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Crypto, Netflix & Nadia Eghbal

Legit.
Happy Monday! In today’s issue:
  • Crypto stuff
  • Netflix v Dershowitz
  • A Theranos update

CRYPTO
New bill might be bad for crypto
A $1 trillion infrastructure bill that allocates money to roads, bridges, and transportation systems is being sucked into a debate over cryptocurrencies.
Why?
The bill expands the definition of a crypto “broker” as anyone “responsible for and regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person” - meaning crypto brokers would be subject to increased reporting requirements to the IRS.
This includes people like “miners,” who use a “proof of work” system that acts as verification for crypto transactions. Slight problem, though:
  • Miners don’t have customers, so they wouldn’t be able to get access to the information necessary to complete a 1099 tax form — something the provision requires brokers submit.
THE TAKEAWAY
People aren’t happy.
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong says the bill “makes no sense” and would hinder crypto innovation in the US.
  • Coindesk writer Angela Walch argues lawmakers should treat cryptocurrency as a separate issue rather than lumping it into a major spending bill.
TV
SLAPP and Anti-SLAPP right back
The legal battle over Netflix’s Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich docuseries is getting messy.
The backstory. In May, attorney and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz sued Netflix for $80m over his portrayal in Filthy Rich, arguing he was hoodwinked into appearing in the series. He also claims Netflix defamed him by falsely asserting that he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre - one of Epstein’s many victims.
In a flurry of filings last week, Netflix and a rolodex of producers slammed Dershowitz’s claims, flipping the script by filing a countersuit that contends:
First
Filthy Rich was never intended to, and did not in fact, focus on Dershowitz or provide a platform for a one-sided exoneration of him.“
Second
Dershowitz tried to manipulate his interaction with producers from the outset.
  • “Even before Filthy Rich was released, Dershowitz made clear that he would sue over his portrayal in the Series unless his story was told in the exact manner he wanted. And when he realized that Filthy Rich would not be used as a vehicle to tell only his side of the story, he brought this current lawsuit seeking to suppress the Defendants’ speech on matters of public concern.”
Third
Filthy Rich accurately reported on the ongoing Giuffre Litigation and Giuffre’s other public court filings.
THE TAKEAWAY
Given Dershowitz’s slimy career history (representing Epstein, Trump, Claus von Bülow, Mike Tyson etc.), using litigation to try and shut Netflix up seems true to character.
But Netflix’s counterclaim is pretty solid - you can read the whole thing here - and relies heavily on anti-SLAPP laws designed to, well, slap down strategic lawsuits whose sole aim is to intimidate or censor the opposing party.
All this to say… Dershowitz probably should’ve let sleeping dogs lie.
COURTS
Thera-No
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ request to suppress patient complaints has been denied.
Refresher. Holmes became the youngest female self-made billionaire in 2015 after inventing a miracle blood test machine that could diagnose 200 conditions from a pinprick of blood.
Turns out, she lied. A 2015 Wall Street Journal expose unravelled the web of deceit spun by the Silicon Valley darling, revealing most tests never worked. After a slew of investigations, the SEC charged Holmes with “massive fraud” for fleecing Silicon Valley investors, who were charmed by Holmes’ husky voice and black turtlenecks, out of millions.
Now… a judge has ruled that customer complaints and blood testing results can be used as evidence against Theranos’ lethargic tech.
  • It’s a major loss for Holmes, who argued customer complaints should be excluded due to the failed preservation of a crucial database that contained three years’ worth of accuracy and failure rates of Theranos blood tests.
  • The judge ruled the database wouldn’t have been enough to exonerate Holmes anyway, and could just as likely have contained damaging evidence.
THE TAKEAWAY
This is just the latest saga in the hypnotic car crash that is the Holmes-Theranos downfall. Can’t wait for the trial.
Also… Holmes gave birth this week.
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