July 22, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Robinhood’s crypto division expects a $30M fine from the New York State Department of Financial Services.

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler said synthetic tokens and stablecoins backed by securities “are implicated by the securities laws.”

  • ZED RUN, an NFT horse racing game, raised a $20M Series A led by a16z.

  • Mastercard to test USDC as a bridge between consumer digital wallets and fiat currency paid to merchants.

  • DraftKings, a fantasy sports company, is launching an NFT marketplace.

  • Circle has set aside $10M+ to settle a case with the SEC on Poloniex, its discontinued crypto exchange.

  • Bank of New York Mellon will join State Street in backing Pure Digital, a London-based crypto trading platform.

  • An audit for Tether, the issuer of USDT, could be months away from being released.

  • ARK Invest purchased $10.8M worth of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust this week.
  • 15% of family offices are invested in crypto and another 45% want in, according to a Goldman Sachs survey.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Speaking at an online conference dubbed “The B Word,” Musk, alongside Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Invest, and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, discussed Bitcoin as a tool for economic empowerment.

Musk made quite a few revelations during the conversation – which may have sparked Bitcoin’s 6% rise early Wednesday afternoon.

In response to the first question of the panel, he revealed that the privately-held SpaceX owns Bitcoin on its balance sheet. Musk also noted that Bitcoin makes up a considerable portion of his personal portfolio, which only includes five “meaningful” assets: Tesla stock, SpaceX stock, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin — with Bitcoin making up a large majority of his crypto holdings.

Regarding accusations of price manipulation, Tesla’s Technoking explained that falling Bitcoin prices hurt him just as much as anyone else. He said, “If the price of Bitcoin goes down, I lose money. I might pump, but I don’t dump.”

Other notable B Word Moments:

  • Concerning Tesla accepting Bitcoin as payment once again, Musk admitted that Bitcoin’s energy usage is improving, though he intends to do more research before resuming the payment program.

  • Musk says he is a “fan” of decentralized finance.

  • Near the end of the panel, Musk asked Jack Dorsey whether Twitter would consider accepting BTC as payment for advertising, to which Dorsey said “absolutely.” However, Dorsey added that accepting BTC as payment is not a focus, as he is more interested in how Bitcoin and crypto could disrupt the advertising model.

Recommended Reads

  • What happens when Vitalik Buterin gifts you $500M worth of dog tokens? Find out here:

  • Coin Metrics on cryptocurrency search trends

  • 💥 Shots fired 💥 — Paxos, in a post on stablecoin regulation, throws shade at its competitors and boasts that 96% of PAX’s stablecoin reserves are cash or cash equivalents:

On The Pod…

How Ransomware Evolved Into a Big Business

Gurvais Grigg, Chainalysis public sector CTO, and Kim Grauer, director of research at Chainalysis, review the ransomware landscape. Show Highlights:

  • their backgrounds and roles at Chainalysis

  • how a ransomware attack works

  • what types of businesses are usually targeted in ransomware attacks

  • why ransomware as a service (RAAS) is a booming business

  • why Kim and Gurvais believe the hacking group REvil is becoming more sophisticated

  • what characteristic of REvil hints that the group could be affiliated with Russia

  • how the RAAS business model works

  • how ransomware payments can be tracked

  • why ransomware reporting has a data problem

  • why Bitcoin is the preferred method of payment amongst ransomware attackers

  • what two factors makes BTC preferable to privacy coins

  • how ransomware groups teach victims to transfer BTC

  • how ransomware groups cash out of their BTC

  • how counter-terrorism tactics can help fight ransomware attacks

  • how the Department of Justice may have partially recovered part of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware payment

  • what tools and strategies governments can and will use to battle ransomware

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: http://bit.ly/cryptopians