Issue 34: What’s gotten the SEC’s attention?
The latest updates from the Ethereum, L2 and DeFi ecosystem
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Staking withdrawals for ETH are coming with the Shanghai upgrade
SEC clamping down on staking services provided by Centralised Exchanges
One of the biggest crypto events of the year, StarkWare Sessions, recapped!
Read all this and more in this week’s newsletter!
🔓 Staking rewards will be unlocked soon!
An exciting update is coming to Ethereum in the first half of 2023. It’s called the Shanghai upgrade, which gives validators and stakers access to their staked ETH and any rewards.
Currently, staked ETH isn’t accessible as it’s locked in to secure the Ethereum network. This upgrade changes that, as it allows participants to claim any rewards they’ve earnt by securing the network. It also gives validators the option to exit the staking process, as they will be able to withdraw their entire validator balance.
If you’re using staking services like Lido, you’ll be able to claim your rewards or withdraw your stETH (or variant) for the underlying ETH and any accrued rewards.
The Ethereum Foundation has written a great blog post that goes into more detail if you’re curious to learn more.
On a related note, we launched a new way to stake this week. Partnering with Index Coop, you can now grow your ETH with dsETH (diversified ETH). This gives you diversified exposure to liquid staking tokens with weightings that favor decentralized liquid staking protocols.
Secure the network, earn rewards, AND support decentralization.
👨⚖️ SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, strikes again
Earlier this week, the SEC closed Kraken’s staking service in the US and fined the exchange $30m for violating the Securities Act of 1933. The SEC argues that Kraken advertised high annual investment returns but did not provide proper disclosures or investor protection, leading to harm for investors.
This sparked an uproar as few agreed with this view, with most seeing this as an attack on the industry. Even members of the SEC disagreed with the judgment. SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce, argued that shutting down Kraken’s staking program through enforcement isn’t the win the SEC alleges. Instead, the judgment was a lazy solution by the regulator. A better solution would have been to issue guidance for staking.
“Using enforcement actions to tell people what the law is in an emerging industry is not an efficient or fair way of regulating.”
This view was echoed by Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, who also offers a staking product within the US. Regulation by enforcement doesn’t work and causes more harm than good as it encourages companies to operate offshore.
🎉 Everything that happened at StarkWare Sessions
StarkWare Sessions was one of the most anticipated crypto events of the year (even if the year has only just started). It promised to bring some of the best minds in crypto together to present, discuss and share ideas at the cutting edge of our industry.
Our co-founders and many of our team attended the event, with our CEO, Itamar presenting Argent X and the roadmap ahead for our Starknet wallet. We announced 4 new products: web wallet (a way to sign into a dapp using your email); 2FA; Multisig; and Starknet coming to mobile.
You can watch our full presentation here:
Throughout the event, the impressive list of speakers got us incredibly excited about the Starknet ecosystem. We particularly enjoyed Why a Bitcoiner Loves Rollups by Sylve of briq, and you can find the complete list of presentations and panels on StarkWare’s YouTube channel.
📚 What we’re reading
Not Companies, Not DAOs But a Third More Secret Thing - Leighton Cusack
ENS at StarkWare Sessions - Makoto Inoue
A designer’s guide to running an Ethereum Proof of Stake validator - Graeme Blackwood (our Creative / UX / Design director)
💭 What’s happening at Argent
Next week we’re hosting our first Community Call of the year with our co-founder and CEO, Itamar, and our Head of Strategy and Operations, Matthew.
Learn about what we’ve been busy building and our plans for 2023, finishing with an AMA.
📰 A few random things we’ve found interesting
In every issue, we share 3 things that we found interesting. The catch? We don’t give you any context to the link. But we promise you it’s something we found interesting within the crypto ecosystem.
📚 Learn more with Argent
What is Argent X?
The most popular and only open-source wallet on Starknet
Click on the image to learn more.
🚀 We’re hiring!
Anthony Sassano, Ethereum educator, influencer, and all-around great person, recently said that the best way to get a job in crypto is to get involved with Ethereum’s Layer 2 ecosystem.
We’re building on zkSync and Starknet, two very exciting Layer 2s at the cutting edge of our industry, and we’re hiring!
Ecosystem Lead (Remote, Europe)
Senior Mobile QA Engineer (Remote, Europe)
Product Designer (Remote, Europe)
Know someone who might be a good fit? We pay a referral fee for each successful hire.
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🤔 About the Argent Newsletter
The Argent newsletter is our answer to a question friends and family frequently ask us: what articles, podcasts, and news do you recommend?
We curate our top picks and hope there’s something for everyone.