ResearchThree Things (5/17)

Three Things (5/17)

May 17, 2023

“I am very pleased that today we are delivering on our promise to start regulating the crypto-assets sector." – Elisabeth Svantesson, EU minister for finance of Sweden

AI 🤝Congress

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before Congress on Tuesday addressing concerns about the potential impacts of generative AI tools. Altman, in his first hearing before a senate subcommittee, welcomed the introduction of licensing and other guardrails to regulate artificial intelligence technologies. He acknowledged the potential hazards associated with these advancements, noting election integrity, copyright infringement, and job losses. However, Altman believes that the benefits of these tools so far outweigh the risks. He urged lawmakers that they “work together to identify and manage the potential downsides so that we can all enjoy the tremendous upsides.” Given the rapid pace of development so far, hopefully, they can work fast… (Forbes)

Meet MiCA

Yesterday, the European Union finance ministers signed off on the world’s first comprehensive set of guidelines to regulate the crypto industry. The Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, expected to be rolled out in 2024, covers a variety of crypto assets, from utility tokens to stablecoins and crypto-asset service providers, such as trading platforms. 

MiCA will require anyone issuing a crypto asset to obtain a license and introduces new anti-money laundering measures for crypto transfers. The landmark move adds pressure on the U.S. to accelerate its efforts towards stronger crypto regulation — an area where we have seemed to flounder so far. 

Hybrid’s here to stay

As city office-occupancy rates have hit a plateau, the corporate world is embracing hybrid work strategies. Approximately 58% of companies now offer employees the flexibility to work partially from home, while the number of companies mandating full-time office presence has dropped to 42%. Workers are leveraging their position in the current labor market and pushing back against the traditional five-day office week. 

Return-to-office rates have now settled around 50% of pre-pandemic levels, indicating a slow recovery. Even traditionally office-oriented financial-services companies are adopting hybrid policies. For better or for worse (depends on who you ask), hybrid is the new norm. (WSJ)

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