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This Week on Crypto Twitter: SEC Targets Uniswap, Bitcoin Runes Stir Hype

2024-04-14 19:01:02
This Week on Crypto Twitter
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Twitter buzz this week exhibited a continued fixation on the crypto industry’s never-ending flow of legal drama, as well as steadily snowballing excitement for the latest meme coin trend: Bitcoin Runes. 

On Tuesday, Avraham Eisenberg's criminal trial began in a federal courthouse in Manhattan. In 2022, the crypto trader drained $110 million from crypto exchange Mango Markets by employing a complex DeFi exploit that the Department of Justice has called “market manipulation.”

Opening statements in the trial saw both sides focus not on whether Eisenberg was behind the hack (he admitted openly to being behind it) but rather on whether DeFi transactions are subject to existing U.S. criminal law.

InnerCityPress live tweeted the court showdown, in which Eisenberg’s attorney argued that the U.S. government has no grounds to prosecute DeFi. 

Talkin: They will try to tell you USDC is a commodity, even if Mango is not. But it is not. Nor are these swaps. So, the government can't even get out of the gate on the first two counts of this indictment. And of course the trade was anonymous. But that's Mango

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) April 9, 2024

Crypto legal experts were quick to speculate that the outcome of Eisenberg’s trial could have far-reaching implications for crypto and how automated on-chain transactions—such as loans taken out from DeFi protocols—are interpreted under U.S. law. 

a lot of you REALLY don't grok how bad the Avi case could be for DeFi

imagine you get liquidated on Aave, but network was congested, the price of your collateral fell too much and thus the protocol got bad debt

do you want AaveDAO to be able to sue you to collect the debt?

— _gabrielShapir0 (@lex_node) April 9, 2024

On Wednesday, the legal heat turned even hotter, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) informed Uniswap, the Ethereum decentralized exchange (DEX), that it would face a lawsuit over securities charges. 

Uniswap founder Hayden Adams posted a defiant statement on Twitter shortly following the revelation, emphasizing that he had no intention of moving the company out of New York City and that he and his team plan to fight the lawsuit to the end, as “the future of financial technology and our industry hangs in the balance.” 

Today @Uniswap Labs received a Wells notice from the SEC.

I’m not surprised. Just annoyed, disappointed, and ready to fight.

I am confident that the products we offer are legal and that our work is on the right side of history. But it’s been clear for a while that rather than…

— hayden.eth 🦄 (@haydenzadams) April 10, 2024

Across Twitter, crypto users and legal scholars blasted the news, arguing the SEC had no grounds to sue automated, decentralized protocols like Uniswap—and that the agency had six years to work with the company or provide it guidance but never once did so. 


This SEC has continued to embarrass itself in courts with political cases that it cannot win, time and time again - and create a chilling effect on the US market.

And now they choose to go, against another legitimate operator rather than countless scams.

— Adam Cochran (adamscochran.eth) (@adamscochran) April 10, 2024

Some positive buzz came this week, though, in the form of hype surrounding Bitcoin Runes—novel fungible tokens inscribed on Bitcoin that will launch on the new Runes protocol once the Bitcoin halving occurs later this week. 

The first Runes coins set to drop that are generating excitement are, naturally, dog-themed meme coins. One, DOG, will drop to Runestone Ordinal holders next week. 


— Leonidas (@LeonidasNFT) April 8, 2024

Another, Pups, pumped over 1,000% this week before even bridging onto Runes. 

Pups is the first memecoin on Bitcoin.

Pups is the first BRC-20 airdrop on Bitcoin.

Pups is migrating to Runes with a BRC20 and Ordinal pre-rune as mint/burn:
BRC20 Pups - 77%
Rune Puppets - 23%


NFA, it’s just a json file on Bitcoin.

— Pups (@PupsToken) March 9, 2024

Some Twitter users bemoaned the necessity of another flurry of pet-themed, generally useless tokens. But even they couldn’t deny that the amount of capital likely to be deployed into Runes meme coins once they launch is all but certain to be obscene. 

Runes are the most ridiculous overhyped, impractical, unnecessary narrative of this cycle and they don’t even exist yet.

but that doesn’t matter anon the hype is real and the next set of crypto millionaires is going to be minted in less than 10 days from now.

buckle up. 😳

— faXx 🎈| 824.eth (@faxx_eth) April 9, 2024

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.