August 11, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • The Poly Network attacker has returned nearly half of the stolen funds.
  • Institutional clients at NYDIG and Fidelity are pushing for more ETH options. 
  • Valkyrie filed with the SEC for a bitcoin futures ETF.
  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler believes the crypto industry needs more regulation.
  • $400B investment fund Neuberger Berman will add crypto exposure to its Commodity Strategy Fund. 
  • Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of MicroStrategy’s first BTC purchase announcement. 
  • Coinbase says that 10 out of the top 100 hedge funds by AUM are clients of the exchange. 
  • Commercium Financial joins Kraken, Avanti, and Wyoming Deposit and Transfer as the fourth Wyoming-chartered crypto bank.
  • VC investment in crypto this year has already doubled that of 2020. 
  • Upgrade, a lending startup, raised $105M at a valuation of $3.325B.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the crypto industry at large are poppin’. 

At publishing time, the two behemoths, BTC and ETH, are up 15%+ over the past week, largely accounting for the cryptocurrency market’s 18% increase since last Wednesday. If you zoom out, the gains are even more impressive, with BTC and ETH gaining 40% since last month. 

The rest of the market is crushing it as well, with three of the top ten tokens by market cap, Dogecoin, Cardano, and Ripple, zooming up 30% in the past seven days. 

Outside of pure price appreciation, a few on-chain metrics are worthy of mention:

  1. According to on-chain analyst Willy Woo, users on the Bitcoin network are growing at the fastest rate ever, with over 1.2M new users coming onto the blockchain in the past month. 
  2. Total-value locked in Ethereum DeFi protocols has jumped 25% over the last 30 days. At roughly $75B at press time, TVL in DeFi sits just $14B from its May ATH.*
  3. Volume on OpenSea, the largest NFT platform, is at record highs, with the top seven highest volume days on the platform taking place from August 4th – August 10th.*

It appears that crypto is hitting a bit of a bull run, even amidst an incredibly hectic week in which (deep breath): 

  • Ethereum implemented its most complex upgrade ever
  • a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill was passed in the Senate that could put infeasible tax requirements on the crypto industry
  • Poly Network fell prey to the largest DeFi exploit in history
  • Tether released information about its reserves
  • BitMEX announced a $100M settlement with the CFTC

With that in mind, let’s take the temperature of Unchained readers on the crypto market as a whole, going forward in 2021: 

* = Data sourced from The Block

Recommended Reads

  • Lyn Alden on Bitcoin energy usage:

  • Decrypt’s Jeff Roberts with a deep dive into Ripple versus the SEC:

  • Mechanism Capital’s Eva Wu on token liquidity:

On The Pod…

Is ETH on Its Way to Becoming Ultra-Sound Money? Yes, Says Justin Drake

Ethereum just went through its most complex upgrade ever. Justin Drake, researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, discusses what the upgrade, aka the London hard fork, means for ether’s future as what he calls “ultra-sound money.” At the end of the episode, he also drops a few Bitcoin hot takes. Show highlights:

  • his background and how he got involved in crypto
  • how EIP 1559 will affect Ethereum now that it is live
  • why burning ether is good for the Ethereum economy
  • what two concepts are crucial to understanding money
  • what three ways ether is used as money
  • why he believes ether will become “ultra sound money,” when gold and silver are just “sound money”
  • what the main drivers of ETH’s value are
  • how the merge from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake will happen for Ethereum 
  • how much more efficient Justin calculates proof-of-stake will be compared to proof-of-work
  • why people are saying Ethereum is going through a “triple halvening”
  • what factors influence how much Ethereum is issued and burned
  • how Ethereum could become deflationary
  • why net sell pressure is about to decrease
  • what projects are burning the most ETH now that EIP 1559 is live
  • why Justin is worried about Bitcoin’s future
  • what Bitcoin could do to survive once it only subsists on transaction fees
  • whether Justin considers himself a bitcoiner
  • how ETH as ultra-sound money is becoming a meme

Book Update

My book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze, is now available for pre-order now.

The book, which is all about Ethereum and the 2017 ICO mania, comes out Jan. 18. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: