Currency

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What’s in it for me?

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) have been generating a lot of press lately, as there have been some very large buying and selling numbers bandied about, and some very well known names being associated with these digital assets. So what are they and how do they work?

To understand NFT’s you must start with knowing what non-fungible means. It is a term used widely in trade agreements to describe an asset that is unique, for instance, ancient Grecian Urns are all unique and will always have their own individual value. They cannot be bought and sold at a standard market price for ancient Grecian Urns, whereas a bushel of #1 USA Corn is not unique, it is CLICK for full article.

 

Why can’t this dude just shut up? That’s what people, including the SEC, want to know. But look, he just can’t. Apparently, no one can take his Twitter account away from Elon Musk, and Tesla isn’t putting it under adult supervision, as the SEC has suggested. So he was at it again today, responding to accusations by Magda Wierzycka, CEO of South African tech and financial services firm Sygnia, that he’d pumped up the price of Bitcoin by tweeting all manner of things, and then “sold a big part of his exposure at the peak.”

So yes. Musk acknowledged in his tweet today that Tesla had in fact dumped part of its holdings of Bitcoin, but he argued that it wasn’t a big part, that it had “only sold ~10%” of its Bitcoin holdings.

And he came up with a rationalization why Tesla had dumped 10% of its Bitcoin holdings: “to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market.”

That was a joke apparently. Over the past two months, the price of Bitcoin plunged from about $64,800 to around $33,000 at the low and now hovers at $39,000, after the current Musk-induced spike, with the plunge leaving a big-fat question market over his assertion that Bitcoin could be “liquidated easily without moving market.”

But Musk walks on water, and he can assert anything, no problem.

The second part of Musk’s tweet contained an effort to pump up the price of BTC by walking back his assertion in May that Tesla would no longer allow customers to pay for vehicles with Bitcoin because of the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining, which was another one of his Bitcoin 180s. At the time, that statement had whacked the price of Bitcoin.

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It is changing the fate of millions today and potentially billions tomorrow

 

I was at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami this past weekend and the commentary surrounding it has been, well, shockingly bad, to say the least. We have momentous events happening in crypto. Some good, some bad. However, what I find fascinating — if not a bit alarming — is that every opinion concerning these events are couched in nothing but existential terms.

There are existential threats surrounding bitcoin but most of the people espousing opinions on it are not the ones threatened by bitcoin or its opponents.

The permabears, embarrassed after an historic run from $3000 to $64,000, chuckle gleefully about a 50% pullback no reasonable bitcoin bull would ever argue against happening. The arguments that come out are laughably naïve if not ignorant.

In the immortal words of Dean Wormer, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Most of them come from the U.S. and Europe, making their irrational hatred of bitcoin truly a first world problem.

Everyone wants to be the first to have that novel insight, be the one who scoops everyone else to gain some pathetic little bit of street cred in cyberspace that they rush to their phone to put out there for the world to see just how little they’ve actually thought about what’s going on.

Doomscroll through Bitcoin Twitter and you’ll see most everyone turn into some version of Flounder.

While I was at Bitcoin 2021 the thing I kept saying was never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see anything like this in association with bitcoin. We were so far away from my first reading the white paper and downloading an early wallet/miner that simply taking a step back and soaking in what was happening around me was overwhelming.

And, in many ways, meaningful.

Because what I was truly blown away by wasn’t the spectacle it was the fact that the ethos of bitcoin was still intact amidst all the Vegas. That same ethos that drew me to it out of curiosity in 2010 is alive today in the people who are directing its future.

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The U.S. Fed probably just got a piece of those Bitcoin junk bonds

 

While the Federal Reserve’s top brass has cast a skeptical eye on cryptocurrencies, the central bank may be a surprisingly early adopter of the first Bitcoin-linked junk bond.

After the pandemic froze credit markets last year, the Fed bought bond exchange-traded funds to get things moving again. That made it the fourth-biggest owner, as of late March, of the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF.

About 0.01 per cent of that ETF, commonly known by its JNK ticker, is dedicated to the junk bonds MicroStrategy Inc. issued Tuesday to buy Bitcoin. So, that technically means the Fed — assuming it still holds the fund — just contributed a teeny bit to help MicroStrategy’s crypto foray.

“It’s a pretty small amount, but to be honest I’m surprised to see it in there so soon,” Athanasios Psarofagis, ETF analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said of MicroStrategy’s rapid inclusion in the fund. “Fixed-income portfolio managers have a bit of discretion of which bonds they can have in the portfolio, so they could be adding a small potion ahead of a possible index inclusion.”

It’s an amusing twist of fate, given the stance U.S. policy makers have taken on cryptocurrencies. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in April that they are simply vehicles for speculation, a sentiment echoed by European Central Bank and Bank of Japan officials as well. Meanwhile, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said last month that regulation needs to “evolve” and widen with regard to crypto.

It’s not just JNK. Another Fed holding, the iShares Broad USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (ticker USHY), also owns a small sliver of the MicroStrategy debt, according to Bloomberg data.

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The Crypto Future of Work

 

Things are done differently in the world of blockchains and decentralized finance. And they offer a vision of what all careers and corporations could look like one day.

The Crypto Future of Work

In the future, you’ll work with people you don’t know, on projects you can’t control, based on contracts you didn’t sign, financed by people who aren’t actual investors. You’ll pay to work and get paid to do things that were previously considered leisure.

Things are done differently in the world of blockchains and decentralized finance. And they offer a vision of what all careers and corporations could look like one day. You don’t need to own $BTC, $ETH, $UNI, $SOL, or $DOT to learn from these “entities.” And whether you’re a crypto investor or not, new ways of working and incorporating will affect your career, business, and investment portfolio. To paraphrase Trotsky, you may not be interested in crypto, but crypto is interested in you.

Below is a superficial survey of the characteristics and consequences of some of the most exciting crypto projects. I tried to start at a familiar point and dive more deeply into less conventional territory as the piece progresses. Keywords are highlighted in bold and include an emoji for ease of reference.

No Offices

Some of the most important projects in the crypto space are developed by 🌎 remote and partly remote teams. This includes platforms, tools, and protocols such as Uniswap, AAVE, MetaMask, Maker, Polkadot, Solana, and Ethereum used by tens of millions of people and process billions in transactions each day.

These projects are wholly or partly 📖 open-source, meaning their source code can be reviewed and edited by anyone. Some are structured as foundations that do not own the source code but are tasked with maintaining it and nurturing a community of paid and volunteer contributors.

Since the work is done remotely and is coordinated by algorithms, a lot of it also tends to be done ⏰ asynchronously. People complete their tasks at different times instead of all working together during the same hours.

Remote work comes naturally to many crypto teams because the products and protocols they develop are 🕸 decentralized. The original Bitcoin white paper popularized the idea of a payment system that operates without a central trusted authority. In such a system, multiple computers (nodes) in various locations participate in the processing and validating of information.

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