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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #40

Happy Sunday! A couple themes stand out this week.  First, we’ve firmly hit a new meme around staking
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #40
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #40 • View online
Happy Sunday!
A couple themes stand out this week. 
First, we’ve firmly hit a new meme around staking. See: Coinbase Custody announced Tezos staking; the inaugural Staking Summit just concluded; a look at the business models of staking. There are many remaining questions for this part of the industry, but there is no denying the energy and attention around it. 
Second, governance continues to be one of the key narratives of 2019. In that same Coinbase announcement, the company also announced that they would be supporting participation in MakerDAO governance. Still, the governance conversation of the week was undoubtedly sparked by an Ethereum core dev’s assertion that Ethereum governance is broken. What do you think? 
If you’re just here for pure fascinating jaw droppers, read this epic account of a month spent in northern Syria and how blockchains & cryptocurrencies might be a part of a new political experiment. 
And finally, I’m trying something new! In the spirit of saving you time, I’m experimenting with LRS TL;DR. In short, I’ll be asking a few content creators each week to do a 1-3 minute video summarizing their content. The first is about incentives and sustainability of open source software. Let me know what you think. 
Happy Long Reads - NLW 

LRS40. Welcome back to another Long Reads Sunday, where we’ve got more steak on the menu than an Argentine asado! That, plus some weighty conversations around Ethereum’s governance, the first ever sale of a Lightning-only business, and a war on fake data! Thread.
2/ “2019 is shaping up to be the year of staking.” That is, according to @melt_dem who wrote up this summary of the inaugural Staking Summit, which also serves as a state of the market. Great jumping off point for an increasingly vibrant part of the industry. https://medium.com/@Melt_Dem/reflections-from-the-inaugural-staking-summit-145a5b632018
3/ Without a doubt, the biggest new in staking this week was @Coinbase Custody launching staking support for Tezos. The goal, of course, is to be the trusted, secure, compliant answer for holders who want to generate passive income from crypto assets. https://twitter.com/brian_armstrong/status/1111684760235966464?s=20
4/ Speaking of generating income, I loved the simplicity with which @zmanian described the different business models surrounding staking. Humbly request a full article or thread on this, Zaki! https://twitter.com/zmanian/status/1111788012227252224?s=20
5/ Another interesting part of the Coinbase Custody announcement was that support for MakerDAO governance would be coming soon, as well. On the one hand, governance has been one of the defining narratives of 2019. On the other, there are clearly still some questions. https://twitter.com/AshAEgan/status/1110297831565230082
6/ Voter turnout isn’t the only concern around governance. In another of @isTruStory live-streamed debates, @iam_preethi and @melt_dem (damn fam u everywhere) discuss the premise that current models of on-chain governance are trending towards oligopoly/plutocracy https://twitter.com/iam_preethi/status/1111298713576566784
7/ Then again, not everyone is convinced that we should port our mental models of state governance to crypto. Ethereum and Aragon community mainstay @lkngtn shares some very interesting thoughts around the problems with democratic governance in blockchains https://twitter.com/lkngtn/status/1110998493504651270?s=20
8/ Still, the loudest and most interesting governance conversation this week was kicked up by @lrettig, who declared Ethereum governance failed (or at least stuck), with too much power concentrated in the hands of the core devs. https://twitter.com/lrettig/status/1112073070460747777?s=20
9/ There are a huge number of interesting conversations now spun up around Lane’s thread. In his follow up, @VladZamfir argues that the governance system was simply not designed for decisions around non-technical issues. https://twitter.com/vladzamfir/status/1112096084191596544
10/ Then again, if you want a slightly different take on the governance question (and other key issues for Ethereum and other public blockchains) I recommend this thoughtful thread kicked off by @_prestwich https://twitter.com/_prestwich/status/1112408066069159936
11/ While it may feel like every week is some new contentious issue in the Ethereum community, I would not despair. I agree entirely with @arjunblj that this is the public blockchain hero’s journey and a necessary part of the growth of any successful blockchain. https://twitter.com/arjunblj/status/1110573044278288384
12/ Between yield generation through staking and the complexities of governance systems, you might feel like the conversations here have sort of leveled up. Luckily, @spencernoon has you covered with this great thread on 300-level crypto topics https://twitter.com/spencernoon/status/1112042185397071872
13/ In addition to the aggregating, @spencernoon also did a bit of educating all on his own, explaining how @UMAprotocol synthetic ownership of stocks with MKR and ERC20’s actually works to allow people anywhere exposure to US stocks. https://twitter.com/spencernoon/status/1111040334400765952
14/ The news about @UMAProtocol’s US Stock Index Token actually got quite a few people in the community excited. @_jillruth explains *why* the product is important - which comes down to expanding the option set for where people outside the US can park capital. https://twitter.com/_jillruth/status/1111501124983373824
