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This Week on Crypto Twitter: Bitcoin Runes Mania and More Ethereum Legal Drama

2024-04-28 18:01:48
This Week on Crypto Twitter
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Crypto Twitter this week was dominated by the industry’s new hottest topic, Bitcoin Runes—plus a steaming hot serving of legal drama in the form of a preemptive lawsuit filed by Ethereum software giant against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Ever since Bitcoin’s latest halving, Runes—a new Bitcoin-based protocol that can support fungible tokens like meme coins—has surged in popularity. DOG, a new Runes meme token, was airdropped on Wednesday to holders of the Runestones Ordinal project. The distribution to tens of thousands of wallets immediately made DOG the most popular Runes token yet created. 

Check your wallets!

100,000,000,000 $DOG has been successfully airdropped to Runestone holders.

Shoutout to giga-chad volunteer community member @gm7t2 for flawlessly executing it.

The journey to $1 has begun 🐕🚀🌕 pic.twitter.com/XPL7q6m7VG

— Leonidas (@LeonidasNFT) April 24, 2024

Runes fever took such hold over the cryptosphere this week that activity on the protocol quickly surged to dominate the entire Bitcoin network.  

BREAKING: Runes accounted for 72.7% of all Bitcoin transactions in the past 24 hours

— Ord.io (@ord_io) April 24, 2024

Some crypto users bemoaned the spike in Bitcoin network fees caused by the Runes frenzy. But other protocol supporters remained steadfast in their conviction that hype around the new class of tokens was only just beginning. 

overwhelmed by the number of absolute mid curve takes from people who are fading runes.

“sit on your hands for now see how it goes”

“all these tickers suck”

“the fees are too high for meme coins”

bruh you will be buying rune 1 from me for 100x sooner than you think.

EZ game.

— faXx 🎈| 824.eth (@faxx_eth) April 24, 2024

Over on Ethereum, bullish news was found this week in the eye-popping, multi-million dollar sale of yet another CryptoPunk NFT. Punk #635, an ultra-rare Alien Punk, sold on Thursday for a whopping $12.38 million to an anonymous collector. 

The sale marked the third occasion within weeks that an Alien Punk had traded hands for north of $11 million. 

CryptoPunk 635, the Alien originally owned by Larva Labs and sold at the Christie’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in May 2021, has just been acquired by an anonymous collector in a deal brokered by Fountain. We’re honored to have played a small role in this sale. Congratulations… pic.twitter.com/glisy3MZpv

— Fountain (@Fountainxyz) April 25, 2024

It wasn’t all smiles for everyone in the Ethereum NFT ecosystem, however. On Friday, Yuga Labs, the multi-billion dollar company behind the once-dominant NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club, laid off an undisclosed number of employees. In a message to employees, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Greg Solano, conceded that the company has “lost its way.” 

gm, really tough day today. I am hellbent on transforming yuga and getting us back to our roots, and that means making hard decisions. by far the hardest is saying goodbye to some talented team members. here was my message to the team this morning. pic.twitter.com/gBkoNf2iK3

— Garga.eth (Greg Solano) 🍌 (@CryptoGarga) April 26, 2024

The biggest bombshell of the week, however, came on Thursday, when Ethereum software giant Consensys revealed in a proactive lawsuit against the SEC that the federal regulator is allegedly seeking to sue the company and potentially declare Ethereum to be a security in the process.

Today, Consensys filed a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The goal behind this is to ensure that Ethereum remains a vibrant and indispensable blockchain platform and to preserve access for the countless developers, market participants, and institutions…

— Consensys (@Consensys) April 25, 2024

Industry leaders immediately took to Twitter to vocally support the suit, castigating the SEC for potentially attempting to effectively outlaw Ethereum after several other American government entities have indicated that ETH is not within the SEC’s jurisdiction. 

I know ETH is a commodity. You know ETH is a commodity. The CFTC knows ETH is a commodity. It's time for the SEC to admit that it still knows ETH is a commodity too. No more games. Thank you to @Consensys for standing up against the SEC's unlawful expansion of authority. https://t.co/8w7A4PBwUK

— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) April 25, 2024

Hayden Adams, founder of decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap, likened the suit to a battle cry for the crypto industry to finally take an aggressive, collective stance against the SEC in a Lord of the Rings-esque battle. Uniswap revealed earlier this month that it, too, is being sued by the SEC for alleged securities violations. 

Sue the Exchange Commission

Thanks @ethereumJoseph and @Consensys for fighting back and defending our industry

We're tired of the overreach and harassment https://t.co/yDTjjiaJWl pic.twitter.com/vtWxqKxv9n

— hayden.eth 🦄 (@haydenzadams) April 25, 2024

Disclosure: ConsenSys Mesh is one of 22 investors in Decrypt. Edited by Ryan Ozawa.