Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 3/4/24

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Maybe the crypto sector has matured. Maybe.

The industry this week saw a rise in new sidechains, plus the legal drama continued, with new legislation and court battles taking center stage. Regulation is (now) the new normal.

A few highlights:

  • The SEC is in a face-off (legally) with its primary support group;
  • SBF is looking for around 6.5 years in jail (the nerve);
  • VanEck has a new self-custody solution;
  • Plus, Ethereum has a new upgrade coming very soon;

BTW, you may notice a new definition at the end of the article.

Your Decentralized Diaries are here!


Bitcoin Crosses $60k (a Support Level)

The Bitcoin boom period continues. Prices are moving up from a $51,669.34 low. Bitcoin is currently at $65,0000.20 (as of 4/3/24). Prices are still climbing with an increased dominance of 52.6% (according to Coinmarketcap).

The Altcoins are looking green, too.

Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,507.19, Solana (SOL) at $113.40, Avalanche (AVAX) at $43.72, Polkadot (DOT) at $10.09 and Chainlink (LINK) at $20.61.

Several States Went After the SEC in the Kraken Legal Drama

In a surprising twist, the Attorneys General of Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Ohio, and Montana (jointly) filed an amicus brief supporting Kraken in its ongoing legal battle with the regulator. Austin Knudsen, the Montana AG, led the effort.

In the brief, the AGs allege that the SEC was after power and that consumer harm would likely occur (in the process). Additionally, the position (of the states) on investment contracts (by definition) differs from the SEC’s per the (so-called blue sky) laws.

SBF Requested for 6.5 Years (or less) in Jail Time

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former CEO of FTX, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, filed a motion through his attorneys for jail time. According to the February 27 filing, SBF seeks between 63 and 78 months (per the guidelines).

VanEck Launched a Custodial Service and NFT Marketplace with Partners

VanEck, the investment giant, launched SegMint, a custodial service and NFT marketplace. The behemoth launched the product in partnership with several crypto firms, including Portals.to, Delegate.xyz, and MINTangible.io.

Additionally, SegMint has a multi-signature wallet alongside its NFT capabilities. The solution has crypto enthusiasts as a focus.

Gemini will Settle its Earn Customers

The wait is over (it seems) for Gemini Earn customers after the New York Department of Financial Services announced a settlement with Genesis.

According to a February 28 press release, the settlement involves Genesis Global Trading, which will require Gemini to receive north of $1 billion to settle its customers.

Also, the state regulator asserted that Gemini failed to protect its customers. Gemini will pay $37 million in penalties.

Texan Miners Won Their Lawsuit

Crypto miners now have a chance to breathe after the District Court for the Western District of Texas issued an order in favor of the Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and Riot Platforms in their ongoing case against the Department of Energy and other defendants.

The order stipulates that the data collection efforts cease. Also, the DoE and its partners will destroy previous data collected. Additionally, the DoE will publish a notice for public comments for 60 days as part of its settlement with the duo.

Celsius Shutdown it’s Mobile App

Celsius, the bankrupt crypto lender, shuttered its mobile app on February 29. Also, the company advised users to delete the app from their devices.

The BIS Unveiled Stablecoin Regulatory Recommendations

On February 29, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published recommendations that could effectively regulate stablecoins. The summary classified stablecoins by jurisdictional spread, with global stablecoins having widespread adoption.

Also, the recommendations call for supervision, cooperation, compliance, and effective data administration, among others.

Several Banks Are Offering Bitcoin ETFs to Wealth Management Clients

According to a February 29 Bloomberg report, several banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, offered Bitcoin ETFs to their Wealth Management. The moves follow their approval by the SEC at the start of the year.

Senators Introduced an Anti-CBDC Bill on Capitol Hill

Several Senators, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), backed by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida), Sen. Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana), and Sen. Bill Hagerty introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act.

According to the February 26 filing, the bill aims to prevent the Federal Reserve from issuing CBDCs. Also, per the bill, the (issuance) of any CBDC will require congressional approval.

The bill has received kudos from industry advocacy groups, including the American Bankers Association (ABA), the Blockchain Association, and Heritage Action for America (HAFA).

Coinbase Launched New Wallets to Enable Easy Base Chain Onboarding

Developers within the Base, the Coinbase native ecosystem, now have an option for their projects with the introduction of new wallets (Smart Wallet and Embedded Wallet).

The cryptocurrency exchange designed the wallets to have a simple workflow rather than the usual deep stuff crypto natives know.

Smart Wallet allows single access with a passkey. Embedded Wallets is a service-driven solution, enabling developers to create their (own) solutions with the usual login alternatives, including social media or email.

Ethereum will Deploy its Dencun Upgrade on March 13

Following tedious research, the Ethereum Dencun upgrade will (likely) occur on March 13. According to a February 27 announcement, the Ethereum Core development team will implement several upgrades, including data blobs (EIP-4844). Data blobs will help reduce transaction fees in an environment of heightened competition among blockchains.

(Hint: EIPs are Ethereum Improvement Proposals)