WuBlockchain Weekly: CPI Falls as Expected and Top10 News
Colin Wu . 2024-05-17 . Data

1. U.S. April CPI YoY at 3.4% link

The United States released its April non-seasonally adjusted CPI with a year-on-year rate of 3.4%, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous value of 3.5%. The April non-seasonally adjusted core CPI had a year-on-year rate of 3.6%, also meeting expectations and slightly lower than the previous value of 3.8%. The core CPI for April retreated as expected to 0.3% on a monthly basis, marking a new low since December last year. Following the slightly lower-than-expected CPI data, traders remained steadfast in their bets on the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates in September and December.

2. Powell: Further rate hikes unlikely link

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated that the U.S. economy is performing exceptionally well with a very robust labor market. He noted that inflation showed no further progress in the first quarter and projected GDP growth to continue at a rate of 2% or higher. Powell expressed uncertainty about the persistence of inflation, indicating that restrictive policies might need more time than expected to mitigate inflation. He mentioned that the next course of action is unlikely to be a rate hike and is more likely to maintain policy rates at their current levels. Powell acknowledged the public’s frustration with high prices but emphasized that significant progress has been made in addressing inflation.

3. CME to launch Bitcoin spot trading link

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) plans to introduce Bitcoin spot trading, aiming to capitalize on the surge in demand from Wall Street fund managers for the cryptocurrency sector this year. According to three individuals directly familiar with the negotiations, CME has been in discussions with traders who wish to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on a regulated market. While the plan is not yet finalized, if implemented, it would signify a significant step for a major Wall Street institution into the digital asset industry.

4. Wisconsin Investment Board holds $99M in BlackRock IBIT link

SEC official filings disclose that the State of Wisconsin Investment Board currently holds $99 million in the BlackRock Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) and $64 million in Grayscale’s GBTC, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s 13F filings. Established in 1951, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board is responsible for managing and investing Wisconsin’s public pension and other trust funds. Its primary mission is to ensure long-term stability and growth for Wisconsin’s public employee retirement systems and other entrusted funds.

Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas tweeted that state pensions purchased the BlackRock IBIT (Bitcoin spot ETF) in the first quarter. Typically, large institutions refrain from buying for about a year until ETFs gain more liquidity, making this a positive sign that more institutions may join as institutions often act collectively.

5. U.S. Senate votes to overturn SEC’s controversial crypto accounting rule link

The official website of the U.S. Senate indicates that the Senate voted 60 to 38 to overturn the controversial cryptocurrency accounting rule issued by the SEC. The SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121) required companies to record held cryptocurrency assets on their balance sheets. Critics argued that this requirement was overly stringent and effectively hindered major custodial institutions and companies from holding cryptocurrency assets on behalf of clients.

6. El Salvador mines 473.5 BTC using volcanic energy link

Since September 2021, El Salvador has mined 473.5 BTC worth approximately $29 million, powered by geothermal energy from the country’s Tecapa volcano. The official government entity “Bitcoin Office” reports that the Salvadoran government treasury now holds 5,750 BTC valued at around $354 million. Earlier this year, El Salvador installed 300 processors to mine BTC using volcanic energy, with 1.5 megawatts out of the state-owned plant’s 102 megawatts dedicated to cryptocurrency mining. Additionally, the “Bitcoin Office” of the country states that mining firms Foundry USA, AntPool, ViaBTC, F2Pool, and Binance Pool have pooled their resources to compete for rewards to launch a blockchain that can verify Bitcoin transactions from the power plant over the past three years.

7. Vitalik proposes EIP-7706 for a new type of gas for transaction calldata link

Vitalik has proposed a new enhancement proposal, EIP-7706, aimed at introducing a new gas type for transactions involving calldata. This proposal introduces a new transaction type that provides max_basefee and priority_fee as vectors, assigning values for executing gas, blob gas, and calldata gas. It modifies basefee adjustments to handle these three types of gas using the same mechanism.

Currently, the primary arguments against increasing Ethereum’s gas limits, reducing calldata costs, or increasing blob counts revolve around the theoretical maximum size of Ethereum blocks being already too large to handle further increases. However, EIP-7706 addresses this by introducing a separate fee market for calldata, significantly reducing the theoretical maximum calldata size of blocks. Basic economic analysis indicates that, on average, the cost of calldata will also decrease substantially under this proposal.

