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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #35

Hello from sunny Uruguay. Still getting the family settled here where we'll be based for the next mon
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #35
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #35 • View online
Hello from sunny Uruguay. Still getting the family settled here where we’ll be based for the next month, so no intro this week, but I very much hope you enjoy the links. Happy Long Reads - NLW
Long Reads Sunday #35. This was a *classic* crypto week, with everything from temporary deplatforming to analysis of a potential exit scam to a major protocol ragequit. Oh, and don’t forget the memes. Getchya espressos & yer eggos, it’s long reads time!
2/ First, let’s start with a thread that has more pound-for-pound information than anything you’ll read here. @_jillruth goes deep on the reading list for decentralized identity and reputation as the convo about decentralized credit grows.
3/ Crypto credit was actually the topic for the latest @WGMGpodcast as well. One of the interesting questions is: who actually has enough crypto to lock it up? Check out this thread and then dive in.
4/ Over in another corner of crypto, the conversation was all about @5chdn’s decision to quit working on Ethereum after (parts of) the community exploded in response to a controversial tweet where he compared Polkadot (favorably) to Ethereum’s Serenity. Get the full recap from @davidzmorris
5/ The very public split has created context for some serious reflection, including notably this open letter from the community to combat toxicity and harassment.
6/ Another part of the conversation though has to do with incentives. We’re all so in the crypto weeds that it’s all too easy to forget that we’re a part of a giant experiment in reimagining incentive and coordination systems. But we forget this at our peril.
7/ I don’t know if @naval was subtweeting the Ethereum community or just has fortuitous timing, but this thread on the threat of social media mobs is prescient. His conclusion: “Digital privacy is more important than ever, because as it goes, so does the freedom to speak.”
8/ Speaking of privacy and the reimagining incentive systems, @zcashco has renamed itself to more clearly and explicitly draw the lines between Zcash the currency and a company that is contributing to the project.
9/ Another amazing link for those who want to dive deep on privacy specifically in the context of Bitcoin, check out this monster wiki/lit review by @chris_belcher_. H/t to @udiWetheimer for surfacing this amazing resource
10/ After a couple days of traveling mid-week, I asked the Twitterati what content I had missed. The resounding answer was this post by @TuurDemeester and partners on changes in Bitcoin savings behavior. I love seeing the continued evolution in how we measure Bitcoin and other digital assets
11/ Another digital asset that has generated a ton of conversation recently is BNB. The native token of the Binance exchange was the subject of Multicoin’s latest research report.
12/ Then again, for a slightly different take on the value of Binance Coin, check out this op-ed from @arjunblj on @TheBlock__
13/ A major question with regard to the long term value proposition of Binance Coin is how it functions in relation to other parts of the ecosystem they build. A new addition to the Binance family is their DEX/noncustodial exchange. For a primer, see this interview between @VentureCoinist @cz_binance
14/ On the topic of exchanges, @i_woodford @TheBlock_ reported on “volume boosting” (read: wash trading) on KuCoin. Check out the article then go deeper with this thread:
15/ Also in the realm of exchanges, we also had a forensic analysis from @coinbase @brian_armstrong about QuadrigaCX, the Canadian exchange that evaporated ~$190m when the founder died, taking private keys with him.
16/ That wasn’t the only conversation around Coinbase, however. More than a few eyebrows were raised when the company announced their acquisition of Neutrino. A sample of the skeptical responses: / /
17/ Another bit o news that felt sort of like it flew under the radar was Samsung’s announcement of private crypto key management built into their new phone. I think @twobitidiot’s argument that it’s not a demand driver but an important foundation is right on.
18/ @theonevortex pointed to the Samsung news as demonstrative of an inevitable push towards the normalization of Bitcoin infrastructure, arguing Bitcoin nodes simply be baked into OS/hardware and chips specifically for key management will be built into devices
19/ While issues like private key management and custody are still huge barriers to entry for traditional financial and institutional actors, the momentum for their entrance into crypto continues to grow. Take, for example, a major consulting firm recommending that pensions and endowments start to dabble
20/ Speaking of momentum, @tippin_me has been everywhere. @jack gave it a pump and @APompliano wrote about it in his newsletter. Great to see an actual product capture people’s attention
21/ It wouldn’t be a week in 2019 crypto without some conversation about governance. H/t to @cburniske for surfacing this great essay from @OVioHQ about the need for separation of powers in crypto governance
22/ Also on the subject of governance is this essay from @jmonegro that argues that governance is a form of capital, and that that capital is a driver of long term value
23/ The “Whoa that’s dope” Content of the Week award goes to the crew at @ARKInvest whose latest podcast featured @elonmusk and touched on crypto: “…cryptocurrency is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper.”
24/ @DoveyWan also spend some time on “pieces of paper,” looking at the history of fiat currencies and figuring out which have last the longest and what brought them down
25/ If you’re into that sort of history, @jfc_3_ is a must follow. He does a weekly suggested financial history reading each week.
26/ For something a little more contemporary but no less fascinating, check out @nic__carter’s take on the Venezuelan central banks lawsuit against exchange rate site DolarToday
27/ For a few from inside Venezuela - and specifically what it’s like using Bitcoin as a tool for surviving hyperinflation, check out this OpEd from economist and @CaracasChron contributor Carlos Hernández
28/ Venezuela is a prime example of the weaponization of money. In a recent podcast appearance (summarized for Twitter below), @aantonop also argued that OFAC Bitcoin address sanctions are another case.
29/ Yet for all the ways technology is empowering governments to exert new forms of control, it is also creating a mechanism for liberation. @Coinmine CEO @farbood writes why he believes Bitcoin is the catalyst for a “Living Room Revolution”
30/ And that’s all for LRS35! What was great? What did I miss? As always, let me know what you think below. To sign up to get LRS via email, go to:


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Nathaniel Whittemore

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