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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #41

Happy $5000 Bitcoin, team.  Some huge themes in the conversation this week.  First, SEC issued guidan
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #41
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #41 • View online
Happy $5000 Bitcoin, team. 
Some huge themes in the conversation this week. 
First, SEC issued guidance around ICOs and token sales, although to some, there wasn’t much guidance at all. Crypto Twitter’s faithful legal core came through with analysis from a number of different perspectives. One note: the heuristic of “sufficiently decentralized” was nowhere to be found. 
Speaking of ICOs, we’ve moved firmly into the IEO era. Inspired by Binance Launchpad, multiple exchanges are launching their own token sale programs. There’s lots to unpack, but we’re back to a world where we’re discussing millions of dollars of tokens selling out in seconds
Whatever one’s thoughts on IEOs, there’s no denying that we’re in a period of seismic transformation in the way capital is deployed. On that note, Andreessen Horowitz’s move to have its entire staff registered as financial advisors indicated to some that the firm has its competitive eye set east to Wall Street.
Of course, the inescapable context of all of these changes is what Ikigai’s Travis Kling called “the largest monetary and fiscal policy experiment in human history.” To see Travis explain why Bitcoin is a particular important hedge right now, check out his LRS Takeaway video
For those wondering, Takeaway’s are 60-second summaries of content featured in LRS. They’re an experiment, but so far I think they’re a pretty cool way to get the TL;DR. Check out Jake from Coinfund’s Takeaway on a new governance metric called ‘decisiveness’ that measures the relative influence of a particular stake, or see how Katherine Wu summarized the SEC action
Thanks as always for reading - NLW

