After Twitter’s 2022 meeting of shareholders on Wednesday, Jack Dorsey stepped down from the company‘s board of directors. This means that all of the social media giant’s founders have severed their official ties with the business.
Dorsey, Elon, and the Board
Back in December, Dorsey stepped down as Twitter’s CEO to be replaced by Parag Agrawal. However, he made clear that he’d be staying on the team until about May to assist Agrawal with the transition.
In the meantime, the billionaire has levied subtle criticisms of the board’s governance and internal disputes over Twitter itself. He’s explained that Twitter’s existence as a company – not just a platform – is his “biggest regret”.
Given this, he supports Elon Musk’s recent decision to buy out Twitter and make it a private company, considering it a step in the right direction.
The Tesla techno king closed a deal with Twitter in April to buy out the company for $44 billion. His aim is to make the platform a haven for free speech that isn’t so censorious – especially for the political right.
However, he announced this month that the Twitter deal was on hold, spurring speculation that he’d never intended to buy the platform in the first place. At today’s shareholder meeting, Twitter’s top brass refused to respond to questions about their deal with Musk.
Dorsey has since been accused of “backstabbing” Twitter’s board for reportedly encouraging Musk to buy the company, according to former Product VP Jason Goldman.
The co-founder reportedly told Musk in a private discussion that Twitter would be better handled as a private company, according to an SEC filing. Days later, Musk rejected joining Twitter’s board and attempted to buy the company outright.
Full Time on Bitcoin?
As of now, Jack Dorsey remains the CEO of Block – aka “Block Head” – where his company builds various products for supporting the Bitcoin ecosystem. These include plans for a global Bitcoin mining system, and attempts to create a decentralized Bitcoin exchange.
Block contains a Bitcoin dedicated sub-company known as Spiral, which has developed a free developer kit for integrating the lightning network into various apps. Block’s other products have already taken advantage of the kit – including CashApp, which can now both send and receive lightning transactions.
As of now, over 10 million users have bought Bitcoin through the same app.
The Turkish authorities are reportedly working on a draft bill to set up additional control over the local digital asset market. The legislation focuses on crypto exchanges, too, as they should have a minimum of 100 million liras ($6.1 million) in capital to operate on domestic soil.
Regulations on the Way?
Turkey and cryptocurrencies have been a controversial pair in the past few years. On the one hand, the government has displayed a negative stance on digital assets, criticizing their price volatility and their alleged employment in criminal activities. On the other, an increasing proportion of the local population is gradually shifting their focus toward bitcoin and altcoins due to the galloping inflation in the country.
According to a Bloomberg report, the ruling AK Party of President Erdogan will specifically focus on the industry by introducing a crypto regulatory bill in the following weeks. The legislation should grant the officials additional power when monitoring the market. They also contemplate starting taxing individuals who purchase cryptocurrencies. It remains unclear whether this step will be adopted or what the tax percentage will be.
Local digital asset platforms are the primary focus of the draft bill as the authorities believe they should have at least $6.1 million in capital to execute their businesses. Meanwhile, foreign exchanges should establish branch offices that can be taxed in Turkey.
Subsequently, the authorities might provide domestic investors with the option to store their digital asset holdings within the nation’s banking infrastructure to avoid fraudulent schemes.
The upcoming rules will aim to reinforce Turkey’s crypto ecosystem. Last year, the CEO of Thodex (a local exchange with nearly 400,000 clients) – Faruk Fatih Ozer – ran away with up to $2 billion in users’ funds. The platform remained closed for several days, while some rumors indicated that the executive’s hiding spot might be in Albania.
Could Crypto be a Lifeboat for Turks?
The financial condition of Turkey is quite concerning, to say the least. The country’s national currency keeps weakening against the US dollar as the consumer price inflation surpassed 60% at an annual rate.
As such, it is no wonder that some locals started looking for other alternatives to preserve their wealth during times of monetary crisis.
And while gold remains Turks’ favorite choice, Bitcoin and Tether have also emerged as popular trades against the Lira in the past few years. It is worth noting, though, that the government recently urged people to turn their precious metal savings to support the banking system, which could be another reason why more people could shift towards the crypto universe.
