Talking Tech - January 29:
Gamestop blows up Robinhood; Amazon’s vaccine delivery offer

It’s the internet vs Wall Street

Robinhood is a free trading app which is used by ‘retail investors’ to buy and sell shares and options. As Gamestop was absolutely pumping on Thursday thanks to the r/WallStreetBets facilitated short squeeze, they cut off the ability to buy shares in the stock, as well as around a dozen other ‘volatile’ shares.

Another story here – As we know, nothing is for free and one of the things we’ve learned about Robinhood during this story is one of the ways it makes money – selling user data. RobinHood sells data on the transactions to the third parties executing the deals, then these Market Makers can then make money off the spread – the difference in pricing during the time between buy and sell orders. It might be just pennies of profit, but when you do that at volume there’re serious money to be made.

Amazon is ready to distribute vaccines

The company sent President Biden a letter on his first day in office offering to help with distribution using its vast delivery network. They’re uniquely suited to this task as in New York City, for example, they can deliver you almost anything in less than two hours. They can get packages to a vast majority of the population within two days. They have their own cargo planes, delivery trucks and even physical stores which could be utilized. They also offered to vaccinate all their staff on-site (presumably at their expense) if they could get access to vaccines. They argue many of their 800,000 employees are front line workers and can’t work from home as they’re needed in supermarkets, warehouses and data centers. 


Paul Stenhouse is the Technology Contributor on Newstalk ZB’s ‘Saturday Morning with Jack Tame’.

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