Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 7/2/24


Crypto adoption is growing, with critics and supporters cheering from the sidelines. That said, legislation within the states will play a pivotal role in the industry’s future.

The headlines:

  • State regulators continued stirring the crypto pot with legislation coming onstream;
  • According to the FBI, scammers now impersonate lawyers;
  • The SEC resumed its fight against Consensys;
  • Tokenized bonds are (now) a thing;
  • Plus, the Marshals and Coinbase have a partnership;
  • And much more!

As always, these are your decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin is at $63k

The struggle between the bulls and the bears continued, with Bitcoin moving towards support at $63,429.84 (as of 7/1/24) from a $59,393.45 low. The altcoins (also) seem poised for a breakout.

Ethereum (ETH) is currently at $3 479.08, Solana (SOL) at $147.38, Avalanche (AVAX) at $29.68, Polkadot (DOT) at $6.38 and Chainlink (LINK) at $14.48.

The FBI Alerted Everyone About an Emerging Scam

Scammers now have a new (false) front: law firms. According to the FBI, bad actors (now) impersonate lawyers who claim authorization from the FBI, CFPB, and other federal agencies to aid in the recovery of stolen crypto assets.

Using fake websites, the fraudsters (may) request personal identifying information (PII) for (false) verification or an upfront payment from their victims.

Hawaii’s State Regulator Exempted Crypto Firms

Crypto firms in the sunny state of Hawaii (no longer) need a Money Transmitter License (MTL) to do business. In a June 30 announcement, the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) revealed the exemption.

Additionally, the DCAA’s Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Hawai’i Technology Development Corporation (“HTDC”) announced the June 30 conclusion of the Digital Currency Innovation Lab (“DCIL”).

The DCIL made several pro-crypto recommendations as part of efforts to boost the state’s economy.

North Carolina’s Legislature Passed an Anti-CBDC Bill

On June 26, North Carolina’s General Assembly passed a bill prohibiting the state government from (either) issuing a CBDC or accepting one minted by the Federal Reserve. The bill passed with a 109-4 vote and has proceeded to the desk of Governor Roy Cooper (D) for approval.

Louisiana’s Governor Signed a Pro Crypto Bill Into Law

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry House Bill 488, a pro-crypto bill, into law following support from both sides of the aisle at the State Capitol. According to HB 488, self-custody rights (are) protected, the right to use Bitcoin is guaranteed, and mining activities in industrial areas are approved.

A New Bitcoin Bill Hit Congress

Things became interesting on Capitol Hill with the introduction of a bill that could (if passed) allow the payment of federal income taxes in Bitcoin. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced a bill seeking to effect changes to the Internal Revenue Code 1986.

Furthermore, the bill will require the Treasury Secretary to create a framework enabling Bitcoin payments.

A Federal Judge Dismissed Several Charges in the BinanceSEC Case

On June 28, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District Court for the District of Columbia struck out the SEC’s secondary ICO (and BNB token sales) charges against Binance. Additionally, Justice Berman allowed other charges.

Similarly, in related news, Biannce unveiled enhanced rules to improve compliance within its ecosystem. They include a user whistleblower program and instant termination measures for accounts at fault.

The SEC and Consensys Resumed Their Spat

Surprisingly, the ongoing drama between the SEC and crypto infrastructure firm Consensys continued, with the regulator slamming a suit against the MetaMask wallet creator. The SEC alleges that MataMask’s staking products (including swaps) violate American securities laws in its suit.

The regulator (also) went after the Rocket and Lido pools.

The Marshals and Coinbase Entered into a Custody Partnership

Premier cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase collaborated with the US Marshals to provide custody for its digital assets. The Marshals will pay $32.5 million to the crypto exchange to host its assets via Coinbase Prime.

Similarly, in related news, Coinbase collaborated with leading payment gateway Stripe to enable USDC stablecoin transfers within its Base ecosystem. Additionally, the cooperation enables seamless purchases via Stripe’s fiat-crypto onramp.

Bitfinex and Mikro Kapital Launched Two Tokenized Bond Offerings

Niche financial infrastructure firm Mikro Kapital and crypto ecosystem Bitfinex launched two tokenized bonds. The two bonds have 11-month and 36-month durations (as tenors) with 10% and 13.5% coupon rates.

Subsequently, the bonds (also) have a 500,000 USDT (minimum) raise alongside a 10,000,000 USDT cap. Bitcoin side-chain Liquid Network hosts the bonds.

Marathon Digital Adopted a New Proof-of-Work Blockchain

In a bid to create (additional) revenue streams, leading crypto mining firm Marathon Digital revealed the mining of Proof-of-Work (PoW) Layer-2 blockchain Kaspa (KAS). The move follows initial efforts to get mining activities off the ground with the September 2023 integration of Kaspa miners.

So far, Marathon Digital has mined 93 million KAS worth $15 million (approximately).

Two Crypto Executives Received Sentences in a Manipulation Scheme

Following their (successful) prosecution and a guilty verdict, two men, Michael Kane, 39, of Miami Beach, Florida, and Shane Hampton, 32, of Philadelphia, were sentenced. Hampton was sentenced to two years and 11 months, while Kane will spend three and nine months in prison.

The DoJ charged the duo with securities price manipulation involving Hydrogen Technology’s HYDRO token.