Jack Dorsey’s Square is investing $5 million in building a bitcoin mine that runs on solar power

Jack Dorsey
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaking at CES tech conference in 2019

  • Square is working with bitcoin technology company Blockstream on creating a sustainable bitcoin mine.
  • Square will invest $5 million in the open-source project, while Blockstream will provide infrastructure.
  • Jack Dorsey and Square have argued bitcoin could drive a positive impact on the environment.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jack Dorsey-led Square is investing $5 million into building a bitcoin mine that runs on solar power, teaming up with bitcoin technology company Blockstream on the project as debate over crypto’s environmental impact intensifies.

While digital payments company Square is backing the project financially, Blockstream is providing infrastructure and expertise for the renewable-energy bitcoin-mining facility. It will be developed at one of Blockstream’s existing crypto-mining sites in the US and be designed to function as a “proof-of concept” to demonstrate that bitcoin mining can be sustainable.

“We hope to show that a renewable mining facility in the real world is not only possible, but also prove empirically that Bitcoin accelerates the world toward a sustainable future,” Blockstream said in a joint statement on Sunday.

Twitter creator and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has argued that bitcoin encourages global moves toward sustainability and renewable energy, and the project is part of the digital payments company’s Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative.

“Together, we’ll be creating a public-facing dashboard to serve as a transparent case study for renewable energy and bitcoin mining. As we continue to explore the synergies between the two, we’re excited to share our ongoing learnings and real-world data points.” Square said on Twitter.

The project will be open-source, meaning that the code and process behind it will be publicly accessible. All associated economic data will also be shared. The partners said they hope the “open and transparent nature” of the effort will provide a model for other businesses.

The impact of bitcoin mining on the environment is a hotly debated topic in the cryptocurrency industry. Each bitcoin transaction, purchase or sale adds to the blockchain network which therefore requires a constantly increasing amount of energy.

While bitcoin fans share Dorsey’s view and argue that bitcoin mining mostly runs on renewable energy, critics say that the environmental impact is detrimental and contributes to climate change, among other issues.

In April, Square published a report with Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest saying that the bitcoin network could function as “unique buyer energy” that paves the way for renewable, sustainable-energy-based approaches to crypto mining.

Environmental concerns are said to be part of the reason for China’s recent crypto crackdown. The vast majority of crypto is mined in China, driving up energy demand in the country and therefore making it difficult for China to reach its net zero emissions by 2060 target.

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Jack Dorsey and Michael Saylor headlined the sold-out Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference. Here are their 12 best quotes from the event.

Saylor,Dorsey
  • Jack Dorsey and Michael Saylor were among the headliners at the star-studded Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference.
  • The pair discussed ESG concerns, how they got into bitcoin, and why they believe it is the digital currency of the future.
  • Insider compiled the best quotes from the Twitter and Microstrategy chief execs.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor headlined the sold-out Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference on Friday along with a star-studded lineup that included everyone from Tony Hawk to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In front of 12,000 attendees, with thousands more watching online, the two discussed why they are so bullish on bitcoin, how they got started in the business, their thoughts on recent ESG concerns, and much more.

Here are Saylor and Dorsey’s 12 best quotes from the interviews, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

Jack Dorsey

  1. “For me, bitcoin changes absolutely everything. What I’m drawn to most about it is the ethos, what it represents. The conditions that created it are so rare and so special and so precious and I don’t think there’s anything more important in my lifetime to work on. I don’t think there’s anything more enabling for people around the world.”
  2. “Whatever I can do, whatever my companies can do to make it more accessible to everyone is how I want to spend the rest of my life. If I were not at Square or Twitter I’d be working on bitcoin. If it needed more help than Square and Twitter, I would leave them for bitcoin. But I think both companies have a role to play.”
  3. “They’re missing everything. They’re not getting out of New York, they’re not getting out of the country, they’re not talking to people. Go to Nigeria for one day and see the struggle that people have to put up with, with their government and with their money. Go to Ghana that has a bunch of transplants from all over the continent and you witness the same thing every single day. Go to India and you’ll see the same.”
  4. “Everything about it is why we’re into it. There’s nothing else that compares to it. And we have no interests other than making sure we are building a native currency for the internet and helping in every way that we can. So all the other coins to me, don’t factor in at all.”
  5. “You just look at the economics of it and, you know, ultimately miners have to make a profit and getting cheap renewable energy maximizes their potential for profit, it’s really that simple. I thought I had some agreement with some notable figures out there and then that seemed to change in a matter of a few weeks…but I believe fully that bitcoin over time and today does incentivize more renewable energy…and gives people more freedom to convert unused, wasted power into something that actually creates value for billions of people around the world.”
  6. “That realization that we finally have a currency that can be traded at any single point on the planet is pretty incredible and what that enables going forward is pretty mind-blowing and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that that happens.”

