Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 4/29/24


The industry (has certainly) moved past the speculative phase, where cowboys reigned and anything was possible. Innovations still happen, but progress is (now) governed by rules.  The government’s heavy hand was present all around the space.

In the news:

  • CZ might get three years in jail;
  • PayPal unveiled a scheme that promotes green Bitcoin mining;
  • Bitcoin proposals might become a fast affair with five new editors;
  • ConsenSys hit back at the SEC;
  • Across the pond, the police can seize digital assets based on suspicion;

As always, these are your decentralized diaries! 

Bitcoin Slips to $62k

Bitcoin is currently at $62,249.89 (as of 4/29/24). The cryptocurrency moved from a $67,233.96 high, but has a 53.2% market dominance.

The altcoins have slowed too. Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,154.10, Solana (SOL) at $134.69, Avalanche (AVAX) at $33.20, and Pokadot (DOT) at $6.50.

Prosecutors Pushed for a Three-Year Sentence in CZ’s Trial

According to an April 23 sentencing document, prosecutors asked for a three-year sentence against former Binance CEO Changpeng CZ Zhao in the ongoing case. 

Also, the Department of Justice (DoJ) requested that CZ pay $50 million in fines.

In response, Chanpeng’s defense team requested probation rather than sentencing, citing their client’s status as a first-time non-violent offender as the reason for their request.

Zhao, for his part, wrote an apology letter to presiding Judge Richard A. Jones, promising that the current trial would be his last encounter with the American justice system.

In related news, Binance introduced copy trading for spot contracts. Only users with Binance’s minimum portfolio size are eligible. Furthermore, liquid staking is shifting from the BNB Chain to the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

PayPal Unveiled Green Bitcoin Mining Plans

PayPal, in partnership with Energy Web and DMG Blockchain Solutions, introduced a proposal to reward miners who deploy low-carbon energy sources. 

The proposal aims to identify “green miners,” validate them, and give them “green keys” linked to a multi-signature wallet address. Furthermore, the miners will have priority in terms of lower fees and locked BTC token rewards.

The Bitcoin Development Team Has Five New Proposal Editors

The Bitcoin ecosystem was boosted by adding five new editors for Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs), a core part of the documentation processes that herald changes to the protocol.

The team comprises mailing list hosts Murch and Ruben Somsen, Custodia Bank co-founder Brayan Bishop, Bitcoin Core contributing developer Jonatack, and Lightning Labs CTO Olaoluwa Osuntokun.

Previously, Bitcoin core developer Luke Dashjr (singlehandedly) handled the process. 

ConsenSys Sued the SEC Over Ethereum Issues

Following a Wells Notice from the SEC, ConsenSys hit back at the regulator. The Ethereum ecosystem development firm filed the suit in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, arguing that the SEC had an “unlawful seizure of authority” over Ethereum. 

Furthermore, ConsenSys alleged in the suit that the regulator had reversed its earlier position (iterated by former director Bill Hinman in a 2018 speech), classifying the cryptocurrency as a commodity rather than a security.

Oklahoma Passed a New Law that Protects Bitcoin Holder’s Rights

Both houses of the legislature in the State of Oklahoma passed a “Bitcoin rights” bill that allows individuals to have self-custody of crypto tokens, mine, operate nodes, and trade digital assets. 

In related news, Rep. Steve Demetriou of the Ohio State House of Representatives introduced the Ohio Blockchain Basics Act to protect crypto rights. 

BNY Mellon Revealed its Exposure to Bitcoin ETFs

Banking behemoth BNY Mellon is (seemingly) taking its share of the crypto pie via the BlackRock and Grayscale ETFs. In a recent SEC filing, BNY revealed its IBIT and GBT ETF holdings.

The SEC Faced off with a Texan Crypto Mining Firm over $5 Million Fraud Charges

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Geosyn Mining, LLC, a Texan crypto mining company, and its co-founders, Caleb Ward and Jeremy McNutt, accusing them of fraud. 

The regulator alleges that the duo raised over $5.6 million from 60 people between November 2021 and December 2022.

Furthermore, the SEC alleges that the co-founders had told investors that they would buy and operate crypto mining machines for returns and that the duo made false claims regarding favorable contracts with power firms.

In related news, the Blockchain Association, a niche crypto advocacy group, sued the SEC over its implementation of rules that expand dealer definitions. The new rules include DeFi liquidity providers as dealers.

The advocacy group further alleges that the regulator violated the Administrative Procedure Act in interpreting the Securities Exchange Act (of) 1934.

Marathon Digital Revealed Hashrate Expansion Instructions

Premiere crypto mining firm Marathon Digital revealed plans to double its hashrate capacity at the end of the year. Following recent acquisitions, the firm intends to expand its hash rate to 50 EH/s.

The FBI Warned Against Unregistered Crypto Money Transmitters

The FBI alerted Americans about recent operations against unlicensed cryptocurrency firms, indicating that its activities may cause “financial disruptions” during such activities. The feds also advised Americans to only do business with registered Money Services Businesses (MSBs) with compliance provisions, iterating the increased risks associated with dealing with unregistered companies.

The UK Government Gave the Police Arbitrary Seizure Powers

Across the pond in the United Kingdom, the government granted the police sweeping powers, including the authority to seize and confiscate all things crypto-related to suspected crimes. 

The police can now seize passkeys and wallets and destroy privacy coins. Victims can also apply for refunds from wallets suspected of being the proceeds of crime.