How ya doing on this fine Thursday? Hopefully awesome. This is Taylor, CEO of Hedgehog, the platform for seamlessly managing your entire crypto portfolio.

There's a giveaway at the end of every newsletter. Answer my question of the week for a chance to win a bundle of Hedgehog accouterments. Yeah, we're fancy like that. Imagine me twirling the mustache I don't have 🎩

So, what's up with crypto?

Fraud is already illegal

General gut-check: How's the industry doing, a couple months after the FTX blowup sent shockwaves throughout crypto? Well, things are chugging along. The blocks keep chaining, if you know what I mean. Bitcoin and Ethereum have both more than recovered. Even Solana is back on the upswing (or at least, the network hasn’t crashed in a bit). But prices aren't everything, and the mood is still subdued.

Increased regulatory scrutiny and its consequences present a big question mark, which has everyone feeling a tad nervous. There's optimism in the air again, but it's decidedly cautious optimism. Arguably that's an improvement, since "overcautious" has never been an accusation faced by the crypto industry. I don't fully oppose the "move fast and break things" paradigm, but maybe… break fewer things.

From my perspective, guidelines from the government are not just inevitable, but welcome — provided the SEC and CFTC don't squash innovation in crypto, which feels like a Big If. Generally though, businesses need clarity about what is and isn't allowed, in order to operate with confidence and create realistic products.

And yes, I think some level of regulatory oversight is necessary to protect customers from predatory businesses that are scams at heart. Consider this biting commentary on the Celsius bankruptcy:

Part of the problem at Celsius was that (1) its business model was bad and (2) it lied about it. [...] If you find yourself messaging your boss to say things like "our business is very Ponzi like" and "we have negative equity so we're using customer funds to buy worthless coins so our founder can cash out," no! Stop! If you have written sentences like that, don't send them to your boss! Print them out and get yourself a lawyer and a whistle-blower deal! My lord. This is not legal advice but what are you even doing?

The whole thing would be funny if it weren't so depressing how many people got ripped off by Celsius' misrepresentations of its operations. However, I feel the need to point out… fraud is already illegal? So, I dunno. Clearly something isn't working.

The regulatory turmoil hits close to home for Hedgehog, considering our recent banking woes. I wrote a blog post explaining what happened and how we've managed to keep moving forward anyway.

Tldr: When in doubt, quote Armageddon. That'll get your spirits back up. "The president's advisors are, um... wrong... and I'm right."

Quick Hits

Tldr: Kinda funny how "things that actually exist" is a specific sub-sector of crypto. In the same vein…

Tldr: I had to include the subtitle for this one because the term "phygital" is way too good. Let's get phygital, phygital. I wanna get phygital. Let's get into phygital. If a rainbow and a fidget spinner had a child, that child would take one look at a phygital and think, "Well golly gee, you exist, and I love you."

Speaking of NFTs and also real actual things, friend of the company David Nichols tried out the Starbucks NFT experience, called Starbucks Odyssey:

The others won't take you too long — but that "Try our Signature Drinks" mission will take you 5 weeks to complete. You have to drink one signature Starbucks drink to complete this part.

Once you complete a journey — you'll earn enough points to get a Stamp NFT.

You can check out the Nifty Gateway marketplace here.

Looks like there's only 5000 editions available of each — so only 5000 people will be able to complete journeys and earn stamps.

Read David's full walkthrough for more details. These Starbucks NFTs are going for hundreds of dollars already!

Tldr: I exclusively get my coffee mugs from the Starbucks in Hawaii. Soon, I'll get all my coffee NFTs from the digital Starbucks in *waves hands* The Cloud.

That's all for today, folks. Giveaway time!

Question of the week: Tell me about your favorite coffee mug, your most hated coffee mug, or that one mug that your significant other refuses to throw out.

Reply to this email with your answer for the chance to win three of these prize options:

  • insulated stainless steel water bottle with Hedgehog logo
  • official Hedgehog team baseball cap
  • snazzy Hedgehog socks
  • cozy Hedgehog hoodie
  • comfy Hedgehog baseball tee

Let's get phygital,
— Taylor

To get future newsletters delivered straight to your inbox every week, sign up here! Check out past newsletters in the complete archive.