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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest VCs are backing a buzzy new project—and Crypto Twitter is up in arms about it.

Why it matters: BitClout has divided even the industry's top investors, with some openly backing it in hopes it's the next social-media-on-the-blockchain success, while others are staying far away.

  • The cap table includes some of the biggest names like Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures, Winklevoss Capital and a host of celebrities.
  • Still, some are very wary. You can currently put bitcoin into the site but you can’t withdraw it. The project's lead founder says his well-connected backers might help exchange listings materialize soon.

How it works: BitClout takes the profiles of popular Twitter personalities and ascribes a dollar value to their output. Participants can then buy and sell various “Creator Coins” with bitcoin (and ideally profit).

  • At the top of the pack is Elon Musk, whose unclaimed profile on the site is commanding $70,825 per token. A run-of-the-mill crypto influencer is fetching around $500. (Chamath Palihapitiya, who briefly flirted with running for California’s governorship, appears to be the priciest claimed account at $42,820 per token.)

Yes, but: No one gave permission for their Twitter brands to be monetized.

  • While BitClout's pseudonymous founder, Diamondhands, told CoinDesk’s Brady Dale that the site “creates innovative ways for creators to monetize" and provides "a new business model that’s not ad-driven anymore,” this argument has been unpersuasive to many prominent members of the crypto industry, who are generally salty about their Twitter profiles being scraped (and monetized) without their consent.
  • At least one unhappy technologist whose profile showed up on BitClout without his permission sent the company's alleged real-life leader a cease-and-desist letter on Tuesday. 
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Moreover: While you can currently put bitcoin into the site (about $184 million, according to an unconfirmed blockchain address), you can’t withdraw it, which some skeptics point out as a red flag.

The bottom line: Not needing permission is a tenet of the crypto ecosystem. Centralized parties shouldn’t be able to lord over online commerce. That said, BitClout is rubbing some – whose reputations are now on the market – the wrong way.

Go deeper: What Is BitClout? The Social Media Experiment Sparking Controversy on Twitter (Coindesk)

Go deeper

2 wildfires ravage Northern California homes as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Team USA's Ryan Crouser competing on Thursday in the men's Olympic shot put final in Tokyo, which he won. Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images

🥇: Ryan Crouser breaks his own Olympic shot put record to win gold for U.S.

🏐: U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Landlords mount legal challenge to Biden admin's new eviction moratorium

President Biden at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A group of landlords and real-estate companies issued a legal challenge on Wednesday night in a D.C. district court to the Biden administration's new national eviction moratorium.

Driving the news: The Alabama and Georgia Associations of Realtors' emergency motion argues that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's order Tuesday barring evictions for most of the U.S. through Oct. 3 exceeds the CDC's powers, according to a statement from the National Association of Realtors.