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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #36

This was a hell of a week.  First, we had everything surrounding Coinbase. Bet you didn’t think when
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #36
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #36 • View online
This was a hell of a week. 
First, we had everything surrounding Coinbase. Bet you didn’t think when they announced that XRP would be listed that that wouldn’t even be the thing people were really upset about, huh? Turns out acquiring a team who previously built spyware for authoritarians and then justifying it by saying they were really smart and because your previous analytics team was selling customer data is a good way to get people pissed. 
In response, a #DeleteCoinbase movement has been sweeping across Twitter. Well, I guess it’s debatable to call it a movement. If it’s anything like previous spats of internet outrage at companies behaving badly, it won’t make a dent. 
Still, I think it’s important. The point of free and open markets is to be able to vote with your dollars and exert your voice about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Just like Coinbase is free to acquire whomever they wish, we are all free to try our damndest to make those decisions come at a price. 
Alright, enough on that. The other inescapable topic of the week was news that Facebook was already in discussions with exchanges about a forthcoming native cryptocurrency. As you would expect, there were no shortage of takes, from arguments that it could be a major driver of adoption even of non FB coins like Bitcoin to questions of how the company will possibly balance the need for privacy and safety
Beyond that, crypto marched on. Ethereum completed its Constantinople hard fork; MakerDAO surged across 2% of total ETH looked up; and Binance Launch Pad sold $6m of a token at an implied $100m market cap in 22 seconds. Wait…wut? 
Two final thoughts:
First, don’t sleep on this essay about the history of transaction costs. It is a quintessential long read and the type of thing that inspired me to start LRS. 
Second, if you enjoy the big picture stuff - the global use of crypto as a day-to-day tool, the larger questions of the battle between privacy and surveillance; etc - I’ve just announced a new newsletter about exactly that. It’s called the Liberty Crypto Reader and is a collaboration between myself and the crew at Coinmine. For me, crypto’s big game is about increasing liberty and sovereignty in the world, so thrilled about this and hope you check it out
Happy Long Reads 
-NLW
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Read LRS36 On Twitter
Long Reads Sunday #36. This was a real “battlelines for the soul of crypto” kinda week. Will big players leech attention or inspire new adoption? Where will we draw the line with ethical business practices. Oh, and, uh..who gets to print money? Thread
2/ One of the longest running memes in crypto came to an unceremonious end this week as Coinbase finally listed XRP. While the immediate assumption was that Ripple had paid a listing fee, the company aggressively denied it. https://twitter.com/miguelvias/status/1100870089191100430?s=21
3/ It wasn’t the XRP listing, however, that provoked the most ire towards Coinbase. Instead, it was continued fallout over the acquisition of Neutrino, led by former leaders of Hacker Team. https://twitter.com/davidzmorris/status/1100483999795949570?s=21
4/ In response, the #DeleteCoinbase movement was formed, with prominent voices in the community arguing that this was the last straw, and worthy of boycotting the company over. https://twitter.com/udiWertheimer/status/1100804821064523776
5/ If history is any indicator, the number of accounts deleted through #DeleteCoinbase won’t really put a dent in the company’s user numbers. What the company should actually be concerned with is the poison pill of distrust they’ve now swallowed. 
6/ In other words, people will read articles like this one by @lorenzofb https://twitter.com/lorenzofb/status/1101495721868566534 and this by @la__cuen https://twitter.com/la__cuen/status/1101568073172221952?s=21 and, even if they don’t actually delete their account, they may not be able to help the bad taste they’re left with. 
7/ I’m spending so much time on #DeleteCoinbase b/c I believe we all have to decide where we draw lines. The beauty of markets is that, just as Coinbase is free to buy who they wish, we’re free to exert as much pressure as we wish to make that a bad financial decision.
8/ Similarly, we’re free to support companies that make different decisions that *do* stand on principle, such as @CasaHODL putting their money where their mouth is with regard to customer’s data privacy. https://twitter.com/melt_dem/status/1101366634382532609?s=21
9/ Speaking of principle, @jack continues to set the Bitcoin and Lightning community on fire with his excitement about what he believes will become the native reserve currency of the internet https://twitter.com/theonevortex/status/1102032547398053888
10/ If it feels likely (if not inevitable) that we’ll see BTC integrations on Twitter, another big social network is going the opposite direction, as ZuckBucks (aka “The Mark”) look ever closer to becoming a reality. https://twitter.com/nathanielpopper/status/1101177927054454784?s=21
11/ When it comes to a possible Facebook cryptocurrency, there are about as many takes as their are people. In part of a longer thread on the permissioned blockchain trend, @AriDavidPaul demonstrates how FBCoin could drive Bitcoin adoption https://twitter.com/AriDavidPaul/status/1101496994709807105
