Earlier this month, Patrick Byrne, C.E.O. of Overstock, resigned as the company’s chief executive and chairman after disclosing romantic affairs with a Russian agent. His official statement, with references to the “Deep State,” “Men in Black” and “political espionage,” had sent Overstock’s down by 35% baffling investors.
With Byrne’s unforeseen resignation, Overstock has called upon the longtime employee, Jonathan Johnson, to be the CEO, at least for the interim. The new CEO, who is currently one of the heads of the firm’s blockchain division—Medici Ventures—has made it clear that his company is not currently planning any major changes to the company’s blockchain efforts after Byrne chose to end his close to two-decade-old association.
Johnson will happen to retain his previous position as the Medici-president concurrently with his new duties as the interim Overstock CEO. “I wasn’t just doing it for a paycheck, and I’m doing it because I’m a full-on believer,” he said.
In an interview, Johnson pledged to take Byrne’s cryptocurrency legacy forward and further strengthen its focus on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He has also confirmed that in doing so, the company’s retail business growth will not be compromised.
Although in this year’s second-quarter, Overstock has produced a 23% decline in revenue, Johnson confirmed that Medici Ventures, which was primarily developed to oversee the company’s investments in the blockchain sector, is doing exceptionally well and projecting a promising future.
He also asserted that the Medici Ventures is working really hard and the division is growing at a nice rate. His reassurance, however, comes after reports indicating that the division was burning millions per year.
While Overstock reportedly hasn’t been doing really well over the recent years, the company still holds importance to the cryptocurrency industry. It is one of those very few publicly listed companies in the US that have an active, budding blockchain business. This category would fit other organizations like Facebook, Square, and the Intercontinental Exchange.
The success of any of these companies, or even others that are not mentioned, will most likely be trivial for the success of cryptocurrencies.
Interstellar, a Startup Focused on Stellar Network, Appointed Mike Kennedy, as CEO
An enterprise organization concentrated on developing the stellar framework, Interstellar, has designated Mike Kennedy as Chief Executive Officer recently. Interstellar has created another organization which present CEO Adam Ludwin will lead.
We are thrilled to have Mike lead Interstellar through its next phase of growth. Mike’s record of success founding and growing Zelle [fka clearXchange], his innovation in mobile payments, FX and banking, and his history as a high-impact advisor to Stellar make him the perfect fit to lead Interstellar.
Alongst Kennedy’s deputation, Interstellar additionally declared that it is “spinning-out a new app-focused company” known as Pogo, which has been in stealth mode for quite some time. Kennedy will supplant Adam Ludwin, the previous RRE Ventures partner and the present CEO of the blockchain payments startup Interstellar.
In the meantime, Ludwin will proceed to steer the organization’s most recent project, Pogo, a subsidiary that will concentrate on applications and mobile wallets. Further, Kennedy’s designation as CEO at Interstellar pursues the news that Franklin Templeton, Investment fund, plans to tokenize the part of a government currency market fund on the stellar system.
Besides, as CEO, Mike will direct all aspects of Interstellar, by focusing on helping to expedite the adoption of the stellar system for worldwide payments. Mike is an accomplished official with notable payments experience. Moreover, he established, led, and sold Zelle (fka clearXchange), one of the most prominent Peer-to-peer payment frameworks in the US.
Furthermore, Kennedy’s system Zelle, the payment framework is utilized by Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and several other finance-related organizations, as indicated by its site. Additionally, it claimed that Zelle oversees over 50 billion dollars in transaction volumes from more than 25 million clients.
Interstellar was initiated in 2018, from an acquisition deal with Lightyear.io, a startup based on the stellar protocol, and a decentralized ledger technology builder chain. Meanwhile, the organization expressed that it planned to provide enterprise solutions for embracing the stellar blockchain, created by the non-profit SDF (Stellar Development Foundation).
Regardless, Interstellar is developing the system by building the payment layer on stellar, a sector where Kennedy has broad experience. The organization has been associating with different banks, authorized non-bank providers and organizations, and building layers to attract a more extensive client base, as indicated by Kennedy.
Presently at Interstellar, Kennedy intends to work on with similar giants like correspondent banking and the SWIFT payment framework. Over and above, most traditional financial organizations use these instruments to transfer cash universally; however, Kennedy said blockchain could do it quicker, more reliably and at a lesser cost.
CZ Recommends Holding BNB: Would Amazon’s CEO Ever Do That?
