Wall Street Unplugged
Episode: 925July 27, 2022

Why the Coinbase vs. SEC saga is a huge deal for crypto

Frank is on vacation for the rest of the week, so I (Daniel) am behind the mic.

Later today, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates—most likely by 75 basis points… but what Fed Chair Jerome Powell says during his press conference afterwards will have a greater impact. (I’ll cover the market reaction on tomorrow’s show.)

I also dig into Coinbase’s insider trading drama, including the bad blood between Coinbase and the SEC. I explain why you need to pay attention to this story… and highlight a stock that will benefit from the fallout.

Inside this episode:
  • What to expect from today’s Fed meeting [2:18]
  • The bad blood between Coinbase and the SEC [7:00]
  • Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal comes out swinging [20:55]
  • This stock should benefit from the SEC vs. Coinbase fallout [29:25]
Transcript

Wall Street Unplugged | 925

Why the Coinbase vs. SEC saga is a huge deal for crypto

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street right to you on main street.

Daniel Creech: It’s Wednesday, July 27th. And good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever you are. You are turning into the Wall Street Unplugged podcast. Hello, and welcome. I am your guest host. Your transitory host. You’re fill in guest behind the microphone for the one and only Frank Curzio, who normally does this. Founder of Curzio Research. I am Daniel Creech, Senior Research Analyst here at Curzio Research. The one that works alongside, behind, and for the one and only Frank Curzio, who is down south on a much needed family vacation. Miami? No. Further. The Bahamas? Nah. Even further. Cuba? No. South and Southeast. Frank is down in the Dominican Republic, partying it up, living it up with his family on some resort. I looked at a picture of it. It’s gorgeous down there. So, good for him. He needs some R&R down there, but I will steer the ship here behind the podcast today and tomorrow.

Daniel Creech: And for all you paying subscribers, I will also get to do Frankly Speaking on Friday. Today, Wednesday, the best day of the week, normally Frank and I are going back and forth on headlines and fun stories and things. Later this afternoon, the Federal Reserve will meet and then Jerome Powell, Fed chair, will hold a press conference and discuss the raising of interest rates today. I’ll get to that in just a second. And the key there, and I’ve seen and I’ve read articles, and I’m sure you have two out there if you’ve paid attention to any of this. What he says in the press conference following today’s 2:00 or 2:30 announcement will be much more important than the actual raising of interest rates they do today. Because the markets are forward looking. Everybody’s worried about a recession. The GDP print comes out or a revised print comes out on Thursday.

Daniel Creech: It could be the second quarter of negative growth, technically meaning a recession. Frank joked about that and pointed out how when things don’t go your way, you simply just move the goalpost. Change the definition. And we’re in a world where you can change the definition of damn near anything right now. So the consensus is the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by 75 basis points today. And that’s basically baked into the market. There’s a small chance and some people are betting that you might get a 1% interest rate rise today. That’s very low odds. Anything could happen. I doubt if they would shock that if I had to look in and shake my eight ball or rub into the crystal ball, I guess, or genie in the lamp type stuff. Family episode, I got to keep it clean here. I would say yes, they do the 75 basis points.

Daniel Creech: I think that Jerome Powell’s going to continue the path of, “Hey, we’re going to keep looking at data. We’re going to be data dependent.” Yada, yada, yada. But when next month’s inflation reading comes out for right now, that’s going to be signal, but he doesn’t know that so he’s just going to have to play and walk the tightrope of data dependent. We’re going to be able to change our mind. We’re going to do everything we can. We’re going to throw the kitchen sink at it. We’re going to get inflation down, because families are hurting and all that, which is all true. However, they’re just in a very, very tight spot because they can’t raise rates too much or they’re really going to hurt the economy and everything else. So, it’s a very, very tight corner they’ve painted themselves into I’ll cover a little bit more of that in tomorrow’s episode after I listen to or go through some of the press conference and things, but that’s not the most important thing I want to talk to you about right now.

Daniel Creech: That is important. Don’t get me wrong. But we have to wait a little bit on that. I want to talk to you about the drama going on and the back and forth between Coinbase and the Security Exchange Commission and several, or at least a couple other groups involved. And for once, we get to discuss… Frank and I try to pick fun topics here and there on Wednesday, and for once, we get to discuss the Wall Street drama, the Kardashian version, the reality TV version of this without involving Elon Musk just yet. Now, there is tweets here, and of course we’ve got that fiasco, but this is kind of interesting. And to shape this, there’s a couple Wall Street Journal articles that I’m going to refer to. The title of the first one is The US Files First Crypto Insider Trading Case.

