- Cryptocurrency: Libra Appoints Stuart Levey as CEO
Facebook led cryptocurrency organisation, Libra Association, on Wednesday announced the appointment of Stuart Levey as its first CEO, the Association stated on its website.
According to the controversial organisation, Mr. Levey brings a wealth of leadership and experience from the public and private sectors to the Association.
Mr Levey currently serves as Chief Legal Officer of HSBC, one of the world’s leading banks with operations in 64 nations and territories. Before joining HSBC, Levey served as the first Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence during the Bush and Obama Administrations. During his tenure, Mr. Levey was instrumental in setting U.S. and international policy to combat illicit finance.
“I am honored to join the Libra Association as it charts a bold path forward to harness the power of technology to transform the global payments landscape. Technology provides us with the opportunity to make it easier for individuals and businesses to send and receive money, and to empower more than a billion people who have been left on the sidelines of the financial system, all with robust controls to detect and deter illicit financial activity. I look forward to working closely with governments, regulators, and all of our stakeholders to realize this vision,” said Mr. Levey, the Libra Association’s incoming CEO.
“Stuart brings to the Libra Association the rare combination of an accomplished leader in both the government, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect and influence, and the private sector where he managed teams spread across the globe. This unique experience allows him to bring a wealth of knowledge in banking, finance, regulatory policy and national security to the Association and strike the right balance between innovation and regulation,” said Katie Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Libra Association board member who led the CEO search committee. “Stuart shares our vision for using blockchain technology to deliver a more open, inclusive and high-functioning payment system that puts crypto in the hands of billions around the world.”
Goldman Sachs Executive Quits After Making Millions From Dogecoin
A senior manager at Goldman Sachs in London has quit the US investment bank after making millions from investing in Dogecoin, the joke crypto asset which has risen by more than 1,000 percent in value this year.
City sources said Aziz McMahon, a managing director and head of emerging market sales, had resigned from the bank after making money from investing in the digital currency based on the Doge internet meme.
Backed by famous supporters including the Tesla founder, Elon Musk, the rapper Snoop Dogg and the Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, the digital asset similar to bitcoin has soared in value over recent months.
Based on an internet meme – a humorous online phrase or photo, on this occasion a dog called Doge – the cryptocurrency rose above $0.72 against the dollar last week in anticipation of Musk’s appearance on the hit US TV show Saturday Night Live.
It has plunged by more than 30 percent this week since Musk’s appearance to about $0.50, according to Coindesk. However, it is still up by more than 1,000 percent from the start of 2021.
Little is known about how much money McMahon made exactly from betting on Dogecoin, after his departure was first reported by the website efinancialcareers. The banker, who has worked for Goldman Sachs for 14 years, did not respond to requests for comment. However, sources said they believed it was a substantial sum and that he had since left Goldman Sachs.
It is believed Aziz made the money investing on his own personal account and was not involved in trading cryptocurrencies for Goldman Sachs.
Created in 2013 by two software engineers from IBM and Adobe, the Dogecoin digital currency started as a joke parodying bitcoin. It has however rocketed in value amid a wave of speculative investment in crypto assets, fuelled by a buzz online and an aim to perpetuate the joke by pumping up its value.
What’s REALLY Behind Musk’s Bitcoin U-turn?
Elon Musk’s sudden u-turn regarding Bitcoin on Twitter – which sent prices plummeting by 15% – could be more of a PR stunt than anything else, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, deVere Group’s chief executive, comes as the Tesla billionaire boss said the company will halt sales of cars using Bitcoin due to the environmental impact of mining that cryptocurrency.
Mr Green comments: “Musk is once again flexing his influencer muscles on social media. In a somewhat Trumpian move, he’s taken to Twitter to announce a major u-turn.
“Just a few months ago, to much fanfare, Musk announced that his company Tesla had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and that it would accept it as payment for cars. The move was one of the reasons the cryptocurrency’s price has soared this year.”
He continues: “All of a sudden, he’s not so keen due to environmental concerns. But why now? Those issues surrounding the environmental impact have not come up in the last few months? Did Musk seriously not know about them before he bought $1.5 billion Bitcoin?
“There are serious and important environmental matters which urgently need to be addressed about Bitcoin mining. Any action to support the further transition to fully using sustainable energy must be championed – it is something I whole-heartedly support.
“According to research 76% of cryptocurrency miners currently use electricity from renewable energy sources as part of their energy mix. Which begs the question: why, with all his immense resources and power is Musk not able to ensure that all his Bitcoin is mined this way?
“In addition, why is he not using this influence to further advance and incentivise renewable energy for cryptocurrencies – something that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has previously tweeted about and with which Musk agreed on the social platform.”
Could there also be another driver behind the Bitcoin move?
“Musk likes being known as being a contrarian. He likes to go against the crowd in a high-profile way. Is his waning interest in Bitcoin at a time when huge amounts of institutional investment from major Wall Street banks is pouring in, part of this?” asks Mr Green.
With the fundamentals of Bitcoin – the very ones that are attracting enormous institutional and retail interest remaining unchanged – many investors are likely to use this current price drop from recent all-time highs as an important buying opportunity.
Previously the deVere CEO observed that inherent traits of cryptocurrencies are ever-more attractive. “These characteristics include that they’re borderless, making them perfectly suited to a globalised world of commerce, trade, and people; that they are digital, making them an ideal match to the increasing digitalisation of our world; and that demographics are on the side of cryptocurrencies as younger people are more likely to embrace them than older generations.”
Mr Green concludes: “Clearly, Musk still believes in Bitcoin – he didn’t sell any – and I now hope he will use not just words but his immense resources to further expediate the transition to sustainable energy for crypto mining.”
Tesla to Announce Dogecoin as Bitcoin Replacement
Following the decision to stop accepting Bitcoin for vehicle payment, Tesla Inc. may announce Dogecoin as a replacement for Bitcoin.
On Wednesday, Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer, Tesla Inc, said the company is looking at cryptocurrencies that use less than 1 percent of Bitcoin’s energy for transactions.
This was two days after Musk, in a poll, asked if his over 54 million followers, want Tesla to accept Dogecoin, a meme coin he has aggressively promoted to the mainstream.
The billionaire said “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment.
“Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”
Millions of Dogecoin traders and investors have started projecting that the Doge Father will announce Dogecoin as a Bitcoin replacement going by his tweet and the poll.
Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2021
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