View profile

Long Reads Sunday - Issue #58

There are a lot of places you could dive in this week.  In the mood for some regulatory intrigue? Che
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #58
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #59 • View online
There are a lot of places you could dive in this week. 
In the mood for some regulatory intrigue? Check out a recap of the latest salvo in the NY Attorney General vs. Bitfinex. Or go review the Senate Banking Committee’s hearings on cryptocurrency regulation. Spoiler alert: they’re still all about Libra. 
If instead you’re interested in the global macro narrative that sees Fed rate cuts, negative yields, and money printing as the perfect storm for Bitcoin and provable scarcity, there are a number of threads and podcasts for you. 
Power and privacy caught your fancy? Read this essay about why digital privacy is the political issue of our time, then watch video of Hong Kong protestors using lasers to avoid facial recognition software to get a look at what that means in practice. 
Sick of the narratives and just want the data? Q2 research reports from Delphi and Circle (or a video summary of them both) should do the trick. 
Just want to kick back and celebrate the 2 year anniversary of UASF, a battle for control of the Bitcoin network? Well, there’s something here for you as well. 
Thanks and happy long reads. -NLW

Get Crypto Daily 3@3 video & podcast via email
You can now get the video, podcast version, linkboard and summary of my daily crypto news and analysis vid direct via email. It’s 3 minutes each on the 3 topics I’m seeing the most chatter about. Sign up at nlw.substack.com
LRS58
Long Reads Sunday #58! We’ve got regulatory intrigue, bitcoin declarations of independence, lasers to avoid facial recognition technology, and a convergent macro narrative. Yep, that’s right - it’s Long Reads time!
2/ Remember the whole saga between the NY Attorney General and Tether, where the NYAG is investigating Bitfinex for allegedly borrowing money from Tether reserves to cover up $1B in losses? Well, on Monday a Judge heard a case to determine if they could even proceed. https://twitter.com/nikhileshde/status/1155825302871801858?s=20
3/ Tether v NY was not the only regulatory drama for the week, as the Senate Banking Committee held it’s second crypto-related hearing in 3 weeks. The day kicked off with @melt_dem and @Apompliano on @SquawkCNBC https://twitter.com/Melt_Dem/status/1156228427785134082
4/ One of the witnesses was Circle leader @jerallaire who argued that the company’s recent move to Bermuda was driven not by regulatory arbitrage but by a lack of regulatory clarity. @BrianBrooksCB explains https://twitter.com/BrianBrooksCB/status/1156243948748210176
5/ For me, there were three themes that stuck out. 1) This is still all about Big Tech and Libra; 2) calling BS on “banking the unbanked” and; 3) the emerging sense of inevitability. https://youtu.be/vfzWkoqc4kg?t=31
6/ That sense of inevitability is two sided. First, that Bitcoin and what it unleashed are an unstoppable force. Second, that Zuckerberg and Facebook are likely to do whatever the hell they want, so we better adapt. https://twitter.com/kyletorpey/status/1156355291765624832
7/ When it comes to Bitcoin, part of that sense of inevitability stems from the convergence between a larger macro narrative looking uncomfortable to a world of rate cuts, negative yields, and money printing, and the hedge represented by Bitcoin’s provably scarcity. https://twitter.com/RaoulGMI/status/1157254177942319104
8/ On that point of the Macro-Crypto convergence, do yourself a favor and do the mini binge of @RaoulPal podcasts this week. Start with @HiddenForcesPod for the wider view https://twitter.com/CoveringDelta/status/1155811109124890626 then zoom in to Bitcoin specifically with https://twitter.com/stephanlivera/status/1155801011467898880
9/ I also recommend this thread from prominent hedge fund manager @hussmanjp that makes an argument why the economy is “overvalued, overbought, overbullish.“ https://twitter.com/hussmanjp/status/1155816592879607808
10/ The macro conversation also wasn’t just theoretical this week either. The Fed cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 - in other words, for the first time since Bitcoin was born. @Kevin_Kelly_II sets the context https://twitter.com/Kevin_Kelly_II/status/1156595756482084864
11/ One more macro tweet before we move on. Much has been made of the growth of negative yield government debt. For the sake of great debate, check out @TheStalwart’s argument for why that might actually be natural https://twitter.com/TheStalwart/status/1155840864146661378
12/ Okay, now let’s move to something less contentious (lol) - the 2 year anniversary of UASF! Nominally about block sizes, as @kyletorpey shows, in many ways the battle was more about whether the distributed network of nodes or concentrated mining and other corporate interests would control Bitcoin. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ktorpey/2019/04/23/this-key-part-of-bitcoins-history-is-what-separates-it-from-competitors/
13/ For the full history of the block size war and UASF, I highly recommend this episode of “To The Moon” from @stacyherbert @maxkeiser, featuring @lopp @TraceMayer @theonevortex and more https://www.rt.com/shows/to-the-moon/461418-blocksize-war-bitcoin-market/
14/ Or, if you want to go *really* deep, check out this great compilation of @AaronvanW’s coverage of all the shenanigans, courtesy of @BitcoinMagazine https://twitter.com/BitcoinMagazine/status/1156985805581275138