Daniel Creech: So, the first is always exciting, and there’s a first for everything, as they say. Cryptocurrencies are in this gray area from an enforcement or legal standpoint. And what I mean by that is, a cryptocurrency isn’t technically a security like a stock. Like, you buy Microsoft or McDonald’s or something like that. It’s this digital asset. Well, what rules, what regulation does that fall under? Who gets to enforce those? And remember, I want you to keep something in mind here, as I go through this story and saga. We’re all humans. We all have things to prove. We all have emotions. We all have opinions, egos, et cetera. And when you mix that with government entities and power, you’re going to get chaos, silliness, and probably a rigid and rugged system. Not necessarily a smooth flowing process. Keep that in mind because these things tend to last.

Daniel Creech: And when I say these things, these stories, these litigations, the legislation to move from a thought to a rule, for rules to be clarified, securities to be clarified, what is deemed this and that, registration, all that kind of stuff… This is all going to take time. And there’s no final answer yet. I’ll get to who’s going to be hurt the most. Obviously, Coinbase. Look at their stock going from … Pull up a chart here. At the crypto highs of last year, when Bitcoin was making new highs near 70,000, everything crypto related was at least moving up or most likely was. Coinbase was give or take 350 a share, and now it’s around $50 a share. So, that’s significant. And they’re obviously going to be hurt because they’re in the crosshairs right now. And this is going to continue. I will say, one of the companies, I think that will benefit from all this…

Daniel Creech: I don’t see how they don’t benefit from the coming regulation, the coming crackdown. And it’s an old friend of ours and I’ll get to that. I’m trying to tease it a little bit. Just stay with me here for a few moments. But again, even the company I think is in a perfect position to benefit is not going to benefit overnight. These things take time. These processes need to play out. So all that being said, let’s get to the Coinbase and fun times between the SEC and the DOJ. Yes, the Department of Justice is even involved. To start things off, I want to show you how long this has taken and how these processes get drawn out. I’m going to go back all the way to September 7th, 2021. Ugh, almost a year ago.

Daniel Creech: CEO, Brian Armstrong of Coinbase went on a tweet storm. Now, tweet storm, for everybody out there that’s not into social media, such as I, even though I follow it for work. A tweet storm is just a lot of tweets to get your point or opinion across because when you tweet out something or post something, there’s only so many characters allowed per tweet. So, if you’re going to put the lyrics to a song out there, it’s going to take several instead of just one long one because you got to break it up. This tweet storm is 20 different tweets or something ridiculous and not all of them are that important, so I’m not going to call all of them to your attention. However, numero uno, you want to start with an opening good line to get people’s attention and that’s exactly what Brian Armstrong does here. Remember, this is last year. This is September 7th, 2001.

Daniel Creech: Number one, “Some really sketchy behavior coming out of the SEC recently. Story time.” Hmm. Okay. That’s tweet number one. Number two, “Millions of crypto holders have been earning yield on their assets over the last few years. It makes sense. If you want to lend out your funds, you can earn a return. Everyone seems happy.” This is in relation to Coinbase Earn, which was allowing people to hold their cryptocurrencies there. They lend them out, earn a return like a yield. Think of a savings account or a CD, not in terms of the legality, in terms of the earning of interest on it. And Brian Armstrong was upset, and the remainder of this tweet comes to the point and says, “Listen, we were outgoing. We were reaching out to the SEC, to everybody else and saying hey, here’s what we’re going to do. It’s already being done in the crypto world and you saw some crazy yields being generated.”

Daniel Creech: And they said, “We’re just doing this. And we’re trying to register with you …” Not register, excuse me. “We’re trying to let you know and do this by the book. We want to do this right and legit. We’re just offering this because it’s a product that people want.” Well, long story short, the SEC said, “If you go through with this, we’re going to sue you.” And they wouldn’t give clarification. This is according to Coinbase, Brian Armstrong and his tweets. The SEC wouldn’t give clarification to what they exactly needed to do in order to get this lend … Excuse me, earn program off and running. So, it got scrapped. I point this out because, again, we’re all humans. We all have grudges where we can hold grudges. We shouldn’t, but we do. You want to prove points.