Unsurprisingly, MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor advised Turks to convert their working capital from Lira to USD if they want to “survive” and distribute all their wealth into bitcoin if they want to “thrive.”
The Israeli-American businessman and investor started the firm with his spouse Rebekah and CEO Dana Gibber. On May 24, the company announced that it had raised $70 million in its first major funding round led by a16z. The event was made through a combination of traditional venture equity and a private token sale.
Participants included General Catalyst, Samsung Next, Invesco Private Capital, RSE Ventures, Allegory Labs, and the Celo Foundation, according to the announcement.
The startup aims to help companies reduce their carbon footprints by selling tokenized carbon credits on the blockchain. According to the firm, these tokens will then be tradable on major crypto exchanges.
Decarbonizing Through Crypto
Companies can buy carbon credits to offset their emissions and environmental impact. These credits are channeled into other projects that reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Flowcarbon aims to tap into this growing demand for carbon credits as the world becomes more conscious of emissions and corporations are pressured to do something about them.
These credits will be certified digital assets stored and traded on the blockchain. Additionally, this method facilitates cheaper funding for firms and projects to scale faster. Chief executive Dana Gibber explained:
“Our mission is to provide the financing necessary to scale projects that reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere, in particular nature-based projects.”
She added that the voluntary carbon market is a “brilliant financial mechanism” that creates a counterbalancing incentive to reforest, revitalize, and protect nature. Arianna Simpson, General Partner at a16z, commented:
“The carbon market is extremely opaque, and we believe demand for offsets is rapidly outpacing the speed at which supply can be increased, especially for nature-based projects,”
She added that the carbon credit market could potentially grow to $50 billion by 2030. Last week, Ripple pledged $100 million to invest in carbon markets in its latest sustainability drive.
GNT Token Sale
Almost half of the funding, $32 million, came from a16z, which is extremely bullish on Web3, and other VC firms, while the remaining $38 million came from the closed-door sale of Flowcarbon’s Goddess Nature Token (GNT). The asset is based on the Celo network, an EVM compatible proof-of-stake layer-1 protocol.
GNT is backed by carbon credits which are pre-certified by industry groups including Verra, Gold Standard, Climate Action Reserve, and the American Carbon Registry, according to Reuters.
The tokens will be sold in bundles that improve liquidity and allow more significant volumes to be traded than in traditional ways such as OTC (over-the-counter).
Featured Image Courtesy of Commercial Observer
The mayor of Miami and an outspoken bitcoin bull – Francis Suarez – revealed he still takes his salary in the primary digital asset. However, he explained this is not his only paycheck as others might be paid in fiat currency.
Salary in BTC Despite the Market Crash
The cryptocurrency market has significantly tumbled in the past few weeks. Bitcoin, for one, currently struggles to maintain $30,000 and sits far away from its all-time high last year.
Nonetheless, the negative trend has not changed Miami’s mayor stance on the asset. During a panel at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, he asserted that he still takes his salary in BTC. On the other hand, the Republican clarified he receives only one of his paychecks this way:
“I will note, for the record, that it’s not my only salary. It’s a different decision than if a person was deciding to take their salary in Bitcoin if it was the only source of income for them.”
Suarez touched upon the Terra fiasco, noting that the price collapse of LUNA/UST has not reflected on his BTC vision. In his view, investing in crypto or investing in tech stocks could be dangerous due to the enhanced volatility of the assets, but one can not profit without taking risks:
“Government has had a tendency over time to try and protect people against losses, and you can’t protect people against losses. That’s the American system. That’s what makes investing. That’s the risk component to winning as well.”
How BTC Looks in Suarez’s Eyes
Miami’s mayor is among the strongest proponents of the asset class. Last summer, he disclosed purchasing both BTC and ETH.
A few months later, he became the first American politician to receive his salary in bitcoin. His current annual income as a political leader of Miami is between $150,000 and $200,000, or between 5 BTC and 6.7 BTC.
At the end of 2021, Suarez argued that the digital asset’s biggest advantage is its ability to create a system of exchange where people are not subjected to the “wild inflation and wild devaluation through oftentimes corrupt actors.” According to him, it could “eradicate” communism and democratize people’s choices.
