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Sam Altman’s Removal OpenAI Triggers Greg Brockman’s Exit

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Less than a day after Sam Altman was unceremoniously deposed from his position as CEO of leading artificial intelligence giant OpenAI, multiple reports have surfaced suggesting that the company—or at least its major investors, which include Microsoft—is negotiating to bring him back.

The ousting of the six-member board of directors, which included Altman and company co-founder and board chairman Greg Brockman, was led by chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, according to reporting by The Verge and The New York Times. 

It was executed around noon on Friday without Brockman’s participation and without any advance discussions with Altman or the company’s major investors.

Those investors—and Microsoft in particular, which has poured an estimated $13 billion into the former non-profit—were blindsided. 

And while the Redmond-based tech behemoth issued a public statement declaring the “utmost confidence” in a post-Altman OpenAI, multiple news outlets are reporting that Microsoft was betting on Altman’s leadership, and is a central player in a behind-the-scenes move to bring him back to lead the company.

OpenAI nor Microsoft have not confirmed any of these reports. Other OpenAI investors are also pushing for Altman’s return, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Could Altman Stage A Comeback?

The chaos is rooted not only in what Altman was doing for the company—most recently illustrated by a jam-packed DevDay keynote just a week ago—but in the possibility that he might start something new and compete directly with his former employer, according to Reuters.

Altman’s abrupt dismissal triggered a series of significant departures from the company, starting with Brockman.

“I’m super proud of what we’ve all built together since starting in my apartment 8 years ago,” Brockman wrote on Twitter, quoting Altman’s earlier farewell message. “We’ve been through tough & great times together, accomplishing so much despite all the reasons it should have been impossible.

“But based on today’s news, I quit,” he said.

Many other OpenAI employees followed Altman and Brockman out the door, including three key AI researchers, The Information reported.

Read Also: OpenAI Board In Talks To Bring Back Sam Altman As CEO

By Saturday, a significant cohort of OpenAI staffers collectively threatened to leave the company if Altman was not brought back, according to The Verge, which late Saturday updated its report to say that negotiations missed a 5 p.m. PT deadline set by those employees. 

“If Altman decides to leave and start a new company, those staffers would assuredly go with him,” the update read.

Did OpenAI Achieve AGI?

As for why Sutskever and three other board members—two of whom have ties to the Effective Altruism movement once touted by Sam Bankman-Fried—voted for Altman’s ouster, The Verge claims it was the result of “a power struggle between the research and product sides of the company.”

In fact, many AI watchers have raised the possibility that the OpenAI research team hit a major milestone a few weeks ago, forcing a showdown between OpenAI’s nonprofit, humanist origins and its massively successful for-profit corporate future.

“Unlike traditional companies, the board isn’t tasked with maximizing shareholder value, and none of them hold equity in OpenAI,” explained The Verge. “Instead, their stated mission is to ensure the creation of ‘broadly beneficial’ artificial general intelligence, or AGI.”

Given the nearly universal concerns that AI could advance well beyond the ability of humans to control it—a threshold known as The Singularity—a major breakthrough in AI would likely create a split between people who want to slow things down and others who want to press ahead even faster. Industry watchers have labeled the former “decels.”

“It would have to be something Sam [Altman], Greg [Brockman], and the board would agree should stay confidential in the best interest of OpenAI and the world,” theorized RewindAI CEO and cofounder Dan Siroker. “Also, firing only makes sense if his actions could be perceived by the board to jeopardize ‘safe AGI that is broadly beneficial.’”

Prominent tech journalist Kara Swisher, who has been posting updates on the story on Twitter, speculates that Altman will demand a change to OpenAI’s governance as a condition of his return.

“My assumption is [Altman] will return only if—and that’s a big if—governance is changed, and that means Microsoft and some other big names on the board and not those [effective altruists] who think the plot of Terminator is a thing.”

Many have compared the corporate drama to the firing of Steve Jobs by Apple’s board of directors in 1995. The technology visionary was eventually brought back to lead the Cupertino-based company to become the most valuable company in the world. His hiring and firing happened on the same day, eleven years apart.

In Altman’s case, however, his return may come much faster.





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Cryptocurrency Market Update: Bitcoin Slips Below $70,000 Amidst High Liquidation

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In a swift turn of events, Bitcoin (BTC), the pioneering cryptocurrency, dropped below the $70,000 threshold early on Wednesday following a wave of investor sell-offs. Just a day prior, Bitcoin had crossed the $71,000 mark, but market sentiment swiftly shifted, dragging other major altcoins—including Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Solana (SOL), and Litecoin (LTC)—into the red zone.

According to CoinMarketCap data, the overall Market Fear & Greed Index stood at 75 (Greed) out of 100, indicating a mix of optimism and apprehension among traders. Notably, the Bittensor (TAO) token emerged as the top gainer with a remarkable 24-hour surge of over 7 percent, while dogwifhat (WIF) experienced the largest loss, plummeting nearly 16 percent.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Update Bitcoin’s price tumbled to $69,089.01, marking a 24-hour dip of 3.05 percent, as reported by CoinMarketCap. On the Indian exchange WazirX, BTC was priced at Rs 60.93 lakh.

