Editor's Note: Don't Expect Another Fyre Fest on the Blockchain
Molly Jane Zuckerman writes...
This month, infamous Fyre Fest creator Billy McFarland is out of jail and ready to take on the tech world to start paying back the $26 million he owes his debtors.
If you don't remember Billy, you might remember his disastrous failure of a music festival, an event that sold $10,000 tickets for a luxury experience and then left guests stranded with disaster relief tents and cheese sandwiches.
Five years later, Billy has served his time and is looking for a new opportunity — but not in crypto.
Why is this surprising?
Based on Billy's past entrepreneurial experiences — creating a credit card for millenials to party (that failed,) creating an app to connect celebrities with their fans (Fyre…), selling tickets (that he didn't have) to events like Hamilton — one could assume that he would slide right into the NFT scene. Like NYC grifter Anna Delvey (who actually stayed briefly in Billy's apartment,) who is marketing her NFT collection from detention as a way to "move away from thai like quote unquote scammer persona." A Delvey NFT gets you either a package of personal items or a future in-person meeting.
Since his conviction, Billy is now banned for life from serving as a director of a public company — wouldn't crypto be a great way to give him a shot at earning back his multimillion-dollar debt, especially with the potential for NFT use in legitimate ticketing and events spaces that he's used to working in (illegitimately)?
While Billy is marginally interested in DAOs and how they can "effect real-world change," according to an interview with the New York Times, Billy is "not particularly interested in crypto."
We can all breathe a big sigh of relief then that no Fyre Fest 2.0 will be taking place…at least on the blockchain. We may, however, need to watch out for a Fyre DAO.
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The brother of a former Coinbase employee has pleaded guilty to the insider trading of cryptocurrencies. Nikhil Wahi admitted during a virtual court hearing that he made trades based on confidential information, according to Reuters. His sibling Ishan — a former product manager at the exchange — continues to deny the charges against him. Nikhil entered his guilty plea during a virtual court hearing in Manhattan. The 26-year-old told Judge Loretta Preska: "I knew that it was wrong to receive Coinbase's confidential information and make trades based on that confidential information." He also confirmed he understood that this plea would lead to his deportation from the U.S. — and mean he would "lose everything that I have worked for."
A trial has begun in Norway that pits the popular Crypto Twitter personality Hodlonaut against Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin. Back in 2019, Hodlonaut accused Dr. Wright of being a fraud and a scammer — and dismissed the entrepreneur's claims that he was Satoshi Nakamoto. The legal showdown in Oslo aims to determine whether Hodlonaut's tweets are protected by freedom of speech. If a judge rules in Hodlonaut's favor, this would affect Dr. Wright's ambition of collecting damages for libel during separate proceedings in London. Hodlonaut's real name is Magnus Granath — and his lawyers used the first day of the trial to establish a timeline and give the judge background on Dr. Wright.
Starbucks has revealed plans to integrate non-fungible tokens into its loyalty program. The coffee chain says loyal customers and employees will be given the chance to earn and buy digital collectibles that unlock access to "new benefits and immersive experiences." Customers and partners are now being invited to join a waitlist for "Starbucks Odyssey," which is scheduled to launch later this year. Odyssey is set to complement the existing Starbucks Rewards program — and can be accessed through current login credentials. "Journeys" will unlock access to interactive games and "fun challenges" where customers can learn more about coffee. Limited-edition NFT stamps can also be acquired without using a crypto wallet.