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Woohoo! Back On Its Feet

Happy Friday, y’all. We ended the week on a positive note, with all major cryptocurrencies beginning to recover from this week’s sell-off. Crypto pundits predict the rally could continue this weekend.

After hitting a low of  $55,000 earlier today, $BTC.X rose to $58,000. $ETH.X, the second-largest cryptocurrency, jumped nearly 8% to $4,200. Other large-cap cryptos such as $SOL.X and $SHIB.X gained by double digits.

So now that the crypto investors are relieved, let’s unwrap what we have today: 

  • ConstitutionDAO fails to win Sotheby’s auction
  • Fraud related to crypto-currencies totaled $3.5 billion in 2021
  • NFL to offer commemorative ticket NFTs to fans
  • TIME Magazine will hold Ether on its balance sheet 

Check how major cryptocurrencies are looking: 

Bitcoin (BTC)
$57,910.86
+2.53%
Ether (ETH) $4,301.19 +8.49%
Binance Coin (BNB)
$582.35
+9.82%
Solana (SOL) $214.88 +11.19%
Cardano (ADA)
$1.87
+5.12%
XRP (XRP)
$1.09
+4.85%
Polkadot (DOT)
$41.14
+6.43%
Dogecoin (DOGE)  $0.2332 +5.66%
Shiba Inu (SHIB)
$0.00004885
+16.59%
Avalanche (AVAX) $109.75 +12.31%

Dear, DAO

ConstitutionDAO Outbid By “Gamestop Villain”

Last week, ConstitutionDAO was just an idea. This week, it raised over $47 million to try to acquire one of the last private copies of the Constitution. That’s serious money, but the heart of ConstitutionDAO boiled down to something less dire: fun with internet strangers.

“We had a zoom call … on Thursday night with about 14 people and then started the Discord.” said Julian Weisser, one of the project’s delegates. “I was intrigued by the ambition and opportunity to take this incredibly important and meaningful artifact and make it truly something owned by the people.”

The Discord became a hotspot for organizing the DAO, with hundreds of users pitching in to suggest what to do with the document — and that was all before the DAO even began collecting money on Tuesday night. The DAO would go on to raise over $47 million from 17,437 donors, but it wouldn’t be enough.

In a dramatic bidding at Sotheby’s on Thursday night, the DAO was outbid. It sold for $43.2 million. Liminal_warmth, an admin in the DAO’s server said: “The proper care and maintenance of the Constitution requires a reserve that is needed to insure, store, and transport the document, and we calculated the absolute max we could go to while still meeting those requirements. The opposing bidder passed that max.”

As if it couldn’t get any more dramatic, that opposing bidder was reported to be Ken Griffin, the CEO of Citadel Securities. Griffin & Citadel have ascended to villainy status among retail investors, which fault Citadel for freezing trading in various memestocks during market volatility in January 2021.

The news prompted a flurry of controversy, especially on Discord where ConstitutionDAO has amassed over 21,150 members. Hundreds of users typed out expletives directed towards Ken, citing the earlier Gamestop and Robinhood controversy. Some even indicated that they didn’t “want their money back” from the DAO and wanted to use it to “lobby Congress” or “buy Citadel.” (Both are difficult for different reasons.) 

Ultimately, the DAO losing means everybody will be getting a refund — the lesser of expensive gas fees on Ethereum (which might cost more than some people contributed.) That’s one reason why critical DAO members are coming out of the woodwork, complaining of leaderships’ lackluster communication from the team, the structure of the DAO, gas fees on Ethereum, and other factors. 

However, despite perceived shortcomings, ConstitutionDAO definitely struck a chord. It has onboarded thousands of people into the world of web3 and blockchain for the first time — and we’ll be watching this space to see how ConstitutionDAO (and its resulting drama) progresses.


Crypto Crime

This Year, The IRS Seized $3.5 Billion In Crypto-Related Fraud

A new report by the Internal Revenue Service details how the influx of crypto assets has also led to an increase in illegal crypto activities. Cryptocurrencies worth billions of dollars were seized by the IRS’s criminal unit in cases involving wire fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, etc. 

According to the report, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Unit seized $3.5 billion during the fiscal year of 2021 in cryptocurrency-related fraud cases — this represents 93% of all assets seized.

“I expect a trend of crypto seizures to continue as we move forward into fiscal year ’22,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Jim Lee. “We’re seeing crypto involved in a number of our crimes as we move forward.”

An arrest was made earlier this year of a Russian-Swedish national named Roman Sterlingov, who was accused of running the longest-running Bitcoin money-laundering service on the darknet. His online wallet, called Bitcoin Fog, took over 1.2 million Bitcoin. At the time, this was valued around $335 million. 

“The bulk of this cryptocurrency came from darknet marketplaces and was tied to illegal narcotics, computer fraud and abuse activities, and identity theft,” said the IRS.

Along with the ongoing illicit activities, the authorities have also ramped up their efforts against financial crime. The Criminal Investigations Unit “has prioritized training and the deployment of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and open-source intelligence (OSINT) technologies to unravel complex cyber-financial criminal schemes,” the division said in its report

The infrastructure package signed into law by President Joe Biden earlier this week also gives the IRS more powers to monitor cryptocurrency transactions. Under the law, crypto brokers will be required to report transactions to the IRS in order to provide tax authorities with better visibility into virtual currency transactions.


NFT Mania

Watch NFL Games With NFT Tickets Now

Two months after announcing the launch of the NFT marketplace on Dapper’s Flow blockchain, the National Football League has decided to mint tickets of select NFL games as NFTs. NFTs, a type of digital asset that can be purchased or sold like any other asset but does not have a physical form, have been gaining popularity across many industries. These digital collectables can be viewed as certificates of ownership for physical or virtual assets.

The NFL announced today that fans attending select games would be able to receive a complimentary virtual commemorative ticket. For that, fans will have to go to the licensed NFL Ticketing Network vendors like Ticketmaster, StubHub, and SeatGeek to claim their NFTs. 

Only attendees of the game will receive virtual commemorative tickets. Currently, these can be viewed on NFL.live-nfts.com.

“​​Leveraging the emerging world of NFTs is a new and exciting way for us to create additional value and to further engage with fans who attend select games by providing a virtual commemorative ticket,” said Bobby Gallo, senior vice president of NFL club business development. 

The NFL will begin distributing NFTs to qualified fans who attend a contest featuring the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day.


Betting on Meta

TIME To Hold Ether

Since Facebook’s “Meta” announcement, “metaverse” has become a buzzword, referring to the intersection of virtual and augmented reality, virtual real estate, and online gaming/experiences. TIME Magazine hopes to capitalize on the latest trend now. 

Through a deal with crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital, TIME will launch a list of the TIME 100 companies for the metaverse and issue a weekly newsletter dubbed “Into the Metaverse.”

TIME will hold $ETH.X on its balance sheet as a part of the deal. This is not the company’s first foray into blockchain technology. The magazine has held $BTC.X since April 2021.

“Over the next decade, the metaverse will become an increasingly important part of the world economy; our physical and digital realities are already becoming hard to distinguish,” said Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital. 

The 98-year-old publication will host educational resources in the metaverse in December through a new web page called ‘TIME for Learning.’ Galaxy Digital will offer its expertise to explain the possibilities of the metaverse.

TIME President Keith A. Grossman and Galaxy Digital Communications Director Eva Casanova did not disclose the deal’s financial terms but said that it would last about six months.

Metaverse is seen as the next generation of the internet, providing immersive experiences in a virtual world where people from all over the world can connect, play, watch, and trade. In a recent report, Morgan Stanley called metaverse “the next big investment theme.”