May 31, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

What Do You Meme?

The Bitcoin car raced in the Indy 500 yesterday, placing 8th after leading for 32 laps.

In other memes:

What’s Poppin’?

The SEC is filing charges against five individuals over their involvement with Bitconnect.

According to the SEC’s complaint, BitConnect raised $2 billion in unregistered securities from 2017 and 2018 through the use of a network of promoters. Lara Shalov Mehraban, the associate regional director of the SEC’s New York office, said in a press release, “these defendants unlawfully sold unregistered digital asset securities by actively promoting the Bitconnect lending program to retail investors.” She added, “We will seek to hold accountable those who illegally profit by capitalizing on the public’s interest in digital assets.”

Bitconnect (BCC) was, to put it bluntly, a Ponzi scheme. BCC was a cryptocurrency built on top of Bitcoin with a simple premise: trade your Bitcoin for BCC, lock in the instantaneous value of BCC for a set period of time, and earn massive amounts of interest — calculated daily. On top of the to-good-to-be-true promise of daily compounding, Bitconnect also used a system of invites and referrals, where users could invite friends to join the platform in exchange for bonuses.

Here is an example of a Bitconnect shill from back in the day: 

Bitconnect crashed in 2018 thanks to cease and desist orders from Texas and North Carolina, with its token collapsing from over $470 to below $1. 

While it may seem that Bitconnect is getting its due justice, Gabriel Shapiro, a partner at BSV Law, was skeptical, tweeting: 

Recommended Reads

  • Michael Casey on why it might be time to regroup:  

  • Taylor Monahan on why EIP-1559 does not deliver: 

  • The Bitcoin Reddit, /r/bitcoin, just hit 3 million subscribers. If you have nothing going on this Memorial Day weekend, I would recommend perusing the many, many threads available here: 

On The Pod…

June 14th is the 5-year anniversary of Unchained. 🎉

On Tuesday, June 15th, we’ll publish a 5-year anniversary episode with questions or messages from you listeners to me.

If you want to have your question or message included:
  • record a video or audio message of 60 seconds or less stating your name, where you’re from and your question or message.
  • email it to [email protected] with “anniversary” in the subject line (or just respond to this email)!
You can also email a question, and I will read it on the air. If so, please let me know how you’d like to be identified. (And let me know how to pronounce your name.)

The deadline to get your submissions in is Thursday, June 10 by 5 pm ET/2 pm PT.

Thanks so much for supporting Unchained all these years! 🙏

Check out the latest episode of Unchained:

Rep. Tom Emmer, One of the Most Active Crypto Congress Members, on Taxes and DeFi

House Representative Tom Emmer, of Minnesota, is one of the most active voice for crypto and blockchain in the US government. In this episode, he discusses:
  • what book made Tom fall down the crypto rabbit hole

  • why Tom believes the Financial Accounting Standards Board needs to set clear accounting standards for cryptocurrencies

  • why the current way of accounting for Bitcoin on balance sheets may be a detriment to companies in the future

  • how he feels about the acting head of the OCC putting together a “sprint team” of federal regulators to establish overarching crypto standards

  • why he is fighting to change tax rules for forked coins

  • what problems the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act might solve

  • why he is so passionate about the Securities Clarity Act, which would explicitly separate digital tokens from securities

  • how DeFi should be regulated and why he is not a fan of FATF’s recently proposed guidance

  • Tom’s prediction for when these bills may actually become law

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 Nov. 2nd. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: