It’s not everyday I get to break news on the podcast, so it was fun being the first to report on Kik’s new Defend Crypto fund, which hopes to challenge the SEC in court in order to obtain a Howey test for crypto tokens. If you haven’t yet, check out my interview with Kik’s Ted Livingston, plus the show notes on Forbes, as well as a related article I wrote on how this development is just part of a larger trend of crypto companies becoming more vocal with their displeasure with the SEC.

I was at the Oslo Freedom Forum this week, and during my panel (to be released on the podcast soon!), we touched on a point that I’ve seen made by multiple people recently. The way regulation is going (with the recent FinCen guidance being a prime example), it could drive more development of the peer-to-peer applications of blockchains, a point Vitalik made recently in a blog post, and Michael Casey of CoinDesk made here. It seems regulation will be a boon to decentralization.

In other news, DAOs are all the rage, plus we’ve got some news on trading vs. usage, as well as a deeper dive on Bitcoin trading generally. And, there are updates from Ethereum, Blockstack and other projects.

If, post-Memorial Day, you’re looking ahead at future travel plans, don’t forget about the crypto workshop at Omega Institute I’m leading with Meltem Demirors and Jalak Jobanputra! Sign up here!

This Week’s Crypto News…

Are We Out of the Speculative Phase Yet?

Sometimes a good chart is all you need. Bitcoin’s usage is dominated by exchange activity, with all other uses dwarfed by speculation, Bloomberg writes, citing Chainalysis data.

Bitwise: Bitcoin’s Spot Market ‘Among the Most Orderly and Efficient in the World’

Bitwise does a follow-up report on the Bitcoin spot market, a deeper look at their conclusion that 95% of all Bitcoin trading volume is faked.


It seems new DAOs are launching everywhere nowadays. The Gnosis team launched dxDAO, for governing the DutchX protocol, and Aragon announced a version of Vitalik’s idea for a decentralized autonomous ICO (DAICO). This is probably, so far, one of my favorite definitions of a DAO.

IEOs vs. IPOs

A good thread comparing the two by Jeff Dorman, the CIO at Arca: “The syndicate desk may offer better terms to early investors, or will guarantee allocations to future deals, or will flat out lie that it is already oversubscribed just to create that sense of urgency. That’s why you get 1000 updates throughout the process. They create FOMO.”

Bitcoin Cash Miners Use Reorg to Undo Miner Attack

In yet another example of how different the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash communities are, when a reorg to undo the Binance hack was suggested, the Bitcoin community went into debate mode. Meanwhile, last week, after a miner was able to carry out some transactions they should not have been able to, two other Bitcoin Cash miners went ahead and 51% attacked the chain to undo them. More here.

Pump-and-Dumps, Analyzed

“Our analysis shows that pump-and-dump activities are a lot more prevalent than previously believed. Specifically, around 100 organized Telegram pump-and- dump channels coordinate on average 2 pumps a day, which generates an aggregate artificial trading volume of 6 million USD a month,” write Jiahua Xu and Benjamin Livshits. Yowza.

Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain Update

Meanwhile, technical progress continues, with Ethereum releasing some updates for the 2.0 beacon chain so that it can also run smart contracts, and Blockstack releasing its white paper 2.0.

Don’t Hold Bags, Punch Them

This punching bag rewards you in cryptocurrency for punching it.