Crypto Roundup by DJKupo

SEC’s Gensler Uses Crypto Oversight Needs as Case for Higher Budget (CoinDesk)

“Gary Gensler, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, made a pitch for a higher budget Wednesday, telling lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives that he wants to do more as a cop on the cryptocurrency beat. Gensler, in testimony before members of the House Appropriations Committee, said, ‘I wish we had more to be able to dedicate to this.’ He cited the recent firestorm that consumed TerraUSD (UST) as an example of the industry’s investor-protection need, telling lawmakers ‘there was one crypto complex that went from $50 billion in value to zero just in the last three weeks.’”

Crypto ETP-Provider 21Shares Marks US Debut With Two Launches (Bloomberg)

“Crypto exchange-traded products issuer 21Shares, which has made waves in Europe with its offerings since 2018, is marking its US entrance with the launch of two new funds. The Zug, Switzerland-based company is debuting two index funds, the 21Shares Crypto Basket 10 Index Fund, which tracks the largest coins, and the 21Shares Crypto Mid-Cap Index Fund, which also measures the performance of the biggest tokens, but excludes Bitcoin and Ether. The funds will be rebalanced and reconstituted quarterly.”

a16z Launches $600 Million Fund to Invest in Gaming Industry (The Block)

“Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has raised $600 million to build the future of the gaming industry. The firm has been investing in gaming for over a decade, but the new fund will ‘play a pivotal role in defining how we socialize, play, and work over the next century,’ the firm said in a blog post announcing the move.”

Aave’s Backbone for Decentralized Social Media, Lens Protocol, Goes Live on Polygon (The Block)

“Lens Protocol, a network for building decentralized social media, has gone live on the Polygon blockchain. According to a media statement, more than 50 applications have debuted on Lens Protocol. These include Lenster, Lens Booster, SpamDAO, GoldenCircle, PeerStream, Swapify, Social Link and others.”

Coinbase Is Launching an In-House Crypto Think Tank (The Block)

“Crypto exchange Coinbase is launching a new crypto-focused, in-house think tank. The think tank will work with academic institutions and other think tanks to conduct research. The first partnership of this kind is with the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center, which conducts surveys for the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Defense”

Robinhood Plans ‘Web 3’ Crypto Wallet for DeFi Traders, NFT Buyers (CoinDesk)

“Trading firm Robinhood (HOOD) plans to roll out a new crypto wallet focused on decentralized finance (DeFi) for customers who want to participate in the crypto economy by the end of 2022. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev teased the ‘Web 3 crypto wallet’ at the Permissionless conference in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday. Its announcement follows last month’s launch of a more tightly controlled crypto wallet, which was basically a halfway house for users moving tokens in and out of their Robinhood brokerage accounts.”

Terra Community Seems Dead Set Against Do Kwon’s Fork Proposal (The Block)

“The majority of the Terra community is against the idea of forking the blockchain after its collapse last week, according to a preliminary poll on the network’s research and governance forum. As of 6:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday, 90% of the more than 1,000 votes in the online poll reject a fork, which would create a new, parallel version of the Terra blockchain. The ballot is open to anyone who logs into the Terra forum, whether or not they hold Luna, the network’s governance token.”

Coinbase Slows Hiring to Help Weather Market Downturn (The Block)

“Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has reined in a plan to triple its headcount this year in response to turbulent market conditions. Emilie Choi, Coinbase’s president and chief operating officer, said in a blog post on Tuesday that the firm would be slowing hiring to ‘reprioritize our hiring needs against our highest-priority business goals.’ The note had been circulated among staff earlier.”

Coinbase Blog

South Korean Politician Calls for Do Kwon to Attend Hearing on TerraUSD’s Collapse (The Block)

“Yun Chang-Hyun, a representative from South Korea’s ruling People Power Party, has called for a parliamentary hearing on TerraUSD (UST) after the stablecoin’s sudden collapse last week, local news outlet Newspim reported on Tuesday. ‘We should bring related exchange officials, including CEO Do Kwon of Terra, which has become a recent problem, to the National Assembly to hold a hearing on the cause of the situation and measures to protect investors,’ Chang-Hyun reportedly said today at a plenary meeting of the National Assembly’s Political Affairs Committee.”