Daniel Creech: And this back and forth has been going on. So, things are not good between the SEC and Coinbase anyway. And Brian Armstrong calls them out and says that he SEC was one of the only groups that wouldn’t meet with him when he went down to Washington to meet with legislators and all that kind of stuff because this is after they went public. Now, fast forward. So, you know things aren’t great. The SEC doesn’t like Coinbase, Coinbase doesn’t like the SEC. They’re not registered as a typical exchange like the New York Stock Exchange or anything like that. Which comes with a lot more regulations and/or disclosures and cost. So that’s one big thing here too. Coinbase is newer program, newer exchange, excuse me. Hell, digital assets are all new.

Daniel Creech: So coming from that, and they’re already upset the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the 22nd of July, this year, simply states The US Files First Crypto Insider Trading Case. Now, this gets interesting. “Federal authorities brought the first ever cryptocurrency insider trading case Thursday, accusing a former Coinbase…” Dang it. “Global Coinbase manager of tipping off his brother and a friend with confidential information and signaling in a comparison case that the aggressive new push to police digital tokens.” Now, prosecutors in Manhattan filed wire fraud charges, et cetera, et cetera. We don’t need to go over that. Insider trading is the big deal here. “The SEC’s classification of the digital tokens as unregistered securities could have wide ranging effects on the cryptocurrency industry and expose Coinbase and other platforms to new legal liabilities and regulatory requirements.” That’s a fancy way of saying a lot more higher costs to operate your business. And why is that important? That’s important because the exchange business is tough by itself.

Daniel Creech: What do I mean by that? Coinbase and other exchanges, your typical exchanges, simply give a platform to investors to buy and sell different asset securities, whatever you want to call them. Well, they take fees. They take trading fees. They take listing fees in some sorts of the assets that are on their platform. And that’s their main source of revenue in most cases. So I get on, I buy XYZ. I sell XYZ. You’re paying commissions here and there. The assets that you’re buying either paid commissions or pay listing fees to get on there. That’s the revenue generator for the exchange. Okay, that’s good. If you get a lot of buzz, you get a lot of people trading cryptos or digital assets or whatever that is, and you get a lot of users on there buying and selling, that generates a lot of fees.

Daniel Creech: If you get more listings, depending on how your revenue is structured there, that brings in more fees for the exchange. That’s all good. However, it’s a tough business. Why? Because fees go down over time because of competition. Look at your typical E-Trade or Scott trade or brokerage firm, Fidelity and such, on the stock side. Many, if not all the major ones right now, you can buy and sell stock for free. How do they make money? Well, they make money in different areas. They have asset management, they have advisory services where you charge fees and ongoing things. Not consulting. That’s not the right word, excuse me. But advisory fees, more the less. Managed accounts, things like that. To my knowledge, Coinbase doesn’t have that yet. And that is a big problem. Not a problem in a sense that they can offer it or they don’t. Just because what I’m talking about here is the legal liability and regulatory requirements is just going to add to cost of already a tough business.

Daniel Creech: Now, evidently these alleged insider traders netted about one and a half million dollars in illegal profits. Then one gentleman… Let’s see. This is good. You got to come out swinging. And Damien Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern district of New York says, “Our message with these charges is clear. Fraud is fraud is fraud. Whether it occurs on the blockchain or on Wall Street.” The big deal here and the alleged crime is the individual at Coinbase was one of a handful… I don’t want to say handful. A few people with knowledge. They had advanced knowledge of timing and public announcements of the assets on the exchange plan to list. Now, this is key because as I told you, it’s a tough business. If you’re a small group of people and you know token XYZ is going to be listed on Coinbase soon, if you go in front run that, or if you know that knowledge and you go and buy these tokens, it’s not a guarantee, however, the odds are really, really, really good once these hit a platform to where you have millions or a lot more users that maybe didn’t know about this asset in the past, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Daniel Creech: So, if you get this rush… And you have a combination of all kinds. You have some people that are going to do quite a bit of research and due diligence. You have other people that are just going to trade because they like to trade and it’s fun. It’s gamification type deal and the adrenaline. You have a couple of people that are just going to buy or invest or trade off of hearsay. And, “Hey, did you hear about this token XYZ? It’s going to revolutionize the world. It’s going to save the planet. It’s going to kill all the bad guys.” Et cetera, et cetera. Whatever it does, it’s going generate buzz and people are going to go there and look at it. And the odds of that are going up. The odds of the price there is going to go up.

