Although the cryptocurrency industry prides itself on its ability to be disconnected from the nuances of fiat bureaucracy and the shortcomings of mainstream corporations, the blockchain space is inextricably tied to events taking place in the outside world, so to say.
This was proven to be the case again when it was recently revealed that a so-called “activist investor” or “activist hedge fund” is trying to usurp Jack Dorsey, currently the chief executive of Twitter, from his position.
As Dorsey has been one of the most prominent proponents of Bitcoin in Silicon Valley — overtly saying he “loves Bitcoin” in an earnings call for the other company he leads, Square — many in the crypto industry have been quick to react.
Hedge Fund Looking to Oust Jack Dorsey as Twitter CEO
It’s almost a given that chief executives of social media platforms are controversial. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief, is no exception from that rule.
Over the past few months and years, Dorsey has fielded much criticism about his platform and the way he acts as the CEO of one of the world’s most important social media companies. Purported issues about the Twitter leader range from him saying he wants to move to Africa for three to six months, his leading of two multi-billion-dollar companies simultaneously, and the claimed preferential censorship of certain Twitter accounts in certain spheres.
But little has been done to amend these issues, until now anyway.
According to a Bloomberg report citing “people familiar with the matter,” the pro-crypto executive may soon be replaced because of Elliot Management Corp, an activist hedge fund, taking a sizable stake in Twitter.
The sources explained that this stake (some reports say it is around 5% of the company’s stock) allows Elliot to nominate some of its people onto the board of directors, potentially giving them the capacity to move to replace Twitter’s incumbent CEO.
This move from Elliot Management comes after Scott Galloway, a prominent figure on Twitter that also teaches at NYU Stern School of Business, wrote on his blog that as a holder of 334,000 shares in Twitter, he “reserves the right to establish a dialogue with like-minded shareholders regarding the nomination of class III directors and/or a resolution of “no-confidence” concerning you and CEO Jack Dorsey.”
Galloway cited many concerns, including the aforementioned in this report.
Crypto Community Defends Dorsey
Many have come out to defend Dorsey in these trying times, including those in the crypto space.
Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian founder of Ethereum, recently wrote that he stands with Jack, adding that he believes the CEO has done “a vastly better job than what I expect/fear from a hedge fund appointed CEO swooping in to replace him.” Buterin was responding to a pro-Dorsey comment from Tesla’s Elon Musk, who has one of Twitter’s biggest followings.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) March 5, 2020
Also, Adamant Capital’s Tuur Demeester recently said that Dorsey has done a ” stellar job at safeguarding its mission: finding a healthy balance between supporting free speech, civil discourse, and platform monetization.”
Why Does This Matter for Bitcoin?
To reiterate, this news is relevant for Bitcoin because of Dorsey’s status as a champion of the leading cryptocurrency.
At Square, the entrepreneur has pioneered Square Crypto, a division focused on building Bitcoin and other open blockchains. The company just recently released the Lightning Development Kit, which should give crypto service providers easy access to the leading Bitcoin scaling solution, which has the potential to enable instant and effectively free payments.
Not to mention, Elliot Management in 2018 described crypto assets as “one of the most brilliant scams in history.”
Indeed, as Business Insider reported on the matter, the fund told clients in a letter that “cryptocurrencies are nothing except the marketing power of inventors, financiers and others who love the idea of buying a black box.” They went on to bash crypto assets as not just a bubble” and “not just a fraud,” marking one of the most “brutal takedowns” of Bitcoin and its ilk from a Wall Street company.
Dorsey’s removal from Twitter would mark a blow to Bitcoin, as there has been some rumors of the company using the cryptocurrency in some way at Dorsey’s direction.