15/ Speaking of different experiences with crypto outside of the US, maybe the most fascinating thing you’ll read all week is this epic account of a month spent in Rojava in Northern Syria, which is experimenting with new political models with some alignment with decentralized technologies. https://www.coindesk.com/sand-death-and-cryptocurrency-life-in-a-decentralized-syria
16/ @FastCompany also digs in to the proliferation of digital money around the globe, asking the important question of whether the original ideals of cryptocurrency can survive in the face of the mass movement of states to leverage digital money for surveillance https://www.fastcompany.com/90323550/digital-money-is-here-will-it-make-us-more-free-or-less?partner=feedburner
17/ One way to address creeping state surveillance is, of course, privacy tech. As @jcliff42 describes in this post however, using cryptocurrencies can leave new types of privacy problems - even with privacy focused coins! https://medium.com/scalar-capital/privacy-surrounding-the-blockchain-7b92a6deea62?sk=7e002c72d75973e3e8fb39d9dd7c06ed
18/ Let’s check in on Bitcoin for just a second, shall we? For whatever reason, the Bitcoin-security-post-block-subsidy conversation has been louder than normal recently. @LucasNuzzi wrote this great thread on 5 reasons why Bitcoin security won’t require perpetual inflation. https://twitter.com/LucasNuzzi/status/1110990297159340038
19/ I wrote last week about @Ikigai_fund’s new Valuation Depot. For people interested in that topic, check out @stephanlivera’s latest podcast - a conversation with @TuurDemeester on Bitcoin valuation frameworks https://twitter.com/stephanlivera/status/1112079785709047808
20/ Here’s an interesting first. @ruigomeseu sold his site Lightning Spin, a gambling game powered by the Lightning Network. H/t to @LowBtc who pointed out it was likely the first sale of a Lightning only site. Congras! https://twitter.com/ruigomeseu/status/1111004781726912512
21/ Fresh off organizing the excellent MIT Bitcoin Expo, @huvegi drops his first Medium post. This one is a “Millennial’s Guide To Bitcoin” that was actually inspired by a tweet from @bquittem. Welcome to the content game, sir! https://medium.com/@hugo.uvegi/a-simple-on-boarding-to-bitcoin-166adcdb4ea1?sk=930b25c1119c5691e383df860ef05198
22/ BTC volume was a big point of conversation on last week’s LRS, as @BitwiseInvest dropped research suggesting massive overstatement by exchanges. Well, this week, @MessariCrypto declared “war on fake data” as @guillermojimnz put it https://decryptmedia.com/6199/messaris-war-on-fake-data-and-what-it-means-for-bitcoin-institutional-investors
23/ Speaking of exchange-related groan tests, @DoveyWan agonizingly chronicles Bithumb being hacked, coming to this important conclusion: “this is just insane.” https://twitter.com/DoveyWan/status/1111839155380801536
24/ Alright, just a few more great links before we wrap. For those of you paying attention to the @Cosmos launch over the last few weeks, check out this pretty comprehensive overview from @mrjasonchoi https://medium.com/the-spartan-group/demystifying-cosmos-atomic-swaps-ethereum-polkadot-and-the-path-to-blockchain-interoperability-d1a2d75c20d6
25/ @raynesteinberg adds to his string of interesting essays, this time with a piece on why blockchain tech might be the ultimate ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment. https://www.ar.ca/blog/one-good-to-rule-them-all-blockchain-the-ultimate-esg-investment
26/ On the topic of emergent categories of investment, dig in to the idea of people investing through income share agreements. @ljxie threaded a recap of an event on the topic hosted by @lessin and @eriktorenberg who is way down this particular rabbit hole. https://twitter.com/ljxie/status/1111058109508681728
27/ Counter-narrative watch: Bitcoin mining as economic motivator to capture otherwise unusable energy. H/t to @martybent for flagging this one https://twitter.com/MartyBent/status/1111629033958199298
28/ As usual, the #1 follow to keep track of regulatory action at the US national (and even more, at state-levels) is @CaitlinLong_ Check this thread for the latest action around the Uniform Law Commission wrt to state crypto models https://twitter.com/CaitlinLong_/status/1110366768890068997
29/ In the spirit of expanding opportunities for builders in crypto, I’ve gotta shout out this RFP from @APompliano for pre-seed crypto investments. What’s your big idea? https://twitter.com/APompliano/status/1112399509491990529
30/ Last week, I shared a live tweet thread from the #RadicalXChange event. To dig deeper into why the ideas behind the event have so much overlap with the crypto community, @davidzmorris on the recap https://breakermag.com/blockchains-big-thinkers-embrace-market-radicalism/
31/ In the wake of the DAO hack, excitement around decentralized organizations dipped precipitously. In this essay, @Steven_McKie argues that they’re coming back in a big way as we try to solve complex coordination and incentive problems. https://twitter.com/Steven_McKie/status/1111883807622258689
32/ Finally, on that topic of incentives, I loved this thread version of @owocki’s talk at @coinfund_io about incentives and sustainability in open source software development. https://twitter.com/owocki/status/1110894184515424257
33/ And lastly, @owocki’s talk gives me the chance to excitedly announce something I’ll be experimenting with in the coming weeks: LRS TL;DR. Basically, I’ll be asking some of the content creators I feature each week to do a quick 1-3 minute video summary. Here’s the first! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t-8pRFRlHE&feature=youtu.be
34/ And that’s it for LRS40! As always let me know what you loved and what I missed. Please do also share your feedback and ideas on LRS TL;DR. And of course, if you’d like to get LRS via email, sign up here https://www.getrevue.co/profile/nlw
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Nathaniel Whittemore

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