Daniel Creech: So, this is how they made their illegal one and a half million dollars, because they would just front run. They would buy all these tokens. And it’s interesting. The Wall Street Journal points out that some of the trades drew public scrutiny. “Back in April, a Twitter account well known in the crypto community flagged the purchase of hundreds of thousands of tokens about 24 hours before they were named in the public listing announcement for Coinbase,” it said. And now, this never looks good. And again, hey, you’re innocent until proven guilty in my eyes, but we’re going to have some fun with this on this podcast because, “On May 11th, the exchange’s security operations director emailed Mr. Whi…” W-H-I. However you say that. I’m butchering it.

Daniel Creech: “Telling him to attend an in-person meeting, prosecutors said. The day before the meeting, he bought a one way ticket flight to India scheduled to depart the next day.” Now, again, I’m not saying you’re guilty, but boy, does that look good on your end. You want to have a meeting about anything? Sure. And I’ve been in those meetings. Not for insider trading, of course. But I’ve been called down to the principal’s office, so to speak. And you, “Did you say this? What are you doing?” And da, da, da. It’s just part of it. But you got to be careful with your one way ticket purchases. “This insider trading case is the latest signal that federal prosecutors in Manhattan are making an enforcement push on alleged insider trading schemes and digital assets. Prosecutors last month charged a former employee on the NFT marketplace with using insider information to profit off NFTs.” Nonfungible tokens. Big part of the crypto community. We’ll set that aside for another day.

Daniel Creech: What’s interesting here is in another pushback, Coinbase faults SEC enforcement efforts. This is on page two as well of the Wall Street Journal last Friday. The takeaway here that I found really interesting is, you want to think about, okay, what happens? We’ll go through a few scenarios here, and I’ll lead in with this because the head of the SEC, Mr. Ginsler, has floated the possibility in recent months of working with cryptocurrency issuers and trading platforms like Coinbase to create exemptions to certain SEC requirements. That’s key because whether you’re a fan or not of crypto, it’s a massive industry. And yeah, three trillion I think is all the cryptos got up at the peak near last November. Now, I think it’s down to a trillion or even less maybe. But it’s a massive asset class already, and it’s still young, and it’s still new.

Daniel Creech: The sweeping notion that, hey, the SEC comes down and says Coinbase is illegally or non-compliantly listing assets that should be deemed as securities or stocks as we think about them. And therefore, they have to shut down. Okay. End of story. Roll up the sidewalks. We’re going home. That, let’s say is a percentage or has a percentage of happening, but it’s very, very, very small. I’m not personally worried, and I could be totally wrong. I’m not worried about the SEC coming down and saying, “You can’t do business anymore.” Because it’s such a big industry, and it’s already got billions of dollars, and there’s a lot of other people that would be hurt, other industries, developers, things like that. The ecosystem is building out, the economy around digital assets is continuing to build out and will continue to build out. Because the biggest dog in the crypto world and the leader of the pack and the ultimate numero uno, Bitcoin, is not even a security in Mr. Ginsler’s eyes from the SEC. He said that in the past.

Daniel Creech: And that would fall under more of a commodities trading platform or security. So now, that’s one scenario I don’t think will happen. Okay. You’re just got to shut down. But for Coinbase and other exchanges… And Coinbase is the big one here, because it’s publicly traded and it’s in the limelight. What if the SEC just said, “Okay, now you have to register all these as securities and you have to pay these fines.” And what’s typical on Wall Street and between investment banks and/or trading platforms, the like, is a sense of, “Hey, we’re suing you or we’re charging you with this. We’re going to settle. You’re not going to admit any wrongdoing. You’re just going to pay a lot of fines, and we’re just going to wash our hands and go through the revolving door, and we’ll see in a few months.” That’s the way the game is played a lot.

Daniel Creech: Doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to always be played that way. But the path of least resistance is that revolving door, is that just admit to no guilt, pay big fines. However, that would crush Coinbase. And with Bitcoin getting hit and being around 20,000 versus 70,000, you’re going to have less people actively doing that. People are getting scared. You’ve had these blowups in stable coins, and you’ve had this ripple effect in these absolutely terrible bear market, which is now bear market, but a market crash from November of last year. That would be terrible for Coinbase. And it’s not a surprise and you got to give him credit, famous short seller and wonderful analyst and he’s on Twitter, he’s on CNBC at different times, but Jim Chanos has been short. I believe he still is, but it was very recently when I saw him give a quick interview or a post about being short Coinbase.

