Busy week in the tech, business and policy world. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen visits Capitol Hill and testified on monetary policy – and got bitcoin photobombed. More households have invited Alexa into their homes thanks to Prime Day, and the NVCA and Pitchbook confirmed that VCs are still investing.  

Here’s our weekly pick of news items impacting the innovation ecosystem. Time for some ICYMI:

Yellen Bitcoin-bombed

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen testified in front of Congress about monetary policy. Instead of her comments moving markets, two slightly subversive millennials encouraged the audience to “Buy Bitcoin”. Here at Tenor, we follow this asset class closely given the rapid pace of innovation and the massive uptick in investment recently. But not everything cybercurrency-wise is rosy. According to Fortune, cryptocurrencies as a group have lost 23% in value so far this month. Bitcoin is down more than 20% since its peak of $3,000 in early June, while Ethereum’s price has fallen 50% since its high of more than $400 around the same time. Guess the sign didn’t help move those markets!

Easter Eggs in July

Tuesday was Amazon’s second annual Prime Day and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, Prime Day sales were higher than both shopping holidays combined in 2016 and experienced a sales uptick of more than 60% compared to last year. The most popular product sold on Prime Day was Amazon’s heavily discounted Echo Dot, which has quite a reputation for being chock full of Easter Eggs. While the company didn’t disclose the number of Echo Dots sold, expect to see many more of them glowing in U.S. households…in exactly 2 days. Little known fact: those Dots will also serve as substitute hockey pucks in six years during the great vulcanized rubber labor strike of 2023! (you heard it here first). Finally, just like Cyber Monday, Amazon’s Prime Day sucked some productivity out of our day — in fact $10 billion worth, reports CNBC.

That’s So 2015…

On Tuesday, the National Venture Capital Association and Pitchbook released data showing how the venture capital industry is fairing in the second quarter: how much VCs invested, and how they exited their positions via M&A and IPO. According to the report, VC deal value in 2017 is outpacing 2016, and will be close to the 2015 peak. In Q2 2017, VCs invested $21.78 billion in 1,958 companies, marking a significant uptick from the first quarter in capital invested. The second quarter showed the IPO window opening with 19 companies going public, including five unicorns.  

Until next week!