A weekly summary of what I’ve found interesting at the intersection of economics, finance and technology.
The US Justice Department has charged two former Twitter employees with spying for Saudi Arabia. The employees accessed private data on the user profiles of prominent dissidents. Fascinating story, in that it exposes another key threat in our online world and just the sheer number of threats that are out there. Read (WaPo)
Payments company Square allows users to buy Bitcoin on its platform and the feature is apparently gaining traction. Not sure what this means for Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies or Square though… Read (CoinDesk)
You can now use Alipay without a Chinese bank account, which should make traveling to China easier for foreigners. Read (Abacus)
This article, a guide on how to request your personal profile from data brokers that buy and sell your data for advertising purposes, is a good reminder of how scary surveillance capitalism is. Read (NYT)
I don’t intend to cover US presidential politics here, but I thought this Wired profile of Democratic candidate Andrew Yang was interesting for how it described the disillusion with technology that has taken hold recently. Read (Wired)
British neuroscientist Karl Friston is working on a theory that could provide a breakthrough for AI, but as could be expected, it’s difficult to understand… Read (Wired)
That’s it for this week’s edition. As always, thanks for reading and please forward this to anyone who you think might be interested, it would be much appreciated.