Whale, whale, whale, fancy meeting you here! Do you come by often? Of course you do, it's your inbox. Hey, this is Taylor, CEO of Hedgehog. We make it easy to track and manage your entire crypto portfolio in one place.
Every week I ask a giveaway question, and one respondent wins a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. Recently I wore my 10-gallon hat, so a certain Señor Sassmaster wrote in:
As a cowboy of the first degree you should know that proper root beer is called Sarsaparilla. So just to be a bit sassy and a pain in your sarse, I'll be having whiskey; neat. Maybe I've already had a few. It's noon somewhere, right?
I don't think this fella is concerned about whether or where it's noon. By contrast, shoutout to the several now-dry alcoholics who wrote in! You guys rule, keep up the good work. Sarsaparilla for all!
Usually I make you read till the end for the giveaway question, but this week let's do it right away. Gotta keep you on your toes! What song would you play on the saloon karaoke machine? Reply to this email with your answer for the chance to win a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
This just in: US Treasury Department admits that "most virtual currency activity is licit"! (Vocab tip, licit = legal.) Okay, Treasury's comment was in the context of sanctioning mixer Tornado.cash, calling the privacy protocol a money-laundering tool. Admittedly, it can be used to launder money, though it also has legitimate purposes and is the epitome of cypherpunk. If you are a regulation nerd at all, you gotta read this section of the announcement:
Treasury has worked to expose components of the virtual currency ecosystem, like Tornado Cash and Blender.io, that cybercriminals use to obfuscate the proceeds from illicit cyber activity and other crimes. While most virtual currency activity is licit, it can be used for illicit activity, including sanctions evasion through mixers, peer-to-peer exchangers, darknet markets, and exchanges. This includes the facilitation of heists, ransomware schemes, fraud, and other cybercrimes.
Phewwww. Nonprofit crypto policy group Coin Center strongly protests this move:
A smart contract is a robot, not a person. It is software that resides on the Ethereum blockchain. If a contract is credibly decentralized then the original authors of that contract could be hit by a bus and the service would continue to work. As such, today’s action does not seem so much a sanction against a person or entity with agency. It appears, instead, to be the sanctioning of a tool that is neutral in character and that can be put to good or bad uses like any other technology. It is not any specific bad actor who is being sanctioned, but instead it is all Americans who may wish to use this automated tool in order to protect their own privacy while transacting online who are having their liberty curtailed without the benefit of any due process.
I think I speak for all of us when I say, there is a lot going on here. If I may repeat myself: Phew.
Tldr: You know what currency most illicit activity occurs in? Cash. Where does cash come from? A magic printing machine. Where do you find this magic money machine? "DEFINITELY NOT IN THIS TORNADO" — US Department of the Treasury
CoinDesk published a wild story about a Solana-focused DeFi developer who created a bunch of sockpuppet accounts to seem like he had a big squad of allies all building different products in his particular corner of the Solana ecosystem. "Ian wrote in March 2022 that he had created 11 'anonymous founders that are actually me.'"
Why go to all this trouble? He wasn't ripping people off directly, it was more convoluted than that: "I devised a scheme to maximize Solana's TVL," he wrote, "I would build protocols that stack on top of each other, such that a dollar could be counted several times." He got carried away with the greed and glory of the bull market. Many such cases, but this sounds like a particularly egregious web of lies.
Tldr: Tsk, tsk, tsk. I can already hear the voice of this developer's grandma, warbling with trepidation, "What's Solana?" For shame.
Update on the Solana hack I talked about last week: "Solana wallet provider Slope has been identified as the source of a hack in which attackers stole an estimated $8M in USDC, SOL and other crypto assets." Things got dramatic: "At the height of the hack on Tuesday night, "the attackers were stealing 1,000 SOL tokens – worth about $39,000 — per minute."
As long as digital heists like this are possible, they will keep happening, period. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Be careful where you store your crypto.
Tldr: Why didn't anyone just cut the hardline to the mainframe? Also, get yourself a hardware wallet.
Quick hits, the last bits:
Crypto really reminds me of the early days of Wall Street, or even earlier with joint-stock company crazes in Europe. So much hucksterism, extravagant cons — and train robberies to match.
Tldr: Hackers gonna Hack. Robbers gonna Rob. Roberts gonna Robert.
Friend of Hedgehog @okahnisis commented, "It should be up to the artist and this could be a good use case of smart contracts and multi chain (not cross chain) functionality." He added, "I don't think a blanket policy is appropriate for 'NFTs' in general. they have different utility and purposes so the IP should respect that."
Tldr: My wife has a blanket policy. The policy is pretty simple though: She gets all the blankets.
Before I bid you adieu, I must say that the giveaway question at the top was a trick! Bwahahahaha. All of you who made it to the bottom now get the real question.
What’s the healthiest thing you can do to live to 150 years old?
My answer? Well, the first thing that pops into my head is "solve climate change." Outside of that, I’d probably eat a lot more salad. Like… a lot more.
Not a robot, or a lizard,
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