Times Change With Laser Eyes?; NFT Case Sees Industry Amicus Brief

laser eyes Biden

Was President Joe Biden’s “laser-eyes” tweet on X after the Super Bowl a turning of the tide in D.C. as it relates to digital assets? See it.

The tweet has received nearly 200 million views.

For the pro-crypto army, hope can “beam” eternal. Bring on the digital assets regulatory framework!

With President Biden’s age increasingly the focus of criticism, attempting to do something “hip,” and therefore in touch with a younger demographic, makes sense.  That said, given where his Administration has been with its “anti-crypto” positioning, a switch to the emerging and speculative world of digital assets and Bitcoin seems unfathomable.

Still, drastic changes may be needed with the Biden presidential campaign coming out of last week’s less-than-satisfactory news conference where he defended his age and memory.

The Super Bowl could be where everything changed.  The next shoe to drop would be agreement on a stablecoin bill that relents on the “federal floor” requirement satisfying – at a minimum – a bipartisan group of House Financial Services Committee members.

penny for your vote

Politico reported yesterday that a new “7-figure” Coinbase ad campaign across multiple media channels is underway and makes “the case that digital assets can create a more efficient and modern financial system, without physical money that can get lost.” Read more.

The campaign is tied to the little-known, “National Lost Penny Day,” which takes place on Lincoln’s birthday every year (he’s on the face of the penny.. remember those?) because finding a lost penny is, hopefully, a good sign.

trademark amicus

With artificial intelligence (AI) amplifying questions about what is fair in the digital world when it comes to proprietary, intellectual property, a recent trademark case involving Hermès and its Birkin bag trademark has caught the attention of industry organization Chamber of Digital Commerce. Saying that it wants to “champion the integrity of trademarks within the burgeoning realms of the Metaverse,” the Digital Chamber filed an amicus brief in support of Hermès amidst an appeal by the defendant.  Read it.

Back in June, the NFT creator who used the Birkin look was found to be in violation of the Hermès trademark and was permanently banned from using it in addition to receiving a $133,000 fine. Read more in Reuters. The case was overseen by Judge Jed Rakoff, the same judge who is overseeing the Terraform Labs case (of algorithmic stablecoin “fame”).  Rakoff appeared to side with the NFT creator during the trial, but the jury did not.

The Federalist Society chimed in on the case here and provides a succinct summary here as the case heads for an appeal.

the meaning of letters

With legislative progress for digital assets largely in limbo in D.C. so far this year, Blockchain Association policy executive Ron Hammond – a former staffer for Rep. Warren Davidson (R, OH) – breaks down the different types of Congressional letters through a politics lens. In his tweet thread, Hammond writes, “Sometimes letters are aimed to provide political cover for agencies to do a policy action. Take this one on the Bitcoin ETF from [Rep. Darren Soto (D, FL)] and [Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R, MN)]. Imagine how different this space would look if Gensler followed their bipartisan lead…” Read more letters on X.

stablecoin paper

A paper published in January by Circle’s European policy director Patrick Hansen and a colleague is receiving some notice regarding its view on stablecoin legislation known as MiCA in the European Union.

Circle is issuer of the USDC stablecoin.

Ledger Insights reports on the paper, “[The paper] argues that there’s too much of a cliff effect for a stablecoin to be treated as ‘significant’ suddenly. Plus, it asserts the additional requirements are too onerous. It compares MiCA to other regulations, such as those for global systemically important banks (G-SIBS).” Read more.

more tips:

    • MiCA’s Significance Regime for Stablecoins – A Sledgehammer to Crack a Nut? – SSRN

use case: jewelry provenance

Louis Vuitton announced it will use the industry’s Aura Blockchain Consortium to create certificates that track and verify the provenance of its “LV Diamonds” jewelry collection.

Bethanie Ryder of Jing Daily, a China-based daily news organization focused on consumer luxury brands, explains what the blockchain-enabled certificates deliver: “These certificates trace the journey of each central stone from the mine to the finger, enabling owners of the brand’s latest diamond collection to access information such as the location of extraction and where each stone was sorted, polished, and set.” Read more.

more tips:

still more tips

2024 Halving: This Time It’s Actually Different – Grayscale

Blockchain interoperability project Analog raises token round at $120 million valuation – The Block

Bitcoin Pushes Through $50K for First Time Since Late 2021 – CoinDesk