Michael Saylor

  1. “When I discovered bitcoin I thought this is digital gold on a big tech monetary network and it’s going to grow by a factor of a hundred. Then I thought, well, I should buy as much as I can…I was buying it and I was thinking I have to buy as much as I can, as fast as I can or someone will figure this out and I won’t be able to.”
  2. “Bitcoin is the apex property of the human race. It’s the first time we figured out how to create true property that you can take possession of with full custodial rights that’s least likely to be impaired, that’s most mobile….bitcoin is truly a seminal invention of the human race because for the first time in history we can grant property rights to 8 billion people.”
  3. “I think bitcoin is an extraordinary, disruptive, beneficial technology to the whole energy industry. As I studied it, it became clear that it’s the highest value use of intermittent energy. It’s the highest value use of renewable energy. It’s the highest value use of wasted or stranded energy. And it’s just the highest value use of energy, period. It’s the solution to developing power plants in remote locations, to driving up efficiency of plants and driving down costs…I think as the world understands it, they’re going to embrace it.”
  4. “What I was doing with bitcoin was, I was saying I don’t want to decapitalize the company. I want to keep the capital or grow the capital, but I want to put an asset on the balance sheet. The big breakthrough is I can convert my cash from a liability to an asset and then we realized that if that asset is going to go up by more than 10% a year and you can borrow money at 5% or four, or three, or two, then you should pretty much borrow as much money as you can and flip it into the asset.”
  5. “Bitcoin links together 8 billion people, links together a hundred million companies, it synchronizes the world across political jurisdictions, and it returns rationality to the entire financial system, and it returns freedom and property rights to the entire human race.”
  6. “We say bitcoin is hope. Bitcoin fixes everything…that certainly was the case with our stock….it imbued life into the company…morale was dramatically boosted. We just had the best first quarter we’ve had in a decade.”
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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey signalled his enthusiasm for bitcoin again, saying it is the most important thing to work on in his lifetime

Jack Dorsey
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently expressed his optimism over the future of bitcoin again.
  • At a conference, he said there is nothing more important to work on in his lifetime, CNBC reported.
  • Bitcoin has the potential to create a whole new financial infrastructure, Dorsey added.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At the Bitcoin 2021 Conference on Friday, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, spread further positivity about the cryptocurrency, CNBC reported.

“Bitcoin changes absolutely everything,” Dorsey said. “I don’t think there is anything more important in my lifetime to work on.”

He continued: “If I were not at Square or Twitter, I would be working on bitcoin. If [bitcoin] needed more help than Square or Twitter, I would leave them for bitcoin.”

According to Dorsey, bitcoin is capable of creating a new financial system that is more inclusive and supportive for neglected communities, per CNBC.

He also sees cryptocurrency as a way to protect against currency depreciation and quicken international transactions for people all over the world.

This is why Dorsey and Jay-Z partnered on a new bitcoin endowment in February, which will be focused on developing the cryptocurrency in India and Africa.

Called “₿trust,” the endowment was funded with an initial investment of 500 bitcoin, worth roughly $23.6 million.

“I don’t think there is anything more enabling for people around the world,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey has always been a staunch supporter of bitcoin among a sea of critics, some of whom have described the cryptocurrency as “disgusting” and worthless.

Insider reported in May that the tech mogul believes bitcoin changes everything for the better and that he would work “forever” to improve the cryptocurrency. He followed up by saying that “no single person (or institution) will be able to change [the cryptocurrency], or stop it.”

Back in March, Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT, converted the proceeds of the sale into bitcoin, and then donated it to Give Directly’s Africa Response.

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Jack Dorsey says bitcoin changes everything for the better, following reports that Square has no plans to buy more of the cryptocurrency

Jack Dorsey
Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey.

  • Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has doubled down on his support for bitcoin.
  • His comments came after Square’s CFO said the company is working toward a greener future.
  • In total, Square holds 8,027 bitcoins, worth over $400 million at current prices, Insider reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has said bitcoin changes everything “for the better” and he will work “forever” to improve the cryptocurrency.

In a follow-up tweet, Dorsey added that “no single person (or institution) will be able to change [the cryptocurrency], or stop it.”

His comments, which he posted on Twitter, came after a Financial News report quoted Square’s CFO, Amrita Ahuja, as saying the payments company had no plans to buy more bitcoin. It lost $20m on its $220m investment in the last quarter, the outlet said.

Ahuja later posted a message on Twitter, saying the company’s strategy with bitcoin hasn’t changed.

She said: “Our bitcoin strategy hasn’t changed. We’re deeply committed to this community, including working towards a greener future through our Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative. And as we shared in February, we continue to assess our bitcoin investment on an ongoing basis. Nothing new here.”

In total, Square holds 8,027 bitcoins, worth over $400 million at current prices, Insider reported. The company has long been a proponent of cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, but believes they “needs innovation in terms of renewables and clean energy,” as Ahuja told Financial News.

The drive for better innovation around bitcoin comes after increasing concerns about the negative environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining.

In a recent announcement, crypto enthusiast, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet, that his company Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases made using bitcoin. It followed concerns surrounding the increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions.

Musk’s U-turn on accepting bitcoin as payment due to energy concerns caused a stir in crypto circles. As Insider’s Harry Robertson reported, the decision could halt the adoption of bitcoin by companies, who are increasingly climate-conscious.

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7 ‘biohacks’ founders and execs have used to try to boost their energy at work, from wearing electrodes while they sleep to drinking bone-broth breakfasts

Brain
Transcranial Electrical Stimulation therapy uses electrodes to try to induce deep sleep

  • Some CEOs and founders use “biohacks” to boost workplace productivity and their overall health.
  • These range from enzyme injections to $300 sleep rings.
  • Many biohacks are based on limited scientific evidence.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Iterable CEO Justin Zhu was recently fired for “micro-dosing” LSD, a psychedelic drug, to improve his focus, he told Bloomberg last week. Micro-dosing, or taking small amounts of psychedelic substances, has gained popularity in recent years among entrepreneurs as a way to boost their creativity.

Plenty of other CEOs and founders who want to improve productivity and prevent burn out turn to so-called “biohacks,” a broad term that encompasses everything from enzyme injections to fasting days.

Here are seven biohacks executives have used, along with the science – or lack of it – that backs them up.

Injecting NAD+ coenzymes to boost energy

NAD+ injections
Hydros CEO Winston Ibrahim swears by NAD+ coenzyme injections

Winston Ibrahim, CEO of water filtration start-up Hydros, told Insider he has a “regenerative medicine specialist” inject him with NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) to boost his energy and prevent burnout. NAD+ is involved in all fundamental biological processes, including DNA repair and energy conversion in our cells.

Some overworked professionals swear by NAD+ “brain reboot” injections, citing higher levels of energy, focus and a faster metabolism.

Ibrahim said the injections mimic the effect of prescription stimulants, but without the side effects of taking them in pill form.

“You are literally giving your body and brain the optimum, most bio-available fuel to power peak energy and performance,” he told Insider.

Some private clinics offer a single NAD+ injection for $400.

Winston Ibrahim
Hydros CEO Winston Ibrahim says he uses NAD+ injections to boost his energy

What does the science say?

The molecule helps regulate our sleep cycle, and low levels are associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes, The Washington Post reported.

NAD+ naturally declines as we age, so it’s not clear if low levels are the cause of age-related health conditions.

Other claims for NAD+’s health benefits, including that it can slow aging, are less strong. Studies in mice have shown elevated levels of NAD+ lead to small increases in lifespan, but the results can’t easily be applied to humans. Simply raising the amount of NAD+ in human blood cells does not necessarily mean it can confer health benefits, or slow down the aging process.

Wearing electrodes at night to artificially generate deep sleep

Dave Asprey
Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey said he tried transcranial electrical stimulation to induce deep sleep

Thriving on minimal sleep is the holy grail for many high-powered executives. Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof, a food startup famous for its butter-infused coffee, says he has spent $1 million trying to live to 180-years-old, including $200,000 on biohacking his sleep.

