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SEC Warms Up to Bitcoin ETFs After Grayscale Win, Vitalik Buterin Exits MakerDAO
Elon Musk's Quiet Dogecoin Investment, Cathie Wood's Bitcoin-AI Vision, and Turkey's Rising Crypto Adoption
As we step into September, the crypto landscape continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. In this issue, we delve into the implications of Grayscale's legal win, which could be a game-changer for Bitcoin ETFs. We also explore why Vitalik Buterin decided to part ways with MakerDAO, especially after the CEO's public praise for a rival blockchain.
We'll also bring you up to speed on Elon Musk's clandestine investment in Dogecoin, Cathie Wood's bullish stance on the convergence of Bitcoin and AI, and how the people of Turkey are turning to cryptocurrencies amidst a backdrop of rapid inflation.
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Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval More Likely Following Grayscale's Legal Win
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is more likely to approve spot bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF) applications following a federal court ruling that the SEC must review its rejection of Grayscale's attempt to convert its Bitcoin Trust into an ETF, according to a report by JPMorgan. The court ruled that the SEC's denial was arbitrary as it failed to explain its different treatment of similar products, such as futures-based bitcoin ETFs. The ruling implies that the SEC would have to withdraw its previous approval of futures-based bitcoin ETFs to defend its denial of Grayscale's proposal, a move seen as unlikely due to potential disruption and embarrassment.
Vitalik Buterin Sells MakerDAO Stake Following CEO's Solana Praise
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has sold his entire remaining stake in MakerDAO, worth about $580,000. This move comes after MakerDAO co-founder and CEO Rune Christensen publicly praised the Solana blockchain’s codebase and outlined plans for a reimplementation of the project on a new blockchain, potentially forked from Solana. Buterin sold his entire 500 MKR tokens via the CoW protocol, marking his first sale of MKR tokens since 2021.
Elon Musk Quietly Funding Dogecoin Development
Elon Musk has been "quietly" funding the development of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency rival to Bitcoin. The extent of Musk's investment in Dogecoin is unclear, but he has previously expressed his desire to "upgrade" Dogecoin to "beat Bitcoin hands down" and "become the currency of Earth." Musk, who owns Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, has also added the Dogecoin symbol to his Twitter account. Despite a 90% drop from its all-time high, Dogecoin's network is still worth around $9 billion.
Cathie Wood Bullish on Bitcoin and AI Convergence
Cathie Wood, CEO of Ark Invest, has expressed her optimism about the convergence of Bitcoin and artificial intelligence (AI), hinting at the transformative potential of these technologies for various industries and the economy. Wood's investment firm, Ark Invest, has published research on investing in AI, indicating its active assessment of AI's significance in investment strategies. Wood has invested in various AI-related stocks and has shown enthusiasm for Bitcoin through Ark Invest's activities related to the Bitcoin ETF.
Crypto Adoption in Turkey Rises Amid Rapid Inflation
Crypto adoption in Turkey has risen from 40% to 52% over the last 18 months, according to a survey by KuCoin. The increase is attributed to high inflation and the Turkish lira losing over 50% of its value against the US dollar. The survey found that 58% of respondents invest in cryptocurrency to accumulate wealth over the long term, while 37% use it as a store of value. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, owned by 71% of investors, followed by Ethereum and other stablecoins.
FTX Reveals $900 Million Payments to Sam Bankman-Fried
A recent filing from FTX reveals that the company used its funds for internal cash payments to executives and direct transfers to the American Yacht Group. The filing shows over $900 million in transfers to former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, $15.5 million in cash transfers, and a $3.5 million transfer to ex-Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison. Notably, the list also showed a $2.5 million payout to the American Yacht Group for ex-Alameda co-CEO Samuel Trabucco, who had announced his purchase of a boat around the time of his resignation from the company.
DYDX Token Approved to Become Native Asset of Upcoming dYdX Chain
The DYDX token has been approved to become the native asset of the upcoming dYdX Chain. The decision was made following a governance vote that saw almost 100% community support. The proposal to transition dYdX to version 4 and make DYDX the Layer 1 token for its planned blockchain was initiated by Wintermute. The project will now migrate the DYDX token from Ethereum to a Layer 1 appchain in the Cosmos ecosystem. An Ethereum smart contract will also be developed to facilitate the transfer of DYDX tokens from the Ethereum network to the new dYdX Chain.
Binance Loses Global Head of Product Mayur Kamat
Mayur Kamat, the global head of product and design at Binance, has resigned from his role. Kamat, who joined Binance in April 2022, helped the company grow from 80 million to over 150 million users in 18 months. His departure is the latest in a series of senior executives leaving Binance amid regulatory challenges. Other recent departures include Asia-Pacific head Leon Foong, chief strategy officer Patrick Hillman, general counsel Hon Ng, and chief business officer Yibo Ling. Despite these departures and regulatory issues, Binance remains the largest spot crypto exchange in the world.
Binance CEO CZ Forecasts DeFi Outgrowing CeFi in the Next Bull Run
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao predicts that decentralized finance (DeFi) could surpass centralized finance (CeFi) in the next bull run. He believes that the more decentralized the industry becomes, the better. This comes after the US Securities and Exchange Commission's legal action against centralized exchanges Coinbase and Binance led to a 444% surge in trading volume on the top three decentralized exchanges within 48 hours. CZ also commented positively on the recent dismissal of a lawsuit against decentralized protocol Uniswap, stating it was "extremely positive, reasonable and logical".
Attorney Outlines Ripple-SEC Settlement Path Amid Coinbase Case Impact
Attorney John Deaton has outlined potential steps for a settlement between Ripple and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Deaton highlighted the significance of the ongoing Coinbase vs. SEC lawsuit, explaining that if the judge grants Coinbase's motion to dismiss, it would indicate that token sales on the exchange are not subject to US securities laws. This would constrain the SEC's ability to pursue an appeal, making a settlement a logical option. Ripple's opposition to the SEC is rooted in the argument that the agency has strayed from the established legal perspective, specifically regarding the application of the Howey Test to XRP token sales.
Crypto Casino Stake Targeted in Reported $40M Exploit
Cryptocurrency casino Stake has reportedly been targeted in a $40M exploit. On-chain analyst Cyvers reported that $16M was withdrawn on the Ethereum network due to a "private key leak." Another $25.6M was lost across Polygon and the Binance Smart Chain, according to blockchain sleuth ZachXBT. The stolen funds have been converted to ether (ETH) and transferred to several externally owned wallets. The Stake wallet that was targeted still holds $340,000 worth of ETH and $2.1M in various altcoins.
99% of Nigerians are Crypto Aware - Consensys Report
A global survey by Consensys and YouGov has found that Nigeria has the highest level of cryptocurrency awareness in the world, with 99% of respondents indicating they are aware of cryptocurrencies. The survey, which included over 15,000 individuals from 15 countries, also found that 70% of Nigerian respondents understood the fundamental concepts of blockchain technology. Of the Nigerian respondents, 76% either owned or previously held cryptocurrencies, and 90% expressed interest in investing in cryptocurrencies in the next year.
As always, stay tuned for more updates in crypto!