What comes to mind when you think of Gucci? Designer handbags, fashion jewelry, elegant Swiss watches? What about payment integration with an ERC-20 governance and utility token that Web3 aims to power? Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? The iconic Italian fashion brand announced this week that it would expand its payment options to include Bored Ape Yacht Club affiliated ApeCoin (APE), but only through BitPay. In other words, Gucci will let you liquidate your APE for US dollars and spend the proceeds in its stores.
If you’re surprised by the news, read on to learn more about Gucci’s broadening crypto ambitions. While you’re at it, stick around for this week’s Crypto Biz where we break down the latest news on Michael Saylor and Robinhood. We leave you with a sobering analysis of the Terra-induced crypto market collapse from a top executive at Kraken.
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 via Bitpay. The move came months after Gucci announced it would accept 12 crypto assets as payment in more than 100 North American stores. Holders of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and other cryptocurrencies can now convert their digital assets into a $5,000 GUCCI tote. In addition to crypto payments, Gucci launched a few non-fungible token (NFT) collections this year, including the SUPERGUCCI NFT lineup in February.
Michael Saylor Steps Down MicroStrategy CEO, But Remains Executive Chairman
Bitcoin chief evangelist Michael Saylor is clearing his agenda to focus almost entirely on promoting the digital asset. This week, Saylor announced that he is stepping down as CEO of MicroStrategy in favor of a new executive chair position. Effective August 8, Saylor’s new role will focus on MicroStrategy’s “Bitcoin acquisition strategy and related Bitcoin advocacy initiatives.” A day after the announcement, MicroStrategy’s stock price rose to its highest level in three months. It seems investors are happy with Saylor’s position. We’ll see how they feel when the crypto winter lasts another year.
In my next job I plan to focus more on #Bitcoin.
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) August 3, 2022
‘This is up to me’ – Robinhood CEO lays off 23% of staff after loss in Q2
Robinhood’s foray into crypto looked great over a year ago when we were in the bull market. With crypto, stocks and the economy down, the discount brokerage has been forced to lay off nearly a quarter of its staff. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev broke the bad news shortly after the company reported dismal second-quarter results, including a 44% drop in net income year-over-year. Crypto-focused firms have seen sweeping layoffs this year as asset prices plummeted and trading volumes dried up.
“Departing Robinhoodies will have the opportunity to remain employed by Robinhood until October 1, 2022 and will receive their regular salary and benefits. They will also receive job search assistance (including an opt-in in Robinhood Alumni Talent Directory).”
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 2, 2022
Contamination only affects companies with ‘poor balance sheet management’ – Kraken Aus boss
The epic collapse of Terra Luna led to a global contagion of crypto, 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. That sober analysis was provided by Jonathon Miller, director of Kraken Australia. He also explained why Ethereum proved resilient in the face of chaos and why its parent company, Kraken, is poised to continue growing.
Do not miss it! What’s next for Bitcoin and Ether?
Bitcoin’s performance over the past week has surprised both the bulls and bears. Meanwhile, Ether has bounced back strongly from its lows as the hype surrounding the upcoming Merge intensifies. But the outlook for both assets is as clear as mud. In this week’s Market Report, I sat with fellow analysts Marcel Pechman and Benton Yaun to discuss an important topic: have BTC and ETH bottomed yet? You can watch a full replay of the show below.
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