Blockchain This Week – MiCA Gets a Nod, Gensler Grilled, Taylor Swift Dodged a Bullet, Pepe The Frog, Solana Emissions Dashboard

Issue147-Blockchain This Week-Image Source: iStock
Also Available on Other Platforms

EU Passes MiCA

The European Union has passed the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law this week. It provides clarity over the scope and definitions of crypto regulation in the centralized points of the crypto industry. Lawmakers hope MiCA to be a “global standard-setter” and a magnet for digital asset businesses. It benefits traditional finance firms as they can now choose licensed partners to work with when developing their crypto solutions.

MiCA Gets Mixed Response

The crypto industry has offered mixed opinions following the European Parliament’s approval of the MiCA. Several prominent crypto firms have hailed the law as a “pivotal moment for crypto regulation” and consider this nod an affirmation for the crypto industry. The traditional finance world also deems it as a net positive for the industry. Meanwhile, some crypto veterans are skeptical as they do not perceive MiCA as definitive. They believe it is unlikely that the EU would see an influx of crypto firms as a result of MiCA.

Gensler Gets Grilled

House Republicans criticized US SEC Chair Gary Gensler over the agency’s handling of digital assets. They particularly condemned the lack of clarity regarding whether ether is a security and stablecoin regulation. The agency’s handling of FTX also came under scrutiny. During the hearing, Gensler defended his agency’s enforcement priorities. He reiterated that securities laws are clear and the SEC enforces securities laws that require disclosures to investors on investment vehicles.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift reportedly came very close to signing a $100 million sponsorship deal with FTX when she asked, ‘Can you tell me that these are not unregistered securities?’ As per attorney Adam Moskowitz, who is suing FTX and its celebrity promoters, this question ensured Swift dodged a bullet and steered clear from the ensuing lawsuit.

Pepe The Frog Leaps

Pepe the Frog themed tokens launched earlier this week are the latest trend on Crypto Twitter. Pepe token soared over 21,000%, hitting a market capitalization of up to $33 million within three days. The tokens are named after the internet meme featuring a green frog with a humanoid body but have no connection to the meme’s creator Matt Furie.  

Solana Emissions Dashboard

The Solana Foundation has launched an emissions dashboard to track the carbon footprint of the thousands of servers that power its blockchain. The dashboard, built by carbon footprint calculator Carbonara, estimated that Solana’s servers emitted 10,651 metric tons of CO2 in the 12 months to April 1, 2023. 


Web3 infrastructure firm Chainstack has released Subgraphs, a blockchain data indexing tool aimed at providing real time, on chain data access for the crypto ecosystem. Subgraphs streamline data extraction from 13 major blockchains at launch, including Ethereum, Polygon, BNB Chain, and Avalanche.

Intel Sunsets Bitcoin Mining Chip Line

Intel has announced that it will discontinue its Blockscale Bitcoin mining chip line one year after its launch. It continues to support its Blockscale customers and plans to monitor market opportunities for the future of its Bitcoin mining chip business.

Celebrity Vagaries

First, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal was served in an FTX class action lawsuit outside his Atlanta home after allegedly avoiding the process servers for three months.

Meanwhile, well known crypto influencer BitBoy Ben Armstrong is being referred to the FBI after failing to appear for a court hearing related to his alleged harassment campaign against the lawyer representing FTX investors. He is also accused of mocking the plaintiff and the court hearing in a tweet.

Bittrex Sued

The US SEC filed a lawsuit against crypto exchange Bittrex and its former CEO William Shihara. The suit alleges the platform was operating as an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. It has also accused the defendants of avoiding regulatory scrutiny. Bittrex Global, on the contrary, claims it has no US customers and has never held itself out as doing business in the US or with US persons.

Starbucks New Collection

Starbucks launched its second paid NFT collection on Polygon, “The Starbucks First Store Collection.” It depicts elements from its first store opened in 1971 in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Interestingly, Starbucks could sell only 4,579 NFTs out of 5,000 available in its collection.

Nike Launches NFT Sneaker Collection

Nike released its first NFT sneaker collection on its .Swoosh platform. It is offering a virtual sneaker called Our Force 1 with two digital box options for purchase, priced at $19.82 each. The holders of the boxes will receive a 3D file to “express themselves in new ways,” with plans to add further utility in the future. 

Smurf NFTs

The Smurf Society released a collection of NFTs featuring characters from the popular animated franchise, the Smurfs. The pack consists of 12,500 3D rendered Smurf profile pictures. The bucket auction for 3,000 NFTs started on April 18, featuring characters like VR Smurf and Crypto Smurf.

UAE Accepts Crypto License Requests

The Securities and Commodities Authority in the UAE announced that it would start accepting applications from companies seeking to offer crypto services. It requires all virtual asset providers in the country, except those in financial-free zones, to seek approval.

Web3 Shorts

Coinbase has earned a license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority paving the way for it to launch an offshore derivatives exchange.

The mystery behind who invested in OPNX, the bankruptcy claims trading exchange launched by 3AC founders, was revealed to be high profile investors, including Susquehanna International Group and DRW.

Crypto exchange Luno will cease operations in Singapore on June 20. It has withdrawn its application for a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore as it reviews its global strategy and presence.

Crypto exchange Bybit announced that it had opened its global headquarters in Dubai.

Web3 Investments

Unchained, a bitcoin-only financial services company, raised $60 million in a Series B round, with the initial close of reportedly $30 million led by Valor Equity Partners.

Web3 notification system Yoz Labs closed a $3.5 million round led by Electric Capital to build scalable messaging rails.

Karate Combat secured $18 million to launch the crypto league’s iOS and Android apps in a round led by Bitkraft Ventures.

Berachain raised $42 million in a private token round led by Polychain Capital and will deploy the funds to build a new EVM compatible layer 1 blockchain using Cosmos SDK.

CoinFund led the $8 million Series A round of the decentralized cloud database Tableland.Staking service provider secured $23 million from Jump Crypto, Bybit, and Sygnum to develop a new infrastructure platform.

Image Source: iStock


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s