Today is Saint Valentine’s Day, and in honor of this most romantic of holidays, Cointelegraph presents five of the crypto community’s most notable unions and breakups of the past 12 months.
Kelly Lynn Loeffler and Bakkt
Kelly Lynn Loeffler split from the crypto world in 2019, but can you blame her? Loeffler left Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt, where she was CEO, for a place with a slightly bigger cloakroom: the United States Senate.
Loeffler was named to replace Georgia’s Republican senator Johnny Isakson, who retired for health reasons. She will reportedly help oversee the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a key financial regulator, from the Senate. This potentially creates a conflict of interest given that Loeffler is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, founder and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), one of the biggest U.S. exchange operators regulated by the CFTC.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Concordium
In March, Former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen joined Swiss blockchain identity network Concordium as strategic advisor. “We are only beginning to see the benefits that blockchain technology will bring to our societies, including in our democratic processes,” Rasmussen said at the time.
One focus area was to be Concordium's blockchain-based voting solution, which aims to make voting faster, more trustworthy, and more cost-effective. Rasmussen seems well suited for the task: he also served as prime minister of Denmark from 2001 until 2009.
He also happens to have been NATO’s 12th Secretary General from August 2009 until September 2014.
Micree Ketuan Zhan and Bitmain
Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain had to keep searchin' for a heart of gold this past year after firing co-founder and chief shareholder Micree Ketuan Zhan in October. It was supposedly done to “save the ship.”
This was just one of a series of events that the crypto community calls “Bitmain Drama.” Zhan initiated court proceedings against the company’s shareholders in January in a bid to restore his voting control of the firm. The dismissed co-founder later told Bitman employees that he was “firmly opposed to layoffs.” Bitmain is said to be planning a 50% cut in its workforce before the next Bitcoin (BTC) halving.
Mark Carney and Libra
Business partnerships, like romances, are fated to have their rocky moments. Facebook’s Libra project is no exception.
After announcing a new digital currency project in June, Facebook lost a quarter of that project’s largest partners before 2019 was out. Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal each hit the eject button.
Still, 21 members remained in Libra, including Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Vodafone and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The project also has some powerful supporters, including Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who recently stated that Libra is “shining a light on deficiencies” on cross-border payments.
J. Christopher Giancarlo and Accenture
J. Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was reportedly partnering with consulting giant Accenture PLC in January to form a new think tank promoting the idea of digitizing the U.S. dollar with blockchain technology.
As CFTC chairman, Giancarlo was widely viewed as a blockchain technology advocate — he even earned the nickname “Crypto Dad” for his efforts. Other founders of the the Digital Dollar Foundation include Daniel Gorfine, a former CFTC official, and Giancarlo’s brother Charles.
In September Giancarlo also joined the Board of Advisors of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade organization for the blockchain and digital asset community.
St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated with flowers and candy, but these accounts from the past year remind us that business relationships, like romances, aren’t all sweetness and light.
They have their ups and downs, loves and rejections, all of which need to be worked through.