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Long Reads Sunday - Issue #72

Like frogs in the proverbial pot, we’ve collectively spent the last few decades actually and metaphor
Long Reads Sunday - Issue #72
By Nathaniel Whittemore • Issue #73 • View online
Like frogs in the proverbial pot, we’ve collectively spent the last few decades actually and metaphorically signing away our rights when it comes to our data and our privacy. While to date, the resulting digital profiles of us have been used predominantly for theoretically benign things like ad targeting, we’re starting to acknowledge the much more nefarious potential. 
This edition of LRS is rife with the stories of what Maya Zehavi recently called “Dissident Tech.” Privacy email client ProtonMail discussed their policy on HODLing the BTC their customers use. Laura Shin interviewed an anonymous developer behind HK Map Live, one of the first HK protest applications to accept crypto. 
Maybe the most interesting #DissidentTech development was the announcement of Unknown Fund, an anonymous $75 million bitcoin fund that will support projects in personal data privacy, anonymity and more. 
On the one hand, there is reason to be skeptical. The very fact of the fund’s anonymity creates the risk that this is a complicated scam. On the other hand, it represents something potentially powerful. 
One of the challenges with Dissident Tech is how to get its development funded. In many cases, it’s not going to match VC return profiles (or LP appetites for the political fringes. This sort of anonymous fund provides an answer - and potentially, sets a powerful precedent. 
Happy long reads - NLW 

