Wonders & Blunders: Jingle Bells, the Tax Bill Doesn’t Smell

By: Kevin Dinino
Category: Fintech


Taxes may be the last thing on your mind this time of year, with holiday parties filling your schedule and sugar plum fairies dancing in your head, but Congress isn’t letting this slow them down. How could the GOP’s tax plan impact your business?
Cybersecurity’s next frontier will protect the increasing number of computer components in cars. Read how a startup plans to solve this problem for fleet owners.
What is and is not a part of a mobile wallet is still under debate between banks, VCs and consultants who met recently to try to “crack the secret sauce of user adoption.”
Off topic…what’s the best white elephant gift you’ve seen? Our office holiday party is Friday and we’d love your expert tips!

Tech Titan Tax Bill Takeaways
The Trump administration’s push to ‘cut, cut, cut’ taxes has Republicans in both chambers scrambling to finalize a joint GOP bill. On the heels of the House, the Senate finalized its version of the tax bill late last week. What does the tech industry need to know?
Tech giants may have a lot to gain with cuts to corporate rates and offshore earnings, but they aren’t the only ones. A few items included in the tax bill benefit startups as well.
  • Startup stock options: Startup employees may not have to pay taxes on stock options until after they have the chance to exercise these options.
  • Research & development tax credits: The R&D tax credit focused on promoting investment in innovation should remain safe from change. 
Keeping Cars Under Our Control
A new security solution for in-car computer systems was revealed at Disrupt Berlin’s Startup Battlefield stage. TechCrunch reports that Trillium will help protect our “computers with wheels” against cyberthreats. Surge pricing, traffic delays, and chatty Uber drivers will no longer be your main concern when traveling by car. In the near future, hacked cars will present a greater threat than hacked computers, says Trillium’s Adrian Sossna. The software will encrypt all in-car transmissions and keeps an eye on a car’s network for suspicious activity. It is marketed to fleet owners, such as ambulance and limo companies, and it will be built into cars at the factory, not installed by consumers.
This software may be a step in the right direction for the industry while organizations such as San Diego’s Cyber Center of Excellence create cybersecurity protocols for autonomous vehicles and other future transportation tech.
Emoji Index
What’s in Your Mobile Wallet?
With peak holiday shopping season upon us, we want to know what’s in your wallet… or rather your mobile wallet? Also known as e-wallets, there was much debate regarding what it is and what it is not at Tearsheet’s Mobile Payments Hot Topic event with industry experts in banking, consulting and venture capital.
A traditional wallet includes a variety of physical forms of payment – checks, cash and credit cards. By the same token, we believe e-wallets are made up by any and all tools enabling you to make payments with a smartphone. This includes everything from Zelle and Venmo to digital credit cards and cryptocurrencies.
A great lesson payments companies learned at the event was, “The reasons why digital wallets haven’t caught is because the platforms haven’t done a good job of advertising — when you educate around it, it should come from the consumers’ point of view.”
ThinkAdvisor reports on the merger of Hillis Financial Services and CalBay Investments, Inc.
Hillis Financial Services and CalBay Investments, Inc. merge to form an $875 million firm, says RIABiz.
The Tech Blog Writer Podcast talks with Rachel Carpenter, CEO of the disruptive data company Intrinio.
» BOTTOM LINE: How ‘Killer PR’ Sets the Stage for a Product Launch
Our team put together a product launch event at our client, Brain Corp’s headquarters here in San Diego. The Qualcomm-backed startup launched its first product, a brain for self-driving vehicles for indoor use. Pretty neat, right?
Let me fill you in on a little secret, many startups are under the impression that after investing so much time, money and energy into developing a product, they believe the product will speak for itself. This is so far from the truth it makes my stomach hurt. Unless you’re a company with a logo of an Apple or a letter ‘U’ reporters are not going to trail behind you waiting for your every announcement..
COBINHOOD, a cryptocurrency platform built for the blockchain era, approached KCD PR as an unknown entity to the outside world. From our initial proposal to the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), KCD PR had three weeks to build awareness with the media and potential investors. In addition to being in Taipei, Taiwan, the firm also faced challenges associated with not having a U.S. presence or U.S. representation on its board of advisors.

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