May 19, 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 third edition of the Unchained Daily.

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Michael Hsu, acting head of the OCC, to review crypto-related guidance issued over the past year. (Caitlin Long on why this is noteworthy)

  • Robinhood might reveal its IPO filings as soon as next week.

  • Fox is launching an NFT company alongside a blockchain animated-series.

  • Riot Blockchain, a mining company listed on the Nasdaq, reported a revenue increase of 881% in Q1.
  • A decentralized organization named Jenny paid $1 million in ETH for an NFT song (called Jenny) by Steve Aoki and 3LAU.

  • Crypto custodian Copper raised $50 million in a Series B.

  • MicroStrategy purchased another $10 million in BTC.
  • Three self-regulatory bodies in China jointly published a note reiterating a previous ban on financial and payment institutions from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions and initial coin offerings.

What Do You Meme?

Saturday is the 11th anniversary of “Bitcoin Pizza Day” — a celebration of the first Bitcoin transaction… when Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 bitcoin for two pizzas (those 2 pies are now worth $400,000,000).

That’s why Anthony Pompliano’s recent post announcing Bitcoin Pizza feels like such a full-circle moment. 

Launching on Saturday, Bitcoin Pizza is partnering with neighborhood pizzerias in 10 cities to bring hungry HODLers quite the menu:


According to Pomp, 100% of profits from this pilot program will be sent to the Human Rights Foundation Bitcoin Development Fund.

Ironically, and hence the meme, Bitcoin Pizza does NOT accept its namesake, Bitcoin. 😂


What’s Poppin’?

Over the last seven days, CoinShares reports that digital asset investment products saw a net outflow of $50 million, which is the first net outflow since October 2020 and the largest since May 2019.

Source: CoinShares

Shockingly, the prime suspect of the outflows were Bitcoin investment products, which accounted for $98 million flowing out of the system.

CoinShares noted that other digital asset investment products saw inflows totaling $48 million over the last week, implying that investors might be diversifying their crypto portfolio.

Interestingly, Ethereum accounted for $27 million of the inflows, continuing the trend of ETH outperforming BTC this year. Indeed, as pointed out by Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares, “May is the first month ether products traded > volume than bitcoin.”

On a related note, in Q1, Ark Investment purchased 639,000 shares of Grayscale’s Ethereum exchange-traded product, ETHE — an investment currently worth around $20 million. Ark also holds 8.67 million shares of GBTC, a bitcoin exchange-traded product, perhaps signifying a trend of institutions investing in Ethereum, as well as Bitcoin.

Recommended Reads

  1. Dante Disparte, chief strategy officer and head of global policy at Circle, writes about why the US may not be ready for a CBDC:

  1. Stay up to date on what’s happening on-chain with this week’s issue of Coin Metrics’ State of the Network:

  1. Learn about the differences between Optimistic and Zero Knowledge roll-ups:

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: