October 15, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Ark Invest and 21Shares partnered to file a new application for a bitcoin futures ETF.

  •  Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said on the bank’s third-quarter earnings call that “I don’t think crypto’s a fad, I don’t think it’s going away.”

  • Sotheby’s, a 277-year-old auction house, is launching a new platform called Sotheby’s Metaverse to auction NFTs for fiat, ETH, BTC, and stablecoins.

  • TradingView, a charting platform, raised $298 million at a $3 billion valuation.

  • Bitwise filed for a bitcoin ETF with NYSE Arca.

  • Uniswap Labs hired Hari Sevugan, a former Obama spokesman.

  • The four-day Meterverse Festival taking place in Decentraland will feature Paris Hilton, Deadmau5, Flume, and 3LAU.

  • The SEC tweeted an educational bulletin about “funds that hold bitcoin futures.”

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said that cryptocurrency “can be a unit of account,” though “still premature.”

  • Coinbase’s NFT platform has a waitlist exceeding 1.4 million users.

  • Workers in El Salvador now have access to Strike’s “Pay Me in Bitcoin” feature.

  • Mexico’s President said the country will not adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Bold regulatory proposals are poppin’.

Yesterday, Coinbase unveiled its “Digital Asset Policy Proposal,” which outlines how the crypto exchange would like to see regulators handle the crypto industry.

Coinbase describes an aggressive course of action. Notably, the exchange calls for the establishment of a new regulator in charge of “marketplaces for digital assets” (MDAs) rather than trying to fit digital currency exchanges into current regulatory regimes. The company also asks for digital assets to be regulated under a “separate framework.”

Faryar Shirzad, Coinbase’s chief policy officer, explained the company’s reasoning for wanting separate regulators, saying, “Laws drafted in the 1930s to facilitate effective oversight of our financial system could not contemplate this technological revolution. Elements of those laws do not have room for the transformational potential that digital assets and crypto innovation make possible.”

And that same innovation has spurred other crypto companies, like FTX and a16z, to join Coinbase in advocating for better crypto policy.

FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, published its own piece on regulation, specifically targeted at US policymakers. FTX believes “the lack of coordinated, practical, and timely regulatory solutions” in the US could harm the “continued growth of a safe, healthy and sustainable digital asset industry in the United States.” 

Earlier in the week, a16z also released its “Agenda for the Third Generation of the Internet,” which explains how the venture capital firm thinks policymakers should treat the evolving Web3 ecosystem. Ryan Selkis, the co-founder of Messari who has been very outspoken against US regulators recently, described a16z’s framework as “phenomenal.”

Unlike Coinbase and FTX, who appear to be shouting into the void, a16z has solid plans to meet with regulators to discuss their framework, as reported by CNBC on Wednesday. The a16z crypto team, led by Anthony Albanese, chief operating officer for a16z Crypto, and Katie Haun, general partner and a former federal prosecutor, will meet with top leaders at the White House and executive agencies regulators, House, and Senate” sometime this week. (note: the meeting has not been confirmed as of Thursday at 4:45 pm ET).

Recommended Reads

  • Chainalysis on the geography of cryptocurrency:

  • CoinDesk on 15 NFT use-cases:

  • The Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein on Adam Back’s quest for digital cash:

On The Pod…

What Is the Role of Investors in a Decentralized World?

Four investors talk about the decentralized web, explain how the crypto industry is improving upon Web 2, and discuss what can be done to increase diversity and financial inclusion within Web 3. Featuring Rik Willard, founder of Agentic Group, Thomas France, co-founder of Cygni Capital, Dylan Hixon, president of Arden Road Investments, and Nick Grossman,general partner at Union Square Ventures . Show highlights:

  • how funding rounds for decentralized protocols differ from investing in traditional companies
  • what VC investors can do to 1) participate in the protocols they invest in, and 2) not take advantage of whale holdings in governance voting
  • how Web 3 has the potential to displace the “plantation economy”
  • the difference between crypto idealism (i.e., banking the unbanked) versus what has actually played out (i.e., Salvadorans being mandated to accept BTC)
  • what area of blockchain is delivering on the promise of financial inclusion
  • how to bring diversity to the blockchain + crypto industry
  • what can be done to solve the gender imbalance in crypto
  • how investors are navigating the murky waters of US regulations regarding crypto projects
  • how institutions fit into the Web 3 landscape
  • what I think about the state of sexism within the crypto industry

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