February 1, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • A US law that would enforce KYC rules on unhosted crypto wallets might be under consideration (again).

  • Fidelity is looking to launch metaverse and crypto ETFs.

  • A bug on Qubit Finance led to a hacker getting away with $80 million.

  • Visa crypto credit card users made $2.5 billion in payments during the first fiscal quarter of 2022.

  • GMI PAC is a political committee that will back crypto-friendly congressional candidates in the 2022 midterm elections.

  • El Salvador’s crypto wallet Chivo keeps breaking, according to The Block.

  • The price of LUNA is down in the aftermath of Wonderland’s drama.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • China designated Beijing and Shanghai as cities to testblockchain applications.

  • Google’s cloud division is hiring blockchain developers.

  • Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke is joining Coinbase’s board.

The $$$ Corner…

  • After raising $400 million in a Series C, FTX Trading Ltd. is now valued at $32 billion.

  • Solana wallet Phantom raised $109 million in a Series B round.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Diem Never Launched, But Will Live on Through Silvergate

After a tumultuous three years, Facebook’s stablecoin project Diem (formerly Libra) is shutting down. According to a statement released Monday morning, the Diem Association will begin the process of “winding down” over the next few weeks. (Disclosure: I write a Facebook Bulletin newsletter.)

In Diem Group’s statement, CEO Stuart Levey acknowledged that Diem would not be allowed to launch, despite the fact that, according to Levey, “In the United States, a senior regulator informed us [the Diem Association] that Diem was the best-designed stablecoin project the US Government had seen.” Levey added that it “became clear from our dialogue with federal regulators that the project could not move ahead. As a result, the best path forward was to sell the Diem Group’s assets, as we have done today to Silvergate,” said Levey.

Silvergate Bank is scooping up Diem assets in a $182 million deal. The digital asset-friendly bank has been involved with the Facebook project for over a year already, after it partnered with Diem to launch a stablecoin pegged to USD in a last-ditch effort to revive the project initially launched under the name Libra in 2019 (back when Meta was Facebook).

However, as has been the case with many Diem stories, the project never officially launched. Silvergate will not be left empty-handed. With its $182 million purchase, the firm announced its intent to use the years of development, deployment, and operations infrastructure Diem put into building out its product to enable a Silvergate issued stablecoin.

“Through conversations with our customers, we identified a need for a U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin that is regulated and highly scalable to further enable them to move money without barriers. As previously stated on our Q4 2021 earnings call, it remains our intention to satisfy that need by launching a stablecoin in 2022, enabled by the assets we acquired today and our existing technology,” said Alan Lane, chief executive officer of Silvergate, in a press release.

The news of the Diem Association’s sale was first reported by the Wall Street Journal last week. Yesterday, as the news became official, Silvergate’s stock increased 12.11%.

Recommended Reads

  1. CoinShares on Bitcoin mining (and why its an “essential puzzle piece” in stabilizing grids in areas like Texas):

  1. Vitalik Buterin on binding NFTs and governance rights to a single address:

  1. Sasha Hodder, managing partner at Hodder Law, on how a recent SEC proposal could impact any asset being traded on a cryptocurrency exchange:

On The Pod…

How NFT DAOs Could Shape the Next Blockbuster, Fund Poetry and Change VC

Dapper Collectives CEO and Friends With Benefits founder Trevor McFedries joins Unchained to discuss social tokens, NFTs, the creator economy, $FWB, VC snacks, DAOs, Cooper Turley, and more. Show highlights:

  • Trevor’s past, which includes a top 10 album, working at Spotify, founding Brud, creating Lil Miquela, and, of course, falling down the crypto rabbit hole

  • what Trevor’s vision for Dapper Collectives is

  • what type of activities DAOs will facilitate in the future

  • why Trevor is so excited to be working with Dapper Labs and Flow

  • what Friends With Benefits is and how the $FWB token works

  • what sort of tokens make up the Friends With Benefits treasury

  • why venture capitalists who want to be involved with Friends With Benefits need to have a good snack game

  • why Trevor is not worried about $FWB becoming a security

  • what plans Friends With Benefits has in store for 2022

  • Trevor’s response to Friends With Benefits suspending co-founder Cooper Turley regarding 10-year old racist and homophobic tweets

  • what can be done to onboard a more diverse demographic to crypto

  • how Trevor defines the passion/creator economy

  • what Trevor is looking forward to in 2022 regarding NFTs, DAOs, and social tokens

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 Feb. 22. Pre-order it today!

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