15/ The question of power in crypto networks is playing out elsewhere, as well. Over in the Zcash community, the discussion around what to do when the founders reward ends in Oct 2020 ratcheted up with @zooko’s letter to their community https://medium.com/@zooko_25893/a-personal-letter-about-the-possibility-of-a-new-zcash-dev-fund-f6d30df64392
16/ Part of what makes questions like the one facing the Zcash community so challenging is that we’re still trying to figure out just what decentralized governance looks like, as @AriDavidPaul explores here https://twitter.com/AriDavidPaul/status/1156665151837417472
17/ When it comes to questions of power, however, not everything is just debates on Twitter. The standoff between protestors and authorities in Hong Kong continues to intensify. Faces and identities have become a weapon. See https://twitter.com/mpetitchou/status/1155869631762092033 and https://twitter.com/tonysheng/status/1156675276417273856
18/ In many ways, Hong Kong right now feels like ground zero in the global battle against surveillance. In a poignant essay, @jbrukh calls this the “political issue of our time” https://blog.coinfund.io/digital-privacy-is-the-political-issue-of-our-time-6c38c2ad6eb6
19/ Here’s another China related crypto story I thought was fascinating. In her piece for @CoinDesk, @baidakova write how Chinese importers in Russia are buying up to $30m Tether each day as a way to get around strict capital controls. https://www.coindesk.com/tether-usdt-russia-china-importers
20/ This capacity that crypto provides to get around economic policies is one of the main reasons that governments continue to eye crypto warily. This article was notable particularly in the fact that Zero Hedge is covering crypto again. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-02/first-bitcoin-then-libra-why-nation-states-are-petrified
21/ Still, for as much chatter as there is around the idea that regulatory pressure might make it so that Libra never launches, @NelsonMRosario argues that they may decide it’s a better horse to bet on than an uncontrollable public network. https://twitter.com/NelsonMRosario/status/1155952711281414149
22/ Interestingly, in the US regulators seem to currently be operating with the idea that while Libra is a threat to the USD, Bitcoin is too small scale and too SoV focused to make a dent. Maybe they want to check Square’s Cash App sales of Bitcoin https://twitter.com/kerooke/status/1157020355556532247
23/ Seriously, on their earnings call, Square (and Twitter) CEO @jack said “We love you bitcoin.” https://twitter.com/jack/status/1157043419241304064
24/ Alright, with that exciting note, let’s look at a few more before we break. Let’s start with your quintessential New Yorker style long read - in this case literally from the New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/05/the-invention-of-money
25/ For a different type of long read, the last couple weeks have been chock full of data. Let’s start with @Delphi_Digital, whose Q2 Quarterly Macro Outlook argues that “The Perfect Storm for Bitcoin is Brewing” https://twitter.com/Delphi_Digital/status/1157654842225102848
26/ For a broad look across the industry from network activity trends to the rise of DeFi and derivates, @ResearchCircle’s Q2 report by @riabhutoria @WilsonWithiam is fantastic https://twitter.com/ResearchCircle/status/1154801821837398016
27/ Both of these reports cover IEO performance, and @lawmaster goes even deeper on the phenomenon. The whole thread is worth a read, but definitely spend some time with #6 https://twitter.com/lawmaster/status/1156526198186479616
28/ @crypto_voices just put out its great quarterly look at the global monetary base. According to their numbers, Bitcoin currently sits as the 11th largest money in the world! https://twitter.com/crypto_voices/status/1157636589281058816
29/ For Friday’s Crypto Daily 3@3, I did a quick, 20-minute rip through some of the data I found most interesting across all of this awesome research. For those of you who want the highlights on the go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKJ2yVwpwlc
30/ If you’re in the opposite position, however, and want the full firehose of community insight, this month’s @_cryptowords of the best essays in Bitcoin and crypto reprinted in one place hits 170 minutes! https://twitter.com/_cryptowords/status/1156919884867166208
31/ Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for some good old fashion discussion and debate, check out the conversation kicked up about “feel good stories in crypto” by @twobitidiot https://twitter.com/twobitidiot/status/1157083953213448193
32/ Okay okay, one more similar ponderous “what if” thread - this time, from @udiWertheimer - and this one involved TIME TRAVEL! https://twitter.com/udiWertheimer/status/1157346955661647872
33/ Finally, for those who are well and truly over the overly-politicized rhetoric around tech, I can’t recommend enough @allenf32 piece for @AreoMagazine. The Internet is dead! Long Live the internet. https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/31/towards-a-free-and-open-internet/
34/ Before we wrap, one quick announcement. To make it easier on folks, I’m now sending out the Video, Podcast, and Summary of the Crypto Daily 3@3 via email. https://nlw.substack.com/
35/ As always, you can also get LRS delivered via email by signing up here: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/nlw
Did you enjoy this issue?
Nathaniel Whittemore

Bitcoin & crypto's most interesting Twitter threads and long-form essays.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here
Powered by Revue