In search of a new crypto deity – TechCrunch

Hello friends and welcome back to the week in retrospect!

Last week I wrote about how tech is fighting Disney. This week, I’m talking about finding a new crypto messiah.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it in your inbox from the Newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

The big thing

Elon has exhausted his reception among the crypto-Illuminati, and the acolytes of Bitcoin are looking for a new emperor god.

This weekend, thousands of crypto acolytes and investors have come to a Bitcoin themed conference in Miami, a very real, very heavily produced conference with crypto celebrities and real celebrities all on a mission to make waves.

Even if I’m not at the conference in person (panels from the main stage were streamed live online), I have a lot of invitations in my email to after parties with celebrities, open bars and endless conversations about the dangers of Fiat. The cryptocurrency community has never been bigger or richer thanks to its most ardent bull run, and despite a fairly notable correction in recent weeks, people believe the best is yet to come.

Despite having so much, they still seem to lack a patron saint.

For the longest battle it was SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who bolstered the currency by pushing Tesla to invest cash from its balance sheet in bitcoin, while also urging Tesla to accept bitcoin payments for its vehicles. As I noted in this newsletter in the past, Musk found it difficult to reconcile the sheer energy consumption of Bitcoin’s global network with his eco-warrior bravo, which seemed to lead to his mild and uneven excommunication (though I sure do am that he is welcome. back anytime).

Goods and services are the real economy; any form of money is simply their settlement

– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 5, 2021

There are plenty of celebrities out there who want to follow in his footsteps – a recently Confirmation went wrong of Soulja Boy was one of the funnier cases.

Crypto is no stranger to grift – even the toughest crypto-grifters can probably agree – and I think there was some consensus that the only leader who can truly preach the gospel is someone who is already so rich that he doesn’t even need more money. This is one of the reasons the community has shown so much respect for Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who really doesn’t seem too concerned about getting richer – he has about $ 1 billion worth of crypto for the Relief efforts donated by Covid in India. A musk-like cheerleader serves a different purpose, however, and so the community is on the lookout for a good billionaire.

The best runner-up right now appears to be a Jack Dorsey, and while he – like Musk – is also another double CEO, he’s a little different from him in his demeanor and craving for the spotlight. However, he was a headline speaker at the Bitcoin conference in Miami.

Dorsey collects most of the headlines for his work on Twitter, but it’s Square where he drives most of his crypto enthusiasm. Users can already use Square’s Cash app to buy Bitcoin. Minutes before taking the stage on Friday, Dorsey tweeted a thread describing Square’s interest in building its own hardware wallet where users could store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin outside of the confines of an exchange.

Square is considering developing a hardware wallet for #Bitcoin. If we did this, we would be developing it completely openly, from software to hardware design and in collaboration with the community. We want to initiate this thinking correctly: by sharing some of our guiding principles.

– jack (@jack) June 4, 2021

“Bitcoin changes absolutely everything,” said Dorsey on stage. “I don’t think there’s anything more important in my life to work on.”

And while billionaire Dorsey might seem like a great choice on paper, he often tweets about Bitcoin, but only good tweets. He defends his environmental impact. He shows up on misinformation hearings from the house with a clearly visible bitcoin tracker in the background. Unfortunately, he’s also the CEO of Twitter, a company that has a desire to dominate its more problematic users – including a very problematic user – has created a rift between him and the very vocal libertarian sect of the crypto community.

Dorsey didn’t make it very far into his speech before a heckler made a scene calling him a hypocrite because of all of this, with a few others interfering, but as any good potential crypto king would know, he just waited quietly to fall silent on the noise.

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images)

Other things

Here are the TechCrunch news that caught my eye this week:

Facebook’s Trump ban will last at least 2 years
In response to recommendations from the Facebook Oversight Board that the company should take a closer look at former President Trump’s ban, the company announced on Friday that it will ban Trump from its platforms until at least January 2023, even though the company is essentially the Has given the opportunity to extend this deadline if she so wishes …

Nigeria suspends Twitter
Nigeria is blocking access to Twitter within the country with a government official citing “using the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. Twitter called the shutdown “deeply worrying”.

Stack Overflow is acquired for $ 1.8 billion
Stack Overflow, one of the most visited websites by developers in the technology industry, has been acquired by Prosus. The heavy investment firm is best known for owning a large portion of Tencent. The founders of Stack Overflow say the site will continue to operate independently under the new management.

Spotify improves its personalization
Music service Spotify launched a special section called Only You this week that aims to capture some of the personalizations it provided in its annual Spotify Wrapped review. The highlights of the new feature include mixed playlists with friends and mid-year reviews.

Supreme Court Limits US Hacking Act in Groundbreaking Case
Judges from conservative and liberal wings have come together in a groundbreaking verdict that restricts prosecution of the controversial computer fraud and abuse law.

This one email explains Apple
Here’s a fun email exchange that started the App Store between the late Steve Jobs and SVP of Software Engineering, Bertrand Serlet, as commented by my boss Matthew Panzarino.

Illustration of money raining down

Photo credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

Extra things

Some of my favorite reads from our Extra Crunch Subscription Service this week:

For SaaS startups, differentiation is an iterative process
“The more you know about the pain points of your target customers with current solutions, the easier it is to stand out. Take every opportunity to learn more about the people you want to serve and the problems they most want to solve. Analyst reports on specific sectors can be useful, but there is no better source of information than the people who will hopefully pay to use your solution. “

3 Lessons We Learned After Raising $ 6 Million From 50 Investors
“… as we were still a preliminary product at that time, we had to rely on our experience and vision to promote the conviction and urgency of investors. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. Investors either felt that our experience did not fit the area we were entering (productivity / planning), or that our vision was not convincing enough to warrant an investment on the terms we wanted.

The existential cost of slowing growth
“Just because a tech startup is getting off to a hot start doesn’t mean it will grow fast forever. Most will end up somewhere in the middle – or worse. Simply put, there are a greater number of tech companies that are doing well or a little worse after they grow up. “

Also, if you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it in your inbox from the Newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

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