Daniel Creech: So, I’m sure he’s absolutely cleaning up on this stock as it drifts lower. Even though it rallied along with the crypto market a little bit ago, it’s down, I think 20% over the last few trading days as these SEC and lawsuits and alleged come out. Either way, Coinbase is not in good shape out of that. And to keep the drama going, on the same day, July 22nd, Coinbase chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, put out a blog post. And I remember talking to Frank as I opened the podcast or this story with Brian Armstrong’s tweet storm from last year. I was surprised, and I remember talking to Frank on a Wall Street Unplugged podcast. It is good to see people stand up for themselves. It is good to see leaders and things go out there and state your case and be bold and all that kind of stuff.

Daniel Creech: However, you want to continue to understand the game and the environment you’re in. And this is for all investors as well. The odds are stacked against you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play. It just means you got to pay attention more. And it’s one thing to stand up and fight back and voice your opinion and all that. That’s great. And I always would back that. You want to be cautious though, because you have a fiduciary responsibility and nobody is… Man, I can’t not bring him up. He’s in so much drama. But Twitter. Everybody likes or hates Elon Musk, but you could argue if he’s good or bad for shareholders as the stock price has done well over time. So, results don’t lie in that aspect. But you want somebody to stand up. Except for the fact that you got to remember who you’re taking on. And you’re taking on the SEC and you’re fighting huge government agencies that have unlimited power, so to speak, unlimited funds, and they can ruin your business model quickly.

Daniel Creech: I mean, that is a huge risk. You don’t want this. And as I pointed out, this has been going on back and forth. Forget that it was over lend. There’s obviously a lot of issues and a lot of strife and a lot of bad blood between Coinbase and the SEC right now. And you have, to make matters worse in my opinion, the chief legal officer comes out with a Coinbase blog, and it’s titled, “Coinbase Does Not List Securities, End of Story.” Well, hell, that sums it up, Mr. Chief legal officer. Why didn’t you just tell the SEC that before it went in the Wall Street Journal and your stock drop down to $50 a share? All right, let’s move on here. “We’ve said it before, but given today’s events…” He’s talking about the SEC charges. “It bears repeating.” Following…”

Daniel Creech: Now, listen to this. This is where he’s trying to point out… This is one of those read between the lines. This is a good angle here, in my opinion, because he points out, “The Department of Justice investigation into a former Coinbase employee misuse of confidential Coinbase information related to listing decisions.” Just talked about that. “The Security and Exchange Commission, the SEC, separately filed security fraud charges against the individual related this wrongdoing.” Now, there’s nine digital assets involved in this case. And it’s funny because the couple of articles in the Wall Street Journal, and this blog post here doesn’t list the nine. But I searched around, and CoinDesk, which is a good news source or website for cryptocurrencies, has them listed here and it’s… And to be honest with you, and this doesn’t mean anything because I’m not an expert on crypto, and I don’t know all the cryptos out there, but AMP, RLY, DDX, POWR, those are a couple of the ticker symbols, and I haven’t heard of any of them.

Daniel Creech: And again, that doesn’t matter, but I just found it interesting that I had to actually go look, and it wasn’t referenced at all in any of these. But, “The SEC alleges that nine digital assets involved are securities.” Here’s the in-between the lines. This is a good point. “The DOJ reviewed the same facts and chose not to file securities fraud charges against those individuals. And as the CFTC commissioner, Caroline Pham,” or fam, however you say that, “stated, ‘This is a striking example of regulatory by enforcement.'” Now, you might ask what’s the CFTC? That’s the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Remember, we got a lot of agencies involved in this. You got the Department of Justice, DOJ, you got the SEC, the Security Exchange Commission, and now you got the CFTC, Commodity Future Trading Commission.

Daniel Creech: Which from a commodity standpoint, think of gold. The Bitcoiners or even Ginsler has said that Bitcoin could be regulated by the CFT. Or, he didn’t say that, but he’s hinted at that. Because if Bitcoin is deemed a “commodity,” then it would fall under the enforcement or jurisdiction or however the hell you want to put it, painted in between the lines of the CFTC. The blog post of the chief legal officer of Coinbase points out that obviously, they respectfully disagree with the SEC and agree with the… They disagree with the SEC and agree with the CFTC commissioner saying that it’s just regulation by enforcement. Seven of the nine assets that the SEC listed in the charges on the alleged insider trading… So seven of these nine are listed on Coinbase’s platform.

