✂️ Happy Halving

Plus: ZKasino drama

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Good Morning and Happy Halving.

On late Friday evening / Early Saturday morning, the Bitcoin halving took place, with block rewards once again cut in half. This came alongside long awaited Runes and a surge in transaction fees as users battled to be some of the first inscriptions.

Let’s dive in. 👇️☕️ 


Runes Protocol Launches on Bitcoin, Sending Fees Soaring as Users Rush to Mint Tokens (3 minute read)
The Bitcoin halving was supposed to be the showstopper, but Casey Rodamor's new brainchild, Runes, stole the spotlight. Known for kickstarting a developer revival on Bitcoin with his Ordinals protocol, Rodamor's at it again. Like Ordinals, which lets you "inscribe" data into Bitcoin's satoshis to create unique assets, Runes takes it a step further by allowing users to "etch" and mint their own tokens, echoing the viral appeal of meme coins.

Just nine blocks post-halving, Runes enthusiasts shelled out a whopping 78.6 BTC (about $4.95 million) in fees to snag some of these tokens. If early frenzy is anything to go by, Runes might just be another feather in Bitcoin's cap.

Since Saturday when the original article was posted, Bitcoin fees have started to come down again, as of Monday morning.

Big Brain says it never invested in ZKasino following scam allegations (3 minute read)
Big Brain Holdings is washing its hands off any involvement with the controversial ZKasino, a decentralized gambling network accused of scamming investors right at its launch. Despite ZKasino’s now deleted announcement of a $26 million investment featuring Big Brain and others, the VC firm clapped back, stating it never invested a dime but was merely offered tokens it never received—and doesn't plan to.

Meanwhile, ZKasino's debut was anything but smooth. Over $33 million in ether was poured into the platform by users chasing a bonus, only to find out their funds were locked into ZKAS tokens, not returnable on demand as promised. Investors are now in an uproar, flooding ZKasino's launch post with over 9,300 fiery demands for their ether back.

Shiba Inu raises $12 million in token round for its new blockchain (2 minute read)
Shiba Inu, the team behind the meme coin, just raised a cool $12 million by selling their not-yet-released token, TREAT, exclusively to non-U.S. VCs. Investors include heavy-hitters like Polygon Ventures, Mechanism Capital, and Animoca Brands, among others.

Despite Shiba Inu's insistence that all investors are from outside the U.S., eagle-eyed observers noticed that firms like Mechanism Capital and Shima Capital might just have their roots in the US. Shiba Inu's head, Shytoshi Kusama, didn’t delve into specifics but clarifies that none of the investors are U.S.-based, though he's coy about dropping full entity names. The fundraising, which started a few months back and wrapped up earlier this month, saw tranches valued at $75 million, $100 million, and $200 million.

Best of Crypto Twitter

On late Friday evening / early Saturday, the Bitcoin halving smoothly took place, and this meant that long awaited Runes could finally be inscribed.

This is how most of us reacted to the halving.

And below are the first 10 Runes to be inscribed.

Elsewhere, here are some tweets we liked.

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It’s Safer to Launch Meme Coins Than Useful Cryptos (3 minute read)
Chris Dixon from Andreessen Horowitz isn't holding back on his critique of U.S. crypto regulations. He's slamming the system for giving a free pass to meme coins while stifling real innovation in the blockchain sphere.

According to Dixon, the current regulatory framework oddly favors coins with zero practical utility, as they fly under the radar of serious regulatory scrutiny. He draws a stark comparison to a dysfunctional securities market that would hype up meme stocks like GameStop while sidelining giants like Apple or Microsoft.

Dixon's take is that these regulations ironically make it easier to launch a meme coin—no need for a dev team or a business plan, just ride the wave of internet culture and watch the value spike from pure hype. He argues this creates a playground for speculators rather than innovators.

Swiss Bitcoin advocates launch campaign to include BTC in National Bank reserves (2 minute read)
Swiss Bitcoin enthusiasts are not throwing in the towel just yet! They're back with a vengeance, rallying to convince the Swiss National Bank to adopt Bitcoin into its financial arsenal. Yves Bennaïm, behind the non-profit 2B4CH, is spearheading this bold move.

Their goal is to keep Switzerland resilient amidst global shake-ups, pitching Bitcoin as a cornerstone for the country's sovereignty and neutrality. With a chat on April 20 with Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Bennaïm shared their plans to gear up for a constitutional referendum. But first – they need to gather a whopping 100,000 signatures in just 18 months. Their first attempt in 2021 didn’t quite hit the mark. Now, it’s round two.

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🦑 Kraken - Where we buy crypto with cash / withdraw profit to our bank.

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