In a recent tweet, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, recently emphasized the potential profits that Binance Coin offers its holders. While a tweet of the kind might appear innocuous, it could also have an impact on the BNB price, given Zhao’s influence on the community, making the entire thing questionable. After all, we’ve witnessed prominent CEOs getting sued for propping up the value of their companies. How long will it be until the crypto industry is similarly scrutinized?
CZ Emphasizes the Value of Holding BNB
It’s safe to say that Binance Coin (BNB) has seen better days. Over the past few months, the cryptocurrency lost almost half of its value, plummeting from its all-time high of around $40 in June to $21.
Interestingly enough, the decline comes amid seemingly massive developments for Binance and its overall ecosystem. Yet, all of that seems to have had no impact on investors.
Against this backdrop, Zhao posted a seemingly controversial tweet today, “warning” people that not holding BNB could be a bad play.
While the majority of the text seems like a simple throwback to BNB’s glory days, the last sentence (“In the future, don’t say I didn’t tell you”) is questionable, to say the least. While it’s subject to interpretation, this sounds an awful lot like a warning that not holding BNB is a bad choice. Moreover, interpreted broadly, it could also sound like financial advice. Needless to say, this line of expression is completely unacceptable in traditional financial markets and we’ve already seen the consequences of it.
Standards are Not the Same
While a lot of cryptocurrency proponents are clamoring for regulatory clarity and definitions, it appears that the standards applied to traditional financial markets and the crypto world are a tad different, to say the least.
Back in August 2018, Elon Musk, widely considered to be one of this century’s visionaries as the CEO of SpaceX and co-founder/product architect at Tesla, got into a legal storm with the SEC over a tweet.
Musk said that he’d been considering taking Tesla private and that he had secured the necessary funding. Back then, he was also the company’s chairman.
The SEC took measures immediately, filing charges against the entrepreneur. Despite voicing his disagreement, Musk settled, agreeing to pay a $20 million fine, step down as the company’s chairman, and obtain pre-approval of his tweets from the company’s legal counsel.
In other words, the US SEC takes social media behavior seriously. And it probably should. Apart from being major shot-callers at their respective companies, a lot of the rich and famous CEOs, Changpeng Zhao included, have serious social media followings.
Zhao, for instance, has over 429,000 followers on Twitter. Hence, it’s only natural that his opinions would have influence over the people who read them. As such, it’s questionable at best to use the platform to offer any sort of financial advice, especially that which would impact the price of an asset that one’s company created.
Of course, Zhao is far from the only individual to have done so, even subtly. Justin Sun, TRON’s founder, provides perhaps the best example of such behavior.
After all, we haven’t seen Jeff Bezos directly propping up Amazon’s stock, have we?
Circle CEO: No One in the World Is Any Closer to CBDCs Than China
China has the most progressive approach to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to date, according to Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire.
The only global bank to really care
Allaire said that China’s central bank has the most advanced thinking about CBDCs in an interview aired on Phoenix Chinese News on Sept. 9.
According to Allaire, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is the only global central bank that is working on the CBDC from a research and development perspective. The Circle CEO emphasized that the PBoC appears to be the most significant central bank to be launching a digital currency commercially, adding that there is no one else in the world who is anywhere close.
Allaire further expressed excitement about the potential interaction of the PBoC’s CBDC with stablecoins pegged to the United States dollar. He said:
“For us, we’ve been working for multiple years on the US Dollar coin that’s been growing very fast. And I think that we’re excited to see how things like the Chinese central bank digital currency could eventually interact or be traded with things like US Dollar coin.”
China’s CBDC to bypass the Western banking system
Allaire’s positive statements about the PBoC initiatives in the CBDC space come amid the launch of a new Chinese yuan-pegged stablecoin, CNHT, by major stablecoin firm Tether. The company officially announced the news on Sept. 9, explaining that the new stablecoin is pegged to the offshore yuan, which will purportedly make it free of the monetary policies of Beijing.
In some sense, Allaire was reiterating his bullish stance on the PBoC, after previously claiming that a digital currency version of China’s national currency renminbi can bypass the Western banking system.
Meanwhile, according to unconfirmed reports, the People’s Bank of China is reportedly setting up its first-ever CBDC with online retail giant Alibaba, Internet giant Tencent, five banking organizations and one unknown entity, as reported in late August. Moreover, on Aug. 20, a local report stated the PBoC was almost ready to launch its state-backed digital currency, which may have been influenced by the unveiling of Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency Libra in June 2019.