMK – Forget All (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/7rkO5DyLoTE Song: KSMK – Just my imagination (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/5v_zQANhToo Song: KSMK – You (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music promoted by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/974y9fyIaG4 Song: Dizaro – Sunset Beach (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/H–bOQgYsz0

MacKenzie Bezos Is Now Worth $36.1 Billion. But Who Is She?

MacKenzie Bezos was not fussy, which was helpful, as there was no time for fussiness at Amazon headquarters in early 1996. She shared her office with a junior employee in a space that doubled as the company kitchen. For 12 hours a day, as workers squeezed by to use the microwave, she presided over the accounting. At night she headed to the warehouse to pack orders.

She “was a huge contributor,” says Mike Hanlon, Amazon’s seventh employee. “She really is a talented person in a way that I think gets lost when you’re the billionaire’s wife.”

The mystery around MacKenzie, 49, seems carefully cultivated. She largely slipped into anonymity after Amazon’s early years and has granted no interviews since January, when her split from husband Jeff became public. The couple finalized their divorce in July, with MacKenzie getting 25% of his Amazon stock. That stake is currently worth $36.1 billion, enough to put her 15th on this year’s Forbes 400.

“She should have gotten 50% of the company,” says Nick Hanauer, one of Amazon’s first investors. “MacKenzie was an equal partner to Jeff in the early days.”

In keeping with character, MacKenzie wouldn’t talk for this story. To shed some light on her, we spent weeks contacting more than 100 friends and former classmates and coworkers; even that yielded only a hazy picture, one of an intensely private but talented woman who has, quietly, excelled at every stage of her life.

MacKenzie grew up in San Francisco, a middle child with two siblings. At 6, she wrote a 142-page book called The Book Worm. Her parents, a homemaker and a financial planner, sent her to Hotchkiss, the Connecticut boarding school, where she graduated a year early. She studied at Cambridge, then Princeton, where she majored in English; Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison was her thesis advisor. “She was generally a very poised and a quiet and brilliant presence,” says Jeff Nunokawa, one of her English professors.

After graduating, she took a job at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, where she began dating Jeff Bezos, who left to found Amazon in 1994. From the outset, MacKenzie was heavily involved. “No one really had job titles . . . so she did just about everything,” says Tod Nelson, another early employee.

MacKenzie pulled back around the time Amazon went public, in 1997, to focus on fiction writing. She kept a low profile until 2005, when HarperCollins published her first novel, The Testing of Luther Albright. Morrison deemed it “a rarity.” MacKen­zie followed it in 2013 with Traps.

The more recent chapters of her life are largely unknown. In 2018 she and Jeff committed $2 billion to fight homelessness and support nonprofit preschools. In May, as their divorce neared completion, she signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half her wealth. True to form, she hasn’t said a word about where those billions will go.

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I’ve been a reporter at Forbes since 2016. Before that, I spent a year on the road—driving for Uber in Cleveland, volcano climbing in Guatemala, cattle farming in Uruguay, and lots of stuff in between. I graduated from Tufts University with a dual degree in international relations and Arabic. Feel free to reach out at nkirsch@forbes.com with any story ideas or tips, or follow me on Twitter @Noah_Kirsch.

Source: MacKenzie Bezos Is Now Worth $36.1 Billion. But Who Is She?

990K subscribers
A new book about Amazon.com and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, “The Everything Store,” is not receiving positive feedback from Bezos’ wife. John Blackstone reports.

Amazon Is Launching a New Program to Donate Unsold Products, After Reports That Millions Were Being Destroyed

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Amazon wants its third-party sellers to make better use of their unsold or unwanted products that often get dumped — by giving them away to charity.

Amazon is launching a new donations program, called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, for third-party sellers that store their inventory in Amazon’s warehouses in the U.S. and UK, CNBC has learned. Starting on September 1, the donation program will become the default option for all sellers when they choose to dispose of their unsold or unwanted products stored in Amazon warehouses across those two countries. Sellers can opt out of the program, if they want.

The donations will be distributed to a network of U.S. nonprofits through a group called Good360 and UK charities such as Newlife and Barnardo’s. After this story was published, Amazon announced the program via a blog post on Wednesday afternoon.

The new donations program is designed to reduce the amount of inventory that must be dumped from Amazon’s warehouses, helping the environment and putting otherwise wasted products to some use. Recent reports found that Amazon routinely discards unsold inventory, with one French TV documentary estimating Amazon to have destroyed over 3 million products in France last year. Given that Amazon generates the bulk of its sales in the U.S., the number of destroyed inventory in its U.S. warehouses is likely much larger than those found in other countries.

“This program will reduce the number of products sent to landfills and instead help those in need,” Amazon wrote in the email to sellers announcing the launch.

