CRC Blockchain Industry Commentary #10
1) Bitmain founder Jihan Wu forces out co-founder from Bitcoin mining giant
Bloomberg reports Bitmain co-founder, Jihan Wu, who had stepped down from the CEO position earlier this year following a tumultuous aborted IPO process, announced the resignation of his co-founder Micree Zhan Ketuan. The rift appears contentious as Wu warned employees in an internal memo that “taking further instructions from Zhan or attending any meetings he convenes” would lead to dismissal or criminal charges.
CRC Commentary: Currently, based on the last year’s IPO prospectus, Zhan is the majority shareholder of Bitmain with %37 stake and Jihan Wu with %21. Dovey Wan is almost live streaming the event and providing intelligence on the matter. According to her, it was a very hostile takeover and shareholders/investors of the company were not informed beforehand. I am still curious how can Jihan make that happen with such little legal power and it will be interesting to see how that move will affect Bitmain’s rumored IPO in the US.
2) Uber Interesting: the ride-sharing giant rolls out digital wallet "Uber Money"
Uber announced a new division called Uber Money, which will include a digital wallet and new debit and credit cards targeted towards its 4 million global drivers, and eventually its 100 million monthly riders.
CRC Commentary: It is likely that any tech company with a large userbase will at some point attempt to come up with their own payment system/money. According to Messari.io, the first product under Uber Money is a reloadable debit card with an “instant pay” service. Real-time streaming earnings remain one of the most interesting, under-explored use cases of crypto, as this could minimize overdrafts and disrupt the payday lending industry. As it is well known with the Starbucks case, Uber trips can be paid by using that debit card and this will drive the cashless society further. Uber is well-positioned to deliver an actually interesting digital currency product that helps its emerging market customers.
3) Argentina further imposes capital controls; sharply cuts USD buying limits to $200 a month
After limiting purchases of U.S. dollars to $10,000 per month in September, the Argentinian central bank has reduced the amount to $200 for individuals with a bank account, and $100 for cash purchases and non-residents.
CRC Commentary: Argentina is one of these countries which made the headlines in 2018/19 with its hyper-inflationary currency. Capital controls such as this will force people to look for alternatives. The LocalBitcoins average deviation of the Argentine peso market from the spot price of bitcoin has doubled to 32% over the last week, marking an increasing demand for an asset resistant to capital controls. I would argue that if the country is getting stricter with its capital controls, then there will come a time the Argentina government will turn hostile to BTC and other cryptocurrencies. However, as we know from the China example, that is not necessarily true because of the decentralized/P2P nature of these cryptocurrencies.
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