Dispatch #136: Is the US’ Crypto Loss the World’s Crypto Gain?

3 min read
Dispatch

In this patch of your weekly Dispatch:

  • MiCA voted in 🎓
  • Starbucks leads brand NFTs ☕
  • Bhutan has been stacking 🪙

The Big Idea

Hello Europe!

It hasn’t been the best year for American crypto. Even before FTX, the unclear regulatory regime had companies looking away, but 2023 has seen things get worse.

That was on full display this week as Congressional Republicans dragged SEC Chair Gary Gensler in front of the House Financial Services Committee for an oversight hearing largely about his antagonistic approach to crypto.

Whatever is going on in Washington, companies aren’t waiting to find out how it resolves. For one, Chinese state banks continue to court crypto companies to bank in Hong Kong.

More importantly, the European Parliament on Thursday passed MiCA – thelandmark Markets in Crypto Assets regulation which aims to create a framework for the issuance, and provision of services related to crypto-assets.

According to European Union lawmakers, the new unified regulations on cryptocurrency in the 27 member states will end the industry’s ‘wild west’ era. We tend to agree – our co-founder Antoni Trenchev told CoinDesk that “MiCA makes Europe fit for the digital age and will foster innovation and fair competition.”

In short, there is a clear realignment happening, and the only question is how it all shakes out.

The Latest In…

NFTs

The NFT news cycle this week was a truly weird combination of things:

  • Starbucks released a new collection with a pre-sale just for web3 loyalty members.
  • A second collection of Trump Trading Cards sold out.
  • Sotheby’s said to auction NFTs from the seized 3AC estate.
  • Soulja Boy is accused of promoting NFT scams. Soulja Boy off in it, oh.🎶

The Latest In…

Sovereign Crypto Adoption

To be honest, the narrative of countries adopting Bitcoin never got much farther than El Salvador. This week, however, gave life to those who think that there has been more happening behind the scenes.

  • The Bank of Russia announced that they’re working on a bill to allow crypto to be used in export-import deals (as a way to get around the global dollar system).
  • Bhutan, meanwhile, was outed as having invested millions in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptos via their sovereign wealth fund.

Is there more happening than meets the eye? 👀

The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story

The State of Stablecoins

The US finally introduced stablecoin legislation this week (although it was the same bill that Democrats wouldn’t go for last year). Stablecoins have had a bit of a run recently, with their total market cap down 23% from $161B to $124B. The biggest losers have been BUSD – which was officially regulated out of existence – and USDC. The total supply is now close to where we were two years ago in May 2021. Will the trend continue?

The top four aggregate stablecoin supply has declined from a peak of $161B to $124B (-23%).

Hot Topics

What the Community Is Discussing

It was written.

Never not trying to explain the markets.

Is she missing something?

What to Watch for Next Week:

  • Will the US Stablecoin bill get any traction?
  • Will any other big bank announce a stablecoin and get Twitter slammed?
  • Will there be a Consensus pump?

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