Jack Dorsey leaves Twitter, new chief shows less Bitcoin maximalism

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is a notorious Bitcoin bull. The new chief exec seems 'crypto' friendly — his wife is an a16z general partner.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s resident Bitcoin bull, has stepped down as chief executive (for the second and final time), and nominated chief technology officer Parag Agrawal as replacement, effective immediately.

Dorsey will continue to serve on Twitter’s board until a stockholder meeting in May 2022, when his term expires. 

He’ll also maintain a CEO role at his fintech venture Square, where Bitcoin features prominently in its major offerings like Cash App.

In a letter to Twitter staff shared on Twitter, Dorsey explained he’s quitting for good after 16 years at the social media giant, to allow it to flourish independently.

“There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led.’ Ultimately, I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure,” wrote Dorsey.

“I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders.”

Dorsey is famously pro-Bitcoin, but his replacement is noticeably quiet about crypto. 

In his own letter, new chief Agrawal said he was honored and humbled to be chosen for the top job.

“I joined this company 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees. I see Twitter’s incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us,” said Agrawal.

Agrawal is a lesser-known face of Twitter’s exec team. Still, he comes backed by both outgoing Dorsey and the company’s board, which unanimously agreed to appoint Agrawal.

Twitter’s new independent board chair Bret Taylor said they have the upmost respect for its new chief exec.

“He has been instrumental in tackling our most important priorities, including accelerating our development velocity, and I know he’ll hit the ground running to strengthen execution and deliver results,” said Taylor in a press release.

Twitter chief’s single Bitcoin tweet

Compared to his predecessor, Twitter’s incoming chief exec hasn’t commented much about Bitcoin — or crypto at all. 

In fact, the only time Agrawal tweeted about Bitcoin was in 2019, after a trip to Nigeria. Both Agrawal and Dorsey were present at a crypto-centric conversation about Bitcoin in Africa.

Dorsey, on the other hand, isn’t coy about Bitcoin. A few weeks back, Twitter’s CFO said “it doesn’t make sense” to spend company cash on crypto, while Dorsey’s Square owns more than 8,000 BTC ($470 million), according to Bitcoin Treasuries.

Indeed, Dorsey headlined the Bitcoin Miami conference last year, funds Bitcoin Core developers via Square Crypto, and established COPA to defend Bitcoin’s white paper from Craig Wright. 

Dorsey even memefied a Bitcoin price clock to “blink in Morse code” about Russia during an online Senate hearing. The incident gave the Bitcoiner crowd ‘Moscow Time,’ which approaches zero as we near the hypothesized “Bitcoinization.”

As much as Dorsey sympathizes with Bitcoin maximalists, Twitter under Dorsey more-or-less publicly piloted Ethereum-powered features like Cent’s Valuables. 

In March, Dorsey used Valuable’s to sell his first-ever tweet as a non-fungible token. 

After bidding war with Justin Sun, blockchain entrepreneur Sina Estavi bagged Dorsey’s ‘genesis tweet’ for 1,630 ETH (worth $2.9 million then, $7.4 million today).

Dorsey dumped it immediately for Bitcoin before donating the funds to charity.

But while Dorsey has toured far-off places like Africa and Ethiopia to promote the benefits of Bitcoin, the most revealing Twitter post from his replacement relates to his hope of receiving a work-anniversary present at 10 years.

Read more: [Jack Dorsey wants to you to mine Bitcoin with new imaginary gizmo]

Agrawal’s wife has crypto VC connections

It should be noted that Agrawal’s wife Vineeta is a general partner at notorious token vacuum Andreessen Horowitz (known stylistically as a16z). 

However, the trained physician (Vineeta Agrawal attained a PhD) seems to focus on clinical investments over crypto.

Since January 2020, she’s headed up a16z’s bio fund. It has backed ventures in therapeutics, diagnostics, and digital health.

Elsewhere, a16z invests widely across the cryptocurrency ecosystem, particularly DeFi, and even appeared on cap tables for painfully exploitative projects like Worldcoin and BitClout.

Such wanton tokenenomics defies Dorsey’s maximalist mantra. There’s also signs that incoming CEO Agrawal has a more inclusive approach with Twitter’s own crypto development team. 

Twitter’s new chief exec tweeted to welcome a developer sporting an Ethereum-centric .eth domain earlier this month.

It’s likely Dorsey will channel his big Bitcoin energy into Square Crypto. In October, Dorsey said Square was looking into Bitcoin mining and hardware wallets.

A month later, Dorsey released a white paper for a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange tbDEX, which intends to also support fiat currencies.

[Read more: Jack Dorsey whipped out his Bitcoin clock and Twitter went wild]

In any case, Twitter’s Bitcoin-tinted glasses appear to be coming off. Even before taking the top job, Agrawal welcomed members of the wider crypto world to the Twitter team.

Agrawal was in charge of picking the lead for the social media firm’s crypto department and installed Mina Foundation board member Tess Rinearson. Mina Foundation received a $1.2 million grant from the Ethereum Foundation in September..

Twitter’s new head even also chose Zcash developer Jay Graber to head up Bluesky, Twitter’s decentralized social media standard.

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