The drama over what Elon Musk will or won’t do with Twitter remains at fever pitch—the latest rumor is that he will charge verified users to keep their blue check marks—but one voice remains oddly silent: Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder and longtime CEO who cheered on Musk’s initial decision to buy the company.
This is odd. Ordinarily, someone in Dorsey’s position would issue a vote of confidence in the new regime or at least tweet out a simple “good luck.” Instead, it’s been total crickets. Why? It’s hard to know for sure, but it’s fair to surmise that he is somehow unhappy with what Musk is doing (although Dorsey still does own a chunk of the company).
If you squint hard, a clue about Dorsey’s mood comes from a post by the Twitter account Big Crypto Alert—which one user described as “gossip girls only with billionaires”—that he unfollowed Sriram Krishnan, a crypto partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Krishnan was brought in by Musk to help reorganize Twitter.
Why the diss? It’s possible Dorsey feels salty toward everyone at a16z after he got in a well-publicized spat with the firm last December over the direction of Web3—a clash in which his ally was none other than Elon Musk! So perhaps Dorsey is feeling miffed, and maybe a little jealous, that Musk turned to an a16z figure to help re-order Twitter.
But maybe there’s more to the story. If Musk is indeed positioning Twitter to be a major player in the payments arena—as I predicted yesterday—then he may see Dorsey as a potential rival to be sidelined. Recall that Dorsey is deeply into crypto (especially Bitcoin) on a personal level and through his company Square, which he renamed Block last year in a nod to blockchain.
A wariness of potential rivals may also explain why Musk brushed off another powerful crypto figure, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, when the latter asked to help finance the deal. Instead, Musk turned to Binance founder Changpeng Zhao. Yes, it’s possible to read too much into a few small details. But it’s also possible that the palace intrigue around Twitter is the precursor to a coming era where billionaires Musk, Dorsey, and Bankman-Fried are locked in a bitter rivalry for control of crypto and payments.
Jeff John Roberts
Circle’s SPAC partner, Concord Acquisition, says the $9 billion deal—expected to close in the fourth quarter—won’t happen until 2023, possibly due to Securities and Exchange Commission delays. (Forbes)
Private equity giant Apollo Global is now holding crypto assets on behalf of its customers via a partnership with custody provider Anchorage. (Reuters)
In an unusual move, the DOJ shifted its investigation of Tether from Washington, D.C., to the Southern District of New York, reflecting the complexity of determining whether the company broke banking laws. (Bloomberg)
Crypto broker Genesis reported its loan balances dropped 43% in the third quarter amid a broader decline that saw all areas of its business fall except for custody. (WSJ)
Dogecoin is up 100% this week, while Bitcoin is up 6%, punctuating the end of October and crypto’s best month since April. (Bloomberg)
MEME O’ THE MOMENT
Just like old times (for now):
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