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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #59

Long Reads Sunday - Issue #59
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #50 • View online
The week in brief:
More of convergence between the macro conversation and the bitcoin narrative. Is a currency crisis looming? How does bitcoin move from a risk on asset to a safe haven
More in the battle of privacy vs. surveillance, including more rumblings about encryption backdoors plus proposed new powers for the FCC and FTC to police social media censorship
Lots of discussion the world of DeFi, including a new DAO, the bifurcation of DeFi organizational models, and an outlook for the DeFi future
That, plus the latest in the KIK vs. SEC battle, and Binance US reveals the assets it’s considering and its framework for consideration.
Happy long reads - NLW
PS - I’m now delivering the Crypto Daily 3@3 video, podcast, and summary via email. Sign up here:

@RussellOkung on a mission to bring bitcoin to the NFL
@RussellOkung on a mission to bring bitcoin to the NFL
Long Reads Sunday #59
Long Reads Sunday #59. Stonks down; orangecoin up - is this the new safe haven? Plus hot regulatory action, news from Binance US, and DeFi and NFTs galore. Strap in, kiddos, it’s long reads time! 
2/ The week started with a bang. In response to new US tariffs, China devalued the yuan to its lowest level in more than a decade, leading to the Trump admin labeling them currency manipulators. Stonks cared; honey badger, not so much.
3/ There were a number of explanations for bitcoin’s rise. While some thought “China?” @DoveyWan was skeptical. 
4/ On the @arca blog, meanwhile, @jdorman81 argued that BTC did exactly what it was supposed to
5/ Whatever the case, all of a sudden, everyone from CNBC to the Financial Times was asking: is Bitcoin the new Safe Haven asset? Here’s just one example, with @AmoilsNisa on Yahoo Finance
6/ Of course, not everyone is buying this narrative. See for example @LionelRALaurent’s piece for Bloomberg or, more simply, @ReformedBroker
7/ Then again, markets have their own mechanisms for turning narratives into self-fulfilling prophecies. @Travis_Kling explains how that could happen in a video for Friday’s Crypto Daily 3@3 [VIDEO]
8/ Whatever one thinks about the idea of bitcoin as a safe haven, there is no denying that there is a convergence between the macro narrative and the bitcoin story. Take @RaoulGMI’s viral thread about a looming currency crisis
9/ Speaking of these convergent narratives, @RaoulGMI’s interview with @dtapcap also made the rounds this week, again discussing bitcoin in its larger generational context
10/ All in all, I anticipate the discussion of bitcoin’s place in the larger markets to do nothing but accelerate the more tenuous the market looks. As @AriDavidPaul put it, “this is likely to become the single most repeated and important question.”
11/ The fireworks this week weren’t just limited to bitcoin. Kik cracked back *hard* to the SEC’s lawsuit against it. @katherineykwu annotated all 117+ pages of the thing.
12/ @katherineykwu also did a quick 2 minute summary of the case, which you can find in Wednesday’s 3@3 around minute 8. PS congrats to Katherine on the new VC gig!
13/ Also in the big news column was Binance US sharing both their framework for asset listings as well as 30 prospective assets under review.
14/ Of course, it wouldn’t be a week in the modern world without intrigue around social media, privacy and encryption. @MartyBent’s Friday edition “They’re coming for our encryption tools” recounts the latest surveillance war drums from AG Barr
15/ @prestonjbyrne also went off a little bit on a proposal that would empower the FCC and the FTC to police social media censorship. His argument is from a strict legal perspective, but I still think all of us are wishing we could vote for marmots at this point
16/ For a longer historical context on the battle for privacy, check out this week’s @WGMGpodcast, where @Melt_Dem and @jillruthcarlson go back all the way to the crypto wars of the 90’s. Also chef’s kiss to the title” “long arc of an infinite revolution"
17/ Speaking of @jillruthcarlson, check out her latest rumination on Medium as well. While the notion of disintermediation has captured our attention, have we spent enough time considering what the negative implications may be? [PIC]
18/ Of course, much of the excitement around disintermediation resides in the realm of decentralized finance. @ljxie wrote an overview of where she things DeFi is headed, in terms of collateralization, composability, assets, and risks.
