Ross Ulbricht, founder of defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road, has created a stir by announcing he will auction off his series of non-fungible tokens (NFT) starting Dec. 2. The imprisoned early Bitcoin adopter announced via his supporter operated Twitter account on Dec. 1 his plans to auction the Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection on Superare NFT marketplace from Dec. 2-8. The collection consists of 11 works of art Ulbricht handmade, then his supporters minted into NFT form.
The art was made in different stages of Ulbricht’s life from childhood up to his time in prison. The early works depict comic book characters and animals, while the later works depicts scenes from his court trial and inner feelings he has had since being imprisoned.
Proceeds from the auction will help fund a trust to support Ulbricht’s efforts to be freed from prison. Funds will also help launch the donor-advised charitable fund Art4Giving, which is “dedicated to relieving the suffering of the incarcerated and their families.”
Ulbricht has been a controversial character in the crypto space since he was sentenced to two life terms in federal prison in Oct. 2015 for operating the Silk Road marketplace. Silk Road opened on the dark web in Feb. 2011 and allowed users to purchase nearly anything with Bitcoin (BTC), including illicit substances.
The announcement sparked a blizzard of conflicting commentary from people on social media, some against Ulbricht’s decision, but most in support of his cause.
David Marcus, the head of Meta’s cryptocurrency and fintech unit Novi, will step down from his role by the end of 2021. Taking over from Marcus will be Stephane Kasriel, the former CEO of Upwork who has been at Meta, formerly known as Facebook, since August 2020.
Marcus announced the decision via a Dec. 1 tweet, noting that he had made the “difficult decision” to leave the firm by the end of this year. The exec didn’t go into detail about what his next move would be, but hinted that it may be something “new and exciting” that he builds himself:
“While there’s still so much to do right on the heels of launching Novi — and I remain as passionate as ever about the need for change in our payments and financial systems — my entrepreneurial DNA has been nudging me for too many mornings in a row to continue ignoring it.”
Marcus has worked at the company since 2014, initially taking up a role in the firm’s messenger service branch before shifting his focus to financial services in 2018 by founding Meta’s digital wallet Novi (which also bears the same name as the fintech unit) along with co-founding the beleaguered Diem stablecoin project which now operates independently.
Today is bittersweet, sad to see @davidmarcus leave @Meta, grateful for his leadership and belief in me as the new Head of Novi. https://t.co/nxDNlywqVw November 30, 2021
Marcus joins a list of former execs of the social media giant's crypto unit who have left the firm over the past 12 months, including fellow Diem co-founders Morgan Beller and Kevin Weil who both took up new roles at NFX and Planet respectively.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has resigned from his position at the social media firm after serving for more than six years.
In a Monday tweet to his 5.9 million followers, Dorsey said he had stepped down as the CEO of social media giant Twitter, which he helped co-found in 2006. He announced that the company’s board of directors has appointed Twitter chief technology officer and board member Parag Agrawal to replace Dorsey “starting today.” Dorsey said his decision to step down was based on the board’s approval of Agrawal, board member Bret Taylor agreeing to be the new chair and the opportunities for upward mobility for other Twitter team members.
“I believe it’s really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead,” said Dorsey. “I believe it’s critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.”
Dorsey served as Twitter’s CEO from 2006 to 2008 and later from 2015 following the departure of Dick Costolo. It’s unclear if Dorsey plans to leave the social media firm behind to focus on operations at Square and the platform’s initiative to develop a decentralized Bitcoin (BTC) exchange.
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