Daniel Creech: “None of these assets are securities,” the blog reads. “Coinbase has a rigorous process to analyze and review each digital asset before making it available in our exchange.” Listen to this kicker. “A process that the SEC itself has reviewed.” Now, again, trying to play middle of the road here and being on the fence post and not take sides, because I want to try to just give you the facts of what’s going on here, or explain this drama as it unfolds. That is a hell of a line though. A process that the SEC itself has reviewed. Now reviewed is one thing. That’s not saying it signed off on anything. The SEC. That’s not saying it approves or agrees with, that’s just saying it’s reviewed it. But that’s an interesting piece of information, and I think worth knowing more about. What do they think about it, and why aren’t they saying whatever they think? Maybe we’re just not smart.

Daniel Creech: Maybe it’s above our pay grade. Us young, individual investors. Our non-pointy shoes, non-elitist, non-powerful people here. We’re just running the rat race. That needs to be dug into more. The process includes an analysis of whether assets could be considered a security. Again, evidently this is all the process that the SEC’s already reviewed and considers regulatory compliance and information security aspects of the asset to be explicit. The majority of assets that we review are not ultimately listed on Coinbase. So, they’re trying to take the high road and say, “Listen, we’re going through all these over and over. We’re going through tons and tons of assets. We take a very select few of them because we want to do what’s right for the individual. We want to follow the rules as best we can, even though they’re not clear. They’re clear as mud.”

Daniel Creech: They’re trying to follow this, but they still want a tightrope. They don’t want to say their securities. They don’t want to register and all that kind of thing. So, you can see how this is a tangled web of mess. They go on to say, “We have cooperated with the SEC’s investigation and the wrongdoing charge by the DOJ. But instead of having a dialogue with us about the seven assets on our platform, the SEC jumped directly to litigation.” This goes back, and why I brought it up from almost a year ago when Brian Armstrong was upset and called out and said, “Listen, we’re trying to be proactive. We’re telling you what we’re going to do. And instead of you asking or telling us to clarify, you simply are saying if we go through with this product, we’re going to be sued.” That is not a good situation or back and forth to make capitalism and technology advance and the good for everybody.

Daniel Creech: “We worry today’s charges suggest the SEC has little interest in the most fundamental role of regulators.” Now, that’s just a good tongue in cheek sign off, handshake, middle finger is all that stuff is. I say all that because I want you to pay attention to this as it unfolds because it’s going to cause a lot of volatility in digital assets, Bitcoin and everything else. Not that all these digital assets are tied together. Don’t misunderstand. But it is important about that. Because if you see bad news come out, it’s going to get hit and the entire industry could go down. Now, I’ll touch more on this tomorrow, but Coinbase, if you’re in that you want to be careful. Because there’s a lot of shares sold sort … Sold short, excuse me. So, there’s going to be a lot of pressure to the downside.

Daniel Creech: If I had to play it, I would look to sell any rips and use it as a trading vehicle, not a long term investment because of what’s at stake here. Who do I think will benefit from all this over time is Overstock. Now, why is Overstock going to benefit over time? Because they have a… Well, they, started Medici Ventures with blockchain assets. Their big flagship product is tZERO. Yes, the tZERO platform that the Curzio Research security token trades on. And what Overstock has done… Overstock is the eCommerce platform, where you buy furniture and all kinds of stuff. We’re not involved in that. What they did was they took their assets, and they partnered, and they created this partnership with Pelion. And I’m probably butchering that as well.

Daniel Creech: But long story short, Overstock took their blockchain tZERO Medici investments, put them in a category over here and is letting the manager of this partnership, Pelion, take it with it and run. So, Medici Ventures and Overstock held approximately 42% and 41% respectively of tZERO’s outstanding common stock. That’s the big takeaway. By buying Overstock, you get exposure to the tZERO platform. I say all that because as you have more regulation… And tZERO is in the same boat, and they’re trying to do SEC compliance, and you’ve got to look at your listings and things like that. But what is bad news for digital assets and being registered as securities on some of these exchanges, I don’t see how that doesn’t benefit a security token platform that’s at least trying to say, “Hey, we have more disclosures. We’re going by the book or the regular SECs and things of that nature.”