8. Lido co-founder and Paradigm secretly fund new competitor Symbiotic to Eigen Layer link

Insiders have disclosed that Lido’s co-founder and Paradigm are secretly funding a new venture named Symbiotic, which is poised to compete in the restaking arena. Paradigm is also an investor in Lido. According to internal documents obtained by CoinDesk, Symbiotic will allow users to restake Lido’s stETH along with other popular assets that are not native to Eigen Layer. Symbiotic is developed by the team formerly known as Stakemind, specializing in staking services. Several teams involved in the emerging restaking ecosystem have indicated discussions about integrating with Symbiotic, including AVSs and those building liquidity restaking services on Eigen Layer. The main distinction between Symbiotic and EigenLayer is that users will have the ability to directly stake any Ethereum ERC-20 token standard assets into Symbiotic. Sources have mentioned that when Paradigm approached Eigen Layer co-founder Sreeram Kannan for investment, Kannan declined and chose a16z instead. Paradigm informed Kannan of their intention to invest in their competitors.

9. Uniswap founder urges Biden associates to reverse crypto stance link

Hayden Adams, the founder of Uniswap, stated that Hillary’s campaign focus on red states instead of swing states was a serious misjudgment by the Biden camp. They believed that cryptocurrencies would not be significant in the 2024 elections, allowing the SEC and Senator Elizabeth Warren to wage a comprehensive war on voters and funding. Biden has almost no time to salvage the situation. Anyone closely associated with him or the Democratic leadership should emphasize the severity of this issue and urge an immediate reversal of his stance on cryptocurrencies (public support/plans and restrictions on the SEC + Warren).

10. DOJ indicts brothers for MEV-related fraud and money laundering link

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced the indictment of two brothers on charges of fraud and money laundering, involving cryptocurrency assets valued at $25 million. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Commentators have pointed out that their case involves exploiting vulnerabilities in the open-source mev-boost-relay maintained by Flashbots, through which they allegedly stole $20 million from numerous MEV (Miner Extractable Value) bots. Many mev-boost relays have vulnerabilities that make such attacks feasible.

During their scheme, the brothers took various measures to conceal their identities and lay the groundwork for hiding the stolen profits, including setting up shell companies, using multiple private cryptocurrency addresses, and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges.

The indictment states that these brothers studied computer science and mathematics at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. They planned for months and executed their scheme within seconds, gaining unauthorized access to pending private transactions through fraudulent means, and using this access to alter certain transactions and obtain victims’ cryptocurrency.

Lawyer Collins Belton noted: “This is the first indictment related to MEV. Parsing it now, there’s a lot of language that applies generally to MEV attacks and other MEV activities (IMO). Perhaps reassuringly, false signatures are key here.”


  • Decentralized prediction market Polymarket completed a $45 million Series B financing. link
  • Humanity Protocol raised $30 million at a $1 billion valuation in its latest funding round. link
  • Bitcoin-native application platform Arch Labs secured $7 million in funding. link
  • Bitcoin lending protocol Zest announced a $3.5 million seed round financing. link
  • Web3 music startup Star Nest completed a $6 million Pre-Series A financing. link
  • Solana ecosystem DEX project Zeta Markets raised $5 million with Electric Capital leading the investment. link
  • TON ecosystem STONfi announced new funding on social media platforms. link
  • Tokenized reinsurance RWA platform Re secured $7 million in funding, with Electric Capital as the lead investor. link
  • Web3 gaming platform Param Labs raised $7 million in financing. link
  • Blockchain agriculture SaaS solution company AfriDex raised $5 million in seed funding. link
  • DeFi protocol Shogun developer Intensity Labs completed a $6.9 million seed round financing. link
  • Cryptocurrency proprietary trading firm Raven announced a $2.7 million seed round financing. link
  • Zero-knowledge project Hylé raised $2.6 million in new financing, led by Framework Ventures. link
  • Web3 AI platform ChainML completed a $6.2 million seed extension financing round. link
  • UXLINK secured a new round of financing from SevenX Ventures, INCE Capital, and HashKey Capital. link
  • Glacis Labs raised $2.1 million in seed round financing, with Arrington Capital and Paper Ventures as joint lead investors. link
  • DePIN L1 protocol Peaq raised $20 million in fundraising through CoinList. link

Learn more, check out crypto-fundraising.info.

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