Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 3/11/24


Crypto volatility may be a permanent thing. Then again, we are all holding on for dear life! (HODL)

That said, the week was busy on the regulatory side, with several things happening all at once.

  • The SEC resumed its wait-till-later game;
  • The CFTC needs time to develop a crypto framework internally;
  • Music NFTs are (definitely) going to be popular;
  • Bitcoin ETFs are in focus for Arizona State pensions;
  • Plus, Harvard and MIT Alums teamed up to power Web3 startups;

Your Decentralized Diaries are here!

The Crypto Bull Run Continued, Bitcoin is at $72k (as of 3/11/24)

Bitcoin reached new heights with prices ranging from a $59,323.91 low to $71,880.56 (11/03/24). Also, Bitcoin’s dominance is currently at 52.2% (from Coinmarketcap).

The Altcoins are good to go as well. Ethereum (ETH) is currently at $4,050.58, Solana (SOL) at $148.96, Avalanche (AVAX) at $46.59, Polkadot (DOT) at $10.72,  and Chainlink (LINK) at $21.49.

The SEC Postponed Its Cboe Bitcoin ETF Option Decision

After Cboe applied in January to list Bitcoin ETF options, the SEC postponed its decision until April. Before going forward, the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) will most likely need approval.

In related news, the regulator also delayed its decision on proposed spot Ethereum ETFs from BlackRock and Fidelity. The regulator is (apparently) concerned about the Ethereum Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism. Consequently, the SEC seeks public comments on the issue.

CFTC-It Will Take One Year to Develop a Crypto Regulatory Framework

On Capitol Hill during a House Agriculture Committee hearing on March 6, Rostin Behnam, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair, called on Congress to pass the Financial Innovation and Technology Act for the 21st Century (FIT Act). The Act aims to clarify regulatory issues (per) digital assets.

According to Benham, even if the Act gets passed and becomes law, it will take the regulator at least one year to develop its (own) internal rules.

Grayscale Introduced a New Staking Fund

According to a March 5 press release, Grayscale Advisors launched the Grayscale Dynamic Income Fund (GDIF), which focuses on Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains. Additionally, the fund will focus on several premier (PoS) blockchains, including Polkadot (DOT), Coinbase Staked Ethereum (CBETH), Near (NEAR), Solana (SOL), SEI Network (SEI), Aptos (APT), Osmosis (OSMO) and Celestia (TIA).

Also, the fund will enable staking activities for qualified investors. The GDIF will distribute rewards and earnings quarterly.

Coachella Partnered with OpenSea to Launch Utility NFTs

Music-focused NFTs are now a thing with a partnership between OpenSea, the premier NFT marketplace, and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Consequently, the 2024 edition of the festival will have three NFT collections that will serve several purposes, including merchandise and other use cases.

The Avalanche blockchain will host the collections.

ShapeShift Submitted a Settlement Offer to The SEC

Things reached a head between ShapeShift, a premier cryptocurrency exchange, and the SEC, with the former agreeing to settle over its pre-DAO operations. The allegations go as far back as 2021, with the regulator alleging that ShapeShift operated as both liquidity generator and counterparty in a (crypto vending) machine via the FOX token.

On the flip side, Mark Uyeda and Hester Peirce, SEC Commissioners, said in a joint statement that the crypto exchange did not defraud its members.

They also indicated that the SEC did not intend to harm ShapeShift.

In related news, Grayscale and Coinbase met with SEC officials over plans to convert the Grayscale Ethereum Trust into an ETF.

MicroStrategy Plans to Raise $600 Million Via Debt/Equity Instruments

MicroStrategy, a premier business intelligence firm, unveiled intentions to raise $600 million via Convertible Senior Notes (CSNs). The firm intends to use the proceeds for additional Bitcoin purchases. Also, the offering includes a $90 million purchase option and will mature on March 15, 2030, with prior redemption, conversion, and repurchase actions. The notes will also pay interest on a semiannual basis.

MakerDAO Introduced Temporary Fee Adjustments

Following a drop in Dai token supply from $5 billion to $4.4 billion, BA Labs, a MakerDAO Stability Advisory Council member, introduced a governance vote to (temporarily) adjust fees. The proposal included a measure to fast-track the approval to liquidate $1.1 billion in (real world) assets held in its ecosystem.

Liquidity problems could arise if the selloff continues. DAO members approved the proposal.

It went into effect on March 10 at 7:55 pm (UTC).

MIT and Harvard Alumni Launched a Web3-Focused Startup Accelerator

Web3 startups in the Ivy League space got a plus with the launch of the MIT x Harvard Blockchain Accelerator. The startup accelerator aims to support early-stage founders from either varsity. Furthermore, the MIT x Harvard Blockchain Accelerator is non-dilutive. Its first cohorts will (expectedly) start in April and end in June.

The Arizona State Senate Considered Bitcoin ETF Pension Investment Plans

According to a February 8 fact sheet prepared by the Arizona State Senate research team, plans are afoot to invest a portion of the state pension fund in Bitcoin ETFs. Consequently, the Senate passed a resolution encouraging the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) and the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) to consider the prospects of including digital assets in their portfolios.

The FICO committee is currently reviewing the resolution.

The Fed Chair Debunked Rumored CBDC Plans

During his testimony on March 7 before the Senate Banking Committee, Jerome Powell, the Fed Chair, debunked (rumored) plans to deploy CBDcs.

Powell indicated that the Fed had no plans to have the retail bank accounts of Americans. Only banks have accounts with the Fed. Additionally, the Fed Chair iterated that if the Central Bank would implement a CBDC, it would be through the banking system.