A bullish week for once bringing us back to >1tn market cap as the macro side started to give a bit and caused the largest short squeeze in a year with ~750mm liquidations within a few hours. BTC +6.5% wow and ETH the outperformer with +18% as the deflationary narrative getting steam again with a slight uptick in blockspace demand. On the back of Elon Twitter deal DOGE had a stella week too +23% while on the flipside MKR is down -15% after revealing this week that they’ll move 1.6bn USDC into Coinbase Custody. In the news we had lots of noise around NFTs and Reddit’s launch of ‘avatars’, Gavin Wood announcing to step down, Near announcing shutting down USN and the largest BTC miner announcing financial distress. A lot to digest, enjoy reading!
Bat Tai Chi — [email protected]
NFTs Yes/No/Maybe — Twitter, Reddit, Apple
This week we had a number of headlines on NFTs with Elon taking over Twitter and announcing testing a much deeper NFT integration that will let users buy, sell, and display NFTs directly through tweets in partnership with four marketplaces. Same time over at another large social media platform Reddit they went a slightly different approach that I think is even more interesting and worth to watch closely. Reddit users have en gros been more crypto skeptic and that is probably even more so true for NFTs. Now this week they launched ‘Collectible Avatars’ and airdropping them to top contributors. They are calling it blockchain backed but avoid the term NFT and on their website nowhere to be found is that it’s backed by polygon. The NFT is stored in their Reddit Vault and so the whole process gets somewhat abstracted. Does this remind you of another very successful ‘digital collectibles’ project that avoids the term NFT and has been running for a good 2 years now..hint hint i’m talking about DapperLabs NBA Top Shot. Now on the surface they don’t have much in common except the native audience not being too crypto affine so they show blue prints for how if you abstract the blockchain aspect and make things really simple then you can get users and communities to buy in. Obviously we are hoping Reddit users who got an avatar will check them out on opensea trade them for ETH and start the journey down the rabbit hole. We also got confirmation that NFTs are allowed on the Apple app store provided that there are no external links to sites where they can be directly purchased — these were the new guidelines published by Apple earlier this week making sure that they take their up to 30% revenue cut from in app purchases (did Twitter deves see this when they made their tweet?). Users can view the NFT in app but can not unlock features or functionality within the app basically putting a major barrier for any GameFi related projects on iOS. We will see how much this impairs innovation and drives adoption for alternative systems, it’s not that crypto ecosystems have not foreseen such walled garden moves from OS gatekeepers that have already been plaguing Web2 devs. As I was writing about in June ABC SOL and Polygon both came out with their own plans for smartphones.
Core Scientific is the worlds largest bitcoin miner and they are in trouble. It is no suprise given how energy prices have continued to climb together with hash rate while BTC has remained around 20k. They announced that they will not be paying bills due next couple of weeks and likley have to file for bancrupcy. This comes despite them reportedly rasing hosting rates again just last week. If you remember, another large miner Compute North filed for bankruptcy about a month ago. And we likely haven’t seen the end yet, Hashrate in a bear market always migrates from the overleveraged marginal producers to the ones with cheapest energy costs that have the financial stamina to withstand. As Mining difficulty continues to climb higher miners will likely continue to liquidate their BTC stacks in order to keep the lights on. Core Scientific revealed they sold ~1000 BTC since September and I would be surprised to hear they were the only ones. We are still in for a major wash out of the miners that have historically market the bottom of the cycle.
SBF went to twitter in what some cynics argued was a way to get PR into the right light again after his widespread criticism he received from his ideas about crypto regulation. I don’t really subscribe to that view but I do believe he’s playing a bit with fire here. He clearly stated that it’s a ONE OFF (in bold) and that he’s not creating a precedent. Maybe a bit of background here. Users of a trading bot site called 3Commas were lured into a fake websites were they had their API keys phished during the registration process for FTX accounts.These API keys for FTX were then used to make unauthorized trades that resulted in losses of around 6mm. Now the fault was clearly on the user falling for the phishing website and potentially on 3Commas for not establishing clear enough security parameters to prevent such copy websites but the point here is that SBF is acting like the good benevolent leader compensating victims. Why he is so clear to make sure he is not setting any precedent here (well i think he is anyways) because what we need is better protection and user understanding of the risks and not an expectation that you will get made whole after an incident. Because that would encourage less care and reckless behavior. Outside of this SBF also making headlines with his latest interview where he reveals plans of their own stable coin. Now i think the only surprising part here is that they haven’t done it yet, Binance has BUSD and recently went to consolidate most other stable coin pairs vs their own in a move that significantly increased liquidity and of course with treasury yields where they are now having stable coins is probably the most lucrative part of the whole crypto ecosystem. Go SAM!
Whereas, Bitcoin is like digital gold. There’s no interest rate component to it. It should be able to trade independently. It hasn’t for the last eight months, but I think it really can for the next period of time
Dan Morehead — Pantera CEO
THIS [compensating phishing attack victims] IS A ONE-TIME THING AND WE WILL NOT DO THIS GOING FORWARD. THIS IS NOT A PRECEDENT.
Sam Bankman Fried — FTX CEO
Ethereum will be the first blockchain supported by Blockchain Node Engine, enabling developers to provision fully managed Ethereum nodes with secure blockchain access.
Amit Zavery — Google Cloud Head of Platform