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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #54

No intro this week. For those in the US, welcome back from what was hopefully a fun and relaxing 4th
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #54
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #45 • View online
No intro this week. For those in the US, welcome back from what was hopefully a fun and relaxing 4th of July break! Keep your eyes peeled for some new announcements from LRS next Sunday! - NLW

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Long Reads Sunday #54 - Big ideas and BBQ edition. It’s been a holiday week in the USA and apparently for crypto that means everyone is dusting off their unfinished drafts. From CBDCs to censorship to the best crypto parody music videos you’ve seen, this week was fireworks 🎆
2/ If you think a holiday entirely about freedom and throwing off the yoke of financial and political tyranny is going to pass without someone making the analogy, you nuts. @jchervinsky writes why the American revolutionaries would have been hodl’ers
3/ @coinbase meanwhile used the occasion to share the results of a study they conducted on the level of awareness of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency around the US. Some stats: 58% of Americans have heard of Bitcoin; +more people searched “Bitcoin” than “royal wedding” 
4/ @QWQiao captured the fiery mood of Independence Day with his argument that Bitcoin is a statement of rejection from the current power structure
5/ Indeed, Bitcoin’s impact on and relationship with the larger global power structure is one of the major narratives of the moment. @hansthered orients Bitcoin’s price in the context of European bonds, HK lending rates, and Trump tweets
6/ @BMBernstein makes the point more pointedly after Trump tweeted about China and Europe playing the “big currency manipulation game” and suggesting we should match it.
7/ The instability in the larger traditional financial system may be one of the reasons that the “safe haven” asset narrative that @AriDavidPaul flags here is one of more important #NarrativeWatch right now
8/ Indeed, this narrative shift around Bitcoin as a flight to safety asset (vs a risk asset) got even more evidence in this poll from @jullruthcarlson. While to some extent this may reflect a crypto-centric following, it is pretty damn interesting if you ask me.
9/ Another dimension of the global macro conversation came as the very crypto-aware @lagarde took over the European Central Bank, with Bank of England’s seemingly crypto-curious Mark Carney poised to move into her role at the IMF
10/ Then again, @RaoulGMI thinks that anyone taking a European job at the moment might be in for a difficult time.
11/ This wasn’t the only central bank news. Venezuelan strongman ruler Maduro ordered the Bank of Venezuela to accept their official “cryptocurrency” the petro. Interestingly, @jaldps argues how this could be good for BTC adoption
12/ An interesting counterpoint on the interest central banks have in CBDC’s comes from Japan, where one official thinks they will fail to find large backing. @Angela_walch extends the thinking in this thread
13/ There was actually a lot of interesting stuff coming from Asia this week. @KyleSamani argues for example that exchange Huobi launching it’s own public blockchain for DeFi services shows that the east > west when it comes to real world crypto adoption
14/ Of course, part of that focus on Asia came from many being at the Asia Blockchain Summit ABS2019. @boxmining did a number of interviews from the event, including this recap
15/ For those who only cared about #ABS2019 for the Arthur Hayes / Nouriel debate, check out @mdudas extensive notes taken live
16/ Of course, one of the biggest Asian exports in crypto 2019 has been the emergence of exchange tokens like BNB and, more recently, LEO. @lawmaster digs deep on LEO data in this thread
17/ Also wrt crypto in Asia, the most recent Unchained from @laurashin, @helloluis and @LeoAW dig deep into the how the Asian crypto scene differs across the region and discuss if and how the Hong Kong protests have impacted Bitcoin
18/ One interesting little note on the broader topic of social media, privacy, and group action, @joonian flagged this piece about the tools HK protestors are using and their implications.
19/ There were actually a number of interesting conversations around social media and censorship. @KodyKinzie discovery that YouTube now bans “Instructional hacking” went viral
20/ To @garrytan, this sort of action makes decentralized video services like Livepeer inevitable. @balajis echoed and expanded this sentiment
21/ It was also a big hullabaloo when news broke that ultra hot email startup Superhuman was tracking emails by default. The company later shifted its defaults, so perhaps this is a win for the anti-surveillance forces?
