February 25, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • China’s Supreme Court ruled that raising money from the public via digital assets is illegal, according to a statement released on Thursday.

  • Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo, founders and executives of the crypto exchange BitMEX, pled guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act on Thursday, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

  • $400,000 in BTC was sent to “Come Back Alive,” a Ukrainian pro-military group, yesterday.

  • Ukrainians are paying $1.10 for a single USDT (which is supposedly pegged to the dollar) on the cryptocurrency exchange Kuna.

  • Over $680 million in short and long positions were liquidated between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

  • Celsius, a centralized crypto lender, is the first CeFi lender to launch a pool on Maple Finance, a DeFi lender.

  • $500 million in ETH could be liquidated if ETH prices drop below $2,100.

  • Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is “very upset” by Russia’s decision to enter Ukraine.

  • Hotly anticipated NFT project “Invisible Friends” has done 5x the volume of any other NFT project in the last 24 hours and currently has a floor price of 9 ETH.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • Proposed regulations coming from the EU would limit proof-of-work crypto mining.

The $$$ Corner…

  • Former Meta coders are raising $200 million at a $2 billion valuation to bring Diem/Libra back to life.

  • Aligned, a web3 infrastructure company, raised $34 million in seed funding.

  • InfStones, a blockchain infrastructure firm, raised $33 million in a Series B funding round.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Coinbase and Block Reported Earnings. Here’s What You Need to Know

Crypto exchange Coinbase released its Q4 2021 shareholder letter yesterday, recapping the final months of 2021 and summarizing the year as a whole. Here are five tidbits that stand out:

  1. The firm reported $2.5 billion in net revenue in Q4 2021– nearly doubling its net revenue of $1.31 billion from Q3.

  2. Monthly active users on Coinbase quadrupled between Q4 2020 (2.8 million) and Q4 2021 (11.4).

  3. Coinbase noted that it is “proud to welcome or expand relationships with Anheuser-Busch, Brex, Enfusion, and Franklin Templeton on the Coinbase institutional platform in Q4.”

  4. In Q4 2021, Bitcoin and Ethereum each accounted for 16% trading on the exchange, with “other digital assets” doing 68% of volume (for context, BTC and ETH averaged a trading volume share of 41% and 15% in 2020).

  5. Retail traders made up the minority of trading volume on Coinbase in 2021 at 47%. However, just under 95% of Coinbase’s net transaction revenue came from retail customers.

As for Block (formerly Square), its payment firm Cash App, which offers retail users the chance to purchase and send BTC, had a big Q4 too. Notably, Cash App generated $1.96 billion of revenue from Bitcoin in the fourth quarter of last year. Of that, it turned a $46 million profit (a 14% increase from Q4 2020). For the full year, Cash App brought in $10.1 billion in revenue via Bitcoin and turned a $218 million gross profit.

With the entirety of Cash App bringing in $2.07 billion in gross profit for 2021, this means Bitcoin sales accounted for roughly 10% of Cash App’s gross profit last year.

Recommended Reads

  1. CoinDesk on all things Russia-Ukraine and crypto:

  1. Barnabé Monnot on rollup economics:

  1. Knower on DeFi 3.0:

On The Pod…

How Writing ‘The Cryptopians’ Shaped My Views on Ethereum

In a fun change of pace, Steven Ehrlich, editor of Forbes Cryptoasset and Blockchain Advisor, joins Unchained to interview me about my book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze, which came out this week. We discuss…

  • where the inspiration for “The Cryptopians” title came from

  • why I wanted to write a book about Ethereum

  • how Vitalik’s role changed over the course of Ethereum’s founding

  • who the main characters in The Cryptopians are

  • the biggest challenges Ethereum and the Ethereum Foundation faced in its early days

  • Ethereum’s “red wedding” day

  • what issues with crowdfunding and US securities laws were faced by early Ethereum founders

  • how The DAO hack, along with the Shanghai attacks and Parity drama, shaped Ethereum

  • what I discovered about Ming Chan’s time as the Ethereum Foundation director

  • my biggest takeaways from researching ICOs

  • why I think DAOs could be the next big thing

  • whether or not I have an idea for a new book…

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 Feb. 22. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: http://bit.ly/cryptopians