Long Reads Sunday #72
Long Reads Sunday #72. The ideas, news and content that defined the last week in crypto, including multi-collateral DAI on the horizon; the surge in crypto derivatives; and the rise of #DissidentTech. Strap in kiddo’s, it’s long reads time. 
2/ This LRS starts, like everything on the internet, with porn. On Thursday, news broke that PayPal would be blocking all transaction to @PornhubHelp models. It was a tailor-made “bitcoin fixes this” moment https://twitter.com/jaredctate/status/1195040973748867072
3/ The point, of course, was not that this PayPal block would impact most people, but the reminder that, to an alarming extent, technology controls us as much as we control it. This is why so many are getting more and more excited about the concept of #DissidentTech https://twitter.com/prestonjbyrne/status/1193962358504329219
4/ #DissidentTech was all over crypto Twitter this week. See for example @protonmail affirmation of HODLing https://twitter.com/protonmail/status/1195790533769203712 or @AaronvanW latest on a new idea that could improve bitcoin privacy https://twitter.com/AaronvanW/status/1195304194871320576
5/ On her latest Unconfirmed, @LauraShin interviewed an anonymous developer of @hkmaplive, one of the first Hong Kong protest groups to accept crypto on App Store rejection, crypto and protest tech and more. https://twitter.com/laurashin/status/1195427957990461440
6/ Keeping in mind the caveat to verify, not trust, some of the most interesting #DissidentTech news of the week came from @fund_unknown, who announced a fully anonymous $75m bitcoin fund for investing in privacy, anonymity and crypto projects. https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1195133563194269699
7/ One of the common threads of #DissentTech is the battle against state and corporate surveillance. On the latest @defiancecast, @PeterMcCormack put that conversation in the context of China with @BaldingsWorld https://twitter.com/PeterMcCormack/status/1194937463824891904
8/ Indeed, just as it has been for months, China continued to be a key point of discussion in crypto. This week it was reports of an impending crackdown on crypto trading - the excitement around which had gone up in the wake of a recent pro-blockchain shift (although some were skeptical) https://twitter.com/danheld/status/1195460946409320448
9/ Seemingly reinforcing this, China’s Twitter equivalent Weibo shut down the accounts of projects like @binance and Tron - although other crypto project accounts remained up and running https://twitter.com/DoveyWan/status/1195372213483929600
10/ For some context on what the actual state of crypto, bitcoin, and blockchain is in China, check out these slides on the “Top 5 China Myths" @DoveyWan from her presentation at @CoinDesk #InvestNYC earlier this week https://twitter.com/DoveyWan/status/1195134703159971843
11/ Speaking of #InvestNYC - I spoke there on a panel featuring @La__Cuen @DoveyWan and @TheStalwart on the state of the crypto conversation and the relevance of memes. @CoinDesk’s @Nate_DiCamillo with the summary thread https://twitter.com/Nate_DiCamillo/status/1194266795122790402
12/ Also at #InvestNYC, CFTC Chairman @ChairmanHeath talked with @mikejcasey about the state of US crypto regulation and the possibility of more crypto derivative products https://twitter.com/ChairmanHeath/status/1194384858925195265
13/ The derivative space continues to heat up. @Bakkt seems poised to offer a cash-settled futures option while CME announced the launch of BTC options https://twitter.com/zhusu/status/1194271034314149890
14/ The derivatives space - and the idea of institutional crypto more broadly, is on of the 7 parts of the “Current State Of Crypto Markets” section of @CoinsharesCo’s massive Mary Meeker-esque trends report. Seriously, this thing is solid gold. https://twitter.com/Melt_Dem/status/1194373561630236672
15/ And speaking of well-researched tomes, check out this huge piece from @Timccopeland on the history of Binance, one of the undeniably most significant and influential companies in our industry https://twitter.com/Timccopeland/status/1195760994636746758
16/ If the history of exchanges is up your alley, might I recommend this epic 5000 word piece by yours truly and @nomics @ClayCollins. We did a two part podcast on this as well, going all the way back to the Bitcointalk message that announced the very first bitcoin exchange in Jan 2010. https://blog.nomics.com/essays/crypto-exchanges-history/
17/ Since we’re discussing epic pieces, I also can’t recommend highly enough @PhilJBonello’s “Sovereign Individual” Investment Thesis. This is a new fund waiting to happen https://twitter.com/PhilJBonello/status/1194307126727823360
18/ Speaking of new funds, @ConsenSys @samcassatt has departed and announced a new fund called “Aligned Capital,” looking at transformations in the global financial system, physical and mental health, and AI + human beings. Should be interesting to watch! https://twitter.com/samcassatt/status/1195474604782866432
19/ On the topic of new approaches to venture capital, @jgarzik highlighted an initiative from @Coinbase in September to support DeFi projects in a different way, arguing that there may be better incentive alignment than with traditional VC. https://twitter.com/jgarzik/status/1195046501682229248
20/ Of course, the big discussion in DeFi this week was all about upcoming launch of Multi-Collateral DAI. For an overview, check out @MakerDAO’s “everything you need to know post” https://twitter.com/MakerDAO/status/1192849098707046401
21/ Looking at the financial implications, @Rewkang explored whether or not the launch of multi-collateral DAI will actually result in people purchasing MKR. The results? A firm maybe. https://twitter.com/Rewkang/status/1195047649818210304
22/ Still, there are many who go into the age of multi-collateral DAI with skepticism. @Lex_node believes it will be there “live long enough to see yourself become the villain” moment. https://twitter.com/lex_node/status/1195096488650641410
23/ I’m *sure* there will be much more on Maker next week, so for now, let’s do just a few more articles and a few congrats and get you outta here and back to your families. 
24/ Last week, everyone was commenting on @RayDalio ‘World Has Gone Mad.’ Well, this week, @Breedlove22 writes a follow up open letter that articulates why bitcoin is the perfect antidote to the world Dalio describes. https://twitter.com/Breedlove22/status/1195139492232908800
25/ You probably recognize @rhythmtrader from having the absolutely snappiest bitcoin meme twitter posts in the game, but he isn’t afraid to go long reads either. See his latest on the coming generational wealth transfer and what it might mean https://rhythmofbitcoin.substack.com/p/bitcoin-and-the-great-wealth-transfer
26/ @_ConnerBrown_ grabs the Econ 101 soapbox for this important one on why people shouldn’t look at bitcoin as deflationary, and what bitcoin does to prevent deflationary crises https://twitter.com/_ConnerBrown_/status/1189239133031534594
27/ Anyone who has been following LRS or 3@3 for the last few months knows that there’s basically nothing more interesting to me than the global digital currency wars. In this op-ed for @Coindesk, @jerallaire argues that this war has three distinct fronts https://www.coindesk.com/three-fronts-in-the-global-digital-currency-wars
28/ Lastly, there are some congrats in order. @donnie and te fine folks at @bitski (digital wallet aiming at mainstream adoption) and @twobitidiot and the excellent @messaricrypto both announced successful fundraises this week. Here’s to good actors working to make the space better. 
29/ And of course, I gotta close on the most important congrats of all. Everything we do here - every effort to try to make things better for future generations - comes back to world we want to see for our families. So to @APompliano & @polina_marinova, here’s to yours! https://twitter.com/APompliano/status/1196051173243002881
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Nathaniel Whittemore

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