April 21, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Coinbase unveiled the beta version of its NFT marketplace.

  • Binance quickly abandoned a new logo design after people pointed out a shared resemblance to a swastika.

  • Tesla’s BTC holdings were unchanged in Q1 2022.

  • Coinbase showed a price page for Optimism, hinting that an airdrop could be coming soon.

  • The price of Apecoin (APE) is surging on rumors that it will soon be used in a metaverse land project.

  • MakerDAO is set to integrate StarkNet.

  • Index Coop released a new fund that gives exposure to major NFT collections.

  • Gnosis Chain, an Ethereum sidechain, completed a hard fork today.

  • BinanceUS has left the Blockchain Association and is creating its in-house lobbying shop.

  • Connext, a blockchain bridging protocol, unveiled plans to launch a token and transition to a DAO.

  • 80% of Ethereum Foundation’s $1.6 billion treasury is in ETH.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • The US Treasury Department sanctioned BitRiver, a crypto miner, over its operations in Russia.

  • Blockchain gaming exploded by 2,000% in the last year.

  • LVMH, a luxury goods brand, is looking into the metaverse.

  • The NBA dropped an 18,000-piece NFT collection that will evolve over the playoffs.

The $$$ Corner…

  • Decent DAO raised $10 million at a $56 million valuation.

  • The TON Foundation, the organization behind Telegram’s failed crypto project, has raised $1 billion in donations from users to advance its ecosystem.

  • Spruce, a decentralized identity startup, raised $34 million.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

OFAC vs. Russian Crypto Miners Part One

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Bitriver, a Russian crypto mining firm, to its sanctions list on Wednesday. Notably, according to a press release, “This is the first time Treasury has designated a virtual currency mining company.”  Bitriver was one of 40 individuals and entities, including the publicly traded Transkapitalbank (TKB), to be sanctioned.

“​​Treasury is also taking action against companies in Russia’s virtual currency mining industry. By operating vast server farms that sell virtual currency mining capacity internationally, these companies help Russia monetize its natural resources. Russia has a comparative advantage in crypto mining due to energy resources and a cold climate,” wrote Treasury in its press release. “However, mining companies rely on imported computer equipment and fiat payments, which makes them vulnerable to sanctions. The United States is committed to ensuring that no asset, no matter how complex, becomes a mechanism for the Putin regime to offset the impact of sanctions,” Treasury concluded.

Interestingly, OFAC did not list any Bitcoin or other crypto wallet addresses associated with Bitriver.

While this is just one company, the idea of the US going after Russian mining companies could have significant implications. Cambridge’s latest Bitcoin mining survey shows that Russia produces 11.23% of Bitcoin’s monthly hashrate, making it the third-largest source of Bitcoin mining in the world. Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed interest in crypto mining as recently as January 26th.

Recommended Reads

  1. Unchained Capital on six reasons to own BTC in retirement:

  1. Mario Gabriele on Dune Analytics, the crypto data analysis king:

  1. Bankless on Terra:

On The Pod…

Why Crypto Twitter’s Disrespect Toward Regulators Is a ‘Really Bad Business Decision’

Two policy experts, Chris Lehane, chief strategy officer at Haun Ventures, and Niki Christoff, the founder of Christoff and Co., discuss how the crypto industry has performed in Washington and how it can better educate more regulators and politicians about the technology. Show highlights:

  • Niki and Chris’s background

  • how Niki and Chris would grade the performance of crypto companies in Washington

  • what parallels Chris can draw between crypto in the 2020s and FAANG in the mid-90s

  • whether having a plethora of crypto policy groups helps or hurts crypto in Washington

  • whether calling politicians and regulators names and making memes of them helps or hurts the crypto industry

  • an effective way crypto companies can prompt lawmakers and regulators to prioritize crypto policy

  • why it can be strategically smarter to try to convince incumbents to adopt pro-crypto policy over supporting challengers

  • why Chris thinks crypto could be a bipartisan topic

  • what Chris and Niki think about the fact that Democratic candidates received more donations from people working in the crypto industry than Republicans did

  • the three types of crypto users that are valuable to political candidates

  • what Niki and Chris would tell Senator Elizabeth Warren about crypto if they were to meet with her today

  • what effect crypto might have on midterms

  • why the terminology native to crypto may have to change

Book Update

My book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze, which is all about Ethereum and the 2017 ICO mania, is now available!

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