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This week: El Salvador embraces Bitcoin, Developers clash with the App Store, and the rise of no-code companies. Here’s everything you may have missed from this week.
1. The President of El Salvador Embraces Bitcoin
I’ve just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos 🌋— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) June 9, 2021
This is going to evolve fast! 🇸🇻 pic.twitter.com/1316DV4YwT
El Salvadorian president Nayib Bukele is a controversial figure, to put it lightly. At the age of 39, he's become known for his "contrarian" policy choices, but more so for his authoritarian leanings. In February of last year, he sent soldiers into El Salvador's legislative assembly to intimidate legislators into passing a bill. He used his party's supermajority to effectively remove opponents and top judges from office. In March of last year, he used the National Civil Police to enforce a 30-day COVID lockdown, which led to police brutality criticized by the Human Rights Watch.
But on Tuesday, he passed a bill making El Salvador the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. So obviously crypto fans think he's amazing.
The announcement sent the crypto world into a frenzy. Some, like Balajis Srinivasan, said it was a sign that crypto holders would soon have the power to negotiate with nation states. Others said that the adoption of crypto as a legal tender was the biggest milestone in the history of the technology.
Bukele partnered with American startup Strike to bring Bitcoin to his country. Strike and Bitcoin have both already seen some use in El Salvador at a location called Bitcoin Beach: a small beach town of 3,000 where crypto is used for everything from regular transactions to educational grants.
2. Developers clash with the App Store
#fuckapple, a thread— jasmine 🍚 (@jasminericegirl) June 9, 2021
I cofounded @fanhouseapp 8 months ago to empower creators to monetize their content. We pay creators 90% of earnings. Now, Apple is threatening to remove Fanhouse from the app store unless we give them 30% of creator earnings. This is theft and exploitation.
Jasmine Rice, co-creator of social media and influencer app Fanhouse, publicly aired her grievances with Apple this week in a viral Twitter thread. At the root of the conflict is the App Store's 30% fee on all transactions made on third party apps — the same fee it defended against Epic Games earlier this month after the latter filed suit claiming the fee was anticompetitive.
Fanhouse can be thought of as a kind of "safe for work" OnlyFans, where creators or influencers can interact directly with fans who either tip them or subscribe to their content. The app is built around monetizing the parasocial relationships fans build with internet figures, a model that's given rise to major influencers, platforms like Twitch, and can be traced back to digital sex workers like cam girls during the early days of the internet.
Fanhouse prides itself on letting creators keep the overwhelming majority of revenue generated, taking only 10% for itself. Previously, Fanhouse had paid Apple it's 30% fee out of that 10% of revenue. But that's no longer the case according to Rice, and Apple is now asking for 30% of all revenues in accordance with its policy, which means creators on the platform will end up with a much smaller take. The drama comes at an inconvenient time for Apple as the company is currently awaiting a ruling in its suit versus Epic Games regarding the fee.
3. The rise of no-code companies
"Our startup's $2 million revenue runs on a $80/month NoCode stack."— Karthik Sridharan (@KarthikS2206) June 7, 2021
When I shared this, I got many questions around the tools used.
So, today I share 7 types of NoCode tools along with:
1. Specific use case each solves
2. Real examples
It's been big week for no-code companies. Monday.com, a productivity app and startup that was born out from under Wix.com, went public this week in a hotly anticipated IPO, debuting and remaining steady at around $180 per share.
No-code services — those which allow users to perform a variety of actions like building a website, programming, and more through simple interactions and without any coding knowledge — have become increasingly valued and important in recent years, and Karthik Sridharan, himself a founder of no-code startup Flexiple.com, took it upon himself to make a thread highlighting some of the biggest or most innovative services in the space. Of course, that also means he included his own.
More so than highlighting specific companies, Sridharan focused on features they have and problems they solve for customers with no coding experience like web design, data gathering and organizing, and workflow automation.