Last month, the mayor said he wishes to see bitcoin integrated into each level of US society:
“We need to make sure we can go into a convenience store and buy a Snickers with a Satoshi.”
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has clarified that the nation’s Bitcoin law only mandated Bitcoin acceptance among large corporations, rather than small merchants. When the law took effect, its contentious Article 7 hadn’t actually been enforced on anyone.
The Nature of Article 7
The Bitcoin law – which made Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador last September – contained a specific stipulation that proved controversial even among Bitcoiners. “Every economic agent must accept bitcoin as payment when offered to him by whoever acquires a good or service,” read an English translated version of the text.
A law is only meaningful if enforced, however. In a recently released interview, President Bukele clarified that the stipulation only applies to large corporations. “The small guy – he can do whatever he wants,” he said.
Bukele stated that the law wasn’t even being enforced – nor were there any plans to enforce it anytime soon. However, it does provide the capability of enforcement if required against “big corporations” or “big banks”.
Many within the crypto community – from CoinMetrics co-founder Nic Carter to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin – criticized Article 7 upon its reveal for being “contrary to the ideals of freedom”. Alternatively, Bukele believes that the article enhances freedom for average customers to choose which currency they would like to buy products with.
“You can’t put [this law] into work without it,” he explained. “You have to create an environment where their Bitcoin is accepted as a method of payment with the big corporations.”
Bukele’s interviewer Peter McCormack found that the Bitcoin Law had its intended effect on the ground in El Salvador. Whereas large stores like Starbucks and Walmart were ready to accept Bitcoin right on September 7th, sparse few small merchants in the San Salvador market were prepared at the time.
Articles 8 and 12
The president also highlighted that articles 8 and 12 of the Bitcoin law alleviated any over-compulsory implications of the legislation.
The former enacts state-provided alternatives for merchants accepting Bitcoin to automatically convert their holdings to dollars if desired. The latter stipulates that merchants without the technological capacity to accept Bitcoin are excluded from article 7.
When enacted, polls indicated that a vast majority of Salvadorans disapproved of the Bitcoin law. Nevertheless, the state-provided Chivo wallet amassed more active users than any Salvadoran bank within under three weeks.
JP Morgan – one of the largest investment banks on Wall Street – sticks to its previous fair-value target for bitcoin at $38,000, meaning that the asset is currently being traded with a discount. The bank believes BTC could recover stronger than other beaten-down assets because it had fallen far deeper amid the correction period.
- JPMorgan maintains bitcoin’s fair value at $38,000, suggesting a potential 28% upside for the primary cryptocurrency, sitting slightly below the $30,000 level.
- According to the bank’s note published on Wednesday, the Wall Street giant said cryptocurrency is one of its preferred alternative assets over real estate, and it does not fall into the same category as stocks and bonds.
- The giant’s strategies, led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, consider last month’s market correction similar to what happened in January and February, thus predicting that a relief rally in the crypto market may be just around the corner.
- As bitcoin is down over 60% from ATH recorded last November, and the total capitalization of all cryptocurrencies plunged from $3 trillion to 1.3 trillion, the bank sees opportunities in the rapidly rising asset class. Since it has been hit harder than traditional assets like private equity and real estate, the bank stated, “there is more room for cryptos to rebound.”
- Despite the recent catastrophe occurring to Terra’s ecosystem, which may have painted a negative picture of the industry, the strategists, however, noted there is little sign suggesting that VC money has stopped pumping funds into the space.
- In February, the investment bank set bitcoin’s fair price at $38,000. The figure was based on the premise that BTC is around four times more volatile than gold. Meanwhile, it increased its long-term price target to $150,000 from $146,000.
- If bitcoin’s volatility could be narrowed three times from its level in February, its fair value could reach $50,000.
Ethereum failed to consolidate above $2,000 and is once again found below that level. The sellers seem to have the upper hand as even the ETH/BTC chart is currently at the center of many discussions.
The Daily Chart
Breaking the MACD line by the Signal line (yellow circle) is largely considered a bullish signal in the daily timeframe. This has happened in the past, as shown by the chart with the yellow rectangle. However, the price has continued to move down in each case. In other words – there must be more than one confirmation to signal a reversal.
