I need to see real growth in metrics like customer acquisition and trading volume before making a deeper commitment. From what I can tell, the news about EDXM will only be positive for Coinbase if it helps to expand the pie for the crypto industry as a whole. That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys. Independent nature of EDXM would also restrain the firm from the possibility of conflicts of interest. EDXM needed to prove its utility to stay relevant within the crypto space though. For now, I'm taking a wait-and-see backed crypto exchange with Coinbase. Meanwhile, the EDX exchange would work to accommodate both private and institutional investors.
At Thanksgiving, Maynard had no place to go, so Kate invited him to celebrate with one of her friends. He spent a curious amount of time talking about the bloodlines of the British royal family. Kate drank too much. Maynard brought her home, drew a bath, and put her to bed. After that, the relationship turned romantic. Kate was still reeling from her divorce. They lit candles around the tub and took long baths together. They would go out and do role-play, pretending to meet as strangers at a hotel bar.
Like many in his field, Maynard was influenced by the sociologist Erving Goffman, who saw all the world as a stage on which people behave like actors, hiding their true selves behind masks. With Kate, Maynard let his mask slip.
He confided that his life had been full of struggle and hurt. He said that he had an autism-spectrum disorder and that workplace relations were an ordeal. He would agonize for days before departmental meetings, gaming out where to sit and how to avoid notice. That spring, the pandemic caused Santa Clara to shut its campus and shift classes online.
Kate could hear Maynard yelling to himself as he doomscrolled the news. In May, she returned from a vacation to discover Maynard had set up surveillance cameras inside her house. He turned inward, sealing himself up in his room, covering the windows to block the sun. Then, that angry summer, California began to burn. The West was experiencing its worst drought in 1, years, with ideal conditions for wildfires.
Flames consumed more than 4 million acres, an area half the size of Belgium. It was as if the mind smoldering inside her spare room had taken on metaphysical form. Kate begged Maynard to seek counseling. One night, he bashed up his room with a hammer, and afterward she told him he had to leave. In September , Maynard hit the road. He lived out of the car and continued to teach. Because the classes were all online, it was easy for him to pick up a second job teaching criminal-justice courses at Sonoma State University.
Freed from supervision and the walls of the classroom, he would sometimes tape material for his courses as he drove. Maynard uploaded one such video to YouTube that November, narrating a sunset drive through the scorched landscape left by a recent wildfire in southern Oregon. The inferno, which destroyed 2, homes, had been attributed to arson. It is still unsolved. None ended up causing much damage, but they occurred at the same time and in roughly the same area as the Dixie Fire, an accidental blaze that became one of the largest infernos in the history of the state.
Since then, Maynard has been sitting in jail as he awaits trial. He has pleaded not guilty and contends that he has been miscast. He says he never could have committed such a senseless and destructive crime.
He is a specialist in deviant behavior; he knows all the literature. But he was determined to defend his professional reputation. He sent me long handwritten letters trying to explain how he had ended up in the woods. He spent the next two decades cycling through schools and degree programs. He soon shifted his focus to sociology, applying his interest in drama to the study of the ways humans perform in everyday life.
He could be a classroom motormouth. Maynard taught classes on the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, which ended in a firestorm. He also studied Jim Jones, the cult leader who committed mass suicide with of his followers in , and wrote a series of articles that suggested Jones exhibited traits of narcissistic personality disorder.
When we spoke, Maynard rejected any psychological interpretation of his interest in social deviance. He did acknowledge, however, that he thinks differently from others. Universities were giving out more doctorates than ever while hiring fewer of their holders for tenure-track positions. The annual competition for the small number of jobs was crushing. In , Maynard managed to make the shortlist for a post at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
He had a wobbly interview and gave what some faculty members recall as a memorably uncomfortable practice lecture. Lyn Miles, a senior professor in the social, cultural, and justice studies department. The chair declined interview requests. Grad school had provided a support structure, but he was fragile, and the publish-or-perish pressures of the tenure track could break anyone.
Maynard fit the part. Maynard told me he hated living in a small-minded city in Tennessee. The one person he connected with was a student named Satara Stratton. She was sort of famous, in a morbid way. As a teenager, Stratton had gone to Hollywood to become an actress and appeared in a few low-budget horror movies. Then she vanished. After a few months, someone dropped her off at an emergency room, suffering from a heroin overdose.
The police suspected she had been living with a registered sex offender in a creepy old industrial building on Santa Monica Boulevard. Stratton claimed he had held her captive, shot her up with drugs unwillingly, and groomed her for sex trafficking. The man was never charged.
She ended up telling her story on the true-crime-documentary series Disappeared. At 24, she returned to Chattanooga to stay clean and began living with her mother, an adjunct anthropology professor. Stratton was taking sociology and anthropology classes, and Maynard worked with her as a faculty adviser on a research project.
