This week in Business Twitter: NFTs remained the talk of the town, so of course Elon Musk had to get in on the action. Meanwhile, a handful of collectors were robbed of thousands of dollars’ worth of NFTs by hackers using perfectly legal loopholes.
Here’s everything you may have missed from this week.
1. Elon’s NFT song and Beeple’s portrait
Elon Musk, Bitcoin and Dogecoin aficionado, has found a new muse: NFTs. On Monday, Musk tweeted a short video featuring an animated NFT trophy and a catchy techno NFT song, saying that he’d sell the clip itself as an NFT.
Meanwhile, digital artist Beeple, who recently sold the most expensive NFT to date for $69 million offered — what else? — $69 million for it.
2. NFTs and art thieves
Someone stole my NFTs today on @niftygateway and purchased $10K++ worth of today's drop without my knowledge. NFTs were then transferred to another account.— Michael J. Miraflor (@michaelmiraflor) March 14, 2021
I encourage EVERYONE to please check their accounts ASAP.
Could use everyone's help here - please RT!
It’s not all fun and games with NFTs, however. Michael Miraflor, a marketing and media strategist, had been collecting NFTs along with the recent crypto art boom. He hadn’t run into any roadblocks until this past weekend, when someone hacked into his Nifty Gateway account and robbed tens of thousands of dollars.
Miraflor wrote a Twitter thread outlining his wild goose chase, trying to track down his money and the person responsible for the blockchain heist. It started when Nifty Gateway, Miraflor’s NFT marketplace of choice, notified him that he had made a sale. He immediately noticed something was wrong when he logged in and saw an empty account.
Unfortunately, even after filing a police report and confirming that fraud had indeed taken place, there was no way for his NFTs to be returned to him, although his cash was recovered. Nifty Gateway confirmed that the hackers found buyers for the NFTs on Discord, and that the company knows who was involved.
“Hacker wins,” he wrote. “Secondary market purchaser wins. I lose. Going to explore other options if I can. Doesn’t sit right with me.”
Miraflor isn't the only one getting scammed. In his thread, Miraflor quoted tweets from two collectors who had also been robbed over the weekend.
3. Amazon, beat Sears?
As odd as it sounds, there was once a time when Jeff Bezos wasn’t the richest man in the world and Amazon didn't rule online shopping. In 1999, Sears was still so big that the mere idea of a newcomer unseating it as the biggest retailer was laughable (much like someone unseating Amazon today might be). And yet it all happened in less than two decades.
That year, “60 Minutes'' aired an episode profiling Bezos and his then-5-year-old company, which still had yet to turn a profit. Despite that, Amazon was worth 20% more than Sears in market capitalization.
“The company says it’s investing for the future,” the clip said. “Skeptics say it would have to sell every book in the world being sold today to justify its stock price.”
That video went viral this week, prompting Silicon Valley elites to comment on the predictions. Some said the clip’s dialogue was so ironic it would have been labeled too on the nose had it been written today. Y Combinator founder Paul Graham took the opportunity to point out the apparent arrogance of the reporters.
The remarkable thing is not just how mistaken these reporters seem, but how sure they are of themselves. It must be a general reporter m.o. always to speak with certainty. Usually they get away with it, but when talking about startups this trick can blow up spectacularly. https://t.co/BL5MFmhiyV— Paul Graham (@paulg) March 17, 2021
“How could Amazon be worth more than Sears!??”— andrewchen (@andrewchen) March 18, 2021
Love that this was the key question in 1999.
What startups are they asking these kinds of dumb questions about today? Those are the ones we should be funding! https://t.co/SXIuv1wmKL
4. Stripe is number one
We just raised a new round of financing to help support our international expansion and efforts to enable the global startup ecosystem. I’m particularly proud that it’s co-led by NTMA, the Irish sovereign wealth fund. Some new stats in article below too.https://t.co/zMpbtrfCuB— Patrick Collison (@patrickc) March 14, 2021
Payment processing company Stripe has been lauded as the most valuable startup after its latest round of funding. The $600 million influx of cash means Stripe is now worth $95 billion — more than SpaceX, and a ton of other prominent startups.
To commemorate the milestone, Stripe CEO and co-founder Patrick Collison tweeted about his company’s plans for 2021 with the new capital. According to the press release he attached, Stripe is focused on international expansion, even receiving money from NTMA, the sovereign wealth fund of Ireland.