Happy Holidays! - Unqualified Opinions

plus a look back on messari's first year

Your real-time crypto dashboard from OnChainFx.

Media coverage is almost always a lagging indicator of a trend.

It’s not so much that the media intentionally misleads people, I think, as it is they are trying to make sense of history and go with the news cycle.

News cycles are really just about what’s fashionable to talk about. By definition, fashionable topics have already reached the masses in some way. So news cycles aren’t really about new information at all, but rather they are all about what audiences have already been prepped for, and want to hear, because it confirms their biases and what they think they already know. News cycles are really just old news to those who were in the know in the first place.

That’s why we kinda like our “Unqualified Opinions” moniker. We won’t break news, so much as we’ll try to spot trends, and predict news before it happens.

A fool’s errand maybe, but one we have the luxury of pursuing under a cheeky name that means “we don’t know what we’re talking about” (literal definition), but also “we know more about what we’re talking about than most” (accounting definition).

Good media has a knack for deconstructing what has happened, why it’s important, and how things worked out the way they did in hindsight.

Good research and position pieces, on the other hand, are only worth anything if they’re informed by historical facts and hard data. Everything else is just noise, or worse, stale information for laggards who binge on the news cycle.

Since we started Messari earlier this year, I’m thrilled with the progress we’ve made building out the historical infrastructure we need to help people quickly make sense of news, and spot coming trends: 

Markets data infrastructure. We acquired OnChainFx, partnered with Kaiko for historical markets data and exchange redundancies, and pushed real-time price feeds.

Blockchain data infrastructure: We began spinning up our own nodes, were an early financial sponsor of CoinMetrics, and began iterating on new metrics and charting features (coming early 2019).

A curated content feed: Our curation engine’s sole purpose is on helping us cut down crypto information pollution. Quant data is important, but data without context is still crap. Since July, our front-page news summaries have fed insiders quick & dirty summaries of all the top stories in crypto that matter with 10% of the words. No fluff.

A market mapping tool: There are 1500+ crypto professionals, 200+ companies, and 200+ cryptoasset profiles in our Agora library so far, which we expect to grow 5x in 2019. I am *stoked* to release some of our new data visualization tools in Q1.

A beta disclosures database: In addition to those 200+ cryptoasset profile pages, communities supporting 12 of the leading crypto networks have sponsored real-time disclosures pages for those projects. Seven are now live. AION, Civic (just added to Coinbase), District0x (just added to Coinbase), Mainframe, Melonport, Metronome, Zilliqa (just added to Coinbase).

In 2018, most of our effort was on Messari’s core data infrastructure - the ability to look back and have a comprehensive view of what’s happened (and what is happening) in the crypto markets. We built a comprehensive set of tools because we know that a) predictions without priors are garbage, and b) contextualized history (the combination of hard and soft data) provides a solid starting point for people trying to bet on the next trend, team, or company.

Expect more professional tools and contextualized data from our team in 2019.

It may seem like it’s impossible to keep up with crypto, but we’re going to change that with some of our upcoming releases.

Thanks for joining us on the journey so far, and happy holidays!


P.S. Share. Subscribe. Spread the (rational) crypto love. Tweet at me or Messari for requests, feedback, comments, or questions.

Best of the Rest - What We Missed Last Week

Every weekend, we dig through the past week’s posts from crypto’s other great sources of content to see what we missed in our own weekend reads.

Here’s us curating the curators:

Questions From the Crypto Idea Maze - Multicoin Capital
(h/t Token Economy)

Multicoin Capital leaves no stone unturned as it dives deep into the unanswered questions in crypto heading into 2018. Inspired by Jon Choi’s original piece, Multicoin breaks down a variety of macro questions like value capture, scaling, governance, and Web3 into the individual questions we need to answer about each (Will sharding work? When will proprietary currencies get forked?). Not only is this a comprehensive list of all the topics in crypto but its also clear look into what the Multicoin team is thinking about heading into next year.

The 2019 Crypto Crystal Ball - Soona
(h/t Token Daily)

As a chaser to Multicoin’s deep dive, check out what other crypto industry experts are thinking in this look ahead to 2019 from Soona at Token Daily. On one hand outlooks are bleak with predictions of failed or delayed projects, lower prices, and a continued crypto winter. At the same time the industry continues to mature and 2019 could see new innovations that lead to real adoption of cryptocurrencies and dApps.

More Censorship is Good for Bitcoin Adoption - Tony Sheng
(h/t NLW)

The beneficial properties of Bitcoin are largely invisible to users according to Tony Sheng. Properties like censorship resistance are a powerful core feature of Bitcoin, but on a global level they are hard for the everyday individual to understand. Only at a local level, as someone mining or buying Bitcon in Venezuela for example, do individuals truly start to the value of these properties. Increased incidents of censorship like cannabis companies being deplatformed by banks or Gab being deplatformed by payment providers is localizing the need for things like censorship resistance. Sheng blieves that mainstream usage will come if the industry continues to improve the functionality of Bitcoin while the market for Bitcoin’s unique properties continues to grow.

Did I miss something?

Send me the link, your twitter handle and your best imitation compression algorithm write up. If I like it, I’ll include your bit next issue (with attribution).

Podcast Recap

🎧 ICYMI on the Messari podcast, Katherine sat down with Tian Li (co-founder, DDEX) to talk about the decision by the DDEX team to fork away the 0x protocol and carry on with their own implementation of the protocol, named Hydro. Tian also addressed the decision to remove to 0x token, and what the short term future looks like for DDEX.

Listen and subscribe to all of our podcasts— on Apple Podcasts here, Spotify here, and Google play here.

Shameless Plugs

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