September 30, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler reiterated support for a Bitcoin futures ETF.

  • Crypto exchanges Gemini and BinanceUS are set to receive multi-billion dollar valuations in new funding rounds.

  • Bitcoin’s Lightning Network just reached another ATH in Bitcoin capacity.

  • Twitter released a mock-up video of its NFT verification process.

  • El Salvador is using volcanic energy to mine BTC, according to a tweet from President Nayib Bukele.

  • Noted crypto proponent Senator Cynthia Lummis believes that stablecoins should be audited and 100% backed by cash. 

  • DC Comics will give out free NFTs to anyone who registers for the DC FanDome 2021 streaming event on October 16.

  • AngelList, a fintech job board and startup company, opened its site to USDC payments.

  • Ripple launched a $250 million creator fund with the intent to build out NFT capabilities.

  • Crypto DEX aggregator 1inch has begun blocking US customers from its platform.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Yesterday, September 29th, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced charges against 14 cryptocurrency exchanges. The regulator alleges that the crypto companies failed to register as futures commission merchants (FCMs), and, in some cases, made false or misleading claims of having CFTC registration.

“Today’s actions reflect the CFTC’s dedicated efforts to aggressively root out bad actors falsely claiming to hold legitimate registrations and protect the trading public,” said Division of Enforcement Acting Director Vincent McGonagle.

As the name suggests, the CFTC is in charge of regulating the derivatives market in the US. As the CFTC sees it, any company offering crypto options, futures, or swaps contracts in the US needs to register with the regulator. However, its purview does not extend to commodity spot markets — like purchasing normal Bitcoin on Coinbase, Gemini, or Robinhood.

In this round of allegations, the CFTC seems to be going after smaller exchanges. The complete list includes Tradingforexpay, Cryptofxtrader, Bitfxprofit, Globalnationfx, BinanceFxTrade, MaxForexOption, ProCryptoMinners, ProFX-Capitals, Smarter Signals, Prime Expert Trade, Star Fx Pro, Excotradeoptions, Climax Capital FX, and The first 12 listed are being charged for failing to register with the CFTC. The last two exchanges are charged with falsely claiming to have registered with regulators.

The latest 14 charges are not the first time the CFTC has gone after crypto exchanges offering derivative products in the US. The CFTC recently settled with BitMEX for $100 million after claiming that the exchange allowed US customers to purchase crypto derivatives on an unregistered platform.

It has been a busy week for the CFTC, which is working with a skeleton crew of commissioners after losing two commissioners in one month, with former CFTC Commissioner Dan Berkovitz announcing a move over to the SEC and CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz stepping down from his post (only to end up on a16z’s crypto team). In addition to the charges above, news broke on Tuesday that crypto exchange Kraken will be paying $1.25 million in fines to the CFTC for selling margined crypto products on its platform without registering.

Recommended Reads

  • @robdogeth on Ethereum Name Service acting as your “metaverse passport:”

  • Pete Rizzo, editor at Bitcoin Magazine and editor at Large at Kraken, on the case for BTC maximalism:

  • Messari’s Mason Nystrom on Twitter and NFTs:

On The Pod…

Crypto Actually Fixes This: How Code to Inspire Uses Crypto in Afghanistan


Fereshteh Forough is the founder and CEO of Code to Inspire, a coding school for girls in Afghanistan. She discusses her background as a refugee, how she uses crypto to fund the school and pay students, and how the US military’s departure has affected student life. Topics include:

  • Fereshteh’s journey from refugee to computer science professor to founder and CEO of Code to Inspire
  • what Code to Inspire offers to young Afghan women and what risks they take by getting an education
  • how Code to Inspire success stories are changing the attitudes of student’s families and communities
  • the importance of Afghan Hero Girl, a video game created by Code to Inspire students
  • why crypto payments are a better alternative to PayPal and Western Union for Code to Inspire and its students
  • how Code to Inspire and its students exchange crypto to fiat
  • what the perception of crypto is in Afghanistan
  • how the Taliban is stifling the education of women and how Code to Inspire is attempting to continue its curriculum
  • how crypto companies can offer assistance to Code to Inspire
  • what features and products Fereshteh thinks would help the crypto industry actually bank the unbanked
  • how listeners can help Code to Inspire and where to find more information on Fereshteh

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 Jan. 18. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: