A collection of bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum tokens.Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesLONDON — A Goldman Sachs executive has resigned after earning a fortune from a cryptocurrency investment, according to industry sources.Aziz McMahon, Goldman’s managing director and head of emerging market sales in London, quit after making millions of pounds from a bet on the digital currency ether, three former employees at the investment bank told CNBC.The former employees, who all know McMahon personally, preferred to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the discussions. McMahon is believed to have cashed in at least £10 million ($14 million) worth of cryptocurrency, the sources said.Earlier reports from eFinancial Careers and The Guardian had said McMahon had left Goldman after making money from dogecoin.It is possible McMahon may have had some holdings in dogecoin, too. He is thought to have now set up his own hedge fund, eFinancialCareers reported.When approached by CNBC, Goldman Sachs confirmed McMahon’s departure but declined to comment any further. McMahon was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC via LinkedIn.Ether, the digital asset McMahon is said to have invested in, has risen more than 400% since the start of 2021. Created some six years after bitcoin, ether is based on a different technology known as Ethereum. Ether and ethereum are often used interchangeably to describe the currency.Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have fluctuated wildly lately. On Wednesday, the entire market shed as much as $365.85 billion after a tweet from Elon Musk that said his electric car firm Tesla would stop accepting payments in bitcoin due to environmental concerns over the cryptocurrency.Musk’s favored crypto is dogecoin, a token that started out as a joke in 2013. Inspired by the meme “Doge,” which features a shiba inu dog and cartoon-style text, dogecoin was intended by its creators as a “fun” alternative to bitcoin.It’s since gained a growing community online and is now the fourth-largest digital asset by market value on CoinMarketCap. While advocates like to call it the “people’s” crypto, investors warn dogecoin is a sign of froth building up in the crypto market.
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Madrid premier Isabel Diaz Ayuso, a fierce critic of Covid-19 lockdowns, secured a major victory in Spain’s regional elections, prompting the head of the left-wing Podemos to end his political career after taking fifth place.
With more than 99% of the ballots counted late on Tuesday night, Ayuso’s People’s Party took 45% of the vote, or 65 seats in the regional legislature, just four shy of an outright majority. Doubling its share of the vote compared to the last race in 2019, the People’s Party is expected to enter into a coalition with the right-wing Vox Party, which itself took fourth place with 9% of the vote.“Freedom has won in Madrid, once again,” Ayuso told supporters after her win, echoing a campaign slogan, while People’s Party leader Pablo Casado said voters “trusted [Ayuso’s] handling of the pandemic.”The premier’s campaign was fueled in no small part by her opposition to lockdowns, appealing to voters weary of draconian restrictions while refusing to shutter bars and restaurants during the health crisis. Tuesday’s race dealt a blow to leftist factions, seeing the Socialist Workers’ Party slip 10 points and 11 seats compared to 2019, tying with the progressive Mas Madrid. In fifth place behind Vox came Podemos, a left-of-center party founded in 2014 in opposition to European austerity policies. Though it gained three additional seats, the relatively poor showing led Podemos founder Pablo Iglesias to declare his exit from politics, saying “We have failed; we were very far from putting together a sufficient majority.”
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“I am not a political figure who can contribute to our political force or help consolidate its institutional strength,” Iglesias added.Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez – a leading member of the Socialist Workers’ Party whose Covid-19 policies were frequently slammed by Ayuso – took to Twitter late on Tuesday night to acknowledge her win. “The polls have given Ayuso a great result and, above all, a great responsibility. Congratulations,” he said. “The [Socialist Workers] will always be ready to work for a better Madrid and turn its votes into a force for the future for the region and its people.”The election campaign in Madrid, Spain’s capital and a city of 7 million, has been fraught with heated rhetoric and at times threats of violence, with several candidates, including Ayuso and Iglesias, receiving death threats from opponents. In early April, a regional office for Podemos was hit with a firebomb, prompting Iglesias to blame the “far right,” calling the attack “street terrorism.” A party spokesman claimed it was the sixth time a Podemos office was targeted by vandals.
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