Green cards, bitcoin influence, moon fish

Series star Kelsey Grammer reacts with horror to the thought his agent might have done harm to a competitor during filming of the final episode…
Series star Kelsey Grammer reacts with horror to the thought his agent might have done harm to a competitor during filming of the final episode…
Image: AP/Reed Saxon

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Joe Biden lifted the ban on green card applicants entering the US. The president said his predecessor’s policy “harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is set for approval in the US. Unlike many others, it’s delivered as a single shot, and the Food and Drug Administration said it’s safe.

GameStop shares surged again. Retail traders across the world appear to be once again pushing the US video game retailer’s stock, after a quieter few weeks.

Australia passed a law to make social platforms pay for news content. But Facebook and Google fought to stay outside the new legislation, and instead reached separate agreements with big publishers.

Tiger Woods won’t face criminal charges for his car crash. The injured golfer, one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, will be absent from televised tournaments for the foreseeable future.

Frasier has entered the building. Almost two decades after it ended, actor Kelsey Grammer confirmed the return of the hit comedy.

What to watch for

Airbnb and DoorDash were some of the hottest IPOs to debut in 2020—and both are scheduled to report their first earnings as public companies today. How will they fare when the world finds its new norm?

🏠  Airbnb 🏠

In 2019, Airbnb generated $4.8 billion in revenue. When the pandemic hit, the rental sharing company’s revenue dropped 32% year-over-year to $2.5 billion. Since going public in December, Airbnb’s stock has surged over 200%, fueled by optimism on the rental-sharing company’s prospects in a post-pandemic world. Many will look to Airbnb to see how the hotel industry is recovering, as the leisure sector continues to be one of the hardest-hit industries.

🥡 DoorDash 🥡

Meanwhile in 2019, DoorDash brought in $885 million, and its earnings skyrocketed 226% year-over-year to $1.92 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

Food delivery is thriving—a boon for DoorDash, which currently dominates in the US with 56% market share. But like other food delivery companies, it has been unprofitable every year since its founding, and the market is highly saturated. But there’s still a lot of room for growth globally.

Charting influencers’ influence on bitcoin

A question that has long bedeviled bitcoin observers is how to value it. Lately its worth has been whatever influential people like Elon Musk and star stock picker Cathie Wood say it is.

A line chart showing bitcoin's price in February. On Jan. 31, it was priced under $35,000. On Feb. 8, Tesla said it bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin and the price rose to over $45,000. It was priced at more than $55,000 on Feb. 21 when Elon Musk said bitcoin prices seem high. On Feb. 23, when the price was under $50,000, Square said it bought $170 million of bitcoin. On Feb. 24, Cathie Wood told Bloomberg she's very positive on bitcoin, and the price was over $50,000.

John Detrixhe writes that bitcoin’s long-term prospects will likely hinge on whether other finance heavyweights agree with their assessments.

Changing attitudes towards government spending

US Republicans are still trying to thwart president Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package. But there are key groups who are throwing in their support.

Let’s take it by the digits:

150+: Number of leaders of major US corporations who signed an open letter urging Congress to pass a relief bill “along the lines” of what the White House proposes

330+: Number of small business leaders who signed a similar open letter

$1,400: Size of checks eligible Americans would receive

$15: Hourly minimum wage the bill also intends to set

59%: Share of Americans who said they approve of the package, in a recent survey for the New York Times

43%: Share of surveyed Republicans who support the package. And this change of heart toward government spending among conservatives is not a US-only phenomenon…

49%: Share of Britons who want public spending to remain high post-pandemic, according to a survey for Sky News

54%: Share of Europeans who want the EU to have a larger budget to deal with it all

✦ We’re exploring the effects of relief efforts—and a lot more—on the global economy. Try a Quartz membership free for a week and feel the relief that you won’t miss a thing.

Surprising discoveries

Sheep Baarack is seen before his thick wool was shorn in Lancefield, Victoria, Australia February 5, 2021.
That’s a lot of yarn.
Image: Edgar's Mission Inc/Handout via Reuters

A single Australian sheep yielded 35 kg (77 lbs) of wool. Poor Baarack hadn’t been shorn in several years.

A Chinese divorce court put a price on five years of housework. It’s $7,700.

French researchers want to farm fish on the moon. They’ve already proven eggs can survive a rocket launch.

Slime mold remembers. It can store information even without a central nervous system.

Two high schoolers discovered four exoplanets. They orbit a sun-like star, making for good comparison studies with our own solar system.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, extra wool, and heavy-duty knitting needles to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Mary Hui, Tripti Lahiri, Michelle Cheng, Lila MacLellan, Samanth Subramanian, Susan Howson, and Liz Webber.