Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The industry got a big win with Colorado's election of congressman and blockchain tech advocate Jared Polis as its new governor, but that's not all the news this week.

Catch up quick: A Securities and Exchange Commission official says "plain English" guidance on initial coin offerings is coming; Bitfury raised $80 million in new funding; and the SEC could target more token exchanges after EtherDelta.

SEC official says 'plain English' guidance on ICOs is coming (CoinDesk)

  • Why it matters: Speaking at a conference in D.C. this week, William Hinman, the SEC's director of corporation finance, gave cryptocurrency industry the news it's been waiting for a long time. Despite a growing number of enforcement actions against fraudulent or otherwise illegal digital token sales and initial coin offerings, the agency has yet to spell out exactly what counts as a securities sale.

Bitfury raises $80 million in new funding (Bitfury)

  • Why it matters: The company, which sells cryptocurrency mining hardware, was reportedly considering an IPO, which would have made it the first of the industry in Europe. One of its competitors, Bitmain, filed to go public in late September and could raise up to $3 billion from the offering. And despite the initial coin offering mania of the last two years, it looks like more traditional businesses selling infrastructure tools are currently best suited for the public markets.

Expect the SEC to target more token exchanges after EtherDelta (CoinDesk)

  • Why it matters: EtherDelta is the first digital currency exchange the SEC has gone after, though chairman Jay Clayton has long voiced his concerns about their lack of protections for investors. Another notable aspect of EtherDelta is that it's a so-called "decentralized exchange," which uses distributed systems to create its exchange. The SEC’s action signals that these exchanges won't be spared, and the agency will figure out who to hold accountable.

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Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

The hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.