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BlackRock Bets on Bitcoin

Weekly recap: BlackRock makes a play, Prometheum plays a part
Lucas Matney Lucas Matney Jun 17, 20234 min read
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BlackRock Bets on Bitcoin

Dear Bankless Nation,

Even as crypto comes to terms with SEC regulatory fallout, the space is still building for the long-term. This week we dug into the newly announced Uniswap v4, and today we're taking a look at a surprisingly timed institutional embrace of crypto...

For our weekly recap, we dig into:

  1. BlackRock bets on Bitcoin
  2. ZachXBT sued
  3. Prometheum conspiracies take off
  4. 3AC-owned NFT sells for $6.2M
  5. Another pro-crypto presidential candidate

- Bankless team


📅 Weekly Recap

1. BlackRock bets on Bitcoin

In the midst of a brutal regulatory crackdown, BlackRock is making a Bitcoin play.

The firm, which is the world's largest investment manager, submitted an application to the SEC this week for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Now, quite a few firms have sought to create the same over the years including Bitwise, Ark Invest and Grayscale – all to no avail.

The difference this time is that BlackRock is.. well, BlackRock. The firm tends to get what it wants and what it wants is to work with custodial partner Coinbase to launch a vehicle that tracks the underlying price of Bitcoin.

It's certainly a controversial time for digital currencies, though Bitcoin seems to be on more sure regulatory footing than other crypto assets. BlackRock's application is surprising, but signals that big players aren't ready to walk away from the crypto opportunity quite yet.

via Twitter

2. ZachXBT sued

Crypto Twitter's @ZachXBT, whose threads exposing scammers by analyzing on-chain activity have been a key pillar of Web3 law-and-order, shared on Twitter yesterday that he is being sued by someone who was the target of one of his exposés.

The suit was filed by Machi Big Brother, a whale who ZachXBT accused in a June 2022 Medium post of embezzling thousands of ETH from a former project of his. Machi Big Brother, known offline as Jeffrey Huang, is accusing ZachXBT of defaming him.

ZachXBT took to Twitter to solicit donations for a legal defense. He has already raised some $400k from donors including a $25,000 donation from Bankless 💪

If you'd like to donate, here is a link to his Twitter thread.

via Twitter

3. Prometheum conspiracies take off

Sure, Crypto Twitter is no stranger to the occasional conspiracy theory, but there's something awfully fishy about the SEC's chosen posterboy for crypto compliance.

Prometheum claims to be the first Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in the crypto space that has been registered by the SEC as a broker dealer. Prometheum is a digital asset exchange without any assets to trade as they only plan to support SEC-endorsed tokens. So, a crypto exchange without BTC or ETH... Hmm.

The firm's co-CEO landed on people's radars this week when he testified in front of Congress and basically said that the crypto community was needlessly complaining and that the rules were clear, companies just didn't want to follow them. Gary himself praised Prometheum on CNBC last week, showcasing the firm as an example that the SEC isn't out to get crypto.

So, what's happening here? It sure seems like the SEC is propping up a zombie exchange with absolutely no chance of success so that it can look like it's working with the industry... Check out Matt Walsh's Twitter thread below for more intel on the craziness.

via Twitter

4. 3AC-owned NFT sells for $6.2M

The NFT market may be in the doldrums, but investors are hoping that a high-dollar sale at Sotheby's could kickstart some excitement. Ringers #879, aka "The Goose," sold for over $6.2 million (including fees). The NFT was noteworthy as its last owner was the now defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

Who ponied up the capital? Past Bankless podcast guest Punk6529, who purchased the piece for their NFT fund.

Image: Sotheby's

5. Another pro-crypto presidential candidate

The 2024 U.S. Presidential race is heating up, and while the Biden administration is getting more and more silent on crypto, a number of pro-crypto Republican candidates are entering the race.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced his candidacy this week. The Republican mayor has launched a number of initiatives over the years to turn Miami into America's crypto hub, working with venture firms and startups to set up offices in the city, while making a highly publicized push to receive his own salary in Bitcoin.

Suarez and the rest of his Republican candidate counterparts face a steep challenge with Trump currently with a massive lead in early polling, though Trump's deepening legal troubles may provide a path for a current dark horse candidate.


📺 Bankless Weekly Roll-Up

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Lucas Matney

Written by Lucas Matney

6 Articles View all      

Lucas Matney (luma) is the Editorial Chief at Bankless and leads the team’s researchers and analysts. Prior to joining Bankless in 2022, he was a Senior Editor at TechCrunch in San Francisco where he led the publication’s crypto and finance teams. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn.

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