Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 6/4/24


Legislation had twists and turns, with the Federal Government giving little indication of its (proper) intentions. That did not stop some government agencies from creating crypto-based solutions. Innovation continued as usual.

The headlines:

  • President Joe Biden vetoed the congressional reversal of the SEC’s crypto custody rule;
  • FTX continued its fundraising activities;
  • Senator Ted Cruz showed his true colors as a crypto believer;
  • The Treasury highlighted NFT risks (more on that later);
  • Plus, CZ’s jail term started;
  • And much more!

As always, these are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Simmers at $69k

Despite reaching a high of $70,602.00, Bitcoin is at $69,377.30. Bitcoin’s dominance remains at 53.2%, with evidence of a rebound (as of 6/3/24).

The altcoins are in similar straits. Ethereum (ETH) is at $3,778.69, Avalanche (AVAX) at $35.69, Solana (SOL) at $166.01, Chainlink (LINK) at $17.73 and Polkadot (DOT) at $7.12.

President Biden Vetoed SAB 121

Following the passage of a recent congressional resolution to overturn the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121, the Joe Biden-led administration vetoed the measure from Congress.

Additionally, President Biden had indicated that he would veto any measure from Capitol Hill to overturn the custody staff rule.

In a social media post, Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) said the Biden administration intended to evade legal mechanisms by vetoing the measure.

The NYSE Eyes Traditional Crypto Structures

At the Consensus 2024 event in Texas, NYSE President Lynn Martin hinted at the exchange’s plans to bring traditional finance structures to the crypto industry. Additionally, the NYSE Chief unveiled the NYSE’s intention to launch cash-settled bitcoin options soon.

FTX Sold its Anthropic Shares

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX sold its remaining holdings in AI upstart Anthropic. The deal involved the sale of 15 million shares at about $30 each, providing $450 million (approximately) in gross revenue.

G Squared led this round, and other (previous) buyers comprised most of the buyers.

In related news, a May 28 Wall Street Journal report revealed that a Judge sentenced former FTX exec Ryan Salame to seven and a half years in prison. The Judge iterated that Salame’s actions merited the sentence.

Several Tech Heavyweights Teamed up to Form an Anti-Fraud Coalition

The tech industry devised a broad concept to combat crypto fraud. According to a May 21 Tech Crunch report, several industry giants, including Coinbase and Meta, launched Tech Against Scams, a coalition that fights online scams, including those involving cryptocurrencies.

Senator Ted Cruz Ventured into Crypto Mining

To show his (ongoing) support for the crypto industry, Texan Senator Ted Cruz announced his purchase of three Bitcoin mining machines.

Similarly, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) took enforcement actions against Arkbit Capital, a payment firm, accusing it of (allegedly) participating in a fraudulent crypto cloud mining scheme.

Also, the TSSB accused the firm of enabling its investment schemes to residents despite notifying them of America-wide bans on its website.

Unchained And the University of Texas | Austin Launched a Bitcoin Endowment Fund

On May 30, the University of Texas | Austin, revealed a collaboration with boutique crypto financial services firm Unchained. The cooperation birthed a Bitcoin endowment fund. The fund will have an initial $5 million invested in Bitcoin for a five-year term.

Additionally, the duo will (jointly) have custody of the purchased tokens. Unchained will also secure the tokens and provide the University with an aligned investment vehicle.

Unchained co-founder and CEO Joseph Kelly initiated the process with a 2BTC donation worth $138,000 (approximately).

Riot Platforms Proposed to Acquire Bitfarms

Premier Bitcoin mining firm Riot Platform unveiled an acquisition proposal to purchase its competitor Bitfarms. Riot valued Bitfarms at approximately $950 million ($2.3 per share).

The Bitfarms board rejected the proposal. Had it been approved, the proposal would have created 19.6 EH/s worth of mining capacity and 1GW of power.

A Treasury Report Unveiled NFT Money Laundering Risks

A May 29 Department of the Treasury report highlighted money laundering risks associated with NFTs. The report covered several risks, including copyright issues, scams, and fraud.

Additionally, the Treasury indicated that several NFT platforms do not have the proper controls to combat and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing alongside sanctions evasion activities.

Robinhood Launched a Crypto Trading API

All-American trading ecosystem Robinhood introduced a crypto trading API for US customers. The new API allows traders to conduct crypto operations, view market data, and manage their accounts and portfolios.

The Navy Launched a Blockchain Security Solution

The US Navy is (now) in the crypto game with PARANOID, a blockchain-based security solution.

PARANOID (Powerful Authentication Regime Applicable to Naval Operational Flight Program Integrated Development) secures software solutions and apps against attacks and cyber threats.

The Navy also seeks private sector firms to partner with in a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA).

Changpeng Zhao Started his Prison Sentence

On June 2, former Binance CEO Changpeng CZ Zhao reported to the Federal Prison in Lompoc, California, to start his four-month prison sentence. The move follows Zhao’s sentence reduction at his trial.

In related news, a hacker stole millions in a scam that drained the accounts of crypto traders via a Google Chrome plugin. The hacker used the plugin to steal trader’s cookies and circumvent Binance’s login protocol.

Uniswap Delayed its Staking and Delegation Rewards Vote

Premier decentralized exchange Uniswap delayed its May 31 vote to upgrade its staking and rewards ecosystem. A discussion with an unnamed stakeholder prompted the move.

Uniswap still needs to set a new date for the vote.