Messari Analyst Updates + $MLN - Unqualified Opinions #20

driving sustainable transparency in crypto


  • Another weekly update from the growing Messari analyst community.

  • Bonus TBI take over on Medium re The Block’s mini-drama with its 0x-Coinbase-Scalar Capital. Does the allure of “scoops” help or hurt prospects for sustainable transparency?

Messari Community Update - Unqualified Opinions #20

Another awesome weekly analyst community update from Eric…

Meetup results: yeah, we’re going to do another one soon

We wanted to start with a shoutout to the most important person at Messari: YOU!

Our community isn’t just the analysts helping to populate our Agora data library, but everyone that’s rallied around the need to promote better data standards in crypto.

This was on full display during our meetup last week when nearly 100 of our closest friends gathered in downtown Manhattan to discuss transparency and crypto data. Thank you to all who came, and thanks to the Flatiron School for lending us the space!

Katherine giving opening remarks to a full house.

[TBI Note: Standing room only is the only kind of event I like to be associated with.]

It was a great opportunity to share some of the work we have been doing here at Messari and get some real-time feedback from the group. Thanks for coming!

Crypto’s institutionalization

Derivatives sometimes get a bad rap due to their complexity. But they are integral to modern finance. The same is true in crypto.

Options, for example, help crypto miners lock in prices that ensure they will cover future operating costs, or provide up-front operating capital (if they are writing the contracts). Institutional investors use options to hedge their exposure to a specific asset, helping to protect them from losses (e.g. good for effectively locking in a short-term gain you’d like to take without incurring a ST capital gains liability).

Boris Hristov from our analyst community recently wrote a great primer on options and how options in crypto differ from those in traditional markets. Recommended.

Just because crypto investing is becoming more professionalized, doesn’t mean we’re lose innovation. On the contrary.

Community analyst, Ben Floyd, breaks down Melonport, creator of the “decentralized asset management” protocol called Melon. Smart contracts can help automate many of today’s compliance processes in investing while lowering barriers to entry for new products and asset managers. Users are able to create funds while the protocol handles back office tasks like custody, NAV calculations, management and performance fee accounting and distributions, share creation, trade execution etc. The result (ideally) is a system that allows people to invest in funds with a more transparent (programmatic) view into historical performance and fund investment rules (e.g. position concentration).

[TBI Note: Code as self-regulator!]

Read the full profile from Ben in our Agora library.

Join our community

We will be back next week to wrap up October with our analyst leaderboard and to announce our contributor of the month.

As always, if you are interested in helping us crowdsource token project details, or want to join our community to share your expertise, we would love to have you! Take a second to fill out an application with your details and we will get back to you soon.

Until next week…

-Eric & the Messari Team

P.S. Smash those share and subscribe buttons, and spread the love. Tweet at Messari for requests, feedback, comments, or questions.

News & Analyses

Quick Bits (Don't read that, I read it for you)

Choke Points (Exchange News)

  • 🔒 U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase published its recently-developed automated security scaling tool, Salus, to the public. The security program can automatically choose to run and configure different security scanners and issue a report on the results, Coinbase developer Julian Borrey wrote. (Messari | Source)

Startup Signals (ICOs, Cryptos, and Startups)

  • 💰Crypto derivatives trading startup dYdX raised $10 million in a Series A round led by a16z crypto and Polychain Capital. dYdX launched its margin trading protocol as well as expo, an application that allows users to trade margin tokens, on Oct. 2. (Messari | Source)

  • 🗑️ With crypto prices dropping significantly and the ever-increasing mining difficulty, mining is no longer as profitable as it was before. The once-booming electronics market in Shenzhen has turned into a ghost-town for crypto miners, according to a local media report. (Messari | Source)

  • 💱 Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi announced on Sunday the launch of the HUSD, an integrated solution that integrates users’ deposits of the four USD-backed stablecoins into one asset — HUSD, which users can trade and also withdraw in the form of any stablecoin they choose. (Messari | Source)

  • ⛔ Blockchain storage startup Sia lead developer and Nebulous—the company behind Siacoin—founder David Vorick announced the release of code version 1.3.6, which will ensure that only Nebulous subsidiary Obelisk ASICs can mine the network, effectively blocking crypto mining giants like Bitmain. The hard fork will be activated on Oct. 31. (Messari | Source)

  • Goldman Sachs is not planning to build a crypto custody product relying on Bakkt’s infrastructure, contrary to previous media reports. However, Goldman could trade futures on Bakkt, the crypto platform run by Intercontinental Exchange. (Messari | Source)

  • More from GS: Goldman and a venture founded by one of its former partners, billionaire Mike Novogratz, are investing in crypto custodian BitGo. Combined funding from Goldman Sachs and Novogratz's Galaxy Digital Ventures totaled ~$15 million for the startup's Series B. (Messari | Source)

The Powers That Be (Legal/Reg/Policy)

  • 😕 Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya said on Saturday he was doubtful whether central banks could enhance the effectiveness of their monetary policies by issuing crypto. In theory, crypto would allow central banks to more easily charge interest on deposits of households and firms, nudging them to spend rather than hoard money. But Amamiya said charging interest on crypto would only work if central banks eliminated cash outright. (Messari | Source)

  • ⚖️ The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said on Friday jurisdictions worldwide will be required to license or regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and some firms providing encrypted wallets, to help stamp out the use of digital money for money laundering, terrorism financing, or other crimes. By June, the watchdog will issue further instructions on how to implement and enforce these regulations. (Messari | Source)

  • 💸 The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) won an anti-fraud battle against Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (GBI) and its CEO, Nicholas Gelfman. GBI solicited $600,000 from 80 customers, claiming that the firm had a proprietary trading algorithm, but instead used the funds to pay other clients. On Thursday, a federal judge ruled in favor of the CFTC, ordering Gelfman and GBI to pay $2.5 million in penalties and restitution. (Messari | Source)

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).

Community Updates

Podcast Recap

🎧 ICYMI, we also host & produce our own podcasts on Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play. In our latest episode, Katherine interviewed Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart (disclosure: he’s a Messari investor) in SF. They chat about fund tokenization, benchmarks for crypto fund performance, and his transition from equity research to venture investing - something that might be interesting to our analyst community.

Some other great episodes are #9 (Tony Sheng on his writing proecess), #6 (Jake Chervinsky’s primer on federal & State crypto regulators), #4 (Nic Carter on data integrity in crypto), and #8 (Conversations on the ground at CryptoSprings).

Find our podcast series on Apple here, Google Play here, and Spotify here.

Shameless Plugs

We want your feedback!

We know Messari can feel like a couple different products right now, and we're working to unify our features into one overarching whole. To that end, We’ve made a Trello board to take in any and all of the feedback you have for us! Have at it 🛠

We're Hiring:

  • We need data engineers who want to bring transparency to crypto!

  • Join a fast growing team in NYC; work with crypto OGs, and former Bloomberg/Palantir engineers; & access a network that sets you up for the rest of your career. Apply here!

Upcoming Travel:

  • Hit us up in these locations:

    • Money 20/20, Las Vegas, October 21-24th, 2018

    • Multicoin Summit, New York, October 23rd, 2018

    • DevCon, Prague, Czech Republic October 30–November 2nd, 2018.

Join Our Community:

  • If you are interested in helping us crowdsource token project details, or want to join our community to share your expertise, wed love to have you on board! Take a second to fill out an application and we will get back to you soon.

  • Going forward, we’ll be capping new members at 15 each week to keep things running smoothly. If you haven’t heard back, you are probably in the queue.

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