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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #50

No intro this week, as we're just getting back from celebrating Jessie's grandmother turning 97 (!!!)
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #50
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #40 • View online
No intro this week, as we’re just getting back from celebrating Jessie’s grandmother turning 97 (!!!) on the farm. As a tradeoff though, we’ve got an extra jam packed 39-threader. Thanks as always and happy long reads. -NLW

Great views from the farm
Great views from the farm
Long Reads Sunday #50. Okay, if this week wasn’t interesting, you’re not alive. The SEC claps back at Kik; tons of new info about ZuckBucks, Apple putting privacy front and center, and global battles for the future of the control of money. Saddle up, friends, it’s long reads time!
2/ Episode 2: The SEC Strikes Back! Last week, we saw extensive discussion around Kik’s “Defend Crypto” campaign arguing that the Howey test doesn’t apply to tokens. This week, the SEC clapped back with a lawsuit which @jchervinsky describes thusly:
3/ @katherineykwu came through with one of her now famous annotations. This is a great way to get the key points while still checking out the source material. Highlights include ‘Let’s Jam LMAO’ on Pg. 27 
4/ In terms of what it all means, well…that’s sort of the outstanding question. In an essay from ED @jerrybrito @CoinCenter argues that the case does *NOT* signal a policy shift from what we’ve seen out of the SEC so far.
5/ For exchanges, regardless of what happens it’s clear that for the moment KIN is a liability. @lawmaster noticed when HitBTC delisted the tokens, leaving it listed on just a handful of small exchanges and with most volume coming through DEX’s
6/ Meanwhile, this piece by @binarybits articulates Kik’s core argument, which is that the “common enterprise” element of the Howey test just does not apply.
7/ For the visual learners out there, @propelforward jumped on @cheddar to give an overview and some interpretation for the case, arguing that it’s much too early to call it for either side. H/t to @HaileyLennonBTC for spotting this one!
8/ Whatever happens, it will have a big impact on the rest of the industry. And indeed, the Cato Institute’s @DiegoZuluagaL that it’s more than time for the SEC to provide clear guidance 
9/ Regulatory showdown wasn’t the only battle ground this week either. Apple opened up a new front in the war of privacy versus surveillance, putting privacy features including a private alternative to social sign on from and center at WWDC
10/ The criminally under-followed @mayazi wrote about why the Apple sign in alternative - which uses a burner email and doesn’t capture ID, and which Apple now *requires* third party devs in their ecosystem to accept - is such a potential threat to the Google/FB ad duopoly
11/ After the Apple event, I wrote about why the combination of 1) never-ending data breaches; 2) politicians making privacy and data an issue; and 3) big co’s like Apple making privacy a competitive wedge together might actually start to shift the privacy narrative.
12/ That thread was also inspired by a really fun conversation I had with @TorBair about narratives in general and the privacy narrative in specific. For more on why, finally, we might be moving away from the idea that only people with something to hide should care about privacy, listen here:
13/ In my fav thread OTW @CasaHODL’s @jeremyrwelch expands the conversation even farther, making an incredibly compelling argument that there is a meta narrative shift “Profit, culture, politics. All aligned in one direction…PRIVACY against TOXIC DATA.” 
14/ One more on this topic before we move on. If you are interested in the privacy wars and how they relate to crypto as an industry, encryption as a technology etc, this conversation between @Apompliano and @Zooko is an incredible starting point.
15/ Of course, when looking at companies that might be impacted by attitude shifts on privacy and social sign on competition from Apple, Facebook is right at the top of the heap. Perhaps this is part of the motivation behind Project Libra, the companies secretive crypto project
16/ We saw tons of info drop this week FB’s Project Libra. First, it came out that it would be announced formally in June. Then @TheInformation reported that it will be governed by an outside foundation. @JoshConstine sums up everything we know so far
17/ That same report also suggested that it would cost $10m to run a node for the project. For those keeping track, that’s around 2.2 lunches with Warren Buffett. So why would someone be willing to pay that much?
18/ The connection between Facebook’s transactional data and their advertising business is a major point of speculation about the coin. @Crypto_bobby sums it up nicely
