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: A fake press release claimed that Walmart would accept Litecoin as payment, Mailchimp employees were disgruntled to find that Intuit bought their company for $12 million, Rivian’s first production EV truck rolled off the line, and Charlie Gasparino weighed in on the SEC’s crypto regulation.
1. Walmart and Litecoin get pranked
In one of the more convincing instances of fake news, Walmart appeared to have published a press release claiming that it was now accepting cryptocurrency Litecoin as a form of payment, when in fact it wasn’t. Even Litecoin’s Twitter account shared the release before deleting the tweet.
Unfortunately, the press release was fabricated by an unknown hacker, and before the companies could set the record straight, the price of Litecoin jumped 33%. It eventually fell back down to little more than 1% higher than it was before the fiasco.
Twitter was suddenly full of talking heads discussing the significance of Walmart’s move, only to realize that it was all a ploy to make Litecoin more valuable. Packy McCormick, author of the Not Boring business newsletter, tweeted, “If this Walmart/Litecoin news is fake, which…it has to be, right? It’s the best prank of the year.”
2. Mailchimp’s $12 billion exit
This week, tax software giant Intuit announced it was buying Mailchimp, an email marketing startup, for $12 billion. Since its founding in 2001, Mailchimp hasn’t received any outside funding, making this the largest acquisition for a bootstrapped company in history.
The Hustle writer Trung Phan tweeted about the milestone: “The Atlanta-based email marketing firm has taken no VC money. Even more impressive, its CEO and co-founder Ben Chestnut has the cleanest ‘Experience’ section in the history of Linkedin.” The section Phan was referring to had nothing but Chestnut’s 20-year tenure as head of Mailchimp.
Not everyone was thrilled with the acquisition, however. According to Insider, employees felt they were lied to upon hearing the news, saying that management promised Mailchimp would never go public or get acquired. Meanwhile, employees weren’t permitted to get equity.
One employee wasn’t upset about the lack of equity, but didn’t like the fact that Intuit was the new parent company.
“I don’t really care about not having equity at MC,” he tweeted. “Equity rarely pays off (I have worked at many startups and seen $0). I’ll take my yearly bonus and retirement matching any day. That said I joined the company because they said they wanted to remain independent.”
3. Rivian’s first EV truck rolls out
Electric truck maker Rivian rolled out its first electric pickup truck, the R1T, on Wednesday, beating larger rivals GM, Tesla, and Ford to the punch.
CEO RJ Scaringe tweeted photos of the occasion, which took place at Rivian’s plant in Normal, Illinois.
“After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal!” he wrote. “Our team's collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can't wait to get these into the hands of our customers!”
The R1T retails for $73,000, but the first batch of vehicles is already sold out — thankfully, Rivian is already accepting orders for January 2022.
4. Charlie Gasparino on the SEC and crypto
Fox Business anchor Charlie Gasparino is known for peering into economic issues and taking divisive stands. Most recently, in a series of tweets, he explored the ins and outs of the crypto regulatory standoff involving the SEC, Ripple, and Coinbase.
Citing SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce as a source, Gasparino tweeted, “Without consistent regulations on #cryptocurrencies @SECGov will stifle innovation in the US and innovation will move elsewhere as it is doing. IMHO maybe that’s the govts endgame to kill the biz.”
While Gasparino has advocated for government regulation of crypto in the past, he seems to side with crypto companies on the whole.
“As I continue to report, what's fascinating about @SEC_Enforcement on @Ripple @coinbase is the Feds are giving these outlets — which have embraced regulatory dialogue — more scrutiny than they gave Bernie Madoff. Every industry needs regulations but there is a degree of overkill.”