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Coinbase 2022: Record loss and a spy story
The rough waters of the Coinbase sea. Blockchain gamers have a ball. What are the VCs chasing? Will the next crypto bull run start in Asia? Crypto murder mystery. Blur is still bossing the NFT play.
Hello y'all. This is The Token Dispatch. How does one spin $15k into millions? No SEC talk today. None of that grim stuff. Not today. No. Instead, we talk about earnings and making money. Lots of money. Forget the balance sheets. Focus on the earnings. Okay. Dispatched battling mid-week blues, and asking all our subscribers - Do you …. ?
Coinbase dropped their Q4 earnings. Hello investors.
🙂 The good part
Analysts estimated $588M revenue, but Coinbase reported net revenue of $605M.
Up 5% from $590 million in the third quarter.
Analysts estimated a loss of $2.52 a share but Coinbase adjusted loss of $2.46 per share.
Coinbase shares have risen significantly in 2023 so far, up 78%.
Subscription and service revenues, the area of focus - grew 34% quarter-over-quarter to $283M in Q4 - Accounted for nearly 50% of overall revenue in Q4.
Traction in products such as Staking, Earn, and Custody generated over $200 million in the fourth quarter.
Interest income for Coinbase continues to climb, with revenue of $182.2 million in Q4, up from $101.8 million in the previous quarter and $7.6 million in Q4 2021. - Maybe thanks to its partnership with Circle to produce the stablecoin USD Coin?
🙃 Not so good part
Transaction volume fell 12% quarter-over-quarter to $322M on lower overall trading volume.
Revenue decline year over year - 76% decrease from its net revenue in Q4 2021 and a 57% decrease in full-year net revenue from 2021.
Roughly 25% of the top 100 largest hedge funds have onboarded with Coinbase, as opposed to just a handful at the end of 2020.
Shares have risen, but they are still down 67% over the last 12 months.
The exchange cut its workforce by 20% last month, following an 18% reduction in 2022.
🌅 A hopeful year ahead?
Coinbase is doing better this year than the end of last year, according to their letter to shareholders. They made $120 million in January from transactions. Q1 2023, the company projected subscription and services revenue of $300M to $325M and restructuring expenses of around $150M. Plus, they're diversifying its revenue streams away from just trading fees. Go Coinbase!
🎢 Also, Coinbase is going through
A $100 million settlement with the New York State Department.
Two rounds of layoffs
SEC going after the staking program.
And the insider trading, spy game👇
🥸 The Spy Game
Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi has pleaded guilty to insider trading through wire fraud. Wahi and two others used advance knowledge of which new tokens Coinbase was adding to buy them before the official announcement, then sold them once the coins rose in value, earning $1.1 million on at least 60 assets and 4 years in prison!
🕵️ But how did they sniff him out?
Alright, let me put on my storytelling hat and give it a go!
A tweet by Cobie suggested that someone knew that a token called KROM was going to be listed on the exchange before announcement.
Coinbase started investigating.
They knew that the only people who knew about these coin listings were the people who were part of a private Slack channel. Then they started narrowing down.
Wahi was a manager in that group. 🙂 He tried to make it a 'tighter circle'.
The security team then discovered that Wahi had been looking at an internal spreadsheet showing a calendar for new listings. Now, that's not exactly proof of insider trading, but it definitely raised some eyebrows.
When they called him in for an interview, he made up some lame excuse about a medical emergency and tried to flee the country. But they caught him at the airport and found some pretty sketchy stuff on his phone. Busted!
In the end, Wahi got 4 years in the slammer, his brother 10 months, but his friend is still on the loose.
Hey Wahi, say hi to Sam from us?
TTD Blockquote 🔊
Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of crypto exchange Gemini
“Any government that doesn't offer clear rules and sincere guidance will be left in the dust. Quickly. This will mean missing out on the greatest period of growth since the rise of the commercial Internet.”
Winklevoss believes that the next crypto bull run will start in Asia. All thanks to the US regulators cracking down on crypto like it's nobody's business. According to Chainalysis, Central & Southern Asia and Oceania are already crushing it in the crypto game, making it the third-largest market in 2022. And if you ask Winklevoss, governments that can't get their crypto game together will be left in the dust, missing out on the golden opportunity to ride the wave of the crypto revolution. Can we get an amen?!
Who bosses blockchain activity?
For all you gamers out there, you're not just racking up high scores and boss battles anymore, you're also leading the charge in the blockchain industry! According to a new report from DappRadar:
Gamers made up nearly half (48%) of all blockchain activity in the first month of 2023.
Market caps for top gaming tokens increased by 122% on average.
The Wax blockchain had the most active gaming activity - 331,000 unique active wallets.
