In search of a new crypto deity – TechCrunch

by Jeremy

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review!

Last week, I wrote about tech taking on Disney. This week, I’m talking about the search for a new crypto messiah.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.


The Big Thing

Elon has worn out his welcome among the crypto Illuminati, and the acolytes of Bitcoin are searching out a new emperor, god-king.

GettyImages 921871490

This weekend, thousands of crypto acolytes and investors have descended on a Bitcoin-themed conference in Miami, a genuine, very heavily-produced conference sporting crypto celebrities and actual celebrities all on a mission to make waves.

Even though I am not at the conference in person (panels from its main stage were live-streamed online), I have plenty of invites in my email for afterparties featuring celebrities, open bars, and endless conversations on the perils of fiat. Thanks to its most vibrant bull run yet, the cryptocurrency community has never been more prominent or prosperous. Despite a pretty significant correction in the past few weeks, people believe the best is yet to come.

Despite having so much, what they still seem to be lacking is a patron saint.

For the most prolonged bout, that was SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. They bolstered the currency by pushing Tesla to invest cash on its balance sheet into bitcoin while also making for Tesla to accept bitcoin payments for its vehicles. As I’ve noted in this newsletter in the past, Musk had a tough time reconciling the sheer energy use of bitcoin’s global network with his eco-warrior bravado, which has seemed to lead to his mild and uneven ex-communication (though I’m sure he’s welcome back at any time).

There are plenty of celebrities looking to fill his shoes — a recent endorsement gone wrong by Soulja Boy was one of the more comical instances.

Crypto has been no stranger to grift — of that even the most hardcore crypto grifters can likely agree — and I think there’s been some agreement that the only leader who can indeed preach the gospel is someone who is already so rich they don’t even need more money. It’s one reason the community has offered up so much respect for Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin who indeed doesn’t seem to care too much about getting any wealthier — he donated about $1 billion worth of crypto to Covid relief efforts in India. A Musk-like cheerleader serves a different purpose, though, so the community is searching for a Good Billionaire.

The best runner-up at the moment appears to be one Jack Dorsey, and while — like Musk — he is also another double-CEO, he is quite a bit different fr

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