For Asprey, quality of sleep is more important than quantity.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if getting healthy got you more hours every day?,” Asprey told Men’s Health. “That’s the mindset that I’ve had. Because we don’t all want to sleep.”

Asprey has tried transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), where electrodes attached behind the ears pulse small electrical currents through the brain. It’s supposed to induce “delta sleep,” the deepest phase of sleep. Delta brain waves are associated with restorative sleep vital for the body’s immune system.

What does the science say?

Evidence on the benefits of sleep is well established. Getting enough sleep lowers a person’s risk of heart disease and diabetes, and helps fight infection. But whether TES can generate deep sleep is debatable.

Some studies into TES show limited impact on brain activity during sleep, while others have shown the therapy can extend the amount of time someone is in deep sleep.

In a study this year, participants receiving electrical stimulation stayed in deep sleep slightly longer than a placebo group.

“We’re excited by these results, and we’re moving to try to develop practical sleep therapy,” Dr. Don Tucker, neuroscience professor at the University of Oregon and the study’s co-author, told The Academic Times. “And this paper shows that it should be feasible.”

Creating small, ‘positive’ moments of stress

Shower
Taking cold showers has been linked to some health benefits

When a person’s stress-response system is activated, their adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Over prolonged periods, elevated levels of these hormones can increase a person’s risk of heart disease and digestive problems.

Some execs deliberately expose themselves to short bursts of stress to cope with their high-pressured jobs. Bayard Winthrop, CEO and founder of men’s clothing American Giant, has said he takes cold showers as way to introduce a small challenge into his mornings.

“There’s this undeniable endorphin rush, a good natural energy boost,” Winthrop told Inc. in 2018. “And I like the idea of starting the day by doing something challenging.”

What does the science say?

Neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart, senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, argues that short intervals of stress can build resilience.

“Chronic stress is never good for you, even at low levels,” Swart said to Evening Standard. “But times of challenge like giving a talk or doing a sporting event, asking someone on a date, helping a friend go through a really tough time, for example, can elicit the acute stress response which is not fright/fight/flight but involves you rising to meet the challenge and fully recovering your resilience afterwards – things like this make us more resilient over time.”

Taking ice baths or cold showers have been associated with several health benefits, including improving circulation. Exposing parts of the body to a burst of cold water stimulates the supply of newly oxygenated blood to that area. Many athletes use ice baths for recovery.

However, Dr. Joon Yun, a physician and president of hedge fund Palo Alto Investors, and advocate of low-intensity stress to improve health, told CNBC that exposure to extreme temperatures is risky for some people.

Drinking bone broth, a slow-cooked form of stock, for breakfast

Bone broth
Flight Ventures partner, Nancy Fechnay, said she eats bone broth for breakfast.

Nancy Fechnay, partner at Flight Ventures, says she drinks homemade bone broth for breakfast, or nothing at all.

“My approach is a tailored version of intermittent fasting,” Fechnay told Forbes. “This is the rave in the Bay Area, backed by studies showing the benefits to the mind and body.”

Fechnay said bone broth – a protein-rich liquid made by boiling animal bones and connective tissue – helps the immune system, maintains healthy skin and hair, and elevates collagen levels to fight aging.

“Bone broth is the most nutrient rich liquid you can drink,” Fechnay said.

What does the science say?

There is a lot of evidence that bone broth, which is packed with vitamins and minerals, is healthy.

Animal bones contain calcium, magnesium, and other minerals important for bone health, while bone marrow provides vitamins A, K2 and immune-boosting mineral selenium.

However, it is easy to overstate bone broth’s benefits. For example, there is no evidence to suggest it gives you better skin or fights aging, Harvard Medical School found after a review in 2015.

Bone broth may have surged in popularity in recent years, but it is not new: It has been a staple of different cultures’ diets for centuries.

Bone broth is very similar to stock, except the bones are left to simmer for much longer.

Going for days without food to improve concentration

Jack Dorsey
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaking at CES tech conference in 2019

Intermittent fasting (IF) involves going hours or even days with little to no food. In 2019, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told fitness writer Ben Greenfield that he ate just one meal a day, and fasted for the whole weekend.

