January 27, 2022       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • Bitcoin briefly spiked after the Federal Reserve said interest rates will remain at 0% until March.

  • Money laundering in crypto rose 30% in 2021 (and DeFi laundering increased 20x).

  • The SEC delayed its decision on bitcoin ETF filings from Ark 21 Shares and Teucrium; the regulator is also probingcrypto companies like Voyager Digital, Gemini Trust, and Celsius Network regarding interest-bearing products.

  • MakerDAO voted to fire its content production team in a vote decided by less than three percentage points.

  • Researchers suggest that quantum computers could crackBitcoin in about ten years.

  • Valkyrie filed for a bitcoin mining ETF.

  • ConsenSys could see its valuation double in a pending fundraise.

  • A House of Representatives committee scheduled a meeting on stablecoins on February 8.
  • Gemini Galactic, an affiliate of Gemini, was approved by FINRA to operate as a broker-dealer.
  • Coinbase is getting ready to list Solana-ecosystem tokens.

Today in Crypto Adoption…

  • Tesla’s BTC holdings remained unchanged in Q4 2021.

  • Russia’s President Vladimir Putin thinks Russia could do well in the crypto mining space.

  • Coinbase released a teaser video of its upcoming NFT platform.

The $$$ Corner…

  • FTX.US announced a raise of $400 million at an $8 billion valuation.

  • Blockdaemon, a crypto infrastructure firm, is raising $207 million at a $3.25 billion valuation.

  • UBS is set to acquire Wealthfront, which offers customers crypto exposure, for $1.4 billion.

  • Domain Money, a crypto and equities investment platform, raised a $33 million round.

  • Superdao brought in $10.5 million at a valuation of $160 million.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

The House Bill Proposes Giving the Treasury Secretary Power to Ban Crypto

On Tuesday, President Biden issued a statement on the newly proposed America COMPETES Act, describing it as a tool that, if passed, could see America “outcompete China and the rest of the world for decades to come.”

However, a provision found within the proposed America COMPETES Act would hand Treasury a “blank check” to ban crypto, according to Coin Center. Jerry Brito, the executive director of Coin Center (a crypto policy advocate group), outlined the possibly disastrous consequences of the 2,912 page America COMPETES Act in both a Twitter thread and blog post.

Tucked inside the bill is a provision allowing the Treasury Secretary “special measures” regarding financial activity identified as a “primary money laundering concern.”

Essentially, explains Brito, under the guise of special measures, the Treasury Secretary could quickly make it illegal for financial institutions to transact with foreign crypto exchanges, miners outside the US, and/or non-custodial wallets if they deem such entities as a “primary money laundering concern.”

Wrote Brito in a Coin Center blog, “In brief, it would hand the Treasury Secretary (currently Janet Yellen) unchecked discretion to forbid financial institutions (including cryptocurrency exchanges) from offering their customers access to cryptocurrency networks.”

Furthermore, the proposed language could allow the Treasury Secretary to impose such a decision without going through a public process.

“The proposed language in the America COMPETES Act would, and we cannot stress this enough, remove all formal controls, time limits, and public notice requirements from the imposition of these draconian measures. It eliminates the notice and comment process (both in advance of prohibitions and after surveillance impositions) and it allows the Secretary to impose these measures “by order, regulation, or otherwise as permitted by law” permanently and secretly with no obligation to engage in a public process.”

According to Brito, the provision was first introduced last year by Representative Jim Himes in a defense bill but was removed before it could be passed. Now, it is back, and without any improvements.

For now, Brito advises crypto users to call their members of Congress and take action.

That being said, Kristin Smith, executive director of Blockchain Association, reported on Wednesday that their firm has had “constructive dialogue” and that “this is not another infrastructure situation.” Her colleague, Jake Chervinsky, agreed, concluding that he is “optimistic that today’s legislative situation will end up fine.”

Recommended Reads

  1. Arthur Hayes on his prediction for a $28.5K bottom for BTC:

  1. Coin Center’s Jerry Brito on a “provision that would be disastrous not just for cryptocurrency but for privacy and due process generally.”

  1. Fidelity’s Jurrien Timmer on why Bitcoin’s dormancy flows worries him:

On The Pod…

SyndicateDAO Is Launching Web3 Investment Clubs. Could They Disrupt VCs?

Will Papper and Ian Lee, the two co-founders of Syndicate, join Unchained to announce the release of Syndicate’s new product: Web3 Investment Clubs, an innovation they believe could end up disrupting the web2 investment world, along with the entire venture capital industry. For example, with Web3 Investment Clubs, users will be able to turn an Ethereum wallet address into an investing DAO with just a few clicks, transfer funds without going through banks, and manage a cap-table directly on-chain. Show topics:

  • what differentiates a Web3 Investment Club club from a normal investment club

  • what on-chain tools Syndicate has built for Web3 Investment Clubs

  • how Web3 Investment Clubs work within existing regulations

  • how Ian and Will met and what inspired them to create Syndicate

  • whether Syndicate plans to decentralize

  • why Will and Ian believe investment DAOs will disrupt the venture capital industry

  • why venture capital firms invested in Syndicate, a company built to disrupt them

  • what Will learned from building Adventure Gold (AGLD), the governance token for Loot

  • what plans Syndicate has for 2022

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 Feb. 22. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: http://bit.ly/cryptopians