Her professors soon noticed a change in her behavior. Miles recalls that she turned in a class assignment that was nothing but a woozy silent film of Stratton walking through a forest. One day in November , Maynard was escorted from his office by campus police.
Stratton had made a sexual-harassment complaint against him and had told other professors that he had provided her with drugs. Maynard angrily confronted one of the professors who had reported the allegations to university authorities. The school convened a panel to investigate. Maynard denied making threats, said he had never given Stratton drugs, and claimed their relationship was not sexual.
For years, her mother saved an unhinged-sounding voice-mail she says Maynard left her, warning her not to come after them. On May 7, , local Ohio police arrested Maynard after five witnesses reported he had choked Stratton on the street in the middle of the day. He ended up pleading down to a misdemeanor and was given a sentence of 60 days in jail, most of which was suspended. Stratton moved back to Chattanooga. In , she died while visiting a friend in Los Angeles, most likely of a heroin overdose.
There were dimples in the floor and gashes in the walls. He said he had been so broke that he was homeless at times, sleeping in offices, in his car, and even outdoors and going to university gyms to shower. You should not be in this situation. But universities are happy to exploit the oversupply of academics desperate for work, hiring adjuncts on an annual or semester basis. Such jobs pay a pittance, and often the institutions do little vetting. He looked like a good job candidate on paper.
His departure from Chattanooga, officially described as a resignation, had been disposed of without any publicity. Despite the debacle, he still received strong references from a few professors who had served as his mentors at Stony Brook. They all declined interview requests. In , Maynard was offered the one-year job at Santa Clara. His lectures discussed his childhood trauma and took conspiratorial detours, going on at length about Jeffrey Epstein. He appeared to be vaguely psychotic.
If the life of an adjunct might drive anyone crazy, a university job might also offer a unique kind of shelter for someone in the midst of a breakdown. In October, someone called in San Jose to report that Maynard had threatened suicide. A few months later, Maynard was kicked out of a co-working space in Oregon after the owner discovered he was spending the night there. Surveillance footage allegedly shows him roaming the room, raving and brandishing a knife.
He continued to find work. Anthony Villarreal, the sociology-department chair at Monterey Peninsula, told me that he needed someone to teach an online course on crime and deviance and that Maynard came highly recommended. They never met in person; the job interview took place over Zoom. In the present, he was a better-than-average online instructor. Maynard said he enjoyed this contingent existence. I was innocent of any crime and still am. He sued her in small-claims court, alleging she had harassed him into self-evicting; the suit was dismissed in November Kate had some financial security.
Her house was worth a lot, she figured, and her sister had gifted her some bitcoin. She gave Maynard several thousand dollars. In late June, he texted Kate a short video capturing the view through the windshield of his new Kia hatchback as he pulled to the side of a road in a verdant Northern California forest. On his YouTube channel, there is a video from , made for one his classes, in which he walked among the redwoods. He said he believes trees are conscious beings. Criminologists have no simple answer, even as the act becomes more prevalent and destructive.
Wildfires are usually not wild in nature. Nine times in ten, they originate from human activity. The crime is inherently solitary, and fires often obliterate the evidence of their ignition. There is no consensus as to why the numbers are climbing. Using bitcoin as a government-endorsed currency had a number of obvious issues: Cryptocurrency has a stupendous money-laundering problem, the price of bitcoin is incredibly volatile, and cryptocurrencies remain difficult and unwieldy to use.
Building a payment system that users trust takes time. You need to run pilot programs and fix the sort of problems that only show up in production. Deploying a system from scratch at national scale in just three months with no testing is a recipe for disaster—especially when that system is an electronic payments system in an economy that still largely ran on physical cash U. Future of Money Part 2 Cryptocurrencies: Vehicles of Financial Change: Part 2 of the Future of Money Power Map series dives into the cryptocurrency ecosystem and examines the forces driving and challenging global cryptocurrency adoption, development, and regulation.
Read the report. Article 7 of the Bitcoin Law, which makes bitcoin acceptance mandatory, stayed in place. In a July survey , 49 percent of respondents were unsure how the bitcoin project would go; 29 percent were afraid. In the run-up to the launch of the Bitcoin Law, it remained wildly unpopular.
Chivo launched just after midnight on Sept. The system started failing at three a. Server capacity was increased, and app installations were not re-enabled until a. Transactions failed through the day; customer service lines were jammed; Chivo ATMs ran out of cash. Shortly after ten a. Bukele blamed the crash on the International Monetary Fund, though it was more likely due to leaked news of crypto exchange Coinbase receiving a warning from the U.
Securities and Exchange Commission. After protests on Sept. One group of protestors set some tires on fire. The protests were not against bitcoin itself. The problems go beyond use on the ground. Bukele is genuinely very popular, because he spends heavily on public services.
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