Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 5/27/24


Again, the industry had its day in the sun per Ethereum ETFs, with everyone wondering what is (really) going on with the SEC and its enforcement activities.

Legislation took center stage, while innovation continued to flourish.

The headlines:

  • Congress passed two pro-crypto bills;
  • XRP trading (on Coinbase) in New York is now available;
  • Wyoming is (quickly) becoming the go-to place for all things crypto;
  • Uniswap held its own against the SEC;
  • Which population segment has the highest crypto knowledge? (read on to find out);

As always, these are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Hit $70k

From $66,622.67, Bitcoin hit a $70,346.42 high (as of 5/27/24), setting the stage for a possible bull phase. Bitcoin’s dominance remains strong at 52.8%.

The Altcoins remain (slightly) steady. Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,953.04, Solana (SOL) is at $171.61, Avalanche (AVAX) is at $38.62, Polkadot (DOT) is at $7.69, and Chainlink (LINK) is at $18.30.

The SEC Approved All Eight Ethereum ETF Applications

The SEC reversed course and approved the eight Ethereum ETF proposals. According to a May 23 filing, the regulator approved proposals from Grayscale, BlackRock, Ark Invest, 21Shares, VanEck, Invesco Galaxy, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton.

The World Bank Issued a Tokenized Digital Bond

The World Bank revealed the issuance of a digital bond with wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) settlement options. Additionally, the seven-year, 200 million Swiss Franc (CHF) digital bond is (listed) on the SIX Swiss Exchange and its digital asset counterpart.

Congress Got Busy on Crypto Issues

On Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives came through (again) for the crypto industry. 

The House voted 279 to 136 to pass the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21), which is (essentially) a crypto regulatory framework. 

The House also passed the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act. The bill prevents the Federal Reserve from developing a CBDC.

Coinbase Revealed XRP Support for New York Residents

Premier cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced the (final) relisting of the XRP token for New York residents. Coinbase relisted the token last year in other states after Ripple Lab’s legal victory.

In related news, the ongoing legal battle between Coinbase and the SEC took an exciting twist. On May 24, in a court filing, the crypto exchange asserted that the regulator is trying to avoid issues involving the practical application of the Howey test (post-sale of digital asset tokens).

MetaMask is Reportedly Working on Native Bitcoin Support

Industry buzz and rumors continued to swirl about the popular Web 3.0 wallet Metamask’s plans to support native Bitcoin transactions. Metamask has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

Wyoming Threw its Hat in the Crypto Ring

Following the Federal Reserve’s denial of Custodia Bank’s master account application, authorities in the State of Wyoming moved towards the crypto space. 

According to a May 24 Cowboy State Daily report, legislators on the Select Committee on Blockchain, Financial Technology, and Digital Innovation Technology are keen on creating a Fed Master Account for the State. Additionally, Wyoming intends to follow the example of Texas, which has had a master account since 1996.

Social media reports suggest that the Cowboy State has started minting the “Wyoming Stable Coin” (WYST). The token is (reportedly) at parity with the greenback.

Uniswap Responded to the SEC‘s Wells Notice

The DeFi space may have some breathing space.  A 43-page response was submitted on May 21 to the SEC after it issued a Wells Notice by the popular decentralized exchange Uniswap. The dex challenged the SEC’s jurisdiction over its activities, iterating that it is not an exchange and does not operate as one.

Additionally, Uniswap indicated that it does not have control over user assets, and there is (consequently) no stored data.

Preply- 60% of American Crypto Investors Don’t Know What a Blockchain is

A recent study by language platform Preply into the crypto industry provided some (surprising) insights. According to the survey, only 42% of Gen Z crypto investors and 50% of millennials were confident in their industry-level knowledge. 

57% of Gen X investors are willing to learn more. The States of Washington, Florida, and California lead the charge per cryptocurrency search terms.

FTX Sold the Rest of its Solana Tokens

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX continued its fundraising activities and sold the last of its tokens for $2.6 billion at $102 per token. Several creditors opposed the move. Leading FTX creditor Sunil Kavuri indicated that the bankruptcy attorneys should have turned over assets to the creditors rather than selling them at steep discounts.

In related news, a new report from an FTX court-appointed examiner showed payments of over $25,000,000 to whistleblowers.

A Former Kansas Bank CEO Pled Guilty to Stealing $47Million

Disgraced former Heartland Tri-State Bank Shan Hanes pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement by a bank officer. Hanes executed ten wire transfers worth $47.1 million Between May and July 2023, stealing from the Elkhart, Kansas-based bank to buy cryptocurrency tokens. His actions (ultimately) caused the bank to fail.

A Judge will sentence Hanes on August 8. He faces 30 years (max).