1/ Long Reads Sunday #13. What a week it was. We saw: XRP surge and (momentarily) flip ETH; a massive ratchet up in scrutiny around exchanges; a significant Bitcoin bug and so much more. Get your coffee black and steaming, it’s long reads time.
2/ Firstly, damn XRP. Ripple went crazy this week, doubling its market cap Thursday-Friday and bringing back echoes of 2017. @crypto_macro pointed to a couple of the better attempts at explanation.
3/ One part of the XRP surge story seems to have been significant volumes on BitMEX. If 2017 was the year of altcoins buying on Binance et al, 2018 has been all about leveraged trading, shorts, and perpetual swaps on BitMEX.
4/ BitMEX is also one of the major topics of what many have called one of the best podcasts of the year with @Travis_Kling & @APompliano. They discuss how retail $ gets killed by quants; the decoupling of US & Asian ICO markets & how wash trading. Getit:
5/ Scrutiny of exchanges is a growing market narrative, and got a major kick in the pants with the NY Attorney General’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative report, released this week and summarized below.
6/ Now, if you’re wondering why a state-level attorney general is getting involved, and what the context for the report is, @katherineykwu and @MessariCrypto have you covered. They shared this grimoire of essential info via their new newsletter messari.substack.com/p/about-the-ny…
7/ Of course, not everyone was all that impressed with the report. Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken - one of three exchanges cited for potentially operating illegally in NY - served this peach of a post.
8/ To some extent, the end game of this scrutiny would be best as self-regulation and arming crypto buyers with the info they need to vote with their feet. In this, the best piece this year is @nic__carter’s “Dark Underbelly Of Cryptocurrency Markets” medium.com/s/the-crypto-c…
9/ The NYAG report wasn’t the only regulatory intrigue bubbling. People are still waiting with baited breath around a promising Bitcoin ETF. For a full background on how ETF decisions get made and what the hurdles are, @jchervinsky summarizes here:
10/ On the flip side, there was also some positive regulatory movement, in the form of a set of proposed bills in Congress that would create “safe harbors” for 1) non-custodial use, and 2) tax improvements for people who benefit from hard forks.
11/ Maybe the most interesting institutional event this week was a letter from @christophera @kanzure @CaitlinLong_ @anguschampion @ckayakr urging the SEC to treat Bitcoin/crypto in a fundamentally different way, avoiding “commingle” among other things forbes.com/sites/michaeld…
12/ Another big piece of Bitcoin news was the disclosure of a vulnerability that could have allowed a hostile entity to shut down part of the network or event create new BTC beyond the 21m hard-cap. The Bitcoin Core developers CVE report on the bug:
13/ There has been a tremendous amount of conversation about the bug, ranging from measured to hysterical. Seems to me that the most thoughtful parts of the BTC community are more interested in learning lessons and improving.
14/ One more good thread related to the bug - this time about how the marketing of Bitcoin as sound money might actually make it more likely to be subject to attack. H/t to @saifedean for this thread:
15/ For anyone who is interested in the current state of thinking in the Bitcoin community, I can’t recommend following along with the talks at Baltic Honeybadger 2018. Hashtag is #bh2018, livestream is and @kanzure is literally live transcription it.
16/ One big announcement from #bh2018 is the creation of @TheB_Foundation to support Bitcoin development & education. There has been some mixed reaction (particularly around the word “marketing”) but there are enough heavies involved that it’s one to watch
17/ Speaking of self-funding mechanisms, check out moloch.vc, an open source DAO for token ecosystems to use to coordinate funding around the development of public infrastructure. Really interesting experiment in resource coordination.
18/ These sort of resource coordination DAOs bring new dimensions to the idea of “community” in cryptoasset networks. @SpencerNoon has been riffing on this topic quite a bit lately, including this thoughtful thread
19/ The idea of community and network building is also influencing how people are thinking about venture financing itself. There is a growing convo re: “generalized mining” & how investors can participate in other network building activities beyond capital
20/ As investment into crypto matures, the space is developing a better sense of its own dimensions. @VisionHill_ just released a report on benchmarking in crypto that breaks down many of the categories of investing.
21/ Of course, one of the challenges with crypto investing is the lack of rights and recourse available through tokens. For my money, some of the most interesting thinking today is around more equity like properties. See @brucefenton’s talk at #bh2018
22/ One example of this is ERC-1404, a new open standard for security tokens. The goal of the standard is to allow the simplicity and interoperability of an ERC-20 token w an added ability to enforce transfer restriction, enabling new types of compliance
23/ A takeaway of all the conversations to me is: damn, we’re still so early. One other conversation that is both early and fascinating - how mergers will happen in tokenized networks. @VladZamfir sparked a great conversation on this:
24/ A line of logic in many crypto M&A conversations is that they won’t work because the community could simply fork away. But what are the real costs? @cburniske sums up recent research from @alexhevans: “value can’t be forked as easily as people think”
25/ Just a couple more provocateur threads before we wrap.
26/ First, God bless @kylesamani @TusharJain_ & MultiCap for keeping the conversation lively. Before XRP went haywire, they got the whole space debating whether the Gemini Dollar was actually the best market fit today for a liquid global store of value
27/ From my experience learning in active and post-conflict zones in the Balkans, Middle East and East Africa, even if they are right about GUSD, there is simultaneously a different and unique importance in a digital asset that can’t be seized.
28/ Just as I was finishing, @jbrukh went Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test with thoughts on “stateless smart-nations.” All joking aside, I’d be surprised if virtual “nations" didn’t end up competing with physical national affiliation in our life times.
29/ For your speculation pleasure, the latest project to claim to be able to out-Bitcoin Bitcoin comes from one of the godfathers of the space, David Chaum. @Adam_Tache summarizes his prezo from Consensus Singapore. Color me skeptical but intrigued.
30/ And lastly, an LRS announcement. I’ve seen such amazing engagement around the ideas here that it’s time to take it to the next level with Long Reads Live - hosted video guest conversation around the big events & ideas in crypto each week. Coming soon. youtube.com/channel/UCMKxY…
31/ Alright, that’s it! What’d I miss? What else was great? As always you can find the archive of LRS on my website: whittemore.io/long-reads-sun… To get these delivered via email, sign up here: getrevue.co/profile/nlw/
Appendix: Some great summary threads to dive deeper. First, @TheBlock__ has been annotating & summarizing Medium pieces, which is a good number of notches more valuable to me than curation alone: medium.com/the-block-cryp…
Appendix: @WhatBitcoinDid is doing the Lord's work listening to all the podcasts in the land to let us know which are worth the time. Check out the reccos here:
h/t @max_bronstein for getting this notion all up in my head this week.

