April 11, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Bitcoin fell below $40K for the first time since mid-March.

  • Ethereum developers initiated a “shadow fork” in the chain’s latest step in preparing for The Merge.

  • Coinbase announced a Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed movie trilogy.

  • Uniswap Labs launched a venture unit to invest in web3 products.

  • Elon Musk will not be joining Twitter’s board of directors.

  • Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith is set to be sentenced in New York today for allegedly violating international sanctions with North Korea.

  • A Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed restaurant in California opened its doors this weekend.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • Mastercard filed more than a dozen NFT and metaverse trademark applications.

  • Data from a Nasdaq survey showed that financial advisors are eager for a spot bitcoin ETF.

  • The NBA appears to be in possession of two ENS domain names and recently made a handful of crypto trademark filings.

The $$$ Corner…

  • Digital asset investment funds experienced a $134 million outflow last week.

  • Fabric Ventures is looking to close two web3 funds worth$245 million.

  • White Star Capital raised $120 million for a crypto fund focused on metaverse investments.


What Do You Meme?


What’s Poppin’?

A US CBDC Pilot Not Led by The Fed

By Mark Murdock

 

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the clearing and settlement service for the majority of securities transactions in the US, announced a new prototype today that will explore how it might utilize a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Called Project Lithium, the DTCC will be working with the Digital Dollar Project, led by Accenture and former CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo, aka “CryptoDad,” to explore how it might leverage blockchain technology to improve the settlement process.

Interestingly, according to data from both the Atlantic Counciland cbdctracker.org, this will be the first pilot CBDC program in the US.

In its press release, the DTCC, which “provides custody and asset servicing for securities issues from 177 countries and territories valued at U.S. $87.1 trillion,” said it hopes to identify the potential benefits of CBDCs. Some may include reduced trapped liquidity, increased capital efficiency, delivery guarantees, and added regulatory transparency, among others.

“A CBDC could improve time and cost efficiencies, provide broader accessibility to central bank money and payments, and all while emulating the features of physical cash in an increasingly digital world,” explained Giancarlo.

The news comes just over a month after the White House’sexecutive order on digital assets placing the “highest urgency on research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC.”

That being said, the DTCC and Digital Dollar Projects are private sector entities rather than central banks – which makes sense given Christopher Giancarlo’s previous remarks regarding the government and crypto. As he wrote in his book, CryptoDad: The Fight for the Future of Money, “​​money – especially digital money – is too important to be left to central bankers.”

For further context, the news comes more than a year after the DTCC’s subsidiary at the National Securities Clearing Corporation prompted Robinhood to stop the sale of GameStop stock in an effort to reduce the amount of collateral the clearinghouse was asking for. At the time, this sparked quite a bit of debate about the benefits of blockchain technology in the context of financial plumbing, which, in a perfect world, would allow for more transparent and immediate settlement of securities. (For those interested, Paxos CEO Chad Cascarilla discussed this on Unchained here and debated Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev in a conversation moderated by Laura here).


Recommended Reads

  1. BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes on why ETH will fall to $2500 by June:

  1. Here’s how Uniswap performed in Q1 2022:

  1. @0xKanna on Starknet vs. Solana:


On The Pod…

Excited About Your Bored Ape or CryptoPunk? Make Sure You Understand Your IP Rights

 

Stuart Levi, co-head of the Technology Transaction and Intellectual Property Group at Skadden Arps, and Marta Belcher, general counsel and Head of Policy at Protocol Labs, break down the legal issues surrounding NFTs specifically in the context of Yuga Labs’ recent purchase of CryptoPunks and Meebits IP rights. Show highlights:

  • the definitions and differences between copyrights, trademarks, and rights of publicity (name, image, likeness)

  • how NFT projects have evolved in the past 12-18 months and what that means for the rights of NFT holders

  • why NBA Top Shot’s licensing model is the best model for famous brands entering the NFT space

  • how the popularity of PFPs and the open-source ethos of crypto has led to confusion regarding the commercial rights of NFT holders

  • what you are getting when you buy an NFT (hint, it’s not copyright)

  • the misconceptions surrounding Yuga Labs’ acquisition of CryptoPunks and Meebits

  • why Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT holders most likely cannot use the Bored Ape Yacht Club brand or logo

  • what issues web3 projects face in getting NFT holders to accept terms and conditions

  • why web3 projects should protect their trademark

  • what a Creative Commons license is, and how it can be used in the NFT space

  • what sort of licenses exist in the NFT space

  • why secondary sales and transfers of NFTs pose such massive problems for copyright and trademark owners

  • how marketplaces are handling terms and conditions

  • what NFT projects can do to help the transfer of copyrights and trademarks


Book Update

My book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze, which is all about Ethereum and the 2017 ICO mania, is now available!

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