19/ @mohamedffouda also wrote an interesting DeFi piece for @TokenDaily, arguing that the industry will bifurcate between DAOs and centralized companies.
20/ On the topic of assets and collateralization, @bennybitcoins wrote about the recent @fluidityio announcement regarding tokenizing real assets as @MakerDAO collateral.
21/ Speaking of DAOs, @rzurrer announced that he was leaving Web3 Foundation to build a new type of funding collective that picks up where the original DAO left off after having the wind hacked out of its sails.
22/ @avsa also shared his insider take on how the Ethereum Foundation itself is evolving. He argues that it’s becoming more of a “grants style organization”
23/ For a market perspective on ETH as an asset, check out @CamiRusso’s interview of @AndrewDARMACAP in her excellent Defiant newsletter
24/ The Defiant also published a post from @RyanSAdams on why ETH is money and why it matters. In particular, notice the section where he digs into his argument for what ETH’s monetary policy is.
25/ Still, over the last couple weeks, the single thread to be paying attention to in the world of Ethereum has been @VitalikButerin’s “skeptics” thread on eth2 design, which has spawned discussions on a huge array of topics.
26/ Games and NFT’s also saw some chatter this week. @Jeffthedunker wrote this serious overview of the blockchain/crypto gaming space for @TheBlock__
27/ @GodsUnchained also announced a serious talent scoop, bringing in Chris Clay, who most recently helped the inventor of the collectible card game category Magic the Gathering reinvent itself through its Arena product. Article @guillermojimnz
28/ Then again, @BradyDale flagged a report suggesting that players may not care that much yet about things like true ownership and the ability to move assets between games (while admitting that it’s been about 5 minutes so it may simply be too early)
29/ NFTs didn’t make it to @nic__carter’s maturity/hype matrix - a fun and purposefully simple way to map narratives in the crypto space. I would probably put NFT’s at medium immature, slightly overhyped (in other words, still full of potential)
30/ If NFTs are competing with traditional games, they’re just one of the ways decentralized alternatives will compete. @jbrukh explores what it means for decentralized resource networks to compete with economies of scale
31/ The idea of that competition from decentralized alternatives was a key narrative argument during the ICO boom, which, despite plaintive cries for alt seasons do not appear to be coming back any time soon.
32/ Still, that ICOs may be good and done doesn’t mean that crypto won’t transform the way funding for risk assets happens. @balajis explores here
33/ If all this talk of DeFi and ICOs has your pure maximalist heart enflamed, I got you, fam. Check out @dergigi’s excellent “Proof of life” looking at Bitcoin as a living organism.
34/ Fight the “volatility” fud with this pieces from @parkeralewis on why bitcoin is *not* too volatile to be a currency.
35/ For that data deep dive, check out @Delphi_Digital’s summary of their Bitcoin Monthly Outlook. One observation: strengthened correlation between BTC and gold.
36/ If you have friends and family who you’re helping along the path to Bitcoin, now is a great time to give them @skwp’s Inventing Bitcoin. 50% of profits this month go to @btcven’s Bitcoin for Venezuela initiative. I nabbed 5!
37/ To zoom out and think big about the changing nature of geopolitical risk, read this thread from @arampell on how the globalization of payments networks has changed the currency calculus.
38/ Then pair that with news from @TheBlock__ that China is on the verge of announcing a central bank digital currency.
39/ For your weekly dose of “holy shit, really?” @jp_koning shares how thanks to Starbucks pre-loaded cards and accounts, customers are effectively lending $1.6 billion to the coffee giant at a ~-10% interest rate.
40/ And finally, for your weekly dose of “life (/bitcoin) finds a way” check out @La__Cuen’s piece on how Iranian bitcoiners are working around the sanctions cutting them off from key internet infrastructure.
41/ And there we have it! Another LRS in the books. As always, you can sign up to get LRS via email at - And to enjoy LRS-style content all week long…
42/ Check out the Crypto Daily 3@3. Live here or at / Podcast wherever you podcast or get it direct to your inbox
43/ PS, thanks @RussellOkung for the cover image. Throw the man a follow to follow along on his quest to turn the whole NFL into bitcoiners.  
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Nathaniel Whittemore

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