March 10, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Samuel Reed, the third founder of BitMEX, pled guilty to violating US anti-money laundering rules and will pay a $10 million fine.

  • State Street is partnering with Copper, a crypto custodial startup, to offer clients institutional-grade digital custody.

  • The EU confirmed that cryptoassets fall under “transferable securities” and are included in sanctions against Russia.

  • FTX Access is a new business unit of FTX that will focus on institutional investors.

  • dYdX unveiled a beta version of its iOS app for a limited number of users.

  • Kraken is sending $10 million in aid directly to Ukrainian clients.

  • Three new banks joined the USDF Consortium, which aims to offer a bank-issued stablecoin.

  • Binance is planning an M&A spree in tradtional markets.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • Pro-crypto Yoon Suk-Yeol is set to become the next president of South Korea.

  • Software company Adobe is working with Polygon to integrate the blockchain into its Behance social media platform.

  • The previously defunct P2P music service LimeWire is re-launching as a music NFT marketplace.

  • Fractional investing app Public acquired Otis, an NFT fractionalization app.

The $$$ Corner…

  • Ukraine has received nearly $100 million in crypto donations.

  • Spartan Group announced a $200 million metaverse fund.

  • Cake DeFi launched a $100 million venture fund to accelerate web3, gaming, and fintech firms.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

5 Takes on the Crypto Executive Order


President Joe Biden signed the long-awaited crypto executive order into action yesterday.

The “Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” outlines a government-wide approach to addressing the risks and opportunities found within the digital asset ecosystem, which includes CBDCs, cryptocurrencies, and stablecoins by the EO’s definition. Specifically, President Biden calls on almost every government agency to generate reports between 30 days to one year.

For example, the order asks the Attorney General, Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a “report on the role of law enforcement agencies in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting criminal activity related to digital assets,” while it asks the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor, and the heads of other relevant agencies, to submit a “report to the President on the connections between distributed ledger technology and short-, medium-, and long-term economic and energy transitions.”

Notably, the order did not announce any new regulations or actionable steps that cryptocurrency companies in the US would have to abide by.

Based on crypto-asset price movement, the reaction to the order was positive, with the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies rising 6.2% on Wednesday compared to Tuesday.

Reaction on Crypto Twitter was also positive, as evidenced by some of the biggest names in crypto-politics weighing in on the much-anticipated order:

Jerry Brito, executive director of CoinCenter

“The message I take from this EO is that the federal government sees cryptocurrency as a legitimate, serious, and important part of the economy and society, and I think it’s a good signal to serious people who’ve been holding back from getting involved.”

Jake Chervinsky, head of policy of Blockchain Association

“Anyone worried that President Biden’s executive order would spell doom & gloom for crypto can fully relax now. The main concern was that the EO might force rushed rulemaking or impose new & bad restrictions, but there’s nothing like that here. It’s about as good as we could ask.”

Sheila Warren, CEO of Crypto Council

“The stakes are high. If done correctly, this could represent an unprecedented moment to re-think systems to be more fair and inclusive. An enabling policy environment can ensure that we can unlock the potential that crypto holds for so many.”

Dave Grimaldi, executive vice president of Blockchain Association

“It’s not an overreaction, or a race to regulate.  Rather an exercise in learning, compartmentalizing, and determining how consumers can be protected…From a Democratic White House, that’s to be expected, and not a surprise.  We were fearing a heavier hand, and possibly some tougher proclamations, but for an emerging industry, this is a sensible step toward protection, law enforcement, and education.”

Brian Quintenz, former CFTC commissioner and current advisor at 16z

“Effective public policy balances costs with benefits and supports opportunity/innovation against risks…A quick word search of the Executive Order shows that it may be too focused on one side of this equation:

The word “Risk” appears 47 times


“Innovation”: 12 times

“Benefit”: 6 times

“Opportunity”/”Opportunities”: 4 times

“Advantage”: 0 times

“Wealth”: 0 times

The framing of this Exec Order shows there’s a lot of work to do on communicating the benefits and opportunities of web3.”

Recommended Reads

  1. The Verge on the controversial founder of Tron, Justin Sun:

  1. Nic Carter, partner at Castle Island Ventures, on how the seizure of Russian holdings of American debt opens the door for gold and BTC:

  1. Here are the crypto questions from the CS251 Final Exam at Stanford:

On The Pod…

How Ukraine Is Leveraging Crypto in Its Fight Against Russia

Tomicah Tillemann, the global chief policy officer of Katie Haun’s new firm, analyzes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and explains how crypto is being used in an unprecedented manner to render aid to civilians, move money across the world, and potentially document war crimes. Show highlights:

  • Tomicah’s background, which includes stints working for the State Department and a16z

  • recap of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

  • what Tomicah thinks of the decision to boot certain Russian banks from SWIFT

  • why Tomicah believes that it would be very difficult for Russia to use crypto at a large scale to evade sanctions

  • why ruble/BTC volume is spiking

  • how Ukraine’s usage of web3 tools could change humanitarian aid forever

  • what lessons to take away from Ukraine’s almost-airdrop

  • the four real-world crypto use cases governments should take notice of

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: