May 20, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

🎉Welcome to Unchained Daily 🎉

ICYMI, the Unchained Newsletter is shifting from a weekly recap to a daily blog. Each morning you will receive a few quick bullet points summarizing yesterday’s news, a couple of memes, a brief breakdown of a trending topic, and a few recommended reads.

For those of you who were big fans of the weekly recap, don’t worry — the weekly recap will still be available at the back half of the Unconfirmed pod on Friday!

Without further ado… here is the fourth edition of the Unchained Daily.

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Ark Investment CEO Cathie Woods says Bitcoin will reach $500,000
  • Aave founder hints at an institutional DeFi product
  • Coinbase and Binance went down during yesterday’s dip
  • Wells Fargo to offer crypto investment products to wealthy clients
  • BlockFi accidentally gave away large amounts of BTC in a promotion gone awry
  • About 80% of central banks are exploring CBDCs
  • Instagram to host an NFT event during its “Creator Week.”
  • The total crypto market is down 20%+ over the past day (as of Wednesday night)

Source: CoinMarketCap

What Do You Meme?

“I laugh because I must not weep” – Abraham Lincoln (speaking for HODLers everywhere).


What’s Poppin’?

US regulators are poppin’, as evidenced by comments from Michael Hsu, the acting head of the OCC, during a virtual hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

The main concern of Hsu’s is that “the regulatory community is taking a fragmented, agency by agency approach to the technology-driven changes taking place today.”

To solve this fragmentation, Hsu is eyeing a collaboration between the OCC, Federal Reserve, and FDIC to create an “interagency sprint team” that would work on establishing a unified framework and set of definitions for cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this week, Hsu requested a staff review of all crypto-related guidance issued over the past year.

The review will encompass the entirety of former comptroller Brian Brooks’ reign at the OCC, where the regulator established crypto guidance largely seen as beneficial to the industry. For example, Brooks wrote a series of interpretive letters during his tenure, clarifying that federally chartered banks could custody stablecoins and hold them in reserve.

While a review may not sound like a meaningful action, Caitlin Long, CEO of Avanti Bank, pointed out that, earlier on Tuesday, the OCC had reversed a final ruling, which, although unrelated to crypto, is a very rare occurrence — perhaps signaling that Hsu’s time as acting comptroller could zig where Brook’s administration zagged.

Recommended Reads

  1. Ethereum could use 99.95% less energy after transitioning to 2.0:

  1. Paradigm on how to survive a crypto cycle:

  1. Decrypt on five different reasons the crypto market is down:

On The Pod…

Bitcoin vs. the Petrodollar: Which Is More Environmentally Friendly?

Last week, Tesla announced they will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for vehicles. In a timely episode, Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, and James McGinniss, CEO and co-founder of David Energy, come onto the show to discuss Bitcoin, the petrodollar, and how to contextualize the energy usage of the first cryptocurrency (BTC) versus the leading fiat currency (USD). Show highlights:

  • their backgrounds and how they became interested in the intersection of currency and energy usage

  • why Alex and James really think Tesla stopped accepting BTC as payment

  • why James thinks Bitcoin’s energy intensity is a “feature, not a bug”

  • Alex on the history of the petrodollar and how the USD in recent decades has been tied to fossil fuel production

  • comparing the carbon cost of a dollar to Bitcoin’s energy consumption

  • what both James and Alex think of the Square and Ark Invest research paper saying renewable energy production could be tied with Bitcoin mining

  • why measuring Bitcoin’s energy usage is difficult

  • how Bitcoin mining in China is changing for the better

  • how the Biden administration might impact Bitcoin

  • where to find more information on Bitcoin and energy consumption

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: