Top Stories of Last Week

Regulatory

  • El Salvador officially recognizes Bitcoin as legal tender after supermajority of nation’s legislature voted in favor of President Nayib Bukele’s proposal. Bukele provided further details about bill that will mandate all businesses accept Bitcoin for goods or services and government will act as backstop for entities not willing to take on risk of volatility. Trust government will set up at Development Bank of El Salvador will convert Bitcoin to USD and will hold $150m in dollars in trust fund.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision proposed twin approach to capital requirements for cryptoassets held by banks in first bespoke rule for sector. Basel proposed two groups, with first including tokenised assets and stablecoins which would come under existing rules as bonds, loans, deposits, equities or commodities. Second group includes cryptocurrencies subject to “conservative prudential treatment” with risk-weighting of 1,250%.
  • Federal officials recovered $2.3 million in Bitcoin that Colonial Pipeline paid during ransomware attack by Darkside ransomware group. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said company contacted law enforcement, allowing federal agents to track and seize Bitcoin wallet.
  • Indian government may soon strike more conciliatory tone on Bitcoin by classifying Bitcoin as asset class, according to The New Indian Express, adding that Securities and Exchange Board of India will regulate cryptocurrency sector. Regulation bill could be tabled during session of parliament set to begin next month.
  • China’s Qinghai province announced ban on virtual currency mining operations, according to document issued by Qinghai Industry and Information Technology Department. Local government cited government’s concerns about energy-consuming industries and environmental pollution as well as State Council’s directive to maintain financial stability by cracking down on crypto.
  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority to begin study on use cases of CBDC as part of its “Fintech 2025” strategy. HKMA has been working with Bank for International Settlements to study benefits and risks of retail digital HK dollar, or “e-HKD.”

Project Development

  • Square and Blockstream teaming up to build solar-powered Bitcoin mining facility, with Square to invest $5 million in facility while Blockstream will provide know-how to build and manage project. Square also considering development of Bitcoin hardware wallet, with indications that wallet might be integrated with Square’s Cash App. 

Institutional

  • MicroStrategy boosted planned bond offering to $500 million after originally announcing it intended to offer $400 million in senior secured notes to raise funds to boost holdings of Bitcoin. Company also formed new subsidiary, MacroStrategy LLC, which will hold current stash of 92,079 Bitcoin. 
  • State Street launched cryptocurrency division State Street Digital, which will be led by executive vice president Nadine Chakar, who will report to Lou Maiuri, bank’s chief operating officer. State Street expanding digital reach to include crypto, central bank digital currency, blockchain and tokenization, and will upgrade existing GlobalLink platform into multi-asset digital trading system.
  • Victory Capital planning to enter crypto market through private fund for accredited investors that will track Nasdaq Crypto Index. Also plans to launch private funds tracking Nasdaq Bitcoin Reference Price Index and Nasdaq Ethereum Price Index in partnership with digital asset manager Hashdex.

Exchanges

  • FTX acquired naming rights to esports organization TSM in multi-year deal for $210 million. TSM will now be known as “TSM FTX.” Organization plans to expand into new platforms, open offices in Asia, Europe and South America, and distribute crypto to players and employees as well as purchasing $1 million worth of FTT.
  • Silvergate Bank will stop processing U.S. dollar deposits and withdrawals for Binance, according to email being circulated on social media. 
  • Gemini purchased Shard X, a startup that develops technology for crypto custodians, to boost security of its services. Shard X offers multi-party computation on hardware security modules. Terms of deal not disclosed.

Fundraising

  • Ledger, the crypto hardware wallets producer, closed $380 million Series C fundraise valuing startup at more than $1.5 billion. 10T Fund led raise alongside existing investors and new backers, including Tekne Capital, Uphold Ventures, Felix Capital, Inherent, Financière Agache and iAngels Technologies.
  • Solana Labs raised $314 million in token sale led by Andresseen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, with participation from CMS Holdings, Coinfund, Alameda Research, ParaFi and others.
  • BlockFi allegedly in discussions to raise several hundred million dollars at valuation near $5 billion, according to report in The Information. Third Point Management and venture firm Hedosophia are reportedly spearheading round.
  • BC Technology Group raised HKD543.19 million (approx. US$70 million) in form of top-up share placement. Investment comes from GIC, formerly Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.
  • BlockTower Capital acquired Gamma Point Capital in $35 million deal.
  • Unchained Capital raised $25 million in Series A funding led by NYDIG and Stone Ridge Holdings. Ecliptic Capital, Starting Line and TVP Bitcoin Venture Fund also participated in equity round.
  • Arrington Capital Management launching $100 million fund for bets on projects building on Algorand blockchain called Arrington Algo Growth Fund.
  • Blockdaemon, a provider of blockchain staking infrastructure, raised $28 million in Series A round of funding led by Greenspring Associates and also included Goldman Sachs, Coinfund, CoinShares, BlockFi, Uphold and Voyager Digital.
  • Karura, a network offering DeFi services to users of Polkadot and Kusama platforms, raised 200,000 KSM tokens, equivalent to $100 million, in crowd loan.
  • Crypto mining firm Luxor Technologies closed $5 million Series A funding round led by NYDIG, which will work with Luxor on “a number of mining-related ventures and hashrate-based products.”

Things to Watch This Week

  •  Bitcoin Mining Council Meeting
    • This week will bring us the first meeting of the Bitcoin Mining Council, an open forum of Bitcoin miners committed to educating people about Bitcoin and energy-conscious mining affairs. According to a tweet from Michael Saylor, one of the originators of the idea for the council, the meeting will occur on Wednesday, June 16th at 8pm EDT. It will be important to monitor the outflow of details that come from this meeting, as it has drawn a great deal of attention and scrutiny since it was first announced towards the end of last month. Aside from the concerns surrounding centralization and the optics of a small group of participants speaking for the entire industry, a key development to watch for out of this meeting will be Elon Musk’s attachment to the group. Although the council has come out and said that Elon will have no role at the BMC and that the extent of his involvement was joining a call with the group, the origination of this council stemmed from said call between Michael Saylor, Elon Musk, and the council members. As we witnessed this morning, where Bitcoin rose nearly 10% after Elon’s tweet regarding Tesla resuming Bitcoin purchases should Bitcoin mining show “reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend,” his words, actions, and tweets still have major impacts on the market.
  • VanEck Proposed Bitcoin ETF SEC Decision
    • We’re also expecting to hear from the SEC with a potential decision on the VanEck Bitcoin ETF this week. June 17th was designated as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change. While there are no indications yet on the direction the SEC will take, the Commission chose to delay a decision last week on WisdomTree’s Bitcoin ETF, one of the other 10 applications that have been filed with the SEC at this time. Chance are likely that a delay will be delivered, but we’ll keep an eye on this development throughout the week should one of the stronger cases for a Bitcoin ETF receive an unexpected outcome. 
    • Nayib Bukele @nayibbukele
      I’ve just sent the #BitcoinLaw to Congress 
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      Jay_OKEX_CEO@JayHao8
      “Art. 13. All obligations in money expressed in USD, existing before the effective date of this law, may be paid in bitcoin.” It will be a game-changer.
      READ MORE
       

       Alphablamebitcoinpizza@AlphaKetchum
      Just some $MSTR max-pain analysis. “Mortgage your company and buy Bitcoin” Wonder which sharks are going to FUD Bitcoin and short $MSTR. Let’s see $1.6bn debt and BTC value of approx. $3bn. He’s insolvent at ~18k. Generating <$50m in avg. EBITDA.

      The bonds (afaik) aren’t puttable, so he brought some time there. And the maturities are are spaced, 2025 and 2027. But it’s a big all-in bet still.
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      Adam Back@adam3us
      #Bitcoin was NOT hacked No bitcoin wallet was hacked, nor is even known to be possible. Ransom hackers used a rented cloud server. FBI got a subpoena and took control of it and recovered coins. That’s it.

      Details of server FBI got control of to recover coins from ransom payment relating to colonial pipeline hack. #Bitcoin was NOT hacked.
      twitter.com/6102bitcoin/st…

      Philip Martin@SecurityGuyPhil
      1/ I’ve seen a bunch of incorrect claims that Coinbase was involved in the recent DOJ seizure of bitcoin associated with the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. We weren’t. a thread:

      2/ Coinbase was not the target of the warrant and did not receive the ransom or any part of the ransom at any point. We also have no evidence that the funds went through a Coinbase account/wallet.

