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EIA Emergency Survey Preliminary Injuction Hearing Canceled Yesterday

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Yesterday we were supposed to have a hearing on the preliminary injunction in the Texas Blockchain Council v. Department of Energy case. But, as often happens in litigation, things change quickly. Tuesday the judge entered an order canceling today’s hearing based on the parties reaching an “agreement-in-principle” on the overall dispute. This agreement must be finalized and filed by Friday, March 1st.

Speculation time.

What could this mean? One element of the standard for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), and a preliminary injunction, is that the party requesting it has to show that they are “likely to succeed on the merits.” This means that the judge has to believe that, not only is success possible, but more likely than not. Here, the judge already agreed that “that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in showing that the facts alleged by Defendants to support an emergency request fall far short of justifying such an action.” And that the Government’s action was arbitrary, capricious, or abused their discretion.

Losing the TRO, while not dispositive, is a big red flag. The Government does not like to lose, and once it has lost on this metric, it’s very likely that they already know they will lose on the following motions: the preliminary injunction and the permanent injunction.

One problem there is discovery. As part of the process of proving the case, the Plaintiffs get to request internal communications and other materials that might show an abuse of discretion or undue influence. The Energy Information Administration has only used emergency data collection authority in a handful of actual emergencies, such as an emergency survey in response to the 2021 Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack.

Given the context of Senator Warren and the Biden Administration’s continued attacks on Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining, is there any reason to believe that there aren’t unflattering emails or communications showing undue influence between those offices and the EIA? What else could have caused a historically cautious and respected agency to suddenly put out such slipshod work as the EIA-862, which was then rubber stamped by the President’s own Office of Management and Budget in clear technical violation of their internal standards?

It is not like this kind of undue influence hasn’t happened before… look at Custodia Bank’s lawsuit, for instance, where “perhaps the most stunning fact that would never have seen the light of day but for discovery is this: in the wake of FTX’s collapse and a mysterious briefing to Vice-Chair Barr concerning Custodia’s membership and master account applications, Board staff edited and rewrote key parts of an internal Kansas City Fed memo … Discovery reveals that the Board was deeply intertwined in the outcome of Custodia’s master account request. That level of involvement is not consistent with the notion of unfettered Reserve Bank discretion.” Page 54 of Custodia’s December 22, 2023 Brief for Judgment as a Matter of Law.

While we await more information, it seems clear that any voluntary concession by the Government here reveals some combination of realization that they exhibited either manifest incompetence, or that discovery would bear out significant undue influence on the process.

This is a guest post by Colin Crossman. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

​ The hearing in Waco, Texas under District Judge Alan Albright was canceled yesterday due to the EIA and plaintiffs reaching an agreement-in-principle. 

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Bitso to Bring Bitcoin Lightning to its 8 Million Users via Lightspark

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Leading Latin American crypto exchange Bitso has partnered with Lightspark to integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network onto its platform. This will introduce faster, cheaper Bitcoin transactions to Bitso’s user base of over 8 million retail clients and 1,700 institutional customers.

Bitso will leverage Lightspark’s infrastructure to enable Lightning transfers. Lightspark will host the nodes while Bitso retains control of the private keys in a remote signing setup.

The integration comes as Lightning Network adoption spreads globally, making payments with Bitcoin faster, smoother and less expensive.

According to Bitso’s research, 53% of crypto wallets in Latin America hold Bitcoin. Trading pairs against local fiat currencies are also widely used. Thus, Lightning is a natural fit to upgrade Bitso’s existing infrastructure.

Daniel Vogel, co-founder and CEO of Bitso, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Lightspark to bring Lightning to our platform. This advances our mission of making crypto useful by delivering faster, more cost-effective, and transparent money transfers.”

With Lightning, Bitso can offer near-instant Bitcoin transactions at a fraction of the cost of regular on-chain Bitcoin payments. This unlocks new potential payment and remittance solutions for both retail and enterprise clients.

Lightspark CEO David Marcus said Bitso “shares our vision of building open payments for the Internet. This gets us closer to that goal. We know people across Latin America want this solution.”

As a pioneering Latin American exchange with millions of users, Bitso’s integration of Lightning is a milestone in increasing Bitcoin adoption. 

​ Leading Latin American crypto exchange Bitso has partnered with Lightspark to bring faster, cheaper Bitcoin Lightning transactions to Bitso’s 8 million users. 

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US Spot Ether ETFs to Launch on July 23 Pending Final SEC Approval, Analyst Says

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Spot ether ETFs are anticipated to start trading on July 23 as the SEC is close to giving final approvals to issuers.

​ Spot ether ETFs are anticipated to start trading on July 23 as the SEC is close to giving final approvals to issuers. 

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From Microstrategy to Gamestop — Backed Introduces 5 New Tokenized Equities

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Backed, a firm specializing in real-world asset (RWA) tokenization, has launched five new tokenized equities.

​ Backed, a firm specializing in real-world asset (RWA) tokenization, has launched five new tokenized equities. 

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