The bullish momentum is usually initiated when the MACD and the signal lines both enter the positive side while the price breaks the daily MA50. This can be considered a more convincing confirmation.
Key Support Levels: $1700 & $1500
Key Resistance Levels: $2200 & $2450
The ETH/BTC Chart
As seen in the chart below, the price has lost dynamic support (in yellow) against Bitcoin, and even on the retest, the bulls were unable to push it above the trend line.
This suggests that the downtrend is strong. However, the most significant level remains the static support (in green) that the bulls have so far defended twice. Ethereum and altcoins are likely to experience a sharper drop if the sellers successfully push the price down to the green level. In that case, ETH may reach $1500 and even $1300.
Key Support Levels: 0.065 BTC & 0.06 BTC
Key Resistance Levels: 0.07 BTC & 0.072 BTC
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Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, has raised $4.5 billion to pour into the cryptocurrency industry via a new fund. Thus, the company’s total funds raised for blockchain-related entities have shot up to $7.6 billion.
- Founded over a decade ago, a16z has become one of the largest venture capital firms with a focus on the cryptocurrency industry, with multiple initiatives launched in the past. One of the most recent included a $2.2 billion fund announced in January this year.
- However, the company took it a step further on May 25 when news broke that it had raised even more funds – $4.5 billion – to allocate in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
- The firm’s first fund came four years ago, during the notorious bull market, and the latest one comes as the prices have tumbled quite a lot since the November 2021 highs.
- According to Arianna Simpson, a general partner at a16z, these types of unfavorable market conditions provide the “best opportunities.”
“Bear markets are often when the best opportunities come about when people are actually able to focus on building technology rather than getting distracted by short-term price activity.”
- Speaking on what requirements projects have to meet before receiving a16z backing, Simpson added:
“The technical diligence and the other kinds of diligence that we do are a key part of making sure that projects meet our bar. While our pace of investment has been high, we continue to invest really in only the top echelon of founders.”
- The company is also very bullish on Web 3 protocols, as it recently launched such a designated crypto team.
Transparency is a “critical” value in the crypto industry, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has pointed out. Speaking to Fox Business news, the executive said operations clarity has become even more important with the recent “meltdown” of the UST stablecoin.
On May 9, UST de-pegged from the dollar, bringing down the whole Terra (LUNA) ecosystem with it. The crisis caused panic among investors, and many onlookers wondered whether other stablecoins would suffer a similar state.
Transparency Is Key: Garlinghouse
Garlinghouse clarified that he is not “personally involved” in lead stablecoin Tether (USDT). However, he noted that the whole crypto industry could do well if it provides clarity regarding its financial frameworks. For Tether, that would assure its users that it “is, in fact, dollar-backed.”
He gave Ripple and XRP as an example of transparent players in the industry, saying the two have done their best to be the “adult” in the financial sector.
Of note, Garlinghouse is currently attending the annual World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
The event began on Sunday, May 22, and runs until May 26. According to its official website, the forum hosts different world leaders to discuss the world’s status quo, along with forging “partnerships and policies” for future use. Garlinghouse noted that he was in attendance with the aim of sharing Ripple’s mechanisms as part of keeping it transparent.
Other than solving “real-world problems,” the executive said blockchain tech reduces remittance costs and “improves the efficiency of cross-border payments.” El Salvador cited similar reasons when it adopted Bitcoin as legal tender last year.
The Case for Ripple and UST
Since its inception, Terra, seemingly transparent, presented UST as an algorithmic stablecoin guided by the law of supply and demand. However, its shocking collapse painted a completely different picture and tarnished its reputation in a possibly irreparable manner.
Now the crypto sector has, more than ever, attracted regulators’ scrutiny. Gary Gensler, chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently warned investors that other crypto assets could mimic Terra’s downfall. Meanwhile, South Korea’s National Tax Service has hit Terra’s Do Kwon with a $78 million tax evasion fine, despite the notorious executive refuting these claims.
On the other hand, Ripple, along with its executives Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, continue to engage with the SEC in the one-and-a-half years-long law lawsuit. In the latest proceedings, the regulator said it could neither confirm nor deny the identity of its former executive Bill Hinman in his famous securities speech of 2018.