Biggest Threat To Digital Freedom!! 😨

US politicians have become increasingly sceptical of TikTok and what is being done with user data.

This has led to calls from many US politicians to ban TikTok in the country and a bill supposedly to that end currently stands a good chance of becoming law. But, if you think this attempt to ban one of the world’s most popular apps sounds alarming, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

That’s because there’s a lot more to this ‘Ban TikTok Bill’ than meets the eye and, if it does indeed become law, then the consequences for freedom in the United States will be enormous. The bill I’m referring to is the infamous ‘RESTRICT Act’ and a lot of people are getting upset about it, with good reason.

Contained within the RESTRICT Act are some deeply troubling provisions that could see American citizens hit with huge fines or even lengthy jail sentences for doing things online that their government disapproves of. What’s especially troubling is that there is significant wiggle room for the government to label all sorts of online activities, including the use of cryptocurrencies, as potentially illegal.

For today’s video, we’ve dug through the RESTRICT Act to bring you some of its… shall we say… highlights. If you use the internet, this is one you need to see.

You can watch that video here

📈 Crypto Market Forecast 📈

It’s going to be a busy week, and Wednesday is going to be an especially busy day. That’s because it’s the day that Ethereum completes its Shapella upgrade, allowing for ETH unstaking by validators. It’s also the day that the CPI for March will be published. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also the day the Fed will be publishing the minutes from its March meeting. As a cherry on top of the week, on Friday the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is going to transition some of its futures contracts to a new interest rate.

Here’s what all of that could mean for the crypto market.

When it comes to ETH unstaking, the effects this could have on ETH and the crypto market are unclear. On the one hand, a successful Shapella upgrade could make institutional investors more confident about ETH. This could lead to more buying, which would pump ETH’s price. On the other hand, the sell pressure from those unstaking ETH could be very high, and that would crash ETH’s price. Some research suggests the initial sell pressure could total over 2B USD.

At the same time, there’s a risk that the SEC will consider ETH to be a security after unstaking is allowed. As many of you will know, former SEC director Bill Hinman said ETH was not a security because it was ‘sufficiently decentralised’. However, he said this when ETH was still a proof of work asset. This is technically still the case, but it could change after ETH unstaking is allowed. Consider that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has stated that proof of stake cryptos are securities.

Regarding the CPI print for March, be on the lookout for the core CPI number, not just the headline number. Core CPI is what the Fed has been watching, and it seems to be getting stuck at just over 5%. If either headline or core CPI stay the same or suddenly increase, you can expect to see a crash. Alternatively, if either headline or core CPI suddenly decrease, you can expect to see a rally. I suspect headline CPI will decline, while core CPI will stay high.

This ties into the Fed minutes of the March meeting. These minutes are going to be extra significant, because the meeting took place just days before the banking crisis began. If the minutes reveal Fed officials are getting nervous about financial stability, it will be bullish. If they’re still focused on inflation, it will be bearish. Jerome mentioned in his press conference that the folks writing the minutes had their work cut out for them.

Last but not least, we have the CME’s interest rate switch. For context, the CME is the largest futures exchange in the world. From Friday, it will be transitioning futures contracts to a new interest rate, specifically from the LIBOR rate to the SOFR rate. All you need to know is that this change could result in market volatility. Fitch Ratings warned about this in 2021, and recent articles by the Financial Times suggest it’s still a risk. Let’s hope it’s not a black swan.

🤔 Decentralisation Theatre? 🤔

Last week, layer-2 scaling network Arbitrum’s meaningless governance proposal (AIP-1) became the talk of the town, as it pushed the crypto community to reconsider how much power decentralised autonomous organisations (DAO) really have when it comes to governing a protocol or network.

The community, visibly upset by the actions of the Arbitrum Foundation, accused the team of using the DAO to engage in decentralisation theatre. These concerns were affirmed by the Foundation’s lacklustre initial response to the backlash.

Specifically, Arbitrum Foundation member Patrick McCorry’s ‘clarification’ of the proposal actually being a ‘ratification’ of the Foundation’s initial setup, instead of a ‘grant request’, seemed to mock the concept of community-led governance.

As noted by CoinDesk, the movement of funds before the proposal was even passed effectively reduced the Arbitrum DAO to a rubber stamp to be used by the Foundation. In the face of such criticism, the Arbitrum Foundation made a quick decision to revoke its earlier “governance proposal” and submitted two new proposals (AIP 1.1 and 1.2) that would make governance "more accessible" and decentralised instead.

