Sometimes the stories just line up across a week — like this week. This News Roundup is unofficially crypto themed. Unofficially because it didn’t happen on purpose, but there was just too much exciting or must-know crypto news that couldn’t be ignored.

The Business Buzz

When crypto goes to the stock market (part 1). On Wednesday the much-anticipated direct listing of Coinbase took place. Coinbase is a crypto exchange platform that was founded in 2012. And its IPO is being heralded as (even more) proof of crypto’s — particularly bitcoin’s — legitimacy in the modern financial world. Shares for Coinbase were set at $250 each prior to the market’s open. By the end of Wednesday’s trading day, that price grew to an impressive $328. Coinbase’s market value after its public debut? Around $85 billion. Some analysts view that valuation as far too high, given that the company only pulled in revenue of $1.14 billion in 2020. However, the recent bitcoin rally has been good to Coinbase, which reported that it expects revenue for Q1 2021 to be $1.8 billion with profits between $730 million and $800 million. Bitcoin also responded to Coinbase’s stock market performance, surging to more than $64,000 on Wednesday.

Pull up a chair for Chairman Gensler. The Senate confirmed Gary Gensler as the new chairman of the SEC this week. Gensler is a Wall Street veteran, having worked for 18 years at Goldman Sachs. However, he’s viewed as tough on big business, a reputation he earned during his time as chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Obama. Perhaps more importantly for today’s markets, Gensler is also known for being knowledgeable on crypto matters. He’s taught blockchain courses at MIT since 2018 while also serving as an advisor to the Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative. Gensler could be key to regulations the SEC forms regarding cryptocurrencies and similar digital assets.

The Private Market

When crypto goes to the stock market (part 2). This week saw a unique new crypto offering on Binance, a crypto exchange platform. Tesla tokens made their debut on Monday. Essentially, a Tesla token is a crypto offering that’s tied to the value of Tesla’s stock. And it’s settled in Binance USD, a stablecoin that’s pegged to the US dollar. Tesla tokens give investors many of the same benefits as directly investing in the company — the value will rise or fall as Tesla’s stock rises or falls, and Binance will honor any stock splits that happen. Of course, token holders won’t have voting rights or similar privileges often provided to investors. So why would someone want to buy them? For one, it’s an easy way for global investors to reap the benefits of Tesla’s value. Because Tesla stock is only available through the Nasdaq, it isn’t easily purchased by many investors outside the US. But Tesla tokens are — for the most part. Currently, investors in Turkey, China, and the US cannot purchase the tokens. 

But Binance didn’t stop with just one stock market token. On Wednesday, the company also announced a Coinbase stock token. It also said that it would add further stock tokens according to market demand.

Please take a number. Crowdfunding platform Republic had to adopt an unprecedented online queue for its site on Tuesday. The reason? An overwhelming amount of interest in the CERE token offering on Republic Crypto. In fact, there was so much interest that the Regulation D token offering hit its max goal of $26.3 million in just 35 minutes. The Cere token is the underlying feature of the Cere Network, a decentralized data cloud. Cere is looking to create the ecosystem that next-gen fintech and DeFi will need for data storage and transactions — and it’s betting that a blockchain-based system is the way to go.

Ok, so I’m a little late with this one, but it’s still important. Continuing the theme of crypto and digital assets, China recently announced the creation of purely digital — but legal — currency. The digital yuan is controlled by the country’s central bank and is functionally the same as physical currency. However, it does allow users’ spending habits to be tracked and monitored. In test cases for it, expiration dates were even programmed into the digital yuan, encouraging consumers to spend it before it disappeared. Some experts worry that this new form of yuan could be used to avoid US sanctions. Per the Wall Street Journal:

 “The digital yuan could give those the U.S. seeks to penalize a way to exchange money without U.S. knowledge. Exchanges wouldn’t need to use SWIFT, the messaging network that is used in money transfers between commercial banks and that can be monitored by the U.S. government.” 

Could a digital US dollar be on the horizon? It’s being researched.

The Fun Stuff

Bring some color to your life. The aptly named Twitter account @everycolorbot is filling Twitter feeds with color. It’s steadily working through every color in the RGB spectrum, and it tweets the hex code and swatch for each shade. I think some of my personal favorites are 0x18557a, 0x7e4b73, and 0x0f703d.