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Scenius Sync (Issue #47)
$PEPE Whales Are Paper Rich, NY AG Looks To Broaden Authority, Bittrex Files Chapter 11, & The BRC20 Economy Is Exploding
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Welcome to The Scenius Sync.
Our mission with this concise publication is twofold:
Share the essential stories driving the crypto industry and markets.
Highlight innovative applications and mainstream adoption of crypto and blockchain technology.
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Essential News 🗞
The proposed legislation aims to rein in the crypto industry by requiring crypto exchanges to have independent public audits of their financial statements and to reimburse customers that are defrauded. The bill also looks to restrict conflicts of interest in the industry, such as when the same individuals both issue tokens and own the marketplaces where the tokens trade. Some have already criticized the bill as destined to fail due to fundamental misunderstandings about crypto. Here is a helpful tweet threat from friend and attorney Drew Hinkes addressing the proposed bill.
Bittrex Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on Monday, less than a month after the SEC charged it with running an unregistered exchange. The company said it had assets and liabilities each estimated to be worth between $500 million and $1 billion, and more than 100,000 creditors in a court filing. Two other entities, Bittrex Malta Ltd. and Bittrex Malta Holdings Ltd., also filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The SEC sued Bittrex in federal court last month, alleging it broke the regulator’s rules from 2017 through 2022 while bringing in at least $1.3 billion in revenue.
The probe into the world’s largest crypto exchange is tied to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Justice Department’s national security division is leading the investigation, which is running in parallel to another inquiry by the agency’s criminal division.
Coinbase says it is considering the UAE as a potential international hub. Here is Coinbase’s blogpost on the UAE recognizing the transformative potential of the cryptoeconomy.
Nathaniel Chastain, a former manager at OpenSea, was convicted by a jury of wire fraud and money laundering on Wednesday, May 3, marking the culmination of a landmark case with broad implications for the NFT industry. The case has been described as the first ‘insider trading’ prosecution brought within the NFT world.
Innovation & Adoption 💡📈
The BRC20 token standard, which is built on top of the Bitcoin network, is gaining momentum and the BRC20 token economy is flourishing. As of Sunday, May 7, 2023, the BRC20 token economy is valued at $279.07 million, with approximately 13,530 tokens in circulation. This marks a significant increase from just four days ago when the BRC20 token market capitalization was $95 million and there were around 10,487 BRC20 tokens
Pepe, a memecoin styled on the Pepe the Frog cartoon, has made some crypto traders millions — at least on paper — as its price skyrocketed since launching last month. The top 15 pepe whales — large holders of the tokens — are collectively sitting on potential profits that currently total $92.6 million, according to onchain data analyzed by Lookonchain. While the whales have sold some holdings, they still hold over 38 trillion pepe coins, or around 9% of its total supply, Lookonchain said.
Liechtenstein’s government is planning to accept Bitcoin as payment for state services, Prime Minister Daniel Risch told German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) is a permissionless on-chain utility that facilitates USDC transfers between blockchains via native burning and minting.
Block, formerly known as Square, reported surging sales of bitcoin on its Cash App platform in the first quarter of the year. In an earnings release, the company said it sold $2.2 billion worth of bitcoin in the quarter, a 25% year-over-year increase. That's also an increase from $1.8 billion sold in the fourth quarter of last year. Gross profits from bitcoin sales were $50 million, according to the Q1 shareholder letter.