In the past month, four pretty major crypto CEOs have stepped down. Michael Saylor from MicroStrategy, Jesse Powell from Kraken, and most recently, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky. FTX US president Brett Harrison can sneak onto our list as well.
Now, before we get started here, we need to say that we don't want to lump all of their exits together. Saylor is still executive chairman, Jesse Powell noted that his work week will simply now go down to "only 40 hours," Harrison will stay an advisor, and Mashinsky is… in the middle of bankruptcy court for Celsius.
However, the one thread that keeps all of these CEOs departing for advisory roles together is (drum roll please) the bear market. Yes, Saylor is still the biggest Bitcoin bull in the world, if you look at his daily Bitcoin affirmation tweets, and Powell made a point of saying that his decision to resign was made over a year ago.
But if we pull back and try to categorize a trend, regardless of the reasons for these exits — do these big resignations signal any further bearish signal in the market? Will we see more and more CEOs stepping down to focus on a general "crypto advisory" place in the industry instead (or to deal with court cases,) leaving newcomers to try to battle for their former companies' survival?
And if we do — will YOU be the one to take their place?
Four months after withdrawals were suddenly suspended, Alex Mashinsky has resigned as Celsius Network's CEO. He said his role has become an "increasing distraction" — and apologized for the "difficult financial circumstances" users are facing. It's now emerged that Maskinsky was facing pressure to step down from a committee that represents Celsius users. After an investigation, they concluded that allowing him to remain as CEO "was unacceptable and not in the best interests of the estates, and new executive leadership was required." Mashinsky's handling of Celsius, and subsequent bankruptcy proceedings, have attracted scrutiny and criticism at times. Current chief financial officer Chris Ferraro will now serve as interim CEO.
He's at it again. Days after scooping up Voyager Digital's assets for $1.4 billion in a "highly competitive auction," reports suggest that Sam Bankman-Fried is eyeing up Celsius Network's too. According to Bloomberg, his crypto exchange FTX is currently preparing to raise an additional $1 billion in funding, too. Bloomberg says it's unclear what FTX, or his trading firm Alameda Research, are interested in acquiring — and whether this relates to its mining operations or crypto custody business. There's currently a $1.2 billion black hole in Celsius Network's finances. FTX has been making a series of acquisitions during the bear market, and buying distressed companies at discounted valuations.
Bitcoin has handed back all of its gains since the start of the week — crashing back down to $19,000. The world's biggest cryptocurrency had a short-lived rally to $20,300 — the first time it had headed above this psychologically significant milestone in a week. And while 24-hour losses of 6% are unpleasant to say the least, BTC does remain flat on a seven-day timeframe — down 0.88%. Stablecoins excluded, the top 15 cryptocurrencies by market cap are also in negative territory on the day. Investors are now gearing up for October, which historically tends to be quite a bullish month for Bitcoin. But BTC is renowned for operating in four-year cycles. October 2014 saw Bitcoin shed 13% of its value, with a drop of 4% seen in 2018.
As law enforcement agencies around the world battle to track him down, Do Kwon has lashed out at "misinformation" that's spreading online. News reports had suggested that Kwon had attempted to cash out Bitcoin worth $67 million — a day after an arrest warrant was issued against him earlier this month. But hitting back on Twitter, the embattled Terraform Labs founder denied that any such cashout had occurred — and attempted to poke holes in the story. It was claimed that OKX and KuCoin had been asked to freeze 3,313 BTC that was linked to the crypto entrepreneur, but Kwon says he hasn't used these exchanges in over a year. The Luna Foundation Guard has issued its own denial.
Two ethical hackers who uncovered critical security vulnerabilities in OpenSea's marketplace have been given a $100,000 bounty each. One flaw could have enabled malicious actors to steal assets from unsuspecting customers. Corben Leo, one of those given the six-figure sum, said he was "literally shaking" — adding he was "super duper lucky and blessed to have found this." In a statement to The Block, OpenSea said bounty programs make business sense because they incentivize people to report flaws rather than exploit them. Data suggests that more than $1.65 million in bounties has been paid by the NFT marketplace so far — and of this, $475,000 has been awarded in the past 90 days.