What comes to mind when you think of Gucci? Handbags, fashion jewelry, elegant Swiss watches? What about payment integration with ERC-20 control and data tokens that want to power Web3? Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? The iconic Italian fashion brand announced this week that it will expand its payment options to include Bored Ape Yacht Club-affiliated ApeCoin (APE) – but only through BitPay. In other words, Gucci will let you redeem your APE for US dollars and spend the proceeds in their stores.
If you’re surprised by the news, read on to learn more about Gucci’s expanding crypto ambitions. While you’re at it, stick with this week’s Crypto Biz, where we dissect the latest news about Michael Saylor and Robinhood. We leave you with a sober analysis of the crypto market crash by Terra from Kraken’s top executive.
Gucci becomes the first major brand to accept ApeCoin payments
In case you missed it, Gucci officially became the first major brand to accept APE payments through Bitpay. The move came months after Gucci announced it would accept 12 cryptocurrencies as payment in more than 100 North American stores. Holders of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and other cryptocurrencies can now turn their digital assets into a $5,000 GUCCI bag. Aside from crypto payments, Gucci launched a pair of non-volatile token (NFT) collections this year, including the SUPERGUCCI NFT line in February.
Michael Saylor is stepping down as CEO of MicroStrategy but will remain as Chairman
Bitcoin’s chief evangelist Michael Saylor is clearing his calendar to focus almost exclusively on promoting the digital asset. This week, Saylor announced that he is stepping down as CEO of MicroStrategy in favor of a new executive position. Starting August 8, Saylor’s new role will focus on MicroStrategy’s “Bitcoin trading strategy and related Bitcoin advocacy initiatives.” A day after the announcement, MicroStrategy’s stock price rose to a three-month high. It looks like investors are happy with Saylor’s position. We’ll see how they feel if the crypto winter lasts another year.
In my next job, I’m going to focus more on #Bitcoin.
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) August 3, 2022
‘It’s on me’ — Robinhood CEO to lay off 23% of staff after Q2 loss
Robinhood’s foray into crypto looked good over a year ago when we entered the bull market. Now, with crypto, stocks and the economy in the dumps, the discount brokerage has been forced to lay off nearly a quarter of its workforce. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev broke the bad news shortly after the company reported dismal second-quarter results, which included a 44% year-over-year drop in net income. Crypto-focused companies have seen widespread layoffs this year as asset prices fell and trading volumes dried up.
“Those who leave Robinhood will be invited to remain employed by Robinhood through October 1, 2022 and receive regular salary and benefits. They will also be offered job search assistance (including selecting the Robinhood Alumni Talent Directory).”
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 2, 2022
Contagion only hits companies with “poor balance sheet management” — Kraken Aus CEO
The The epic crash of Terra (Luna) – now renamed Terra Classic (LUNC) – caused an industry-wide crypto contagion, eventually leading to several bankruptcies and trillions of dollars in lost market capitalization. But the only companies and protocols that went under were those with “poor balance sheet management” and a complete lack of understanding of how blockchain works. This sobering analysis was provided by Kraken Australia managing director Jonathan Miller. He also explained why Ethereum proved resilient to chaos and why its parent company, Kraken, is poised to continue expanding.
Don’t miss it! What’s Next for Bitcoin and Ether?
Bitcoin’s performance over the past week has surprised both the bulls and the bears. Meanwhile, Ether has rebounded strongly from its lows as hype surrounding its upcoming merger intensifies. But the prospects for both properties are as clear as mud. In this week’s Market Report, I sat down with fellow experts Marcel Pechman and Benton Yaun to discuss an important topic: Have BTC and ETH bottomed out yet? You can watch a replay of the episode in its entirety below.
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