12/ Former Facebooker @alexstamos, meanwhile, writes about the tightrope act of privacy/safety that a cryptocurrency integration into a billion+ user unified messaging service would require. https://twitter.com/alexstamos/status/1101164269834391552?s=21
13/ @el33th4xor makes the point that Facebook’s dabbling is part of a larger architecture shift away from client-server architectures that require users trust providers and towards a peer-to-peer architecture.  https://twitter.com/el33th4xor/status/1101568789160681473
14/ But of course, Facebook isn’t the only global giant exploring a native cryptocurrency. JPMorgan’s JPMCoin has been in the news for the past couple weeks, with @econoar catching some additional details from an investor day slide. https://twitter.com/econoar/status/1101155728083935232?s=21
15/ In one of the spicier takes of the week, @APompliano argued that JPMCoin is the opening salvo in an attempt to create an alternative private Fed. This thread kicked off @KyleSamani gets iiiiiinto it. https://twitter.com/KyleSamani/status/1101953993440415744
16/ Then again, maybe we’ll be in the market for a non-USD coin sooner rather than later? @BMBernstein lights in to what he believes will come to pass as we get deeper into “Modern Monopoly Money Theory” https://twitter.com/bmbernstein/status/1100811571469664257?s=21
17/ While we’re on the topic of “who gets to print money,” @Melt_Dem and @_jillruth latest @WGMGpodcast is all about “Initial Country Offerings.” Great way to raise funds, nearly limitless potential for abuse, or both?!? https://twitter.com/_jillruth/status/1100379256402542592
18/ Alright, alright, that’s just about enough rancor for this Sunday. Let’s shift gears toward some good things happening. Like, heyyo, we’ve got an Ethereum Constantinople Hard Fork/Upgrade complete! https://twitter.com/ethereumJoseph/status/1101145475263221761
19/ A couple people have asked lately about dedicated Ethereum resources and while there are tons, one of the newest and most valuable has to be @ethhub_io, who have more on Constantinople here. https://twitter.com/ethhub_io/status/1100826808461647872
20/ A staying within the ETH domain for a second, @MakerDAO continues its tear, surpassing 2% of the total ETH supply locked up in CDPs this week. Check out @placeholdervc @alexhevans Network Overview for more https://twitter.com/alexhevans/status/1101908829808267264
21/ As #DeFi (#dopefi?) heat up, @max_bronstein looks at the strength of the space in terms of the resonance of the meme of Open Finance itself. https://twitter.com/max_bronstein/status/1099723742660386818
22/ Another layer 1 chain in Tezos is moving closer to its first set of on-chain upgrade proposals. Check out this article by @JacobArluck (h/t @Melt_Dem) and let the year of governance experiments continue! https://twitter.com/melt_dem/status/1100257349950992384?s=21
23/ Hey, and here’s a contrarian perspective: crypto investors may have over corrected away from token deals and towards equity. That’s the argument in this latest essay from @cburniske https://twitter.com/cburniske/status/1101194114668716032?s=21
24/ Then again, as @krugermacro, a token project launched on @Binance launch pad was able to sell $6m in tokens at an implied market cap of $100m and did so in just 22 seconds so…. Viva la ICO?https://twitter.com/krugermacro/status/1100841948926173184
25/ One of crypto’s most crypto-ass stories from the past couple months has been the saga of QuadrigaCX’s missing millions. @tayvano_ wonders whether it was ever really there https://twitter.com/tayvano_/status/1101745089468985344 while Kraken is incentivizing the sleuths https://twitter.com/krakenfx/status/1101259263257780237?s=21
26/ With much attention on private chain coins, Maker and other stable coins, it’s worth checking out this piece by @jchervinsky on how the SEC & CFTC are likely to consider them - including in ways we might not like https://twitter.com/jchervinsky/status/1101850863621103616
27/ Criminally underfollowed @thedanigrant writes a great piece about why distributed compute is about competing on integrity, not price. https://twitter.com/thedanigrant/status/1100774830205480960?s=21
28/ Here’s a thought: just because media loves to run articles of Warren B shitting on Bitcoin doesn’t mean we have to put any stock in them. In fact, @avichal argues that him not wanting to invest is actually a POSITIVE sign https://twitter.com/avichal/status/1100221876075298816
29/ This week’s award for quintessential long read *has* to go to @TaylorPearsonMe who wrote this tremendous piece on the transformation of transaction costs over time and the long-term trends that crypto is part of https://twitter.com/TaylorPearsonMe/status/1101242724693336064
30/ And finally, a lil’ self shill. This week we dropped the first edition of the Liberty Crypto Reader, a newsletter focused on the global social crypto macro context, powered by muah and supported by @coinmine https://twitter.com/nlw/status/1101193945797877760
31/ At the end of the day, the big game for me is about how Bitcoin and crypto can increase liberty and sovereignty in the world. I’m incredibly stoked to be able to get some time each week sharing stories of how that happens. Check it out: https://coinmine.com/pages/liberty
32/ And there we have it! Another week down. What a doozy eh? As always, let me know what I missed and what you loved. To get LRS via email, sign up here: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/nlw 

 

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Nathaniel Whittemore

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