For weekday dinners, he usually ate a protein – fish, chicken or steak – with vegetables, and a pudding of mixed berries and dark chocolate, he told Greenfield on his podcast.

Dorsey said this routine improved his focus and helped him sleep better.

“It really has increased my appreciation for food and taste because I’m deprived of it for so long during the day,” Dorsey told Greenfield.

Other tech execs swear by it, too. Dan Zigmond, director of special projects at Apple, previously told Insider that he fasts for 15 hours a day, and Evernote co-founder Phil Libin doesn’t eat for between two to eight days in a row.

What does the science say?

Popular IF patterns include the 5:2 plan, which involves eating normally for five days and then dramatically cutting calorie intake for two, and the 16:8 regime, where people fast for 16 hours and only eat within an eight-hour window.

Several studies in both humans and animals have shown that IF can result in health benefits for those with obesity and diabetes. Still, more research is needed to determine whether IF is healthy, or even feasible, if people do it for a long time.

Some nutrition experts say Dorsey’s version of the diet is extreme and more closely resembles an eating disorder, and that any feelings of mental alertness associated with extreme IF are because the body is in survival mode.

“When people undercut their need for food with radical under-eating, the body doesn’t care about the reasoning. It is just going react to save your life,” Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, a doctor who specializes in eating disorders, previously told Insider.

Gaudiani said that animals in starvation “should feel concerned and focused. They may interpret that initially as productive, but it’s the brain saying, ‘I don’t have enough food.'”

Wearing a $299 ring that tells you how to improve sleep

Prince Harry Oura   Scott Barbour:Getty Images
Prince Harry wearing a Oura ring with his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in 2018

The Oura ring tracks a person’s sleep, collecting data on heart rate and body temperature. It then tells you how to sleep better. The $299 ring also works during the day, monitoring activity levels. Prince Harry, who recently took a Silicon-Valley job, has even been spotted wearing the band.

Jack Dorsey helped finance the start-up and shared his Oura dashboard with his Twitter followers in 2018. Jay Livingston, CMO of Shake Shack, and Jeremy Liew, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, both previously told Insider they wear the ring.

“It’s been meaningfully improving my deep sleep and REM, and making me feel more rested each morning,” Liew told Insider.

What does the science say?

Some research has shown the Oura ring can detect when the body is in different phases of sleep. Other studies have suggested the device can give early warning signs for illness.

And one study by the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute last year found the gadget to be accurate in early detection of COVID-19.

The NBA announced last June that all players in Orlando would be offered an Oura Ring to help them identify asymptomatic cases of the disease. Oura’s role in helping contain the pandemic helped it win Time’s coveted “Best Invention of 2020” title.

Sleeping with your curtains wide open

Whitney Wolfe Herd
Whitney Wolfe Herd speaking at an event in New York City in 2019

Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO and founder of dating app Bumble, sleeps with her curtains open to let the morning sunlight wake her up, she said in an interview with Entrepreneur.

“I think that’s a healthy thing to do because even if you don’t like to wake up early, your body does adjust,” Herd said.

In February, Herd became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire when she took her company public. Bumble raised $2.2 billion in its IPO.

What does the science say?

Exposure to natural light in the mornings is a good way to tell your body it’s time to get up.

Light-sensitive receptors in the eyes signal to the suprachiasmatic nucleus – the part of the brain regulating the sleep-wake cycle – to wake the body up. Melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, also decreases with sunlight exposure.

“Opening your eyes to a burst of bright sunlight can pull you out of your sleep grogginess before your alarm alerts you it’s time to start your day,” Dr Kasey Nichols, an expert in sleep disorders, told Bustle.

Many people choose to sleep with a sunrise alarm clock that mimics natural light.

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The CEO of an NFT platform featuring tweets from Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey breaks down where the market goes from here – and dissects the Tesla founder’s cult-like personality

Cameron Hejazi
Cameron Hejazi, CEO and co-founder of Cent, Valuables’ parent company.

  • Elon Musk pulled out of selling one of his tweets as an NFT, but users of NFT platform Valuables are still trying to buy them.
  • Valuables, owned by the social media platform Cent, allows users to turn tweets into NFTs and buy or sell them.
  • The thrill of the chase and fandom culture attract users, Cent CEO and co-founder Cameron Hejazi told Insider.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Earlier this year, at the height of NFT-mania, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk first minted a tweet of his as an NFT and then retracted the offer to sell it after receiving bids of up to $1 million. “Actually, doesn’t feel quite right selling this. Will pass,” he tweeted.