Long Reads Sunday #41. Pretty quiet week really. Nothing much going on. PSYCH! Bitcoin smashed through $5k! SEC dropped long awaited token guidance! IEOs selling out in seconds like it’s 20-friggin-17. Strap TF in this LRS goes HAM.
2/ In all seriousness, let’s talk about this price bounce. There is a part of me that dreads price action because because of how much it crowds out space for every other conversation. That said, @theonevortex makes the counterpoint here:
3/ Still, if we are going to talk market movements, I’m much more interested when we’re looking at broad patterns that contextualize short term trends, such as this excellent thread from @Breedlove22
4/ As if a big, sustained price jump wasn’t big enough news, the SEC got in the game as well, dropping long-awaited guidance on ICOs & token sales. Suspiciously absent is the term “sufficiently decentralized,” replaced instead with the concept “I was a security before I wasn’t”
5/ Seriously though, crypto legal Twitter wen ham breaking it down. @msantoriESQ looks at the no action letter accompanying @PatBerarducci argues the guidance is in line with safe harbors in WY & CO.
6/ @CoinCenter also released analysis: “It is possible to fundraise by selling tokens in compliance with the securities laws and then have those tokens be clearly not securities when the promoter is no longer essential to the continued viability of the project”
7/ @jchervinsky looks at the good and the bad and concludes that part of this is the SEC reiterating the fact that they want to work directly with companies in the industry:
8/ Of course, if these summaries were a little too brief and GIF-light for your taste, dig in with this mega thread from @katherineykwu. If the thread isn’t enough, she concludes it with a link to a further 3000 word essay.
10/ While the SEC guidance is about recent and future token sales, this epic thread from @nic__carter takes us on a historical journey through the world of the first ICO all the way back in 2013. Key "Your token’s bold new value capture mechanic has probably been tried before”
11/ Luckily, as it’s 2019 and we’ve been through the madness of late 2017, we’ve definitely learned our lesson when it comes to ICOs though, right? RIGHT?
12/ Lol jk we don’t learn. That delightful video (and the many floating around like it) was from the VeriBlock IEO. @lawmaster mentioned a few weeks ago that the conversation around Exchange offerings dominated Token2049 in Hong Kong and here we are
13/ As an aside, there *is* an interesting conversation around VeriBlock beyond just the IEO. Check out this comprehensive essay from @anambroid to learn more
14/ The IEO trend deserves its own thread, but one of its contexts is the continued transformation of risk and venture capital, which this thread shows, has much to do with larger global capital flows.
15/ In some ways, the pressure that crypto puts on the traditional Silicon Valley model has to do with the fact that it has dynamics of both private and public markets. Even now, funds continue to experiment to find the right combination of startup style equity investment vs more active management. 
16/ Ever on the bleeding edge, @a16z made news this week when it came out that the firm is having all of its professionals become registered financial advisors. @polina_marinova explains how this “renouncing [of] its role as a ’traditional VC’” connects to the firms crypto strategy
17/ @APompliano meanwhile argues that Andreessen’s move isn’t just about ability to act nimbly but rather a move that will position the firm directly against Wall Street in a future where assets are increasingly tokenized.
18/ Staying macro for a moment, @Travis_Kling wrote a guest post for @TheBlock__ arguing that Bitcoin is a hedge against “globally-coordinated quantitative easing…the largest monetary and fiscal policy experiment in human history”
19/ @Travis_Kling summarizes why Bitcoin is such an important hedge especially for portfolio managers in this moment in a new feature: the LRS Takeaway - a 60 second TL;DR of key content. 
20/ On a similar theme, @RyanRadloff points out a potential connection between the next Bitcoin halving and financial troubles that historically ensue when treasury curves invert
21/ Investors that *do* decide that the macro landscape makes it a good time to hedge into Bitcoin will find a much more robust infrastructure to handle their needs, according to the latest oped from @KyleSamani
22/ Of course, one of the major macro contexts for markets will be the upcoming US Presidential election cycle. At a recent NYC event, @AndrewYang shared more of his thoughts on the potential for blockchain.
23/ When not helping put blockchain on the Presidential agenda, @jbrukh is thinking deeply about…well pretty much every aspect of this industry. Check out this thread sharing his exploration on how to value decentralized governance.
24/ For those who need a little TL;DR, in this LRS Takeaway @jbrukh introduces the idea of the ‘decisiveness’ metric - a measure of ‘in how many voting scenarios is a particular stake crucial to whether the proposal passes or fails to pass” 
25/ In some ways, all blockchain governance design questions come down to “if we do X, how can people game it?” In this essay, @VitalikButerin explores why addressing collusion requires addressing identity systems.
26/ @Cburniske meanwhile reminds us of the stakes of the governance experiments: the ability for cryptos to ‘deftly navigate the future’ may be the key for them winning what is effectively a war of attrition
27/ Phew, lots to talk about this week. Just a few more and we’ll wrap. 
28/ While IEOs may be a more about the financial opportunity to capture pent up token sale demand, there *are* still many people thinking about alternative token distribution models. @NuCypher proposed an idea called “WorkLock” which @Obstropolos evolved to “WarLock”
29/ In his latest piece as part of @tokendaily’s research efforts, @MohamedFFouda argues that crypto data companies like @MessariCrypto and @coinmetrics could be some of the most valuable in the sector
30/ For those looking for a more global perspective on Crypto, @wheatpond’s Proof of Work is experimenting with a new column of updates on the Asian crypto scene, powered in large part by @DoveyWan
31/ @DoveyWan also wrote this interesting thread about @Binance and “regulatory arbitrage” as a counter to a thread where @NTmoney argued why it might be correct to short BNB. Both Dovey and Nick’s threads are worth a read
32/ For those interested in a 20-minute video version of me talking about basically all the stuff above, check out this interview I did with @BLOCKTVnews. We talk price, the power of crypto-native media and more.
33/ And finally, your moment of zen.
34/ aaaaaand there we have it! LRS41 is in the books. As always, let me know what you liked, what I missed, and especially if they Takeaway videos were helpful. Lastly, sign up to get LRS direct via email below.
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Nathaniel Whittemore

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