22/ Of course, when it comes to censorship and social, there is no bigger focus right now than Facebook’s Libra. 2 weeks after the announcement @DavidMarcus took to FB to look at some of the most frequent question
23/ One line in particular that caught people’s attention was that it seemed like Libra was leaning into its capacity to be a tool for law enforcement. @mattew_d_green summed up many of the tweets about this
24/ A number of members of Congress also formalized their request for Libra to cease operations until they could determine the threat to the USD. @naomibrockwell and @ErikVoorhees discuss
25/ One last note on Facebook. @VitalikButerin flagged this underreported story on Facebook censoring Myanmar military pages. Talk about a shift in the balance of power between states and corporations.
26/ There was also a grab-bag of interesting content around Layer 1 and Layer 2 projects. Maybe the baddest ass was @danzuller’s epic three-part thread on distributed consensus systems and their tradeoffs.
27/ @Spencernoon argues that news that @Tezos cut a deal worth $1B+ for STOs with a large LatAm investment bank is more evidence that the protocol is moving into the lead when it comes to STOs.
28/ @twobitidiot kicked up an interesting conversation when he suggested that a good chunk of the top 20 cryptos by market cap are likely to be replaced over the next 12 months and asked people for their picks
29/ @Shaughnessy119 came even harder, pointing out 7 tokens currently near the top of the crypto heap that he believes will become less and less important over time
30/ @MohammedFFouda and the super sharp @tokendaily research team took a look at news reported by @zmanian on the first slashing event on the @cosmos network
31/ For those who are still trying to wrap their head around plasma, sidechains, state channels, and all the other things that get lumped into layer 2, you can do a lot worse than this mega thread by @gakonst
32/ @cburniske has been one of the leading voices around the rise and importance of middleware protocols, and notes $LINK’s ascendance to a billion dollar+ valuation (not to mention the size and strength of their army)
33/ Then again, maybe those types of valuations are just absurd. @coreyj_miller writes about why most smart contract platforms are not only overvalued, but causing the industry harm because of it
34/ Over in Ethereum world, one big bit of conversation was around the shift exchanges like Binance are making from Omni-based Tether to ERC20 tokens. @DoveyWan contextualizes
35/ I found this one fascinating. @La__Cuen reports on the Ethereum Foundation’s efforts - led by @virgilgr to make the case that Ethereum is compatible with Islamic law and Islamic finance.
36/ Finally, for those who want a historical look at Ehthereum, check out this new efforts from @CamiRusso and @kermankohli with the key dates. Would be cool to see this website-approach to history in more areas
37/ In the Bitcoin realm, I loved @APompliano’s post on the Bitcoin’s “Department of Defense” and why BTC breaks the cycle of military-backed money
38/ @CaitlinLong_ meanwhile wrote a great essay on @Forbes about how Bitcoin has a built in systemic volatility mechanism, but not one for price volatility and why it’s nearly impossible for a monetary system to have both
39/ In a week where another random “Bitcoin uses more energy than Country/City X” story came out, it was great to see @mrauchs announce the Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index to try to bring some sanity
40/ I’m also loving @VentureCoinist’s new podcast season. In the latest @woonomic gets philosophical and historical about just how transformative it is that Bitcoin brings scarcity to the digital age
41/ Speaking of scarcity, that’s exactly the topic of @simondlr’s latest on blockchain collectible economies - too scarce and it limits participation, too abundant and it confuses the collectors. 
42/ Pair that one with this thread from @AriDavidPaul on the future of collectibles and impact of technology. I mean, common, you don’t think I’m going to NOT post a thread that references the Black Lotus, right?
43/ Lastly, because all of life is an absurdist art installation and/or we’re living in a simulation, @neerajKA’s Twitter beef with @ChuckECheese made the Wall Stree Journal. Stick that in your microdosing kit.
44/ You know what? Screw it, it’s a holiday week so lets enjoy one more anthem from @TheCryptoBubble
45/ And with that, we wrap! As always, let me know what you loved and what I missed. Thanks and happy long reads! Sign up to get LRS via email and check out the daily Crypto 3@3
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Nathaniel Whittemore

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