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This Week on Crypto Twitter: SEC Targets Uniswap, Bitcoin Runes Stir Hype

This Week on Crypto Twitter
Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Twitter buzz this week exhibited a continued fixation on the crypto industry’s never-ending flow of legal drama, as well as steadily snowballing excitement for the latest meme coin trend: Bitcoin Runes. 

On Tuesday, Avraham Eisenberg’s criminal trial began in a federal courthouse in Manhattan. In 2022, the crypto trader drained $110 million from crypto exchange Mango Markets by employing a complex DeFi exploit that the Department of Justice has called “market manipulation.”

Opening statements in the trial saw both sides focus not on whether Eisenberg was behind the hack (he admitted openly to being behind it) but rather on whether DeFi transactions are subject to existing U.S. criminal law.

InnerCityPress live tweeted the court showdown, in which Eisenberg’s attorney argued that the U.S. government has no grounds to prosecute DeFi. 

Crypto legal experts were quick to speculate that the outcome of Eisenberg’s trial could have far-reaching implications for crypto and how automated on-chain transactions—such as loans taken out from DeFi protocols—are interpreted under U.S. law. 

On Wednesday, the legal heat turned even hotter, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) informed Uniswap, the Ethereum decentralized exchange (DEX), that it would face a lawsuit over securities charges. 

Uniswap founder Hayden Adams posted a defiant statement on Twitter shortly following the revelation, emphasizing that he had no intention of moving the company out of New York City and that he and his team plan to fight the lawsuit to the end, as “the future of financial technology and our industry hangs in the balance.” 

Across Twitter, crypto users and legal scholars blasted the news, arguing the SEC had no grounds to sue automated, decentralized protocols like Uniswap—and that the agency had six years to work with the company or provide it guidance but never once did so. 

Some positive buzz came this week, though, in the form of hype surrounding Bitcoin Runes—novel fungible tokens inscribed on Bitcoin that will launch on the new Runes protocol once the Bitcoin halving occurs later this week. 

The first Runes coins set to drop that are generating excitement are, naturally, dog-themed meme coins. One, DOG, will drop to Runestone Ordinal holders next week. 

Another, Pups, pumped over 1,000% this week before even bridging onto Runes. 

Some Twitter users bemoaned the necessity of another flurry of pet-themed, generally useless tokens. But even they couldn’t deny that the amount of capital likely to be deployed into Runes meme coins once they launch is all but certain to be obscene. 

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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