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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #30

...and just like that, 2019 is off to the races. Grin the much-buzzed privacy-centric coin has fair
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #30
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #30 • View online
…and just like that, 2019 is off to the races.
Grin the much-buzzed privacy-centric coin has fair launched with an estimated $100m going into VC-backed mining operations.
Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade was delayed. Read more about what happened, how it fits in the larger ETH2.0 plan, and what the prospects for scalability are.
Lightning continues to excited. Look at its growth and evolution with regard to centralization, read about the latest technology developments, or contemplate what Satoshi’s true vision was.
In the world of Regulation, Wyoming continues to lead, and a government shutdown is unlikely to shoehorn an ETF approval.
Finally, between dynamic open source networks that need coordination, the globalization of talent and global unrest, is 2019 the year of the DAO?
Happy Long Reads
Long Reads Sunday #30. Grin goes live; Ethereum Constantinople delays; Wyoming leading the regulatory pack; 2019 as the year of the DAO?; hostile takeovers as a business model and, of course, lightning. 2019 is revving up so getchyer coffee & biscuits ready, it’s long reads time. /1
2/ Let’s start with something great. Crypto is demonstrating the rising global competition b/n states & nations for citizenship/revenue. In the US, Wyoming is showing leadership around crypto legal clarity. Big announcement explained by @CaitlinLong_
3/ In addition to being good for crypto companies and good for the state, Wyoming’s regulatory leadership also provide a point of reference for those, like this former Congressman, arguing that protecting crypto innovation needs to be a policy goal
4/ Speaking of regulation, a narrative has emerged that, because of the government shutdown, the promising VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF will be auto-approved. @jchervinsky explains why that’s actually unlikely
5/ Not everyone in DC has stopped working though. Check out @neerajKA’s recap of demonstrating the Lightning network in Congress in the first of what is a planned series of 2019 briefings to be held by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus
6/ To many, continued growth and development around Lightning is one of the most exciting things in the space. @lawmaster dug into the metrics to understand node growth, evolving decentralization and more
7/ That wasn’t the only LN coverage from @TheBlock__ this week, with @arjunblj contributing this massive overview of technology and infrastructure advances across the network
8/ Lightning is already a pretty good counterpoint to those saying Bitcoin’s SoV use case doesn’t fulfill Satoshi’s vision, but for the hold outs, Bitcoin historian @danheld has 47 tweets for ya on why SoV was always the primary intention
9/ One of the key questions around digital currencies is which properties of money come first. @KyleSamani provoked some good conversation arguing that the fact that money already exists means replacing a failing Unit of Account may be more important initially than a new SoV
10/ One project that has designed itself to emphasize the medium of exchange use is Grin. The much-buzzed about privacy-centric project launched to mainnet this week amidst what @wheatpond estimates to be north of $100m in VC mining interest
11/ Grin’s launch provoked some great debates. What does it mean to have a “fair launch” with so much immediate capital interest? Is Grin just another distraction from BTC? The thread below is just one example
12/ One great piece of content around the Grin launch came from @ByteSizeCapital, who used a comparative analysis of XMR, ZEC, and RVN to suggest we should be patient and reasonable in our short term expectations
13/ One more interesting observation around Grin came from @DoveyWan, who noticed that some exchanges started trading before it was even minted, and pointed out that it represents a larger problem of effectively printing BTC
14/ Another big conversation this week surrounded Ethereum and their planned Constantinople upgrade. For larger context and background, check out the 2018 Ethereum year in review piece by @0xstark @danielzak @evan_van_ness
15/ To better understand the larger Ethereum roadmap, you can’t do much better than this “engineer’s guide to ETH2.0” by @_prestwich
16/ Of course, much of this week was spent talking about the postponement to the planned Constantinople hard fork. To understand what happened: @5chdn thread of threads @MyCrypto explainer postmortem by @teo_leibowitz @TheBlock__
17/ There was also a bit o’ conversation stirred up by @prestonjbyrne with this post arguing that a number of factors made him wonder about how effectively centralized Ethereum is. As long as “decentralization” is bandied about as a possible legal standard, we’re going to have convos like this
18/ There was also some great bull content around Ethereum as well. @spencernoon wrote a good thread exploring how defensible Ethereum’s DeFi moat is while @Steven_McKie @hthillman @hrdwrknvrstps wrote about Ethereum’s scalability path
19/ Just a few more great threads and essays to share before we wrap. @scalarcapital @jcliff42 tries to break away from price thinking with a recap of 5 technology advancements from last year that have him excited for what’s to come
20/ Speaking of recaps, I mentioned it before, but @twobitidiot’s 96 Theses for Crypto in 2019 is worth a bookmark and some serious reflection. Top bets? LN growth will blow up; Etheruem faces serious competition; ICOs are dead; Privacy will cause headaches
21/ I really liked this thread by @ercwl about why crypto will find its best and most native expression with kids, who are both well-suited to aspects of crypto culture and who don’t bring expectation baggage with them
22/ @La__Cuen wrote a great piece about the battle to launch 2018 vintage stablecoins and how much it was driven by competitive exclusive discounting.
23/ @SarahJamieLewis wrote a characteristically thoughtful and passionate thread about the perils of technologists trying to prescribe how their technologies are to be used. “Abstinence & Prohibition are the two least effective strategies…for minimizing harm”
24/ Two great reports of note. First, @ARKInvest published their “Big Ideas 2019,” which goes beyond but includes crypto. Second @BitMEXResearch and @thetokenanalyst collabed on a report about use of ICO funds
25/ One project I’ve been watching closely is the Moloch DAO, which is a new approach to resource coordination for public infrastructure around projects like Ethereum. @simondlr contributes some great thoughts on it
26/ Speaking of DAOs, @stefanobernardi argues that a set of factors - including the globalization of talent, emergence of DeFI, deplatforming and global instability - make it possible that 2019 will be “the year of the DAO 
27/ This conversation sparked by @VitalikButerin about consumer friendly approaches to key management seems actually quite important. I tend to agree that there is going to be *some* consumer standard that involves compromise; but what?
28/ From the news files, two interesting stories: 1) Bakkt may not be live, but it isn’t sitting still, completing its first acquisition 2) You can now buy BTC at the grocery store thanks to Coinstar
29/ Check out this fascinating story from @danprimack about a planned hostile takeover of XRP. If this is interesting, I recommend @Andy_bromberg’s writing on the topic
30/ Finally, inspired by the great engagement around @APompliano’s weekly “What’s the best thing you read” tweet - I asked a similar version but for tweet-length ideas. Some great stuff came back:
31/ And that’s a wrap! Get LRS via email and, as always, let me know what you thought was great and what I missed. Happy Long Reads!


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Nathaniel Whittemore

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

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