However, is this amended proposal meaningful, or another attempt at decentralisation theatre?

Well, let’s begin by re-examining the purpose of a DAO itself. DAOs fundamentally exist for one reason - facilitating the democratic governance of a decentralised protocol or network.

DAOs are fundamentally an unincorporated association of persons (token holders) working towards a common goal. For this group of people to actually qualify as a ‘DAO’, they need to be both ‘decentralised’ and ‘autonomous.’

As shrewdly pointed out by Delphi Labs counsel Gabriel Shapiro, the words “decentralised” and “autonomous” serve as adjectives for the noun “organisation” in “Decentralised Autonomous Organisation.”

That is, they do not refer to the technology used by the organisation, but instead refer to the qualities of the organisation itself. This means that the mere use of decentralised and autonomous technologies such as smart contracts and public blockchains does not make a group of persons a ‘DAO.’

Instead, the essence of whether a particular entity is a DAO lies in its social form and function. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Webster’s definitions of “decentralisation” and “autonomous.”

“Decentralisation” is defined as the non-hierarchical dispersion or distribution of power between parts of a larger structure. In practice, the decentralisation of power allows each part of the structure to keep checks and balances on the other.

With regards to the definition of “autonomous”, Webster describes it as the power of a structure to self-govern and be free from extrinsic powers or control. This is different from 'automation' or 'automatic,' which refer to the lack of human intervention in a process.

While the autonomy of a DAO is facilitated by the use of censorship-resistant technologies such as public blockchains, to be truly autonomous it still needs to abide by the rules it has set for self-governance.

Having said that, the Arbitrum Foundation’s earlier movement of funds was a clear violation of the DAO’s supposed autonomy and decentralisation, by virtue of a few actors being able to unilaterally move funds without checks or regard for governance processes.

However, AIPs 1.1 and 1.2 seem to achieve this to some effect. Specifically, AIP 1.2’s proposal to lower the governance proposal threshold from 5 million ARB tokens to 1 million allows for greater access to the governance of the network, while AIP 1.1’s proposal to curb the foundation’s powers (i.e., “smart contract-controlled lockup” of the remaining 700M ARB tokens) and increase those of community members (i.e., transparency reports and budget approvals) ensures the necessary checks and balances needed to facilitate self-governance.

On the face of it, it does appear that the Arbitrum Foundation is making an effort to correct its previous mistake. Overall, while this incident definitely shook the trust of the Arbitrum community, it served as a wake-up call to projects about the importance of respecting community votes in a decentralised setting.

📊 Personal Portfolio 📊

BTC 36.05% | ETH 31.37% | USDC 17.37% | USDT 6.95% | USD 3.51% | ATOM 3.40% | DOT 1.45%

📈 NEW Coin Bureau YouTube Channel 📈

If you are a fan of the Coin Bureau then you’ll know that we focus on coin overviews, news, fundamental analysis, macro economics, beginners guides and much more. However, there is one thing that is missing from all of this and that is crypto trading content!

That is until today…

That’s because Dan Cheung has joined Team Coin Bureau and heads up our dedicated crypto trading channel! He’s a verified funded trader and on this new channel, you can join Dan on his epic crypto journey, where he shares his technical analysis, top trading tips, price levels to watch and thoughts on the markets!

👉 Show Dan some love and give him a sub! Subscribe to Coin Bureau Trading!

🔮 Video Pipeline 🔮

  • AI Jobs Study: Will we all be unemployed?
  • Dollar Decline: Fact or Fiction?
  • Commercial Real Estate Collapse: Time to panic?
  • CitiBank’s Bullish Crypto Report: Institutions about to ape in?
  • US Government vs DEFI: Problems brewing?

🏆 What's New At This Week? 🏆

Monero Review: Everything You NEED To Know!SimpleSwap Review 2023: Crypto Trading Made Simple!Accointing Review 2023: Crypto Tax Simplified!

That’s all for this one and thanks as always for supporting our work.

Team Coin BureauDisclosure: Authors may own cryptoassets named in this newsletter. These are unqualified opinions, and a Coin Bureau newsletter, is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as investment advice. Please consult with your investment, tax, or legal advisor.

Guy Turner

Guy is one of the founding members and face of the Coin Bureau. Like many of us, he is just an average joe who became “crypto curious” back in 2013. After recognising the potential of blockchain technology, Guy set off on a mission to create crypto educational content, working with others to start the Coin Bureau website and released our first video on YouTube in 2019. You can learn more about him in his Who is Guy? blogpost.

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