February 16, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Congressman Warren Davidson introduced a bill to protectself-hosted crypto wallets from government agencies.

  • A US lawmaker introduced a bill that would establish government-backed insurance for qualified stablecoins, making them redeemable on a one-to-one basis for US dollars..

  • Binance Smart Chain and Binance Chain are being rebranded to BNB Chain.

  • The SEC is investigating the connection between Binance US and two trading firms associated with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

  • LooksRare’s token is down 70% from its all-time high as its team cashed out $31 million in wETH.

  • The number of ETH addresses holding 0.1 ETH is at an ATH.

  • Coinbase is launching a program that will initially allow users to convert crypto into pesos for free.

  • GALA soared 20%+ yesterday as Gala Games announced its intent to deploy $5 billion to bolster its NFT offerings.

  • Vesta Equity launched yesterday, calling itself the first peer-to-peer marketplace for real estate-backed NFT assets.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • NYSE filed a trademark last week referring to an online marketplace for NFTs and digital goods.

  • Mastercard is set to offer crypto and NFT consulting services.

  • ConocoPhillips is selling excess natural gas to a bitcoin miner in North Dakota.

  • YouTube is hiring a director for YouTube Web3 product management.

The $$$ Corner…

  • DeFi learning protocol RabbitHole raised $18 million.

  • Crypto wallet Rainbow raised $18 million.

  • Hyperspace, a Solana-data site, raised $4.5 million.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Metaverse JPMorgan

By Mark Murdock

JPMorgan, the largest bank in the US ($3.29 trillion in assets), opened up a metaverse branch yesterday. “The Onyx by J.P. Morgan Lounge” is named after JPMorgan’s crypto unit and is located in Decentraland, the play-to-earn virtual reality game.

The firm’s Decentraland location is sparsely decorated at the moment. Users who arrive at The Onyx (here’s a link to take you directly there) are immediately greeted with a portrait of CEO Jamie Dimon in what appears to be a lobby. On the left wall is a timeline of JPMorgan’s blockchain history. And, well, maybe it was just during my visit, but there seems to be a pet tiger pacing the foyer. Once upstairs, Decentraland users are greeted with three virtual analysts, who explain topics like DeFi and the history of JPMorgan’s blockchain projects from the virtual TVs attached to the virtual wall. 

In addition to unveiling The Onyx, JPMorgan also dropped an 18-page research report on the metaverse to “help clients cut through the noise and highlight what we would love to see built or scaled next in commercial infrastructure, tech, privacy & identity, workforce, and social governance,” explained Christine Moy, JPMorgan’s head of crypto and the metaverse.

In its report, JPMorgan revealed a bullish outlook for the metaverse – and its place in it. “We believe the existing virtual gaming landscape (each virtual world with its own population, GDP, in-game currency and digital assets) has elements that parallel the existing global economy. This is where our long-standing core competencies in crossborder payments, foreign exchange, financial assets creation, trading and safekeeping, in addition to our at-scale consumer foothold, can play a major role in the metaverse,” wrote the JPMorgan crypto team.

JPMorgan’s conclusion was not with qualifiers, as the firm believes it will be difficult to create business strategies in such a quickly evolving space. “The components of the metaverse continue to evolve very quickly. It is difficult to base a business strategy on such a dynamic space, characterized by explosive growth and the continuous innovation of new entrants.”

The bank, however, concludes that any difficulty keeping up with trends will most likely be well worth the costs. “Risks of engaging early and consistently in order to build internal intellectual property, develop hypotheses about future business models, and identify ecosystem partners and collaborators are relatively low. The asymmetrical risk of being left behind is worth the incremental investment needed to get started and to explore this new digital landscape for yourself.”

Recommended Reads

  1. Arca CIO Jeff Dorman on pure-play crypto investing:

  1. For any future crypto-devs on the Unchained newsletter mailing list, Yearn Finance creator Andre Cronje with some suggested reading for smart contract developers:

  1. MakerDAO’s Sam MacPherson on the past, present, and future of DeFi OG MakerDAO:

On The Pod…

Your 2021 Crypto Taxes: How to Handle NFTs, DAOs, Airdrops and More

Two crypto tax experts, Shehan Chandrasekera, certified public accountant and head of strategy, Tax, at Cointracker, and John Cardone, senior director of Washington National Tax at RSM US LLP, explain everything crypto traders need to understand when filing taxes for 2021. Show topics:

  • the five types of transactions that constitute a taxable crypto event

  • how NFT taxes should be reported

  • why the sale of collectibles (NFTs) is taxed differently than the sale of crypto property (tokens)

  • what type of forms you might receive from crypto exchanges and why this information is usually incomplete

  • why the crypto provision in the infrastructure bill most likely won’t affect retail traders

  • why John wants a digital asset-specific 1099 form

  • how staking income will be taxed this year (and why this might change soon)

  • how to report taxes for…

    • airdrops like ENS and SOS

    • income earned via a play-to-earn game like Axie Infinity

    • the sale of virtual land

    • wrapping Bitcoin onto Ethereum

    • rewards received via a crypto credit card

  • how to save money on taxes going forward

  • how Shehan and John think crypto taxes will evolve

  • why the IRS listed a job posting for someone who could exploit crypto wallets

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