Crypto is never short for news. This week we’ve seen a who’s who of crypto firms cut ties with Silvergate as regulators circle the crypto bank, a revelation about Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou’s habits of extravagant spending and bullying employees and Visa’s crypto plans questioned.
Crypto bank Silvergate Capital is running out of customers after its Wednesday reveal in a regulatory filing that it may be “less than well-capitalized” and was “re-evaluating its business.”
The bank has been under close inspection by regulators and politicians. Silvergate CEO Alan Lane has been blasted for his “evasive” responses to a previous letter by a group of bipartisan U.S. senators. The group also demanded more information about a $4.3 billion advance the firm took from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco in the fourth quarter.
Not so Dapper
Private jets, public shaming and parties with Diplo? That’s how Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou operated the startup best known for its NFT collection, NBA Top Shot.
Gharegozlou traveled on private jets and stayed in luxurious accommodations and had a habit of “bullying” employees at Dapper Labs by publicly shaming staff on Slack or screaming at employees during video calls.
News of his excessive travel budget and luxury lifestyle was probably a bit of a gut punch for the staff, who have endured two rounds of layoffs in the last six months.
Visa crypto plans going ahead
Last week began with a report from Reuters that Visa was holding off on its crypto integration plans amid some of the calamitous events the industry had experienced in the past year. Previously, the payments giant had proposed a plan to use StarkNet for automatic recurring payments in late 2022.
“Recent high-profile failures in the crypto sector are an important reminder that we have a long way to go before crypto becomes a part of mainstream payments and financial services,” an unidentified Visa spokesperson told Reuters.
That was news to Visa’s head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, who countered the report in a tweet claiming that the Reuters story was inaccurate. Another Visa spokesperson also told The Block that Visa remains committed to its crypto strategy.
“At Visa, we don’t pick winners and losers,” the spokesperson said. “Our job is to support an array of ways to pay and to study new technologies that may impact the future of payments. To that end, we’re focused on growing our core competencies in web3 infrastructure layers and evaluating the blockchain protocols driving crypto development.”
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