Other Major Cryptocurrencies Ethereum (ETH) saw a 24-hour loss of 4.81 percent, trading at $3,508.86, while Dogecoin (DOGE) registered a dip of 5.59 percent, currently priced at $0.1879. Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) also experienced losses, with Solana (SOL) marking a 24-hour loss of 3.44 percent.

Top Gainers and Losers Bittensor (TAO) led the pack of gainers with a 7.30 percent surge, while dogwifhat (WIF) suffered the most significant loss, dropping by 15.58 percent.

Market Analysis and Expert Insights Experts weighed in on the market scenario, attributing Bitcoin’s downturn to heightened liquidations and cautious sentiment ahead of the upcoming US CPI data release. While Bitcoin’s immediate support rests at $67,700, resistance is expected at $70,400. Ethereum proponents face challenges amid hopes for an ETF approval, with the SEC providing limited updates on the matter.

Final Thoughts The cryptocurrency market remains highly dynamic, with prices fluctuating rapidly and investor sentiment playing a pivotal role. As the market navigates through volatility, it’s essential for investors to stay informed, exercise caution, and seek expert advice before making any investment decisions.

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Cryptocurrency: A Scapegoat for Foreign Policy Failures?

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Cryptocurrency has once again found itself at the center of a heated debate, this time regarding its alleged role in facilitating illicit activities and circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States. The Biden administration, in particular, has come under scrutiny for its handling of the issue, with some accusing it of using digital assets as a convenient scapegoat for broader foreign policy shortcomings.

In a recent hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo raised concerns about the misuse of cryptocurrencies by foreign adversaries such as Iran, Russia, North Korea, and militant groups like Hamas. Adeyemo’s remarks underscored a growing unease within the U.S. government regarding the potential national security implications of unregulated digital currencies.

However, voices from within the cryptocurrency industry and Congress have pushed back against the administration’s narrative. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, pointed out that the prevalence of illicit activity in the crypto space is relatively low compared to traditional finance. Instead of demonizing cryptocurrencies, Shirzad argued, the focus should be on targeting bad actors operating offshore.

Senator Tim Scott, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, echoed these sentiments, accusing the Biden administration of using digital assets as a distraction from its failure to effectively combat financial flows to sanctioned entities. Scott’s criticism reflects broader skepticism among some lawmakers about the government’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.

One area of potential agreement between the Biden administration and the cryptocurrency industry is the need for clearer regulations governing stablecoins, a type of digital asset pegged to a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar. Both sides recognize the importance of addressing the potential risks associated with stablecoin issuance and usage, particularly in the context of national security and financial stability.

The debate over stablecoins has intensified following reports of their alleged role in facilitating illicit transactions, including those linked to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. The Treasury Department has called for increased oversight of stablecoin issuers and transactions, while also advocating for legislation that would subject them to stricter regulatory standards.

Despite the contentious nature of the discussion, there are signs of bipartisan cooperation on certain aspects of cryptocurrency regulation. A bipartisan bill addressing stablecoin regulation passed the House Financial Services Committee last year, signaling a potential path forward for legislative action in this area.

As the debate over cryptocurrency regulation continues to unfold, it is clear that finding the right balance between innovation and security will be paramount. While concerns about illicit activity and national security must be addressed, policymakers must also recognize the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in fostering financial inclusion and technological advancement.

Ultimately, the resolution of these issues will require thoughtful collaboration between government officials, industry stakeholders, and lawmakers to develop a regulatory framework that promotes innovation while safeguarding against misuse. Only through constructive dialogue and cooperation can we ensure that cryptocurrencies fulfill their potential as a force for positive change in the global economy.

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Bitcoin Resurgence: Why Wall Street Is Embracing the Crypto Revolution

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Andrew Pratt of Wiser Wealth Management in Marietta, Ga., finds little resistance as he proposes Bitcoin investments to his firm’s committee. With Bitcoin surging 140% in the past year and backed by giants like BlackRock, skepticism has waned. Pratt sees the potential to allocate a modest 1% of client portfolios to Bitcoin, acknowledging the limited downside risk compared to potential gains.

The debate over Bitcoin’s intrinsic value seems to have lost its relevance amidst its soaring market performance. Once dismissed, Bitcoin now boasts a market value of $1.3 trillion, driving the total crypto market to $2.5 trillion. Wall Street, once wary, now views cryptocurrency as an opportunity for profit rather than a speculative venture.

Despite lingering doubts about Bitcoin’s utility beyond speculation, Wall Street executives are increasingly supportive. BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, notably reversed his stance, endorsing Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and championing the iShares Bitcoin Trust, now one of the largest Bitcoin ETFs with nearly $18 billion in assets.

While skepticism persists about Bitcoin’s status as a real asset or currency, its growing acceptance on Wall Street underscores the evolving landscape of finance. As institutions embrace cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s journey from pariah to portfolio asset highlights the transformative power of digital assets in reshaping traditional investment strategies.

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