Recode Daily: ‘Bitcoin for dummies’ startup Circle raises one of the largest rounds yet for a crypto company

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Cryptocurrency startup Circle has raised another $110 million, one of the largest rounds yet for a crypto startup, pushing its valuation to nearly $3 billion. Longtime tech exec Jeremy Allaire launched Circle four years ago as sort of a “bitcoin for dummies” wallet and payments service. Circle is also launching a new “USD Coin” tied to the value of the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, crypto exchange Coinbase is making its play to help institutional giants like sovereign wealth funds, pension plans or asset managers more comfortable using its platform to invest in digital money. Called Coinbase Custody, the move marks an important shift among crypto entrepreneurs to win over Wall Street — not just disrupt it. [Dan Frommer / Recode]

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Facebook is throwing more money at defending its platform against hate speech and bad actors. The annual budget for some of Facebook’s content-review teams has ballooned by hundreds of millions of dollars for 2018, much of which will go toward hiring 10,000 people — including staffers and contractors — to work on safety and security issues including content review, roughly doubling the total in place this past fall. Earlier this month Mark Zuckerberg said his company would lose money on the political ads it runs in 2018, because it will spend so much on humans who will review those ads. Facebook has already disabled almost 1.3 billion fake accounts over the past six months, and will begin publishing more data about how many posts it takes down. [Deepa Seetharaman / The Wall Street Journal]

Apple is seeking about $1 billion from Samsung in another courtroom go-round stemming from their smartphone patent infringement dispute, which dates back to 2011. Samsung wants to limit damages to $28 million. [Joel Rosenblatt / Bloomberg]

Following Uber, Lyft announced that it, too, will waive its forced-arbitration agreement, allowing drivers and passengers with individual claims of sexual assault against the company to pursue their cases in open court. Both companies have waived a confidentiality requirement for sexual assault victims. [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

Online grocer Good Eggs almost went bankrupt, but a $50 million investment from Silicon Valley VC Bill Gurley has saved its organic bacon. With the new funds, Good Eggs expects to slowly expand its reach — going after what it believes will be at least a $7 billion online grocery market in California alone. It will be competing for customers with local farmers markets, giant competitors like Amazon and Whole Foods and heavily funded startups such as Instacart, which has raised $1 billion in investor money. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

R.I.P. Tom Wolfe. The New Journalism pioneer and author of “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby,” “The Right Stuff” and “Bonfire of the Vanities” died at age 88. Extravagant both verbally and visually, Wolfe had a penchant for spotting trends and then giving them names, some of which — like “Radical Chic” and “the Me Decade” — became American idioms. [Deirdre Carmody and William Grimes / The New York Times]


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