Jan. 24-30, 2021
A paragraph actually published in the New York Times on Tuesday:
"Companies are now finding ways to use blockchains, and similar technology inspired by it, to create social media networks, store online content and host websites without any central authority in charge. Doing so makes it much harder for any government or company to ban accounts or delete content."
Amazing! If only someone had told us sooner!
As ever, the latest headlines on decentralization:
- Crypto Twitter made wicked fun of the GameStop drama gripping Wall Street. The token market might have also benefited indirectly as some investors lost faith in stocks generally and sought alternative havens for their money. Bitcoin, which had been in the doldrums earlier in the month, reversed course to post a small weekly gain, recently trading near $34,000 per token. That helped push the total capitalization of crypto markets globally back above $1 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap. The popular data site also begain posting a satirical price quote for Wall Street Bets, the Reddit group where small investors organized a revolt against hedge funds' bearish play on GameStop.
- The Ethereum Foundation's Josh Stark and Evan Van Ness published their annual Year in Review. They write: "In 2020, Ethereum reached a critical mass. From a high enough vantage point, it’s clear that the weight in the industry has shifted." Separately, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin published an introduction to zk-SNARKS, a novel form of zero-knowledge cryptography that makes data usable while ensuring privacy protections. Meanwhile, the New York-based Ethereum hub ConsenSys announced a partnership with China's Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) to bring its enterprise ledger, Quorum, to the country's nationwide project to implement blockchain applications. And Reddit announced it would expand its work with the Ethereum Foundation to help scale its ecosystem for decentralized applications.
- Coinbase said it will go public through a direct listing, an increasingly popular alternative to initial stock offerings through traditional underwriters. As of year end, the exchange giant said it has more than 40 million users, totaling $90 billion in assets in their accounts.
- New regulatory filings suggest that crypto investment giant Grayscale is preparing for a push into decentralized finance. It also announced plans to donate up to $2 million in cryptoassets to the nonprofit Coin Center, an advocacy group that aims to educate policymakers on cryptocurrencies.
- CoinDesk reports that a number of colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Michigan, have been buying crypto to hold in their endowments.
- Ex-Facebooker and bitcoin advocate Anthony Pompliano launched a new jobs site focused on the crypto industry.
- Well, that's handy. CoinDesk has created a free audio reading of Satoshi Nakamoto's original bitcoin whitepaper, for anyone not inclined to read it the old-fashioned way.
That's it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! If you'd like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.
— Peter A. McKay
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