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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #47

I am limping over the finish line after an excellent but exhausting NY Blockchain Week, so no email i
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #47
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #47 • View online
I am limping over the finish line after an excellent but exhausting NY Blockchain Week, so no email intro this week. Back to normal next week. Thanks as always and happy long reads - NLW

Long Reads Sunday #47 - NY Blockchain Week recap edition. After ~10 days and literally hundreds of events, the madness has finally come to an end. Between crazy BTC price swings, M&A intrigue & more, it was a hell of a backdrop for what started to feel like spring
2/ First, let’s talk about the vibe. As @AriannaSimpson describes below, it was a hell of lot more grounded than last year, when projects were firstly trying to capture ICO buckaroos while they lasted.
3/ During a live taping of @WGMGpodcast, @_jillruth & @melt_dem commented on how few and far between the big announcements were. It was almost as if we collectively got the memo that people don’t want to hear announcements about future things to be announced ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
4/ That said, there still were at least a couple notable announcements. @winklevoss and @tylerwinklevoss did their best to make “Spedn” a meme as they launched a solution with @FlexaHQ to use crypto to pay at Starbucks, Whole Foods and more.
5/ @Microsoft also announced a decentralized identity project leveraging the security of the Bitcoin blockchain. To learn more @PeterMcCormack just dropped a pod with one of the project architects @csuwildcat
6/ Alright, let’s be real. I’ve made it 6 deep now without talking about the thing that REALLY set #NYBlockchainWeek off: $8000 BTC.
7/ One thing that’s for sure: when Bitcoin’s price surges, so do TV appearances. @APompliano squared off against a somewhat hostile Kevin O’Leary (of Shark Tank fame) and valiantly kept the focus on BTC and off other assets.
8/ On @CNBCFastMoney, meanwhile, @melt_dem broke down what’s different this time around, including legitimate engagement from legacy finance institutions and expanded consumer touch points.
9/ On the point around the involvement of institutions, we’ve been saying “the institutions are coming” for so long it is almost a parody of itself. Yet even the often-skeptical @lawmaster found some promising data
10/ @JoeMcCann also posted a thread about the BTC price movement, looking at the 200 Day Moving Average and its implications for a potential bull run.
11/ With all of this swirling around, it was hard not to feel the energy. @TheCryptoDog summed up many of the reasons why people were getting excited 
12/ Over in the realm of Ethereum, the week represented a great chance to see both what was being built and what the main issues the crypto community is thinking about. Reflecting on @EtherealSummit @rezendi argued vociferously for continuing to try to solve big, strange challenges
13/ BTW, for those who weren’t able to attend, @EtherealSummit has posted all the videos from the event on their Youtube, including my talk on Narrative Battlelines and @ethereumJoseph talk looking back from 2047.
14/ With so much going on at Consensus, some of the cool things the @Coindesk team even got lost in the shuffle. Check out, for example, this essay from @balajis that was first published in an actual honest-to-god paper magazine distributed at the event
15/ An interesting sub-theme that was flying around many of the events was projects leveraging NFT, digital art, digital collectibles, etc. The team behind @cryptokitties, for example, released a new game - Cheeze Wizards - with interesting dynamics around tournaments
16/ @jbrukh (who is doing some very interesting thinking in the digital art space) also pointed out the launch of Meme Factory - a new NFT origination platform
17/ I could spend basically this whole list talking about things that happened at Blockchain Week, but even with NY as such a gathering point, there was a lot of great content coming from other places as well. Let’s go check out some of that. 
18/ Last week, I wrote about @MolochDAO’s new tributes. @jbrukh (of two tweets about this fame) makes the point that this is one example of what promises to be the most insane period of experimentation with coordination systems in human history
19/ @RyanSAdams, meanwhile, did a 101 thread on why Ether is valuable, and also touched on how DAI functions in the ecosystem
20/ From the news room, @TheBlock__ reported that @Coinbase was in talks to acquire Xapo - specifically the custody business. @mccannatron provides the primer on the digital asset custody landscape
21/ @danzuller @scottarmy_ and the team at @VisionHill_ are back with their latest quarterly report on crypto hedge fund returns
22/ And speaking of crypto funds, @scalarcapital’s @jcliff42 did this nice write up of the recent Bitcoin Taproot proposals that could have significant impact on the Bitcoin ecosystem.
23/ One of the long term issues Bitcoin will face is the security of the network when there are no longer block rewards and fees are the only incentive. @danheld makes the case in this epic thread (and accompanying essay) that security will be just fine.
24/ Another question that comes up frequently in Bitcoin (and any other valuable crypto network) is how concentrated holdings are. @alexsunnarborg reviews the latest stats on the distribution of BTC & ETH by address.
25/ @real_vijay argues that, while the default business model for most exchanges has been horizontal - aka list as many tokens as possible - those focused vertically on Bitcoin (and related derivatives) stand to win the market
26/ @AriDavidPaul published a number of good threads this week, including on security and levered trading, but this one on the solidification of the narrative of Bitcoin as a global macro hedge stood out to me
27/ One of the most interesting crypto legal battles at the moment is @Kik’s fight against the SEC (and a security designation for their token). @katie_haun wrote about the high stakes challenge
28/ When it comes to mic-dropping Tweet insights, @TaylorPearsonMe pretty much won the week — hell, the year - with this one
29/ Yes, all in all, it was a hell of a week. And the good news? There’s so much reason to be excited about what comes next. In “Crypto Spring” @FredWilson makes the point that many top projects are on the precipice of launching what they’ve been heads down building for the last year or more
30/ Lastly, I just wanted to say a huge thanks and congrats to the teams at @Coindesk, @token_summit @EtherealSummit #Fluidity2019 @blockworksgroup DAS, @TheBlock__ Atomic Swap and all the other event organizers. Long NY. 
31/ And there we have it! LRS47 in the books. With so much running around this week, I’m sure I missed things, so let me know in the comments. Sign up to get LRS via email here:


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Nathaniel Whittemore

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