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This Week on Crypto Twitter: White Castle, Reese Witherspoon, Ubisoft’s Polarizing NFT Move

OpenSea's new CFO made waves when he talked about a potential IPO, then walked it back. Reese Witherspoon, White Castle, and Ubisoft also made news.

4 min read
White Castle is the latest brand to join crypto. Image: Shutterstock
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Crypto Twitter was filled with the usual glut of announcements, opinions, and celebrity gossip this week. 

OpenSea’s new executive hiring triggered a few adverse reactions, Reese Witherspoon urged more women to get involved in blockchain, and White Castle and Ubisoft separately announced entries into crypto. Read on for our roundup of this week’s most notable conversations.

On Monday, things kicked off with the news that NFT marketplace OpenSea hired Brian Roberts as its chief financial officer. Roberts formerly was CFO at ride-sharing app Lyft, where he stewarded the company through a successful IPO and rapid growth. Bloomberg profiled him after the announcement, and he told the publication: “When you have a company growing as fast as this one, you’d be foolish not to think about it going public.”

Many took Roberts’s words as a definite sign that OpenSea was planning an IPO. Crypto investor @Arthur_0x tweeted: “Imagine being the largest and most successful NFT marketplace yet choosing to go for IPO instead of issuing token.”

Crypto fund adviser @CooopahTroopa wrote “Crypto companies going public will never make sense to me. Give ownership to the community that makes you valuable. Tokens will win over equity every time.”

Roberts responded on Wednesday, tweeting that his words had been misinterpreted: “There was inaccurate reporting about @OpenSea's plans. Let me set the record straight: there is a big gap between thinking about what an IPO might eventually look like & actively planning one. We are not planning an IPO, and if we ever did, we would look to involve the community.”

Reese Witherspoon kicked off the week with a bang. On Monday, she tweeted “crypto is here to stay” and encouraged more women to enter the space. Her foray into crypto isn’t brand new. Back in December she tweeted that she’s “just bought [her] first ETH,” and since then she has bought NFTs, too, but it looks like she’s steering towards activism now.

On Tuesday Ubisoft became the first major video game publisher to announce it’s adding NFTs to games. The French video game company tweeted: “Introducing Ubisoft Quartz We're bringing the first energy efficient NFTs playable in a AAA game to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint!”

The announcement polarized Ubisoft’s Twitter followers, with many saying they were going to uninstall Ubisoft software, citing environmental concerns, or that they feared the company was encouraging pay-to-win business models. 

Crypto supporters fought back, some with less-than-savory responses. Utility token trader @Jebus911 wrote: “Just wanna pop in and send a message to all the anti NFT poors looking at the replies: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

Ubisoft fared little better on YouTube, where the announcement video for Ubisoft Quartz was taken down after it received over 95% dislikes. It looks like crypto is still a hard sell for gamers when their fears over shelling out extra money in their favorite games haven’t been adequately addressed. 

Ubisoft learned the same lesson as chat app Discord did last month when its CEO teased an Ethereum wallet integration: many gamers have not warmed to crypto.

Finally, American burger outlet White Castle tweeted on Thursday that it had registered the domain “WhiteCastleOfficial.eth” with the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). 

ENS is an extremely promising system created by Nick Johnson and Alex Van de Sande of the Ethereum Foundation. It enables users and brands to register memorable addresses for their crypto wallets, instead of the usual complex strings of letters and numbers. ENS is hoping that its system will be like what DNS was to the internet. 

The fast food chain also changed its profile picture to that of a “Seahams” NFT, so the brand’s probably going all in on crypto.

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