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Scenius Sync (Issue #49)
Biden Slams "Wealthy Crypto Traders," Apple Softens Crypto Policy, & Pudgy Penguins Smash Amazon Debut
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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 🗞
Wrapping up his participation in the Group of Seven (G7) forum in Japan, U.S. President Joe Biden took a swipe at "wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders" as undeserving beneficiaries of Republican lawmakers with whom his administration is negotiating a new budget—without which the American government could potentially default on its debt payments on June 1.
Crypto exchange Gemini earlier warned DCG was risking defaulting on its obligations if unable to pay the $630 million Genesis debt. The payment relates to a loan Gemini made to the now-bankrupt crypto lender Genesis, which is the subsidiary of DCG.
The introduction of a social recovery option for users was harshly criticized as potentially compromising security. Initially harsh criticisms have been walked back amid the reality that a hardware wallet needs an updatable operating system, including so it can add support for new tokens and chains.
Haseeb Qureshi of Dragonfly Capital notably walked back his initial concerns, writing “now I’m in the ‘nvm it’s fine’” camp via tweet here.
Michael Lewis, the financial journalist and author of "Moneyball" and "The Big Short," told an audience at the Bitcoin 2023 conference that he's nearly finished writing his book about Sam Bankman-Fried and the collapse of the FTX crypto empire that the 30 year-old founded.
The company, which issues the $82 billion USDT stablecoin, reported $1.48 billion of net profits in 2023 Q1 and revealed $1.5 billion in BTC holdings.
Tether said it will allocate up to about 15% of the realized profits from investments – excluding any unrealized price appreciation of its reserve assets – to purchase BTC and will add the tokens to the reserve surplus. See their Twitter announcement here.
Innovation & Adoption 💡📈
Stepn, a blockchain-powered fitness app that incentivizes users with crypto rewards, has announced big news. The Australia-based company said its users will now be able to buy and sell Stepn’s digital assets without being forced to exit the app and use an external marketplace.
This comes shortly after the once-wildly popular web3 game Axie Infinity announced it will be available for download on Apple’s App Store, signaling that perhaps the powerful tech giant is warming to the idea of allowing blockchain-based mobile games to operate on its iPhone.
With the launch of its new “Phygital” Toy Collection & Experience on e-commerce giant Amazon, the popular NFT collection Pudgy Penguins saw explosive interest and sales. According to project CEO Luca Netz, Pudgy Penguins saw over $500,000 in purchases over the first two days, surpassing 20,000 individual toys sold.
Strike, led by Jack Mallers, currently operates in the U.S. and El Salvador. Now it's pushing into new markets in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Caribbean – from Antigua and Barbuda to Vanuatu and Zambia
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., told a stage Friday at Bitcoin Miami that his presidential campaign would accept bitcoin donations to cheers and whistles. Dozens of politicians, political action committees, and party organizations have already accepted bitcoin and crypto as legitimate forms of donations. Even past presidential contenders have accepted bitcoin, though Kennedy made the distinction that his campaign will be the first to use the Lightning Network.
In his address Kennedy added that, "As President, I will make sure that your right to hold and use Bitcoin is inviolable, [and] I will defend the right of self-custody." Reporting from Decrypt.
Visa deployed two sets of "Paymaster" smart contracts to leverage account abstraction, which expands the capabilities of such contracts to user accounts and allows wallets to autonomously perform complex tasks and manage transaction costs on behalf of other accounts. The company detailed their testing in a report. The primary objective is to simplify user interaction with the Ethereum network by eliminating the need for end-users to hold ETH, the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, for transaction or “gas” fees or letting users pay with any token.