July 18, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits✍️✍️✍️

  • Crypto lender Voyager asked a federal bankruptcy court to honor $350 million+ in customer withdrawals.

  • Yuga Labs released the litepaper for its metaverse Otherside.

  • Circle says that USDC is fully backed by cash and US treasuries.

  • A CryptoPunk was sold for a $7 million loss.

  • STEPN generated $122.5 million from platform fees in Q2.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the usage of certain digital tokens as a means of payment in Russia.

  • Six members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Energy asking them to require crypto miners to report information about emissions and energy usage.

  • Phillip Lowe, Australia’s central bank governor, said privately issued digital tokens could be beneficial if regulated properly.

  • Paraguay’s Congress passed a crypto bill regarding mining and trading, which the president is now reviewing.

The $$$ Corner…

  • Lines, a web3 messaging platform, raised $4 million in a seed round.

  • Empiric Network, an oracle solution, raised $7 million in a funding round led by Variant.

What Do You Meme?

Ethereum meme.

What’s Poppin’?

The Merge Is “Coming Together” for Mid-September

The Merge, Ethereum’s long-awaited transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, is tentatively expected to happen in mid-September.

The timeline was revealed by Tim Beiko, a core Ethereum developer, during last week’s PoS Implementers Call. According to call notes written by Ethereum developer @superphiz, the group is targeting September 19th, 2022, for the Merge – depending on the success of the Goerli Merge.

However, September 19th is far from set in stone. On Twitter, @superphiz reminded readers the above timeline “isn’t final,” though he did express excitement “to see it coming together.” Furthermore, Galaxy Digital Researcher Christine Kim explained in her own call notes that nailing down an exact date for the merge is impossible “because the Merge is actually a bundle of two hard fork upgrades which will be scheduled roughly 2 weeks apart.”

Ethereum moving closer to the Merge appeared to excite a few traders, as hours after the PoS Implementers Call, ETH rose to nearly $1,378 – its highest price in over a month.

Recommended Reads

  1.  FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried on potential crypto use-cases:

  1. David Phelps on the biggest opportunities in crypto:

  1.  @level39 on bitcoin mining:

On The Pod…

Ryan Berckmans, Ethereum investor and community member, and Alexandre Bergeron, Bitcoin investor, discuss Lido’s dominance as a liquid staking provider, whether that issue can be resolved, and how it could be a centralizing force for Ethereum. Show highlights:

  • what stETH is, what the uses cases are for stETH, and why it is important
  • how Lido had a first-mover advantage and how that kicked off network effects
  • whether the liquid staking derivatives system is one of a “winner-take-all”
  • how much of the staked ETH will be turned into a liquid staking derivative
  • how Lido might have a huge MEV opportunity after the Merge
  • what the proposer-builder separation is
  • whether Lido’s dominance will increase over time
  • whether other competitors have been competitive with Lido
  • why Lido is a natural monopoly because of the incentives and MEV opportunities
  • what the implication of Lido’s monopoly is for Ethereum’s censorship resistance
  • whether Lido is effectively a single entity despite having multiple node operators
  • whether there could be a long waiting period for becoming a validator after the Merge
  • how Lido is moving its staking derivatives to other chains
  • how Lido’s new dual-governance proposal works, why it might be useful to decentralize Lido and whether it reduces the power of LDO token holders
  • how Lido’s centralization is the biggest threat to Ethereum in the long term and what are the possible solutions
  • why Ryan believes the value of ETH comes from its credible neutrality and whether Lido’s centralization may jeopardize that
  • whether finding solutions around MEV opportunities is a good way to reduce Lido’s monopoly
  • whether Lido’s competitors could form an alliance and build a tokenized basket of their staking derivatives to compete with Lido
  • whether Lido could airdrop the LDO token to all ETH holders to decentralize its governance token

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