What comes to mind when you think of Gucci? Designer bags, jewelry, elegant Swiss watches? How about integrating payments with an ERC-20 governance token and a utility token that should support Web3? Flying off the tongue, right? The iconic Italian fashion brand announced this week that it will be expanding its payment options to include ApeCoin (APE) linked to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, but only via BitPay. In other words, Gucci will allow you to liquidate your APE for US dollars and spend the proceeds in their stores.

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If you’re surprised by this news, read on to learn more about Gucci’s expanding cryptocurrency ambitions. While you’re at it, stay tuned to Crypto Biz this week as we analyze the latest Michael Saylor and Robinhood related news. We leave you with a sobering analysis of the cryptocurrency market crash caused by Terra from a Kraken top executive.

Gucci becomes first major brand to accept ApeCoin payments

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In case you missed it, Gucci has officially become the first major brand to accept APE payments via Bitpay. The move comes months after Gucci announced it would accept 12 crypto assets as payment at more than 100 stores across North America. Holders of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and other cryptocurrencies can now convert their digital assets into a $5,000 large GUCCI bag. In addition to crypto payments, Gucci launched a couple of non-fungible token (NFT) collections this year, including the SUPERGUCCI NFT lineup in February.

Michael Saylor to step down as CEO of MicroStrategy but remain as executive chairman

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Bitcoin Chief Evangelist Michael Saylor is clearing his calendar to focus almost entirely on promoting the digital asset. Saylor announced this week that he is stepping down as CEO of MicroStrategy in favor of a new position as Executive Chairman. Starting August 8, Sailor’s new role will focus on “MicroStrategy’s bitcoin acquisition strategy and related bitcoin advocacy initiatives.” A day after the announcement, MicroStrategy’s share price jumped to a three-month high. Investors seem to be happy with Saylor’s position. Let’s see how they feel if the crypto winter continues for another year.

‘It’s on me’ – Robinhood CEO to lay off 23% of employees after second quarter loss

Robinhood’s foray into crypto looked great over a year ago when we were in a bull market. Now that cryptocurrencies, stocks and the economy are in decline, the discount brokerage has been forced to lay off almost a quarter of its staff. Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood, broke the bad news shortly after the company reported poor second-quarter financial results, including a 44% year-over-year decline in net revenue. Crypto-focused companies have faced massive layoffs this year as asset prices plummeted and trading volumes dried up.

Only firms with ‘poor balance sheet management’ hit by infection – Kraken Aus boss

The epic collapse of Terra Luna triggered a widespread crypto industry that eventually led to multiple bankruptcies and trillions of dollars in market capitalization losses. But the only companies and protocols that failed were those with “poor balance sheet management” and a complete lack of understanding of how blockchain works. This sober analysis was provided by Kraken Australia Managing Director Jonathon Miller. He also explained why Ethereum has proved resilient in the face of chaos and why its parent company Kraken is poised to keep growing.

Do not miss! What’s Next for Bitcoin and Ethereum?

Bitcoin’s performance over the past week has taken both bulls and bears by surprise. Meanwhile, Ethereum has rebounded strongly from its lows as the hype around its upcoming confluence intensifies. But the prospects for both assets are clear as mud. This week Market Report, I sat down with fellow analysts Marcel Pechman and Benton Jaun to discuss an important topic: Have BTC and ETH bottomed out? You can see the full replay of the show below.

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