      3/ I’ve seen some folks point to @Bitquery_io graphs which say “Coinbase” and it appears to be a reference to the concept rather than the company. 2 tx are missing a receiver address field in the underlying GraphQL data making their UI think it’s a coinbase (concept) tx.
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      Raoul Pal@RaoulGMI
      To be fair, my flippant comments about the BTC conference being a bit cringe was a reflection of the media coverage of the more extreme aspects but the truth is the speakers and many of the attendees are some of the smartest, most interesting forward thinkers Ive ever known.

      We all have to learn to separate the people from the technology and opportunity. It is not about individuals, but about adoption of a network. Everyone plays their role and each plays different roles.

      The negative reaction to some of the more over the top speakers also shows that the space has transitioned from early phase to a more mature adoption phase where individuals create less marginal positive impact and may even have negative impact

      The leadership is now on those who drive broader adoption and solutions for investors and users, be it @Square , @CaitlinLong_ , @billbarhydt , @cz_binance @SBF_Alameda , @coinbase@krakenfx , @DigitalAssets@novogratz@HHorsley@LukkaTech@BlockFi@silvergatebank, etc

      Or the asset managers and hedge funds in the space from @a16z @paradigm and @PanteraCapital to @arca@BlockTower or Hyperion Decimus to name but a few. These firm, amongst many others are the new KEY players. Not me, Max Keiser, Pomp or anyone else.
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      Ari Paul @AriDavidPaul
      Quick thoughts on bitcoin risk and return – since late 2016, I’ve been “all-in crypto.” I’ve had 90% of my investable assets in cryptocurrencies, bet my career on crypto in mid 2017. I basically just had enough outside of crypto (in USD and gold) to sleep easy. /1

      2/ this was an extremely aggressive allocation reflecting my conviction that bitcoin and cryptocurrency more generally offered an exceptional and extremely rare asymmetric return profile. I thought a 100x+ was quite likely in 2016, making the risk of 85%+ losses tolerable.

      3/ as time goes on, bitcoin and crypto generally offer weakening asymmetry imo. While BTC may still provide a 100x, for that to happen today, BTC would need to achieve a $100 trillion market cap, about 13x that of gold, and reflecting about 1/4 of total global wealth.

      4/ While this could happen (and some even argue that it’s inevitable), to me it’s a minority case. Of course, it’s not 100x or nothing; a 10x return is still amazing asymmetric upside. Even achieving that may require bitcoin’s toughest tests yet – state actors and a test of PoW

      5/ today, I view a “reasonable” success case for bitcoin as another 10x, which will mean BTC has achieved success as “digital gold.” Similarly, for most other cryptocurrencies (including defi), another 10x is sustainable only with major success in achieving widespread product fit

      6/ Both bitcoin and many other crypto assets still provide very attractive upside relative to risk, imo. But not *as* attractive as its been in the past. For me, this will mean looking to cut exposure at the end of this bull run to a long-term allocation of <=50% to crypto.

      7/ The long-term goal of BTC is to be money – at maturity BTC should offer ~0% real returns. As it gets closer to maturity, it should cease to be an extremely compelling investment and truly become a way of simply storing wealth.

      8/ My guess is that towards the end of this bull run, BTC may still be an unsually good investment, but likely not quite so head and shoulders above alternatives. At that point, portfolio diversification will again make sense.

      ChainLinkGod.eth 2.0@ChainLinkGod
      The president of El Salvador @nayibbukele is on Twitter spaces right talking about the Bitcoin bill that’s about to pass The government is going to create a Bitcoin wallet for merchants (opt-in, can use any wallet) Accepting Bitcoin is a mandate by law
      twitter.com/i/spaces/1ypJd…

      Company balance sheets in Bitcoin, USD is only for accounting Pay bank loans and taxes in Bitcoin, it’s retroactive for previous agreements 90 days for the law to go into effect Every business has to accept Bitcoin, cannot refuse the payment

      Immigration law reform to make it easy for entrepreneurs come into the country and build Government is putting up a trust fund to assume the risks of the merchants who accept Bitcoin Businesses have to accept Bitcoin as payment but can convert it immediately to fiat

      The government will be holding Bitcoin on their balance sheet (seperate law) More laws to come to facilitate Bitcoin’s usage in El Salvador Permanent resistance if you invest 3 BTC in El Salvador !!! (Buy things) Payments need to be in Bitcoin