TaxBit Nets Strategic Investment From Haun Ventures (The Block)

“Crypto tax software provider TaxBit has netted an investment from Haun Ventures. The venture capital firm formed by former federal prosecutor and Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun is seeking to help develop crypto firms through funding and engagement with policymakers and regulators. News broke that Haun raised $1.5 billion for two crypto-focused VC funds in March of this year. Since then, the funds have invested in non-fungible token platforms and web3 community builders among other projects.”

Grayscale Set to Roll Out First European ETF (The Block)

“Grayscale Investments announced on Monday it is set to make a play for Europe, with its first exchange traded fund (ETF) in the region. The product, known as the Grayscale Future of Finance UCITS ETF, tracks the investment performance of the Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index, the firm said in a release.”

Coinbase Unveils WEB3 Mobile Dapp and Defi Wallet and Browser (Cointelegraph)

Coinbase unveils Web3 mobile DApp and DeFi wallet and browser

“America’s largest crypto exchange Coinbase has rolled out Web3 application functionality including a hot wallet and browser for a limited set of its mobile app users. The app will allow select users to access decentralized applications (DApps) on the Ethereum network such as Uniswap and OpenSea. The May 17 announcement by Coinbase’s director of product management Rishi Dean said eligible users would be able to begin trading on nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces, making swaps on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and interacting with decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocols to borrow and lend funds.”

S&P Global Ratings Forms DeFi Group to Build Out Crypto Framework (CoinDesk)

CoinDesk - Unknown

“S&P Global’s ratings division has created a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) strategy group to help build the company’s decentralized market framework for investors. Chuck Mounts will lead the group as chief DeFi officer, and will work closely with the newly-appointed head of DeFi transformation, Charles Jansen, according to a statement Monday. The team seeks to build out S&P’s analytics and risk assessment capabilities for both traditional finance and DeFi clients.”

Japan’s Largest Investment Bank Nomura to Launch Crypto Arm, FT Report (The Block)

“Japanese investment bank Nomura will launch a new company focused on cryptocurrency, decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for institutional clients, according to the Financial Times. Nomura plans to have around 100 people working for the subsidiary by the end of next year, the FT reported, citing people with knowledge of the company’s roadmap. Current executives will run the company, although there are plans for extensive outside hiring.”

Bitmex Launches Spot Market in Hopes of Revival (The Block)

“BitMEX — one of the longest-running exchanges in digital asset futures space — is hoping that the launch of a spot new market will help it lure retail customers in the midst of the crypto trading doldrums. The firm, which has made headlines thanks to the legal woes of its founder Arthur Hayes, unveiled on Tuesday its new spot market, offering the trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s APE token, and Uniswap’s governance token UNI.”

Do Kwon Pitches Revival Plan for Terra Blockchain, With Distributions to LUNA and UST Holders (The Block)

“Do Kwon, the co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs, pitched a revival plan proposal on Friday following the collapse of the algorithmic stablecoin UST and its related Terra-based asset, Luna. The proposal, included in a post on a forum for Terra discussion, amounted to a restart of the Terra blockchain. ‘The Terra community must reconstitute the chain to preserve the community and the developer ecosystem,’ Kwon wrote.”

Goldman, Barclays Invest in Alan Howard Crypto Trading Platform (Bloomberg)

Billionaire Alan Howard founded the the cryptocurrency trading platform, Elwood Technologies. 

“Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc participated in a $70 million funding round of Elwood Technologies LLP, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by billionaire Alan Howard, in a collaboration between crypto-native funds and traditional financial institutions. The financing valued the six-year-old company at over $500 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. Other investors include Dawn Capital LLP and units of Commerzbank AG and Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., the crypto merchant bank headed by billionaire Michael Novogratz, Elwood said in a statement.”

