This week, some of the the biggest names in the space were bearing out the crypto winter differently — Coinbase with revenue falling short of projections, Binance launching its own chain that some were speculating might someday pose a threat to Ethereum. Meanwhile, Bakkt, in its effort just to get to the starting line, may try some regulatory arbitrage between state and federal, and ConsenSys may not have an easy time as it seeks capital. Plus, spats went public between Crypto Twitter personalities and between a regulator and an exchange.
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This Week’s Crypto News…
Tucked away in this Reuters piece is an estimate of Coinbase’s 2018 revenue — $520 million — which is below the $1.3 billion that Bloomberg reported in October the company was projecting for the year.
BNB tokens have existed so far on Ethereum. No longer. The Ethereum-based coins, which have a $3 billion in market cap, will be burned and token owners will have their balances migrated over to the new Binance Chain. Binance’s traction (the exchange did $78 million in profits in Q1, according to the Block) does raise the question of whether or not the Binance chain could someday pose a credible threat to Ethereum. Check out the Unchained episode on Binance Chain and BNB.
Ever in scrappy startup mode, Bakkt, which has been waiting for approval from the CFTC for its Bitcoin futures product, is contemplating seeking a New York State financial license to mollify federal regulators.
“ConsenSys brought in just $21 million in revenue in 2018, mostly from its enterprise consulting business, according to fundraising documents reviewed by The Information. The company has been seeking a valuation of at least $1 billion, a level that some prospective investors believe is too high given the company’s revenue and expenses, these people said.” As Ryan Selkis put it, “ConsenSys did $21 million in 2018 revenue with 900 employees. Crosstown rival DCG cleared $100 million with fewer than 100 total employees.”
In case you haven’t been following the Twitter hostilities between Craig Wright, the man who has claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, and Twitter profile Hodlonaut, here are the two best summaries of the kerfuffle, which led to a number of exchanges, including Binance, Kraken and Shapeshift, delisting BSV. And Vitalik used this as an opportunity to explore free speech.
In a speech, Cmr. Peirce said that staff-provided guidance is often given informally, behind closed doors, in what she called the SEC’s “secret garden.” And that puts startups at a “fatal competitive disadvantage.” (Listen to the Unchained episode featuring Cmr. Peirce.)
It’s worth reading the two versions of what transpired between them. (Here’s the link to Bittrex’s statement from last week.) Bittrex says it hasn’t ruled out reapplying for a BitLicense, but after seeing the bad blood between the two here, I would guess that probably won’t happen until there’s massive staff turnover at either Bittrex or NYDFS.