We won't comment beyond what's in this newsletter. The Nic Carter vs. David Hoffman fight has been called off.

  • 🐕 Plus, pouring out a Puppuchino for Kabosu.

Have you been getting our emails? 📧 [email protected]

Today's newsletter is 764 words, a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🫡 Approval by delegated authority

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The ether exchange-traded fund decision arrived but without an official commission vote or comment.

Catch up quick: The SEC yesterday approved spot ether ETFs, via what is called delegated authority.

  • But don't start pinging your brokerage about those ether funds, because they won't list until they make it through the next leg of the regulatory process.

Between the lines: A staffer rubber-stamped applications, and there is no public record of how commissioners felt about the decision.

Why it matters: Crypto world cheered, and the price of ether zoomed, as the approval suggested a thaw in the anti-crypto sentiment that usually prevails in D.C.'s regulatory circles.

Zoom in: Almost all of the issuers that launched spot bitcoin ETFs in January are in line to offer ether funds. These include Ark/21Shares, Bitwise, BlackRock's iShares, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, Grayscale, Invesco/Galaxy, Hashdex and VanEck.

Behind the scenes: Until this week, most everyone was expecting a denial. The threat of enforcement action against a major Ethereum-based software developer and the unusual quiet around the ether ETF applications suggested a "no" was inevitable.

The intrigue: Rumors swirled that the pivot had everything to do with politics.

  • The House passed major crypto legislation with support from a sizable block of Democrats; though earlier in the day, the Biden administration expressed opposition to the bill, while stopping short of threatening to veto it.
  • Last week, the House and Senate passed a resolution to overturn SEC guidance on how custodians should account for crypto, after the White House's notice that indicated the president's intention to veto that narrower bill.

Reality check: In an email confirming the decision yesterday, the SEC explicitly said it won't say anything beyond the order.

  • Issuers will argue that this order confirms that ether is a commodity (applications were for commodity-based trusts after all) — yes, but nowhere in the 23-page order are the words: ether is a commodity.

The bottom line: The SEC approved the ether ETFs on the basis that it meets market surveillance requirements, within the scope of its decision on the bitcoin ETF.

2. Charted: ⏯️ Rally, paused

The line chart shows the fluctuation in ether and bitcoin prices from 10 a.m. May 17 to 9 a.m. May 24, 2024. Ether experienced a significant increase on May 20 in anticipation of ether ETF approval and ended the week 20% higher. BTC was relatively flat.
Data: CoinGecko; Chart: Axios Visuals

Ether and bitcoin rallied into the SEC's expected ruling on spot ether ETFs.

Flashback: Anticipation for the decision to swing to the positive pushed prices higher, and ether popped when the decision landed shortly after 5pm ET yesterday.

  • BTC rallied alongside ether at the top of the week but ultimately finished the week flat.

What's happening: Ether is giving back some of those gains this morning.

Crystal's thought bubble: Perhaps part deux of the rally will pick up when there's activity around the second leg of the ether ETF regulatory process.

3. House passes bill to prevent creation of CBDCs

Rep. Tom Emmer, author of HR 5403. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted against the Federal Reserve putting dollars on a blockchain (or something similar).

Why it matters: Central bank digital currencies (aka CBDCs) are a growing trend around the rest of the world, but the U.S. has dragged its feet.

  • If House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) has his way, explorations of CBDCs in Washington will come to a dead stop.

The latest: In a vote of 216-192, HR 5403, the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, passed Congress's lower chamber.

  • According to House staff, three Democrats voted in favor, no Republicans voted against.
  • That's a much smaller turnout from the minority than on Wednesday's crypto regulation bill.

What they're saying: "This bill is simple: It halts the efforts of this Administrative State under President Biden from issuing a financial surveillance tool that — if not done correctly — will fundamentally alter the lives of every American," Emmer, the bill's author, said yesterday.

What's next: When it comes to crypto legislation, we sound like a broken record here, but... It's on to the Senate.

4. Catch up quick

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

🍳 Crypto is scrambling U.S. politics. (Politico)

🇬🇧 The U.K.'s first crypto exchange-traded products trade next week. (Financial Times)

🇻🇪 Venezuela is shutting down all bitcoin miners connected to the national power grid. (The Miner Mag)

5. Culture hash: 🥊 Fight's canceled

Screenshot: @nic_carter (social media)

The hotly anticipated fight between Nic Carter and David Hoffman that was supposed to take place next week in Austin... has been called off.

What's happening: Hoffman broke the bad news this morning, saying "a mock fight with some experienced fighters" ahead of the match resulted in a fully fractured rib.

  • He left the door open for the fight at a later time.

Our thought bubble: Crystal is truly bummed, and craving 🍔.

6. 1,000 words: The face that launched "much wow"

Photo: Kabosu112 blog (and a million memes)

Kabosu, the dog who inspired dogecoin, has died today at 18.

"I am certain that Kabosu was the happiest dog in the world," her owner, a teacher in Japan, Atsuko Sato, said.

Our thought bubble: 😿

We are taking Monday off in honor of Memorial Day. Enjoy the long weekend! —B & C