July 21, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits✍️✍️✍️

  • Polygon announced a zero-knowledge scaling solution called zkEVM that will go live by the end of 2022.
  • FTX is looking to raise more money, according to Bloomberg.
  • Aave DAO swapped $1 million in AAVE for $1 million in BAL following an on-chain vote.
  • On Yearn’s second anniversary, the project’s total value-locked (in ETH terms) fell by 50% year to date.
  • Zipmex, a crypto exchange, paused withdrawals.
  • Premint will return $500k in ETH to NFT hack victims.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • Minecraft will not support or allow the integration of NFTs.
  • Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital is looking to start a new web3 and crypto-focused fund.
  • Prosecutors raided 7 Korean crypto exchanges in regards to their Terra probe.
  • A bill on stablecoins is set to be released next week from the House of Representatives.
  • BNY Mellon and Goldman Sachs executed a transaction on a tokenized blockchain platform.

The $$$ Corner…

  • Optic, an NFT fraud-fighting platform, raised $11 million in a seed funding round.
  • Vauld, a crypto lender, owes $363 million to retail users.
  • Blockdaemon, a web3 infrastructure company, acquired Sepior, a wallet security firm.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Tesla Dumps 75% of its BTC

According to Tesla’s second-quarter earnings report, the electric car company sold 75% of its bitcoin.

“As of the end of Q2, we have converted approximately 75% of our Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency,” Tesla wrote. The company reported $936 million in proceeds from the sale.

With the sale, Tesla is now the holder of just $218 million worth of BTC. Given that Tesla had something “close” to 42,069 BTC (a number that CoinDesk also reports, though Unchained has yet to confirm), a 75% sale leaves the firm with roughly 10,500 BTC left.

Notably, by selling its Bitcoin in Q2, Tesla dodged what could have been a $460 million impairment charge due to how BTC must be accounted for.

However, CEO Elon Musk explained that its sale had nothing to do with the impairment possibility or even the nature of Bitcoin itself (though Tesla’s earnings report did mention “Bitcoin impairment” as an item that “primarily impacted” year over year returns). Instead, The Block reports, the CEO said its sale was due to concerns with BTC liquidity owing to COVID shutdowns in China. Accordingly, Musk hopes the move is not seen as a “verdict on bitcoin.”

As of publishing time, the announcement has had surprisingly little impact on the price of Bitcoin, with the asset sitting nearly even with a .4% gain over the past 24 hours.

Recommended Reads

1) Nic Carter on crypto credit

2) Coinbase on how it manages market risk

3) Minecraft on banning NFTs

On The Pod…

Bitcoin in El Salvador: Why Would Cypherpunks Support Government-Mandated Bitcoin Adoption? - Ep. 375

Nelson Rauda, Salvadoran journalist for El Faro, comes to talk about the impact of Bitcoin in El Salvador, the needs of Salvadoran people, Bitcoin City and the Bitcoin Bond, and much more. Show highlights:

  • Nelson’s story and how he began covering BTC
  • what kind of politician and president Nayib Bukele was before BTC
  • what the financial reality was for Salvadoran people before the implementation of BTC
  • the reasons for the high rates of unbanked people in El Salvador
  • how Bukele changed the monetary policy with what Rauda says was very little discussion
  • why Rauda believes the BTC law is not meant for Salvadorans, but instead is a PR stunt
  • how people reacted after the announcement of BTC as legal tender, and how it resembled the dollarization of the economy in 2001
  • how Nelson did not even understand BTC at the moment of the announcement and how he says there was not an effort from the government to educate the population
  • whether BTC was successful in attracting investments and tourism, and how there’s no hard data about it
  • why Nelson believes Bukele was trying to hide the scandals when he adopted BTC
  • whether BTC has been used as a PR stunt
  • why bitcoiners are enthusiastic about an authoritarian government adopting BTC as legal tender
  • how Bukele might be undermining his own authority by adopting BTC, a type of money that is not controlled by a state
  • whether the Chivo wallet is a surveillance tool
  • why Nelson believes BTC does not represent a solution for the needs of average Salvadoran people
  • whether the $30 dollar initial gift to download the BTC wallet was seen as just another subsidy
  • the status of Bitcoin City and how Nelson believes it represents the most spectacular PR stunt from Bukele’s administration
  • how the expensive prices of electricity in El Salvador make the country not the best place for mining
  • the significance of Bitcoin Beach
  • what the BTC bond is, what Bukele tried to achieve with it, and why it has been postponed
  • whether El Salvador will default on its debt and what the impact of the BTC price has on the national finances and on how Salvadorans perceive Bitcoin
  • how Nelson believes people in El Salvador do not have political freedom and how it contradicts the narrative of financial freedom that BTC aims to provide
  • what Nelson thinks about Bitcoin and whether governments should adopt it as legal tender

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