- Michael Saylor has reinvented himself, and his company, becoming a Bitcoin demigod and now controls $ 6 billion worth of BTC.
- CZ is perhaps the richest man in crypto, and Gary Gensler is the big bad wolf who makes sure crypto stays on the ground and acts properly.
(In the first part, we analyzed the influence of Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey. You can read it here).
Elon Musk got all the attention, and rightly so, because he could be a man to bring mankind to another planet. But while his company Tesla bought $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin (dumped some of it to «test liquidity»), it is still not the largest holder of BTC on its balance sheet for a publicly traded company.
That title applies to Microstrategy, a company that provides business intelligence software. Led by Bitcoin demigod Michael Saylor, the company emerged from obscurity in 2021 and is now one of the best performing stocks, thanks to Saylor’s decision to go for Bitcoin.
It was the first time the company bought Bitcoin in the fourth quarter of last year, receiving about 21,000 BTC for $ 250 million. Since then, he has not stopped buying and until yesterday, December 30, he continued to add BTC to his cupboards.
MicroStrategy bought an additional 1,914 bitcoins for ~ $ 94.2 million in cash at an average price of ~ $ 49,229 per #bitcoin. As of 12/29/21 we were #hodl ~ 124,391 bitcoins received for ~ $ 3.75 billion at an average price of ~ $ 30,159 per bitcoin. $ MSTRhttps://t.co/tNxDwaT8VD
– Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) December 30, 2021
Saylor is a Bitcoin bull if there ever was one. He never stopped making heavy claims about BTC, even when it fell.
«The best thing you can do is sell all the 10 trillion dollars of gold and buy bitcoin«.
«I already said it, Bitcoin is going up forever«.
«Our employees are happier, our customers are happier, our brand is one hundred times since we adopted the Bitcoin strategy«.
«The town is a place of residence. Bitcoin is a way of life«.
Saylor is not all talk. He personally put his own money into Bitcoin, a lot. A week ago he revealed that he personally owns 17,732 BTC and appears to have bought an average of $ 9,882. This stash is now worth $ 840 million, down from $ 175 million at the time of purchase. At the peak of BTC in November, its stash was worth $ 1.2 billion.
And not by buying but by saying that Saylor added Bitcoin. He appears on podcasts, TV interviews, magazine and newspaper interviews, seminars, and conferences almost every other day to talk about Bitcoin. Earlier this year, he helped establish the Bitcoin Mining Council. The council, which is made up of Bitcoin miners in North America, is looking for ways to make Bitcoin mining less dangerous for the environment.
However, it is not without controversy. For example, he was accused in September of being behind it dumping of BTC caused to take a big price. This happened after you transferred all of your public company’s BTC to a private company, which means you can sell it without any regulatory permission.
Changpeng «CZ» Zhao
While Dorsey, Musk, and Saylor are known to support BTC’s vocal supporters, Changpeng Zhao is far more reserved, but just as influential, if not more so.
CZ is the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. He was a former engineer at OKCoin before seeing the opportunity to build a similar exchange, but based in China and with global appeal.
As Binance is the setting platform for the global trading industry, CZ is now a de facto maker. The cryptocurrencies you like have risen exponentially, driven by a wide range of trading pairs on Binance. Those who oppose it, like Bitcoin SV, are a big blow. He was the man behind BSV listing on Binance and other top – line trading platforms like Kraken.
As the majority owner of the largest exchange in the world, CZ has made a lot of money. In fact, he is perhaps the richest man in cryptocurrencies. Binance is valued at more than $ 200 billion and, according to Forbes, its share of the exchange is 30%, making it more than $ 66 billion. This is done before taking into account your own tokens, including the Binance Coin lump sum, whose market capitalization is now $ 87 billion.
But CZ has little respect for money, or so it says. In a recent interview, he said he just wants to build and bring the world to Web3. And by the time he dies, he wants to share most of his wealth.
Unfortunately, CZ spent most of the year serving the regulators. Its exchange has been the subject of various regulatory actions, including bans in more than a dozen countries, in whole or in part. He even announced that he will be leaving his job as CEO of Binance to make way for someone with compliance experience, which is where his biggest exchange failed.
Everyone on this list is a fanatic and high-cryptocurrency supporter except Gary Gensler. The head of the U.S. Securities Commission is not a big fan of cryptocurrencies, but it has just as much influence in the direction the industry is taking.
Gensler took over the SEC in April of this year, replacing Jay Clayton. The whole industry hoped this would mean more enabling regulation for the sector, as it has been supporting cryptocurrencies for years. He even taught a blockchain course at MIT.
But Gensler had other plans. He was not going to be lenient with the industry, and he made that clear from the start. One of the defining events of his short career leading the SEC was the case of SEC v. Ripple. He took possession of Clayton and doubled down on the case and looks set to pull it off for many more months. He was also not afraid to go after other companies, including Coinbase for its Loan product.
The most positive outcome of the Gensler regime was its approval of the Bitcoin ETF. Clayton was abusive against them, but Gensler approved the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF in October, which was an instant peak. This ETF was the tailwind that drove Bitcoin to a new high the following month.
However, even after you have futured a few ETFs, you are still against companies like Grayscale because they refused to approve a spot-ETF.