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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #12

It's news like the EU Parliament voting for a mandatory upload filter - a destructive counterstrike b
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #12
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #12 • View online
It’s news like the EU Parliament voting for a mandatory upload filter - a destructive counterstrike by media companies against user-created content nicely wrapped in an unimaginably-abusable privacy nightmare - that remind me why this whole permissionless, decentralized, [buzzword-that-means-a-re:distribution-of-power-on-a-fundamental-level] thing matters. It also makes me wonder how we could possibly talk about anything else. Still, in point of fact, there was quite a bit to talk about this week - from spillover-builder-excitement post ETHBerlin to the reconceptualization of venture capital, mining and the line between capital and labor. Happy Long Reads Sunday.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2018
1/ Long Reads Sunday #12. Now this, THIS was a week in crypto. We’ve got data, debates, emergent privacy technology, regulation, enforcement, mining 2.0, stablecoins (so, so many stablecoins), and, for good measure, the emergent global competition for citizenship. 
2/ Rumors of Ethereum’s death have been greatly exaggerated. At least, that’s the attitude of the array of developers who participated in the various events around ETH Berlin last week. Check out the projects + memory hole of a 2014 hackathon
3/ Related, @spencernoon and @cyounessi1 joined @eriktorenberg & @tonysheng on the Venture Stories podcast for a wide ranging convo taking head-on the Ethereum skepticism narrative that has defined this summer
4/ Speaking of narratives, Larry & the team at @DiarNewsletter added some actual numbers and data to the conversation about the “ETH Death Spiral.”
5/ Vitalik himself joined the “what makes for a Store of Value” conversation. So much of where people land in their crypto affiliations comes from the answer to this question.
6/ In the SoV question, one important element is unpacking “value” vs. “value accrual.” Joining @laurashin on Unconfirmed, @alexsunnarborg explains how its possible to believe that Ethereum will create immense value without betting on ETH as a currency
7/ If you’re noticing a lot of podcasts in LRS, it’s because more than ever they’re the atomic long-form knowledge-sharing unit of crypto. In addition to producing one of the best, @WhatBitcoinDid has now stepped up to curate a weekly best-of podcast list as well. Hero.
8/ Podcasters interested in crypto regulation, meanwhile, are not going to be short on topics. This week started with the DOJ, SEC and FINRA all making big enforcement related announcements. @jchervinsky nails the TL;DR
9/ @katherineykwu made the important additional point about these enforcements that they are focused on not just issuers but intermediaries. The long arm of the law is, well, long.
10/ Still, the biggest regulation news wasn’t about crypto, per se, but about the internet as a whole. The European Parliament passed a new wave of copyright legislation that makes terms like “draconian” and “surveillance state” seem quaint.
11/ @twobitidiot perfectly sums up the relationship between the EU law and crypto:
12/ In all seriousness, whatever version of the EU law that actually gets implemented dramatizes the need for greater personal digital security. @Udiwertheimer pointed to an ongoing series on Privacy Coins by @AaronvanW for @BitcoinMagazine
13/ What about a privacy technology first proposed in the 80s? @wheatpond flagged this update about in-practice-not-just-in-theory mixnets
14/ Of course, theory matters too. @SarahJamieLewis argues that identity systems that force users to interact through a single identity are inherently oppressive
15/ For some great history, check out this essay that @zooko says got him hooked on cryptography in the early 1990s.
16/ One more great resource on privacy. Peter interviewed @fluffypony about Monero, @tari, and why privacy is a right that extends far beyond nefarious activity but is actually intrinsically tied to our potential to imagine and shape new futures.
17/ With laws like EU’s upload filter as well as the news that Google was demo’ing a censor-able Chinese search connected to phone #, the potential for an Axis of Oppression between overpowered states and overlarge corporate data networks is getting more real.
18/ Whew, privacy is heavy man. Let’s catch our breath for just a second and then we’ll round out this LRS with stablecoins, changing VC strategies and Bitcoin PoW energy counter-narratives. 
19/ Stablecoins are one of the most discussed topics in crypto right now. On the one hand, they’re everywhere. @dogetoshi and @Theblock_ do a massive overview here:
20/ Newly added to that list this week is GeminiCoin. @iamjosephyoung argues that it has more relevance to crypto uptake in the immediate term than even an ETF would
21/ A vocal critique of algorithmic stablecoins, @prestonjbyrne finds quite a bit interesting about GeminiCoin, most specifically the idea of “hybridizing the separate approaches of the coins on the one hand and the enterprise applications on the other”
22/ To really go down this rabbit hole, check out this thread initiated by @RyanSAdams about native vs. foreign cryptocurrencies, with interesting discussion contributions by @tonysheng @AriDavidPaul and more
23/ Then again, as people start to advocate for baskets of stablecoins that provide more stability than anyone stable coin could, @TheStalwart might just be right - it might just be better to get out now while we can
24/ On a semi-related topic, @brucefenton goes deep on whether AML/KYC will be built into security tokens or legal compliance will happen at a different spot in the ecosystem.
25/ On a rather unrelated topic, @Eriktorenberg does deep on Mining 2.0, a phenomenon that @jbrukh recently encapsulated as the blurring of the clear line between capital and labor
26/ On a sort-of related topic, @cburniske spotted this extreme deep dive on crypto economics and valuation that explores, in effect, whether we’re underestimating the potential impact on fundamental economic assumptions
27/ Because we should never go too long without discussing decentralization, head over to @backus for another history lesson in the 2000s p2p file sharing.
28/ @TusharJain_ and the crew at @MulticoinCap do a thorough look at LTC, more or less coming to the conclusion that, if a lot of the original ideas made sense in their current context, it doesn’t have a place in today’s environment
29/ In one of the most fire thread of the week, @danheld makes a comprehensive and thorough argument that the energy critique of Bitcoin mining, among other points, massively underestimates the incentives it creates to find cheaper energy
30/ And finally, because I think it’s fascinating, the idea of “states as firms in a market competing for (tax) revenue.” Global citizenship recruitment is a long-horizon concept worth watching.


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Nathaniel Whittemore

Bitcoin & crypto's most interesting Twitter threads and long-form essays.

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