Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Says Safety Concern Has Him Quitting Crypto

Anthony Di Iorio, a co-founder of the Ethereum network, says he’s done with the cryptocurrency world, partially because of personal safety concerns.

Di Iorio, 48, has had a security team since 2017, with someone traveling with or meeting him wherever he goes. In coming weeks, he plans to sell Decentral Inc., and refocus on philanthropy and other ventures not related to crypto. The Canadian expects to sever ties in time with other startups he is involved with, and doesn’t plan on funding any more blockchain projects.

“It’s got a risk profile that I am not too enthused about,” said Di Iorio, who declined to disclose his cryptocurrency holdings or net worth. “I don’t feel necessarily safe in this space. If I was focused on larger problems, I think I’d be safer.”

Back in 2013, Di Iorio co-founded Ethereum, which has become the home of many of the hottest crypto projects, particularly in decentralized finance — which lets people borrow, lend and trade with each other without intermediaries like banks. Ether, the native token of the network, has a market value of about $225 billion.

He made a splash in 2018 when buying the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($22 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district.

In recent years, Di Iorio jumped into venture-capital investing and startup advising. He was also for a time chief digital officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In February 2018, Forbes estimated his net worth was as high as $1 billion. Ether’s price has more than doubled since then.

Decentral is a Toronto-based innovation hub and software development company focused on decentralized technologies, and the maker of Jaxx, a digital asset wallet that garnered about 1 million customers this year.

Di Iorio said he has talked with a couple of potential investors, and believes the startup will be valued at “hundreds of millions.” He expects to sell the company for fiat, or equity in another company — not crypto.

“I want to diversify to not being a crypto guy, but being a guy tackling complex problems,” Di Iorio said. He is involved in Project Arrow, run by a high-school friend that’s building a zero-emission vehicle. He is also consulting a senator from Paraguay.

“I will incorporate crypto when needed, but a lot of times, it’s not,” he said. “It’s really a small percentage of what the world needs.”

Source: Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Says Safety Concern Has Him Quitting Crypto – Bloomberg

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Anthony Di Iorio is a Canadian entrepreneur primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and an early investor in Bitcoin. Di Iorio is the founder and CEO of the blockchain company Decentral, and the associated Jaxx wallet. He also served as the first chief digital officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In February 2018, Forbes estimated his net worth at $750 million–$1 billion.

Di Iorio grew up with two older siblings in north Toronto, Ontario. He graduated with a degree in marketing from Ryerson University. Di Iorio began developing websites during the early 1990s, and eventually entered the rental housing market as an investor and landlord in Toronto, Ontario. In 2012 he sold his rental properties in order to invest in Bitcoin, and began to organize companies in the field of cryptocurrency.

He first learned about bitcoin from a podcast called Free Talk Live in 2012. According to The Globe and Mail, he “had an anti-authoritarian streak” and  questioned “the fundamentals of mainstream economics.” Di Iorio bought his first bitcoin the same day for $9.73. He created the Toronto Bitcoin Meetup Group which held its first meeting at a pub in the same year.

It was at this first meeting where he met Vitalik Buterin who went on to be the founder of Bitcoin Magazine and one of the original creators of Ethereum. As the Meetups grew from about eight attendees to hundreds, Di Iorio formed the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.

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Tesla, Netflix Slammed As Stocks Fall On Weak Jobs Data, Trump Covid Case

The announcement that Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus triggered a sell-off in early morning trading around the world on Friday that tapered off by day’s end. Tech stocks, however, failed to recover, as Wall Street investors prepare for increased volatility in the weeks leading up to the election.

Key Facts

The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the day down 251 points, or 2.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 134 points, or 0.5%, and the S&P 500 fell 1%.

Tech stocks were among Friday’s biggest losers, with Tesla and Netflix falling 7% and 5%, respectively, while Apple and Microsoft were each down 3%.

Cboe’s VIX Index, which measures volatility expectations based on options contracts, at one point jumped up more than 7%, reaching its highest point since early September, when tech stocks corrected and the Nasdaq had its fastest 10% plunge in history.

U.S. airline stocks proved a bright spot in the Friday market after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers were preparing relief for the industry through either a broad-based stimulus bill or standalone legislation.

The S&P 500 Airlines Industry Index ended the day up 2.3%.

Jobs data released before the market open revealed that U.S. employers added just 661,000 jobs in September, about 25% less than the 859,000 new jobs economists were forecasting and less than half of the nearly 1.5 million jobs the economy added back in August.

