staff hears constituents
In Fortune, reporter Leo Schwartz takes a look at how Massachusetts blockchain companies are not hesitating to try and meet with Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA) office in the interest of educating the Senator and her staff on blockchain technology from a constituent’s perspective.
See a tweet from their visit to the Capitol last week.
Waev Data founder Phil McMannis, whose company is based in Boston, said that he reached out to the Senator’s office and was able to book a meeting with Gabrielle Elul, a Warren staffer who serves as an economic policy advisor. Schwartz reports, “McMannis, along with the representatives from other crypto companies and a Coinbase [Stand With Crypto] lobbyist, laid out their concerns about Warren’s proposed bill to Elul, along with elucidating what they view as the non-financial use cases of crypto, such as health data privacy and creator financial empowerment.” Read more.
multiple AML bills
Chair Sherrod Brown (D, OH), continues to bang the drum from his pulpit in Senate Banking on the use of crypto in illicit financing for terrorism and fentanyl – to name just a couple – and now he’s working on a digital assets anti-money-laundering bill of his own. And that’s not all as Politico reported on Wednesday, “‘Sanctions-related proposals are also on the table,’ [Chair Brown] said, though he underscored that ‘it’s not been decided yet.’ Sen. Jack Reed (D, RI) said in October that Brown was looking at combining relevant bills from Reed and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, MA), among others, in the wake of the Hamas attacks on Israel.” Read more.
what you should know: It remains to be seen exactly what Brown’s new bill will look like but in addition to Senator Warren’s bill and Senator Reid’s CANSEE Act, the Chair may also want to add Senator Mark Warner’s (D, VA) “Terrorism Financing Prevention Act” to the mix.
stolen funds decrease
In The Hill, North Korean hacker momentum is examined using data from a new report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. The Hill’s Filip Timotija writes, “Although the number of attacks rose to 20, the amount of stolen crypto, slightly above $1 billion in 2023, is still lower than the year before, when more than $1.7 billion was stolen by North-Korea associated hackers.” Read more. Timotija notes that Chainalysis’ 2023 figures are higher than those of competing blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs . Choose your weapon?
Funds Stolen from Crypto Platforms Fall More Than 50% in 2023, but Hacking Remains a Significant Threat as Number of Incidents Rises – Chainalysis
Quoting from a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on future energy consumption trends for data centers, The Verge notes that “By 2026, electricity consumption from data centers — including those used for cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence — could rise up to 1,050TWh depending on the pace the technology develops. That growth is equivalent to adding an extra country’s worth of electricity demand…” Read more.
Electricity 2024 – iea.org
what you should know: Crypto mining operations will be front and center of the discussion raised by a report such as this. Continued innovation and efficiency in mining will be a key industry talking point both at the federal and state levels.
use case – chemistry
In science publication Phys.org, a new project has led to discoveries in “prebiotic” chemistry which speaks to understanding the chemical reactions necessary to originate life on Earth. Central to the discovery is blockchain technology.
Phys.org explains, “To generate this network, the researchers chose a set of starting molecules likely present on early Earth, including water, methane, and ammonia, and set rules about which reactions could occur between different types of molecules. They then translated this information into a language understandable by computers and used the blockchain to calculate which reactions would occur over multiple expansions of a giant reaction network.” Read more.
the watershed moment
Coinbase Institutional’s Brett Tejpaul, who helps run his company’s professional trading operations, tells The Block that the Bitcoin spot market ETF approval is huge: “I think the most interesting bit that’s getting a little bit drowned out by some desire to have headlines is it’s the first time crypto can go mainstream.” In other words, the retail consumer AND institutional investors can easily buy and sell crypto via the traditional financial system’s “pipes” (i.e. the ETFs). Read a bit more.
New research was unveiled this week titled, “Decentralized Crypto Governance? Transparency and Concentration in Ethereum Decision-Making” by University of Texas at Austin professor Cesare Fracassi and two of his colleagues.
Get the research at papers.ssrn.com
Fracassi explained on X yesterday saying, “We offer the first comprehensive analysis of Ethereum’s decision-making, focusing on the transparency, openness, and decentralization of the governance process, which are critical aspects for the regulatory treatment of crypto-assets.”
The research team finds centralization within the decentralization.
still more tips
How Investors in China Keep Trading Crypto, Despite the Ban (Podcast) – The Wall Street Journal
Opinion: Why Tornado Cash Remains the Most Pivotal Legal Case in Crypto – CoinDesk
Pastor accused of $3M crypto scam says he may have ‘misheard God’ (Jan. 23) – The Washington Post