Dispatch #82: Lawmakers and Bitcoiners, Mount Up!

Apr 8·3 min read
Dispatch
Dispatch #82: Lawmakers and Bitcoiners, Mount Up!

In this patch of your weekly Dispatch:

  • The UK seeks to become a global crypto hub
  • Nexo Prime launches officially
  • Bitcoin is leaving exchanges

The Big Idea

A Good Week for Global Regulation

After the EU’s frustrating moves last week, it was nice to get a double dose of positive news on the regulatory front this week. In the United States, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee Pat Toomey announced the "Stablecoin Transparency of Reserves and Uniform Safe Transactions Act of 2022," or Stablecoin TRUST Act.

The bill would do a few things, including creating a set of different paths for stablecoin issuers to be licensed, as well as affirming that stablecoins are not securities. The goal for the digital asset booster Toomey is to "allow this crypto innovation to continue flourishing while protecting consumers and minimizing potential risks from stablecoins to the financial system."

Speaking of allowing innovation to flourish, the United Kingdom did something of a 180 this week, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announcing that he wanted the UK to become a global hub of crypto innovation.

This stands in stark contrast to the often skeptical language coming from the Bank of England and the tense relationship between the country's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and crypto companies, most of whose applications for registration have been rejected. The UK Treasury will be examining tax policy around areas like DeFi, making stablecoins a recognized part of the payment infrastructure, and even releasing an NFT.

UK crypto entrepreneurs, rejoice!

The Latest In…

Big Events

Against this backdrop, Bitcoiners and crypto industry participants from every nook and corner of the world gathered in Miami, including yours truly, for the Bitcoin Conference. Among the big pieces of news were Strike's announcement of a US integration between e-commerce giant Shopify and Bitcoin’s Lightning Network as well as the pursuit of Bitcoin adoption by two jurisdictions – an autonomous region in Portugal and a special economic zone in Honduras. While many were also looking forward to a return performance from El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele – who announced the Bitcoin Legal Tender law at last year's event – he canceled at the last minute.

The Latest In…

Nexo

Speaking at a panel before a packed house at the Miami Beach Conference Center, Nexo’s Co-founder and Managing Partner Kalin Metodiev announced the official launch of Nexo Prime – a proprietary prime brokerage platform for institutional, corporate, and high-net-worth investors that gives investors all the tools necessary to trade, borrow, lend, and securely store their digital assets in a single product.

Onboarding institutions into crypto just got a lot easier.

The Latest In…

NFTs

NFTs continue to be one of the hottest sectors in the crypto space. This week, Tom Brady-led Autograph inked a deal with ESPN to help the sporting giant release their first-ever NFT collection. Brady himself also joined the Bored Ape Yacht Club. In the realm of platforms, NFT marketplace OpenSea also began support for Solana NFTs, a highly anticipated move that has the NFT space seriously excited.

The Latest In…

Institutions and Fundraising

At this point, this section could easily be its own newsletter. Here’s the lowdown on another super active week on the institutional and fundraising front:

  • a $200M fundraise for Binance.US at a $4.5B valuation.
  • JP Morgan announced not one but two crypto-focused monthly newsletters.
  • Goldman Sachs said the bank would be offering over-the-counter ETH options in the coming months.
  • the SEC approved a new Bitcoin futures ETF from NYSE Arca and Teucrium. Wen spot ETF?

The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story

The Bitcoin Leaving Exchanges Story

Over the last few weeks, we've been monitoring the sentiment shift, expressed in various ways, including the return of positive institutional fund flows into the space. Glassnode pointed out another potentially extremely bullish indicator. Throughout March, 96,000 Bitcoin flowed out of exchanges. The fact that funds are moving off exchanges is generally seen as a positive signal that conveys that traders have long-term confidence and will not be looking to sell any time soon. Glassnode also noted that large public buyers, including MicroStrategy, have sparked renewed interest in Bitcoin as pristine collateral.

Hot Topics

What the Community Is Discussing

All of Twitter was talking about Elon buying into Twitter and joining the board. Doge went up as well!

Get yer DCA on.

Are Alt-layer 1’s losing their luster?

What to Watch for Next Week:

  • Can Bitcoin regain its momentum?
  • Will Russia go through with threats to demand rubles for oil and natural gas?
  • Will spot ETF chatter continue to increase?
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