Over $1.2 Billion in Bitcoin Reserves Remains Unaccounted for by Luna Foundation Guard (The Block)

“Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), a non-profit organization formed to support the growth of the Terra ecosystem, has yet to answer a crucial question about its bitcoin reserves after Terra’s collapse. LFG accumulated a total of 70,736 bitcoins (worth over $2 billion) as “forex reserve” for Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST, which has recently severely depegged and created havoc in the crypto market.”

Terra Fork Won’t Work, According to Binance CEO (The Block)

“Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao says he doesn’t think Terra’s plan of forking the blockchain will work because it won’t provide any value. ‘This won’t work,’ Zhao said in a tweet on Saturday. ‘Forking does not give the new fork any value. That’s wishful thinking.’ Zhao’s tweet came a day after Do Kwon, the founder and CEO of Terraform Labs, proposed a revival plan for Terra after its collapse last week. Kwon pitched forking the Terra blockchain — creating a new chain — and distributing 1 billion tokens to stakeholders.”

Nomura Begins Offering Bitcoin OTC Derivatives to Clients in Asia (The Block)

“Japanese investment bank Nomura said on Twitter Friday that it has begun offering over-the-counter Bitcoin derivatives contracts to its clients in Asia out of Singapore. ‘We have launched #Bitcoin OTC #derivatives with Bitcoin non-deliverable forwards and non-deliverable options for clients in #Asia out of Singapore. We also executed our first Bitcoin #futures and #options trades this week on @CMEGroup with @CumberlandSays,’ Nomura said in the post.”

Yellen Says the Stablecoin Market Is Still Too Small to Pose Systemic Risk (The Block)

“US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that the stablecoin market has not yet reached a size that would pose a systemic risk to the US financial system. In a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jim Himes pressed Yellen on where the systemic risk would truly begin. At two trillion in market cap, Himes said he didn’t think the space had broken the threshold.”

David Marcus Unveils New Startup Focused On Bitcoin and Lightning Backed by a16z and Paradigm (The Block)

“David Marcus, the former head of Meta’s crypto and digital finance operations, has unveiled his latest endeavor: a company aimed at expanding the use cases of bitcoin. Dubbed Lightspark, the new firm is backed by a wide range of investors including a16z Crypto, Paradigm, Coatue, and Matrix Partners.”

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Takes a 7.6% Stake in Robinhood (The Block)

“Shares in Robinhood Markets (HOOD) rose as much as 28% in after-hours trading as a 13D filing revealed that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) had taken a 7.6% stake. Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, purchased 56 million shares of HOOD. This gave him a 7.6% stake in the retail trading platform, according to the 13D filing.”

Aurora Launches $90 Million Developer Fund to Boost Defi on Near Protocol (The Block)

“Aurora, a blockchain layer on the NEAR Protocol, has launched a $90 million token fund to accelerate the development of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. The fund was unveiled today in collaboration with Proximity Labs, NEAR Protocol’s DeFi arm. To seed the fund, Aurora Labs, the core development team behind Aurora, allocated 25 million aurora tokens (about $90 million) from its DAO treasury to Proximity Labs.”

Luna Token Price Craters Below $0.0001 as Circulating Supply Soars Above 400 Billion (The Block)

“Earlier Thursday, The Block reported that the circulating supply of Terra’s native asset, Luna, had ballooned amid an escalating behavioral cycle. As of around 11:15 a.m ET, that figure stood at roughly 25 billion LUNA. Now, that figure is approximately 401.6 billion, according to data from Terrascope. That represents a change of more than 225 billion LUNA on May 13 alone.”

Last Week’s Most Read Articles

SEC’s Gensler Says Crypto Exchanges Trading Against Clients (Bloomberg)

UST’s Do Kwon Was Behind Earlier Failed Stablecoin, Ex-Terra Colleagues Say (CoinDesk)

Citadel Securities, BlackRock, Gemini Slam Social Media Accusations of Involvement With UST Collapse (CoinDesk)

Terra Stablecoin Peg Slips Below $0.70—Despite Loan From Bitcoin Reserves (Decrypt)

Luna Token Price Craters Below $0.0001 as Circulating Supply Soars Above 400 Billion (The Block)

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