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Rug Radio Recap - September 3, 2023

The SEC delayed the decision on several Bitcoin ETFs, and recent court rulings are now putting the pressure on the agency.

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gm fam! The SEC dominated the headlines this week after a series of developments including delaying ETF decisions and filing charges against an NFT project for the first time, but a couple of recent court rulings show the agency might just be starting to lose their arguments.


Here's what we've got in this week's recap...

  • Julie Pacino STUBS🎟️

  • SEC had a busy week👩‍⚖️

  • Refik Anadol’s work debuts on the Las Vegas Sphere⚫️

Graphic showing the holdings across Rug Radio treasury, team, and NFT wallets as of September 2nd.

Holdings as of September 2nd.


Rug Radio Updates


This week's featured artist is Julie Pacino, a Los Angeles based photographer and filmmaker who features subjects that exist between binaries and their expected roles.

Her photographs and films spark conversations about the interplay between sexuality and power, the communal and the autocratic, and frequently use horror to embody existing power structures.


Vibes in Seoul🇰🇷

Are you ready for the next Rug Radio event? We’ll be Seoul, South Korea for Korea Blockchain Week on September 7th from 6 - 10pm local time at the People the Terrace with Yuga Labs!

If you’re gonna be in Seoul and want to stop by, the event is open to Rug Radio & Yuga Labs holders - grab your tickets on Tokenproof!


RugDAO Platform💻

During Town Hall on Thursday, we announced the latest product from our tech roadmap…our proprietary DAO platform where $RDAO holders can vote on new proposals!

This is the initial MVP launch — Future releases will include a discussion board, proposal submissions, and more to simplify involvement within the DAO.


Stores of the Week

SEC’s Busy Week

Since the collapse of FTX in November of last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been coming after crypto aggressively by filing charges, issuing fines, and delaying ETF decisions. Those actions continued this past week, even going as far as taking action against an NFT project for the first time, but a couple of surprising rulings might yield some relief.

Let’s start with the not so fun news…

The SEC delayed its decision on several bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications, including applications filed by BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, and others citing concerns about market manipulation and investor protections. The commission set new approval/rejection deadlines for October, although they technically have a hard deadline of 240 days from the beginning of the actual application review which extends into March 2024.

The SEC also fined Impact Theory, a media and entertainment company led by Tom Bilyeu, $6 million alleging their Founder’s Keys’ NFTs were advertised as securities. Impact Theory agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying the allegations, which includes destroying any of the NFTs in their control and forfeiting all royalties from future transactions.

What makes this even more interesting is that this is the first time the SEC has brought charges against an NFT project.

And now some positive news…

In October 2021, Grayscale applied to convert it’s Bitcoin trust into an ETF, but the SEC rejected the application citing a lack of investor protections. Shortly afterwards, Grayscale filed an appeal, as well as a lawsuit, alleging the SEC of violating their own procedures of fair and equitable treatment.

On August 29th, the US Court of Appeals sided with Grayscale in their argument and ordered the SEC to reconsider the rejection calling the initial decision "arbitrary and capricious" as they failed to provide a clear explanation to the rejection.

The Commission failed to adequately explain why it approved the listing of two bitcoin futures ETPs but not Grayscale’s proposed bitcoin ETP. In the absence of a coherent explanation, this unlike regulatory treatment of like products is unlawful.

While the SEC wasn’t directly involved in this ruling, a New York court dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Uniswap, one of the largest decentralized exchanges, was liable for the losses of users who invested their money into scam tokens. The plaintiffs argued that Uniswap failed to adequately to screen tokens listed on the exchange, but the court didn’t buy it citing that Uniswap doesn’t actually control the open-source contracts or any part of the protocol.

The judge, who also oversees the SEC lawsuit against Coinbase, classified Ethereum as a commodity and stated this sort of issue is better addressed with Congress.

Takeaway: The exact details surrounding these cases and delays are incredibly complex and the lack of regulatory frameworks surrounding digital assets doesn’t make it easier. If there’s one thing that is certain, it’s that the courts (and lawmakers) are gradually siding with the crypto industry.



Refik Anadol’s piece Machine Hallucinations is being displayed on the Las Vegas Sphere. The AI data sculpture piece marks the beginning of the Sphere’s art program and will be displayed for 4 months.

Lufthansa, the largest German airline, launched their NFT loyalty program. Another option for frequent travelers to rack up airline miles and other travel rewards.

X (formerly Twitter) has received money transmitter licenses in 7 states. The licenses include crypto transfers and is just one aspect of Elon’s plan to make X the “everything app.”

Coinbase launches a Request for Builders covering 10 crypto related ideas. The ideas include on-chain reputation, ads, and a job marketplace; they also encouraged anyone to apply to attend a Builder Summit in LA in October.


Market Summary
Graphic showing the crypto prices and changes with Bitcoin at $25,858, Ethereum at $1,636, Solana at $19.48, and Matic at $0.54

Prices as of 8pm ET on September 2.


  • NFTs: August was the lowest month for NFT volumes since April of 2021, but prices of most projects have stayed relatively stable.

  • Crypto: We saw a bit of a rally in crypto after the Grayscale news with Bitcoin gaining 8%, but markets gave up nearly all of those gains to end the week flat.

  • Looking forward: September is historically known to be a rough month for all markets. In particular, Bitcoin has had ended the month in the red every September since 2017. Let’s hope we break that streak this year.


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