Daniel Creech: Overstock is going to be extremely volatile. That’s another chaotic. We’ve talked about the wild ex former founder and CEO, Patrick Byrne, several times. We’ve written about it and even recommended it at times. So, it’s been a black eye most of the time. But keep this on your radar. I believe the 42 and 41% that I just pulled was from their March quarterly report. I believe that Overstock reports earnings tomorrow. So, I’ll go through that. Depending on what time it is, I don’t know if I’ll be able to talk about it on tomorrow’s podcast. But anyway, keep that on your radar because overall, I think the security token platform will benefit in time and it might take longer than I want, or we would like if you’re long that, to really benefit from that unfolding.

Daniel Creech: All right, hopefully, you were entertained and enjoyed the backstory of the SEC versus Coinbase. We’ll talk more about it in the future as it unfolds. Programming note, I will be here tomorrow, like I said, so I’m going to talk about the Fed funds decision, the interest rate hike and the following press conference, as well as some earnings and the difference between the markets and the economy. Let’s see here. Yeah. I think I’ve covered about everything I want. So, a little longer than normal. I’m crossing that 30 minute mark. So, you guys have a great, wonderful day. I can’t wait to do this again tomorrow. Questions, comments, feedback, good or bad, daniel@curzioresearch.com. That’s daniel@curzioresearch.com. Cheers.

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged is produced by Curzio Research, one of the most respected financial media companies in the industry. The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its host and guests. You should not base your investment decision solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility.

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Daniel Creech is a Curzio Research analyst with over a decade of experience. He writes on macro trends, large- and small-cap stocks, and digital securities. He’s a regular contributor to Wall Street Unplugged, Curzio Crypto, Curzio Research Advisory, and The Dollar Stock Club.

Editor’s note:

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Episodes about Digital Assets

Why Gen Z is captivated by crypto

Joe Davide shares Gen Z's perspective on stocks and crypto... what he's learned from the current bear market... his process for researching new crypto projects (and some of his favorites)... and why FTX's implosion proves we need regulation.

What we need for crypto to rally

Frank Holmes of HIVE Blockchain breaks down the FTX collapse... how he avoided massive losses from Celsius' bankruptcy... what we need to see for crypto to rally... and his upcoming crypto conference. Plus, the coming recession could last a while.

Disney’s CEO should be fired immediately

How a split government will impact the markets... Why FTX's bailout is terrible for the crypto industry—and we need regulation now... Plus, Disney's pathetic earnings—and why CEO Bob Chapek should be fired immediately.

David Evans CEO, TCG World

This is not a game: Metaverse CEO busts the myths

TCG World CEO David Evans clears up some metaverse misconceptions (hint: it's about a LOT more than just gaming and social media). He shares the company's plan to launch by year-end... and why understanding NFTs is critical for users.

The big tech growth story is dead

Alphabet and Microsoft's dismal earnings... How a strong U.S. dollar is hurting these stocks... And the fundamental shift killing the big tech growth story (except crypto). Plus, 2 strategies to profit from this bear market rally.

Why ‘hope’ is a horrible investment strategy

Andrew Horowitz of The Disciplined Investor explains why the Fed is hell-bent on hiking rates... Why you shouldn't pin your hopes on the Fed... and his advice for this market. Plus, Andrew's new fetish could make money in the metaverse.

More Wall Street Unplugged

Two big opportunities for profits into 2023

Why energy stocks are soaring despite lower oil prices... Why Russian oil price caps are a bad idea... And how to play the sector. Plus, why Dick's (DKS) is crazy to raise guidance... and how to profit from retailers' shortsightedness.

Disney just replaced one bad CEO with another

Why Disney made a bad choice naming Bob Iger as CEO... and why analysts refuse to downgrade the stock. Plus, what Best Buy's results say about consumer spending... and why we'll see some crazy deals this Black Friday.

Retail is hurting—except one group

What Target's dismal results say about the economy... Why Lowe's CEO is full of s*** ... And why it's a great environment for one group of retailers. Plus, these hated traders are about to have their heyday.

A ‘red wave’ won’t save your portfolio

How wild U.S. politics have become... Why a "red wave" won’t be enough to rescue the markets... Why there's zero chance of a soft landing... And Goldman Sachs' alarming forecast. Plus, the perfect strategy for a 2023 recession.

Don’t buy into Powell’s ridiculous claim

The market's reaction to the latest rate hike... Why the Fed won't pivot... Powell's absurd comment... And why you need to brace for further downside. Plus, what one pawn shop says about the economy... And the coal company printing cash.