If last year’s Blockchain Week was characterized by the Lambos and crypto billionaire cruise, 2019’s week of conferences was the Tame Edition. That didn’t mean it was boring, however.

It included Meltem Demirors showering her audience with chocolate sh*tcoins from a toilet at Magical Crypto; SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz at the Coin Cember dinner telling a fable of Toad, Frog and crypto spring that mocked their agencies’ difficulties with regulating this technology; and then Coin Center’s Neeraj’s getting in a good Harold and Kumar joke about his interview with presidential longshot candidate Andrew Yang. In the meantime, a smaller, more serious community of blockchain enthusiasts discussed trends like staking, scaling, DAOs, regulation and more while a number of companies made announcements aimed at getting people to “spedn” or use their crypto.

Note: On May 27th I will be hosting a conversation about the future of finance and human rights at the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway. As the world continues to move toward a cashless society, paper currency is disappearing. Companies like Facebook, Apple, and TenCent are becoming increasingly influential in the digital payment space. We’ll discuss how individuals and companies can preserve and protect financial freedoms in the digital age. I’ll be joined by Bitcoin author and educator Jimmy Song; Casa chief technology officer Alena Vranova; CoinCenter founder Jerry Brito; and Bitfury group vice chairman George Kikvadze. To register to attend, you can visit oslofreedomforum.com today — use a discount code Unchained25 to get 25% off your ticket price!

This Week’s Crypto News…

Coinbase May Be Acquiring Xapo

According to The Block, under the current terms being discussed, Coinbase would pay “~$50 million in cash for Xapo, plus a contingent earn-out for remaining with the company.”

Bitfinex Raises $1b

“Why?” tweeted CTO Paolo Ardoino. “Because [the investors] know we are trustworthy, they recognize what we have been doing (without needing us bragging about it publicly) and they want us keep fighting for the industry whole. Their own words.”

Bitcoin Rally Is Masking Capital Flight From Crypto Exchanges

Not only did Tether dip only a smidgen despite being 74% backed, but it may also have been part of the reason bitcoin’s price jumped more than 30% in the last week.

Just 376 People Own ⅓ of All Ether

What was that about decentralization and democratizing finance?

Vitalik on Control as Liability

Vitalik weighs in on the privacy/data control debates with an interesting take on how the regulatory trend is pro-cypherpunk.

Demand for GBTC Increases, Indicating Institutional Interest?

Larry Cermak of the Block has an interesting tweet storm with some good graphics. “Bitcoin inflows, or the amount of bitcoin added to GBTC’s holdings, have reached an all-time high in April signaling an increase in institutional demand. In fact, bitcoin inflows in April (11,236 BTC) were approximately the same as in the previous four months combined,” he says.

Not So Stellar

The Stellar network was down for a couple hours earlier this week, and no one noticed. How does it have a multi-billion market cap again?

Flying Zebras

No better way to end a Blockchain Week newsletter other than with this hallucinatory image.