Hashtag Trending Oct. 5 – Apple makes big money on games; Google Plex cut; New Zealand considers cryptocurrency

Apple rakes in the big bucks from their games, Google Pay drops a highly anticipated feature, and New Zealand could enter the Crypto Game.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, October 5, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple made more profit from games than Nintendo, Sony, and Activision Blizzard combined in 2019. With a whopping total of $8.5 billion, Apple’s emergence as a giant in the video game industry largely comes due to their cut in App Store purchases. Apple takes as much as a 30% cut from App Store purchases, and thanks to the nearly 200 million iPhones sold in 2020 alone, their video game market share dramatically outpaces even the legendary Nintendo, who has sold less than half as many Nintendo Switch consoles since the system’s launch in 2017. This news comes on the heels of Epic Games’ bout with Apple in court, which saw Apple relinquish some of the control it held overtaking a cut of App Store sales.

Google’s plans to launch its own banking alternative have ceased to be, following an announcement by the company last week. Google’s “Plex” was officially announced nearly two years ago, but faced stagnant development due to a number of issues, including a number of executives leaving the project. In an official statement released by the company, Google said that they are focusing on working with financial services providers rather than being the providers themselves. The announcement comes as just one of a long line of missteps by Google this year regarding its payment options, which also include a widely panned move back in March of this year to overhaul Google Pay as well as the aforementioned departure of key talent.

Finally, New Zealand is reportedly looking into creating its own digital currency. The country’s central bank released a report last Thursday acknowledging they were investigating the idea, arguing that doing so could “foster innovation in the company’s payment system”. According to Business Insider, New Zealand’s central bank has looked for public feedback on the idea, with the acknowledgment that the use of physical currency is already on the decline. Particularly, the bank is looking primarily at the idea of introducing a stablecoin, which is “designed to be pegged to central bank-issued currency and is backed by traditional assets such as short-dated government bonds.” New Zealand will continue to listen to public feedback on the issue until early December.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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