      Bitcoin will be a unit of account for goods and services (not in fiat) Access to the internet legislation to come in the future, better infrastructure, government promoting this initiative

      Meeting with IMF this Thursday to speak about the Bitcoin law This bill will create jobs, take eventually to zero the fees for remittances (usually 30%) 16,000 listeners currently on the spaces call Positive press for El Salvador after this news, attract taller to country

      Believes it will be good for the US and the global economy, more campaigning and explaining to come Not necessarily dedollarizing is the goal, but leverage Bitcoin to improve the country, helps having both USD and BTC The president was a Bitcoin miner previously
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      SpartanBlack@SpartanBlack_1
      0/ The question that is undoubtedly on top of every crypto investor’s mind currently is: is the bull cycle over? In my view, this question is somewhat moot because judging by the magnitude of the correction (>40% for total mkt cap), we are already in a bear market.

      1/ The reason people are still asking this question is because the correction was so swift and our frame of reference has not adjusted and we are still thinking about how soon we can revert to ATH prices.

      2/ In my view, the more relevant questions we should be asking are: 1) if we are in a bear market, how far are we from the bottom? and 2) what does the risk reward tradeoff look like from here?
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      Mira Christanto@asiahodl
      The May selldown stopped comparisons to 2017’s bull run. How about 2013’s? It saw a selldown of -70% over 3 months, before surpassing the last ATH by 4x. Is this bull market over? Unlikely. This marks the *first time* the 111DMA did not surpass the 350DMAx2.
      Elizabeth Warren@SenWarren
      Bitcoin requires so much computing activity that it eats up more energy than entire countries. One of the easiest and least disruptive things we can do to fight the #ClimateCrisis is to crack down on environmentally wasteful cryptocurrencies.
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      Two Comma Pauper @twocommapauper
      The $BTC “weekend effect” dispelled by @ecoinometrics in their news letter today. Must confess I believed in this and the “Monday morning Asia dump” before I read it. Is Bitcoin really prone to dumping on the weekend? Let’s see.

      Is #bitcoin more volatile on weekends i.e. is the change between daily open/close (UTC session) higher on weekends than other days? Apparently not:

       

      Sino Global Capital@sinoglobalcap
      China Daily Roundup  – SW 1) Parts of Xinjiang shut down crypto mining farms due to rectification policy. Note: Xinjiang is the largest mining region in China during dry season.

      2) Currently, Shihezi, Changji, and Korla in Xinjiang have banned crypto mining activites, still no clear bans in Yili, Aksu, Altay, Kuitun etc

      3) All Chinese search engines including Baidu and Sogou as well as social media platforms including Weibo (Chinese Twitter equivalent) and Zhihu (Chinese Quora equivalent) have blocked the keywords of three major exchanges: Binance, Huobi and OKEx.

      4) Major Chinese crypto media have stopped offering paid promotion services. Online AMAs are suspended this month due to current uncertain market conditions and tighter regulation over crypto.

      It is unclear whether all of these restrictions will remain in place after the upcoming CCP anniversary this month

      Corbin Page@corbpage
      DAOs are generating massive revenue, allocating capital from billion-dollar treasuries & will have their “mainstream moment” this cycle or next. So we’ve compiled a map of core services (B2D / D2D) that support this new type of org below. Keep an eye on this market! 

      Jonathan Cheesman@jon_ftx
      This isn’t that bad news 1/ its saying banks can hold crypto 2/ the size of crypto one would expect banks to hold at this point will trivial relative to their balance sheets

      How RWA weightings work, I believe that 1250% weighting means about $1 held for each $1 of BTC (ie its not the scary $12.5 it sounds)

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      William Clemente III@WClementeIII
      Long Term Holders keep stacking: +20,969 BTC to their holdings today +145,021 BTC to their holdings in the last week +397,487 BTC to their holdings in the last month
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      Short Term Holders keep selling: -15,085 BTC from their holdings today -112,950 BTC from their holdings in the last week -428,749 BTC from their holdings in the last month

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      Point I’m trying to make: STHs selling offset buying from LTHs by -31,262 over the last month. However, LTHs are now offsetting STHs by +32,071 over the last week, +5,884 in the last 24 hours. Might see another short-term move down, but accumulation process almost complete.