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Apple CEO holds BTC, crypto integration divides social media firms

2021.11.13 Adam James

While Reddit explores Solana and Twitter hires crypto engineers, Discord is backpedaling after disgruntled user objections.

It’s been a busy week in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry as Twitter pushes deeper into its Web 3.0 ambitions and Discord walks back hints of its own potential Ethereum integration. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that he personally owns cryptocurrency, though the company has no plans to put BTC on its balance sheet.

Here’s everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of OKEx Insights’ News of the Week.

Apple CEO Tim Cook owns cryptocurrency

Tim Cook revealed in an interview on Tuesday that he owns cryptocurrency. Apple Inc.’s chief executive told the New York Times’ DealBook that he believes “it’s reasonable to own it as part of a diversified portfolio.”

However, Cook also stated that Apple has no “immediate plans” to expand into the blockchain and cryptocurrency space or add BTC to its treasury.

Key takeaways

  • Whenever a high-profile individual in the tech space, such as Cook, reveals that they own cryptocurrency, it lends further legitimacy to the space.
  • Though Cook claimed Apple isn’t currently making plans to move into the crypto space, the company did post a job listing in May for an alternative-payments business development role which cited interest in cryptocurrency experience.

Twitter hires crypto engineering lead to grow Dapps

Twitter has hired Tess Rinearson to lead its crypto engineering as the social media giant continues to push further into the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Rinearson tweeted that the company is first looking to grow decentralized applications for creators before collaborating with Twitter’s decentralized social media project Blue Sky.

Key takeaway

  • Twitter remains highly interested in decentralized technology. On Sept. 23, the platform rolled out the ability for users to tip other users with BTC via Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. It also is looking to add support for nonfungible token verification.

Reddit cofounder investing in Solana-based social media

Reddit’s cofounder plans to invest in the construction of a decentralized social media platform on the Solana blockchain.  

Key takeaways

  • As arguably the primary competitor to Ethereum, Solana continues to see its ecosystem develop and receive investment.
  • The day before Ohanian’s announcement, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried claimed that blockchain-based social media could be “absolutely huge.”

Discord founder hints at Ethereum integration, walks it back

Jason Citron has suggested that Discord could integrate with Ethereum through MetaMask or other decentralized wallets. The platform’s founder and CEO posted a screenshot displaying Discord connecting to Ethereum, with the tongue-in-cheek statement that it’s “probably nothing” — a commonly used phrase in cryptocurrency circles to mean that something is actually likely of importance.

Shortly after, however, Citron reassured disgruntled users that the platform has no immediate plans to integrate with Ethereum wallets.

Key takeaways 

  • Though Citron walked it back somewhat, there is reason to believe Discord has long-term plans to integrate deeper with Web 3.0.
  • If Citron’s hint does indeed become a reality at some point in the not-so-distant future, Discord would presumably allow its millions of users to send and receive cryptocurrency. The platform itself may even go so far as to offer a token-swapping feature in the interest of generating revenue through transaction fees.
  • Discord has seen incredible growth after launching in 2015. Its current valuation is somewhere in the vicinity of $15 billion, and the platform has been courted for acquisition by Microsoft.

City mayor says residents will earn BTC by staking MiamiCoin

Speaking on CoinDeskTV, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez stated that residents will earn a BTC yield for staking the city’s cryptocurrency. Suarez added that MiamiCoin, launched in August, was an effort to “increase the utility of bitcoin” and that it may, in the future, enable the “revolutionary” elimination of taxes.

Key takeaways 

  • MiamiCoin is built using the CityCoins protocol based on the Stacks Bitcoin scaling solution.
  • Also this week, CityCoins launched a NewYorkCoin on Stacks following optimistic remarks from Mayor-elect Eric Adams. 
  • Austin looks set to follow after the appearance of an “AustinCoin” page on the CityCoins website

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Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.



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