The unemployment rate of 7.9% was better than the forecast of 8.2%, but it’s still far below the 3.5% unemployment rate in February–before governments shut down businesses after a domestic spike in coronavirus cases.

Key Background

Donald Trump announced in a tweet shortly after midnight on Friday that he and First Lady Melania had tested positive for Covid-19, adding that they’d begin quarantining “immediately.” The announcement triggered an immediate sell-off in stock futures and initially rattled global equity markets, but losses have since pulled back: Japan’s Nikkei Index closed down about 0.7%, but France’s CAC 40 and the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 managed to turn positive for the day, though their gains remained below 1%.

The Dow and S&P 500 each ended Thursday, the first day of fourth-quarter trading, virtually flat after stimulus negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reached a standstill. September was the worst month for U.S. stocks since May, and history has shown that October is generally a volatile month for stocks–even more so during election years.

Crucial Quote

“The news of Trump contracting Covid-19 could completely change the direction of the campaign and adds to our already cautious outlook on the stock market,” said James McDonald, the CEO of Los Angeles-based Hercules Investments. “[It] will elevate institutional money’s preparation for a Democratic White House and all the tax, trade and budget implications that go along with it. We expect institutional investors to start de-risking portfolios and increasing hedges in preparation for market volatility.”

Further Reading

Trump’s Covid Diagnosis Rattles Markets: Here’s What Wall Street Thinks Happens Next (Forbes)

Here’s What The Last Jobs Report Before The Presidential Election Means For Voters (Forbes)

U.S. Futures, European Stocks Drop Following Trump’s Covid-19 Diagnosis (Forbes)

Dow Futures Down 400 Points After Trump Tests Positive For Covid-19 (Forbes) Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Jonathan Ponciano

 Jonathan Ponciano

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

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CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” watch how stocks perform as the market opens, and the team discusses how the White House is responding to President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi U.S. stocks fell in volatile trading on Friday after President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis fueled concerns about the election and a worsening pandemic. Major averages clawed back some of the steep losses after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled aid for the airline industry could be coming soon, perhaps even as part of a much-anticipated broad relief bill. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 134.09 points, or 0.5%, lower at 27,682.81 after dropping 430 points at its session low. The S&P 500 slid 1.0%, or 32.36 points, to 3,248.44 after falling as much as 1.7% earlier. The Nasdaq Composite declined 2.2%, or 251.49 points, to 11,075.02. Shares of airlines jumped higher in unison after Pelosi called on the industry to delay furloughs, saying relief for airline workers is “imminent.” American Airlines and United erased earlier losses and popped 3.3% and 2.4%, respectively. “We will either enact Chairman DeFazio’s bipartisan stand-alone legislation or achieve this as part of a comprehensive negotiated relief bill, extending for another six months the Payroll Support Program,” Pelosi said in a statement. Earlier Friday, Pelosi said Trump’s illness changed the dynamic of stimulus talks, adding lawmakers will find the “middle ground” and will “get the job done.” The House passed the $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus bill Thursday night, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has offered a $1.6 trillion package. Still, the president’s diagnosis added more uncertainty to the election, an event that was already weighing on the market and keeping traders on edge as they attempted to evaluate the possible outcomes. It also raised concerns about a second wave of the virus and a slower reopening. » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock market news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates CNBC is the leader in business news worldwide. The News with Shepard Smith is CNBC’s daily news podcast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories. Available to listen by 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT daily beginning September 30: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/the-n… Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC

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Inside Kanye West’s “Almost Daily” Chats With Jared Kushner And Whether The White House Exploits His Mental State

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s Kanye West’s bizarre presidential campaign has moved from Twitter sideshow to potential spoiler—the billionaire rapper this week released a website and campaign platform as he moves to get on the ballot in pivotal states—those around him increasingly worry about his mental health issues. And specifically whether one consigliere is trying to exploit them. According to multiple sources, White House senior advisor Jared Kushner has been speaking with West regularly since his July 4 tweet declaring that he was running for president.

While Republican operatives rush to try get him on ballots across the country, the New York Times reported earlier today that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, met with West last weekend in Telluride, Colorado. The connection goes much further. West has been telling associates that he and Kushner speak “almost daily.” Forbes spoke with four people who have direct access to either West or Kushner, including two with direct knowledge of their conversations.

