Welcome to another edition of Business Twitter, where we collect the best tweets to come out of Silicon Valley so you don’t have to. This article is part of a newsletter — if you want a weekly Business Twitter roundup sent to your inbox every Friday, subscribe here.
This week: New York mayor-elect Eric Adams promises to get his first three paychecks in Bitcoin, Zillow lays off 2,000 employees amid an unprofitable house-flipping fiasco, a crypto influencer has a very public meltdown on stage at the NFT.NYC conference, and an influencer known as Moon Guurl pulls the rug under a cryptocurrency, making over $100,000 in the process. Buckle up.
1. Eric Adams goes big on Bitcoin
Barely two days into his role as mayor-elect of New York, Eric Adams is already stirring up controversy. On Thursday, days after gaining the nomination, Adams proclaimed via Twitter that Bitcoin would be a top priority.
The tweet came in response to Miami mayor and crypto enthusiast Francis Suarez announcing that he’d be accepting his next paycheck in Bitcoin. Adams, not to be outdone, upped the ante.
“In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor,” Adams wrote. “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”
Suarez replied to the thread, writing, “Touché…congrats on the election and I look forward to the friendly competition in making our respective cities a crypto capital!”
Many criticized the mayors in the replies, citing Bitcoin’s enormous environmental impact and crypto’s bad reputation for volatility, scams, and hacking.
2. Zillow’s house-flipping flops instead
Real estate startup Zillow is going through a rough patch. On Tuesday, founder Rich Barton disclosed mass layoffs at the company amid major losses.
“Today is a tough day at Zillow,” he tweeted. “We made the difficult, but necessary decision to wind down the Zillow Offers operations and lay off 25% of the workforce.”
Zillow Offers was the company’s house-flipping division, but as many critics pointed out, Offers used an algorithm to buy houses that didn’t lead to any profits. The company was forced to sell 7,000 homes to institutional investors, and the layoffs amounted to 2,000 of its 8,000 employees.
One critic tweeted about the institutional investors in question. “These jerks gobbled up nearly 3,000 single family homes (w the intent of flipping them) except it didn't work out and now, instead of selling them on the open, usual market to regular folks, they're selling them to "institutional investors" (Blackrock,etc)”
Another criticized the company’s effect on the overall housing market. “I'd love to laugh at their failure, but its nothing, they'll simply write off the losses and face no real gov scrutiny for their pillaging. meanwhile they've absolutely succeeded at exacerbating America's nationwide housing affordability crisis.”
3. A cryptobro makes a scene at NFT.NYC
NFT.NYC, the first major IRL NFT industry conference, kicked off in Times Square this week. While crypto miners and DAO members alike attended conferences and yacht parties, one speaker was rudely booted from the stage while giving her talk.
Tam Gryn, who works for NFT creation platform Rally, was interrupted by Will Gaines, a crypto content creator. Gaines made a Kanye-style entrance by stealing Gryn’s spotlight to rant about, well, quite a few things.
One audience member tweeted about the incident, writing, “In the middle of @TamGZ's talk on Duchamp's Toilet, cryptobro Will Gaines literally pushes her off stage mid sentence, starts talking about his drug addiction, how crypto is like gambling, swearing, tells audience to go f themselves.”
Much like Taylor Swift after Kanye’s infamous VMAs interruption, Gryn had no ill will towards Gaines in the end.
“Thanks for the support,” Gryn wrote. “Def not cool what happened but it’s a good reminder to listen to each other in the moment instead of focusing on ourselves so much @NFT_NYC Will was prob just high on his own adrenaline.”
We reached out to Gaines for comment but have yet to hear back.
4. Moon Guurl’s crypto rug pull
Crypto scams get exposed all the time, from a fake coin based on the South Korean hit TV show Squid Game to a meme coin called “Monkey Jizz” that turned out to be a scam, too. Shocker!
This week, the maker of a crypto coin called $islainu, or Island Inu, reached out to an influencer known as Rea, or Moon Guurl, to promote the cryptocurrency. The deal was made, only to have her sell off her stake after promoting it, sending Island Inu plummeting. It’s what’s known in the industry as a “rug pull.”
One crypto Twitter account known as Zach told the story of the rug pull in a thread. Zach frequently exposes crypto scams, and in this case, he got in touch with the makers of Island Inu directly.
“Here is the deal that Rea & the team agreed to,” Zach wrote. “1% of the supply (Ik lol) for a promo Tweet about the project. Initially the team pushed for vesting w/ presale access but she repeatedly declined and said she wouldn’t sell large amounts.”
Zach then shared Moon Guurl’s tweet promoting the coin, adding, “Notice there was ZERO disclosure and instead pretended to have genuine interest.”
Moon Guurl proceeded to sell small amounts of her stake, because the team told her not to sell too much at once (to prevent any rug pulling).
“Now the project is up a bunch and the team offers to buy her out for $28k since 1% is now worth a small house (still a lowcap)....Soon after Rea acts distant citing mental health + gender discrimination. The excuses continue and she then sends the tokens to her ‘friend’ who immediately dumps the token (22.8 eth worth) rugging the project.”
All in all, 22.8 ETH is worth about $102,000, though the price fluctuates daily. Either way, it’s quite a lot of money and a classic example of a crypto rug pull.