Trading volume for virtual world-related games - $44.5M in January 2023.
rise in trading volume for The Sandbox (114%)and Decentraland (83%).
Overall investment in 2022 was around $7.6B - $156M in January.
On the other hand, it seems Bitcoin investors are taking a different approach. According to Glassnode, around 14.99 million Bitcoins worth roughly $370 billion have remained stagnant for at least six months, indicating that investors are focusing on long-term gains.
The Bank for International Settlements reported that most Bitcoin buyers entered the market during bull runs when the price was high and sold for losses. Glassnode has observed this trend in prior bear markets, potentially signalling a perception that the market is oversold and may be ripe for a rebound. After a 155-day holding period, dormant coins are increasingly unlikely to be spent, which means the investors are HODL-ing tight!
TTD WTF 🤯
Alexis Ohanian, the big cheese who co-founded Reddit, supposedly scooped up 50,000 Ether for a measly $15k during the coin's presale back in 2014.
Fast forward to today, and that move made him a whopping $82.5 million, thanks to a mind-boggling increase of 549,589%. Holy smokes, that's some serious cheddar!
What do you do with all that crypto dosh? Buy a Crypto Punk for ya wife. Duh 😇.
Apparently, his fam's precious heirloom rugs got swiped by Turkish soldiers during the Armenian genocide in WW1. That ordeal got him hot on the trail of "unseizable property," and we guess it led him straight to crypto.
The murder mystery of the Cryptoqueen
Rumour has it that Ruja Ignatova, the big boss behind the Onecoin pyramid scheme, might have met a grisly end in 2018. Apparently, a police informant leaked a report suggesting that she was killed on a yacht in the Ionian Sea and her body dismembered and thrown into the water.
But before you start spreading this tale as fact, the City Prosecutor's Office says the report can't be verified, and it's not an official document. Ignatova is wanted by Interpol, Europol, and the FBI, and some folks think she might be six feet under, while others say she's living her best life somewhere. Just last year, the Greek police tried to catch her, but no luck. So, what's the truth? Only time will tell!
What do the VCs like?
So, the crypto investment game has taken a bit of a nosedive recently, with a 91% drop in venture capital and other investments in crypto companies compared to last year. Yikes! But hey, let's not dwell on the past - last year was a wild ride with all sorts of crypto drama.
While some centralised crypto exchanges and stablecoins have hit the skids, there's still hope for decentralised infrastructure projects and protocols that are resistant to regulation. Think of it as a return to the basics - investing in the foundation that will help crypto rise again like a phoenix from the ashes.
With a focus on building user-friendly platforms, intellectual property standards, and even game-specific chains, we're on the path to crypto greatness. And with global protocols taking centre stage due to regulatory uncertainty in the US, it's a good time to invest in something that has a strong narrative and go-to-market plan. So, 2023 is the year for crypto infrastructure and legal code to shine!
US Crypto Scam Tracker
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has come up with a cool new tool to help folks stay safe from sneaky crypto scams. DFPI has launched a cryptocurrency scam tracker, which is a searchable database based on information reported by members of the public to the DFPI. There is also an accompanying glossary to help consumers better understand common scams.
The DFPI will continually update the tracker to alert and protect the public. And if you're looking for even more ways to steer clear of trouble, you can also check out other scam trackers like Bitcoin Abuse and Scam Alert. According to some recent stats from Chainalysis, it looks like these kinds of scams are starting to lose steam, with their revenue dropping 46% in 2022 to $5.9 billion compared to $10.9 billion the previous year.
TTD NFT Buzz 📯
Blur is the new boss in Ethereum NFT trading, leaving OpenSea in the dust with over $460 million in trades last week. But that's not all, Blur's throwing around $300 million worth of extra tokens to keep their NFT traders happy.
The Friendsies NFT crew is totally denying any rumours that they're ditching the project. Apparently, their Twitter handle disappeared, and Friendswithyou went all private, leading to some serious hearsay.
DraftKings, the betting pros, are adding another NFT-based fantasy game to their roster! This time it's GOLF teaming up with PGA Tour - The experience will be swinging onto the scene in March, with digital cards featuring famous golfers up for grabs.
BitPolito, a group of students from Politecnico di Torino University, to bring Bitcoin education to Italian high schools with the "BitGeneration" project.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is in talks with new "technology partners" to develop a new and improved system to manage the eNaira.
Bosch and AI-focused crypto protocol Fetch.ai are teaming up to create a foundation called the Fetch.ai Foundation.
Hundreds of fake ChatGPT tokens have been issued in the past few weeks. Of this, 132 different tokens have been issued on BNB Chain.
India's national payment network, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), is expanding its services to Singapore's PayNow rapid payment system. And it means something to crypto.
So long. OKAY? ✋
The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @12:00 GMT.