One thing that particularly upsets those close to the Yeezy sneaker mogul, who is openly bipolar, is his apparent delusion about his chances of winning: When I pointed out to West last week during an interview that he won’t be on enough ballots to win, and thus seemed intent on running a spoiler campaign designed to hurt presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, he responded, “I’m not going to argue with you.” But a few hours after the story appeared, West responded with a change of heart: “THE GOAL IS TO WIN,” he blared in a tweet that was liked more than 260,000 times.

And that seems to be the message that Kushner has been feeding him: “Jared’s scared and doesn’t want me to run because he knows that I can win,” West has told numerous associates after his conversations with the president’s son-in-law, who also serves as de facto chief of Trump’s reelection campaign. That message, the sources close to West acknowledge, is the exact one that will embolden West to stay in the race. “If you know him for more than 20 minutes, you know that will work,” says one West confidant. Adds another: “He’s just like a kid. The more you tell him he can’t do a thing, the more he’ll do it. . . . he has a tremendous drive to prove people wrong.”

Kushner seems to have an outsize influence over West. Their relationship helped bring West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to the White House for an instantly famous Oval Office meeting, and they collaborated on ideas for sentencing reform.


He’s mentally ill. When you have people around him who see him as an opportunity, they create a very, very bad scenario.


When I interviewed West on July 7, three days after telling the world he was running, he spent the first hour musing about whether he would actually follow through. The first person he told me he would consult: Kushner. At that time, West also renounced his support for Trump. “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview.” However, he curiously held back on criticizing the president, past a dig about Trump hiding in the bunker during the Lafayette Park protests. “I was just talking to Jared,” he subsequently told me. “It makes it seem like I’m attacking them. Trump’s not attacking me, and I’m not attacking him, even in this. I think it’s really nice to have a civil [competition], where people’s friends go up and play ball, play basketball without someone going to the hospital afterwards, you know?” Biden apparently wasn’t invited to the game: West needed no prompting to go after the former vice president, whom he derided as “not special.”

During that interview, West relayed the details of a previous conversation that he’d had with Kushner. “One time I talked to Jared Kushner, who was saying, ‘We don’t have Black leaders—we just have hustlers.’ Why? Because they killed all the Black leaders.” When we reached out later that day, before publication, to fact-check the article, West petitioned, unsuccessfully, to have the anecdote removed. “I love Jared,” West said. “I was just . . . that’s my boy, you know? That’s really my boy. So I prefer to not drop his name.”

West did not respond today to messages asking for comment, nor did Kushner’s press team at the White House. “We have no knowledge of anything Kanye West is doing or who is doing it for him,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said early this month, a statement that’s clearly untrue. The president himself echoed that message to reporters at the White House: “I like Kanye very much,“ adding, “I have nothing to do with him being on the ballot. I’m not involved.”

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The White House gambit, those close to him say, has accelerated West’s mental issues (unquestionably brilliant, he has previously told Forbes that he considers his bipolar condition a “superpower”). “He’s mentally ill,” says a West friend. “When you have people around him who have the best intentions and don’t need anything from him, you can steer him when he’s in that space into a positive place. When you have people around him who see him as an opportunity, they create a very, very bad scenario.”

Some close to West feel that Kushner now falls into that latter camp in ways that flirt with exploitation—concerning, after Kardashian West asked publicly for “compassion and empathy.” One described their understanding of Kushner’s conversations with West as “reverse psychology.” Others prescribe less malicious intent, though that narrative would require a level of naiveté that would rank up there with sitting in a meeting at Trump Tower with Russians who promise to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“Jared, why are you meeting with him?” asks one source. “Tell him, ‘Hey, man, I saw you’re running for president—let’s talk when the election’s over.’”

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I am the chief content officer of Forbes Media and editor of Forbes Magazine, and believe strongly that entrepreneurial capitalism and market-based thinking can solve the world’s problems. This is my second stint at Forbes — between 1991 and 1997, I was a reporter, a staff writer (five cover stories), associate editor and Washington bureau chief. In between, I caught the start-up bug: I co-founded P.O.V. Magazine (Adweek’s Startup of the Year), and then launched Doubledown Media (Trader Monthly, Dealmaker, Private Air, etc.). As a fattening hobby, I have reviewed restaurants for various magazines since college (and was a National Magazine Award finalist for my wine writing). I used to think chronicling the world’s greatest business minds made me a great entrepreneur, but I now realize my time as an entrepreneur made me an acute business journalist. For the full story, check out my book, just out in paperback, The Zeroes: My Misadventures In the Decade Wall Street Went Insane.

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