Edition No. 1
They say a news week in crypto is equal to 6 months in any other industry. Here's what happened from 5/01/22 - 5/08/22.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Around the Blockchain, a weekly letter dedicated to keeping readers up to date on the fast-paced world of Crypto & Law by airdropping current stories and projects directly to your browser.
On the Docket
Five things you might have missed last week
1. Crypto Adoption Expands in Various Countries Around the World
The Butterfly Effect
Following El Salvador’s move to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, the Central African Republic has now opted to do the same, becoming the first African nation to do so.
Countries such as Brazil, Panama, and Cuba have also taken steps toward recognizing and regulating cryptocurrency, invoking both excitement and criticism from the international community.
Additional Sources: Bitcoin.com; be[In]crypto; Blockworks
2. SEC Adds 20 New Positions, Nearly Doubling Unit Overseeing Crypto Assets
Deputize the Posse
In a press release from May 3, the SEC announced an additional 20 positions in their Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, bringing the total to 50 positions, up from 30.
Additional Sources: CNBC ; Blockchain Law Center
3. California Governor Signs Blockchain Executive Order
Put it in Writing
On May 4, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order aimed at exploring blockchain opportunities and regulatory considerations for the State. The press release states the order is intended to "create a pipeline of talent for the emerging industry and utilize the technology for the public good."
Additional Sources: Executive Order; The Verge; Blockchain Legal Resource
4. Craig Wright Accuses Coinbase, Kraken of 'Passing Off' Fake Bitcoin in Lawsuit Worth Hundreds of Billions of Pounds
A Tale of Two Coins
Dr. Craig Wright, author of the 2008 Bitcoin white paper, has brought forth claims alleging that exchanges Coinbase and Kraken have been wrongfully passing off BTC as Bitcoin. Wright claims that BTC and other later iterations of "bitcoin" do not conform to the standards originally outlined in the white paper, and consequently cannot be marketed or sold as Bitcoin.
“This is about protecting the consumer from fraud and deception. Consumers are being misled daily into thinking that BTC is Bitcoin as I outlined in the Bitcoin Whitepaper. BTC is not Bitcoin."
5. Global Investment Bank Goldman Sachs Offers Its First Bitcoin-Backed Loan
Old Dogs, New Tricks
Goldman Sachs continues to embrace modernity despite being one of the nation’s oldest investment banking ventures (founded in 1869). Last Thursday, the elder statesman of American Finance offered its first ever Bitcoin-Backed Loan.
Goldman Sachs has also stated their optimism on the functionality and utility of digitalism, with analyst Eric Sheridan of “Exchanges at Goldman Sachs” noting:
“We think this could be as much as an $8 trillion dollar opportunity on the revenue and monetization side.”
Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks?
The Public Ledger
Web3 regulatory and legal news from around the world
General News and Opinion
Senator Elizabeth Warren Demands Answers From Fidelity for Allowing Bitcoin in Retirement Plans
Jurisdictional and Other Legal Considerations in the Booming NFT Market
U.S. - Federal
The Ripple-SEC legal brawl could be a game-changer for crypto
Brokerage Window Fiduciary Duties in Light of DOL Cryptocurrency Guidance
The United States turns its attention to stablecoin regulation
Hacked DAO Faces Lawsuit as Users Try To Recoup Stolen Funds
Rep. Madison Cawthorn appears to have violated the STOCK Act
Crypto Industry Would Get its Preferred regulator under new bill
Lawsuit alleges Voyager Digital sold unregistered securities
U.S. - State Law
Utah Governor approves of blockchain and digital innovation task force
Colorado Bill Looks to Study Security Tokens to Help Raise Capital
Idaho’s Digital Asset Act Excludes Cryptocurrency From Securities Laws
Binance disables derivatives services in Spain, seeks regulatory approval
Apartment Sold for Bitcoin in Portugal After New Regulation Allows Property Deals in Crypto
Central African Republic Under Scrutiny By IMF After Making Bitcoin Its Legal Tender
New Law Allows Uzbekistan Bitcoin Miners to Avoid Income Taxes, Save on Electricity
Crypto Exchange Binance Approved by French Regulator as a Fully Regulated Digital Asset Service Provider
Podcasts & Videos
The brightest voices & sharpest takes
Law of Code Podcast # 42 - Laura Shin: Investigating Ethereum, interviewing Vitalik, and balancing truth & consequences.
Legal Briefs (YouTube Channel) - Ripple v. SEC: The FINAL End Date is In! AND Att'y Hogan Tells You All About Att'y/Client Privilege.
Motion To Compel
Highlighting some of the burning questions and persuasive arguments for your consideration this week
Was the Yuga Labs Otherdeeds NFT Mint an unregistered security?
Otherdeeds Part 1: Are They Securities? From Gregory Schneider at thecod3x.com
A 20+ tweet thread with additional links explaining the likelihood that the Otherdeeds mint was an unregistered security. From Twitter @cryptonesy
The top tweets about crypto and law this week
As mentioned, this week’s newsletter is the first of (hopefully) many to come and we sincerely appreciate your support and feedback. Please subscribe to this Substack to receive the weekly publication and give the authors a follow on twitter for updates on what’s next for the newsletter.
Quote of the Week:
“The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” - John Locke
Ok, all done! You can go ahead and check your P/L now (Coin Market Cap)