Sellers who spoke to CNBC said the new program makes it cheaper to donate their unwanted inventory. Amazon charges 50 cents to return unsold inventory to sellers, much more than the 15 cents charged for disposal. Sellers destroy their inventory for a variety of reasons, including returns that are no longer usable or for safety issues.

In an email statement to CNBC, Amazon’s spokesperson confirmed the launch of the new program, adding it’s “working hard” to bring the number of destroyed products to zero.

“At Amazon, the vast majority of returned products are resold to other customers or liquidators, returned to suppliers, or donated to charitable organizations, depending on their condition,” Amazon said.

By: Eugene Kim

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/

 

Jeff Bezos To Give MacKenzie 25% Of His Amazon Stake, Worth Tens Of Billions, In Divorce

Axel Springer award ceremony

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, announced on Thursday that he will transfer roughly 4% of the company’s stock to his wife, MacKenzie, most likely by early July. The couple are in the process of finalizing their divorce.

Those shares are worth more than $35 billion as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday. That would make MacKenzie the third-richest woman in the world, behind L’Oréal’s Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, who is worth an estimated $52.9 billion, and Walmart’s Alice Walton, who is worth $45 billion. She would rank as the planet’s 26th-richest person, ahead of Nike’s Phil Knight.

Jeff Bezos will remain the world’s richest person, with a net worth above $110 billion, per early Thursday afternoon stock prices. Bill Gates is the world’s second-wealthiest individual, boasting an estimated $99.5 billion fortune.

While still pending, the Bezos divorce settlement will likely be the largest in world history. Other divorces of the ultrarich include Steve and Elaine Wynn (she received an estimated $850 million settlement), as well as Bill and Susan Gross (she received a $1.3 billion settlement).

In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Jeff Bezos said, “In all our work together, MacKenzie’s abilities have been on full display. She has been an extraordinary partner, ally, and mother.”

MacKenzie posted a tweet of her own, saying, “Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff from each other. … Happy to be giving him all my interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and 75% of our Amazon stock plus voting control of my shares to support his continued contributions with the teams of these incredible companies.”

The couple filed a petition for divorce on April 4, and they expect an official decree to be issued in early July, they said in an SEC filing that outlined the transfer of shares. The filing noted that Jeff Bezos will continue to exercise voting control over MacKenzie’s shares, unless she sells them on the open market or gives them to qualifying nonprofits.

If MacKenzie transfers shares, the recipient of the stock must sign a similar agreement granting Jeff Bezos voting control.

The couple announced their divorce in January, following 25 years of marriage. Their separation stirred a tabloid frenzy, as intimate text messages between Bezos and his romantic partner, Lauren Sanchez, a TV anchor, were leaked by the National Enquirer.

Bezos subsequently published an open letter accusing American Media Inc., which owns the National Inquirer, of extortion and blackmail. AMI has denied wrongdoing.

Bezos also hired a team of investigators to determine who accessed his private messages. His consultant Gavin De Becker ultimately accused the Saudi Arabian government of illicitly gaining access to Bezos’ cellphone. Saudi officials have denied that allegation.

Angel Au-Yeung covers global business leaders and follows their money for Forbes Magazine.

I’m currently a reporter on the wealth team at Forbes. Before that, I spent a year on the road—driving for Uber in Cleveland, volcano climbing in Guatemala, cattle farmi…

Source: Jeff Bezos To Give MacKenzie 25% Of His Amazon Stake, Worth Tens Of Billions, In Divorce

Why Jeff Bezos’ Divorce Could be Bullish for Amazon Shares

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News of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos divorcing sparked questions about how the split could affect the world’s most valuable company’s stock. While there were questions, there wasn’t panic. Investors are in wait-and-see mode. The news, which came Wednesday via a tweet from Jeff Bezos, barely moved Amazon’s share price. It closed Friday at $1,640.56……..

Source: Why Jeff Bezos’ Divorce Could be Bullish for Amazon Shares

Amazon Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company for the First Time Ever With a Market Value of $797billion – Surpassing Microsoft — BCNN1 WP

Amazon has become the world’s most valuable company for the first time, surpassing Microsoft. The shift occurred Monday after Amazon’s shares rose 3 per cent to close at $1,629.51 and lifted the e-commerce leader’s market value to $797billion. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s stock edged up by less than 1 percent to finish at $102.06, leaving the computer […]

via Amazon Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company for the First Time Ever With a Market Value of $797billion – Surpassing Microsoft — BCNN1 WP

Amazon Partners On New Ethereum Marketplace For Enterprises – Sarah Hansen

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Kaleido, a startup that aims to help enterprises implement blockchain technology, has launched a new platform in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Kaleido Marketplace will provide tools and protocols for all the components of new blockchain projects, “from the app all the way to the chain,” founder and CEO Steve Cerveny told Forbes. Commodities platform Komgo, whose network of financial institutions includes Citi, ING, Koch Supply and Trading, MUFG Bank, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole Group, BNP Paribas, and Shell, is a current client…………

 

 

 

 

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