Messari's Weekend Reads 😎 - Unqualified Opinions #18

self care, sleep, and readings (plus the latest podcast!)

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Messari’s Unqualified Opinions #18

It’s Friday, which means we’re keeping things light and teeing up our weekend reads. This week, we asked for each team member to give his/her to reads. Let us know who you thought had the most interesting rec!

First up, though, we also have not one, but two podcasts this week! 🎤

On the Messari pod, 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.

Listen and subscribe— on Apple Podcasts here, Spotify here, and Google play here.

Outside these walls, Dan hopped on with Laura Shin’s Unconfirmed to talk about his Tether/Bitfinex piece from Wednesday. He touches on why Tether lost its dollar peg, how the Gemini USD traded at a premium, and how this felt similar (and different) to the months before MtGox’s collapse.

Good stuff for your commute or weekend mix tape.

📑 Messari weekend reads:

And the week ahead…

What’s up next week?

  • We need a DevCon ticket! Any of our thousands of readers got a lead on an extra pass? Reply directly, and talk to me (TBI). This is the hardest ticket I’ve ever tried to procure, and I’m frustrated. DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?

  • Ripple will be releasing its Q3 numbers next week. They made $73mm in Q2 selling ripples to retail investors, errr, XRP to financial institutions, and this one should be another eye popping unwinding of its $30 billion treasury.

  • Qiao (lucky 8800+ followers) will be pitching Shaq (14.8 million followers) at Money 20/20 (startup pitch finalist, woot woot) because I’m on paternity leave, and Qiao’s a stone cold killer. If you’re there, say hey to Dan, Qiao, and Hector, and stay away from Dan’s table in the poker rooms.

If there’s anything we should do better or any topic you want covered, let us know.

Have a good weekend, y’all.

- TBI & the Messari Team

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


News & Analyses

Content and thoughts from around the web as summarized by the Messari team.

🎶 [Analysis] Beware the siren song of "crypto VC" – Pierre Rochard

This post was written in response to a16z’s Scott Kupor's "how to think about crypto investing, for institutional investors" which was covered by Messari here.  

Pierre argues institutional investors shouldn't speculate on private "cryptonetwork tokens" which Scott advocates for. Instead, investors should figure out a speculative allocation to bitcoins as a growth currency separately from figuring out their allocation to crypto venture funds. Though bitcoin is a non-productive asset like a currency, Pierre argues it is a “growth currency” - that is, it’s growth rate is greater than the rate at which new tokens are created, which leads to deflation - and is thus a worthy investment. Pierre says bitcoin is the only proven cryptonetwork, so investing in it is more evidence-based. Point. Counterpoint. (Messari | Source)

🤝 Genesis has loaned $553 million in crypto since March

Is this the bottom for ETH? (TBI thinks so, and we’ll remind him if he’s wrong.) In a recently released report OTC trading firm Genesis revealed it had loaned $553 million worth of cryptoassets to institutions since March. As of September, the firm had more than $130 million in active loans, with more than 60% of that denominated in Bitcoin. Genesis noted some of the largest loans were made in Ethereum to hedge funds which typically used the borrowed assets for short positions. As of the end of Q1 ETH made up 42% of Genesis’ outstanding loans, but the amount fell to just 4% as of the end of the third quarter following an 80% dip in ETH prices. Genesis pays 5-7% to borrow cryptos, and charges 10-11% to lend. (Messari | Source)

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

Choke Points (Exchange News)

  • 👾 Prices for $ZRX began to surge on other exchanges (as much as 35%+) a few minutes before Coinbase officially announced that it was listing 0x on its exchange. Rumors of insider trading have been floated in the past, but it could simply be blamed on the trading bots, which scour technical price charts and exchange APIs, and pounce on quick trend shifts. (Messari | Source)

  • 📈 Trading volume for the Gemini Dollar ($GUSD) trading pairs on crypto exchange Bibox (#9 by volume) roughly doubled in the wake of the tether $USDT turmoil. Bibox's volume in Tether pairs fell by 70%. (Messari | Source)

  • 🔒 Crypto exchange Binance adds compliance tools from Chainalysis. Chainalysis will provide access to its "Know Your Transaction" compliance software, enabling the exchange to monitor cryptocurrency transactions in real-time. Notable, given how lax the exchange has been in the past. (Messari | Source)

Startup Signals (ICOs, Cryptos, and Startups)

  • 📉 Chinese crypto mining hardware producers BitmainCanaan, and Ebang are bracing for harder times as the China-US trade war shifts into high gear, with shipments to one of its overseas markets facing new tariffs since August 23. These companies now face additional tariffs on their US shipments, up to 27.6 percent from zero percent previously. (Messari | Source)

  • ⬆️  Derivatives marketplace CME Group tweeted on Wednesday that Bitcoin ($BTC) futures' average daily volume rose 41 percent in the third quarter. Open interest was up 19 percent from the second quarter. (Messari | Source)

  • 😞 Blockchain journalism startup Civil is refunding users who participated in its token sale, after failing to meet its pre-set minimum target of $8 million. However, Civil plans to launch another sale in “weeks, not months,” founder Matthew Iles wrote, to jumpstart the platform. (Messari | Source)

  • 🥇 Fidelity Digital Assets acquired its first major client on Wednesday—billionaire Mike Novogratz's crypto fund, Galaxy Digital. (Messari | Source)

The Powers That Be (Legal/Reg/Policy)

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).


Shameless Plugs

Messari Podcast

ICYMI, we also produce and host our own podcast series. Last week, we spoke to Tony Sheng about his writing process. Some other great episodes are #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.

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