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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #52

I released the LRS Year One Retrospective this morning. This is the regular ol LRS52. See that retros
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #52
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #53 • View online
I released the LRS Year One Retrospective this morning. This is the regular ol LRS52. See that retrospective here:

Long Reads Sunday #52. THE BULLS ARE BACK IN TOWN BABY. BTC smashed through $10k. Algorand raised $70 billion at a Trillion $ valuation. Oh, and Facebook launched Libra, totally redefining the crypto landscape. BUCKLE TF UP It’s the one year anniversary of LRS time! 
Quick note! Speaking of LRS 1 year anniversary, because I’m a masochist I also published a full one year retrospective - featuring the vibe, time and most important content of every single week of the last year. Check it out here: 
Okay, back to this claim that Facebook Libra “totally redefines the crypto landscape.” Ima stand by this. Whether it fails or succeeds, this launch divides crypto into before and after like almost no event since “running bitcoin.” So let’s dig into it. 
First, for those who somehow haven’t seen it yet, Libra is the new crypto project initiated by Facebook. It launched this week with 27 Founding Members who are running nodes and investing at least $10m into it. Start with the thread from project lead @davidmarcus
Related, in the spirit of starting with primary sources, check out a few more of the posts from Libra Association founding members. Examples from @BisonTrails and from @A16Z
Okay, but what about the response? The news dropped like a bomb, and eeeeeerry body in crypto had an opinion. The next few tweets are some of the more notable responses I saw. Since it’s my thread, I’ll start with mine (muahaha) with @BlockTVnews
One take archetype is the “there’s some good and some bad, but it provides a gateway drug for Bitcoin and other cryptos.” That was the thrust of this great thread from @ErikVoorhees
8/ Another perspective was to look at just how different it is from Bitcoin - particularly as a money. @saifedean on this and another version comes from @CaitlinLong_
9/ @BitcoinMagazine sorta nailed it, too
10/ Meanwhile, @jerrybrito over at CoinCenter focused on the question of permissioned versus permissionless and how Libra plans to move between those states.
11/ For a TL;DR take, check out @sytaylor’s 11 most interesting things - starting with the people involved making it a “holy shit” moment
12/ Leaders from other projects in the space also shared some ideas. @nnevvinn from @ReserveProtocol wrote about the impact on the rest of crypto and @muneeb did a full annotation
13/ For more dispassionate/research-y perspective, check out the Binance research piece or this great deep dive from @_RJTodd over at @TheBlock__
14/ There were also some great takes that were more technically focused. +@protolambda compared Libra to Ethereum // +deep dive on the Consensus algorithm
15/ Somehow, just hours after it was released, @lopp came in hot with this massive, even handed analysis
16/ I was also really interested to see response in a global macro context. @aantonop argues that Libra competes against retail and central banks. @Ameensol articulates the potential impact on nations a bit differently
17/ Some additional thoughts from around the world. +A South East Asia perspective - “peak fiat” +Perspective from India +Africa and other developing nations
18/ And then of course, there was the regulatory response. Almost immediately, politicians in France, Germany and the US were up in arms. Interestingly, the reaction understood it was a threat to their ability to print money
19/ That said, some of the politicians they engaged with were more supportive. The Bank of England announced that it would allow projects like Libra to store reserves with the central bank
20/ @daltonan also held a call in conversation with a fintech advisor to a US congress person that provides a little more color on how reps are actually feeling
21/ Then again, in this monster piece @ercwl argues that there is something of Compliance Theater at work that is about giving everyone clearance without really addressing the concerns underneath.
22/ The regulatory story is clearly one to watch. No matter what happens, it’s clear that it has gotten regulators off their butts, as captured here by @katherineykwu
23/ Interestingly, the “second day story” was skepticism that Libra will ever actually launch, given the regulatory headwinds. I summed up tweets from @TheStalwart @AriDavidPaul @hasufl @mdudas about this point (links in the thread)
24/ One other narrative point was a question about whether Libra is actually more competitive with Ethereum and other smart contract platforms than with Bitcoin. @hosseeb takes the “no” position pretty convincingly
25/ One fun one - when @StopAndDecrypt made @JoeSquawk’s take go viral, it created an amazing feedback loop
26/ If this happens to everyone, maybe we’ll look back at Libra as a secret plan to accelerate bitcoinization
27/ One of the most important conversations surrounding Libra has to do with Privacy. @udiWertheimer engaged with @davidmarcus around the idea that privacy only matters to criminals
28/ @zooko also jumped on this same important point.
29/ Meanwhile, not necessarily referencing Libra, @brian_armstrong also wrote about the need for private-by-default crypto
30/ Meanwhile, @SarahJamieLewis articulates why it’s so important. This isn’t theoretical, but about real groups who stand poised to be further marginalized by privacy reducing technology
31/ Privacy and surveillance are at the heart of another one of the most important issues this week - the “Financial Action Task Force” guidance that would compel crypto exchanges to share user data
32/ The FATF’s aggressive attitude is jarring, but some argue that it’s not as bad as it seems. For dispassionate analysis, check out the @CoinCenter perspective
33/ @jchervinsky echoes many of these ideas, and gives a ton of great background around who the FATF is and where it sits relative to the governments it advises
34/ Okay, this is now something like the 90th tweet I’ve published today, so let’s rip through a few last details and then get the hell outta dodge. 
35/ One other notable happening this week was the @Algorand auction. @Melt_Dem captures why we were talking about it here
36/To learn a little more about how the Algorand auction worked and why it got people so excited, check out this from @arringtonXRPcap or this great thread from @ViktorBunin at @BisonTrails
37/ Finally, for a technical take on @Algorand, check out this thread from the team at @StorecoinDev
38/ A fun/exciting launch announcement: @La__Cuen wrote about @DoveyWan’s 50BTC/$500k+ fund to support full time contributions for Bitcoin Devs
39/ For those who somehow have mental space left and are interested in DeFi, @delphi_digital is back with another research deep dive - this time on @UniswapExchange
40/ Oh, I wanted to make sure to call out this excellent (and long) thread from @Breedlove22 on gold, Bitcoin and the cryptoasset universe
41/ And finally, this question by @VitalikButerin is producing some really interesting responses on what Ethereum is/means/needs to do? One interesting note - a Loooooottta DAO talk
42/ Okay, and with that, we RAP! I’m sure I missed a ton in the Libra madness and in the midst of reviewing the last year. To see the full LRS Year 1 Retrospective, check it out here: 
43/ Thanks for a great first year of LRS! Sign up to get it every week here; 

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Nathaniel Whittemore

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