As you’ll hear from this week’s Unchained, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with MakerDAO. The way I felt researching the system reminds me a bit of how my brain wouldn’t turn off with the questions about Bitcoin when I first learned about it years ago. MakerDAO is so complex, in fact, that we’ll do a part 2 with founder Rune Christensen next week (which also makes us feel better about the fact that our sound check lasted longer than a typical episode).
On Unconfirmed, Pantera Capital’s Dan Morehead explains where he thinks all this institutional money everyone’s been talking about is.
As for this week’s crypto news, it was probably going to come to a head at some point: Kik is taking on the SEC over whether utility tokens are securities. Maybe we’ll finally get an answer to the question that has been hanging over the head of the industry since the ICO wave began in 2016.
Meanwhile, development in the decentralized world continues apace with wrapped Bitcoin coming to Ethereum, debates over governance, and money flowing into staking.
This Week’s Crypto News…
Could Kik vs. SEC become the next Howey test? Kik plans to fight an expected enforcement action from the SEC over its initial coin offering. One of their defenses is that the 1934 Securities Exchange Act states that the definition of a security “shall not include currency.” Bloomberg’s Matt Levine had a nuanced and yet obvious take: Leaving aside the scams and get-crypto-rich-quick schemes, it’s not clear that true utility tokens should be considered securities.
In the same way SatoshiDice once accounted for a good chunk of transactions on Bitcoin (at least according to founder Erik Voorhees), gambling is taking off on EOS and Tron — to the point where EOS Dapps now account for 55% of USD trading volume on all Dapps. Though these blockchains don’t typically garner a lot of respect, their transaction volume might.
In an episode of “doesn’t this technology just blow your mind sometimes?” wrapped Bitcoin comes to Ethereum, potentially giving a boost to the tiny sector of decentralized exchanges. Here’s an explainer of how it works.
There was a lot of talk about governance this week, with Ethereum researcher Vlad Zamfir arguing for a more expansive view of dispute resolution on chain. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin had an interesting response in which he also mentioned that he thought more bitcoins were lost to excess transaction fees due to Bitcoin not scaling in time than in Mt. Gox. Speaking of governance, in this tweet storm, CoinFund’s Jake Brukhman mulls the merits of on-chain vs. off-chain governance.
Staking-as-a-service company Staked has raised a $4.5 million seed round, led by Pantera Capital. It takes up to 10% of the earnings from customers’ staked tokens and currently supports Tezos, Dash, Decred, Livepeer, Factom and EOS. It also plans to enable customers to put their assets on lending platforms such as Compound, Dharma and dYdX (all past guests on Unchained).