Is Elon Musk Backing Away from Twitter?

The ties between old and new markets are expanding every day. An SEC filing yesterday revealed that the billionaire founder of the crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, had bought a 7.6 percent stake in the publicly traded online stock and crypto trading app Robinhood, paying about $648 million. The company’s shares soared in after-hours trading. FTX is not publicly traded — yet — but the move shows Bankman-Fried’s old-school ambitions.

The Twittersphere and crypto cultists enthusiastically likened the purchase to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover advances, and more proof of the financial and cultural might of billionaires for the blockchain. But the situations are distinct. Bankman-Fried, 30, is perhaps as intent on exerting influence as Musk, 50. He is also vocal, pouring millions into political donations and global lobbying efforts, and he is widely investing in crypto ventures to help assure the ascendance of digital assets. Twitter and Robinhood, however, are different beasts: There is no path to a takeover of Robinhood without the support of its two founders, Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, who are deeply engaged in the business and reportedly hold more than 60 percent of the voting rights. They also just took the company public last year.

Crypto’s most mainstream exchange, Coinbase, is prepping for more storms. When the company went public just over a year ago, its stock opened at $381. Now it is under $60 amid the widespread crypto downturn. Coinbase reported quarterly results this week that fell far short of analyst estimates. It also appears to be bracing for stricter scrutiny from the SEC, filing a registration statement “intended to be used for potential prospective offerings which may include the sale of new securities.”

In other words, the company seems to believe the agency may soon make good on Gensler’s threats. He has often said most crypto tokens are securities requiring registration. That would mean more company obligations and more agency oversight. At this moment, that perhaps does not seem so unwise.


Commerce in Russia has been reduced since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it has yet to be crippled, writes The Times’s Ana Swanson. Shipping traffic in and out of Russia has remained relatively strong, according to data from the shipping tracker Refinitiv, as companies have raced to fulfill contracts for purchases of energy and other goods before the full force of global sanctions goes into effect.

Changes to behavior after the Russian invasion were not yet reflected in shipping traffic, said Jim Mitchell, the head of oil research for the Americas at Refinitiv, since crude oil typically trades 45 to 60 days ahead of delivery.

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