10 April

“Following its spectacular Q1 earnings report Tuesday, Coinbase’s historic stock market listing next week – which some estimates value at $100 billion – will likely stir investors to seek out alternative bets on “this crypto thing,” opening a new fundraising opportunity for startups in the space.

This is a version of the “fear of missing out” that afflicts venture capital investors and which, in the process, drives tech development. A wave of crypto FOMO is poised to infuse yet more money into the crypto startup community – arguably the hottest hotbed of innovation right now – as these early-stage investors seek out “the next Coinbase.”

Valuations are rising across the industy: Kraken, a crypto exchange, is raising funds at a targeted $10 billion valuation – making it a “decacorn” – and Blockchain.com recently raised $300 million at a $5.2 billion valuation. Money is flowing into NFTs: Dapper Labs recently closed a $305 million round.

And DeFi could be next: Coinbase said in its SEC filing that DeFi presents a risk to its centralized business, which means adventurous investors could see decentralized exchanges as the New New Thing.”

See Also: Daniel Loeb’s $17B Hedge Fund Is Keeping Crypto With Coinbase – And Maybe Even Staking It
See Also: Communitas Capital’s ‘Infrastructure-First’ Investing Approach Is Paying Off With Coinbase and Others
See Also: SEC approves Exodus wallet for Regulation A stock offering

“The SEC published a public notice Friday announcing it would begin evaluating the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust, which the ETF giant filed with Cboe BZX Exchange. WisdomTree first filed for this ETF last month.

This is the second active bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application the federal regulator is evaluating in the U.S. The first, filed by VanEck, has been under review for a few weeks, with its initial comment period closing on Friday. As of press time, only five comments had been filed.

The regulator’s initial decision on whether to approve or reject, or otherwise continue evaluating VanEck’s application is expected to come next month.

Also on Friday, Kryptoin Investment Advisors, an asset manager launched by Jason Toussaint of SPDR Gold Shares fame, filed a registration form for a bitcoin ETF, bringing the total number of active applications to eight.”

The MSTR blacklisting appears to be part of the bank’s amended user policy prohibiting users from interacting with cryptocurrencies. The investment banking giant now reportedly classifies MicroStrategy as a “virtual currency product.”

Companies with significant Bitcoin investments such as Tesla, Hut 8 Mining and Square, to mention a few, are still listed on the HIDC trading catalog.

The blacklisting of MSTR is only the latest in HSBC’s recent anti-crypto moves. Earlier in the year, the world’s sixth-largest bank also reportedly blocked customers from moving profits from crypto exchanges to their bank accounts.”

The new DeFi Compli tool creates an oracle on Chainlink that details crypto wallet addresses on government watchlists, such as the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list. DEXs or other decentralized smart contracts could tap these lists and prevent transactions from touching sanctioned addresses.

What we’ve seen in the U.S. at least is really a focus on sanctions. That’s the angle regulators are most concerned about right now.

If the crypto sector can prove that DEXs can still comply with existing regulations, entities like FATF may focus less on carving out specific rules for developers or projects.”

“Fast forward a few years and interoperability is poised to become perhaps the most major bottleneck for CBDCs.

CDBCs will need to share compatible technology, code languages, and standards, to achieve full functionality. Standardizing legislative structures, harmonizing regulatory discrepancies between jurisdictions, and ensuring CBDC’s legal tender status is another major dimension of interoperability challenge.

Recent research by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and other bodies proposes various models such as a multi-CBDC bridge between different central banks using wholesale CBDCs. CBDCs may require a common technical interface or even a shared clearing system between local systems. Enter payment players.

VisaNet, interoperates between the layers of government in 200 countries, 15,000-plus financial institutions, 46 million-plus merchants and businesses and over 3 billion card holders. PayPal acts as a gateway for a variety of merchants and payment processors to plug in, including card players such as Visa and Mastercard.

CBDC interoperability is a harder challenge to solve than blockchain interoperability because it requires tackling both complex engineering and complex regulations. The real advantage for these players is not their systems, but that they are legally-compliant in every jurisdiction they operate in. This already gives them a near Herculean advantage compared to blockchain players when it comes to the realm of CBDCs.”

“Greenspan notes that the U.S. has fallen far behind on crypto regulation and warns this case could set a precedent of classifying “multifaceted programmable money” as securities. Greenspan believes the platform’s only crime was to set up in the U.S. and told Cointelegraph the case highlights the U.S.’s “backwards approach to forward-looking innovation.”

Although the Isreal-based commentator doesn’t think an SEC victory would stifle innovation in the crypto industry overall, it will certainly do so in the United States.

Projects like this are flourishing in Europe and some parts of Asia and the technology continues to progress globally. America is being left behind.

Hopefully, the judge will be able to see the blatant holes in the SEC’s case. LBRY seems to have some very sound arguments, so I’m quite optimistic.”

“Signal is facing criticism over its integration with MobileCoin, with eyebrows raised over a 450% increase in the price of MOB ahead of the announcement. Controversy surrounds Signal’s recently announced MobileCoin integration, with users expressing concerns over ties between Signal’s founder and the cryptocurrency, opacity surrounding the coin’s issuance, and suspicious gains leading up to the partnership’s announcement.

While MobileCoin CEO Joshua Goldbard has sought to assure the community that Marlinspike only served as a “technical advisor” to the project and has never served as an executive, Goldbard appears to have been inconsistent in his characterization of Marlinspike’s involvement with the project. In the Reddit thread, Goldbard describes Marlinspike as one of the three individuals who “created Mobilecoin.”

Buymobilecoin, a website that allows individuals to purchase MobileCoin tokens directly from the project, has also attracted controversy. The buying process is opaque, with no reference price provided and orders organized via email correspondence.”

All nine CryptoPunks are from mints below 1,000, meaning they were created in the earliest days of the company’s digital collectibles.

The announcement signals that NFTs continue to be legitimized by establishment art firms, even as athletes and musicians also ramp up their participation in the NFT space. Rival auction house Sotheby’s, which was founded 22 years before Christie’s, will also sell NFT art later this month.”