There’s no doubt about it: with each week that goes by, crypto winter feels a little more ominous.
This week, it was horrendous price action
, plus high-profile layoffs
at ConsenSys, plus something I can only refer to as competitive pessimism - the phenomenon where, in bad markets, people establish their intellectual bonafides by being even more gloomy than the next person.
There is no denying that we’re in a hard time. But I can’t help but be more interested in the all of the projects, people and ideas that just keep marching on. This week, we saw:
In short, yeah, it’s a bit dreary out there. But get passed the price action - and past the to-be-expected-but-still-kinda-annoying attempts to look smart by predicting the most doom, and there are some pretty amazing things happening.
Happy Long Reads
Long Reads Sunday #24.
Crypto winter feels more ominous this week. Maybe it’s still sinking prices, or the competitive pessimism to predict how low they’ll go. Maybe it’s the specter of seething global discontent spilling out on the Champs d’Elyse. Should we just throw in the towel? Of course not. Coffee. Thread. Go. https://twitter.com/twobitidiot/status/1070862495039045632
4/ @Zooko takes a look at 3 different narratives surrounding the down market, including the “waiting for the next bull run,” “tulip/bubble” explanations, and “Dotcom winter,” and adds a new one about uncaptured potential and the possibility that crypto is relegated to enthusiasts and tinkerers https://twitter.com/zooko/status/1069459529832706049
8/ Ethereum isn’t the only project with questions. When @coinbase announced a slate of new tokens it was considering for listing (and then 4 that would be coming online immediately), the reaction was much more skeptical than in the past. https://twitter.com/delitzer/status/1071051252950228992
9/ Yet if the overall vibe has been a little bit like when people try to call a funeral a celebration of life, peeling back the ennui reveals some interesting developments. @zhusu has been tracking @AmunAG’s Swiss etp as an indicator of new money, for example https://twitter.com/zhusu/status/1070499371735629824
11/ And in the realm of positive developments, the CFTC actually *lost* a big case in which it had accused crypto trading firm of market manipulation. As @katherinykwu points out, it’s a reminder that regulatory bodies don’t make the law and can be beat in court. https://twitter.com/katherineykwu/status/1070118991107100672
15/ If these conversations feel prohibitively complex you’re not alone. @glenweyl flagged his concern about the complexity, generating a conversation with folks like @Steven_McKie and Vitalik trying to simplify and provide some clarity https://twitter.com/glenweyl/status/1071328405155663872
18/ One inevitable part of any bear market is a reconsideration of what got us here. In that light, @PeterMcCormack provides this full throated argument, based on learning from 54 guests on @WhatBitcoinDid rather than an a priori opinion, for why Bitcoin should and will remain the epicenter of the space. https://twitter.com/PeterMcCormack/status/1070618388635049984
20/ @CoinSharesCo followed up their recent report on Bitcoin mining (that, among other things, rejected the ‘mining death spiral’ idea) with this follow up that articulates their refutation of the environmentalist critique of PoW mining https://twitter.com/C_Bendiksen/status/1070743245649514497
23/ One of the most exciting tech developments in Bitcoin from the past year is obviously the development of the Lightning network. @LucasNuzzi recapped that excitement and argues how well positioning (lightning) is to capture real economic value in 2019 https://twitter.com/LucasNuzzi/status/1071111197137797120
24/ Speaking of economic value, in response to the reduction of the “generalized mining” concept to simply a way to make more money in a bad market, @lwsnbaker goes *off* and argues that the real point is the new economics of participation and the end of extraction https://twitter.com/lwsnbaker/status/1070761288366665728
26/ Another theme that has been capturing a growing share of market attention is governance. In this post on @TokenDaily, @chrisamccoy argues 1) why governance is surging as a topic; and 2) what challenges different current governance models face chrisamccoy
28/ One of the issues with token-based blockchain governance structures that reward plutocracy is they create momentum for inevitable recentralization of power. @ali01 wrote an interesting piece on “the Four Horsemen of Centralization” https://twitter.com/ali01/status/1071121562093408263
29/ The governance conversation matters in part because it is at the heart of the possibility of re-designing our social coordinating structures. It’s hard to watch global protests like those in France and not feel like something in those structures today is broken https://twitter.com/Jake_Hanrahan/status/1071121528085995525
31/ So, in summary…yeah, it’s a bit dreary out there. But get passed the price action - and past the to-be-expected-but-still-kinda-annoying attempts to look smart by predicting the most doom, and there are some pretty amazing things happening.
32/ Thanks as always for reading! Happy long reads.