His admirers however have not stopped trying to buy his tweets. Through the platform Valuables, which also sold Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet as an NFT, offers have been pouring in for Musk. So far this week, 29 bids have been made on Musk tweets, worth over $15,000 in the cryptocurrency ether.

“It is very much thrill-oriented and status-oriented and, you know, frankly fandom-oriented. Elon has the most bids on his tweets because he has so many fans. And these are fans expressing their fandom…It’s that fandom that really drives them to engage in this behaviour,” Cameron Hejazi, CEO and co-founder of Cent, the blockchain based social media company that created Valuables, told Insider in an interview this week.

Valuables’ concept is simple – anyone can bid on tweets, or mint their own tweets to then sell. The authors of tweets can accept, or reject offers, users can out-bid one another or re-sell NFTs they previously purchased. Transactions are made with the cryptocurrency ether.

Minting a tweet through Valuables turns it into a NFT, a non-fungible token that is based on blockchain technology. NFTs are digital assets, like images, video, audio – or tweets. Ownership is recorded on blockchain ledgers.

Since its 2020 launch, Valuables has accumulated 53,000 users who have made transactions worth $3.2 million.

“Behind every NFT there is a person, story and a message. Those three elements combined give it value. Art works in the same way, but NFTs can move faster and they are more transparent and accessible to the public,” one user explained. “It’s a new type of human interaction that never existed before”, he continued.

Others go even further: “NFTs become a part of your identity”, another NFT trader said.

Fandom and admiration play a key role in users bidding on NFTs. “I felt like I had to have that tweet signed by Charles Hoskinson,” one bidder told us. Over the past month, he spent over $6,762 on NFT tweets. ‘I found out there’s something addictive about these things!” the trader told Insider.

“I definitely think that there’s aspects of gamification that can go into play here. Things like for instance trading specific moments or building a collection of moments…I do think that it will definitely solidify as a collectible like trading cards.” Hejazi told Insider.

At the moment, most of the excitement comes from the bidding process before a purchase is made, he said.

But some users are starting to see an increased post-purchase value. “When people buy one of those tweets, I’m autographing a piece of history and then also sharing with them a backstory that nobody has ever heard before,” another seller said.

Valuables is also trying to expand the thrill and experience beyond bidding. “The goal for us is to even get it beyond that right, even beyond just the fandom collecting aspect, it’s to really make it so that it ultimately fosters a connection in some meaningful way that’s real, that’s not just one sided, that’s not just on the fan side, it’s between the fan and the creator and so that’s where we’re actively exploring.” Hejazi said.

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Jack Dorsey’s Square reports Q1 bitcoin revenue grew 1,000% to $3.5 billion – and is the 3rd-largest corporate holder of the cryptocurrency

Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey.

  • Square’s bitcoin sales volume surged 1,000% year-on-year in the first-quarter, the company said.
  • Overall revenue was $5.06 billion, handily beating analyst expectations of $3.37 billion.
  • Jack Dorsey said Square views bitcoin as “the internet’s potential to have a native currency.”
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Square reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates on Thursday, powered by surging demand for bitcoin.

Quarterly revenue from bitcoin grew eleven times to $3.5 billion, from $306 million a year ago, the company said in a shareholder letter. But gross profit from these transactions were only $75 million, or about 2% of bitcoin revenue, making up Square’s fee generation from sales.

Square profits from transaction fees that customers are charged with when they buy or sell cryptocurrencies on its platform, which is smaller in comparison to revenue generated.

cash app
Square’s Cash App.

Overall quarterly sales for the digital-payments firm came in at $5.06 billion, beating analyst forecasts for $3.37 billion. Net income for the quarter was $39 million, or 8 cents per share. Gross profit more than doubled by rising 79% year-on-year to $964 million.

Screenshot 2021 05 07 at 08.41.40

The company announced a boosted bitcoin stake in February, having invested an additional $170 million. That accounted for about 5% of its total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

With that investment, Square bought an additional 3,318 bitcoin at an average price of $51,235.68. It had bought 4,709 bitcoin for $50 million in October 2020, currently worth about $263 million.

