Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

News about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology can easily fly under the radar, especially when the country is riveted by a controversial Supreme Court nominee, so here's what you should know from this week's headlines.

Catch up quick: Coinbase's huge valuation could have been even larger; SEC seeks more comments on rejected bitcoin exchange-traded funds, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission holds meeting about digital assets; Circle to buy SeedInvest to help startups fundraise with crypto-assets.

Coinbase's huge valuation could have been even larger

Why it matters: Coinbase is one of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency industry, and it's racing to build a range of services to attract customers, from regular people to institutional investors. But as we reported, its large exposure to the cryptocurrency market is making it challenging for investors to put a price on the company now that it's valued in the billions, with one investor even retracting an offer at $12 billion.

As one early Coinbase investor tells us, "their performance right now is pretty tightly correlated to the price of bitcoin."

U.S. regulators: SEC seeks more comments on rejected bitcoin ETFs; CFTC holds meeting about digital assets

Why it matters: The common theme here is regulators' concerns over the exchanges' abilities to adequately protect investors. Earlier this summer, the SEC rejected a number of bitcoin exchange-traded funds, at one point prompting one of its commissioners to dissent and argue her colleagues were judging the underlying bitcoin market instead of the exchanges.

Meanwhile, during this week's CFTC meeting, industry representatives told the commission that self-regulation — following in Wall Street's footsteps — could address many of the problems that cause exchange hacks and digital asset theft. Whether Washington buys that argument remains to be seen.

Circle to buy SeedInvest to help startups fundraise with crypto-assets (Bloomberg)

Why it matters: If approved by regulators, the acquisition would help Circle facilitate so-called "initial coin offerings" for other companies (SeedInvest specializes in public crowdfunding for startups).

Though the ICO fever has subsided since its peak last year, it's sure to to pick back up should the federal government offer clearer rules via new legislation or guidance from regulators (or the courts). More broadly, companies and investors are also interested in using blockchain technology to create digital tokens backed by a number of different assets.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 10,945,600 — Total deaths: 523,035 — Total recoveries — 5,797,206Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 2,767,669 — Total deaths: 128,951 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  5. States: Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.
4 hours ago - Sports

Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.

Scoop: Instacart raises another $100 million

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios Visuals

Grocery delivery company Instacart has raised $100 million in new funding, on top of the $225 million it announced last month, the company tells Axios. This brings its valuation to $13.8 billion.

Why it matters: This funding comes at what could be an inflection point for Instacart, as customers it acquired during coronavirus lockdowns decide whether they want to continue with the service or resume in-person grocery shopping.