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Scenius Sync (Issue #48)
US Chamber of Commerce Blasts SEC, Binance Quits Canada, & Tether Nets a $1.48bn Q1 Profit
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Essential News 🗞
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the most influential business advocacy groups in the country, is taking up the banner of digital asset critics of U.S. regulation, and blasting the SEC's approach to ether, Coinbase, Kraken and the broader digital asset industry. The association lent its support to Coinbase’s lawsuit against the SEC for a response to a request for crypto-specific rulemaking. In its own filing to the court in support of that suit, the Chamber argues that the lack of direct response from the SEC to Coinbase’s request “is causing substantial economic harm to both Coinbase and the broader business community.”
Jane Street Group and Jump Crypto — two of the world’s top market-making firms — are pulling back from trading digital assets in the US as regulators crack down on the industry. Both firms are still making markets, but on a smaller scale, and are looking to expand internationally.
Ethereum developers have released software updates to resolve recent finality issues that hit Ethereum's beacon chain and restore stability to the network. The beacon chain had experienced finality issues on Thursday and Friday, although end users of Ethereum did not face any transaction issues.
Crypto exchange Binance has announced that it would cease operations in Canada, citing the challenging regulatory environment. “We had high hopes for the rest of the Canadian blockchain industry,” the company said in a Friday tweet. “Unfortunately, new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits provided to crypto exchanges makes the Canada market no longer tenable for Binance at this time.”
Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon is set to be freed from jail pending trial after a court in Montenegro accepted a €400,000 ($436,000) bail, according to a report in local news site Pobjeda. Kwon was arrested in Montenegro in March and charged with using a fake passport to attempt to leave the country.
Meanwhile it’s been a year. Terra death spiral turns one: Searching for silver linings among the wreckage.
Innovation & Adoption 💡📈
In its Wednesday blog post, the sometimes controversial company summed up its 2023 Q1 assurance report—prepared by accounting firm BDO Italia—by revealing that its reserves reached an all-time high of $2.44 billion, a $1.48 billion increase over the same quarter last year. The company also netted a profit of $1.48 billion for the quarter. Most of its reserves were held in cash and cash equivalents, with the majority “invested in U.S. Treasury Bills.” Only 1.8% was held in Bitcoin.
MakerDAO, responsible for the DAI stablecoin, has published a five-part plan for a major update called Endgame. The changes will introduce AI tools and ultimately lead to the creation of a new blockchain. "Endgame will streamline and parallelize the Maker Ecosystem, launching a new unified brand identity and the flagship release of 6 new SubDAOs that can be farmed by users and that will spearhead permissionless innovation and collateral allocation," MakerDAO co-founder Rune Christensen said in a forum post.
China is aiming to train 500,000 blockchain professionals after the launch last Wednesday of its national blockchain research centre, as its works to make the technology a central part of the digital economy continues amid a strict ban on cryptocurrencies. The research centre, located in Beijing and approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology, will work with universities, research institutes and companies to train workers and support China’s digital economy.
Lido Finance, the largest liquid staking protocol on Ethereum, has upgraded to version 2 (v2). Lido V2's pivotal feature enables liquid staking users — holders of staked ether (stETH) — to withdraw from Lido at a 1:1 ratio. This development streamlines the process for individuals to enter and exit Ethereum's liquid staking.
Hourglass released the first-ever marketplace to trade Time-Bound Tokens (TBTs) – a unique concept that tokenizes a user's staked assets in a DeFi protocol based on its lock-up time period. The idea is to allow users to trade their place in line for their locked up assets - essentially transferring a user's ownership of an asset that has been locked in a protocol to another buyer. The company has raised $4.2 million in seed round led by Electric Capital.