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More from @nlw

Oct 7, 2018
1/ Long Reads Sunday #15. Queue the “Bitcoin-as-stablecoin” jokes. As BTC hovers at ~$6600, this week was most definitely not about price action. Instead, the story is a bubbling undercurrent of institutional activity setting the stage for what comes next.
2/ On Friday, news broke that Yale’s endowment, led by David Swensen, inventor of the swap (hi Bitmex), had invested in Paradigm, a $400m crypto fund led by @matthuang, @FEhrsam, @_charlienoyes. @APompliano summarized in Off The Stack offthechain.substack.com/p/yale-has-inv…
3/ While some tried to suggest the deal was being overhyped, @cryptorae, with a background in endowment investing, articulated just how influential top endowments and Swensen in particular are to other institutionals
Read 30 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
“‘Centralization' gets used as a four-letter word..”

On Monday I was joined by @travis_kling, @katherineykwu @myles_snider for the first ever Long Reads Live and riffing on market manipulation, regulatory uncertainty and weaponizing narratives. /1
2/ Of course, ain’t nobody got an hour to kill, so on this Medium post I’ve captured the key time stamps so you can go straight to the parts that are actually interesting to you. I also posted some shorter clips on specific topics. medium.com/@nlw/weaponize…
3/ The motivation for LRL is: 1) I think people might be into hearing not about what smart crypto people do for work, but what they think about the right then issues that impact all of our work; and 2) conversations are more fun than interviews. See: avc.com/2018/09/conver…
Read 6 tweets
Sep 30, 2018
1/ Long Reads Sunday #14. Daaaamn crypto, you really went for it. This was a week full of big announcements, market manipulation, regulatory enforcement, and a dash of various other assorted intrigue. Strap in, folks, it’s long reads time.
2/ One LRS note. Last week I announced that we’re taking this conversation off Twitter and into the realm of live. Well, it’s happening this MONDAY ~7pm EST. My first guest co-host will be @Travis_Kling and I couldn’t be more excited. More guests TBA soon. youtube.com/channel/UCMKxY…
3/ Little has gotten our big-little industry yapping like the Bitmain IPO. For weeks, the convo has been intrigue w BCH, but with the IPO filing, @katherineykwu @MessariCrypto hulked out & summarized all the numbers.
Read 31 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
Drumroll please 🥁....here are the most clicked links from last week's Long Reads Sunday.

#5 One of the godfathers of the crypto space (as in, inventor of things like blind signatures OG) has a new blockchain project. @Adam_Tache recaps a recent presentation, summarizing everything shared so far
#4 At last weeks #bh2018, @brucefenton delivered this presentation arguing about how distributed ledgers will change traditional securities systems and, importantly, why the cypherpunk set should care.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 20, 2018
1/ One of the most fascinating conversations happening on crypto twitter right now: on a global scale, what matters more - anti-inflationary crypto-fiat stability, or cryptocurrencies that are truly immune to seizure by hostile forces?

2/ The conversation was prompted by the @multicoincap boys who, whether you agree with them or not, can spark a debate like pretty much no one else. In short, they argued that crypto-fiat like Gemini Dollar will suck a huge amount of oxygen out of the room
3/ Unsurprisingly, more than a few people were like “WTF Mate?”
Read 13 tweets
Sep 18, 2018
1/ What do memes, shitposting, #NO2X and “community” have to do with one another? Riffing on @spencernoon’s community thread from yesterday a little.
2/ If blockchains are network organization tools, one of the most important answers to “why decentralize” is to eliminate the distinction between network owners and network participants.
3/ When networks have owners who are separate from participants, at some point incentives diverge. In the case of network businesses like Amazon or Facebook, this manifests as higher fees or more data capture to satisfy shareholders. @Kjer called this the “Extraction Imperative”
Read 12 tweets

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