Square now holds 8,027 bitcoin, according to bitcointreasuries.org, worth about $448 million. That makes it the third-largest publicly-traded holder of the digital asset after MicroStrategy and Tesla.

“We see bitcoin as the internet’s potential to have a native currency, and we want to further that as much as we can.” CEO Jack Dorsey said during an earnings call. “Our focus is enabling bitcoin to be the native currency. It removes a bunch of friction for our business, and we believe fully that it creates more opportunities for economic empowerment around the world.”

Square counted more than 10 million monthly active users of its Cash Card in the quarter. About seven million active users, on average, used its Cash Cards every week in March.

Square’s shares rose 2.5% to $229.55 per share in pre-market trading on Friday.

Bitcoin was last trading 1% lower on Friday, at around $55,800 per coin, but is up 89% so far this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Investors are using a new platform to bid thousands on NFTs of Elon Musk’s tweets. We spoke to its CEO about the Tesla’s founder cult-like following – and where the market goes from here.

Cameron Hejazi
Cameron Hejazi, CEO and co-founder of Cent, Valuables’ parent company.

  • Elon Musk pulled out of selling one of his tweets as an NFT, but users of NFT platform Valuables are still trying to buy them.
  • Valuables, owned by the social media platform Cent, allows users to turn tweets into NFTs and buy or sell them.
  • The thrill of the chase and fandom culture attract users, Cent CEO and co-founder Cameron Hejazi told Insider.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Earlier this year, at the height of NFT-mania, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk first minted a tweet of his as an NFT and then retracted the offer to sell it after receiving bids of up to $1 million. “Actually, doesn’t feel quite right selling this. Will pass,” he tweeted.

His admirers however have not stopped trying to buy his tweets. Through the platform Valuables, which also sold Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet as an NFT, offers have been pouring in for Musk. So far this week, 29 bids have been made on Musk tweets, worth over $15,000 in the cryptocurrency ether.

“It is very much thrill-oriented and status-oriented and, you know, frankly fandom-oriented. Elon has the most bids on his tweets because he has so many fans. And these are fans expressing their fandom…It’s that fandom that really drives them to engage in this behaviour,” Cameron Hejazi, CEO and co-founder of Cent, the blockchain based social media company that created Valuables, told Insider in an interview this week.

Valuables’ concept is simple – anyone can bid on tweets, or mint their own tweets to then sell. The authors of tweets can accept, or reject offers, users can out-bid one another or re-sell NFTs they previously purchased. Transactions are made with the cryptocurrency ether.

Minting a tweet through Valuables turns it into a NFT, a non-fungible token that is based on blockchain technology. NFTs are digital assets, like images, video, audio – or tweets. Ownership is recorded on blockchain ledgers.

Since its 2020 launch, Valuables has accumulated 53,000 users who have made transactions worth $3.2 million.

“Behind every NFT there is a person, story and a message. Those three elements combined give it value. Art works in the same way, but NFTs can move faster and they are more transparent and accessible to the public,” one user explained. “It’s a new type of human interaction that never existed before”, he continued.

Others go even further: “NFTs become a part of your identity”, another NFT trader said.

Fandom and admiration play a key role in users bidding on NFTs. “I felt like I had to have that tweet signed by Charles Hoskinson,” one bidder told us. Over the past month, he spent over $6,762 on NFT tweets. ‘I found out there’s something addictive about these things!” the trader told Insider.

“I definitely think that there’s aspects of gamification that can go into play here. Things like for instance trading specific moments or building a collection of moments…I do think that it will definitely solidify as a collectible like trading cards.” Hejazi told Insider.

At the moment, most of the excitement comes from the bidding process before a purchase is made, he said.

But some users are starting to see an increased post-purchase value. “When people buy one of those tweets, I’m autographing a piece of history and then also sharing with them a backstory that nobody has ever heard before,” another seller said.

Valuables is also trying to expand the thrill and experience beyond bidding. “The goal for us is to even get it beyond that right, even beyond just the fandom collecting aspect, it’s to really make it so that it ultimately fosters a connection in some meaningful way that’s real, that’s not just one sided, that’s not just on the fan side, it’s between the fan and the creator and so that’s where we’re actively exploring.” Hejazi said.

Read the original article on Business Insider