Weekly Radar (23 February, 2023)
Will Netflix subscribers snub its password-sharing crackdown plans?
Netflix had a bumpy ride last year, with its first net loss of subscribers reported in Q1 2022, leading up to the first decline in net income since 2012. Like many other tech companies, the company was swift to react to the macro-environment and to its specific challenges, reducing its costs and launching new growth initiatives to please its shareholders.
In line with these initiatives, Netflix announced a plan to clamp down on password sharing in a few countries. The effort to curb the practice is expected to be relatively gentle at first, relying on a combination of technology and user conscientiousness to encourage habitual sharers to start paying.
The plan involves identifying the geographic location of a subscriber and then determining which devices connected to one account are used by members of the same household. Netflix expects a “cancel reaction” at first. The company says it tried a similar approach to increase revenue in Latin America in 2022 and paid off after the initial shock — net subscriber addition was up again in Q4 2022.
To cushion the blow to the markets where account sharing is being restricted, Netflix will be touting new features to make the transition less painful, including a dashboard allowing subscribers to log individual devices out of the account, and the ability to migrate user profiles to new accounts. Netflix has also said it will not automatically charge users if the system detects too many location streams, nor will it cancel accounts — presumably, a temporary measure.
How will these changes in the Netflix subscription affect its subscriber count and growth ambitions? While the company hopes to increase its paid viewership dramatically and go back to double digits revenue growth, the Polkamarkets Community is skeptical. The NO position, currently priced at 0.689 MOVR, supports the belief that Netflix plans will backfire and lead to fewer subscribers.
Netflix’s own forecast goes against this view. In its Q4 2022 Shareholder Letter, the company predicted modest net growth in subscriber count in Q1 and Q2 of 2023. So the momentum can favor the leading streaming company and shuffle the odds of this market. The results of Q1 2023 will help everyone understand what may happen ahead of the resolution at the end of Q2.
Is Coinbase’s Crypto-Staking at stake?
Last month, Kraken agreed to shut down its U.S. cryptocurrency staking service and pay $30 million in penalties to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges for failing to register the program. The settlement marks the SEC’s first crackdown on staking, a common service offered at centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges, including most major exchanges in the United States, such as Coinbase.
Coinbase is a major player in the staking industry, controlling over 14% of the staked Ethereum on the Beacon Chain, as per data from Dune Analytics. Moreover, the US-based firm has revealed that crypto staking accounted for 8.5% of its revenue in Q2 2021, making it a high-growth area for its operation. And since last August, Coinbase has made it even more promising by enabling institutional clients to stake in Ethereum.
However, recent reports suggest that Coinbase’s staking product is being investigated by the SEC, which believes most staking providers fail to provide customers with proper disclosures, such as how a company is protecting a user’s staked assets.
This investigation has led to crypto community concerns about whether regulators may use their jurisdiction to enforce censorship on the decentralized blockchain network and put an end to staking on Coinbase. As of now, the Polkamarkets Community still believes that such a regulatory move will not take place, and Coinbase will have staking under their product portfolio by the end of H1 2023, with the YES position priced at 0.689 MOVR. But the stock market is shown to be less enthusiastic, with the Coinbase stocks dropping 14% right after the Kraken settlement was announced.
If such a scenario were to happen, it could undermine the essence of cryptocurrencies and highlight the ongoing struggle between the traditional regulatory framework and the decentralized world of cryptocurrencies. There are plenty of reasons to keep this market under close attention.
Under the Polkamarkets Radar
Psychedelic-assisted treatment approval by the end of 2023 might not be a hallucination at all.
Psychedelic-assisted treatment is no longer just a far-fetched dream but a viable option for individuals with behavioral health conditions. After years of regulatory hurdles and societal stigma, psychedelics are finally coming into the spotlight, thanks to promising research results and several states’ relaxing regulations.
2023 could be a landmark year for psychedelic legalization,as approval from the FDA is in the works. Ronan Levy, CEO of Field Trip Health & Wellness, a psychedelic-assisted therapy provider in North America, believes that this growing acceptance is happening both on political and regulatory levels, as well as grassroots movements.
The use of psychedelics, such as ketamine, LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin, has been increasingly prevalent in treating behavioral health conditions like PTSD, AUD, and depression.
Several states have begun efforts to legalize the use of psychedelics, with Oregon becoming the first state to vote to legalize the personal use of psilocybin in 2020. Other states, such as Colorado, New Hampshire, and California, have also proposed new legislation to legalize psychedelics for adults.
New research on psychedelic-assisted treatment has demonstrated positive results. JAMA published a study in August that found significant reductions in heavy drinking days in patients with Alcohol Use Disorder who had psilocybin-assisted treatment. Furthermore, MAPS’ research on psychedelics treatment for PTSD has been promising, with the organization projecting MDMA-assisted therapy to receive FDA evaluation in 2023. However, the industry is waiting with bated breath to see MAPS potentially go first with its MDMA program for PTSD, which many believe will lead to the first FDA clearance.
As the world eagerly watches the progress of psychedelic legalization and research, will 2023 be the year to revolutionize how we approach and treat behavioral health conditions, opening new doors of hope and healing for millions worldwide? That might be an excellent question for a more exciting prediction market to land at Polkamarkets.
Polkamarkets is an Autonomous Prediction Market Protocol built for multi-chain information exchange and trading where users take positions on outcomes of real-world events–in decentralized and interoperable EVMs.