19/ @CaitlinLong_ meanwhile makes 6 predictions about FB’s crypto project, including that it will be value add especially in the developing world, and that for broader crypto and Bitcoin adoption, it represents a “beneficial detour”
20/ @VentureCoinist affirms this point, arguing that Facebook’s coin creates, potentially, the largest starting point ever for people to learn about cryptocurrencies more broadly and find their way to Bitcoin.
21/ On that note, I loved this thread from @real_vijay about Bitcoin “touchpoints” - the people and content that form bridges for new people to get interested in and learn about the space, such as the NFL’s @RusselOkung, who has emerged as a huge advocate and Bitcoin evangelist
22/ One of the other interesting dimensions to the Facebook crypto story is how it will impact currencies around the world. I.e. as a multi-fiat denominated stablecoin, how will it impact other monetary regimes? @balajis ruminates on the coming battle between cryptos, tech co’s and states.
23/ One of the most interesting voices in the Bitcoin as global macro hedge narrative is @krugermacro. In this thread, he looks at Chinese interest in Bitcoin as suggested by Baidu search trends
24/ India also made waves in crypto this week, with reports that a draft bill had been introduced that would impose severe punishment for crypto trading. It also proposes an official digital rupee. @Theblock__ on the summary 
25/ In this thread, @SaurabhPGunjal argues that the current Indian banking system is corrupt and broken. In other words, of course it is against uncontrollable cryptos. 
26/ Don’t loose hope, however. @DesiCryptoHodlr argues that the Indian crypto community is basically a living embodiment of the idea that that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.
27/ To me, these huge issues of power shifting at the global macro scale are some of the most important parts of this industry. That’s why I was so excited to see that @PeterMcCormack is creating a new podcast called Defiance focused on Bitcoin and the fight for freedom.
28/ Okay, we’re running a little long so just a few more great essays and threads before we leave. 
29/ I somehow missed this one from @AriannaSimpson on prediction markets. For those just getting introduced, her background on non-crypto prediction markets is particularly helpful.
30/ Part of the reason I spent so much time on #NarrativeWatch and crypto narratives is the idea of reflexivity. In this great thread, @AriDavidPaul gives the 101 on the economic idea of the interaction between prices and fundamentals
31/ As the anti-trust war drums beat ever louder, one of the emerging counter arguments is the idea that it would be more effective to compel a new openness to the data that makes the flywheels spin. @FredWilson argues that it would be better to push platforms to become protocols than to “break them up”
32/ Advisory firm founder @Jsmian recently met with over 100 Silicon Valley founders, VCs and other investors and paints a somewhat worrisome picture of the landscape, particularly with regard to economic discipline and the implications in any future market correction
33/ One of the major problems with blockchain governance and many other aspects of decentralized finance is that there is no decentralized identity to go with it. @imrankhan dives deep into the topic in this essay and companion thread
34/ Here’s one from the “adoption” files - in his most recent Baselayer pod, @DavidJN79 talks with @marcmynome of Cambridge Associates - one of the most influential firms when it comes to advising institutional investors.
35/ One of the interesting areas of exploration I’m keeping an eye on is blockchain-based art and creative NFTs. For those similarly interested, @MPtherealMVP @flakoubay and @stinalinneag just dropped a huge research paper on the topic
36/ @CoinSharesCo’s research team is back with the third in their series of reports on the environmental impact of bitcoin mining. @Melt_Dem sums up key takeaways, including some surprising ones about the amount of mining powered by renewables
37/ As someone who spends a ton of time prepping LRS each week, I have massive respect for the daily newsletters. Have to give huge ups to @MartyBent for his 500th friggin daily issue. It’s one of the few that I check literally every day, so congrats and plz plz keep it up
38/ Lastly, we kicked off the thread with an epic @naval tweet, so let’s end it with his great and incredibly wide ranging conversation with @joerogan
39/ And there we have it, an extra long evening edition for LRS’s 50th! As always, let me know what you loved and what I missed. Sign up here to get LRS via email.
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Nathaniel Whittemore

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