Top Tech Stories of the Week: December 17

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

On the crypto side, Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested and charged with eight criminal offenses including but not limited to wire fraud and money laundering. Amid the FTX fiasco, Binance saw $8.7 billion in crypto withdrawals as worried traders withdrew their funds. The apps, meanwhile, have received a slew of updates. Instagram has rolled out a message feature called Notes, and TikTok has started testing full-screen videos.

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

TikTok tested full-screen horizontal videos

TikTok could look a lot more like YouTube in the near future. The video app tests videos that appear on your screen horizontally and at full size, Tech Crunch reported. A few users in a beta group already have access to the feature, which displays as an “Actual Size” button, allowing them to increase the video size.

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

The infamous founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12. Appearing in court days later, SBF was charged with eight criminal charges, including wire fraud, money laundering and illegal contributions to political campaigns.

Prosecutors allege the founder withheld information from investors while using their funds to purchase luxury properties in the Bahamas. If convicted, SBF faces up to 115 years in prison, according to Nicholas Biase, spokesman for US prosecutors.

Binance saw $8.7 billion in crypto withdrawals last week

Following the FTX fiasco, crypto trading platform Binance was hit with a massive increase in withdrawals. Between December 6 and December 13, approximately $8.7 billion was withdrawn from the platform, of which $3 billion was withdrawn in just 24 hours. Despite this, Binance received $5.1 billion in inflows and reported on Twitter that the outflow numbers simply represented “business as usual”.

Elon Musk sells furniture from Twitter headquarters

Elon Musk hosted an online auction to sell “surplus corporate assets”, essentially furniture from Twitter’s corporate headquarters. It seems that after the company’s wave of layoffs, Twitter’s headquarters have been left with an abundance of useless chairs and desks. In addition to sculptures of the iconic Twitter bird logo, the auction will include chairs, desks, espresso machines and refrigerators designed by Eames. Heritage Global Partners will host the sale, which is expected to begin on January 17. Potential buyers should note that they will need to come to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters in person to pick up their goods.

Instagram has rolled out short text messages called “notes”

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

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