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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #60

Long Reads Sunday - Issue #60
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #51 • View online
No intro today! Hope you’re having a great end of your summer. -NLW
P.S. if you haven’t yet, check out my daily video & podcast 3@3 covering the 3 most important conversations that day.

Long Reads Sunday
Long Reads Sunday #60 - Welcome to your Oasis. Join me on a journey through the most interesting & important conversations in crypto and bitcoin from the last week w/o a single accusation, recrimination, reduction or characterization. Ditch the drama, it’s long reads time! 
2/ Let’s start with something fun. @russellOkung is hosting @Bitcoinis_ next month in LA. LRS is a big fan of their mainstreaming mission so we’re going to give away 3 “Rookie” tickets. R/T this and comment with why you want to go (or nominate someone) and I’ll announce winners in the next couple days.
3/ Okay, let’s dive in. Last week, the discussion was all about the ‘safe haven’ narrative. This week, that narrative bubble seemed to burst as the bitcoin price deflated just like everything else.
4/ There was, of course, lots of speculation. @travis_kling explored whether BTC is suited as a safe haven in some circumstances, but not others. Then again “could also be the normal bullshit?“
5/ Echoing @Travis_Kling however, what’s interesting to me about this particular narrative shift is the growing alignment between bitcoinland and global macro, which @RaoulGTI summed up last week with his currency war thread culminating in “bonds. Bitcoib. Dollars. Gold.” 
6/ Still, it’s a good reminder that, while narratives do provide good insight into how people are thinking, we do well to limit how much power we give them to shape our actions. I talked about this at @EtherealSummit earlier this year and on 3@3 this week.
7/ Meanwhile, while the Safe Haven snark was in full effect, some were exploring *why* BTC price went down. Notable was @doveywan’s thread on a Chinese Ponzi scheme that was surprisingly under the radar
8/ What’s more, it’s not like the global macro conversation has slowed down. If you were watching Twitter, you probably saw the words “inverted yield curve” enough to give you an aneurism. Awesomely, @TheStalwart does an ELI5 on it here.
9/ Still, if the beginning of the week was a whole lot of wondering why number go down, the end of the week was much excite about @bakkt’s big announcement.
10/ There was, in fact, *so* much excitement that @loomdart asked for clarification about why it was such big news. Read the whole thread, or just read @jchervinsky’s answer you laze faces
11/ @ReformedBroker also tweeted about why @bakkt matters - adding “RIP “decentralized, self-regulated” libertarian fever dream lol.” Snark aside, there is an interesting question of how institutionalization will influence the evolution of bitcoin and digital assets more broadly. 
12/ Another bit of institutional movement came when Xapo announced that it was selling its custody business to Coinbase. @jillruthcarlson asked if this type of merger was a step towards a form of hidden centralization
13/ Speaking of the regulated future of crypto, another big story was the SEC’s action against Veritaseum. As much as we all might have moved past the ICO era, SEC enforcement has not, which in itself will impact how token projects think about capitalization
14/ Related, as some folks clamor for the next “alt season” - I asked why they would assume that, were there such a thing, the assets that would pump would be old. There were some great thoughts, with @_ericelliott putting it in historical perspective
15/ As interesting as the token games can be, however, I must admit I find myself a little more compelled by the larger global context of the transformation of money networks. Last week, we talked about new news of China’s forthcoming digital currency. @DoveyWan adds color
16/ To get a better understanding of what China’s efforts in digital currency might mean for the current geopolitical order, I highly recommend this piece from last month by @SignCurve
17/ Also on this topic, I really liked this little thought experiment from @KyleSamani on how a battle between the US Federal Reserve and the People’s Bank of China might play out
18/ In Argentina, meanwhile, a shock election result sent the peso plummeting, leading to some important conversation about what bitcoin/crypto can (and can’t) do in that context from @krugermacro @MPtherealMVP and @nanexcool, who recorded thoughts for 3@3
19/ In Hong Kong, protests continue. Literally millions showed up this weekend in some of the biggest demonstrations yet.
20/ @NeerajKA flagged this story of how the protestors are using techniques like taping one-way metro tickets at kiosks to get around financial surveillance by authorities via the cities Octopus cards.
21/ Here’s a narrative watch for you. In the @nytimes this weekend @nathanielpopper wrote about how terrorist organizations are using bitcoin for fundraising. As cryptocurrencies move further to the center of the US regulatory agenda, *this* will be a central pillar of those who oppose bitcoin
22/ Ruminating a bit further about what happens in the context of attacks on digital assets by “technocratic authorities & political activists,” @NickSzabo4 draws a line between “shallow safety” and “deep safety”
23/ Of course, one attack vector that might threaten bitcoin and other cryptos is an attack at the ISP level on the internet itself. On this week’s @WGMGpodcast @Melt_Dem and @jillruthcarlson dig deep on mesh networking
24/ Okay, I said no drama this week, but I do want to share one conversation that *did* get heated, because I think it’s one that’s not going away. For @isTruStory’s latest debate, @iam_preethi hosted @danheld and @VinnyLingham to discuss BTC wealth concentration
25/ Of the responses, I particularly liked @nic__carter’s assertion that “wealth concentration is something to worry about if wealth can be transformed into political power.” His whole thread is worth a read.
26/ The reason I said this particular “drama” was worth getting into is that I believe that the larger and more globally significant bitcoin becomes, rightly or wrongly, the wealth concentration conversation will, like energy consumption, be a persistent critique. 
27/ For my data people, check out @TheTIEIO’s research about the most and least overhyped cryptos on Twitter - an interesting way to look at which communities have the most potential manipulation through bots.
28/ Of course, I couldn’t finish LRS without calling out the great work of @avichal @MariaShen and the whole team at @ElectricCapital on their developer activity report. If you want to know what’s actually being built, this is for you
29/ I’m actually going to wrap a little shorter today (not even 30 tweets!), but I’ll leave you with this discussion on tBTC and the “trustless bridge between Bitcoin and Ethereum” Read the announcement then @jbrukh’s thread
30/ Thanks as always for reading. Get LRS via email: - and check out the Crypto Daily 3@3 video and podcast for a daily dose of the most important conversations in the space.
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Nathaniel Whittemore

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

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